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Piracy Australia The Media Your Rights Online

Rights Holders See Little Point Creating Legal Content Sources 417

Posted by timothy
from the regulatory-capture-has-only-just-begun dept.
aesoteric writes "Six weeks after Hollywood lost a landmark internet piracy case in Australia, it appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy. Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available. The results appear to support the studios' policy position that legislation is a preferable way of dealing with the issue." The industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea all over the world.
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Rights Holders See Little Point Creating Legal Content Sources

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  • Sounds right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kamapuaa (555446) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:24PM (#40189185) Homepage

    I don't even bother turning on the TV, using Piratebay to steal the shows is easier (on the West Coast, so TV shows are available at about the same time). Of course the same is even more true for DVDs or movies. There's no possible business model better than piratebay, the only alternative is encouraging people to feel guilty for piracy, or criminally prosecuting pirates.

    • Re:Sounds right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JWW (79176) on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:31PM (#40190929)

      I disagree.

      If its on Netflix, why would I even bother to download the torrent?

      of course my corollary for that is....

      If the content industry ever kills Netflix I am going to steal everything and pay for nothing.

      • Re:Sounds right (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fjandr (66656) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @01:45AM (#40191957) Homepage Journal

        This.

        When I started using Netflix my usage of torrents to get shows I missed or otherwise had a hard time seeing via legitimate means dropped to basically zero.

        If Netflix survives, the studios will continue to get money of which they would otherwise not see a dime.

        My order of preference is:
        1) Watching via legal, on-demand ala carte means.
        2) Watching via illegal means.
        3) Not watching at all.
        4) Watching via current mass media distribution networks.

        • by CFTM (513264)

          Double This.

          Until I read your post I hadn't connected the dots on that one but as soon as I got itworking on my playstation hooked up to a TV, I stopped downloading anything via torrents with the exception of one show whose content is never available via Netflix. I don't even look for movies via torrents anymore because I just watch the variety of stuff that Netflix offers. Much of what hits the theaters these days doesn't have drawing power into a theater and Netflix currently offers tons of more obscure

          • by tmosley (996283)
            Yup, exactly right. The only thing I have taken without paying since I got Netflix is Game of Thrones. If HBO had a service like Netflix, I would be paying for that now. I already pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus.
        • by yotto (590067) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @08:20AM (#40193525) Homepage

          I hate to "this" someone but...

          This.

          I'm going to quote you offline to friends, and not give you any credit*. But just know that I appreciate your putting of my thoughts down so succinctly!

          *Okay, fine, I'll say "this guy on Slashdot said..."

        • Re:Sounds right (Score:4, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday June 02, 2012 @09:55AM (#40194111) Journal

          Huh, I feel the same about Steam and gaming. There are so many great cheap games and it takes care of the updates and MP stuff so I don't have to hassle with it its worth the money.

          What the media cartels need to be worried about is what I've found out from my oldest since he started college. many of the college age kids? Not watching anything. Between social media like FB, gaming, and net surfing they really don't have an interest in watching TV at all. I have to say I noticed the same thing myself which is why I asked, with so much other stuff to do on the net other than the occasional documentary I just have no interest in their crap, especially all that reality garbage they keep chumming out. Now the only time I watch any TV is when I see my parents who seem to watch nothing but CSI and NCIS, I swear you could show those 24/7 and they'd be happy.

          What you need to worry about with stuff like Netflix is the ISPs getting nutty with the caps. they are all overselling like crazy and unless you live in one of the places with FIOS good luck on getting them to roll out new lines so I have a feeling the CableCo ISPs especially will start hobbling with worse and worse caps to try to force you into taking their crap whether you like it or not. I know I'm paying for CableTV I'll never use because its cheaper to buy the bundle than it is just to have the cable and VoIP and if you use anyone else's VoIP it counts against the cap, nice.

      • If its on Netflix, why would I even bother to download the torrent?

        Because Netflix is a streaming service. Good luck watching a movie from Netflix when you have erratic connection or none at all. Also, Netflix is available only in US and UK at the moment.

        • by Altrag (195300)

          And Canada! Though the library they offer us up here is pretty paltry in comparison to our southern neighbors (no idea what the UK gets.)

          Still, there's plenty of good stuff if you don't mind watching older movies/shows, and there's loads of obscure and weird titles which is always fun (sometimes in a horrifying way if they're REALLY weird!)

          Oddly, we get a lot of Bollywood movies up here. Not sure if those make it to the US or not.

      • Re:Sounds right (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @10:59AM (#40194471) Homepage

        > If its on Netflix, why would I even bother to download the torrent?

        Better quality. More of the original intact (like subtitles). Better player features (like navigation). Better availability both in terms of supported devices and "cloud networks".

        If frustration with the Netflix player can drive me to BUY something then clearly it can drive 100 others to pirate it.

      • by kamapuaa (555446)

        So imagine if bittorrent downloading movies wasn't illegal. Piratebay could be built into your DVD player with a better interface, everybody would be using piratebay so volume would be higher, etc. Basically, the illegality keeps bittorrent from being quite as much as it could be.

        But regardless, get real. Netflix selection is shit, the chances they have the movie I want to see is maybe 10-20%. Bittorrents have everything, and have it an or two hour after it broadcasts. Bittorrent is free. Bittorrent i

    • Re:Sounds right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Evtim (1022085) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @03:10AM (#40192293)

      Disagree. Just got 3 titles from gog.com that will see me for the next 5 years. BTW, all 3 I have purchased years before when they were new. But could not miss the chance to get all the expansions, manuals, cards, soundtrack, no DRM (this is heaven!!!), low price, ensured compatibility with modern OS. Am I going to give this games to other people (upload them on the net)? No. I want gog to live long and prosper....

      Or, what would you say about the latest Planet earth from BBC that, upon the DVD release years ago, shipped 15 episodes that cost small fortune to make over 3-5 years period for 45 Euros, postal from UK to mainland Europe included. 10 minutes after I ordered them I persuaded 4 colleagues to do the same and refused to another 3 to copy it for them once I got it.

      That is how you make business and that is how you make a bloody pirate (being born and raised as dirt poor east-European, piracy comes naturally to me) pay and encourage other people to pay too. There are a few colleagues at work with gog accounts already (I am rather good in convincing people though in this case it is not really necessary as every nerd wets himself upon hearing "no DRM").

      So, bullocks to the industry, the lying bastards!!

      P.S. It warms my heart that the content industry with their actions adds considerable acceleration to the collapse of the Western economy. In a few short years people will simply not have the disposable income to feed the pigs with their outrages prices and business model. Then they won't make less money, instead they'd be dead (and good riddance)...

      • Re:Sounds right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @04:52AM (#40192709) Journal

        I somehow own two Dungeon Keeper CDs, both of which are scratched. I bought it again from GOG.com because the $3 they were charging was less valuable to me than the amount of effort required to clean the two disks enough to reconstruct the installer and make it work.

        I mostly stopped buying games some time around 2003 because the copy protection became too irritating and games would often stop working just because I'd switched to a newer OS. I've bought more games through GoG since they launched (and spent more money) than I had done in the preceding 7-8 years. I actually still have half a dozen games that I haven't got around to playing yet, because they looked fun and were on special offer ($3 is less than a pint of beer: it's impulse-buy territory).

    • Re:Sounds right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @05:28AM (#40192819)

      I don't bother turning on the TV either, but mostly because by the time they finally arrive here on TV, they are no longer interesting, not only having been out for over a year but also cut left and right and what's left after cutting them down to 2/3 of the length to make room for some more commercial is then butchered to death with atrocious dubbing. Why bother watching that?

      I would turn to a legal source if available. I would have a few requirements, though:

      1. At least as soon available as TPB. Seriously, you will not make a sale if you're lagging a week behind.
      2. At least the same quality as TPB. If I get a blurry, low-res version of the show and should pay for it, no sale.
      3. At least as quick to download as TPB. If your server is overtaxed when the show comes out and I have to wait a day, no sale.
      4. At least as easy to use as TPB. Preferably a one-click system, or even a push system that moves the latest show to your computer once you subscribe.

      You might notice that "price" doesn't show up in that list. Because it doesn't matter as much as one may think. Actually, there is so much room for rights holders here that it's a pity they didn't actually use that system yet. Why see the internet as a competitor? See it as another way to sell your show! Offer an add-on to your cable TV subscription where you can get the shows you like for an extra buck without ads. If you offer that only after it has been aired once (maybe the download starts right as the credits roll) people will STILL watch your show on TV and then do reruns from their storage. You not only sell them to your advertisers, you sell them your shows, too. Or even a "platinum premium subscriber" thingamajig where they could see it a day early (for a premium price, if the show's worth it, people will pay good money for such a service).

      For fuck's sake, is your marketing department high on coke and passed out on the office floor or why do I have to come up with that?

    • Re:Sounds right (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @05:30AM (#40192825)

      There's no possible business model better than piratebay

      Piratebay isn't a business model.

      the only alternative is encouraging people to feel guilty for piracy, or criminally prosecuting pirates

      This is simply not true. I don't feel remotely guilty about downloading copies without paying for them, yet still I pay £15 a month for an unlimited cinema pass, and pay £10 a month for spotify, and I bought all the humble bundles at the average contribution, and I buy games on Steam when they get heavy discounts, just in case I ever want to play them.

      Guilt and threat of prosecution didn't motivate me to adopt these services (i pirate stuff all the time), they simply provided the appropriate level of value and convenience.

      If there were a movie streaming service with as universal a catalogue as spotify has for music, i would subscribe in a heartbeat. Unfortunately Netflix in the uk is barely finding it's feet in terms of content at the moment.

  • Content Paradox (Score:5, Informative)

    by gellenburg (61212) <george@ellenburg.org> on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:26PM (#40189197) Homepage Journal

    When no legal methods exist for consumers to obtain content in a way they demand, of course the only option left for them then is to illegally obtain that which they desire.

    • Re:Content Paradox (Score:5, Insightful)

      by C_amiga_fan (1960858) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:54PM (#40189479)

      According to J.Michael Straczynski (jms), just because the viewers demand content in a certain format or certain time (immediately rather than wait 1 week for the USA-to-BBC feed), does not mean they are entitled too it. He thinks we should stop infringing on his copyrights, as that means he (and others) don't get paid.

      According to me, JMS is a stodgy old man who may be internet-literate (using it since the early 90s), but doesn't understand the old "scheduled TV viewing" model is dying and being replaced. If ye put the show on Hulu I'll watch it... even if I have to wait a week (the FOX & Syfy model). But if ye refuse to put the show on Hulu, then yes I'll go find an illegal copy. I am not going to bend-over backwards waiting for a rerun 4 months from now.

      And as long as ye keep insisting "DVDs are not returnable for refund or store credit", then I'll keep downloading them too. I have a right to make sure I don't waste my money on feldercarb.

      • According to J.Michael Straczynski (jms), just because the viewers demand content in a certain format or certain time (immediately rather than wait 1 week for the USA-to-BBC feed), does not mean they are entitled too it. He thinks we should stop infringing on his copyrights, as that means he (and others) don't get paid.

        If, for example, Disney isn't selling DVDs of a given movie and has no plans to within the next decade, then Disney makes no more money off me if I don't pirate than if I do. What's the sound public policy behind keeping such a work out of the public's hands if it isn't being distributed or even prepared for distribution?

        • by CanEHdian (1098955) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:43PM (#40190543)

          According to J.Michael Straczynski (jms), just because the viewers demand content in a certain format or certain time does not mean they are entitled too it.

          If, for example, Disney isn't selling DVDs of a given movie and has no plans to within the next decade, then Disney makes no more money off me if I don't pirate than if I do. What's the sound public policy behind keeping such a work out of the public's hands if it isn't being distributed or even prepared for distribution?

          Two fine examples of the "Soup Nazi" attitude of the Copyright Industry. While the fictional character has a physical product that's in limited supply to sell, the Copyright Industry sells nothing more than an arrangements of bits, a.k.a. Extremely Large Numbers. Once this number has been published, it effectively becomes unlimited in supply and at near-zero cost.

          The only thing that would stop someone to partake from the horn of plenty would be a moral code. Adhering to this code would be a lot easier if one were able to obtain a copy conveniently, cheaply, and at a fair (in the eyes of the consumer) price.

          Displaying an attitude of "you can have a bone, when we decide to throw you one, and you better show some gratitude!" is not going to help encourage people to adhere to that moral standard.

          • I like the way you think, but I fear it may be misguided. If what you say is true ... why did shareware die ?

            • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @11:39PM (#40191299)

              Shareware utilities got outcompeted by free software. 7-zip beats winrar any day. Winrar is still around, though.

              Shareware games are now "indie games", and are on Steam, and in the Humble Indie Bundle that was just released. Or maybe they're flash games on the Internet, plastered with ads.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2012 @12:20AM (#40191549)

              Shareware isn't dead, it's big business. On Windows, all the "free" anti-virus programs use nags and limited functionality to encourage people to pay for the full product, just like shareware did. A large percentage of major Windows utilities which describes themselves as "free" are using the same business model.

              The shareware from yesteryear failed commercially because the market was too small. Now pretty much everybody in the Western world has a PC.

            • why did shareware die ?

              It didn't. There are "free" and "ad-free" editions of many mobile games and other applications: if you like the game, you buy the "ad-free" version. As others pointed out, there are Steam and Humble Bundles.

              Or it did. If development tools cost money above and beyond what it costs to own a computer in the first place, hobbyist developers are going to try to recoup these costs. But by 2000 or so, GCC became a viable alternative to Microsoft Visual C++ for hobbyists even on Windows.

          • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @04:19AM (#40192579) Homepage

            It is not about what is available when it is all about everything being available all of the time and having to compete for the viewers eyes. There are thousands of times more content produced than any person can consumer. Already in terms of individual user accessibility the internet can be considered to be infinite, more content is continually being created than any single person can consume, let alone what is already available.

            That is the cruz of the problem for the pigopolists, the sheer volume of content available and no longer being able to throttle availability in order to artificially inflate the price. They don't want the new distribution models because that creates a further flood of competing content, which under the laws of supply and demand, further suppresses the profit margins chargeable. It is all greed and bullshit, using deceitful marketing techniques to inflate desirability of new content whilst simultaneously burying back catalogues of content to limit competition for viewers in order to substantively inflate profit margins.

            All part and parcel of celebrityism, the artificial creation of creatures of worshop out of empty headed narcissists in order to sell every kind of crap product imaginable including bullshit politicians. Prime example the multimillion dollar George Clooney fund raiser for Barack Obama all to pay for Obama filling the department of justice with RIAA/MPAA lawyers, so a crock of shit to pay for more crocks of shit.

            • by jedidiah (1196)

              That's it in a nutshell. We are in a golden age of consumer media. We are awash in a sea of stuff. Even if you don't pirate it, it is still dirt cheap. There are $5 DVDs. There are even $5 BDs. You can get an entire old show on disc for cheaper than you can see the cheesey new remake at the cinema.

              Piracy is not the real problem. The back catalog is. A glut of content has led to brutal price competition and vicious price cutting.

              It can be Hulu, or Netflix, or it can even by Frys.

              TBP is simply a red herring.

      • P.S. Forgot to add that JMS is the guy who wrote 80% of Babylon 5's episodes, and the overarching "novel for TV" storyline which he said extends across 2000 years of fictional history (circa 1200 to 3200 AD).

        And Babylon 5 used to air at midnight where I lived. Back then I had to use a VCR to timeshift the show & watch it the next day. If Hulu or piratebay had existed, I would have watched it online (to the annoyance of the MPAA, rights holders, and local stations). Perhaps they should schedule this

      • Re:Content Paradox (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:10PM (#40190265)

        So the choices are basically (1) consume the media in the format / context as mandated by the content cartels, (2) consume the media illegitimately (bittorrent download, usenet download, etc.), and (3) do not consume the media at all.

        Only choice #1 results in the producers and artists receiving any sort of compensation (however little it may be). While I sympathize with the desire to make money off of one's own works, JMS needs to realize that if he cannot give people what they want legitimately, then they will either go to a torrent site or just not watch it at all. Both of which will ultimately deny him compensation.

        It's really immaterial whether people chose either #2 or #3 as an alternative - JMS will lose either way. If he cannot realize that, then it's a basic failure in his reasoning skills.

        Adapt to the market or die.

      • Re:Content Paradox (Score:5, Interesting)

        by compro01 (777531) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:55PM (#40190659)

        as that means he (and others) don't get paid.

        jms isn't getting paid regardless. B5 has a wicked case of Hollywood accounting.

        JMS on rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, Feb 26, 2005

        That's the great irony of the situation. The criteria told to us right up front while we were producing B5 was that each of the series on PTEN had to show a profit *in that year* in order to stay on the air and be renewed. So we'd have these meetings with studio heads who were congratulating us on how much money the show was making for them (again, while we were still making for it), and then look at me, realize what they'd said, and hurriedly add, "Though technically we're
        still in the red."

        The show, all in, cost about $110 million to make. Each year of its original run, we know it showed a profit because they TOLD us so. And in one case, they actually showed us the figures. It's now been on the air worldwide for ten years. There's been merchandise, syndication, cable, books, you name it. The DVDs grossed roughly half a BILLION dollars (and that was just after they put out S5, without all of the S5 sales in).

        So what does my last profit statement say? We're $80 million in the red. Basically, by the terms of my contract, if a set on a WB movie burns down in Botswana, they can charge it against B5's profits..

      • Re:Content Paradox (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Eskarel (565631) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @12:56AM (#40191729)

        Well the corollary to that attitude is that just because content owners demand their content is sold in a specific way doesn't mean they're entitled to it. No one on either side is entitled to Jack.

        The problem for JMS is that in this world of pulp media the only power the distributor has is based around controlling the distribution channel. If he won't offer me content the way I want it then someone else will and the content they produce will be just as shitty, cliched and shoddily produced as the stuff he does(and everyone else does for that matter). It's the same problem that's facing newspapers. If all you're going to give me is a poorly researched 3 paragraph blurb, why should I pay that when I can get a hundred poorly researched 3 paragraph blurbs on the internet for free, plus a tweet from someone who was actually there. Controlling the distribution channel isn't enough any more because the distribution channel is failing. Piracy aside, people are no longer watching TV in the same ways they used to, they're no longer willing to put up with content being delivered to their region 6 months later after everyone's already done talking about it, they're not happy with people telling them when to watch what they want to watch. This is a real challenge for current content publishers, their revenue models are seriously challenged by this idea, but three strikes laws won't fix their problems. Governments are sort of going along with the idea at the moment, but they won't allow a substantial percentage of the voting public to be affected by this sort of stuff whatever bribes they get paid.

        The world she is a changing, and no on really knows what it's going to look like. Personally I see a rather grim future for anyone trying to make a living making low grade content or who doesn't have some sort of additional revenue stream(dvd, merchandising, etc) in mind. Micro-payment will continue to be a bust so long as it's not financially viable to transfer amounts in the range of cents, which leaves either longer term subscription models or premium prices both of which require you to have a product people are willing to pay enough for to make a profit. I just don't really see either the old advertising model or the new one being able to sustain the kind of quality which can put you ahead of every other yokel with an internet connection.

      • by CFTM (513264)

        It's human nature. Entrenched powers resist changes that will undermine there current methodology. It's as old as time, and it has happened in every single aspect of human organizations.

        As Vonnegut once said, "So it goes".

    • Re:Content Paradox (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) * on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:59PM (#40189533)

      Which leads me to the assumption that these content companies don't give a rats-ass about the content, what they really want is
      to gain legal control the internet. That would be worth trillions, where as the average movie earns a few million. They are using
      content as a loss leader, a poker chip, in a high stakes game to grab control.

      At 99cents per download/view you could easily make back the production costs of most tv shows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When no legal methods exist for consumers to obtain content in a way they demand, of course the only option left for them then is to illegally obtain that which they desire.

      Uh, really?

      DVD/Blu-Ray

      HBO/Showtime/Cable TV/Pay-per-view

      Netflix/Hulu

      FYE/GameStop

      Wal-Mart/Target

      Amazon

      How many other legal formats do you need?

      Sorry if I have a hard time believing we have "no legal methods" in existence today. How the hell we ever legally entertained ourselves before the precious almighty Internet came about is apparently a fucking unsolvable mystery to the point where we "need' to steal everything.

      As far as obtaining content in a specific way, I can't help it if people are too damn lazy

      • Re:Content Paradox (Score:5, Interesting)

        by v1 (525388) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:51PM (#40190069) Homepage Journal

        How many other legal formats do you need?

        Just two. format shift and preview.

        See, I go to bittorrent for these two reasons. First, it's silly to have to go to a crappy theatre and deal with all the drama and baggage there, pay for the movie and the extortion food, only to find it sucked and be out my money. Instead I torrent it and see if I like it. If I don't, I throw it away. If I like it, I buy it when it comes out. Best example: Bridge to Teribithia. The previews they put in the theatres and online looked like it was going to be very similar to Narnia, which came out just before it. Tons of great CGI, a positive plot. When I torrented it to see, I found that the preview was made by taking ALL the CGI in the entire movie (what little of it there was) and throwing it together. There was nothing new to see in the full movie, and it was a depressing drama show not an exciting adventure as the preview suggested. If I had gone to the theatre to see it, I would have walked out halfway through and demanded my money back.

        I don't delete it though because the aa-tards have prevented me from ripping the bluray I legally bought to watch on my computer or on the go. So I go back to the torrent I downloaded to watch. Actually, taking a movie like avatar for example, I've watched it maybe three times on the big screen in the living room, and probably a dozen times on my computer.

        So ya, give me that and I'll quit torrenting. Right now all it's doing is encouraging me to help the pirates, because my torrenting is sharing the content with people that have zero intention of buying. They can't get this through their thick heads though.

        They're just a bunch of "I want to have my cake, and eat it too, eat your cake, and charge you for the privilege" people. They insist on calling it "theft" but then when I ask why I can't do what I want to with it, they tell me I DON'T OWN it, I'm licensing it so they can tell me what I can and can't do with it. Can't have it both ways. Either sell it to me or stop telling me I'm stealing it.

        • by Eskarel (565631)

          You see this is why people should read more(or even watch the previous versions of a story or check it on wikipedia or something). If they'd made a movie like Narnia out of that book, the producers would have deserved the death penalty. I don't really know why they had to make an all singing all dancing version anyway, the story can be told perfectly well with a rope and a fake stump as pretty much the only props(as I've seen it done).

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        How many other legal formats do you need?

        Just one more format, this time without any DRM, so that the people who actually pay for the content get an experience that is as good as the experience obtained for free by people who download it with BitTorrent. As long as the available formats mean that people have to use legally dubious tools if they want to take that Blu-Ray and make it available through a home media server, viewable on an iPod, etc., then the content industry has constructed a situation in whi

      • Re:Content Paradox (Score:4, Informative)

        by zakkudo (2638939) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:04PM (#40190203)
        You make the invalid assumption that what I want is actually going to be available internationally. I could import it, but the content is licensed for viewing in specific regions. That means I am not legally allowed to view it no matter how I get it.
      • Now try to get , say, big bang theory latest season in germany. Good luck with that. Try again , in say, 2 or 3 years. Some serie are even NEVER available there, not even as direct to DVD sale.
    • Re:Content Paradox (Score:5, Interesting)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:26PM (#40189839)

      When no legal methods exist for consumers to obtain content in a way they demand, of course the only option left for them then is to illegally obtain that which they desire.

      But that's just it: They will never release a product that has broad consumer appeal. If they had DRM that used signatures instead of encrypting it, only allowing playback on certain devices, with an internet connection that's always on, etc., they'd have a lot better sell rate. But the truth is, the product is overpriced and heavily restricted to the point of being useless. If I could make a 1 time payment and get a license to watch A Movie(tm), and to play it anywhere, anytime, on any equipment, in any format -- for personal use... I'd do it if the price was reasonable. But that's the hideous evil about their marketing: They'll never give you that kind of a license. That's what you were buying in the 80s, and since we've gone digital, it's easy to create the extended edition, directors cut, ultimate, super, 1.5 version, diddledodedo edition -- and then we're going to release it on vhs, itunes, dvd, bluray, youtube, netflix, and in 23 different regions, at different times and price points... and you're going to have to PAY PAY PAY if you want to use any of them. Who cares if you already bought it and it's sitting on the shelf -- fuck you, you have to buy a slightly different version just to use it on your new streaming internet player, plus pay your ISP to stream it, plus pay the stream provider, along with the cost of the equipment, oh -- and every time you pay, we're right there, mouths wide, waiting to take a bite out of everyone else's sandwich.

      I'm a pirate and proud of it. Because I'm not just doing it because I can, but because there's no other choice. The business model is corrupt, it doesn't serve the public interest, nor does it serve the artists interests, nor does it really even serve the industry as a whole; It serves about 150 people who are middle men for a dying industry. The only reason bluray has any traction at all is because our internet connections are shit and we can't download it or stream it on demand. There's no reason for optical drives anymore; even mechanical hard drives are going the way of the dodo bird. But these guys are pushing their distribution model onto the world and passing laws and crap thinking it's going to save them. It's just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Bitches, ship's going down -- and the pirates already hopped in a life boat, cast off, lit a big fatty.. and now they're waiting for the artists and wondering what'll happen to those poor bastard consumers in 'economy'.

      RIAA and the MPAA are middle men. Middle men don't add value: They don't produce the product, and they don't use it. They're worthless. Fuck them. Get the consumers to the life boats (teach them how to torrent and bypass torrent blocking), and let the artists and the middle men figure out whether they want to drown together in each other's cold, unfeeling arms, or get on the goddamn boats and end this crap.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        If they had DRM that used signatures instead of encrypting it, only allowing playback on certain devices, with an internet connection that's always on, etc., they'd have a lot better sell rate.

        No, they wouldn't. I wouldn't pay a penny for media that tracks when and where I watch their movies. It's only one small step from there to charging per viewing, and we rapidly retreat towards a rental model. Besides, if they didn't encrypt it, there would be no way to usefully restrict playback anyway.

        Besides, wh

      • Re:Content Paradox (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jamesh (87723) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:30PM (#40190443)

        I'm a pirate and proud of it. Because I'm not just doing it because I can, but because there's no other choice.

        Other than not watching it you mean? Or were you so blinded by your sense of entitlement to the works of others that that option didn't occur to you?

    • by toejam13 (958243)

      Right on. It is not just about the content itself, but also about how that content is obtained. For some people, the latter is just as important as the former. With studios often playing games regarding delivery, it is no wonder that a sizable group becomes irritated enough to turn to piracy. It is just a heck of a lot easier.

      In the studios' defense, it is their content. They get to set the rules if you want to watch it. Nobody will die if they miss their favorite program. Having said that, we live i

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      When there's no congenial, copacetic, or reasonable, way to get desired content, then there's a problem.

      Worse, when over-inflated egos are accorded exorbitant amounts (voice of Bart Simpson, e.g.) or when the primary focus of compensation is on distribution when that amounts these days to the cost of electrons, some server racks, and Internet access, ... hell, reasoned arguments are un-needed. Fuck'em. Pay for talent, skill, accomplishment. (We'll vote with our dollars. Witness Humble Indie Bundle, i.e.

  • by siddesu (698447) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:28PM (#40189217)

    Over the years, the social contract between publishers and the society that has created the copyright monopoly has been abused to such extent, and has created such disproportionate amount of wealth for the few lawyers that run the business, that it is hard to see how they are going to accept a scheme that potentially cuts deep not only in their revenues, but in the justification of the existence of copyrights in their present form.

    • by Hyperhaplo (575219) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @04:41AM (#40192669)

      Yes, and the common way of saying this:

      "Show no courtesy to those who show you no courtesy".

      or, to quote someone else:

      "Courtesy is for those who deserve it, and not a tool to coerce others into submission.

      Rational people merit rational debate. Irrational people merit ferocious hostility. Anyone trying to teach you to yield and submit has a motive. Unless they can kick your ass or you need to sell them something, piss on them."

  • Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sidthegeek (626567) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:29PM (#40189229)
    It's not about piracy. It's about control. Control of the networks is more valuable than any of the content they produce.
    • by icebike (68054) *

      Exactly my thoughts posted above [slashdot.org]. Ant the network they are interested in controlling is the internet.

  • How about we get some new rights holders? In particular, how about some rights holders that won't keep trying to sandbag back the ocean?

    • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:31PM (#40189897) Homepage Journal
      I'll agree once you tell me who's willing to front the money to have multimillion-dollar films produced to replace Hollywood's multimillion-dollar films.
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Why do they need to be replaced? If Hollywood can't adapt to the realities of the internet, they need to disappear. The internet has already done far more to improve our lives in the past couple decades than Hollywood has done in a century. If we have to choose, it's no question that the internet is the better choice.

        If Hollywood wants to take their ball and go home, then by all means let them do it.

  • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:36PM (#40189299)

    I just can't care about 'fair' when there's enough money being milked to make multimillionaires out of actors. Maybe the end product wouldn't cost as much if, say, an actor in a top end show made $80k/year. Maybe content producers could then produce MORE good content to get their profit.

    I dunno, I guess I'm just crazy.

    • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:44PM (#40189381) Homepage

      People have short attention spans. They can only really be fan-crazy about a small number of people at a particular moment in time. Many people go see movies just so they can see the actors/actresses they are crazy about. Therefore the industry has to create a small number of "big names". Once these names are created, they pretty much can ask whatever they want and the studios have to pay them.

      The big names are rotated out over time, but at any given moment the number of "superstars" is not all that large.

      It sucks, but that's part of how the entertainment industry works.

      Personally I've never been one to see a movie just because a particular person is in it. But apparently I'm in the minority.

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      Because it's those several people that sell that movie - a few stars and the director. These mutjobs only provide the initial funding.
    • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:09PM (#40189663)

      If a top actor only made $80,000 a year... there would be no top actors.

      Think of an actor that you really liked. REALLY liked. That one who completely sold you on some big momentous scene. You watched every episode of their series for years. Now, name three other series they have stared in.

      The reality of acting work is that even the really good professionals are unlikely to work more than one or two really big jobs in their careers. There are a lot of reasons for this, some good and some bad, but either way it is a reality. An actor who manages a five year run on a TV show and then follows it up with similar run on another show probably represents 90% of their professional income, total. So those 10 years need to pay out in a significant way. It has many of the same economic incentive that athletics do with similar payscale effects. The pay of a successful actor or football player looks amazing until you add in all the years they will not be working before and after the gravy days.

      Assuming you could force a system where all actors get paid according to your arbitrary rules the only real effect would be an end of skilled professional actors. A few young people might do it for the fun but everyone else will go get a real job rather than earn your $80,000 one year in four.

      • by Grygus (1143095) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:36PM (#40189933)

        I don't know whether you have a good grasp on the scale of disparity here. Most Americans will make much less than $3 million total over their entire lives. A Hollywood superstar is making 18-20 times that per year. A top football player can get ten times that amount as a signing bonus.

        I'm also not entirely clear on why choosing a certain profession means that you are entitled to stop working after five successful years and never have to work again. Sure, a pretty actress's or NFL player's first career is over quickly, but why should they be set for life at that point? When my mainframe know-how became largely obsolete in the late 80s/early 90s, I learned new PC-centric skills and got another job. Why shouldn't that apply to these people?

        • by Telvin_3d (855514)

          And when you originally went into mainframes, did you do so with the realistic expectation that your skills would cease to make you employable after a decade or so? If you went back knowing that and got to choose again would you still specialize in mainframes? Now, assuming that you are once again choosing your career path and you know that mainframes are a dead end, how much extra would a company that needs mainframe specialists anyways need to offer you in order to have you (and a reliable number of other

        • by artor3 (1344997)

          Actors and athletes take a risk. The odds of a payoff are low, and the payoff is high to make up for that. By comparison, your mainframe know-how had a very good chance of paying off, so the payoff was lower. The expected value of the two positions is likely pretty similar.

          Think long and hard about paying athletes and actors and the like less. Those professions are one of the precious few remaining paths by which a person born into a poor family can become wealthy. And they gain that wealth by making a

        • Sure, a pretty actress's or NFL player's first career is over quickly, but why should they be set for life at that point? When my mainframe know-how became largely obsolete in the late 80s/early 90s, I learned new PC-centric skills and got another job. Why shouldn't that apply to these people?

          Their unique contribution to the project brought in tens of millions of dollars.

      • by arose (644256)

        You heard it here first folks, small theaters have no outstanding actors. Ever.

        If the money was more evenly distributed across the actor pool I suspect you'd see more top actors, but that doesn't sell movies on actor names alone, so...

  • Litigation is more profitable than content creation.

    -uso.

  • Black Markets 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Githaron (2462596) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:39PM (#40189323)

    Black markets form when there exists a market that is not being serviced through legal channels. By not competing with the pirates by addressing the desires of the populous, the content companies are actually encouraging piracy. Listen up content providers. We want use our content when, where, and how we want it all at a reasonable price. Yes, there are those that pirate because they don't want to pay but most of us are willing to pay but can't without going through major headaches. Make it simple. Netflix and Hulu are prime, albeit not perfect, examples. I think most people would be willing to pay more if the selection was bigger and we could save movies offline for later when we do not have a network connection. In other words, a TV/movie version of Spotify and Rdio.

  • by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:47PM (#40189401)
    Apparently "the public" controlled kill switch is more popular. The more these idiots screw the public, the less it supports them. I'm not necessary in favor of piracy, but the measures the likes of the *IAA keep developing only seem to punish me as an honest consumer. It keeps getting harder and harder to justify spending money on a movie when I have to deal with a bunch of crap people who pirated it don't. Nearly 10 minutes of un-skippable shit to watch a movie that I supposedly own is fucking ridiculous.
  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:47PM (#40189413) Homepage

    High quality DRM-free movie downloads at a resonable price. As in, $5 or so.

    I guarantee you most people will switch to downloading legally.

    No more "rentals" and other stupid crap like that. Most people only see a movie once, so the revenue lost by just giving them a copy is minimal.

    Most people I know stopped pirating music once legal, DRM-free downloads came about. The movie industry should do the same thing, but they're too afraid.

    • by icebike (68054) *

      High quality DRM-free movie downloads at a resonable price. As in, $5 or so.

      I guarantee you most people will switch to downloading legally.

      Don't think so. $5 is too much. Google will already let you stream a movie for about 4 Bucks [google.com] They aren't finding it as profitable as they thought. Apple wants 15 bucks but thats Apple.

      I believe the price point is closer to One dollar or Two dollars per view for a full length movie and 99 cents for a hour long tv show. That price will sell more views than theater showings, and easily earn back several hundred million dollars of production costs.

      • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:39PM (#40189959) Homepage

        It's not profitable because streaming sucks. People want to pay for something they can download and "own". I don't want to pay $5 to watch something once, and have it hiccup if the network glitches for even a second.

        Even if I only watch it once, I like knowing I have a copy of that movie on my hard drive.

        • by icebike (68054) *

          It's not profitable because streaming sucks. People want to pay for something they can download and "own". I don't want to pay $5 to watch something once, and have it hiccup if the network glitches for even a second.

          Even if I only watch it once, I like knowing I have a copy of that movie on my hard drive.

          I believe the number of people that want to "own" a movie constitute a small minority. Very small.
          Even smaller for the number that want to own tv shows.

          The thing will be in re-runs on TV in 6 months, even movies will be on TV, and DVDs will be in the clearance bins within two years, well before I would want to re-watch anything produced by hollywood.

          The streaming issues are easily worked around by most services. They let you save it on your device for veiwing later, even when offline, then the device dele

    • Most people only see a movie once

      Of course, there are exceptions, such as single-digit-year-old children who habitually rewatch a favorite animated family film. For me, back in the day, it was The Care Bears Movie.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Maybe if Hollywood made the content people want available through these services, it might decrease piracy. One of the big reasons services like iTunes and Spotify are so popular is that they have such a vast catalog of music available (and Apple in particular has been seeking out any music they dont already have the rights to so they can add it to iTunes).

      Some examples of content I am interested in viewing but am unable to legally acquire in Australia (except possibly by acquiring Foxtel and paying a fortu

  • by JAlexoi (1085785) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:56PM (#40189493) Homepage
    As much as I hate these sponsored researches, it's correct saying that piracy will not stop. However, it's also correct to say that murder will not stop as well if you take away all firearms and all sharp implements. There are just some things that they have to live with, not that they live in poverty over piracy.

    Now, question is - how much copyright infringers will you be able to convert? I bet it's enough to cover costs.

    But look, I just used the magic word at the root of it all - costs!
    It costs more to serve the major segment of copyright infringes and will erode other monetization channels. What they want is to shift the costs of defending their "right to profit" to general public. Because it's cheaper to buy off a politician, than creating and maintaining something like Netflix. Remember - a movie contains a crapload of copyrightable material that requires a separate license/agreement to reproduce a derivative over the new medium - the internet. That is why they have geographical limitations - these copyrighted materials might have been bought only for creating derivative works and distribution of the derivative works in US, because it's cheaper to buy nationwide license vs worldwide.
  • by MsWhich (2640815) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:07PM (#40189635) Homepage

    ...for people to legally get content, and you'll become ludicrously rich. In the 90s, everyone was using Napster and Limewire and whatever else to download all of their music, because the other option was going out and buying CDs, which was not easy or convenient, and often not particularly affordable.

    Now everyone downloads their music from the Internet legally, primarily via iTunes or Amazon. Why would I want to deal with the hassle of a file-sharing site, where I might download mislabeled files, files containing viruses, or even just files that were ripped with crappy settings so that the sound quality is poor, when instead I can pay a reasonable fee and instantly download a high-quality music file to the device of my choice? Easy, affordable, convenient. All of this nonsense about stopping piracy and using "kill switches" are just the dying cries of industry executives who don't realize the world has changed whether they like it or not.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:09PM (#40189667) Homepage

    ...it appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy. Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available.

    A lot of people don't really pirate right now, or don't pirate very much. Obviously if attaining legal content were utterly convenient and totally free, no one would bother pirating. So clearly there's some terms between the current availability/pricing and "utterly convenient and totally free" at which most of the current pirates wouldn't bother anymore. Let's say, for example, you had a Netflix-like service for $20/month that had every TV show and movie ever? I suspect most people would stop pirating then.

    What these industries should be studying is the trade-offs between convenience, price, and piracy that optimize both profits and customer satisfaction. They seem to be complaining that they don't think that even the optimal rate won't be profitable enough, in which case: tough beans; your product isn't worth as much as you'd like it to be.

    The results appear to support the studios' policy position that legislation is a preferable way of dealing with the issue.

    Preferable for them, maybe, but that doesn't mean it's good. If I'm selling paper towels for $50 a roll and not making money because not enough people are buying them, I don't get to go whining to the government to prop up my business with legislation.

    • Let's say, for example, you had a Netflix-like service for $20/month that had every TV show and movie ever?

      For one thing, that will always be a hypothetical until Disney finally rereleases the movie in which "Zip a Dee Doo Dah" premiered on DVD. For another, I noticed that that's cheaper than cable TV; does your $20 per month package include live programming such as Morning Joe Brewed by Starbucks and Monday Night Football?

  • "It appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy
    Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available."

    WTF?

    I have a new suggestion for the film industry: help develop a legal avenue to access copyrighted content as a way to make money. It seems that the industry is more interested in protecting the profits of its legacy customers instead of

  • download:watch ads; protest: vote; wank: pretty people: ____:____?
  • The new business model is:
    1. Hold onto IP
    2. Wait for someone to violate it
    3. Sue grandmothers and small business startups
    4. Profit!

    Seriously though, the article doesn't suggest that legal avenues aren't worth creating, simply that they're inadequate in eliminating piracy and that legislation is needed. The research mentioned is that 86% of 'persistent downloaders' pirate 'because of cost' although the article is unclear if this means that cost is merely a factor or if it's the biggest factor; it's even less

  • I've stopped pirating MP3's when I got Spotify where I have a paid premium account. I stopped pirating US TV-series since I got VPN access to Hulu, which would be a Hulu Plus account if they would accept my foreign credit card. I've stopped pirating movies since I discovered Netflix can be tricked into accepting foreign credit cards. Also recently discovered Crackle for free older movies.

    A lot of folks I know would stop pirating if the above services were made available in their country, without artificial

  • Clueless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by funkylovemonkey (1866246) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:58PM (#40190135)
    Most real pirates don't download content for free. They spend money on their internet provider, often being forced to chose more expensive options for no cap. Many subscribe to so called storage lockers like rapidshare and others which have subscription based services usually starting around $10 a month. The reason? Legal options are terrible. This was driven home to me several nights ago. My wife wanted to see the last episode of a show that she had missed last week. I said that would be easy, fired up the network website, found the episode and started streaming it. The quality was terrible but watchable. However for some reason the commercial breaks were not synced right and about a minute after the commercials the show would freeze and then fast forward two minutes. Out of a twenty minute episode we maybe were able to watch fifteen minutes of it. And then were forced to watch another five minutes of adds. Frustrated, I looked for a pirated copy of the show online, downloaded a much better quality version and streamed it to my television. No commercials, no errors in the playback, higher quality, more convenient, and it took less then five minutes to download. It seems like every time I try the legal options the experience is terrible.
  • I say screw the big government-loving liberals that control Hollywood. They've spent the last 50 years pushing an anti-property rights, pro-tax, government-worshiping (ever notice how most non-comedic TV dramas are about cops or lawyers?) agenda. Boo freaking hoo that they're IP rights are being violated. That creaking sound they're hearing is the roof about to cave in under the weight of all of the chickens roosting on it.

    • by trout007 (975317)

      The funniest thing is that the reason movies are made in Hollywood was to violate Thomas Edison's patents on movies. Edison was pretty restrictive on what types of movies that could be made. So all of the big studios you know today were started by the creative types that went West to go where enforcement of Edison's property rights were poor. There they could make the types of movies they wanted.

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:05PM (#40190207)

    Mr. Rightsholder, look. I'm an upper middle class guy in my 30s, I've got disposable income to pay for entertainment. I don't want or need to pirate stuff. But I'll be damned if I'm going to drive my ass out to Best Buy every time I want to watch a movie. So here are your choices:

    1) You can pay billions of dollars to buy senators and push through legislation to make it illegal for me to steal your content, which I'm not doing. Then you can spend billions more watching my internet connection to make sure I don't steal your content, which I won't be doing: I'll be playing video games, borrowing content from friends, or watching your competitors' video-on-demand.

    2) You can give me a legal way to pay you for your content, and I'll give you a boatload of cash.

    Option #1 means you pay. Option #2 means you get paid. How is this a difficult choice?

  • by russotto (537200) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:34PM (#40190471) Journal

    The industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea all over the world.

    Actually, that's a bit mangled. What was actually popular was "A kill switch for the industry."

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