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Piracy Businesses The Almighty Buck Your Rights Online

You Will Never Kill Piracy 516

scottbomb writes "This is perhaps the best op-ed I've read about the whole SOPA/PIPA controversy. The author challenges Hollywood to re-think their entire business model. It will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears, for now. But sooner or later, they will have no choice but to adapt. From the article: 'Now that the SOPA and PIPA fights have died down, and Hollywood prepares their next salvo against internet freedom with ACTA and PCIP, it's worth pausing to consider how the war on piracy could actually be won. It can't, is the short answer, and one these companies do not want to hear as they put their fingers in their ears and start yelling.'"
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You Will Never Kill Piracy

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:28AM (#38926563)

    Just like modding me down won't kill goatse, you'll never stop piracy. You may sink their ships but we will just equip better cannons on our new ones.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:35AM (#38926581) Journal

      The world has changed but they hasn't and they ain't gonna change because they are still raking in shitloads of $$$ doing what they had been doing for the past century

      I'd wager that it'd be like a repeat of what is happening to Kodak - by the time Hollywood decides to change, it'd be way too late

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:49AM (#38926659)
        If it's possible to make a movie and sell it cheaply online, with no DRM, and still make a profit as the article suggests why hasn't anyone done that successfully?
        • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:51AM (#38926675) Journal

          If it's possible to make a movie and sell it cheaply online, with no DRM, and still make a profit as the article suggests why hasn't anyone done that successfully?

          It's the distribution channel, my friend

          Tell me, currently what are the distribution channel for movies, and how do they distribute them?

          • by aplusjimages (939458) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:00AM (#38926739) Journal
            Better yet who owns and controls those channels?
          • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:14AM (#38926863)

            If it's possible to make a movie and sell it cheaply online, with no DRM, and still make a profit as the article suggests why hasn't anyone done that successfully?

            It's the distribution channel, my friend

            Tell me, currently what are the distribution channel for movies, and how do they distribute them?

            The distribution channel for physical goods was sailing ships, and in the early days of sailing ships (1400-1850ish) piracy was in its glory years, now pirates are marginalized by the power and pervasiveness of modern warships, and air pirates are almost non-existent.

            The fiber just got laid 10-15 years ago, we've barely managed to start rolling out IPv6 (I'd equate IPv4 to square rigging...), piracy will be around for quite awhile, but it will eventually be marginalized just Jean Lafitte and his like have been.

            In the meanwhile, expect brutal but ineffective attempts to stop it by the commercial interests who perceive it as a threat (see: Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies for a fictionalized depiction of the basic human responses at work...)

            • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:30AM (#38926963)

              Piracy rose to popularity because the sailor who did all the actual work were treated worse than unskilled farm laborers, and they could be pressed into the navy before they even got paid from their merchant ship tour, or just cheated out of their pay by the merchant captain. Serving a privateer promised at least a share of the plunder, but it was one share for the sailor compared to 14 or more for the captain. The famous pirates you hear about ran in democratic packs, electing their captains who only got one additional share, and voting on all important decisions. For many a life of piracy was better than the legal alternative. At least for a while.

              • by WillyWanker (1502057) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:52AM (#38927647)
                This. Piracy is an indicator of a broken system and pissed off people. The only way to quell the piracy is to give the people what they want -- a good product at a fair price and at least the impression they are being treated fairly and are important customers. And since that's unlikely to happen, I don't see anything changing anytime soon.
                • by peragrin (659227) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @12:20PM (#38927929)

                  Yes and no.

                  Piracy is an economic problem. If people are stealing your shit then you are missing out on markets where they could be paying you for it(up until a point at any rate).

                  In Somlia Piracy started working because you could get a hostage of ship and crew and be paid millions of dollars for 6 months of work. As long as insurance companies keep paying the pirate problem there won't go away.

                  For media companies(music, video, news, books). the answer is simple people want to consume such stuff at a time, place and manner that they choose. The icon image of a woman jogging with a SONY Walkman, is hilarious when you stop and think something like 90% of joggers where listening to custom mix tapes that they dubbed off of other tapes, cd's, or from the Radio. People are very used to sharing music and video with their friends and neighbors. DRM is an attempt to stop that sharing. Piracy in many cases is doing just that.

                  The RIAA completely misunderstood Napster. they saw money being lost not a chance at making more money. It took 6 years and one billion itunes downloads before they realized just how badly they fucked up.

                  • by brit74 (831798) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @02:57PM (#38929099)
                    > The RIAA completely misunderstood Napster. they saw money being lost not a chance at making more money. It took 6 years and one billion itunes downloads before they realized just how badly they fucked up.

                    The music companies were always screwed - it didn't matter what choices they made. Music revenues have done nothing but decline in the past 10 years. Saying that iTunes did it right is missing the fact that digital music sales have not compensated for the loss of physical sales. Mathematically speaking, for every $100 decline in physical music sales over the past ten years there has been an $18 increase in digital music sales. It's not a winning strategy. At best, it's making the best of a bad situation.

                    (Sorry, I get annoyed when people like to explain the music industry's decline as a result of "not moving to digital sales" when it seems like the real culprit was always what the music industry thought it was: a fast, global internet combined with piracy. The music industry was not wrong about Napster.)
                    • by Ceiynt (993620) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @03:36PM (#38929389)

                      Mathematically speaking, for every $100 decline in physical music sales over the past ten years there has been an $18 increase in digital music sales.

                      Never mind the fact that people stopped buying the $15-$20 CD for just the one song that they can now get for $1-$2.

                    • by airfoobar (1853132) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @04:04PM (#38929565)
                      The "Music industry"? The "Music industry" is doing great -- better than ever. You seem to be confusing it with the comparatively tiny "Recording industry".
                    • by Zenin (266666) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @04:20PM (#38929683) Homepage

                      http://www.popmatters.com/images/news_art/t/the-day-recorded-music-revenue-per-capita-feb-2011.jpg [popmatters.com]

                      I'd much more blame the "indestructible" CD then piracy. A LOT of the industry's revenue, especially the boom that came with CDs, was people re-buying music they already owned on yet-another-format.

                      Vinyl wasn't useful in cars (boom of 8 track), 8 track wasn't that useful walking around and self-destructed over time (boom of cassette tape and Sony's Walkman), all of them wore out over time and/or broke easily from being dropped.

                      Enter the CD... Never wares out, much more durable, as portable as most anyone would ever need, and for 99% of people sounds better then anything that came before. BOOM, there's a HUGE spike in CD sales as everyone is re-buying everything they ever wanted to keep on CD (along with new music sales, of course).

                      Enter digital...

                      It's everything the CD was and then some. But there's a problem... Unlike every other format change in the history of recorded music, no one is going to re-buy music they already have on CD as digital. They're just going to rip their own CDs. As a result the industry is left with only new music sales...

                      It isn't about piracy - It's about the Music Industry losing the ability to re-sell you the same music over, and over, and over. It's about the Music Industry's ever expanding back catalog no longer translating to automatic ever-expanding re-sales. The Music Industry spent a hell of a lot of money to make copyright effectively never-ending, explicitly to protect that re-selling revenue stream...and now the carpet has been yanked out from under them.


                      That huge drop in sales? That's called market saturation. Most everyone that wanted a Beatles or Stones recording already owns it...on a format they will effectively never replace again.

                      It's about the Music Industry thinking, wrongly, that they were in the business of selling toothpaste. Then waking up one day to realize they really are selling cast iron frying pans. You'll always need to buy more toothpaste...but you'll never need to buy another cast iron frying pan.

                    • by sincewhen (640526) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @05:07PM (#38929957)

                      Don't ignore the fact that they are working in an almost saturated market. Look at how much of the industry income is from back-catalog and compilations. Since most everyone now has all they music they want in digital format (except new consumers - the Bieber fans), people aren't buying much any more. And when they are buying downloaded music, they may buy singles, not whole albums.

                      example article [pampelmoose.com]

            • by MightyMartian (840721) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:37AM (#38927497) Journal

              I don't think the analogy with 17th and 18th century piracy really fits. We're not talking about a few groups cracking DRM and selling the music. In fact, it's not like that at all. Most of the piracy, so it is called, isn't even for profit any more.

              • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:54AM (#38927665)

                I don't think the analogy with 17th and 18th century piracy really fits. We're not talking about a few groups cracking DRM and selling the music. In fact, it's not like that at all. Most of the piracy, so it is called, isn't even for profit any more.

                Bootlegging, then? A more populist revolt, to be sure, but, while I agree that RIAA, DMCA and all the related alphabet soup makes about as much sense as hanging pickpockets, and the "damage" done by IP theft is virtually impossible to quantify (and, that, in-fact some IP theft actually creates value for the "victim"), I believe that there is still some value to society in the concept of "Intellectual Property," and that some form of protection of that property is both warranted and just.

                Today, I feel like the enforcement is akin to swinging a sledgehammer in a room thick with flies, ineffective at best, and horribly unjust to many of the punished. Kind of like being hung for associating with pirates of the high seas.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by iamgnat (1015755)

            I think it's less about the distribution channel than it is about perception. Most people hold the belief that "straight to video" is a crap product. While this is typically true (I think) for STV movies released by the big studios*, it's certainly not true of a lot of the Indie/Foreign films out there.

            Until/Unless the general population (which I think is also of the "I didn't go to the theater to 'read'" mentality) can get past needing a movie to be in a theater to validate that it's "good", using the Int

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:52AM (#38927645)

            Comedian Louis C.K. confronts piracy head on with digital experiment [geek.com]

        • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:57AM (#38926719) Journal

          I missed out on one other important factor ...

          It's the government


          * Copyright laws (change from bad to worse)
          * Tax rebates (for producers, distributors, et al)
          * Revolving door (former politicians becoming lobbyists)
          * Politicians lining their pockets (with PAC contribution from Hollywood)

          Why should Hollywood allow any other people to make money from alternative mean of movie production / distribution ?

        • Movies don't make 'Profits', they all are made a loss after all the costs. That is why they try to get writers and actors to take 'monkey points' (net profit), like the dude who wrote Forest Gump, he never made any money off the movie because it never made a 'profit', even though it is in the top ten highest grossing movies at that time.
    • by Technician (215283) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @12:31PM (#38928025)

      The article actually said something intelligent. The products are way overpriced. Think about it. Who rips movies with a video capture card from Netflix using the analog hole on the Wii? Not worth the effort.

      Who scans the entire daily local newspaper and posts it on a torrent site so their buddies don't have to buy their own copy?

      Why is there piracy? The product is overpriced making the effort worth the trouble. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

      I have Netflix, A VCR/DVD combo recorder, a Wii providing the analog hole, but I don't bother to burn content from Netflix simply because there is plenty of search-able readily accessible content on Netflix. If each movie was instead a $4.95 pay per view rental, I would be much more inclined to choose a much smaller pool of choices and record them so I don't have to rent it again to catch the part I missed with a phone call or other interruption.

      Overpriced content makes the effort worth it. Low prices and large selection negate the desire to collect and archive the product. Lets face it, Have you kept a physical copy of every newspaper you ever bought? Why. Did you exercise your right of first sale and sell collections by season? Why or why not?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:35AM (#38926577)
    http://takedownpiracy.com/2012/01/another-one-bites-the-dust/ [takedownpiracy.com]
    The guy has made it his job to DOS sites with DMCA takedown notices till they shut down
    If more people like this start infiltrating private torrent sites, it could cause a major issue
    • They became DMCA-compliant and didn't see this coming? The sites practically killed themselves.

  • by yeshuawatso (1774190) * on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:41AM (#38926603) Journal

    And nothing happens. While I commend the writer for articulating what is wrong with the current movie industry model, the reality is that Hollywood is hell bent on preserving their business model. For good reason too, most of Hollywood are distributors. The distributors are the ones that pay for the movie, the marketing, and shoving it down the throats of consumers. They're middle men protecting their business. Change the distribution model and you'll hear the sucking sound of Hollywood companies drying up. Studios aren't strapped with tons of cash to pay for hit movies on their own, so you'll have fewer movies being made. No one in Hollywood has any incentive to change the current model, and unlike the music industry that got dragged into the 21st century, or the game industry that has adapted to every new platform to survive, the movie industry consumers lack any desire to force a business model change or adaption. Tthe closest thing to adaption is Netflix and recent price hikes are an indicator that the distributors will kill it before giving the consumers what they want.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      And on top of that: why would they change? It's not as if their business model doesn't work anymore. I'd argue it works very well. Just look at the money that's made in Hollywood, it doesn't seem like they're having a hard time making ends meet or so.

  • by dingen (958134) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:41AM (#38926611)

    ...it is that tremendous progress has been made in the field of anonymous file sharing technology. If the folks from the music/movie industry hadn't pushed so hard to prevent piracy, we would still be on Napster. But instead we now have very advanced things like the BitTorrent protocol, equipped with encryption, magnet links, DHT and PEX. And it's not just the geeks who are using these advanced file sharing technologies either, it's ordinary people. All in all quite an achievement.

  • Not so sure. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:42AM (#38926613) Homepage

    Sure, they will never make it so that it is completely impossible for a few people to do.
    But they have more then enough lobbying power to make the consequences of being caught so severe and the internet so monitored that piracy is so underground that 99% cannot find it and would not take the risk if they did.

    It might not help their profit margin to do this as much as they think, but they are mega corporations and they at least have a chance at doing whatever they want.
    While they might not be able to do so in any reasonably free and fair society or under current US law, but that will not necessarily stop them.
    Hell, I would not bet against them if they launched a coup to physically take over the government and impose a tyranny in the US and put the current administrations heads on spikes outside of the whitehouse.

    • Re:Not so sure. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:57AM (#38926721) Journal
      Easy peasey companero. Do like so:

      Load up every movie you've got on a drive. Tell a friend to buy one of them new fangled terabyte drives - that's what? $69 at Best Buy? Then connect your drive to his computer and drive. Click and drag contents from your drive to his and vice versa. Crack a bottle or two of wine, hang out, have a great afternoon and soon, you have more movies and shows than you could plausibly watch in years.

      It was called Sneakernet back in the day. There's rumblings about a new kind of "Alexandrian" (i.e. universal) Library - only this time it's totally decentralised and offline and untraceable. How that can pan out, god only knows, but it's the logical conclusion to the graspings of the **AA, the pathetically corrupt governments, and the increasingly policed and threatened internet.

      It used to be "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of floppy disks." Now it's "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with hard drives..."

  • by _LORAX_ (4790) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:42AM (#38926619) Homepage

    Studios live on a strong distribution model where they control the vast majority of the content and the distribution channels. Any tool that is viable for "piracy" is also viable by independent distributors as well. While I don't condone copyright infringement I think studios are more interested in their long term viability than to protect their content from "piracy". I expect similar behavior from the major publishing houses in the next couple of years as ebooks break their hold on the distribution channels.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      And the book publishers will screw themselves too. Look at Baen publishing. They have embraced DRM free ebook publishing and profited. They also make lots of their author's older books available for free at their website. Strangely they have continued to thrive.

  • Nothing new here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:47AM (#38926639)

    We have been saying this from within the industry for 5 years. Why are we paying truck drivers to haul blu-rays to store shelves when we could be using the internet to deliver the movies for 1/100th the cost? Not only is putting a blu-ray on a store shelf inherently risky (essentially a master copy of the movie) but it costs MONEY to produce, deliver, and manage, Make the movies cheap, remove DRM, use the technology to help figure out where the movies are going so that you can optimally sell merchandise... seems like a winner to me and to many others but apparently not to the people in charge.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gottspeed (2060872)
      That's because the majority of their sales come from people who would rather own a physical copy of the movie (or at least the permission to watch it) than view it over the internet or copy it. This, and most people who compulsively collect cheap worthless crap due to razzle dazzle marketing probably don't have big incomes or credit cards to use on the internet, and at least want the item on a shelf as some kind of lower middle class status symbol. All this is worth the overhead of distribution.
    • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmaiYEATSl.com minus poet> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:22AM (#38927375) Homepage

      Why are we paying truck drivers to haul blu-rays to store shelves when we could be using the internet to deliver the movies for 1/100th the cost?

      Two reason, the first is that people still seem to prefer to either own or rent a physical copy. The second is because Joe's Corner Mom & Pop isn't going to invest the thousands of dollar it's going to take to set up a burner, printer, and shrink wrap system and then spend the money to stock up on blank media, decent printer stock, and empty cases/jewel boxes and *then* pay someone to burn, print, and wrap in order to make a buck (or less) a copy. Hollywood and the entertainment industry would love to push all those capital and operating expenses off their own bottom line - but they know they'll face a revolution.

      Not only is putting a blu-ray on a store shelf inherently risky (essentially a master copy of the movie) but it costs MONEY to produce, deliver, and manage.

      This is why those in charge aren't listening to you - you're talking nonsense. How is putting a physical master copy risky... but a virtual master isn't? Not to mention that virtual delivery isn't exactly free either - servers, bandwidth, and the bodies to maintain and manage them aren't cheap.

    • by tepples (727027)

      Why are we paying truck drivers to haul blu-rays to store shelves when we could be using the internet to deliver the movies for 1/100th the cost?

      If you meant to homes, that won't happen any time soon because of ISP-imposed transfer caps. It takes months to transfer a single BD's worth of information over satellite Internet.

      If you meant to stores, consider this: If brick-and-mortar retail stores aren't even willing to set up kiosks with a USB port to plug in your digital audio player and buy music [notalwaysright.com], why would they be willing to set up kiosks to buy movies or video games?

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:50AM (#38926663)

    The op ed is missing one quite critical point. The movie industries aren't sitting here fighting piracy because they don't know the way forward. They don't sit there because they are dinosaurs and luddites who have no idea how technology works.

    They sit in their 1990s era thinking because despite everything which is changed, and everything which is conspiring against them from the modern age piracy front they are making money. No actually I take that back. They are making a SHITLOAD of money. When you have a magic machine that spits out $100 bills why tinker with it at all? Until the bills stop coming out why mess with it? Someone opposes the machine, don't adapt your machine to them, attempt to crush them.

    It's all good an fine to sit here and claim they are dinosaurs for not getting with the times, but lets face it, the vast majority of us would do anything to maintain our status quo, if that status quo involved having a butter polish your shoes using the face of Benjamin Franklin.

  • Sure you will (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:54AM (#38926695)
    Most piracy is based on poorly implemented encryption due to slow processors. Next Gen hardware will be able to run encryption algorithms that don't have a gazillion assembly optimization in them. The XBox, PS3, current gen TVs & Blu Ray players couldn't. Once that happens, pop. No more piracy.
  • by Tom (822) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:00AM (#38926753) Homepage Journal

    We are making the mistake that many losers in many conflicts have made: We think our enemy is stupid and not seing the obvious.

    What if they are?

    Imagine that Hollywood is as smart as us and knows everything we know. And still they are doing what they are doing. Why would it make sense?

    One, it gives them time. They may know they need to change business models, but like all humans, they are risk-averse and they need time to adapt, to test out various strategies, to find the most profitable approach. At the same time, they want their revenue to continue coming in. Delaying the inevitable is sometimes a smart move, if you can use the time inbetween.

    Two, making everything else illegal guarantees that they can take down the competition before it emerges. Many of the illegal online services like Napster or Megaupload were toying with the idea of going legit, because they realized that you can only get so big and so much exposure before the guys with the guns come knocking. A legal service that competes with the studios (instead of working with them, like iTunes) could emerge out of those. Can't have that, better to shut it down while it's still clearly on the illegal side.

    There are probably more good reasons. Don't assume they are stupid without proof.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:16AM (#38926869)
      I'll give you a third reason: to stay relevant. The RIAA and the MPAA know and have known for a long time that the Internet and the widespread availability of computers are a death sentence for their industries. Copyrights just do not work when consumer electronics can make large numbers of perfect copies of any data, and without copyrights the RIAA and MPAA have no business model at all.

      What they want is for computers to be consumption-only devices, and for the Internet to be a fancy broadcasting system. Everything they have been pushing for over the past 15 years is designed to chip away at the P2P nature of Internet communications and to put consumers back in their place. There is a grand strategy at work: kill the Internet, rebuild it as a fancy cable TV system.

      That is the nature of the enemy here.
    • by kevinadi (191992)

      They are not stupid. Just incredibly greedy, that's all.

      They are a cartel, and whatever they're trying to do was not to stop piracy. It was to stop competition.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      I think you're overestimating huge corporations.

      Specifically, I think you're overestimating their ability to change. It is famously difficult to turn around a huge company, particularly when their entire business model is vanishing before their eyes. Only a few have succeeded - Apple and IBM are some of the best-known tech examples.

      More often, the company comes close to collapse. See also Polaroid and Kodak.

      Why? Simple. The bigger the company, the harder it is to make big changes to how it operates. You've

  • Goodbye demo (Score:4, Informative)

    by owlnation (858981) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:24AM (#38926919)
    The other advantage of this model suggested in the article is that it opens up the demographic again.

    Currently, there's generally pretty much only two types of movies being made: 1. big studio movies that get general release and are deliberately targeted at the average under 25's (big, loud, dumb, and 3d where possible) -- this being the only significant viable cinema-going audience, and 2. niche art house movies that are only designed to appeal to movie students, critics, film buffs, and the clinically depressed.

    These are the only two viable production models under the current distribution system. If you are over 25 and don't really want to watch some angst-ridden, slow, dreary, politically-correct, mirror on society, nobody is making movies you want to see right now.

    Say, for example, a movie like the Sand Pebbles. That movie would be impossible to make in the current market. Unless you either, slashed the budget so it took place in a few rooms, or if you cast Shia LeDouche, Mila Kunis and had lots of car chases in 3d in it. There's no way a movie will make any money at all unless it's either mass appeal, or funded by some European government socialist film fund. We will never see another Sand Pebbles, nor 2001 A Space Oddysey, nor anything by Robert Altman, nor any similar movie, under the current system.

    However, if you broadened the distribution system away from cinemas and DVDs, it is possible to target adults again, and release an whole range of genres. It would be like the late 60's and 70's where big-name directors and big stars could experiment, and produce art that was also extremely entertaining (rather than dreary and narcissistic, like the current art house crap).
  • by illumnatLA (820383) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:46AM (#38927077) Homepage
    If only Hollywood would learn to move with the times and adapt instead of stubbornly trying to cling to the past. Back in the day, the MPAA fought tooth and nail against consumer video decks considering them the death knell of the industry. When they finally accepted that video decks were here to stay, they adapted and home video became a major source of profit for them.

    Now the industry is fighting once again against the internet. Another pointless battle. They need to learn to adapt and incorporate the internet into their business model rather than continuing this losing battle.

    Given the choice, most consumers will go the easiest, most convenient route to the content in the format they would like. Netflix streaming has taken off like gangbusters because it's relatively inexpensive and very convenient. Make it easy and inexpensive and most people will not pirate your content! It's far, far easier for the regular consumer to just go to a Netflix type site than to find and download a torrent client, navigate through Pirate Bay, wait for the torrent to download, and hope they don't get plagued with viruses.

    People like the convenience of watching movies via the internet. That ain't gonna change. Hollywood needs to embrace the internet and make their libraries available via Netflix like services. Until then, people will continue to follow the easiest path to get the movies they want to watch in the format they want to watch them.
  • by shentino (1139071) <shentino@gmail.com> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @12:11PM (#38927823)

    Pirate's gonna pirate, and there's not a damn thing you can do to stop it.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @12:14PM (#38927861) Homepage

    The music industry has an even worse problem. Historically, musicians were nobodies - servants and worse. Only during the period when the economics of one to many record manufacturing turned some musicians into "brands" was it a big-money business. Today anybody can make a recording, and the only edge the remaining record companies have is marketing and a back catalog. Billboard points out [billboard.com] that the top-grossing band of 2011, Bon Jovi, made 90% of their money touring. Those are the economics of a top performer in the era of Edison wax cylinder recording.

    • The trick in the future is going to be figuring out you can get as big enough that you can live off the proceeds of touring. Top tie regional artists can usually do well enough to pay the bills, but much below that at it rapidly becomes more of a hobby than an occupation.

      Let's face it, to a large extent the musical superstar is a creation of the whole record company machine. I'm dubious that you could have big acts like Frank Sinatra or Elvis or Pink Floyd without the business model that the record companie

      • by Animats (122034)

        Top tie regional artists can usually do well enough to pay the bills, but much below that at it rapidly becomes more of a hobby than an occupation.

        Most glamor jobs are like that. If you've spent any time in LA, you've encountered the actress/model/waitress types. The average acting income of a SAG member is a few thousand a year. Modeling is worse; below the top 100 or so supermodels, nobody is making enough to buy a house.

  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @04:09PM (#38929609) Homepage
    The media companies are interested in "piracy", but not because they think it will undercut their profits.

    The media companies simply see it as a source of power and a new revenue stream, on top of everything else.

Money cannot buy love, nor even friendship.