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Movie Industry: Loss of Control Worse Than Piracy 360

tlhIngan writes "Miramax CEO Mike Lang has admitted to what we all suspected. The biggest worry is a distribution monopoly, not piracy. They saw what happened to the music industry with iTunes, and vowed to not lose control and be at the mercy of Apple or whoever becomes the dominant distributor. From the article: 'Lang, whose company today debuts the Blu-Ray version of the cult classic Pulp Fiction, emphasized that people don’t necessarily want to pirate, as long as they get what they want. “Innovate or die,” should be the motive of entertainment industry companies, where it’s key to listen to customers.'"
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Movie Industry: Loss of Control Worse Than Piracy

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  • by joaommp ( 685612 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:28PM (#37634722) Homepage Journal

    ... is that the quantity of movies even worth watching is decreasing by the minute, let alone the quantity of movies that might be worth pirating.

  • Innovate or Die? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Freaky Spook ( 811861 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:31PM (#37634742)

    Why innovate when you can legislate?

    That seems to be what is going on these days.

  • by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:38PM (#37634792)

    Not only that most customers are clueless morons. In the game industry they support - MMO's, DRM, and DLC. I remember when everyone was pissed that game companies had the nerve to charge you full price for an MMO while it was an online game and they charge you monthly. The fact that most people are so clueless and take it up the arse has pushed the game industry in hugely negative direction with games being chained to online and DLC'd to death.

  • MPAA are morons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewsenews ( 251487 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:39PM (#37634800) Homepage
    i honestly tried to grasp the logic set forth in the article but all i can see is "wahhhh we don't like the itunes model". if you don't want to get swallowed by itunes like the music industry did, create your own digital storefront. you never will because this implies actually building something rather than sitting back and letting the royalty checks flow in, you lazy, litigious, delusional assholes
  • Well.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:40PM (#37634804) Homepage

    Had the music industry not insisted on DRM, iTunes would have never had anything like the power it ended up with..

  • by tonywong ( 96839 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:47PM (#37634854) Homepage
    The only reason they don't like iTunes is because it busted up their cartel. Period.

    Given the choice between piracy (no income) and losing control (to Apple) they'd rather pick piracy. That is how bereft of thought these guys are, that there is no choice for them but to pick one or the other. No wonder Steve came in and took their lunch money.
  • by blarkon ( 1712194 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:47PM (#37634856)

    In the past people might throw a buck at a creator if they pirated something because they felt a little bad about it. Today, with piracy normalized (hey everyone does it), most people don't feel any nagging sense that they might have done something "not right" when they consume a creator's output without providing any form of compensation.

    This is because deep down most people believe that entertainment is an optional extra. People make the rational decision when given the option of paying for it or not paying for it. They save their resources and pay for the necessities.

    Perhaps in the long run, people will be less likely to invest in creating expensive entertainment ( lets face it, the SyFy Channel has pretty much bailed on it already because their existing "make money on the DVD sales" model collapsed). Whether the lack of expensively produced entertainment is actually a bad thing is another discussion entirely.

  • Nice quote... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @10:52PM (#37634888)

    people don’t necessarily want to pirate, as long as they get what they want.

    If you admit that, why do you refuse to give people what they want?

    I want to convert my media into various formats for playback on various devices without DRM fouling the process.

    I want to import your media into my video library and never have to physically sort through media to watch what I want (though I do like having shelved copies of media to see, I don't actually want to have to deal with them day to day).

    I want to play your content locally, rather than streaming it over my internet connection and incur the wrath of lower bitrates, slow seeking, and service outages right when I want to watch something.

    I want to manage all my content in a single place and not have to open a different application or website depending on which publisher/distributer just happened to kind of/sort of give it to me.

    Currently, I can have *all* of this, but only if I either go through the tedium of keeping up with how to remove DRM which frequently requires peculiar setups I may or may not have, or download it from someone who has too much time on their hands and breaks your DRM anyway. For me the problem is not that I don't want to pay for the content, it's that the quality of the illegal content is higher than the legal. I do actually refrain entirely because I just don't feel like going through the trouble legally or illegally, it's just not worth my time and energy. That could easily change if movies were as manageable as mp3s purchased through itunes or amazon.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:08PM (#37634976) Homepage

    There is simply no point in remaking Footloose when I can probably buy the original in the $5 bargain bin at Walmart.

    Piracy is not the biggest threat to Hollywood, their own back catalog is.

  • Re:Well.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:11PM (#37634990) Homepage

    That is truly delicious iRony there...

  • by airfoobar ( 1853132 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:20PM (#37635032)
    If what you say were true the industries in question wouldn't be having record breaking profits every year for the past several years. Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and similar services would never have gotten off the ground. iTunes wouldn't be selling mp3s if people weren't willing to "throw a buck at the creator" -- where "creator" is used very loosely in this particular context -- and movie studio bosses wouldn't be complaining about how BIG iTunes has gotten if people didn't want to pay for its services. You wouldn't have studies showing that pirates spend more on entertainment than the average person (which makes sense, because they are the ones who actually spend more time on entertainment). The "piracy is killing X" line has been repeated enough times in the past century and every time it turned out to be a big lie, please stop repeating it already.
  • Re:Step 1, no DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:26PM (#37635066)

    'll pay, really. If netflix streamed what they have on mail request i'd stop torrenting altogether

    I'll up you one.

    I hate advertisements, water marks, and disruptive in-show advertisements SO MUCH, that I would pay Netflix $75-100 per month for full streaming access to everything they have, plus recent TV shows.

    Does not have to be 1080p either. 720p is just fine.

    Does not have to be all the TV shows either. Something like 20 shows for $14.99, 40 shows for 24.99$, etc. I get to pick them.

    As long as you deliver me that content without advertisements, and in an easy consumable fashion, I will PAY MORE.

    I am not interested in maintaining a huge inventory of DVDs any longer. I can rip them, but it costs me 5-7 gigs each to store them. Of course, I use RAID and NAS. My actual costs of maintaining DRM free access to my DVDs is ultimately more than $50 per month once I factor in hardware costs.

    The only drawback, is that I cannot maintain perfect anonymity (cash purchases) about what I watch. However, I would give that up (which is huge to me) just to be able to access larger catalogues of movies on demand and not pay for the costs of personal storage.


  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <<bassbeast1968> <at> <>> on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:30PM (#37635074) Journal

    Wil Wheaton nailed it when he said "make it simple, make it cheap, and folks WILL buy it. Make it expensive and a pain to use? people will just BT". he gave a perfect example, he bought the Doctor Who episodes on iTunes and then when he crossed the Canadian border his videos wouldn't play so his first thought was 'If I would have just pirated it i'd be watching my shows now".

    And THAT kind of bullshit is the problem. There are plenty of shows I'd buy online if they would give me them as .avi files to where i could just drop it on my thumbstick and play it on my netbook, or go to my dad's and stick it in his Nbox so we could watch together, but they won't so i just buy DVDs from the bargain bin and rip them to avi. This means there are plenty of shows I WOULD have bought but just decided it was too much of a PITA to deal.

    The sooner they accept that piracy exists because they are offering an inferior product the better. That was something Jobs got when it came to media, make it simple, make it cheap, make it easy, and folks buy. Make it a stupid DRM infested royal PITA? Kiss those dollars goodbye.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:42PM (#37635144)

    Not only that most customers are clueless morons. In the game industry they support - MMO's, DRM, and DLC. I remember when everyone was pissed that game companies had the nerve to charge you full price for an MMO while it was an online game and they charge you monthly. The fact that most people are so clueless and take it up the arse has pushed the game industry in hugely negative direction with games being chained to online and DLC'd to death.

    Actually, customers know exactly what they want, and the gaming industry prices itself accordingly. Just because you don't agree with a price scheme doesn't mean everyone else is clueles. It only means that you don't value the service(s) provided in the same way they do. The game industry will only price games at what people will pay - that is the law of supply and demand, and it won't change just because you think it's stupid.

  • by omglolbah ( 731566 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:01AM (#37635226)

    Hear Hear!

    I already paid for the movie, stop nagging about stealing a car...!

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:28AM (#37635330) Homepage Journal

    While they're at it, they need to drop the un-skipable commercials and the stupid FBI warnings (great, I buy it like I'm supposed to and they thank me with an up-front threat). Next up, they can stop screwing with the hardware. Their stupid (and broken) encryption demands is why you can't instantly switch video feeds. They add cost to every device and kill innovation.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <<bassbeast1968> <at> <>> on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:51AM (#37635430) Journal

    Hell you want to talk about killing innovation look no further than the Nbox. if you haven't tried one they are great, a little box you plug a USB drive into and voila! your movies play. Great for someone like my dad. But the way the bullshit laws are there is no way to legally get content for it thanks to DMCA and DRM copyright bullshit.

    There should be an .avi file on every DVD, in fact there should be two: One widescreen and the other 4x3 format, so folks like my dad could just pop in the disk and drag their new movie in .avi form straight to their Nbox. Real came up with a player that would have made things that simple, but even though it kept copyright protection (basically it just made a disk image) the courts shut them down, thanks to the lovely bribery result that is DMCA.

    Just one more way they are holding everyone back and fucking themselves at the same time. my dad loves old war pictures and cop shows. if he could just pop onto Amazon and buy the movies and shows for an affordable price in .avi, so he could just click and drag onto his Nbox? He'd be buying movies and shows constantly. But because he has to call me, have me come pick up the disc, format shift it for him, and put it on his Nbox? he doesn't bother unless it is something he really really REALLY wants to watch. So there is another pile of sales just pissed away, all thanks to DRM horseshit.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @01:12AM (#37635530) Journal

    Control of distribution is what has built these media empires. Essentially the studios as we have known them for eighty or ninety years will cease to exist.

    I'm not sure why anyone should shed a tear. People will always want movies, what will they care if it's production companies backed by Sony or by Amazon and Apple making them? Besides, the movie industry has for so long been so filled with such colossal frauds and criminals, whose accounting practices should pretty much land every producer in the greater Los Angeles area in prison for everything from mail fraud to extortion, that I think it's high time some new blood was injected.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @01:15AM (#37635546) Journal

    Well, to be fair, it was Napster, Kazaa, Limewire and Bittorrent that scared the living crap out of the music industry and Apple was there at the gate to go "Now there there, Mr. Music Industry, yes you've been horribly ass-raped by the pirates. Just give us a big discount on your material, and we'll sell it legit."

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @02:17AM (#37635922)

    "Now there there, Mr. Music Industry, yes you've been horribly ass-raped by the pirates. Just give us a big discount on your material, and we'll sell it legit."

    I think music (and movies) had already been devalued (by market saturation, cassette taping, CDR's and the internet successively) and Apple just came along with a pricing model that was based in reality instead of wishful thinking. You can't fight "supply and demand" and win.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @06:09AM (#37636898) Journal

    So? Newsflash: DVDs and BluRays end up on torrent servers as soon as they're released too. Some people pirate because they have an entitlement mentality. You can probably stop them pirating if you make every copy you sell locked down with invasive DRM, but getting them to pay is a lot harder and you'll probably piss off a lot of paying customers in the process. Some people pirate because you are not selling them what they want. Sell them DRM-free downloads at a reasonable price and they'll become paying customers.

    But then, we're talking about the movie industry. Their entire business model is 'don't give the customer what they want'. They delay DVD releases because 'it would cannibalise cinema revenue'. This, translated, means 'a lot of people would rather buy the DVD than go to the cinema'. Not really surprising given how small the quality difference between a half decent (but still cheap) home cinema setup and a real cinema is these days. So, having identified a market, they intentionally don't fill it. The result? People who want to see the film during the time when the studio is hyping the crap out of it with millions of dollars of advertising but don't want to go to the cinema pirate it.

    American TV shows are even worse. The region 1 DVD release is usually 6 months after the end and the region 2 release comes even later. That means that there's a year-long window between the show becoming available to pirate and it becoming available to watch (rent or buy) legally. Dollhouse Season 2, from 2010, is still not available to rent on DVD in the UK. I can only assume that this means that Fox really wants to see it pirated. I rented season 1, but they apparently don't want my money for season 2.

He has not acquired a fortune; the fortune has acquired him. -- Bion