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Piracy Australia The Media Your Rights Online

Rights Holders See Little Point Creating Legal Content Sources 417

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 @08:24PM (#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.

  • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:28PM (#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.

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

    by sidthegeek ( 626567 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:29PM (#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 Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:36PM (#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.

  • Black Markets 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Githaron ( 2462596 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:39PM (#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 @08:47PM (#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 @08:47PM (#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.

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

    by C_amiga_fan ( 1960858 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:54PM (#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.

  • by JAlexoi ( 1085785 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:56PM (#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.
  • Re:Content Paradox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:59PM (#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.

  • by MsWhich ( 2640815 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:07PM (#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 Telvin_3d ( 855514 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:09PM (#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.

  • Re:Content Paradox (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:25PM (#40189833)

    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?


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





    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 to figure out how to take a legal alternative and convert it to any format they "demand". Not really an acceptable excuse there, especially when legal conversion products are available.

    And to address those of you bitching about movie release dates varying across the world, get over it. That shit has been going on for a very long time, and isn't going to change anytime soon. Learn to find something called "patience" again and wait one more week. Patience IS a valuable asset.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <> on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:27PM (#40189865) Journal

    I have no love for the copyright terms being as long as they are, but ending copyright altogether, even slowly as you suggest, would not be a good solution... it would strongly favor the publishers who have more money, and who have a larger distribution channel.

    At least with copyright, the small guy can actually stop a bigger corporation from potentially profiting from his work without compensation.

  • 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 Grygus ( 1143095 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:36PM (#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?

  • 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 ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @09:39PM (#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.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:10PM (#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:4, Insightful)

    by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:30PM (#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 CanEHdian ( 1098955 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @10:43PM (#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.

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

    by JWW ( 79176 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @11:31PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2012 @12:14AM (#40191169)

    Cry me a river MPAA/RIAA shill.
    The content industry is the number one reason artists have been fucked for over a century.
    For a single one of them that gets to the top, 99% are fucked front and back by the content industry.
    Pirates are just a lame excuse to fixing the real problem, the real robber barons of this case.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2012 @12:39AM (#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.

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

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


    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 Hyperhaplo ( 575219 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @05:41AM (#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."

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

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @05:56AM (#40192729) Journal
    If your business model revolves around identifying what your customers want and then not providing it, then it's probably time to consider a new business model...

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser