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Movies Piracy Your Rights Online

Why I Steal Movies (Even Ones I'm In) 753

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-not-me-him dept.
Jamie found a link saying "Like a billion other people, I download things illegally. I'm also an actor, writer, and director whose income depends on revenue from DVDs, movies, and books.This leads to many conflicts in my head, in my heart, and in bars."
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Why I Steal Movies (Even Ones I'm In)

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  • Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:42AM (#32236294)
    Because with ripped movies you don't have to deal with those annoying previews that on some dvds, you can't skip.

    Oh, and its cheaper.
  • Re:Nice article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:43AM (#32236318) Homepage

    And that, my fellow Slashdotters, is the whole point :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:44AM (#32236324)

    Stealing movies is not very different from stealing medicines, food or anything else. The marginal cost of these items are very low - esp. for example medicines, compared to the prices.

    Just cos he is a director, actor etc. etc. doesnt make it right - just means, he (like the whole of humanity) likes freebies.

    Time we find a better way to catch such pirates - maybe even put a bounty!!

  • This constant effort in changing our language is frustrating.

    When you steal something you deprive the previous owner of their copy.

    Making a copy is an offense but since it doesnt deprive the real owner of their copy its a very minor offense, especially when done without economic interest and for profit.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:51AM (#32236384) Journal

    So I'm afraid I simply DL'ed a pixel-clear pirate copy which arrived in seconds. My moral justification for this? I once bought the VHS.

    My greatest problem with copyright abuse by the RIAA/MPAA is simply how they nickel and dime you. Every decade or so a new format comes out and they roll around in new income without even doing anything (well, remastering is very little). That bothers me. It seems like the opposite of a capitalistic system where you're supposed to be rewarded for producing something--in this case entertainment content.

    So let's say I roll down to a garage sale and find the band Poison's worst songs of the 1980s on vinyl for two pence (that's two pence more than it's worth). By your logic, is it okay for me to now get online and download that?

    I assume that with digital downloads, all of those archaic shenanigans will end ... or perhaps that's why your employer, your publisher and your industry are fighting the final format solution. You wrote this piece as a consumer of your own product and were given a brief flash of insight yet you seem to avoid trying to reconcile this view with the view from your end, from the insider's end. And that's probably because it's irreconcilable and, as you said, you "don't understand business." More importantly, you don't understand money and the desire for more money is all that runs your industry. You've got some sort of humanity and empathy for the consumer left in you. You'd need to cast that off in order to understand the businessman who is making tons of bank on you. You'd need that to understand EMI's decision to continually restrict Hot Chip's viewership.

    Good luck in your quest to utilize things like P2P for promoting, sharing and distributing as a tool to success. Your industry by and large will not assist you in the least and may even take legal action against you.

  • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:53AM (#32236396) Homepage
    Did you even read TFA (of course not, this is /.)? He goes through some pretty good justifications for his "illegal" downloading. This is one of the better written and most rational pieces I've read on piracy in quite a long time.

    FTFA:

    "Ownership" is starting to change its meaning. If you buy a movie from iTunes you "own" the right to watch it on certain devices within certain constraints. When you "own" a DVD, you have the right to watch it whenever and wherever you want. However: you must watch ten minutes of promos, trailers and anti-piracy threats. I'll take the download, please.

    But often you can't do it legally: I recently wanted to show my son Disney's classic Jungle Book and intended to get it on iTunes. Unfortunately, it is currently incarcerated within The Disney Vault. So I'm afraid I simply DL'ed a pixel-clear pirate copy which arrived in seconds. My moral justification for this? I once bought the VHS. It's your own vault, Disney!

    I actually disagree there (The "I'll take the download, please"). If I buy content, I want to use it when I want, where I want. I don't want artificial constraints about which devices I can use it on, or when I can use it. There has to be a happy medium between them. And frankly, the ten minutes of promos and trailers never bothered me. I simply go to the bathroom or do something else during them...

  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by V!NCENT (1105021) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:54AM (#32236408)

    I pirate because:
    1) I run Linux and therefore it is illegal to have a FLOSS piece that can playback some DVD's and most Bluray discs. Ripping takes too much time so... Well then, you fscking retarted industry... If you don't like me to have legal playback so I can become a customer than I'll just FSCKING DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE?!?!
    2) A series is not out on DVD yet in my country. So how about releasing games and vids simultaniously everwhere?!
    3) DRM. You want me to not enjoy my games if I buy them, while you could easily for less money make me not have to activate it and you won't have to run expensive servers for it? Well then... I'll just download it! Too fscking bad...
    4) Sometimes I just want to watch a video on demand and only once... And I do not want to get my ass all the way to the mall the next day so I can enjoy the video as early as the next day.
    5) Sometimes games/vids are too expensive. Seriously... I buy PSP games all the time because they are 20 euro's or less. No problem. Steam showed that halving the game's price results is more than twice the sales. Which in the end means more profit. But instead it must be so goddamn expensive.

    So industry... Do something about you stupidity because you are making it realy hard for me to be a customer. Removing copy protection might result in a single copy to a friend of mine, but will also result in more than twice the profit. Which means you'll satisfy you stakeholders a lot more, because they only care about money.

    But no... That would be waaaaaay too easy...

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:54AM (#32236412) Homepage

    Steeling movies is very different, when you steal somethings you deprive the owner of it.
    When you "steal" a movie you are not stealing it, you are copying it.

  • by Luther Blisset (1770282) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:56AM (#32236436)

    Stealing movies is not very different from stealing medicines, food or anything else.

    Yes it is. The marginal cost of movies is practically zero, whereas that of medicines or food, however low, isn't. Also, replicating medicines or food is not as easy as replicating a physical copy of a movie. And if it were, it would be our moral duty to replicate those medicines and food.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:57AM (#32236448) Journal

    Because with ripped movies you don't have to deal with those annoying previews that on some dvds, you can't skip.

    If only that was all you had to deal with. You should actually read the article, here we have an actor taking the role of the consumer and being forced to deal with: DRM, paying for a license multiple times, regioning on DVDs and distribution restrictions by country. In both his own work and others'. It was a great read, the whole time I was thinking, "Finally, now you know what it's like." I mean, come on. As a software developer if I coded something that was as shitty as all that and I sat down to use it ... I don't know what else I could think of myself as except a failure. The fact that publishers in the USA love to restrict free streaming online to only the USA boggles my mind. Do they know that there are far more people outside than within? "Oh no, you'd be violating some archaic distribution deal from 1977 if a Ukrainian heard The Killers." And since we signed that away for each country a separate contract for all eternity, we're kind of out of luck. Laughably ridiculous.

  • by Skater (41976) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:57AM (#32236458) Homepage Journal

    I actually disagree there (The "I'll take the download, please"). If I buy content, I want to use it when I want, where I want. I don't want artificial constraints about which devices I can use it on, or when I can use it. There has to be a happy medium between them. And frankly, the ten minutes of promos and trailers never bothered me. I simply go to the bathroom or do something else during them...

    I think that's what he meant. He said getting it from iTunes is still problematic, and I think he meant "download" as in "illegally download, not from iTunes". That's how I read it, although I can definitely see how using "download" in that last sentence might make the reader think "download from iTunes."

  • Re:Nice article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:58AM (#32236462) Journal

    I'm not sure how funny Look Around You would be to people who didn't grow up with the educational shows that were created in the UK in the '80s, but if you did then you will probably find it hilarious. He was also in Black Books and Spaced a couple of times, both of which are worth watching.

    I didn't realise that he was the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode 1, but I guess he was young and needed the money...

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:02AM (#32236504) Journal
    As he says in the article, it's often simply a question of availability. He wants a show, but the copyright owner chooses not to make it available in any form that he can use, either via format or region restrictions. I would love to see damages for copyright infringement take this into account: if it is impossible to buy something then the loss of earnings from someone downloading it are zero and so are the maximum damages. If you want to keep enforceable copyright on something, you need to keep distributing it. If you only distribute something in the USA, you only get to claim damages from copyright infringement in the USA. If you only distribute something in the UK, you only get to claim damages from copyright infringement in the UK. In an ideal world, distribution in formats encumbered by DRM would not count as distribution for this purpose.
  • by Luther Blisset (1770282) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:02AM (#32236520)

    Making a copy is an offense

    Not always, not everywhere. Remember that in your effort to change our language. ;)

  • Re:Why?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mldi (1598123) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:04AM (#32236532)

    Its not the previews that bother me.

    Its that 'you wouldnt steal a car' advert which cant be skipped.

    I would if it meant i wouldn't have to see that stupid advert.

    Yes, and unskippable previews. There's been a few DVDs where I've had to sit there a good 15-20mins before I could even start the movie I paid good money to OWN and watch as I please, not after endlessly getting previews of some shitty movies that have been out for awhile. Now, if there's a movie I actually like (very rare), after my RedBox $1 rental, I'll buy it on the cheap, then "pirate" it as this is the only way I can watch what I paid for in the fashion I want to.

  • by Luther Blisset (1770282) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:08AM (#32236562)

    It is copyright infringement.

    Again, not always, not everywhere.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stealth_finger (1809752) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:12AM (#32236606)

    What if you stole a car to go to the cinema? Would they mind that?

    Atleast then something has actually been stolen, as in taken from the original owner, not just spun off another copy.

  • by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:13AM (#32236618)
    Slashdot is notorious for spreading this incorrect information, and it needs to stop. Theft of time/labor is also a crime, at least in two [ky.gov] state [mt.gov], and a Google search for "theft of labor" reveals many more citations for you to peruse.
  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:14AM (#32236628)

    If I had a replicator that took raw materials and energy and was able to recreate anything I desired you can bet your ass I would be using it, especially to replicate "luxury" items like expensive cars or high-tech gadgets.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb@gmai3.14l.com minus pi> on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:17AM (#32236654) Homepage Journal

    Ripping takes too much time so... I'm lazy.
    A series is not out on DVD yet in my country. So how about releasing games and vids simultaniously everwhere?! I'm impatient.
    DRM. You want me to not enjoy my games if I buy them, while you could easily for less money make me not have to activate it and you won't have to run expensive servers for it? Well then... I'll just download it! Too fscking bad... You don't buy the software, you buy the disc.
    Sometimes I just want to watch a video on demand and only once... And I do not want to get my ass all the way to the mall the next day so I can enjoy the video as early as the next day. I'm lazy and impatient.
    Sometimes games/vids are too expensive. Seriously... I buy PSP games all the time because they are 20 euro's or less. No problem. Steam showed that halving the game's price results is more than twice the sales. Which in the end means more profit. But instead it must be so goddamn expensive. I'm lazy, impatient, have a sense of entitlement AND a cheap-ass.

    (This was an exercise in what a *IAA rep might think when reading your post, not my personal thoughts on pirating content. FTR, I share a lot of your frustrations. I see no reason why movies and games aren't released world-wide at the same time. We have extremely fast communication between most countries in this world, how hard is it to do this? Answer: Not that hard)

  • Awesome article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by P0ltergeist333 (1473899) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:17AM (#32236658)

    By far the most reasoned treatise I've seen about this issue. Now if only we could get the MPAA, etc. to read and understand it. Or better yet, if only I could figure out how to provide 'better than free' content without billions of dollars, and thus put the archaic companies in the position to either compete or die. I-tunes has started this, but it needs to happen faster.

  • by AndrewNeo (979708) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:20AM (#32236706) Homepage

    So if we illegally download bad songs, the owner can't distribute them anymore, because it was stolen from them? Awesome!

  • Re:Why?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davepermen (998198) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:20AM (#32236710)
    ripping a dvd takes some minutes, ripping a bluray around 20min. i want your internet speed if ripping is too slow for you :) but yeah, even while my stuff is legal (and that, even while downloading would still be legal in switzerland), i rip it to get rid of all the surrounding crap. turn on the beamer, and chose the movie, and it just plays. the way i want my content: select it and play it. i can't stand the menus, the intros, the warnings, the trailers, all the crap of dvd's and blurays.
  • by Spad (470073) <slashdot@noSpam.spad.co.uk> on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:21AM (#32236716) Homepage

    When the law is being paid for by people who claim to represent him, his opinion matters.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:21AM (#32236718)

    And frankly, the ten minutes of promos and trailers never bothered me. I simply go to the bathroom or do something else during them...

    I do that before i sit down to watch a DVD. I then use VLC to watch it, which allows me to skip all of that rubbish (I literally shout at the TV when I'm forced to watch a DVD on a regular player). I also turn up to the cinema 15 minutes after the displayed time to start showing, as I know there will be some b-list celebrity telling me to shop the guy making a shaky-cam screener of the film, and several trailers for movies loosely related to the one I want to watch (It has a woman in it? Show a trailer for a Rom-Com). I went to see Iron Man 2 recently, and do you know what there was an advert for? Sex and The City 2. I guess the link is that they are both sequels.

    So yeah, I get why people are pissy about these things, and I agree totally. Give me a DVD with the movie I want to watch and nothing else and I'll be a happy person. Skip the trailers at the cinema, and I'll be a happy person. Bombard me with region-specific releases, format shifting prohibiting DRM, and unskippable trailers and I you will lose my business.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Interoperable (1651953) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:23AM (#32236746)

    An opinion that seems very prolific on Slashdot is that consumers have a right to consume anything that has been created. They don't. The right to consume is not recognized by law, nor should it be. If a company doesn't want to sell you something under reasonable terms, tough shit. It's their loss as much as it is yours but it doesn't change the legal or moral standing of the interaction.

    A justification that I see fairly often is that if someone couldn't possibly buy a product then piracy of that product is ethically neutral because you can't be causing a loss of sales. I disagree with that because it is still a violation of the right that the copyright owner has to control the distribution of copies; however, I think that that argument is much less central to the issue of piracy than the perceived "right to consume" that does not exist.

    I know that much of Slashdot thinks that such a right should exist and I ask of you: why should such a right exist? Why should a right to consume trump a right to control the distribution of your ideas. Personally, I respect the right of creators to own their ideas more than I respect the right to consume because I respect creators more than consumers. It takes ingenuity to create but none to consume and I think that the "right to consume" culture is a by-product of having too few creators in our culture.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zironic (1112127) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:23AM (#32236750)

    Well, almost all consumers are both lazy and impatient which is why there's entire industries built around that (Fast Food anyone?) so you'd hope the industry would consider that.

  • http://lifehacker.com/5518076/hit-stop-+-stop-+-play-and-other-tricks-to-skip-dvd-trailers-and-warnings [lifehacker.com]

    Very useful tip, also nice using something like XBMC which doesn't seem to honor a DVD's no-skip wishes and just let's you get to the main menu (almost) any time.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BoberFett (127537) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:31AM (#32236840)

    You ask why the right to consume should exist. I ask why should the right to own ideas exist?

  • Re:Why?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Barrinmw (1791848) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:34AM (#32236880)
    Laws are not necessarily moral.
  • by Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:37AM (#32236942)
    I like the other useful tip I found for skipping those trailers and warnings: Rip the damn disc, or torrent a copy of a movie I already own because it's less hassle than ripping and encoding it.
  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MacWiz (665750) <gzieman54.gmail@com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:42AM (#32237028) Journal

    You'd think that after 10 years of using Netflix heavily...

    Try buying a DVD. They save the most annoying features for the customers who pay full price.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Luther Blisset (1770282) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:49AM (#32237134)

    Breaking immoral laws is always morally justified. Now we just have to agree on when exactly a law is immoral.

  • by Solandri (704621) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:51AM (#32237172)
    It bothers you because the RIAA/MPAA is trying to have their cake and eat it too. When it comes to copying and distribution, they want their products to be treated as a license. Even though you bought it, you're limited in how you can use it (no public performances, don't want you making backup copies, costs more for copies which are rented out, etc). But when it comes to replacements and upgrades, they want their products to be treated as physical media. "New version on better media comes out? Sorry, you didn't buy a license, you bought a copy, so you need to buy a new copy." "You accidentally scratched your DVD and it won't play anymore? Sorry, you need to buy a new one."

    The software industry "gets it." They treat software as a license, period. If they come out with a new, better version, they rationalize that you've already purchased a license for most of the features in the new versions, and the new features represent just an incremental upgrade. So they charge you less to buy the upgrade version. If you lose your media, you can just mail/fax them proof that you've bought it and they'll send you replacement media for a small fee.* Same goes for other industries where you own the physical product. Once you bought it, they don't care if you dismantle it, modify it, use it for unintended purposes, resell it. The worst they'll do is void your warranty.

    But the MPAA/RIAA wants to have it both ways. Whenever it'll be favorable to them (at the expense of the consumer), they say you bought a copy. And whenever it'll be favorable to them (again at the expense of the consumer), they say you bought a license. That's why it bothers you, that's why the author in the linked story is conflicted. Because the MPAA/RIAA's stance is logically self-contradictory. *(Disney is the one exception [go.com] I've been able to find. They will replace scratched DVDs, probably because so many kids destroy them that parents would file a class action suit if Disney didn't do this.)
  • by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:55AM (#32237242)

    This is the second time I have made the above post on Slashdot, and the second time that I've gotten responses that in no way related to the point I was making. Let me quote the OP:

    When you steal something you deprive the previous owner of their copy.

    The OP is arguing that the defining characteristic of "theft" is deprivation, and specifically deprivation of a physical item. I pointed out that theft of time is also considered a crime, and does not involve depriving anyone of physical items. Basically, theft of labor comes one notch closer to the spirit of copyright infringement, yet still involves the word "theft".

  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobDude (1123541) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:00AM (#32237328) Homepage

    And once everyone had a replicator - everyone would replicate the newest, coolest, best car.

    And nobody would pay for it.

    And the people who design cars wouldn't have money to keep designing cars. And all of the advancement and innovation that we've seen since the first car and now would grind to a halt.

  • by hey! (33014) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:08AM (#32237452) Homepage Journal

    Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, it is potentially a kind of crime against property, and none of the commonly used words for crimes against property are any more precise than "steal". Therefore a person fluent in English but not law would naturally refer to a crime against property as either "stealing" or "trespassing". Your choice of words depends on the position you want to argue. "Steal" says too much; "trespass" says too little.

    Yes, it is true that you don't deprive the copyright owner of some tangible thing when you make an illegal copy. But that doesn't mean you don't deprive him of something. Furthermore the things you do with the unauthorized copy might deprive the copyright owner in ways that are more enduring than physical theft. If you watch a movie you haven't paid for, the law can't make you unwatch it. If you put the bootleg copy up on P2P, the genie will never be returned to the bottle.

    What the article is talking about is the consumer's response to artificial scarcity. But that's what monopolists do to maximize profit, and copyright is a legally mandated monopoly. It is and always has been the intent of copyright to create artificial scarcity.

    What has changed is:
    * The expectations of consumers for ease of use of information have risen as the intrinsic barriers to copying have fallen.
    * The ability to copyright holders to use technological measures to offer and enforce new kinds of packages of usage rights.
    * The ability of copyright holders to create new, de facto extra-legal rights for themselves using TPMs.
    *The absurd lengthening of copyright terms.

    Nobody is happy. Despite laws becoming unconscionably imbalanced toward the interests of copyright holders, the ability of copyright holders to protect their interests is precarious. The public, on the other hand, resents the unreasonableness of the restrictions content providers put on their product. This situation encourages a vicious circle, where laws become ever more draconian, and ever more erratically enforce; and users become ever more cavalier toward the law as the law becomes even more unreasonable.

    My own sense is that balance could be restored by allowing copyright holders to enjoy their new, extra-legal "rights" but at the cost of copyright term. You want a 100 year copyright term? OK, but you must allow the broadest scope for fair use imaginable. You want to *completely* restrict fair use using TPMs? OK, but you have to put your work into the public domain within five years of publishing.

    If people were rational, they'd accept this deal. It maximizes the amount of creative information in circulation, which is the point of copyright. It enables creators to choose a model which will surely capture most of the foreseeable revenues they'd get under a draconian copyright regime, plus gives them access to an expanded public domain.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RobDude (1123541) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:09AM (#32237458) Homepage

    Yeah man! I feel ya...

    And like, how can a person *own* the land, right? It's like, the land man....and it's old and you can't own it!

    --------

    Seriously?

    You don't understand why we have IP laws? It takes a lot of time, effort and money to produce certain things. Without the ability to receive credit and resources from that work - people won't do it.

    You go and raise a few billion dollars of your own money and develop a new drug to fight some disease. Spend the next 15-20 years doing research, getting it approved, demonstrating that your idea works, your formula work. Then ask yourself why Company B shouldn't be able to produce the exact same drug - without having spent 4 billion dollars and 15 years developing it.

    Then ask yourself if you'd ever want to produce another drug....as your company folds under the financial burden of that debt while Company B - sells the same thing for the same price; but without 4 billion in debt.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Critical Facilities (850111) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:11AM (#32237488) Homepage

    we have all been conditioned to expect media to be free since before your grandparents were born....this stuff has deep roots. It's even older than TV. It goes back to the very first forms of broadcast and mass communications. Mass communications have always presented the consumer with a free ride.

    That is not true at all. Broadcast media has always cost money to create and distribute, which (to use the example of old broadcast radio programs) was funded primarily by advertising. To make the assumption that this content was a "free ride" simply because no one was required to put a quarter in the radio at home every hour serves to confuse this conversation.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that the RIAA and other predatory monsters like the major record labels are wholesome, positive forces, they're not. I also agree that the model of distribution for most art is in dire need of a change. However, I reject the notion that all art should simply be free because of its relative ease to copy/steal/download/pirate/sample/etc.

  • by roovis (1040184) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:12AM (#32237514)

    You wouldn't steal a car

    No, but I would download one if I could.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:24AM (#32237710)

    We do not have "too few creators" in our culture. We have too few pushed and promoted by the media in their own self interest. It is cheaper to promote one good looking blonde teen that was taught to dance and lips syncs on stage some songs that were created by a group of writers behind the scenes than it is to promote 20 of them. Popular music is like fashion industry. There is no measure of what is good and bad, just as long as repetition, a buzz, and the thought that something is popular will make it more popular.

    Assume a blockbuster hit from the late 70's. It was very popular and sold millions of singles. If that song stood on its own merit with talent and artistic meaning instead of fashion and promotion being the reason, wouldn't that song also be just as popular now with a different generation? Did humans evolve so much in the last 30 years that suddenly that 70's hit is now perceived artistically different and not liked?

    Humans only have so much time and money to enjoy media and are quite lazy when it comes to finding "art" on their own, we are often satisfied with good enough and willing to be spoon fed. The current media controlling industry knows this and wants to be in the center fighting to maintain CONTROL of what and how something is released to maximize profits from the initial release to the final sale at the bargin bin at Borders. They would even like to prevent your resale of the physical media. The artist and performance part is a joke. There is more than enough true talent out there right now that are willing to perform and release their media for little to no cost or without heavy restrictions. The problem is unless this media is under the control and profit umbrella of the current media pushing regime (RIAA), most people will never hear about it and it will never become "fashionable".

    In summary, there are many talented folks out there making music, most people will never hear them and don't care to look for them because their friends aren't listening to it either.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:34AM (#32237924)
    Media companies can't have it both ways, either you're buying a license in which case you can download it later if the original copy is destroyed or you're buying a disc in which case you can back it up in a separate location. Media companies can't say that you don't own the disc and that you don't own a copy either.

    Or in other words, if media companies wouldn't behave like jack asses perhaps people would be more inclined to pony up for the copy.
  • Counter example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mangu (126918) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:37AM (#32237974)

    And once everyone had a compiler - everyone would compile the newest, coolest, best software.

    And nobody would pay for it.

    And the people who design software wouldn't have money to keep designing software. And all of the advancement and innovation that we've seen since the first software and now would grind to a halt.

    I think recent history has proved beyond reasonable doubt that independent designers can create products without being in the payroll of the big corporations.

    People would want to design cars, just to show off. The fact is they are doing it right now [google.com], even without the benefit of a universal duplicator.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mini me (132455) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:44AM (#32238126)

    Since you can duplicate everything, including food and shelter, the whole idea of working to survive goes out the window. If such a device existed, you would be free to do whatever you please with your time. For many, this would be designing amazing cars. For others it would be building amazing cars. Everyone has a hobby, and a replicator would enable everyone to pursue their hobbies; hobbies that are often out of reach of the average person today.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:57AM (#32238380) Homepage Journal

    Why would they care if I stick in the DVD or play the torrent, they've got their cash???

    They want you to physically handle the DVD in the hopes that you'll break it and buy another one.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:59AM (#32238428) Homepage Journal

    I went to see Iron Man 2 recently, and do you know what there was an advert for? Sex and The City 2.

    "He made her watch his action movie, so she'll make him watch her chick flick! We're brilliant! This advertisement scheme CAN'T fail!"

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jack9 (11421) on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:11AM (#32238662)

    I see no reason to exclude ideas from such agreements

    Ideas are not tangible, not guaranteed to be original or well formed...because ideas are purely conceptual. Even language cannot encompass the content. I see no reason that they should be included in a legal agreement.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:34AM (#32239080) Homepage

    And like, how can a person *own* the land, right? It's like, the land man....and it's old and you can't own it!

    Same question, actually!

    If you claim to own the Brooklyn Bridge, that's fine. But your ability to exercise control over the bridge -- by prohibiting any traffic of any kind to cross it, for example -- either has to be founded on your personal ability to defend the bridge from those who want to dislodge you from it, or other people's willingness to accept your claim of ownership.

    If you can't defend it, and no one respects your claim, you're likely to just get arrested, because you're outnumbered.

    That is how property works.

    Copyright is the same, except that once information has been made known to someone else, it is impossible to defend it (unless you kill them before they can spread it). So it is much more dependent on the consent of others.

    And why should others consent to claims of exclusivity? Only if it somehow is in their own best interests, surely.

    If you having a copyright on your work, that keeps me from doing things that I might want to do with that work, nevertheless benefits me more than it harms me, I could agree to abide by it. Now you need only convince me -- and not just to the basic idea, but to the specific details as well, e.g. the number of years the copyright lasts, the specific things I'd be prohibited from doing, etc.

  • by AdamD1 (221690) <adam@brainrub. c o m> on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:47AM (#32239384) Homepage

    Speaking as someone who used to work in the retail industry, and the overall music industry, but now work in the tech industry, I think you're missing the importance of what you're interpreting his point-form items to mean.

    > I'm lazy and impatient.

    Aren't these precisely the reasons for two of the most crucial ingredients which all of the large scale entertainment industries are utterly failing to add to their product?

    Convenience and ease of use.

    People can order coffee at drive-throughs now. Why? It's convenient, and enough people were lazy and impatient enough that they didn't want to have to park, get out of their car, enter the actual coffee shop, line up, wait, choose from a menu either during or after that wait, order, wait some more for the coffee or other items to be made and delivered to them, pay, get a receipt, return to their car, and get back on the road. A drive through is far more convenient.

    If the coffee shop / drive through example had never existed, an entire traffic infrastructure would arguable not exist today. Drive throughs are considered an innovation that was a direct response to customers who were impatient and busy, and who one could argue right now are lazy for using them. But they're considered an innovation.

    The *IAA members who currently produce the CD's, DVD's and Blu-Ray discs in their current state lack this kind of innovative thinking. They fail to understand that convenience - especially in an era where a ton of information is very easily available - is a crucial ingredient in their product.

    FBI warnings, several delays involving intro animations, menus or warnings, plus copyright notices, then trailers and previews are a nuisance. Then add in:

    * DRM
    * Regional coding
    * Territorial restrictions for a given release
    * Territorial delays in release or a complete lack of release in one or more territories
    * The whole "back to the vault" scenario.

    These are all considered annoyances, and hindrances to consuming the product people actually wanted to buy, and these are precisely the things that are causing people to avoid purchasing their products, but they refuse to remove them. I think it would be a huge wake-up call for even one studio to try releasing a product with at least one of these hindrances removed (but preferably all of them.) I also personally believe that restricting a work from being released in a different territory due to it not yet having a specific licensing agreement is a ridiculous concept in a world that has something called the Internet. iTunes doesn't let me buy some of my favorite artists because they aren't licensed to be released in my country. Of course I'm going to download them any way I can. (I do order physical CD's for exorbitant prices as well, but I'm probably a really rare consumer in this case.)

    Even when studios do include a "bonus digital copy", it's restricted, and only available for a preset amount of time. If you try to use that copy past that time, you're out of luck. That's a stupid, stupid idea. I won't always want a new movie to remain on my iPod, and I will more than likely wish to use that feature far further in the future than they will allow. I don't know anyone who uses that feature, and I doubt I would ever choose it over ripping my own copy of the DVD I own so that I can play it the way I want.

    As a programmer, "lazy" leads to better code over time because a program or script eventually does more things either I or my clients wanted it to do. As a former retail worker, "lazy" means we had to work harder to make sure people could get what they wanted more immediately, or find things out faster, especially when a store was very busy.

    "lazy" and "impatient" are what labels and movie studios should be wanting to address in a way that produces a better product. Recorded music and films are the two biggest industries that resist this approach consistently, and then blame the consumer when they complain about it.

    ad

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:31PM (#32240318) Homepage

    And I don't mean, me personally. The government has plenty of agents with guns and badges and, even tanks, that can do it on my behalf.

    No, not on your behalf so much as everyone's. The government only exists, and has the right to act, and the ability to act, because people agree that it ought to. They don't agree on that to help _you_. You're nothing special. They agree on it to help themselves. The only reason that you have a right to property that you cannot defend yourself, personally, is because people want that right for themselves, and by acting cooperatively (i.e. if you will recognize and defend my right to my house, which is what I want, then I'll do the same for you, even though I don't otherwise care), they get it.

    We have copyright because it serves the public interest more than not having it, and we have a specific implementation of copyright because it serves the public interest more than any other implementation. The problem is, what if that's no longer true? What if our copyright laws do not serve the public interest better than any alternative laws? Or if any possible law would be worse for the public than none at all? In that case, we'd have to reform copyright, or abolish it altogether. That might not be good for you, personally, but if it's good for everyone, generally, then that's good enough.

    The law is pretty clear. I'm sure everyone has heard about the Hurt Locker pirates being sued. All it will take to reduce piracy to virtually nothing; is a 50% change of getting sued for 10k every time you download a movie.

    Or we could change the law -- it's not as though it is immutable -- and make it completely lawful for individuals to download movies, so long as no party involved acted in a commercial fashion (e.g. no exchange of money, no file sharing ratios, no protocols that require uploads in order to download, no charge for costs of blank media or accounts, no advertising, etc.). This might increase piracy, but it would decrease illegal activity.

    Unless you think the law is perfect right now, which AFAIK no one believes, then it's clear that we need to go in one of two directions; yours, which makes copyright stronger, or mine, which makes it weaker. One of these will produce a greater benefit for society as a whole, and not just for one small portion of it.

    I'm open to any suggestions, but my suspicion is that even taking into account all of the effects, and the effects of the effects, and so on, that we'd all be better off lessening copyright.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Smauler (915644) on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:02PM (#32240948)

    There can never be such a thing as ownership of ideas. If you claim there is, illegal ownership of those ideas would follow, and we really do not want to go down that path. What we have now is an artificial monopoly enforced by the government to prohibit ideas from spreading so as to enable the originator(s) to generate more money. I do support this to some degree, purely because in a limited form it keeps corporational innovation moving forward - I don't think it would affect individuals that much. However, what extensive lobbying has resulted in is a system which allows individuals and corporations to profit from works which my grandparents consider old. The point of copyright is to encourage individuals or corporations to share with society, it is not a sacred right to print money or a sacred right to have absolute control or your creation.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:30PM (#32241420) Homepage

    Exactly. The entire fast food industry is built on satisfying the customer's being lazy and impatient rather then whining about it to Congress.

    It seems odd that a business would be upset when the customer says "But I want to give you money for it NOW"!

  • Re:Why?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by malkir (1031750) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:28PM (#32243880)
    "This video contains content from bbc, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds." Dear god *pulls up uTorrent*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:57PM (#32245420)

    You mean the like to exaggerate around here a little to make a point, sometimes I just have to shake my head at the stuff that gets modded up to make a point. It was probably .00001% of the market that had a forced preview on a DVD

    .00001%? Seems you feel it's okay to exaggerate to make a point.

  • Re:Why?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thesandtiger (819476) on Monday May 17, 2010 @05:20PM (#32245738)

    I don't think they're mutually exclusive - but we are exploring different aspects and talking past each other to some extent, I think.

    Certainly Google does the things they do to profit. But the question is how much stuff do they do just to do it that isn't started with the idea of profit, but just because it's cool? I think Google does a LOT of stuff with the idea of making neat things that people will want to use, and THEN figuring out how to monetize it. If something can't be turned into a money maker, it sure seems like they let it out in the wild rather than crushing it and not sharing.

    As to the gap in quality - I'll invoke Sturgeon's Law: 99% of *anything* is crap. I've seen some really, REALLY well done stuff on YouTube and I've seen some vomitously bad stuff released straight to DVD by Hollywood. Sure, the production value of Hollywood stuff is usually better, but that's just form, not substance. Ditto with lots of OSS projects - ugly as hell, but they work. Ditto for lots of amateur stuff in any field - it can be really, really interesting but probably will have rough touches. When I think of stuff that is *innovative* (and that gets us back to your original point - that innovation would cease or massively slow down), I look for stuff that's in a prototype and developmental stage, NOT highly refined things that have high production value. I mean, almost by definition, the stuff that's innovative *can't* be refined because refinement requires building on what came before.

    Getting to IP laws themselves... My take on IP laws - which is really outside of the scope of what I was initially getting at, but I will go into a bit here - is actually that the holders of copyright have perverted the original intent and basis for the law. Initially the intent was to protect creators so that they could make money from those creations BUT eventually, in exchange for those creations, the rights would eventually expire and the works would join the public domain. Well and good - I am willing to give up some rights (like, to just do whatever the hell I want with something someone else made) in order to gain some benefits (like getting neat stuff that people make and supporting the people who make really good stuff IMO). Pretty much like the situation you are talking about.

    HOWEVER! Nowadays that bargain has been completely subverted: Corporations and other groups have used their vast (vaster than any individual) resources to have the period of protection for their works extended to the point where, unless the copyright holder explicitly permits it, those works will *never* enter the public domain. It's a fundamental violation of the idea of equity between creators and consumers - consumers have rights too.

    These abuses have taken other forms as well: COMPLETELY broken products crippled by DRM that is intended to thwart pirates but *only* hurts people who paid for the software (completely absurd!) Content producers installing rootkits and other such onto people's machines in order to thwart pirates. Content producers lobbying to ban resale of things like CDs and digital purchases. Theaters demanding to search the bags of paying customers in order to keep people from recording movies (despite the fact that it's usually someone working at the theater who is doing the piracy, or someone releasing a screener DVD onto the scene, etc).

    While there are a bunch of people who pirate things just because they can, I actually do think of it as a form of civil disobedience and one of the only (of the very few remaining) ways a consumer may exercise their rights. You say it's wrong for someone to violate IP laws, I say that the laws no longer represent anything near the original intent and as such are unjust.

    This is not to say that I won't support someone who's work is good or interesting to me, or support people who are releasing things in ways that address the issues I have with the basis for IP law. I bought the Humble Bundle (I will almost certainly not play it before it's in a second or third wa

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