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The Internet Piracy Technology

File Sharing In the Post MegaUpload Era 334

Posted by samzenpus
from the whac-a-mole dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This report looks at file sharing in the post MegaUpload era. The main finding — file sharing did not go away. It did not even decrease much in North America. Mainly, file sharing became staggeringly less efficient. Instead of terabytes of North America MegaUpload traffic going to U.S. servers, most file sharing traffic now comes from Europe over far more expensive transatlantic links."
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File Sharing In the Post MegaUpload Era

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  • What did you expect? (Score:5, Informative)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:47PM (#38971895)

    It's not like the people who've been pirating for the last ten years are just going to say to themselves "Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's and forget that we've gotten used to not paying for our movies and getting them instantly!" just because of some raid. And as long as there are pirates sailing the high seas, *someone* will be there to sell them boats.

    • Blame Napster (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:54PM (#38972011) Journal

      Blame Napster for making file sharing main stream. Back in the day when we had to walk uphill to school both ways the only way to pirate stuff was to be a geek or know someone who was. In the glory days most piracy happened on BBS'es, IRC and USENET. The former two were generally only available to those "in the know" while the latter was mostly used by people seeking pornography (who remembers working on PCs and finding gigabyte sized Free Agent cache directories?)

      In the end even the RIAA/MPAA types know that they will never stop piracy. Driving it further underground and returning it to the domain of the technically informed would stem their perceived losses though. I'm not sure if this is an obtainable goal with the internet being what it is but you can bet they will keep trying as long as they draw breath. The only thing that will stop this is the rise of meaningful (read: cheap and easy to use) online services that make piracy more trouble than it's worth. A lot of people think that iTunes did this for music, though I would argue that Pandora has done more to negate music piracy than iTunes. I don't think you can directly translate Pandora into movies though.

      • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:06PM (#38972189)

        It's only a matter of time until someone develops an Android or jailbroken iOS app that allows true peer to peer piracy over bluetooth or wifi. You'd set it up to share what you want, and to search for things you're looking for. If you were friendly, you could even set it up to look for things other people you see for x amount of time are looking for. Walking on the street? Riding in a bus? File sharing everywhere you go.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          It's only a matter of time until someone develops an Android or jailbroken iOS app that allows true peer to peer piracy over bluetooth or wifi. You'd set it up to share what you want, and to search for things you're looking for. If you were friendly, you could even set it up to look for things other people you see for x amount of time are looking for. Walking on the street? Riding in a bus? File sharing everywhere you go.

          Didn't Zune have a feature that did bluetooth or WiFi song sharing called 'squirt' (or 'squirting')?

          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @06:01PM (#38973055)

            Didn't Zune have a feature that did bluetooth or WiFi song sharing called 'squirt' (or 'squirting')?

            It was squircle. Squirting is something different, but don't worry, we nerds probably will never stumble into that situation...

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by lvxferre (2470098)

              Squirting is something different, but don't worry, we nerds probably will never stumble into that situation...

              Why? You know, porn is shareable too!

        • That is actually really cool, but the opening for trolling is huge!
          name your file todays.hot.movie.avi but have it be a slideshow of the best ever internet toll shock images...
          aside from that however, I think it is a really interesting idea for dense areas where person to person near field contact is likely (NY, SF, London, Tokyo, etc.)
          -nB

          • Re:Blame Napster (Score:4, Insightful)

            by justforgetme (1814588) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:38PM (#38972723) Homepage

            IP Trolling can't be "dealt with", like every politician does; you have to annihilate it and then salt the soil in order to optimistically dampen it's impact. The only true solution is the one of self mutilation. The global community has to reorient to a new set of rules for attribution of intellectual work in order to end this self impeding plutocratic movement.

          • by bartoku (922448)
            How about an index of file hashes and file sizes somewhere that you can verify the todays.hot.movie.avi file against? Or would that be illegal to host in the US?
            • Re:Blame Napster (Score:4, Informative)

              by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @06:02PM (#38973063)
              That's basically what a torrent site is today. Before the torrents, it was ed2k sites. Sharereactor used to be huge.
              • by bartoku (922448)
                But a torrent site will point me to a tracker which can point me to piers who are seeding the file.
                I believe torrent index sites in the US have all been shut down and pushed out.

                What I am proposing is a bit less than the torrent, only the file has and files size portion, but no information on how to obtain the file.
                If the site is simply compiling a list of pirated files in the wild, then is it doing wrong?
                Arguably the list could be sold in a way for consumers to verify that a file is of pirate origi
                • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by pjt33 (739471) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @06:39PM (#38973557)

                  Ah, but torrent sites now are pushing magnet links instead, which are pretty much what you're talking about.

        • by rickb928 (945187)

          Sending movies over Bluetooth seems like a non-starter. Even sending an album-worth of music is a pain, and of course your recipient needs to be close enough to sneeze on you. Much easier to put it in the cloud, though we're gonna have to restrain or government from jailing people for largely legal and legitimate sharing sites.

          Even that Re-whatever site is struggling to go into the first-sale resale business. The &^AA is undoubtedly trying to get some agency to raid them before they even start up.

      • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:07PM (#38972213) Journal

        Driving it further underground and returning it to the domain of the technically informed would stem their perceived losses though. I'm not sure if this is an obtainable goal with the internet being what it is but you can bet they will keep trying as long as they draw breath.

        Not a chance. Even if we had to go back to finding files on IRC, someone would whip up an XBMC plugin that made it entirely transparent and usable by morons.

        • At some point that will stop as well because those in the know will want to preserve their last free zones and protect them from the masses, because once the masses can get there easily so can the lawyers.
          The other option is a darknet/TOR style network, but latency and throughput suck enough that it is not a very viable option.
          -nB

          • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Interesting)

            by aztracker1 (702135) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:55PM (#38972983) Homepage
            Using IRC as a host network for Bittorrent trackers, etc would be pretty effective in terms of not getting shut down though...
          • Things never happened this way, why do you think the ones in-the-know will start behaving like that now?

            People will create new channels, only the in-the-know will use them at first. But they'll pass the secret to their friends, and that will be welcome, since those friends will bring new stuff. Then suddenly, by the power of exponential growth, the channel will be big, and lawyers will take notice. Just before that new channels will be created, and just a few will be in-the know...

            That is how it has even be

      • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:10PM (#38972259) Homepage Journal

        The *AAs at this point are simply in a quixotic battle against the rules of the real world. They might as well lobby for changes in the laws of physics... it falls into the same category. Trouble is most of our legislators are oldsters, people easily bought, or people who can't understand any of the basics of the world we live in.

        Every attempt to curb the "piracy" will fail because this is simply the digital laws of information work. We can take huge step backwards into the world where every piece of information is tied to a piece of paper or a piece of rock, we can try to legislate it out of existence, or we can accept it and make a world that the artists (not corporate middlemen) can make a living.

        • Re:Blame Napster (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:22PM (#38972445) Journal

          or we can accept it and make a world that the artists (not corporate middlemen) can make a living.

          That's a great theory where music is concerned and any start up band can get going with a couple hundred bucks worth of equipment and a broadband connection. I'm not so certain how it translates into movies though. To pick one of my favorite bits of modern culture, do you think you can bring Harry Potter onto the big screen without the resources of big budget movie studio? All of the special effects, the editing, the cinematographers, the actors, director, stunt performers, etc, etc? How do you propose to see that the "artists" in this example get paid without having some sort of corporate middleman?

          If you accept that movies are a part of our culture then there has to be a sane middle ground between "information wants to be free!" and "we are going to control where and when you can watch the movie you paid for"

          • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Insightful)

            by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:27PM (#38972541)

            To pick one of my favorite bits of modern culture, do you think you can bring Harry Potter onto the big screen without the resources of big budget movie studio?

            You could try not paying actors $20,000,000 for a few weeks' work.

            And, frankly, a future where movies were based more on characters and story than fancy effects wouldn't be a bad one.

          • Movie budgets (Score:5, Insightful)

            by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:35PM (#38972679)
            1. There is no real way for an outsider to estimate the cost of producing a movie. Movie studios vastly overstate the costs of movie production to avoid paying people whose contracts stipulate a percentage of profits; this is a practice that is called Hollywood Accounting and it once received the attention of a congressional investigation.
            2. Large amounts of money is spent on special effects that add little to the development of the plot or characters in a movie. While this makes movies look cool, it is not clear that it is necessary for the movies to be a box office success, and it often detracts from the plot (many movies hardly have a plot to speak of, and rely solely on special effects for entertainment value). Further, these special effects should come down in price as computer time becomes cheaper and software is improved.

            Movies could be produced for far less than what is typically spent on them, and at a reasonable quality level. What makes a movie like The Matrix great is not the special effects or the bogus accounting, but the story that it tells, and that story could be told on a lower budget, with good acting, good directing, and good camerawork replacing much of the technology that is thrown at movies today. Movies are indeed part of our culture; special effects need not be.

            • What makes a movie like The Matrix great is not the special effects

              No, presentation was 90% of that movie. The story itself was boring and far-fetched, what philosophy student hasn't heard the 'brain-in-a-vat' problem? And using humans as a source of energy? Really? They hadn't heard of fission, or coal? What were the people in Zion using then?

              It was the acting, the cinematography, and special effects that made the Matrix. Think of any memorable scene, and I'll bet it's related to one of those.

              In fact, look at it the other way. Imagine how great HHGTG could have been,

          • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Insightful)

            by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:39PM (#38972749) Homepage

            People will still pay for stuff. Hell, the MPAA had record profits each year from 2006 to 2010.

            Movies provide an actual valuable service, that some guy in his home connection can't replace for free: huge screens to appreciate those expensive special effects and pretty photography.

          • there is probably a good middle ground but there is no fucking way the mpaa is going to find it.
          • Re:Blame Napster (Score:4, Insightful)

            by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @06:23PM (#38973375)

            Kevin Smith made Clerks for less than $20,000 and it went on to make $20 million in the box office, not to mention millions in home media and network sales and the launching of his career.

            I get just as much entertainment from user submissions on Youtube as I do from huge blockbusters these days. I think the only people terrified of a "Hollywood-less" future is Hollywood itself.

          • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Esteanil (710082) * on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @07:45PM (#38974587) Homepage Journal

            Check out the trailer for Iron Sky, http://www.ironsky.net/ [ironsky.net] - then check out their budget http://www.ironsky.net/site/support/finance/ [ironsky.net]

            This is their second film, the first one (the most popular film ever created in Finland) was mainly distributed (for free) over bittorrent.

            Looks better than anything set to come out of Hollywood this year, IMO.

            Conclusion: If Hollywood dies, we'll still have good movies. Not that there's much chance of that, seeing as they're making more money than ever...

        • Re:Blame Napster (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:32PM (#38972607)

          On the contrary, and playing devil's advocate here, they are actually winning the war. Yes, SOPA and PIPA may not have gone through, but it was the fact that if the US turned off another country's domain, it might be considered an act of war, with the ramifications that comes with it, similar to a naval blockade is considered an act of war for a port.

          Here is how the *AA is winning the war:

          1: ISPs will hand them logs now by request. Not by court order. This allows long fishing expeditions.

          2: Treaties like only appear on the news after they are signed. It only was a lucky happenstance that this didn't happen with ACTA.

          3: Foreigners who have never set foot on US soil are being held criminally liable for breaking US laws. Picture Americans being deported to Saudi Arabia or Syria for lashings or beheadings because they were viewing pr0n.

          4: Piracy is being forced to the edges. This is success right here. Once piracy is forced to transatlantic or transpacific links, it isn't hard for ISPs to charge users for bandwidth use across those links, similar to how AT&T charges $250 a terabyte with DSL now.

          5: DRM stacks are everywhere. The next generation of Windows 8 logo compliant PCs can be said to have a hardware level DRM stack with the signed UEFI mechanism that cannot be disabled, and if disabled, content like programs and games won't work.

          6: It is becoming harder and harder for devices to get jailbroken. The PS3 took almost five years to have a single signficant crack, and that is currently fixed, with PSN detecting and auto-banning modified consoles. Modified xboxes are tossed off XBL instantly. Even iPhones are taking longer and longer to have a significant JB, and the Cydia market has to virtually recode stuff like Winterboard from scratch. Even with that, all it takes is a restore, a forced upgrade to the latest iOS, and iOS users are back at square one.

          7: One essentially is forced to use a VPS if one doesn't want to be ratted out. Of course, good VPSes are suspect.

          So, compared to this time about a decade ago, life is a lot tougher -- there are nowhere near the open wireless connections (warchalking is long gone), people who had open wi-fi connections are facing steep fines or jail times due to abuse, and the PC is essentially a dead platform when it comes to gaming.

          Yes, SOPA was a battle that was conceded, but the war is still being won by the *AA.

      • I wouldn't consider IRC or USENET to be 'back in the day" technologies. Both are alive and well and doing a fine job of allowing for inconspicuous file transfers...

        Just because you can't search for it in Google doesn't mean it's not on the Internet.
      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        The only thing that will stop this is the rise of meaningful (read: cheap and easy to use) online services that make piracy more trouble than it's worth. A lot of people think that iTunes did this for music, though I would argue that Pandora has done more to negate music piracy than iTunes. I don't think you can directly translate Pandora into movies though.

        Sure you can. It's called Netflix.

        Sure, Netflix is subscription-based rather than 'free', but it still provides tons of watchable content for a very reasonable monthly fee across several platforms. (If you strongly prefer 'free', then try Hulu if you're in the states, or can spoof being there.)

        True, you can't save the movies you like to disk and keep them for 50 years, and you have no control over the content they offer from week to week. But I don't know (I'm not in the states), can you d/l and save son

    • by discord5 (798235) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:54PM (#38972015)

      Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's

      Yeah, piracy didn't exist in the 90s. Do we get the don't copy that floppy [youtube.com] guy back too?

      • People copied floppies. And look at what became of the software industry.

      • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:09PM (#38972231)

        Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's

        Yeah, piracy didn't exist in the 90s. Do we get the don't copy that floppy [youtube.com] guy back too?

        I think my first "copy party experience" was in a church, in 1983ish... Everybody had their box of 100+ floppies and you'd walk around and see if there was anything you wanted, "borrow it" for 5 minutes to make a copy, rinse, lather, and repeat, for hours.

        • by khr (708262) <kevinrubin@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:25PM (#38972513) Homepage

          I think my first "copy party experience" was in a church, in 1983ish... Everybody had their box of 100+ floppies and you'd walk around and see if there was anything you wanted, "borrow it" for 5 minutes to make a copy, rinse, lather, and repeat, for hours.

          For me it was in high school, all the nerds wandered around with boxes of flopppies, some of us custom painted our boxes, or put stickers so everyone knew who was cool...

          When the school had all Apple computers we used to trade games and utilities straight across, disk for disk... If you didn't have something someone else was interested in, you didn't get their stuff. But once we all started upgrading to PCs, we were a lot more free about "sure, copy anything you want". I don't know what changed, really, same people, mostly the same physical floppy disks, too...

    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:06PM (#38972199) Homepage Journal
      The only permanent solution is to make content that people want to pay for, instead of making content they feel like they have to pay for. It's not hard to get people to pay for content when you make it actually engaging. You do have to give up on the lie that everyone wants content all the time, but it's possible to survive.
      • by alen (225700)

        So if the content sucks then why pirate it?

        • To see if you like it?

        • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:17PM (#38972387) Homepage Journal
          In the cases where an alternative distribution channel is available (there often isn't) and it is available for a reasonable price (which people often also disagree on), people pirate content that they don't really care about in order to fill their lives up. Perhaps there's a social incentive for knowing about what happened on some TV show; perhaps it's to stave off boredom because they're depressed and don't have greater ambitions or hobbies for their free time (this describes more people than anyone cares to admit); perhaps it's just to distract them because they're tired. In none of these cases is the consumer deriving value from the art of the content; it's just slightly more interesting than usual time-filling fluff, like the proverbial airport novel, sports news, the weather, or gossip in a bar. That's why we don't feel compelled to repay the artists behind the content.
          • by Zoxed (676559)

            > That's why we don't feel compelled to repay the artists behind the content.

            Or maybe they *do* want to pay the *artist* but not the media machine, the lawyers, the middlemen etc.

      • Economics (Score:5, Insightful)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:20PM (#38972423)
        Economics defeats moral arguments every single time. People pay money to see their favorite bands play a live concert, because live concerts are an experience that cannot be burned to a disc or downloaded from a website. People pay money to see movies in a movie theater because you cannot download the experience of being in a movie theater. Concerts and movie theaters make money because the experience you are buying is scarce.

        Copies of music and movies are not scarce resources anymore. We no longer require specialized industrial equipment to make those copies, and it costs almost nothing to make a copy. With an effectively unlimited supply, we should expect copies of music and movies to cost nothing; the industry needs to find some new scare-but-demanded way to enjoy entertainment, or focus more on the ways they have left.
        • Re:Economics (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:51PM (#38972923) Homepage Journal
          People will also donate to artists, even those who aren't in theatres or in concert, simply because they're super-impressed with them: behold, the humble donation. Since concerts are so expensive to organize, I believe that artists should focus on cultivating and engaging their fan base, much like web comic artists do, in order to make their living. It's an act of extreme arrogance to believe you can just dump a record at a consumer and expect to have money thrown at you for doing so, without ever going out and asking the consumer what he or she wants. This, essentially, is why the content industry is falling apart; much like when shows on Fox started failing simply because everyone expected them to get cancelled, and stopped putting their hearts on the line.
      • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:27PM (#38972537)
        Look it up. The sad fact is that if a resource isn't protected, people will abuse it. Example

        In our village we have a surviving section of a Roman road, and a small, protected wood of ancient hardwood. They are open to the public all the year round. The preservation committee has enough cash to go to the High Court for an injunction against people who might try to damage them, but almost every year we get some moron trying to destroy the road by ploughing it up with a Range Rover, or trying to vandalise the wood. We are prepared to defend both, but we have to be.

        The problem is that a nasty minority spoils things for the majority. Security at the Glastonbury costs a fortune because of the people who try to destroy the security fence - which is needed because those same people used to break in and try to wreck the festival.

        This isn't a rant against file sharing. I think the recording industry is its own worst enemy - it is purely entrepreneurial and entrepreneurs should never have special rights over real property. But, at the end of the day, the real answer is drastic: if you don't want performance to be free, do not encode it digitally and accept that restraint.

        But perhaps that's what you meant?

        • Sort of. My point was more like "if you want people to pay you just for producing something that is essentially free"—ignoring concerts and stuff—"then make them want to donate to you. Nothing else will work. And no, you will not rake in millions of dollars of profit. You only got those dollars because you created artificial scarcity. The consumers who have been giving you that money don't care about the value of the product; they just want side benefits, and so have no incentive not to exploit

        • if you don't want performance to be free, do not encode it digitally and accept that restraint.

          Sure, except that the bands that do make their songs available online will become more popular and see more revenue from their live shows. The way for musicians to monetize filesharing is to use filesharing as a form of from advertising, and if we stopped spinning our wheels trying to keep copyright alive we could spend our time developing systems that enhance the advertising capability of filesharing. Imagine if when you downloaded a song, you also could receive information on when and where the band t

    • It's not like the people who've been pirating for the last ten years are just going to say to themselves "Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's and forget that we've gotten used to not paying for our movies and getting them instantly.

      Interestingly, the most popular items are not movies but television shows. But that's neither here nor there -- Even if the MPAA stopped charging for movies and TV shows "pirate" distribution would continue, because the quality is superior. Let's look at the selling points for "pirate" distribution content;

      • Available immediately after broadcast
      • No commercials
      • Wide variety of TV formats (480p, 720p, 1080p, stereo, 5.1, etc.)
      • Wide variety of encoding formats.
      • No DRM; Can be viewed on most devices without r
      • Wrong way around (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Roger W Moore (538166) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @06:08PM (#38973151) Journal

        The MPAA currently can only compete on one of these points -- cost.

        Actually the MPAA can effectively compete on all the other points EXCEPT cost...they can do everything you list, better than any pirate, except give it away for free. The fact that they are ignoring all the other points and trying to compete on cost is why they are having such a hard time. If they released content commercial free, at the same time as (or even in advance) of broadcast in multiple DRM-free formats for a low cost the chances are that they would attract customers willing to pay for the simple convenience vs. searching dodgy websites for content of unknown quality which is only available after broadcast.

  • Era?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:52PM (#38971961) Journal

    I'm more annoyed at the wording - "In the post ____ era, the world will never be the same."

  • Sneaker Net (Score:5, Funny)

    by jdastrup (1075795) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:54PM (#38972013)
    I now accept requests for files over the phone or via hand-written letter and I deliver them on a USB stick, multiple foppy disks, or cassette tapes, whatever you prefer.

    My file sharing will not be stopped
  • by zarlino (985890) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:55PM (#38972021) Homepage

    Honestly, I never even thought of Megaupload-like sites as "file sharing". If that's file sharing, then every website is sharing with you lots of html, css and image files. I'd rather call that "File publishing". You upload a file to a server which is then published to the world. "File sharing" to me implies some form of P2P technology where users literally share local files and bandwidth with other member of a network.

    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:06PM (#38972195)
      Agreed. I think the term for sites that are MU-like used to be 'one-click filehosts'. This is only speculation, but I think that the use of terminology like 'file-sharing' might be the result of the anti-P2P campaigns by the RIAA and such, so 'sharing' has become a bit of a dirty word.
    • by jdogalt (961241)

      How is this 'insightful'? To me, from what you describe, I see "File sharing" and "File publishing" as entirely synonymous. You certainly aren't sharing your local file unless you are using a multi-seat system (even then temporary copies might be made within the system).

      The emperor has no clothes. There IS NO DIFFERENCE. The unproductive elements within our power authority heirarchies want the essence of FTP, and even the cp/copy commands to be under their control. They don't want encrypted smtp email

    • by westlake (615356)

      I'd rather call that "File publishing". You upload a file to a server which is then published to the world.

      In plain English:

      Unlicensed, unlimited, wholesale re-distributon for profit ---and for the prime uploader to Mega, a juicy cash bounty.

      It looks like piracy to me.

  • by IANAAC (692242) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:55PM (#38972025)
    It's less convenient, for sure.

    Other filesharing sites (filesonic comes to mind, but there are others) have either disabled file sharing, or changed it in such a way as to make it less convenient, never mind efficient.

    • by jdogalt (961241)

      Actually, for me, it didn't take long to discover that putlocker was actually a better host for the 'pirated' mythbusters episodes I was watching than megavideo was (on my given hardware/OS/browser-stack platform). The process of working around megavideo's demise also led me back to bugmenot.com which I had forgotten about, to get premium file downloads from videoweed (whose non-registration video player was worse than megavideo's for my setup, but like I said, putlocker is better than both).

      tv-links.eu -

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @04:56PM (#38972049)

    on computers since there were computers, 1 website is not going to stop them, all websites will not stop them, what will stop them is a change in how things are done.
    If people are "too cheap" to buy your product maybe your product is too expensive.
    If people are getting pirate copies of your software to avoid the iron fisted DRM bullshit, well maybe get rid of your DRM bullshit.
    If people are downloading your movie to watch once then never again maybe you should make it easier for people to watch.

    just a thought that no one making this shit wants to hear

    • by mark-t (151149)

      If people are "too cheap" to buy your product maybe your product is too expensive.

      This is a bit of a self-defeating position... because a person who claims that the work is too expensive as an excuse to download an infringing copy of it is still proclaiming that they actually *DO* place a high amount of value on the work - the real problem is, quite simply, not that the work does not have the value being asked for (a view which is contradicted by the fact that some people are willing to actually pay for the

      • They won't know if they like it until after they try it.

        as an excuse to download an infringing copy of it is still proclaiming that they actually *DO* place a high amount of value on the work

        It could be that it doesn't have enough value to them to buy it (seriously, downloading something isn't that difficult, so just downloading it doesn't mean that they place a "high amount of value on the work") or it could be, as you said, that they're just cheap.

        • by mark-t (151149)

          just downloading it doesn't mean that they place a "high amount of value on the work"

          They place just as much value on the work as somebody who was willing to pay for it, because the reason a person is willing to pay for it is because they want to use it, and the reason a person downloads a work is because they want to use it.

          The same value, either way. If it wasn't worth the amount of money being asked for, then nobody would be in the former category.

          • The same value, either way.

            Not really. One places enough value in it to pay for it, and the other doesn't. They probably don't value the work enough (yet, anyway) to justify going out and buying it. Downloading may be much simpler to them.

            If it wasn't worth the amount of money being asked for, then nobody would be in the former category.

            The value of the work is subjective. As such, different people value the work differently. You seem to be lumping everyone together in a single category and pretending as if the value of the work is objective.

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            That's a completely absurd argument. By your argument, the value of a "free, take me" couch covered with bed bugs is equal to the value of a new couch from a furniture store. This is true only if you cannot afford the new couch and absolutely have to have the couch.

            In the real world, there are always alternatives, whether it is a low-end version of a program, a similar program at a lower cost, a different movie at a lower cost, watching videos on YouTube, or piracy. The utility of a particular product de

      • by PRMan (959735)
        I don't agree. My friends and I have a rating system for movies: Theater, DVD, Rent/PPV/Netflix, TV (when I can't sleep or there's nothing else on), Never. This assigns a real value to the movie that is willing to be spent. Notice that the last 3 options have VERY LOW values.
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:33PM (#38972641) Journal

        Perhaps it had not occurred to such people that people who consider the work to be too expensive were outside of the demographic for which the work was targetted in the first place? Never mind the notion that the creators might make more money if they widened their demographic, the fact that they might be still choosing to market it only to a particular one that is willing to pay for the work is still their full right to do.

        That's perfectly reasonable, so long as the creators accept that many people outside that demographic—the people who cannot afford it—are going to pirate it because it still has utility, but not enough to justify the cost. This is the way things used to work before the content industry got a huge hair up its ass.

        The problem is that the content industry has started making false claims that the lost sales caused by piracy are beyond their control, when in fact, those lost sales are entirely within their control. They are then using that argument to try to stop the piracy so that they can squeeze those same unrealistically high prices not only out of the target demographic—the ones who can afford that price—but also out of the folks who are not in its target demographic and can't afford it.

        In short, the content industry is forgetting the first law of commerce—high margins or high volume: choose one. It is within their right to choose high margins; however, that is their choice, and they must live with the consequences. High rates of piracy are a direct consequence of pricing a product outside the range of the average consumer.

        Want to stop piracy? Sell first-run movies at the same $5 price point as ten-year-old movies. Piracy will drop like a rock, just as it did with music when folks got the ability to buy single tracks for 99 cents. It's that simple. The fact that they aren't willing to do that is their problem, not the government's problem, and it isn't the government's responsibility to prop them up because they failed first-semester business 101.

        • by mark-t (151149)

          many people outside that demographicâ"the people who cannot afford itâ"are going to pirate it because it still has utility, but not enough to justify the cost

          That's like suggesting that cable companies should just accept that people outside of the demographic that cable TV is marketed to are going to, if you'll forgive the expression, "steal" cable simply because they want to have it.

          Give me one good reason to expect that anyone should ever have some sort inalienable right to have absolutely eve

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Stealing cable is more like stealing a DVD because you are directly utilizing a physical product that the cable company provides without their consent. Piracy is actually more like asking your neighbor (who has cable) to record a show for you and bring you the tape.

            Also, if 70% of a cable company's under-30 customers admit to stealing cable at some point in your lives, that is a pretty clear indication that cable prices are way, way too high, or that there is inadequate competition. As long as we're talki

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        > the real problem is, quite simply, not that the work does not have the value being asked for (a view which is contradicted by the fact that some people are
        > willing to actually pay for the work), but that the person expressing that sentiment is just being cheap - whether that is because they genuinely cannot
        > afford the work or not.

        Well value is relative, not absolute. Some people will pay market value for a house in a neighbourhood with a homeowners association. To me, that drops the value to a

        • by mark-t (151149)
          I don't think I ever suggested that it was absolute. People really need to stop thinking in terms of dollars and cents when the word "value" is mentioned.
    • Specifically:
      I have no problem buying a product if it is worth it (there is opinion here, my value assignment may be higher/lower then yours)
      I do not buy DRM stuff for my PCs. I only allow iTunes and similar stuff on one PC in the house (as a pragmatic issue), not on any others.
      I would watch downloaded movies from the studios if they made them available, I'd even deal with an embedded ad or two and one trailer (more than that and I'll start looking for something stripped of that).
      Look to Netflix as a viabl

  • Isn't the real question whether litigation remains the dominant way of a dying industry to fight the status quo (i.e. files being shared)? File sharing is here to stay. About the syndicates I'm not that sure... .
    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Exactly.

      File sharing is here, its not going away. Any attempt to make it go away is just stupid when set against the backdrop of the internet and technology. Their BEST HOPE is to keep delaying things long enough to update their business model... which doesn't seem to be what they are trying too hard to do.

      We are only going to get more bandwidth, more connected, and more able to share, and more secure in that ability, I expect this to be about as effective as sueing the clouds for bad weather. Or attempting

    1. What's their methodology? How exactly did they get this info? I see nothing here like a link to a full paper.
    2. Who are they and why should I trust them? Disclaimer: I could turn out to be woefully ignorant, and maybe I should just get my head out of my ass. But their main web page appears to be amazingly content-free, and there are two posts on the blog -- this is one of them. (To be fair, the
    3. They only present two data points here -- Jan 18 and Jan 19. What's happened since? Why the breathless summary (Sl
  • by Wolfling1 (1808594) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:11PM (#38972269) Journal
    Traditional military strategy has been to go for the command and control infrastructure. The morons in DoJ just don't realise that its a useless strategy when dealing with the internet. Your enemy is far more mobile than you are, and they will simply relocate, or re-distribute to overcome the assault.

    /politicians and police don't understand the internet
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:11PM (#38972277)

    Looking back at the stuff I "pirate" it's really kinda funny. It's mostly TV shows that are no longer on the air. Shit I would watch on Hulu if they had it. It baffles me that the TV networks are so bad at this concept. Put a show that's been off the air for 5, 10, 20, 50 years or more and slap some modern advertisements on it and you can do what you've ALWAYS done and make money off of advertising. Off shows that you've already paid the production price... it's practically free for fuck sake.

    You get targeted ads, a clear picture of what people are interested in watching, and you're continuing to make money off of your legacy. But no they only want to put the last 3 to 5 episodes off the current season. So stupid. I pirate less because of sites like Hulu. Their business model, making money off adds, doesn't even have to change. How can they fucking not see it? So. god. damned. stupid.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)
      They're also seeking to increase revenue in other ways. If they make all their old good shows available, there's a smaller audience for their latest "reality" show. That means the ads for the new show bring in less revenue. As a show's viewership get higher, ad prices rise exponentially. To the distributors, it may very well be worth it to have a slightly smaller audience, but more concentrated on a few new shows.
      • And that's control. They want to decide what you consume rather than fulfill the desires you already have.
        Their goal is not to try and serve their customers better, but how to squeeze more money out of them.
  • No mater how much Governments try to stop this, others find better ways around it. When they put a stop to Napster and Limewire, Bit Torrent was invented. Someone will find a new way to share files that make it impossible to control, or until our Government becomes a complete Totalitarian and controls everything!
  • What it did do... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @05:37PM (#38972711) Journal

    ...is cause a lot of people to rethink storing legitimate data in the cloud.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

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