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Crime Movies

For-Profit, Illegal Movie Download Sites Threaten MPAA 387

vossman77 writes that BitTorrent is no longer the MPAA's enemy number one. They are now more concerned about illicit, for-profit movie download sites. This reader adds, "Just a thought, but maybe if the studios offered a low-cost, for-profit, legitimate download site without DRM, they could receive the profits at the expense of the cyberlockers." "Movie fans downloading free pirated films are no longer Hollywood's worst nightmare, but that's only because of a newer menace: cheap, and equally illegal, subscription services. Foreign, often mob-run, businesses aggregate illegally obtained movies into 'cyberlockers.' Cyberlocker-based businesses operate from Russia, Ukraine, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, and elsewhere. ... Hollywood movies are made available via illegal for-profit sites within days of theatrical release, while the advent of global releasing now allows the proliferation of individual titles into an array of language dubs within the first month of a theatrical debut. ... When movies are released on DVD and Blu-ray disc, the sites upgrade the quality of video offered from camcorded images to pristine digital copies. 'Sometimes these sites look better than the legitimate sites,' Huntsberry said. 'That's the irony.'"
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For-Profit, Illegal Movie Download Sites Threaten MPAA

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  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @03:27PM (#32657038)

    argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina has a free pass to US IP.

    Yeah... that would be Antigua [boingboing.net], not Argentina.

  • by Peach Rings ( 1782482 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @03:28PM (#32657044) Homepage

    I do remember something about the US screwing over some small country recently so WIPO issued sanctions saying that they wouldn't be expected to enforce US copyright law in that country for a period of time. Essentially they have the approval of the international community to pirate whatever they want from the US and they don't have to pay licensing. It wasn't Argentina though.

  • by spamuell ( 1208984 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @03:43PM (#32657246)
    The article is hosted at movies.yahoo.com, and in turn their source is the CEO of Paramount. Is there any reason to believe that these are used nearly as widely as either claim?

    This just seems like PR to try to influence people to view those involved in illegal downloading as serious criminals.
  • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @03:45PM (#32657272)

    Your so-called "so-called piracy" is what other people call theft.

    And they are incorrect. Call it copyright infringement.

  • by thue ( 121682 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @03:45PM (#32657274) Homepage

    As I understand it, AllOfMP3 was offering to send money back to the artists, as required under the Russian broadcasting law it was operating under. Hence it should not be a surprise that the servers were in Russia. It is not clear that buying music from AllOfMP3 was amoral or illegal, IMO.

    It was just RIAA which was refusing to accept the money, because RIAA though they were entitled to more money.

  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @03:52PM (#32657352) Journal

    As these sites do not look questionable, why wouldn't they?

    I mean, come on, it is not like the site is named "Illegal-movie-copies.com" nor does the "about us" page say "Proud subsidiary of the Russian mob."

  • Re:just a thought... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mangu ( 126918 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @03:54PM (#32657368)

    some consumers will always pick the lowest-cost, for-least-profit distribution channel, which will almost certainly never be the original studios as their business model concerns first recovering a large investment

    Every consumer always picks the lowest cost, that's what they call the "market". The studios business model concerns greed, that's all. A successful movie recovers the investment in the first week at the theaters, everything after that is profit.

    The problem with the studios is called "Hollywood accounting" [wikipedia.org]. Since so much of their costs is services, paid to companies in the same cartel, they can juggle the accounts in order to pay less to artists and outside investors.

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @04:09PM (#32657586) Journal

    It was the WTO doing the screwing not WIPO. The country is Antigua and it was about online gambling and a serious lack of knowledge on how the US government structure works.

    And the ruling is only to the effect that the US can't create embargoes or trade sanctions against them because of pirating activity. It doesn't absolve them from individual lawsuits from the owners of the copyrighted materials as those treaties and protections from them are separate and complete by another organization altogether (WIPO as you already suggested). A company or person in Antigua can pirate something, then be arrested and criminally charged if they enter the US or any territory the US controls. Civil lawsuits can also be pursued against them if their pirating happens or extends to any US jurisdiction including other WIPO member states due to provisions in the wtc and wppt treaties.

  • I think you are missing the point entirely. I specifically stated that I wasn't trying to argue that the pirates are justified, and yet you're responding as if I had. I just said that the copyright system was broken, and that your statement had exemplified how and why it was broken. Now, I know I did state that the copyright holders were a bigger problem than the pirates, but I was not doing this from the standpoint that pirates were not a problem, nor that the copyright holders were losing themselves more money, nor anything else where your response would have made sense.
  • by Daniel_Staal ( 609844 ) <DStaal@usa.net> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @04:20PM (#32657730)

    Having grown up overseas, in countries where the 'official' release was likely to never happen at all...

    You seriously under-estimate the quality possible with a camcorder in movie theater. Sure, some were dim, unsteady, and with people walking in front of them. Others were absolutely pristine, and in full VHS quality. (DVDs weren't common yet. I assume they could get near-DVD quality these days if they want.) It was often hard to tell if a movie was legit or not.

    (Of course, these were the movies rented from the movie rental store in the biggest mall downtown. So it wasn't like they were hiding what they were doing.)

  • by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @04:37PM (#32657894) Journal

    you mean like Hulu?

    Hulu is broken - it does not work in most of the world. If it did, there would probably be fewer of the illegal download sites.

    The illegal download sites probably try to work fine just about everywhere. Maybe China's Great Firewall can block them, but might not bother (perhaps just the politically undesirable movies).

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @05:12PM (#32658386) Journal

    As I understand it, AllOfMP3 was offering to send money back to the artists, as required under the Russian broadcasting law it was operating under. Hence it should not be a surprise that the servers were in Russia. It is not clear that buying music from AllOfMP3 was amoral or illegal, IMO.

    AllOfMP3 maintained that it can operate under existing Russian laws that are intended to cover radio broadcasts, which was always a rather dubious assertion. The fact that you don't see AllOfMP3 online anymore shows that its legality was, at best, not crystal clear.

  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@nospAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @07:53PM (#32660028)

    Is copyright infringement somehow not as bad as theft?


    Is it because theft is something that those gang-bangers do in the bad part of town (therefore "I'm not a thief like them") and copyright infringement an acceptable highbrow, victimless, "non-crime" ("I may have downloaded the .mp3, but the content creator still has the .mp3, so I didn't steal anything.")?

    No, it's because theft takes something from another's possession and denies them use of it, while copyright infringement does not.

    What's with the whole nonsensical hair splitting about theft or infringement?

    Because they're two different things whose only real similarity is outcome. You might as well ask "what's with the whole nonsensical hair splitting about involuntary manslaughter or premeditated murder".

  • Re:Crime Pays (Score:1, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @09:17PM (#32660592) Journal

    Weed is better than alcohol because it doesn't leave you hung over.

    That rather depends on the weed in question. Schwag will leave you with a nasty hangover that's every bit as bad as anything you've ever done to yourself while drinking. It's actually worse in a way because it comes with a 'burnt out' feeling that alcohol induced hang-overs rarely produce. Low grade weed is worse than low grade alcohol because it isn't nearly as effective at producing the desired result. 80 proof well vodka will get you drunk as effectively as 80 proof Gray Goose. Schwag won't get you as stoned as chronic no matter how much of it you smoke.....

    At least that's what I've heard. I have no first hand experience of course ;)

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson