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Movie Industry: Loss of Control Worse Than Piracy 360

Posted by samzenpus
from the lesser-of-two-evils dept.
tlhIngan writes "Miramax CEO Mike Lang has admitted to what we all suspected. The biggest worry is a distribution monopoly, not piracy. They saw what happened to the music industry with iTunes, and vowed to not lose control and be at the mercy of Apple or whoever becomes the dominant distributor. From the article: 'Lang, whose company today debuts the Blu-Ray version of the cult classic Pulp Fiction, emphasized that people don’t necessarily want to pirate, as long as they get what they want. “Innovate or die,” should be the motive of entertainment industry companies, where it’s key to listen to customers.'"
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Movie Industry: Loss of Control Worse Than Piracy

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  • by bronney (638318) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:20PM (#37634658) Homepage

    To quote a certain friend...

    • by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:38PM (#37634792)

      Not only that most customers are clueless morons. In the game industry they support - MMO's, DRM, and DLC. I remember when everyone was pissed that game companies had the nerve to charge you full price for an MMO while it was an online game and they charge you monthly. The fact that most people are so clueless and take it up the arse has pushed the game industry in hugely negative direction with games being chained to online and DLC'd to death.

    • by tonywong (96839) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:47PM (#37634854) Homepage
      The only reason they don't like iTunes is because it busted up their cartel. Period.

      Given the choice between piracy (no income) and losing control (to Apple) they'd rather pick piracy. That is how bereft of thought these guys are, that there is no choice for them but to pick one or the other. No wonder Steve came in and took their lunch money.
      • by bronney (638318)

        Yup! I always thought Steam was a step in the right direction. If one day, indie developers can have their own store (like fraps), I would gladly buy direct. Steam however does a nice gamer hookup system like gamespy in the old days.

        But you know, it isn't like there's anything the movie industry can do now. The decentralizing is just a matter of time.

        • by NoobixCube (1133473) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:30PM (#37635080) Journal

          www.desura.com

      • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:18PM (#37635286)

        iTunes didn't bust up their distribution model the internet did, Apple was just there to seize on the disruption and capitalize on it with iTunes. The movie companies have already lost control of distribution, their movies are out there for download before they're even officially released. That genie isn't going back into its bottle. Of course they could keep reaching for that holy grail [moviedeaths.com] and drag their whole industry down the ravine by doing so.

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:15AM (#37635546) Journal

          Well, to be fair, it was Napster, Kazaa, Limewire and Bittorrent that scared the living crap out of the music industry and Apple was there at the gate to go "Now there there, Mr. Music Industry, yes you've been horribly ass-raped by the pirates. Just give us a big discount on your material, and we'll sell it legit."

          • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Friday October 07, 2011 @01:17AM (#37635922)

            "Now there there, Mr. Music Industry, yes you've been horribly ass-raped by the pirates. Just give us a big discount on your material, and we'll sell it legit."

            I think music (and movies) had already been devalued (by market saturation, cassette taping, CDR's and the internet successively) and Apple just came along with a pricing model that was based in reality instead of wishful thinking. You can't fight "supply and demand" and win.

            • I have to strongly disagree with you about cassette taping. There has never been anything but unfounded fear and hysteria that "home taping" or any other redistribution method ever actually impacted record sales -- except that I would say in many cases home taping helped spread the word about many an artist in the early days of their success.

              I know of several very large sections of my music catalog that I would not have ever gotten into if someone hadn't given me a cassette recording or a ripped CD of thei

        • by bryan1945 (301828)

          Apple did what they tend to do well- they saw something that wasn't working well, and rolled out something that did it better. Of course, "better" here means "by making it profitable."

      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:12AM (#37635530) Journal

        Control of distribution is what has built these media empires. Essentially the studios as we have known them for eighty or ninety years will cease to exist.

        I'm not sure why anyone should shed a tear. People will always want movies, what will they care if it's production companies backed by Sony or by Amazon and Apple making them? Besides, the movie industry has for so long been so filled with such colossal frauds and criminals, whose accounting practices should pretty much land every producer in the greater Los Angeles area in prison for everything from mail fraud to extortion, that I think it's high time some new blood was injected.

      • by bberens (965711)
        To be fair, it's a little more like a different cartel took over. There isn't much in the way of viable alternatives to iTunes. Amazon is okay and improving, but it still has a hard time competing with iTunes. Still a minor win for the consumer, but it's not as if freedom and ponies started raining down from the skies. Also.. movie/television industry? You're next.
  • Too little too late (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cboslin (1532787) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:27PM (#37634706) Homepage
    Does anyone even care what the DRM loving Media moguls think anymore? Hardly. Son, that horse has done left the barn....you all blew it big time!
    • People who want to know what they will do with their products in the future?

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:30PM (#37635074) Journal

      Wil Wheaton nailed it when he said "make it simple, make it cheap, and folks WILL buy it. Make it expensive and a pain to use? people will just BT". he gave a perfect example, he bought the Doctor Who episodes on iTunes and then when he crossed the Canadian border his videos wouldn't play so his first thought was 'If I would have just pirated it i'd be watching my shows now".

      And THAT kind of bullshit is the problem. There are plenty of shows I'd buy online if they would give me them as .avi files to where i could just drop it on my thumbstick and play it on my netbook, or go to my dad's and stick it in his Nbox so we could watch together, but they won't so i just buy DVDs from the bargain bin and rip them to avi. This means there are plenty of shows I WOULD have bought but just decided it was too much of a PITA to deal.

      The sooner they accept that piracy exists because they are offering an inferior product the better. That was something Jobs got when it came to media, make it simple, make it cheap, make it easy, and folks buy. Make it a stupid DRM infested royal PITA? Kiss those dollars goodbye.

      • by sjames (1099) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:28PM (#37635330) Homepage

        While they're at it, they need to drop the un-skipable commercials and the stupid FBI warnings (great, I buy it like I'm supposed to and they thank me with an up-front threat). Next up, they can stop screwing with the hardware. Their stupid (and broken) encryption demands is why you can't instantly switch video feeds. They add cost to every device and kill innovation.

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:51PM (#37635430) Journal

          Hell you want to talk about killing innovation look no further than the Nbox. if you haven't tried one they are great, a little box you plug a USB drive into and voila! your movies play. Great for someone like my dad. But the way the bullshit laws are there is no way to legally get content for it thanks to DMCA and DRM copyright bullshit.

          There should be an .avi file on every DVD, in fact there should be two: One widescreen and the other 4x3 format, so folks like my dad could just pop in the disk and drag their new movie in .avi form straight to their Nbox. Real came up with a player that would have made things that simple, but even though it kept copyright protection (basically it just made a disk image) the courts shut them down, thanks to the lovely bribery result that is DMCA.

          Just one more way they are holding everyone back and fucking themselves at the same time. my dad loves old war pictures and cop shows. if he could just pop onto Amazon and buy the movies and shows for an affordable price in .avi, so he could just click and drag onto his Nbox? He'd be buying movies and shows constantly. But because he has to call me, have me come pick up the disc, format shift it for him, and put it on his Nbox? he doesn't bother unless it is something he really really REALLY wants to watch. So there is another pile of sales just pissed away, all thanks to DRM horseshit.

        • by Quila (201335) on Friday October 07, 2011 @08:59AM (#37638260)

          http://main.makeuseoflimited.netdna-cdn.com/tech-fun/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/pirateddvd1.png [netdna-cdn.com]

          If that's not incentive to pirate, I don't know what is.

          Aside from format shifting, it's the main reason I never watch a DVD I buy. Instead I rip it and watch the rip.

      • Wil Wheaton nailed it when he said "make it simple, make it cheap, and folks WILL buy it. Make it expensive and a pain to use? people will just BT". he gave a perfect example, he bought the Doctor Who episodes on iTunes and then when he crossed the Canadian border his videos wouldn't play so his first thought was 'If I would have just pirated it i'd be watching my shows now".

        I'm glad to see that he's coming around to seeing this from a more wisened user's perspective, but apparently he still has much to learn about doing business with Apple and becoming more articulate about defining his interests. In 2006 Wheaton lost all of his iTunes tracks while "upgrading" to some version of iTunes. Wheaton contacted Apple and then Apple restored the lost tracks to his account [digitalcitizen.info]. Wheaton treated this as a reason to do business with Apple ("If you make a purchase from the iTunes Music Stor

        • by bryan1945 (301828)

          I thought Apple dropped the DRM from their music a few years back?

          • by jbn-o (555068)

            Not entirely, and now that their catalog includes more than music the same old issues have continued. In early 2009 Apple said that they had removed DRM from 80% of their music catalog. Today, as I understand it, audio books still have DRM, earlier-purchased audio tracks still have DRM, and of course (as should be apparent given Wheaton's story you quoted) videos have DRM.

      • I'd agree that Wil Wheaton has a good general point.
        However, when I've gotten video from iTunes (music videos not TV shows though), I get an .m4v that will play in VLC

  • by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:28PM (#37634716) Journal
    Hooray, there's a smart studio executive out there! Good luck with the innovation -- if it's any good, I'll probably buy it.
    • by Zancarius (414244)

      Hooray, there's a smart studio executive out there! Good luck with the innovation -- if it's any good, I'll probably buy it.

      More like: Good luck with the innovation--even if it's good, none of his peers will buy into it.

  • by joaommp (685612) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:28PM (#37634722) Homepage Journal

    ... is that the quantity of movies even worth watching is decreasing by the minute, let alone the quantity of movies that might be worth pirating.

    • by selex (551564)
      There has always been a over abundance of crappy movies (Alexis de Tocqueville said it was art in general when dealing with a democracy/republic). There were always crappy books, music, movies, etc. The distribution has changed and production has changed. There were probably crappy handwritten manuscripts before movable type was created, but afterwards the was an explosion of crappy manuscripts because it became easy to create. Its easier and faster to create a movie now then 20 years ago. So yes you w
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...like I just said.

        Hollywood has to compete with the last 100 years of it's own best material. Technology makes it easier and easier to access all of that material way in a convenient and legal manner. You can just watch stuff from your own media stockpile instead of buying something new.

        Plus, Hollywood also has to compete with every new distraction that's been invented.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          To an extent that's true, but chances are good that nearly all the movies you've loved are stories that have been told before. Movies are a tough proposition because ultimately they end up being the same thing only different. Often times the difference between a great movie and a poor or marginal one is how well the cast and crew twist the canon to create something new and special.

          • by bryan1945 (301828)

            This is more of a quality issue, but when you mentioned "how well the cast and crew," I immediately thought of "it's mostly been going downhill for a while." When Ben Affleck and Carmeron Diaz are considered big stars, I go back to "Singin' in the Rain" with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor. Where we now have Eli Roth, I think Hitchcock or Ridley Scott.

            As for the quantity, there may or may not be more movies made than in the past (I'm not going to go look that up), but one thing that has h

      • by hjf (703092) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:18PM (#37635016) Homepage

        Netflix recently started operating in Latin America, for about USD 10 a month, streaming only (no mail option, of course, since they don't have a physical presence). Guess what? No one is subscribing because it only has old movies. "Hunt for Red October" old.

        I read that Telecom, my country's main internet provider, is starting a streaming service. http://www.infobae.com/notas/609633-Arnet-Play-el-nuevo-servicio-multimedia-de-Telecom.html [infobae.com]

        La oferta inicial de Arnet Play es de $20 durante los primeros seis meses (luego pasará a $40); a eso deben sumársele $10 por el set top box; y, en caso de alquilar los últimos estrenos y contenidos especiales, se abonarán entre $9 y $16 extras.

        “Es un cargo que los estudios de Hollywood imponen. Aunque quisiéramos, no podríamos dejar de cobrarlo. Ni siquiera abonándolo nosotros para hacer más atractiva la oferta”, mencionaron en Telecom.

        Translation: Arnet Play's initial offering is USD5 for the first 6 months (then it's USD 10); to that you need to add USD 2,50 for a set top box, and if you want the latest movies and special contents, between $2 and $4 extra. It's an extra that Hollywood imposes, even if we wanted to, we can't not charge for it. Not even paying for it ourselves to make the offer more attractive, Telecom mentioned."

        What the hell, hollywood?

        • I'd seccond you here, if it only was trendy for slashdotters to do it, and add that I'm from Brazil, what turns your anecdonte into a multi-country anecdonte.

          Netflix is offering a free month here, you decide if you subscribe latter. Most people that I know get the free month, but don't go into subscribing because the movies are old (classics not included) and it would still be cheaper to rent them.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        A good movie is a good movie. There's still plenty of quality films coming out, it's just that most of the crappy older films were never preserved and if they were preserved were unlikely to be transfered to a format which most people have available to them. VHS, and now DVD or Bluray.

        New movies aren't really that hard to come up with, the real trouble is that it's a lot more expensive to make a movie than it was under the studio system. When the studio has everything from writers and crew to actors under c

      • Do you have a more precise quote from Tocqueville? That comment sounds like a predecessor to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_law [wikipedia.org] ("90% of everything is crap")

    • It's true. I have a 500GB monthly cap, and some movies aren't worth the 700MB and half hour it would take to pirate them.

    • by smash (1351)
      Agreed 100%. Its a sad state of affairs when you can watch something for free, and feel unjustly deprived of your time by watching it. #firstworldproblem
  • Step 1, no DRM (Score:5, Informative)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:30PM (#37634732)
    You can't prevent me from giving away a copy of a movie i purchased without creating an inconvenience when i want to use it legally, so get rid of DRM.

    Make it affordable, obviously.

    Make it accessible, if it's harder than downloading a torrent then you'll fail, people will pay but you can't make it harder than getting it for free.

    Make it global, nothing is more annoying (ok maybe not entirely true) than finding out you can't get particular content because your region isn't licensed for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AwesomeMcgee (2437070)
      Thankyou. Free is easier and that's the simple truth right now. I really wish there was a legal way to get any movie in 15 minutes. I'll pay, really. If netflix streamed what they have on mail request i'd stop torrenting altogether.
      • Re:Step 1, no DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by EdIII (1114411) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:26PM (#37635066)

        'll pay, really. If netflix streamed what they have on mail request i'd stop torrenting altogether

        I'll up you one.

        I hate advertisements, water marks, and disruptive in-show advertisements SO MUCH, that I would pay Netflix $75-100 per month for full streaming access to everything they have, plus recent TV shows.

        Does not have to be 1080p either. 720p is just fine.

        Does not have to be all the TV shows either. Something like 20 shows for $14.99, 40 shows for 24.99$, etc. I get to pick them.

        As long as you deliver me that content without advertisements, and in an easy consumable fashion, I will PAY MORE.

        I am not interested in maintaining a huge inventory of DVDs any longer. I can rip them, but it costs me 5-7 gigs each to store them. Of course, I use RAID and NAS. My actual costs of maintaining DRM free access to my DVDs is ultimately more than $50 per month once I factor in hardware costs.

        The only drawback, is that I cannot maintain perfect anonymity (cash purchases) about what I watch. However, I would give that up (which is huge to me) just to be able to access larger catalogues of movies on demand and not pay for the costs of personal storage.

         

        • Re:Step 1, no DRM (Score:4, Interesting)

          by kangsterizer (1698322) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:37PM (#37635128)

          I'd pay $100 for 720p or above access to all movies, all shows, anytime i want, even the stuff that was on tv the same day, or a couple of days earlier, and movies as soon as they hit DVD/Bluray (ideally, just after cinema in fact). Heck, that'd be well worth it. I might even go higher.

          I'd also pay $50 for dvd or above access to relatively recent movies and shows.

          But i'm never going to pay $30 for old movies, old shows, various qualities, various availability, that's stupid. And it's hard to get better, specially when your country doesn't have netflix.

          In fact, most of the tv shows can only be acquired if you pirate them. And for movies, you gotta wait almost a year to be able to buy them bluray (2 years for stream); who are they kidding?

        • by pknoll (215959)

          Curiously enough, you can actually have something a lot like this, right now.

          We've stopped subscribing to cable/satellite, and now watch everything on an Apple TV. Through iTunes, you can rent (with a budget of $100/month) 20 movies in HD (at $4.99 each), or buy 30 TV episodes (at $2.99 each in HD, if bought individually); or any combination. You get to pick what you want, and you pay only for what you watch, so in months when you're busy with other things you can pay nothing at all, if you like.

          Apple did r

          • And then, when Apple's authorization servers go tits up, you can't even play movies you BOUGHT from them.

            Not a chance that I'm buying anything from those Bozos again. Apple makes fine hardware and a great OS. Streaming / Cloud services, not so much.

            • by smash (1351)

              True, but i think "buying" content is on the way out. or it is for me in any case. I can count the number of times i have re-watched movies purchased as of late on 1 hand. You get 48hrs of replays on appleTV for free. if i want to watch it again outside of that time-frame, then so be it, i'll just rent it again.

              Its not like a traditional rental where i need to go to the video library and re-rent it, return it, etc. A couple of bucks is cheap enough to just re-rent IF and when i need it again. Even

          • by sjames (1099)

            That's more expensive than you think. You can get a season (20-24 episodes) for more like $20 on DVD, why would you rather pay twice as much to iTunes when they don't even have to bother producing physical media?

            Yes, there's DRM on DVDs, but it's so weak that people don't even realize their player/burner software cracks it.

            The dowenload options are in the right direction, but they're not really there yet.

        • by smash (1351)

          This. My time is too short to go looking for dodgy rips or cinema cams of something on bit-torrent. A couple of bucks per movie to stream and i'll gladly pay for it.

          I don't want to have to store hundreds of DVDs or spend terabytes of disk to maintain a media library.

    • by Zancarius (414244)

      Make it global, nothing is more annoying (ok maybe not entirely true) than finding out you can't get particular content because your region isn't licensed for it.

      This is a big issue with me. I've had relatives overseas in the past want to send DVDs only to find out that it's technically illegal, and the region encoding prohibits playback on standard DVD players. Obviously, it's trivial to circumvent and re-burn (or play under a Linux-based HTPC)--if need be--but that's probably a violation of the DMCA's ant

    • Precursor: I don't believe that there is any way to fully compete with the 'piracy' channels and to think otherwise is, I believe, chasing a pipe dream.

      That said...

      You can't prevent me from giving away a copy of a movie i purchased without creating an inconvenience when i want to use it legally, so get rid of DRM.

      Presuming that industry still wanted to somewhat prevent you from just uploading the file straight to the pirate bay... what if it were a natural form of DRM? E.g. your name is inserted, encoded,

      • 1 - Repeat after me: "watermarks are not DRM". Ok, they have some similarities, one is that both fail to work, but for different reasons.

        2 - It's trivial to have a distribution channel easier than downloading pirated movies. You just need a nice bandwidth, a hight quality coppy (that excludes DRM, sorry) and hight availability. Also, it doesn't hurt to have an as universal translation as you can do. Of course, also without a too hight price*. Movie distributors just aren't interested, one day they'll be.

        3

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        what if it were a natural form of DRM? E.g. your name is inserted, encoded, as a watermark somewhere that lets the copy be traced back to you.

        Yeah cos that would be impossible to get rid of.

        Obviously. But now define affordable.

        Where I'm from, $4.99 for a movie would not be considered affordable. For that matter, $1.99 wouldn't be

        Where do you live the $1.99 isn't affordable for a movie?! Gees most people find that to be affordable for a song on iTunes.

        But isn't it always going to be harder?

        No, load up iTunes, search for the song, download. You'd do the same for movies.

        For the free alternatives, there is no such hassle.

        For a normal person putting in payment details and monitoring spend isn't a hassle, it's very basic and requires almost no effort, again, see the popularity of iTunes.

        • by znerk (1162519)

          Where I'm from, $4.99 for a movie would not be considered affordable. For that matter, $1.99 wouldn't be

          Where do you live the $1.99 isn't affordable for a movie?! Gees most people find that to be affordable for a song on iTunes.

          I live within a 5-minute drive of over a dozen redbox [redbox.com] kiosks, and so my current "acceptable" 24-hour rental fee is 1 USD.

          In addition, my local library has hundreds of DVDs to choose from in each location, and I can go online to their website and request a hold/transfer of materials from the dozen locations that aren't within 3 blocks of my house. those movies are "rented" for a week, at NO cost to me. Of course, it's a dollar a day late fee if I don't bring them back on time, but I usually watch them within

      • by smash (1351)
        I think if the media is easily accessible in high quality format, many won't bother to pirate. When dealing with torrents, there is no quality guarantee, and often the encoding is shit. To find exactly what i want takes time. If its a case of spending 20 minutes looking for a decent rip, running the risk of legal prosecution AND having to wait for a torrent to download, spending a couple of dollars to just stream it instantly is fairly attractive to me.
      • by sjames (1099)

        Presuming that industry still wanted to somewhat prevent you from just uploading the file straight to the pirate bay... what if it were a natural form of DRM? E.g. your name is inserted, encoded, as a watermark somewhere that lets the copy be traced back to you. Let's say as part of the end credits so there wouldn't even be any argument about 'invisible' watermarking technology messing up your re-encoding for iPad (or whatever). Would that be acceptable?

        No objection from me there, but only if there is recognition that, in fact, there ARE ways it could end up on the net without my knowledge or consent. If that recognition isn't there, then no thanks, I don't want that kind of liability. Consider, I can secure my network all I want, but if someone kicks my door in while I'm on vacation, what am I supposed to do about it?

        World distribution is quite easy, but they go to great lengths to avoid it because they currently make more money by segmenting the market.

  • by NiceGeek (126629) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:31PM (#37634734)

    I know an Canadian artist who is also signed to Warner/Sire in the US. Her latest album was a bit of a departure from her last one and Sire was too scared to support it in the US so she signed a distribution deal with a indie label for this album. Currently this album is #2 on the iTunes Pop chart and #18 overall.

    tl;dr - Record labels are run by idiots who only want to release music for the lowest common denominator.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Yes. The lowest common denominator represents the largest amount of cash. For music this is hardly a problem, it is pretty cheap and easy to record your own album and get it out there.

      For a movie, however, the budget required to satisfy consumers in the US is pretty high, which makes indie titles more or less a no go. Not to mention marketing or actually getting it into theaters. Unfortunately, the investment required also means studios don't want to innovate: they want to go with a tried and true formula

    • SO TRUE. however, they will never give us a decent "product", because you don't know what their "product" IS. They sell ADVERTISING. What did you THINK it was all about??
    • would you mind giving further details?

      • by Leebert (1694) *

        It's easy enough to look up, check: http://www.apple.com/euro/itunes/charts/top10popsongs.html [apple.com]

        (Assuming it's not the US top 10 (which would be "LMFAO - Sexy and I Know " *shudder*), it would be "Adele - Someone Like You". I'm listening to it on YouTube right now, and it's definitely a departure from normal "pop", and not really my cup of tea.) A little bit more googling tells me that XL Recordings is a British independent label.

        Of course, this says nothing of the veracity of "I know a Canadian artist", b

  • Innovate or Die? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Freaky Spook (811861) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:31PM (#37634742)

    Why innovate when you can legislate?

    That seems to be what is going on these days.

    • by Zancarius (414244)

      Why innovate when you can legislate?

      That seems to be what is going on these days.

      I wish this weren't true, but given the news that came out today regarding the Olson TZ database, it seems that more and more companies are moving toward litigation as a viable business model.

      I can see it now. Welcome to America: Our only export is litigation. Oh, and we have a patent on that, too.

  • Pulp Fiction has been out on Blu-Ray since 2009.
  • MPAA are morons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:39PM (#37634800) Homepage
    i honestly tried to grasp the logic set forth in the article but all i can see is "wahhhh we don't like the itunes model". if you don't want to get swallowed by itunes like the music industry did, create your own digital storefront. you never will because this implies actually building something rather than sitting back and letting the royalty checks flow in, you lazy, litigious, delusional assholes
  • Well.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wovel (964431) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:40PM (#37634804) Homepage

    Had the music industry not insisted on DRM, iTunes would have never had anything like the power it ended up with..

    • Re:Well.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Trogre (513942) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:11PM (#37634990) Homepage

      That is truly delicious iRony there...

  • by blarkon (1712194) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:47PM (#37634856)

    In the past people might throw a buck at a creator if they pirated something because they felt a little bad about it. Today, with piracy normalized (hey everyone does it), most people don't feel any nagging sense that they might have done something "not right" when they consume a creator's output without providing any form of compensation.

    This is because deep down most people believe that entertainment is an optional extra. People make the rational decision when given the option of paying for it or not paying for it. They save their resources and pay for the necessities.

    Perhaps in the long run, people will be less likely to invest in creating expensive entertainment ( lets face it, the SyFy Channel has pretty much bailed on it already because their existing "make money on the DVD sales" model collapsed). Whether the lack of expensively produced entertainment is actually a bad thing is another discussion entirely.

    • by airfoobar (1853132) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:20PM (#37635032)
      If what you say were true the industries in question wouldn't be having record breaking profits every year for the past several years. Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and similar services would never have gotten off the ground. iTunes wouldn't be selling mp3s if people weren't willing to "throw a buck at the creator" -- where "creator" is used very loosely in this particular context -- and movie studio bosses wouldn't be complaining about how BIG iTunes has gotten if people didn't want to pay for its services. You wouldn't have studies showing that pirates spend more on entertainment than the average person (which makes sense, because they are the ones who actually spend more time on entertainment). The "piracy is killing X" line has been repeated enough times in the past century and every time it turned out to be a big lie, please stop repeating it already.
    • by Zancarius (414244)

      In the past people might throw a buck at a creator if they pirated something because they felt a little bad about it. Today, with piracy normalized (hey everyone does it), most people don't feel any nagging sense that they might have done something "not right" when they consume a creator's output without providing any form of compensation.

      This is because deep down most people believe that entertainment is an optional extra. People make the rational decision when given the option of paying for it or not payi

    • by hjf (703092)

      Speak for yourself. I don't want to be bothered downloading everything I want to watch. I want to watch a movie NOW, like you can with netflix. The problem with the idiots at hollywood is that they're just blinded with greed. I'm pretty sure lots of people would pay $10 a month if you could get decent movies, in HD, streaming it *right now*, instead of having to wait a day for that 720p BD-rip to download.

      I'm "only" 28 years old, and I like cable. I like to change channels and stumble across stuff. I don't

      • by omglolbah (731566)

        To make that point fairly simply:

        I've paid for spotify since it was released in Norway. 99 NOK per month ever since. I have stopped downloading music as I no longer have a need to get the files that way.....

        Hell, they even let me sync directly from the million file library directly to my phone via wifi for listening to on my commute...

        Now give me that for movies and TV series please...

    • by fermion (181285)
      There was a time when radio played a lot more songs, not just singles but entire albums. It was trivial to for someone to patch a tape recorder into the radio, or even buy a tape recorder/radio combination, and record the album. At this time, any patch cable or tape recorder with radio clearly constituted a device to circumvent copyright, and it amazes me that such things were allowed to be sold. What is also amazing is that we still bought albums. It was not because of the marginal loss in quality from
      • by blarkon (1712194)
        Part of the issue there was quality. A cassette you purchased had a higher fidelity than the one you recorded off the radio. When you played the cassette a lot the sound quality degraded. You bought the album (or CD) because while you had the song, you had the song on your cassettes at a much lower quality than it sounded like on the radio or on a cassette purchased from the store. Today you can get a copy that's indistinguishable from what you can purchase - in the past you couldn't (well you probably coul
    • by evilviper (135110)

      Perhaps in the long run, people will be less likely to invest in creating expensive entertainment ( lets face it, the SyFy Channel has pretty much bailed on it already because their existing "make money on the DVD sales" model collapsed). Whether the lack of expensively produced entertainment is actually a bad thing is another discussion entirely.

      Cable TV was always a wasteland. Back in the 80's, it was ALL re-runs of TV shows that had been canceled a few years before. In the 90's we had a brief surge in

  • Nice quote... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Junta (36770) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @09:52PM (#37634888)

    people don’t necessarily want to pirate, as long as they get what they want.

    If you admit that, why do you refuse to give people what they want?

    I want to convert my media into various formats for playback on various devices without DRM fouling the process.

    I want to import your media into my video library and never have to physically sort through media to watch what I want (though I do like having shelved copies of media to see, I don't actually want to have to deal with them day to day).

    I want to play your content locally, rather than streaming it over my internet connection and incur the wrath of lower bitrates, slow seeking, and service outages right when I want to watch something.

    I want to manage all my content in a single place and not have to open a different application or website depending on which publisher/distributer just happened to kind of/sort of give it to me.

    Currently, I can have *all* of this, but only if I either go through the tedium of keeping up with how to remove DRM which frequently requires peculiar setups I may or may not have, or download it from someone who has too much time on their hands and breaks your DRM anyway. For me the problem is not that I don't want to pay for the content, it's that the quality of the illegal content is higher than the legal. I do actually refrain entirely because I just don't feel like going through the trouble legally or illegally, it's just not worth my time and energy. That could easily change if movies were as manageable as mp3s purchased through itunes or amazon.

    • Re:Nice quote... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Trogre (513942) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:18PM (#37635024) Homepage

      Unfortunately in many cases the only way to even get the content one wants is by piracy.

      Consider the original Star Wars trilogy. The only way to see the theatrical versions in HD (or even anything more than LaserDisc quality) is to download or otherwise obtain fan-edited versions, which have been meticulously reconstructed from several different sources. Official versions just don't exist, except deep in Lucasfilm vaults and probably won't see the light of day again until they have degraded beyond a usable condition.

      All those "make sure you're getting the genuine product" ads can bite me.

  • If there was a real free market with no such thing as Intellectual Property than movie studios could make money in the theater. There they control the product and real copying is much more difficult.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:11PM (#37634984)

    I hire/buy a DVD and place it in the disc drive, press play and try to go to the movie.

    But no, some prick has decided that I WILL watch the advert for organisations that I have come to hate (movie companies, distribution companies, etc). Every time I see tht adverts I am reminded that they have an excessive level of control and I seek a means to take some control back myself. As I am forced to watch the adverts I think about the region codes on the DVD. And so the brand value of the advertisers goes even further down

    I don't pirate to save money, I pirate so that I can choose what to watch. And I choose to watch the movie not that self serving adverts that make my blood boil.

    Pirates do not sell me pirated movies; movie distributors sell me on pirated movies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by omglolbah (731566)

      Hear Hear!

      I already paid for the movie, stop nagging about stealing a car...!

      • by mrbcs (737902)
        I actually paid $30 for WinXdvd Ripper Platinum so I don't have to see those damn ads anymore. (got the original one from http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/ [giveawayoftheday.com])

        It's the only one I've ever seen that really works. I use my quad core and can rip a movie in an hour.

        Dvd goes on the shelf, mediacentre pc plays the file.

        The movie industry is dumb. They have learned nothing. P.S. If I could go to a torrent site and have some machine at home build me a car... yer damn right I'd steal it in a heartbeat! Wait till 3

      • by mldi (1598123)

        Hear Hear!

        I already paid for the movie, stop nagging about stealing a car...!

        Oh my god no kidding! Who do they think is actually watching this shit anyway? Like a pirated movie keeps that crap in? What I find even worse is the forced previews of their other shitty movies that I didn't want to rent/buy. I'll be sitting through a minimum of 10 fucking minutes of crappy previews before I can get to the actual movie. And yes, I hit all the buttons (skip, menu, etc).

        Just to reiterate what everybody else is saying: no wonder why people pirate movies. In fact, here's the new deal: for e

    • by xenobyte (446878) on Friday October 07, 2011 @02:02AM (#37636128)

      I keep thinking about this graphic: http://xandermol.com/blog/media/1/20100724-GxzeV.jpg [xandermol.com]

      I explains EXACTLY why some people actually prefer pirated versions. And while it is possible to skip most of the junk on DVDs, Blu-rays is significantly more locked in. I've seen blu-rays where you can't do anything at all when playback starts - you can't skip previews, you can't fast-forward, jump to the menu or anything. You just have to sit and watch 11 mins of previews, warnings and so on. I returned that blu-ray. Another release of the same title from another country in the same region had different extras so I checked that out. It had two previews, both were skippable and you could jump directly to the menu (to start watching the movie) anywhere. Much better.

      But the core is value for money. Sure previews are nice, but a year later they're obsolete and a pain to watch. So simply do this: When the disc loads, go directly to the menu. Make the first choice to watch the movie with previews, the next to watch it directly, then setup, then extras. That way people that want a cinema-like experience they can have that, and people that just want to watch the movie can do that.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:12PM (#37635000)

    Good luck with that.

    Sincerely, the inevitable tide of change.

  • well duh, it never was about the MONEY; it was about the POWER that comes with having money. Shortly after the human has saturated its senses and desires with everything it laid its eyes on, one last cold thing remains that it can never get enough of: POWER.

    This is news?

  • Suck shit. you missed the boat, mostly through your own greed. The opportunity has been there for the past decade or so for the movie industry to get on board with digital distribution and format shifting, but instead they persisted with hardware based copy-protection (blue-ray, dvd, etc) and attempting to get customers to pay for the same media multiple times on multiple different formats. They make out that they're not charging you for physical media, its a license to the content, yet if you want it i

  • George Lucas shows one form of control, refusing to release his movies until he was good and ready for it. There was a reason the original Star Wars movies didn't make it to TV for a long time (at least in Holland, don't know about the rest of the world). And when he does release the movies, he controls what is released, not the customer. Why restore Jabba the Hut but not Biggs? There is a scene earlier in the movie that is mentioned in books even picture books where Luke talks to Biggs who is about to leav

  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Friday October 07, 2011 @01:51AM (#37636090)
    In the past, when printed books were invented, it was deemed fair to give the original artist some money for each copy sold. That is, the original artist, not his agent, the publishing company or someone he sold his "rights" to. I don't object to that. I do object to the movie and music companies getting 90% of the money made from the work of art. Evidently, artists should be happy to get about 10% of the price consumers pay for something. The other 90% is purely for distribution, and as we all know, since we have broadband Internet and writable optical media, there should be an insignificant charge for that, not nine times the money the artists get. If this invalidates the business case for the majority of publishing companies, tough luck.

    The industry was thriving on a single market anomaly. The anomaly is being corrected and the industry will cease to have a right to exist. You can't keep coaches the only form of transport and keep automobiles, subways, taxis, trains and all that out, just because the coach drivers have friends they bought a seat in congress for.

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