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Why Internet Pirates Always Win 360

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-make-their-enemies-walk-the-plank dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nick Bilton writes in the NY Times about how the fight against online piracy is 'like playing the world's largest game of Whac-A-Mole.' While this will come as no surprise to Slashdot readers, it's interesting to see how mainstream sources are starting to realize how pointless and ineffective the war on piracy actually is. Bilton writes, 'The copyright holders believe new laws will stop this type of piracy. But many others believe any laws will just push people to find creative new ways of getting the content they want. "There's a clearly established relationship between the legal availability of material online and copyright infringement; it's an inverse relationship," said Holmes Wilson, co-director of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit technology organization that is trying to stop new piracy laws from disrupting the Internet. "The most downloaded television shows on the Pirate Bay are the ones that are not legally available online." The hit HBO show Game of Thrones is a quintessential example of this. The show is sometimes downloaded illegally more times each week than it is watched on cable television. But even if HBO put the shows online, the price it could charge would still pale in comparison to the money it makes through cable operators. Mr. Wilson believes that the big media companies don't really want to solve the piracy problem.'"
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Why Internet Pirates Always Win

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  • Because, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Havenwar (867124) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:25AM (#40885491)

    wenches.

    • HBO is owned by Time Warner cable. HBO costs $15 a month. Time Warner won't let HBO do a standalone subscription online because they would lose the sweet money from cable subscriptions and partner agreements.

      If HBO were allowed to charge a subscription fee for access to HBO GO without subscribing to cable, I would pay it as would many others.
      The reason they won't do this is because HBO GO relies on the delivery infrastructure of cable and satellite providers exclusively.

      I have never seen a company so unwilling to sell their service to a market of people willing to buy.

      This is why we need communications regulations and a stronger FCC.

      • government is the source of all problems in the market!

        without government around, the large players will treat small players and consumers nicely!

        free market fundamentalist WHARGARBBBLLL...

        (the last remark should indicate that i am being facetious to those who are humor impaired)

      • We need to find a way for them to make the same amount of money. Looking at Game of Thrones, the cost of the show has been enormous and in some cases kept them from filming scenes we'd love to see (fight scenes!). Saying "we are going to force you to offer your product in a medium where your profits will go down" is not going to help.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by devaudio (596215)
        Time Warner Cable (TWC) Does NOT own HBO -- Time Warner Entertainment (TWX) owns it - whilst sharing a name, and about a 20% stake of Time Warner Cable, these are completely separate companies
      • by xigxag (167441)

        TIme Warner Inc. (TWX), which owns HBO and many other premium properties, and Time Warner Cable (TWC), which owns the Time Warner cable network that cable users pay for monthly, are two separate companies, and have been so since 2009.

      • HBO is owned by Time Warner cable.

        Stop right there. Your fundamental premise is false. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:36AM (#40885547)

    I am a Netflix subscriber in UK, yet I get less than half of the content that a US subscriber gets, even though I pay the same. Even when I want to watch the content that is available to me, it is not always easy. For example, I commute to work and that is the best time for me to maybe catch up on a TV series or a film. Yet, there is no easy way for me to access the content that I am already paying for as part my subscription. Streaming doesn't work particularly well on the intermittent 3G connection I get while commuting, so ability to play offline is an absolute must. Yet I find that there is no way for me to do so short of buying the same DVDs that I are already included in my subscription.

    On the other hand, I could just pirate the content and it would work everywhere I need to play it without a hitch. So tell me again, how are you doing it right?

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      I'm in a similar position. I spend a lot of time working away from home. I have a portable media player that I can plug into a television, and a large number of files in a DRM free format, mostly illegally acquired. Works great for me.

      If I could download them for a fee, then I might, but I want the same level of flexibility otherwise the service is useless to me.

      The only downloadable media option I've seen was the "triple play" offer on certain blu-rays. This seemed to be completely worthless. I'm
    • by Nemyst (1383049)

      I want to buy music in Canada. My only reliable source seems to be iTunes. I do not want to use iTunes. PureTracks doesn't always have what I want, and I have yet to find another store with the same breadth of content as iTunes.

      On the flip side, a little hop onto BitTorrent gives me high quality MP3s or FLACs of all the music I want, quickly.

      Why should I go through the hassle of dealing with shitty websites or horrible applications again?

    • by Abreu (173023) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @11:24AM (#40886321)

      I am a Netflix subscriber in UK, yet I get less than half of the content that a US subscriber gets...

      You are lucky to get half of US Content. Here in Mexico, Netlix started out almost a year ago and for a monthly fee of $100pesos (about $7.40 dollars) we only get old movies and tv series, all of them dubbed (nothing earlier than 2 years old).

      But oh boy, we have the entire Televisa catalog for free! Thousands of telenovelas from the eighties and nineties! (Yuck)

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:44AM (#40885595)
    The keepers of copyright could only "win" if they get public sentiment on their side - an attribute they have never managed to achieve and don't seem to value.

    While high-profile people (politicians, the press) occasionally pontificate about how "bad" piracy is - frequently under pressure from the vested interests who pull their strings, none of the ordinary people actually believe, or care.

    The biggest reason that the general public are not on the side of defending copyright is partly because of the adversarial attitude the BIG media adopt, partly because BIG media are not seen as being sympathetic to their artists - who don't get to see much, if any, benefit from additional copyright fee collections, but mostly because ordinary people can't see any benefit to themselves.

    If the copyright holders were to take a more sensible, open approach and show a direct link between the copyright fees they collect and real artists (not multi-millionaire celebs) making a living from those royalties - with maybe a small "fee" taken by the media businesses themselves, then I reckon the public would view copyright fees like restaurant tips - directly benefitting the people who merit them, rather than just buying a few more snorts of coke for some anonymous fat-cats.

    • by punit_r (1080185) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:01AM (#40885689)

      If the copyright holders were to take a more sensible, open approach and show a direct link between the copyright fees they collect and real artists (not multi-millionaire celebs) making a living from those royalties - with maybe a small "fee" taken by the media businesses themselves, then I reckon the public would view copyright fees like restaurant tips - directly benefitting the people who merit them, rather than just buying a few more snorts of coke for some anonymous fat-cats.

      Agreed !

      A good example of this is Louis C K [slashdot.org]. The best part, a Paramount Exec Al Perry [slashdot.org] claimed that Louis C K could have earned more with DRM !

      Another example is Russel Peters, who gives a lot of credit to pirated videos (on YouTube) of his early career performances.

    • by houghi (78078) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:09AM (#40885731)

      Not only that. The chance of getting caught is relatively small. Also we have been taught that sharing is a GOOD thing. Making a CD for somebody else is seen as romantic Even in movies and on TV this is projected as such.
      The thing that comes closest is cheating on a test, where you copy information. However when you were ill and somebody copied the notes for you, then it is seen a good deed.

      So copying in itself is not a bad thing. Sharing is often seen as a good thing on a human level.

      Also do not forget that the copyright holders are interested in defending the copyright holders. The artists are just a cost they they need to deal with.

  • It's not a like game, because the *AA can change the rules when they want (or at least try to)!

    • by Havenwar (867124)

      Actually the likeness is accurate. The *AA can't change the game, but they can "cheat" by using a different mallet... However they seem to be misunderstanding how they could profit from this - they spend all their time changing the 'rules' so they get a bigger and bigger mallets, making them slower and slower and hitting less and less moles... in other words they care more about absolutely smashing the mole they target to bits than directly hitting the others. Their idea is that this will be a deterrent.

      The

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:59AM (#40885669)

    What does an "Internet pirate" do? Capture IP packets and hold the bits for ransom?

  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:00AM (#40885681) Journal
    The pirate bay is accessible from any geographical zone. No legal provider is. Piracy is my only way to get the US-centric references on Slashdot and Reddit.

    Currently, only "piracy" (it used to be called sharing) venues understand what internet is : a transnational network designed to transmit information without geographical discrimination. There seems to be no legal venue who understood that feature. I want to be able to download a drm-less version of any French, English, Japanese version of any movie that is available. I'll pay for that, but I won't pay for something that is of lower quality than what piracy can provide. In particular, I'll refuse to pay for ads. I feel this is an unacceptable "fuck you" to have unskippable ads on a support you bought.

    There are lot of laws to change, but not the ones copyright lobbyists focus on. They have to make it easier to make deals for international distribution. Seriously, geographical distribution deals have no sense nowadays. If you want a meaningful frontier, separate rights of different linguistic version, but don't prevent me from getting stuff in original version at the same time that most slashdotters have them available.

    Thanks.
  • Greed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SilenceBE (1439827) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:05AM (#40885709)
    The problems is that those media companies are extremely greedy.

    When people tend to say that the prices are high, you get the classic remark that a cost of zero is still more interesting then any price you would put onto a product. But I'm not that convinced. I'm sure there is a certain spot which you can convert people who download to paying customers.

    I have about > 90 blu ray movies and a lot of box sets, but I do have my share of "free" stuff. The difference is that the things that I have bought come from sales (5 a 10€) or are imported from the UK and are the prices that I'm willing to pay.

    The problem is that the "legal" way is just darn to expensive sometimes. For example I was searching for a particularly blu ray and they asked about 30 euro's for it (40 dollars) which I find way to high for 2 hours of entertainment. Then sorry I just rather take my sailboat and fish it out of the sea.

    Unfortunately something that I witnessed is that the entertainment industry also seen the light and while in the beginning they dropped all the languages and subtitles on the blu ray - you know the sales argument everything could fit onto the disc - it seems they know are putting less languages and subtitles on to the disc mainly to discourage import.
    • Re:Greed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @10:11AM (#40886001) Homepage
      It's not just about the price. There are two other factors that the media companies don't seem to get too clearly, either - convenience, which they do seem to have an inkling about, and timeliness, that is the most often overlooked. Since HBO & "Game of Thrones" seem to have been nominated as the standard case study for this, let's use that. Both of those also have a bearing on what the market might be prepared to pay for a legal download. As soon as a new episode airs in the US, the boards, forums, wikis, and everything else get updated within a matter of hours. This matters a lot for GoT, because while the overall storyline is following the books there are discrepencies that by implication rule out some of the theories people have about the way things might go based on what is in the books.

      So, what's an overseas fan (or just one who may well have an HBO subscription, but is frequently travelling outside the US) supposed to do? Avoid anything connected with GoT online between the US airdate and their regional airdate, which may in some cases be after the next series starts airing in the US, starting the cycle anew? Nope. They are going to try and download it from the 'Net (duh!), and HBO has been held up as the poster child [theoatmeal.com] as to why that isn't likely to be legally viable, so the obvious final stop is the torrents. But what's a studio supposed to do? RTFComic! It should be obvious:
      1. Make episodes available, globally, on day #1, both to air and download. It's not like you have to ship reals of film anymore; the whole world is just an Internet file transfer away.
      2. Recognise that some people might not have access to reliable cable when they want to view, and make off-line viewing possible.
      3. Make them easy to download based on having a valid account, not from being in a given location.
      4. Don't insist downloaders have a cable subscription also (is this just HBO Go doing this?). See points #2 & #3.
      5. You can charge a premium for downloads for the first few days (week?), reducing the price when the next episode airs or the DVDs etc. ship.
      6. Get non-English (or whatever language the show was shot in) sub-titled/dubbed versions out as soon as they are available.
      7. Be realistic about pricing - you are competing with free but not strictly legal. Incentivize; pay up front for the season rather than per-episode, get a discount. Offer discounts on the box-sets (there's no middleman, so why not?). How much will depend on the show, but even GoT isn't going to be able to get away with a cost of more than a couple of dollars per epsiode before too many people head for the Torrents.
      8. Feel free to fingerprint downloads so you can tie them back to an account and sue the ass off anyone who uploads their downloads to the 'Net at large. Just make that clear in the ToS and on the download page.

      HBO can pretty much do all of that, today, with the infrastructure they have for HBO Go, today, albeit with a considerable amount of additional bandwidth provision being required if it doesn't work. So, why not? It's all additional revenue that they weren't going to be getting before, so does the math really work out such that the offsets in losses from people who decide HBO Go is all they need and dump their cable subscriptions will cost HBO more than all of the GLOBAL audience that they reach for no significant extra outlay? Or can't they make it work with overseas distributors? What's wrong with telling them "We'll be making GoT Season #4 available globally to air and online to HBO Go subscribers in English from the end of March 2013, so you might want to arrange any dubbing/subtitling you want and arrange your local scheduling accordingly." Seriously, I can't figure out why they are not already doing this, unless it really is that they are short sighted idiots who still haven't realised that the world changed for them about a decade ago and they'd better get with the times. Can someone fill me in, please?

      • by fa2k (881632)

        Indeed they are missing out on a huge amount of hype by delaying global releases. TV and movie references all over the internet ( social sites). I haven't pirated any shows recently, but when the legal release comes in my country, I'll be like "meh". At least, there will be no sense of urgency -- if it's good TV I may want to watch it, but I can get a used DVD or soemthing.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:23AM (#40885795) Journal

    Before we had a handful of channels, and you could select which shows you wanted to watch from them. Then cable came out, and the variety increased, but so did the cost to the consumer, and so an increasing demand for a-la-carte channel selection came about. In some jurisdictions, recent changes have made true a-la-carte programming imminent.

    But today, many people have very busy lives, and are often too busy to watch more than perhaps a handful of TV shows each week. It's far from unheard of for people to simply "cut the cord" and do without television entirely, simply because there are not enough programs on the available networks to justify the expense.

    I think, therefore, the time is ripe that we need to move even beyond a-la-carte channel selection, and instead directly to a concept of subscribing to individual television programs - where you can choose exactly which programs you want streamed to your PVR, to be watched at your convenience anytime after they are broadcast (or during, of course). Why should a person pay the full price of having HBO available to them 24 hours a day, for example, if they are only ever interested in watching a single program on that station? Obviously, for anything more than a handful of shows on a given network, it would likely become more economical to simply subscribe to the entire station, but in an age where it's not very uncommon to find people who've cut off their cable entirely, simply because they found they were only watching TV a couple of hours each week, I think that this kind of model is going to make a lot of sense.

    This would also have the upshot of giving tv show producers a clearer picture of just how many people are actually watching a given television show, basedon subscription figures. Instead of only monitoring which tv stations particular homes that are part of the Nielson group are tuned to at various times throughout the day, and deducing which TV programs that they are watching or recording, and then extrapolating that to deduce what the greater population is watching, they could instead know directly which programs that a potentially much larger demographic watch.

    This wouldn't completely eliminate the need for things like the Nielson group, though... which would be capable of monitoring what time of day people are actually watching their televisions... information that would doubtless be of great value to both content creators and advertisers.

    Just my 2c. Er... nickel. I understand Canada is getting rid of its penny within the year.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:30AM (#40885821) Homepage

    They can't really be THAT stupid after all this can they? Sure, the bottom feeders with their trolling and settlements are feeding furiously and all. But if the cable companies realize they need to give it away for free to stay in business, then the MPAA also must know what they need to do to remain relevant and in business... or that they can't.

    Call me conspiracy theory nut, but I see this as a pretext to criminalizing and penalizing free speech on the internet. "Of course we never hear from AnonymousX or AnonymousY any more... they downloaded music and video and got busted..." Yeah... that's what happened I'm sure.

    We *ALL* do it and if a few of us doesn't it's because they are idiots. When it becomes criminal to do what everyone does, then everyone becomes a criminal. See where this is going? "Felony filesharing!! You can't vote!! You can't work!! You can't live a decent life like the rest of us superior beings... go back and work for your slave wages under our justification."

    • by russotto (537200)

      They can't really be THAT stupid after all this can they? Sure, the bottom feeders with their trolling and settlements are feeding furiously and all. But if the cable companies realize they need to give it away for free to stay in business, then the MPAA also must know what they need to do to remain relevant and in business... or that they can't.

      They are comic book villains with all the drawbacks of same -- including particularly blindness to when "not being an asshole" works to their advantage; villainy is

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yes, it's true that making content legally avaliable online would reduce piracy, but profits for content producers would be lower anyways. There're still no traditional TV broadcasters or movie producers that make more money online than with their traditional business, and there's no lack of experiments.

    The crude truth is that the entertainment industry - especially movie, music and TV-show producers - simply need to realize that their profits, margins and salaries will never be what they used to be in the

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:58AM (#40885929) Homepage

    They've finally alienated the entire political spectrum. I don't know a single conservative writer, thinker or activist that supports strong IP rights anymore. They've over-played their hand to the point that mainstream opinion on the political right is that they're the quintessential corporate Fascists over things like SOPA (conservative and libertarian publications were even more strident than the left over SOPA). If anything, the fact that so many people in Hollywood support big government policies and politicians while demanding the destruction of property rights and the Internet's infrastructure in the name of IP protection has made many of them think that our country needs to bankrupt all of them.

    • Technically, hewing to originalist principles of limited duration of copyright in the US is a very conservative position. One might even say reactionary.

      Ignoring their principles and pandering to well heeled lobbyists is a conservative or liberal thing only in partisan fantasy-lands.

      Both sides need to grow a pair when dealing with Disney, et al.

  • by hoboroadie (1726896) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:58AM (#40885931)

    It's ironic how often I have to clear my nytimes cookies so that I can read their stupid newspaper. I guess a true Pirate would script that.

  • by mister2au (1707664) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @10:03AM (#40885965)

    On one hand we have a profitable entertainment industry (that people love and feed) who want to retain their profits

    On the other hand we have a large group of people with a deluded sense of "entitlement":
    - i shouldn't have to wait because I'm international
    - i shouldn't have to watch advertising
    - i shouldn't have to buy a whole cable package
    - i shouldn't be limited to what device i watch it on

    So lets be honest, we (and myself included) pirate because "we want", we know there is almost no chance of being caught and view it as victimless.

    The NY Times article is interesting but is not going to change any of those fundamentals ...

    The one thing that will change piracy is either technological block (which is unlikely) or the music model of cheaper prices. Music piracy decreased dramatically since the Napster days because of single track pricing and better infrastructure.

    • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

      I mostly agree with you except one point in particular. Why can't I watch on whatever device I want? I tried to watch a tv episode that was freely available on the company's website and my device was obviously capable as I was shown an ad before the show. However, after the ad I was told my device was not supported. That makes no sense. They got the ad revenue they normally would have gotten but still refused to give me the show. Another point, what's the difference between a computer and an Xbox or iPad th

    • Since copyrights come from the consent of the governed, not from some metaphysical entity, it is clear that they have withdrawn their consent from those laws.
      • Nope ... that is FAR from clear

        AFAIK there is not a single country that has repealed copyrights laws at the bequest of its 'governed' population - there is a very VOCAL minority for sure and many/most people here would be part of that but it is still just a minority

        • There are very few kings or dictators that have stepped down at the request of the governed, that does not mean people don't want democracy.

          You really don't want to go down this line, because at the other end waits Madame La Guillotine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      > - i shouldn't be limited to what device i watch it on

      There is nothing "entitled" about this idea. It's a simple extension of Anti-Trust. It's the same kind of idea that got movie studios divested of their theatres.

      YOU nicely encapsulate the jackass mentality that erodes sympathy for Big Content among the population at large.

      YOU have no right to artistic megalomania. In fact you have no rights at all. You have a temporary statutory right that exists only to suit the public at large.

      We're not "entitled".

    • by jwhitener (198343)

      On the other hand we have a large group of people with a deluded sense of "entitlement":
      - i shouldn't have to wait because I'm international
      - i shouldn't have to watch advertising
      - i shouldn't have to buy a whole cable package
      - i shouldn't be limited to what device i watch it on

      Care to explain why any of those 'wants' are delusional? Pick one, say, international viewers. Why should they have to wait? I've never heard a good explanation. (there might be some business reasons, but I've yet to hear them described).

      It seems to me that there aren't any technological reasons or business reasons why those 'wants' couldn't be met, while *content producers* could still make money. People like Louis CK proved that point.

      Why we don't have those 'wants' met is because the media industrie

  • Touched on Briefly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @10:03AM (#40885969)

    While touched on only briefly in TFA, I believe the core of the issue is that casual pirates do want to buy content. They are just not given the ability to do so.

    Game of Thrones is the perfect example of newer content that fits this mold, but their is much older content, and more of it, that does as well.
    I went scouring Netflix, iTunes, and other sources of digital distribution for the following, and came up empty handed;

    Movies:
    Heavy Metal - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082509/ [imdb.com]
    Wizards - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076929/ [imdb.com]
    Gandahar (AKA Light Years) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095525/ [imdb.com]
    Better Off Dead - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088794/ [imdb.com]
    The Point - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067595/ [imdb.com]
    Transformers - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086817/ [imdb.com]

    Music:
    We're A Happy Family (A Tribute to the Ramones) - http://www.allmusic.com/album/were-a-happy-family-a-tribute-to-the-ramones-mw0000019796 [allmusic.com]

    TV Shows:
    Perversions of Science - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118426/ [imdb.com]
    Family Dog - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105996/ [imdb.com]
    Ren & Stimpy (60% Available) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101178/ [imdb.com]
    Spicy City - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149524/ [imdb.com]
    Tracy Ullman Show - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092469/ [imdb.com]
    Eerie, Indiana - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101088/ [imdb.com]
    Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142035/ [imdb.com]
    Amazing Stories - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088478/ [imdb.com]
    Northern Exposure - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098878/ [imdb.com]
    Aeon Flux - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111873/ [imdb.com]

    A lot of the items listed above are now considered part of American pop culture, and yet, I, as well as many others, have no means to obtain them in any format that I can readily view. I could purchase the physical media, and rip, and then stream to another device I have to buy just to show or listen to them, but that is besides the point. We have systems in place that provide some rudimentary protection to media conglomerates and provide us some content ownership (iTunes).

    If we want to discuss laws in regards to piracy, we need to consider copyright laws vs. public domain. We need an established law that states that a content owner must prove that they are making available the content they own for purchase in ALL available markets, shops, and storefronts. If a 5 year gap occurs where this is not happening (and 5 years seems like a fair time frame), then the content should become public domain.

    I will also note that historical items of American culture are being withheld from America by copyright protection. The most notable example of this is the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.
    http://motherboard.vice.com/2012/1/16/copyright-king-why-the-i-have-a-dream-speech-still-isn-t-free [vice.com]

    • by Kr1ll1n (579971)

      Also I must add that sunset provisions should be in place for copyrighted material, to ensure growth of public domain. Content does in many ways become culture, so having a generational sunset (20 years) would ensure future generations could have available the items that shaped the current one.

      • ...eventually accumulating into a mass of old stuff that starves out anything new. Think 'classic rock'.

    • We need an established law that states that a content owner must prove that they are making available the content they own for purchase in ALL available markets, shops, and storefronts.

      While most of your comment makes sense, this is clearly not practical ... These all seem to be available in DVD format (as the source of the pirated copies) so your argument appears to be that this is not suitable format for you - not sure if you'd dont own a DVD player or region coding is the issue.

      So if I understand, you are saying piracy is okay because you dont "want" to buy DVDs because you prefer digital formats?

      Or, are you are suggesting 30 year old TV shows need to be available to cater to EVERYONE'

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        You go off the rails the moment you acknowledge the fact that this material is available on DVD. The fact that it is on DVD means that it is already in a format suitable for streaming.

        If not for other laws that try to strip us of our personal property rights, the technology to "build our own iTunes" would be commonplace. We would not need Amazon or iTunes because we could all do for ourselves with minimal fuss or effort.

        It's like Music CDs: it's already digital.

        If that list of yours seems rediculous then I

  • So... HBO stands to make more from airing the show on the networks, than they ever could garner from selling the show directly to a much larger audience. Interesting, I had no idea.... and I wonder why.

    Is it because of the ads? Is it the g^@-damn ads again? Pardon my French, but the only thing that is starting to annoy me more than the ads themselves is the way whole economic models begin to depend on them. The same thing that gives a silly free social network site a 100 billion dollar price tag...
    • by bgfay (5362)

      And as with piracy, aren't the methods for eliminating ads going to increase? I tape delay the Olympics when I watch because I HAVE to have the ability to skip the commercials. I honestly can't stand them and won't watch. YouTube has become polluted with them too and I go there less and less. Have we reached the tipping point when a half hour network show is less than 20 minutes long?

  • I played Millipede until I ran my entire family dry of quarters. And the better I got at it, the more mushrooms appeared.

    HBO is playing the same game. I wonder how long their quarters will last.

  • The media industry has time... in fact, they've had a LOT of time... to get a handle on this situation. People want what they want... and people are lazy. People will pay money for something that's easier. People will even break the law if that makes their lives easier. So, as the media industry enacts more and more laws to try prevent piracy, they are completely missing the point... their real mistake is that they are making it harder and harder to get their content, so more people turn to piracy.

    The techn
  • by CanEHdian (1098955) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @11:06AM (#40886247)

    What never comes up is that most pirated content gets paid for, eventually. I say 'most' because content that is out-of-print will of course not get paid for.

    But BigBlockBuster movie comes out in theatres on the big screens; if you download it, you can see it now on your smaller screen and not pay for it. I can see you do this for a movie that is mainly people talking to each other, but not for a movie like the Hobbit, Star Trek "2", etc. It's up to the creator to make it interesting to go out and see it on the big screen, not because that's the only option you have, but because it's so AWESOME. That requires quite a bit of "umdenken" on Hollywood's part.

    If you have what's here the Movie Network package (mine includes HBO Canada), once that movie is premiered on TMN, you paid the creators through your subscription dollars. At that moment in time, the 'damage' is undone: you watched the movie on your small screen, and you paid for it. After that, it will appear on a premium cable channel you might subscribe to (pay or pay again). Then it will appear on the regular OTA channels (carrying fee and/or advertising dollars generated through products you buy). After that it will appear every now and then on various channels, again advertising dollars.

    Unless you're really off the consumer radar, eventually some of your money will end up with the creators of content, like it or not (i.e. Uwe Boll movies on Netflix).

  • Mr. Wilson believes that the big media companies don't really want to solve the piracy problem.

    And this is why I don't really feel sorry for content providers.

    Of course they don't want to solve the piracy problem. They aren't bound by "free market forces" because they have an exclusive government-enforced monopoly on their product. That means that they can manipulate the market and set prices, and they don't really face competition of another vendor offering the same product for less. As a result, in short, they can charge much more than most of us would really be willing to pay, and to some exte

  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @11:27AM (#40886347)

    ... the piracy problem solved.

    Because enforcement costs them nothing.

    The cost of achieving an equilibrium between legal and pirated content online depends on the marginal cost of the enforcement needed to secure that one additional copy. But since that costs them (essentially*) zero, their response is to have the gov't pursue everyone.

    *Lobbying for SOPA and PIPA is relatively cheap, considering what a Congressman goes for in the used market these days.

    • That which is underpriced, is over-consumed. In this case, government fiat is over-consumed by the content pipe industry.
  • Why would the various entertainment industries want to stop piracy? They're making a killing off the legal extortion racket. One "settled" case is worth what, 500 months worth of paid services? They know they're not going to stop people from pirating, so they just created a way to monetize it.

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