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Piracy Businesses The Almighty Buck Your Rights Online

You Will Never Kill Piracy 516

scottbomb writes "This is perhaps the best op-ed I've read about the whole SOPA/PIPA controversy. The author challenges Hollywood to re-think their entire business model. It will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears, for now. But sooner or later, they will have no choice but to adapt. From the article: 'Now that the SOPA and PIPA fights have died down, and Hollywood prepares their next salvo against internet freedom with ACTA and PCIP, it's worth pausing to consider how the war on piracy could actually be won. It can't, is the short answer, and one these companies do not want to hear as they put their fingers in their ears and start yelling.'"
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You Will Never Kill Piracy

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  • Re:Sure you will (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:02AM (#38926757)

    Wrong. The "analogue hole" will always exist. If it can be viewed/listened to, it can be recorded and then distributed.

  • Goodbye demo (Score:4, Informative)

    by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:24AM (#38926919)
    The other advantage of this model suggested in the article is that it opens up the demographic again.

    Currently, there's generally pretty much only two types of movies being made: 1. big studio movies that get general release and are deliberately targeted at the average under 25's (big, loud, dumb, and 3d where possible) -- this being the only significant viable cinema-going audience, and 2. niche art house movies that are only designed to appeal to movie students, critics, film buffs, and the clinically depressed.

    These are the only two viable production models under the current distribution system. If you are over 25 and don't really want to watch some angst-ridden, slow, dreary, politically-correct, mirror on society, nobody is making movies you want to see right now.

    Say, for example, a movie like the Sand Pebbles. That movie would be impossible to make in the current market. Unless you either, slashed the budget so it took place in a few rooms, or if you cast Shia LeDouche, Mila Kunis and had lots of car chases in 3d in it. There's no way a movie will make any money at all unless it's either mass appeal, or funded by some European government socialist film fund. We will never see another Sand Pebbles, nor 2001 A Space Oddysey, nor anything by Robert Altman, nor any similar movie, under the current system.

    However, if you broadened the distribution system away from cinemas and DVDs, it is possible to target adults again, and release an whole range of genres. It would be like the late 60's and 70's where big-name directors and big stars could experiment, and produce art that was also extremely entertaining (rather than dreary and narcissistic, like the current art house crap).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:31AM (#38926969)

    If it's possible to make a movie and sell it cheaply online, with no DRM, and still make a profit as the article suggests why hasn't anyone done that successfully?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:41AM (#38927049)

    A number of people have proposed alternative systems for compensating artists ... we simply ignore them

    And we ignore them because they are ridiculous

    Criminalizing a huge percentage of the population while trying to create artificial scarcity in an area where enforcement is hardly possible is what we are doing now.

    No matter how stupid the alternative proposals, it doesn't get more stupid than the status quo.

  • by illumnatLA ( 820383 ) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @11:46AM (#38927077) Homepage
    If only Hollywood would learn to move with the times and adapt instead of stubbornly trying to cling to the past. Back in the day, the MPAA fought tooth and nail against consumer video decks considering them the death knell of the industry. When they finally accepted that video decks were here to stay, they adapted and home video became a major source of profit for them.

    Now the industry is fighting once again against the internet. Another pointless battle. They need to learn to adapt and incorporate the internet into their business model rather than continuing this losing battle.

    Given the choice, most consumers will go the easiest, most convenient route to the content in the format they would like. Netflix streaming has taken off like gangbusters because it's relatively inexpensive and very convenient. Make it easy and inexpensive and most people will not pirate your content! It's far, far easier for the regular consumer to just go to a Netflix type site than to find and download a torrent client, navigate through Pirate Bay, wait for the torrent to download, and hope they don't get plagued with viruses.

    People like the convenience of watching movies via the internet. That ain't gonna change. Hollywood needs to embrace the internet and make their libraries available via Netflix like services. Until then, people will continue to follow the easiest path to get the movies they want to watch in the format they want to watch them.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @12:28PM (#38927423) Homepage Journal

    It doesn't take a lot of money to make a good film, unless you're trying to do tons of special effects.

    There are a lot of stories that can't be told without "tons of special effects".

    All you need are people willing to work together.

    Which requires a way of paying these people. Good luck demonstrating a way to fund a feature film outside the copyright system. You might point to the Blender shorts, but they haven't made anything feature-length yet. I enjoyed Big Buck Bunny; now where's something longer like Ice Age? I've seen Sintel; now where's the next How to Train Your Dragon?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @12:52PM (#38927645)

    Comedian Louis C.K. confronts piracy head on with digital experiment []

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @05:45PM (#38929831)

    Netflix and blockbuster aggregate prices to offer the 8$/Mo deal.

    I am not netflix. I cannot negotiate a multimillion dollar licensing deal as a compromise.

    I am an ordinary consumer who would get shafted if I tried to get a private viewing license.

    Take for instance, your typical blueray disc. This is a dumb storage medium that costs at most 50 cents to fabricate. (This includes screen printing the top, and all that jazz.) At market, this item, which the MPAA insists is a content license and not a physical sale item, costs on average 20 to 40$.

    I can purchase a spool of blank bluray discs for that price. The cost is not the cost of distribution, therefor. (The spool of discs also has to be distributed.) Nor is it the price of marketing (the movie is old, and no longer being actively advertised). The majority of the cost is the price of the any-time home viewer content license.

    Given that the disc is a digital medium, this is a digital distribution channel. Given that the cost of the disc is at most 50 cents, we must therefor conclude that the cost o a digital media license for a home consumer is around 20 to 40$.

    Just how big of a pension plan do these geriatric camera and lighting crews drawing anyway? I'm a fucking aerospace engineer, designing parts for modern aircraft that will be in service for decades, and I don't get any pension plans. I don't feel I need one! I get reimbursed for my work on an hourly basis. After that, the product of my work belongs to my company. I don't magically have any rights to that product, and have no basis for demanding such remittance.

    You know what people like me do for retirement?

    Save our fucking money and plan for it. Like pretty much everyone else.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"