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Piracy Crime Media The Almighty Buck The Internet Technology

HBO, Netflix, Other Hollywood Companies Join Forces To Fight Piracy (theverge.com) 195

New submitter stikves writes: It looks like media and technology companies are forming a group to "fight piracy." The Verge reports: "A group of 30 entertainment companies, including power players like Netflix, HBO, and NBCUniversal, have joined forces today in an effort to fight online piracy. The new group is called the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), and the partnership, while somewhat thin on specifics, will allow the content creators involved to pool resources to conduct research and work closely with law enforcement to find and stop pirates from stealing movies and TV shows. The first-of-its-kind alliance is composed of digital media players, networks, and Hollywood outfits, and all recognize how the internet has paved the way to an explosion in quality online content. However, piracy has boomed as a result: ACE says that last year saw 5.4 billion downloads of pirated films and TV shows." I'm not sure how these statistics hold against real revenue loss (or the imaginary one), however this might be a development to watch for.
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HBO, Netflix, Other Hollywood Companies Join Forces To Fight Piracy

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  • by zedaroca ( 3630525 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:10PM (#54614101)

    I canceled cable for this reason. It's morally wrong to finance the fight against freedom on the Internet. And destroying freedom on the Internet is the only way to enforce the their laws.

    • by thundercattt ( 4205847 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:12PM (#54614117)
      I cancelled the day they started the battle vs VPN's and their geoblocking. Kodi has filled the void nicely, I tried to pay for things but some company kept telling me what I could or couldn't do.
      • I do love how you blame Netflix for that, when in reality it was the content holders they were licensing that brought massive pressure against them to stop geo blocking evasion with VPNs. Netflix played the fool for ages against the licensors saying there wasn't any way to stop VPNs until they were finally backed to a cliff edge.

        • So with Netflix part of this alliance maybe the content creators will actually listen?

          I pay for Netflix and Amazon Prime instead of cable. If what I want is there great, no need to bother with the hassle and risk of downloading it elsewhere. If it *was* there and is now gone I find that highly irksome and might actually be bothered to look elsewhere.

        • I love people who act all smug who point out "it's the content owners that do licensing to certain areas". If that were true, Canadian kids shows would be available on CDN Netflix NOT Amurica only.
    • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:16PM (#54614147)

      I canceled cable because most (not all) of what was offered is pure shit.

      Sports, home decorating, sports, celebrity crap, hunting bigfoot, cooking, cooking, sports, cooking, game shows, shopping channel, honey boo boo, ice truckers, reality TV shows, more shopping, more celebrity crap, fishing, golfing, more bigfoot, more game shows....and on and on. It's drivel, replicated over and over and over.

      • I canceled cable because most (not all) of what was offered is pure shit.

        Sports, home decorating, sports, celebrity crap, hunting bigfoot, cooking, cooking, sports, cooking, game shows, shopping channel, honey boo boo, ice truckers, reality TV shows, more shopping, more celebrity crap, fishing, golfing, more bigfoot, more game shows....and on and on. It's drivel, replicated over and over and over.

        You forgot to mention the ads. I haven't seen that much content for years. Its only ads, ads ads...

        • Yep, same reason I cancelled cable. I'm paying a company to sling me ads? Hell with that.

        • You forgot to mention the ads. I haven't seen that much content for years. Its only ads, ads ads...

          Ah yes, ads. I remember them fondly. Well, actually it's *not* seeing them anymore is what I remember fondly.

          I was at a friend's place the other day...he had the TV machine on, and I was astounded by how frequently the program was interrupted by commercials to sell me cat food, tampons, insurance, soft drinks, a weight loss program, automobiles, home loans, mayonnaise, other TV shows, cereal, sneakers, pizza, various kinds of medication, and a slew of other shit I can't recall. It was mind boggling.

          It was d

      • I canceled cable because most (not all) of what was offered is pure shit.

        Sports, home decorating, sports, celebrity crap, hunting bigfoot, cooking, cooking, sports, cooking, game shows, shopping channel, honey boo boo, ice truckers, reality TV shows, more shopping, more celebrity crap, fishing, golfing, more bigfoot, more game shows....and on and on. It's drivel, replicated over and over and over.

        This is just pure profit. The business model is shifting now as it appears they are shifting the burden of share holder satisfaction, when the programmes are terrible, hit the pirates with fines rather than new subscribers rewarding with revenue. There's also a hint that they're expecting others in the pool to plug the gaps, thus some hint that the internal department can shrink as there's other outside resource now.

    • by jopsen ( 885607 )
      Note that you canceling netflix makes exactly no difference... Other forms of action is necessary.

      Note: I'm not pro piracy, but it doesn't seem to be that much of an issues since streaming services showed up and became easy to use... And I'm not exactly enthusiastic about the measures corporations takes to limit piracy, then tend to hurt the internet.
    • ... because they were a strong proponent of DRM... and unlike DRM on disks they can always update it to stop me from using my right to make a DRM free copy.

    • by iampiti ( 1059688 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @07:43AM (#54616127)
      Come on, you can't seriously define freedom as being able to download Netflix and Hollywood created content. It's just entertainment created by for profit companies. It isn't gonna cure diseases, it isn't gonna help hunger or global warning. It's just enterntainment and nobody is entitled to it.
      Freedom is about net neutrality, freedom of speech, democracy and so on, not about this.
      I do pirate content from time to time but I'm not stupid enough to think that I'm entitled to it. I totally defend the rights of companies to create content with their own money and to profit from it.
      Culture? There's lots of it available for free in public libraries around the world. Also, lots of creative commons content out there.
      • Come on, you can't seriously define freedom as being able to download Netflix and Hollywood created content.

        This is a red herring. Regardless of your stance on copyright, the issue is not whether one can obtain copyrighted content for free, but rather the collateral damage to the Internet and society as a whole resulting from Hollywood's quixotic quest to eliminate copyright infringement at all costs. Most of the negative effects of this quest are born not by "pirates" but by paying customers—after all, the "pirates" get the version without any DRM while those who follow Hollywood's rules are stuck with obn

      • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

        Come on, you can't seriously define freedom as being able to download Netflix and Hollywood created content. It's just entertainment created by for profit companies. It isn't gonna cure diseases, it isn't gonna help hunger or global warning. It's just enterntainment and nobody is entitled to it.

        If you're right, then nobody needs to frivolously use government force by having courts and cops get involved in something so unimportant.

        And they certainly wouldn't ever get involved in messing with people who make

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:12PM (#54614115)

    I pirate stuff I'm wishy washy about. If I really want something, I'll buy it. Usually I end up buying stuff I pirated.

    But whatever, no more pirating means a lot less buying. Saves me money!

    • That's how I am too. We remember growing up in the 80s/90s movies were fantastic. You watched them and watched them again. Now, I see a new on theater movie and it's 50/50 if it's going to suck (closer to 75/25). So, I watch it for free, if it is memorable then I purchase.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        That's how I am too. We remember growing up in the 80s/90s movies were fantastic. You watched them and watched them again. Now, I see a new on theater movie and it's 50/50 if it's going to suck (closer to 75/25). So, I watch it for free, if it is memorable then I purchase.

        Hint: Everybody remembers what they grew up with as fantastic. It's got a lot more to do with being 15 and not 35 rather than the actual content. Try looking at them again as if you were looking at it the first time and had no relationship to it, if this was a new release today would you feel the same? Take for example Ferris Bueller's day off [imdb.com]. I loved that movie back then, but when you take a step way back is it any less cheesy than similar "rebel" movies from the 60s, 70s, 90s, 00s or 10s? No, but they al

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Hint: Everybody remembers what they grew up with as fantastic. It's got a lot more to do with being 15 and not 35 rather than the actual content.

          You are entitled to your opinion, but your above statement is easily refuted.

          Go watch Lawrence of Arabia and tell me there's no difference in content. Just because you don't acknowledge there were truly great movies made in the past doesn't mean it didn't happen. What's next, are you going to claim the 19th century produced no great music ? Just because you have t

          • I am not the OP but i do agree, largely. I would split it into two phenomenon:
            1. At 15, it is much easier to be impressed. you have less experience of what the world has to offer. In my day (80s kid) there was a lot less choice so you watched and re-watched the same things until you loved them. You had a lot more free time to watch. And, importantly, you are selecting which groups you will be part of. Your media consumption both influences and is influenced by that but I feel teens latch onto cultural

        • Sorry, this is just plain bullshit, because the simple fact that disproves your argument is that the industries have changed. Go back to the 80s and 90s and look at how many remakes there were: very few (and what few there were were radically different from whatever ancient B&W 50s movie they remade, such as John Carpenter's "The Thing" in 1982). Look how many superhero movies there were back then: almost none. Now, all the movies are superhero franchise installments, remakes, sequels, prequels, etc.

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:14PM (#54614127) Homepage

    Less than 1 download per person. If this was a food try before you buy) , that means not everyone took one.

    Sounds to me like people are most likely trying to get reasonable service that is not available for sale, rather than pirating.

  • by cunina ( 986893 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:30PM (#54614199)
    ... with an utterly brilliant and highly effective system: make shows and films so god damned awful that no one will bother to pirate them
    • O wait......that is already happening
    • make shows and films so god damned awful that no one will bother to pirate them

      Exactly; Hollywood's been doing a great job of this for at least 10 years now. When I want to watch any movies, it's only stuff that's over 10 years old, and usually from the 70s and 80s, with some in the 90s, 60s, 40s, and a few things before that, and some stuff in the early 2000s. After about 2008, Hollywood movies went straight down the toilet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:31PM (#54614203)

    and thats because the social contract has been nullified. The deal was that we give them a temporary monopoly and in return they add to the public domain. Sonny Bono & Mickey Mouse suspended public domain indefinitely, and thus have reneged on their side of the social contract. Why should we continue to uphold our end of the bargain?

    This is why no one has any respect for copyright, nobody feels the slightest twinge of guilt bypassing your paywalls & getting your content for free. Perhaps someday you'll be able to get society at large back to the table to discuss a new contract, but i doubt it.

    Until then I guess you'll just have to keep suing your customers, thats a sure way to win back their loyalty.

    • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @11:06PM (#54614593)
      To be fair, it's not just the U.S. It's the Berne Convention that established long international copyright terms (minimum of 50 years after author's death). In some ways, the U.S. arguably just brought its copyright terms up to the "international standard" in recent decades. I agree with you that such lengthy terms are preposterous and almost completely negate the original concept of "public domain."
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Who do you think pushed for the convention to have such long copyright terms? It just lets the media companies save face by saying "No, we don't want this long copyright, but international law requires it so pity us" and the novice person takes that at face value rather than looking into who wrote those sections of international law. Simple misdirection and sadly it works. We increased international standards as a workaround to directly increasing them here as doing so would have been too politically unp

        • Given that the term of 50 years after the death of the author was adopted in *1908* by the Berne Convention, I'm not sure how much "media companies" had to do with it. Certainly not Disney.
    • The deal was that we give them a temporary monopoly and in return they add to the public domain. Sonny Bono & Mickey Mouse suspended public domain indefinitely, and thus have reneged on their side of the social contract. Why should we continue to uphold our end of the bargain?

      This is a common argument, but a lame one. The vast majority of content that is illegally shared online is very recent, often less than a year or two old. It would have been covered by copyright even in the original form with just a few years of protection for the rightsholder.

      The erosion of the public domain and repeated extensions to the length of copyright protection are real problems and should be fixed, but they are a very issue.

      This is why no one has any respect for copyright, nobody feels the slightest twinge of guilt bypassing your paywalls & getting your content for free.

      A lot of people don't even understand copyright. They just assume that if

      • The deal was that we give them a temporary monopoly and in return they add to the public domain. Sonny Bono & Mickey Mouse suspended public domain indefinitely, and thus have reneged on their side of the social contract. Why should we continue to uphold our end of the bargain?

        This is a common argument, but a lame one.

        Standing up for your rights is lame? Why don't you just sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, then?

        • No, arguing that one bad act that has a small effect on a few people morally justifies another bad act done by many people with much greater effect is lame. Not as lame as resorting to swearing at someone because you haven't got a real argument, perhaps, but still lame.

      • "'The deal was that we give them a temporary monopoly and
        in return they add to the public domain. Sonny Bono
        & Mickey Mouse suspended public domain indefinitely, and
        thus have reneged on their side of the social contract.
        Why should we continue to uphold our end of the bargain?'

        This is a common argument, but a lame one. The vast majority of
        content that is illegally shared online is very recent, often less
        than a year or two old. It would have been covered by copyright
        even in the original form with just a fe

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      and thats because the social contract has been nullified. The deal was that we give them a temporary monopoly and in return they add to the public domain.

      No, that's the idea behind patents, not copyright.
      For the author, copyright is not temporary, and has never been. It is always life + X years. The original point of the post mortem period was to preserve the original work.
      The copyright economy we have now is a new thing. That "social contract" never really was.

      • For the author, copyright is not temporary, and has never been. It is always life + X years.

        IIRC, the original period of copyright in the US was 14 years, which was later allowed to be renewed once. It stayed that way for some time. Then the increasing lengths started. There were a few increases beyond that, I think up to about 50 years total which is probably too long but still semi-sane. Once the copyright on Steamboat Willie was about to expire, the Sonny Bono copyright act came along and extended that signifcantly, and it's been extended a couple more times since.

        The Constitutional purpose of

        • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

          You are right.
          I live in France, and I assumed that the copyright system is similar to "droit d'auteur". It is nowadays but it used to be completely different.
          "droit d'auteur" is focused on more on moral rights and copyright is more about economics. For example, there is no concept of "work for hire" in the French system.

  • Do they realize, their service is not affordable for the majority of the world? Their shows are staying unknown outside the US.
  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @11:56PM (#54614771)

    Want to stop piracy? Then make all content available everywhere. Don't make me sign up for Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Now, Hulu, and a half dozen streaming providers just to watch the content I want to see.

    If you make it easier to pirate content than to purchase it legally, you're going to lose the battle.

    And don't nickel and dime me, don't make me pay $3.99/episode for a show that will cost $20 when all 20 episodes come out on DVD, stuff like that is what make people decide to click on the torrent instead of the "Purchase" link.

    • >Want to stop piracy? Then make all content available everywhere. Don't make me sign up for Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Now, Hulu, and a half dozen streaming providers just to watch the content I want to see.

      I have previously predicted that the current streaming providers will become the new studios, and regional services will offer single points of access and billing to customers, becoming the new cable companies.

      I believe there will be a market for companies that set up shop doing nothing more than havi

  • Contextual advertising... I live in Toronto, Ontario. At the bottom of this article is an ad that says "Ontario Cable Companies Want This Device Banned Immediately". It's labelled as an "Advertorial for TVFrog". I couldn't make this stuff up.

  • by daffy951 ( 546697 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @12:46AM (#54614919)

    I would say they should focus on providing the same quality as pirated material on all markets at the same time.
    They can never provide better quality, since what they provide will be copied. But make sure all customers with good enough connections can stream/download as high quality as possible, for a fair price.
    Don't geo block. The ones who get blocked will get it some other way.
    No need for big investments in DRM. What can be seen & heard can and will be replicated. Accept that. You're just making it annoying for legitimate customers, while the pirates enjoy DRM free versions from torrent sites.

    • It's not even torrent sites anymore. There are tons of websites streaming....everything....for ad views. I can make a list of 4-5 movies I'm interested in, and generally find a couple of them being streamed at 1080p. Live sports too! A little computer running Ubuntu and Google are all I need to watch pretty much whatever I want when I want it. Is it 4k? No. But I don't have a 4k TV, so that doesn't bother me. Sometimes are there compression artifacts? Sure. But for the cost and convenience, it blows away th

  • Are they all building ships now?
    Aaargh!

  • guessing the one plan they won't come up with? Offer good content at an affordable price, in a timely and accessible manner.

  • Copyright is not intended to withhold content from people, yet that is what it often boils down to. For example, I cannot even get most of what I watch where I live (shows in original, non-dubbed form, I will not watch dubbed trash) from any sources approved by the content owners. Now I can either not watch their products at all or download them from the net somewhere (which happens to be legal here). But if there was a reasonable online offering by the content owners, I would of course use that, far simple

    • Copyright is not intended to withhold content from people, yet that is what it often boils down to

      What? Yes. Yes it is. That is the only thing it is meant to do. The original form of copyright, where you had to let the scribes in Alexandria copy any book you brought through the harbor, was about getting content into people's hands. The current form is about keeping it out.

  • What is this "explosion in quality online content" of which you speak?

    Do you mean re-makes of old stuff, endless sequels and prequals, and more films where Tom Cruise is a super-ninja-spy who takes down the entire world single handedly? If so, I think maybe you're mistaken.

    There are some nice things around (House of Cards, Black Sails, and maybe Lord of the Rings), but I must be missing this 'explosion', even though we have Netflix, Amazon and Freesat.

    • What is this "explosion in quality online content" of which you speak?

      I stopped watching car shows because all the car shows on TV were shitty commercials for shitty cars. Now I watch them again because there are good ones on the internet. The same is true of cooking shows. Then there's whole genres which barely existed before, like shows about guns.

      "Quality" doesn't necessarily mean "high production value". It can mean "chock-full of content in which I am interested".

  • Seriously. The printing press made it possible to easily copy music and sell it. People would go to a concert, listend to the new music and wrote it down. They then printed it out and where able to sell it, so others could play it as soon as the same day.

    Oh wait, it goes back even further [wikipedia.org]

  • Netflix is the best think that happened in the fight against piracy, because it is convenient and affordable.

    Among my group of friends, torrents/DDL were the way we got movies. We did it without even thinking. DVDs were too expensive and cumbersome, BluRays even more so. And with TV you don't really get to choose when and what you watch, also ads.
    Some of us even paid for a seedbox or some premium account on a DDL or streaming site. So money wasn't the problem.
    Then came Netflix. And now, most of my friends h

  • Netflix has already done more to fight piracy than anyone else in the industry. They have shown that the way to fight piracy is by providing a competitive product that is priced reasonably and makes consuming content incredibly easy and convenient. It's sad to see them going down this path instead of continuing to push forward where they have made such a huge impact in the past. The biggest hurdle to Netflix are they very content creators it is now partnering with—disgusting media production compan

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