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Australia Businesses Movies Piracy The Almighty Buck Entertainment

Movie Piracy Cost Australian Network 'Hundreds of Millions of Dollars' (theaustralian.com.au) 119

Film television piracy and illegal downloads are partly to blame for Australian broadcaster Ten Network's woes, according to Village Roadshow co-chief executive Graham Burke. From a report: He said piracy had cost Ten "hundreds of millions of dollars" in potential advertising revenue because of lower ratings resulting from pirated versions of films supplied by 21st Century Fox under an onerous output deal with the Hollywood studio. He said copies of Fox's Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie were stolen last year and shared illegally via a piracy website. "Piracy is a much bigger channel and an illicit economy than the three main commercial networks combined. It is ripping off viewers from legitimate, taxpaying enterprises," Mr Burke said. "The product that Ten is buying from 21st Century Fox and is now arriving have been pirated out of sight."

Movie Piracy Cost Australian Network 'Hundreds of Millions of Dollars'

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  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:13PM (#54635579) Homepage

    Australia's refusal to let their citizens buy/watch foreign films has cost them billions of dollars.

    Hey, you gotta point out both sides of the problem.

    • Media corporations in Australia have inflicted The Wiggles [wikipedia.org] on the rest of the world.

      Because of this they owe the world untold Trillions of dollars in damages, copyright infringement is a small, civil, crime compared to the Wiggles.

      Besides, these are Australian dollars we are talking about, not real dollars (sarcasm intended).

      • Media corporations in Australia have inflicted The Wiggles [wikipedia.org] on the rest of the world.

        Because of this they owe the world untold Trillions of dollars in damages, copyright infringement is a small, civil, crime compared to the Wiggles.

        That was retaliation for Sesame Street. YOU fired first.

        As for the original article... I defy anyone to point out a television show produced by Channel Ten (originally Channel Zero, btw) that anyone would go to the trouble of pirating.

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          Media corporations in Australia have inflicted The Wiggles [wikipedia.org] on the rest of the world.

          Because of this they owe the world untold Trillions of dollars in damages, copyright infringement is a small, civil, crime compared to the Wiggles.

          That was retaliation for Sesame Street. YOU fired first.

          As for the original article... I defy anyone to point out a television show produced by Channel Ten (originally Channel Zero, btw) that anyone would go to the trouble of pirating.

          CH10 aren't complaining about the crap shows they produce being pirated, no-one in their right mind wants to watch Masterchef, the Project or whatever crap they're pedalling. That's the crap that's making money.

          CH10 are complaining that they signed a rubbish deal for international films that aren't paying for themselves like they did before the internet was a thing. Of course coming from the (un)Australian, they've got a "piracy is the root of all evil" slant instead of telling us CH10's execs signed a

        • I defy anyone to point out a television show produced by Channel Ten (originally Channel Zero, btw) that anyone would go to the trouble of pirating.

          You are the first person ever to call it "Channel Zero." If you lived in Australia then you'd know it was called "Channel Oh", then "TV Oh" before becomming "Channel Ten". https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @07:48PM (#54636787)

      Australia's refusal to let their citizens buy/watch foreign films has cost them billions of dollars.

      Hey, you gotta point out both sides of the problem.

      Ex-Australian here. The problem is twofold.

      1. American companies treat Australia like the recycling bin, old crap goes in and not a second thought is given. We regularly get things months if not years after other countries and are then expected to pay a premium for it. We got sick of it and then figured out ways to get around it such as grey importing and piracy. Aussies are actually a rather smart bunch (well some of us). So by the time these movies are shown on TV, everyone's already seen them.

      2. Chanel 10 (CH10) is stuck in the 80's way of thinking before we had the internet with all the pirate bays, netflixes and VPN's. They signed a deal thinking the good times would never end.

      The problem is, CH10's money spinners are crappy reality TV shows that have so much fake, overhyped drama that the E! network is openly jealous. People are moving on from these as well because its more of the same crap. Their other money spinner was The Simpsons, which is now on pay TV.

      Also it should be noted that the article appears in The Australian, which is ironically the most unAustralian publication you can find. The Australian is owned by Newscorp who's been waging their own war against piracy because Foxtel (cable TV) has been steadily losing customers as well. So I wouldn't just take what you read in The Australian with a grain of salt, but a shot of tequila and slice of lime as well.

      • Their other money spinner was The Simpsons, which is now on pay TV.

        I believe they still make a bit of money selling Neighbours to the UK.

  • What is this about? (Score:5, Informative)

    by chipschap ( 1444407 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:17PM (#54635607)

    TFA is paywalled but the summary is incoherent. Pirating is costing them advertising dollars? They have an "onerous" deal with with the Hollywood studio?

    I tend not to sympathize much with big media, but could we please have a summary that at least is reasonably easy to follow and describes what's going on in coherent terms?

    (Yes I know, this is up to the Slashdot "editors"...)

    • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )
      Simulcast. [amazonaws.com]

      I think this is syndication network complaining that content they buy is "outdated" because of hopelessly outdated market segmentation stratagems (NZ and AU getting especially short end of the stick).

      Anyone relevant moved to simulcast, these people are dinosaurs.
      • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:32PM (#54635707)

        So much this.

        It's as if media companies don't understand that with the internet, we have friends all over the world and see news from all over the world.

        Let's take Game of Thrones as an example. If you could only watch Season 4 today, how much of it would you know just from what your friends and news sites have talked about? Can YOU talk to your friends in other countries about it, considering they're currently waiting for Season 7 to be released?

        We have developed a network that allows essentially instantaneous planetwide communication - and somehow think that delaying entertainment for months and years is a GOOD idea that will not be circumvented by any means available.

        Including illegal ones.

        • by Altrag ( 195300 )

          Even without the internet, I see little purpose to delaying distribution. Maybe with DVDs because of varying regional prices and not wanting say, American buyers to purchase their DVDs from South Africa for $2 rather than the $25 they charge at home (though customs officials have been watching for that kind of thing for years now anyway.. for better or worse.)

          But theater releases and TV broadcast? What's the point? Most companies from what I've seen want all the dollars right this second and to hell with

          • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )

            But theater releases and TV broadcast? What's the point? Most companies from what I've seen want all the dollars right this second and to hell with the future. So why is this the one instance where they decide that absurdly long delays are useful? I just don't get it.

            Netflix and anime licensors can afford to simulcast because they're for the mostly a hegemony, not immense, fragmented market.

            Not so with generic TV, two things happen there:

            • 1. You have hundreds of thousands businesses who air whatever they could afford for that given year and they can budget. And they simply couldn't afford the series once it got big, they didn't have syndication agreement when it was pre-boom and cheap etc.
            • 2. Retardation on part of seller comparable to DVD regions. Suppose 1. didn'

          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

            Even without the internet, I see little purpose to delaying distribution. Maybe with DVDs because of varying regional prices and not wanting say, American buyers to purchase their DVDs from South Africa for $2 rather than the $25 they charge at home (though customs officials have been watching for that kind of thing for years now anyway.. for better or worse.)

            But theater releases and TV broadcast? What's the point? Most companies from what I've seen want all the dollars right this second and to hell with th

          • As someone actually living in South Africa, why on earth would you mention a specific country in your argument to make yourself not only factually wrong in this case, but also appearing highly misinformed?

            Cost of movies in South Africa (Logan as an example, as per https://www.takealot.com/all?q... [takealot.com]):
            USD 10,08 (incl tax) - DVD (at supposed 18% discount, converted from ZAR 129)
            USD 13,20 (incl tax) - BluRay (at supposed 22% discount, converted from ZAR 169)
            USD 27,26 (incl tax) - 4k (at supposed 18% discoun
        • We have developed a network that allows essentially instantaneous planetwide communication - and somehow think that delaying entertainment for months and years is a GOOD idea that will not be circumvented by any means available.

          Including illegal ones.

          Well, of *course*! That's the point!

          The only power government has besides taxation is cracking down on criminals who break the law. Well, the government wants more power over people so it makes more of them into criminals. Then with selective enforcement suddenly millions of people have a legal Damocles Sword hanging over their heads with government holding the rope. Well, holding the rope without letting go only as long as you toe the line, comply, and keep your mouth shut.

          Pick up that can!

          Strat

    • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 )

      I'm curious about the "stolen" part of his statement.

      Is the article about actual piracy? Were physical copies were taken in transit to be sold at street markets? Because that's seems like a legit worry. But then it turns around and says put on the internet. Which isn't how that works at all. You don't need to actually steal anything to make a copy like that.

      Maybe he's just a confused, ignorant twat who can't figure out how the world works these days.

      • Ok, this comment reads as boilerplate response from someone under 40 to someone over 50--- while I AGREE, I have been downloading music, movies and TV since 1997 or so and if I like a band a lot, I'll go to their concerts, buy their shirts and tell my friends about them. If I really want to see a movie, I'll go to the theater, tell my friends if it was good etc etc-- anyway, I'm a filthy pirate, but these guys don't think of it this way. They don't care if the copy was digital, they don't care that nothing
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mrbester ( 200927 )

        No, he's grizzling that the number of dollars he pulled out of his arse that he expected to get from advertising wasn't realised. Therefore it must be the fault of piracy and not some dodgy calculation on a fag packet that was taken as prophecy.

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        Sigh. Another "copyright infringement isn't theft!" ramble. Yes, you're technically correct. No, nobody gives a shit about the specific terminology used. If they make that mixup in an official legal scenario (new laws, court proceedings, etc) then clarifying is definitely a good idea. But some random news reporter? Yeah doesn't really matter.

        That said, this isn't even the typical piracy rant. This is like a meta-piracy rant. People download shows and therefore the don't watch them on cable TV, so th

        • by dwywit ( 1109409 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @06:17PM (#54636357)

          This isn't cable - it's one of the three major broadcast TV networks in Oz.

          We have similar problems with cable/satellite providers - "package" subscriptions vs. a la carte, and while Netflix provides a good service reasonably priced, it has nowhere near the content of Netflix in the USofA.

          Ten, Seven, and Nine have all been struggling for years. Nine made a strategic deal with Microsoft (NineMSN) which hasn't really paid off, Seven made a strategic deal with Yahoo (Y7), which, well, you see where we're headed.

          Ten had a couple of 'big' shows, but they were reality shows - Big Brother, and Master Chef, a cooking show. There's only so much of that crap that anyone can take, even avid fans - it gets stale very quickly. The rest of the content is 99% crap. The execs at all of those networks have shown that they just can't break out of the the broadcast model - "We have the content, you'll watch it when we decide and you'll watch as much advertising as we can pile on, damn the awkward breaks in a show's tension, and we don't want you recording it to watch later, because then you can skip the ads, and it wrecks the ratings surveys, on which we base our advertising rates."

          Broadcast networks should have seen the invitable when VCRs became popular, but no, they had to cling to obsolete business models.

          Ten will be sold to some overseas investment corporation, and might survive, but unless it changes its thinking substantially, it'll be gone inside a decade. So will the others.

          • by vivian ( 156520 )

            If the TV networks didn't stuff so much advertising time into the shows, then perhaps viewers would stay tuned in.
            I have seen average advertising time go up from about 10 min per hour to now 25 min per hour - so 2 hour movie takes 3 1/2 hours to watch - and worse, they tend to pack the second half of the movie with more ads compared to the first half, so getting to the end of a movie takes for ever and destroys the climactic scenes with too many breaks.

            I get that free to air tv has to have advertising to pa

    • by vlad30 ( 44644 )
      If I was a stock holder in the Ten Network I would look at the board member who sold them the programming from his company at an inflated price i.e. conflict of interest, and now wants to buy it out while pushing for changes in media ownership laws. Also this network is essentially a reality TV crap, rerun movie and TV shopping (2 of their 5 Multi channels dedicated to this plus late night infomercials etc), so piracy for this content is near non existent.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    They should start streaming their shows on the internet. And in the meantime, we need to protect ourselves better from the tyrants who want to censor the internet.

  • by mr.dreadful ( 758768 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:18PM (#54635615)
    Given how much Hollywood is struggling with ticket sales, why would stations rebroadcasting 2nd or 3rd run movies expect to not be affected?
    • It's complete bullshit. No one would watch those shows even if they were on channel 10.

    • by Kartu ( 1490911 )

      Hollywood is... not struggling with ticket sales:
      http://www.the-numbers.com/mar... [the-numbers.com]

      They have crossed 10 billion total box office revenue mark back in record 2009 then 11 billion in 2012, and are still roughly in that ballpark.
      Average ticket price is also going up steadily.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:24PM (#54635645) Journal
    That Graham Burke signed a "onerous" deal with Hollywood studios. But does not blame the bad deal they signed, but expect Australians to bail them out by keeping their ad revenue coming. Just suck it up buddy, when the deal comes up for renewal, make realistic projections and offer what these movies are worth.
  • Exactly how do lower ratings result from pirated versions? Is that because the public learns just how crappy the movie is even before it's released?

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      Whats likely happening in this case is that people are watching illegal copies of the new TV shows before Ten actually gets around to showing them (because Ten are stupid and only show the new episodes of good TV shows many months after they have already aired in the USA). Then when they finally show up on Ten, everyone has seen them and doesn't care anymore.

      • The other problem watching a movie on one of the free to air commercial networks in Australia is the ads. There are so many that it makes watching any movie on FTA a frustrating and painful experience. Ten's issues are nothing to do with piracy.

  • Buyer beware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:35PM (#54635727)

    "Piracy is a much bigger channel and an illicit economy than the three main commercial networks combined."

    And your dumbass got in bed with those commercial networks anyway. How much more are they charging you than the other countries? How much longer must you wait for content? How much are they holding back? Did they offer you a higher price to get it sooner? Are they force-feeding you their commercials as part of the deal?

    Pirates refused the bullshit terms. You did not. Now cry.

    Chump.

    • Pirates refused the bullshit terms.

      And so should governments, who are there for the people rather than the studios. Up until recently our government did exactly that. The rule was: if you are not offering your content here (in a more or less timely manner, and under reasonable terms), then people are free to pirate it; the government would not prosecute downloaders. Seems like a great way to exert some pressure on the studios on behalf of the populace.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      "Piracy is a much bigger channel and an illicit economy than the three main commercial networks combined."

      And your dumbass got in bed with those commercial networks anyway. How much more are they charging you than the other countries? How much longer must you wait for content? How much are they holding back? Did they offer you a higher price to get it sooner? Are they force-feeding you their commercials as part of the deal?

      Pirates refused the bullshit terms. You did not. Now cry.

      Chump.

      Pirates didn't refuse the bullshit terms. People did, now they're just labelled as pirates because they don't want to sit through 60 minutes of annoying ads to watch a 90 minute piece of dross that was released 6 to 12 months ago. People are no longer beholden to networks that treat them like a product, times change, change with them or get left behind.

  • You really have to take these kinds of stories with a grain of salt. They are usually followed up with a cry for more control of IP and less freedom for the general populous.

    Sadly it is hard to take any numbers about profit and loss from the Entertainment Industry seriously. For example; According to Lucasfilm, Return of the Jedi, despite having earned $475 million at the box office against a budget of $32.5 million, "has never gone into profit". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting) There

  • Tens to Hundreds of Billions... WAAAAAA, Cry me a river. Rich ass POSs. When you make under 40,000$ a year and have a few kids and it costs over 100$ to go see 1 movie for the 4 of you. AND you have to sit through the likes of Ghostbusters, or some other lame, unoriginal drivel you exceedingly talent-less hacks come up with... Come talk to me about being cheated out of your money. :-P
  • First of all they show you a movie that was cut to fit allotted time then they waist 30% of your time by adding ads. All of this is on top of the bill you get for your cable/internet provider.
  • My viewing choices for a new movie are....

      1) pay $$$ to watch a crappy pirated version
      2) pay $$$ to watch it at the theatre with 200 random ill-mannered strangers
      3) pay $$$ to buy an official DVD and be forced to watch countless ads
      4) watch it on netflix for free, no commercials, with people I know

    Uh.... explain to me why I need to pay money again?

    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      You pay $$$ for crappy pirated versions? I think you aren't doing it right :-/..

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wait, you have Netflix WITHOUT the monthly subscription? And to top it off, you actually have to PAY for PIRATED content? Oh my god, where the hell do you live?

      • Depends on whether you're buying pirated DVDs from that shady guy beside the 7-11, or downloading and burning them yourself.

        And, I already *have* NetFlix; watching one more movie doesn't raise the cost at all. I pay $9.99 a month so others in the family don't beat me up for cancelling NetFlix; so anything I watch myself is free.

  • by neilo_1701D ( 2765337 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:53PM (#54635861)

    Of course it's piracy that has brought Network 10 to it's knees.

    The absolute shit they show has nothing to deal with it, of course.

    It wasn't so long ago that Network 10 was actually a very profitable station that never did well in the ratings. Then the powers-that-be decided ratings were more important, shoved their profitable shows to 11 and proceeded to watch their profits implode. But let's blame the consumer for piracy rather than facing the uncomfortable reality that they blew it.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:54PM (#54635873)
    Just about every gov't around the world has been cutting taxes on top earners for 30 years now. Meanwhile cutting services under the banner of "Austerity".

    Movie industries are small, high profit operations. They employ relatively few people in middle class jobs. So tell me Australia (or US, or Japan, or Germany, or every other movie industry on earth bitching about piracy), if you're not gonna pay into civilization why should I care?
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @04:59PM (#54635907)

    I just got sued by Kroger's. Every time I drove by and didn't purchase something they considered it a lost sale.

  • The movie industry banging the bullshit drum again.

    I lost $329 Quadrillion dollars last year due to the movie industry stealing the right to use the word "the"

  • There has been a huge shift in advertising dollars to the Internet, away from TV and newspapers, with no sign that this will change anytime soon. The 10 network mentioned in the article has probably lost 90% of their advertising revenue to this fundamental shift. Viewers lost to Netflix, and other more convenient and legal streaming services, is likely to be far greater than the loses to piracy.

    It doesn't help that the crap shown of the 10 network, like stupid "reality TV", is just not bringing those that

  • Our vassals ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @05:30PM (#54636073)

    .. aren't shopping at the company store.

    The idea that any entity (corporate or otherwise) own a market is ludicrous. Markets are made up of people and, although I don't know the particulars of Australian law, President Lincoln freed all of ours.

    • President Lincoln freed all of ours.

      He only freed all the slaves in the confederate states. West Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri were slave states that did not join the confederacy. The slaves there were not covered by the emancipation proclamation. They were eventually freed after 13th amendment made slavery illegal in all of the USA.

  • A kid asks his dad "What's the difference between realistically and potentially?"

    The father responds with "Go ask your siblings and your mother if they would have sex with a celebrity for a million dollars."

    The boy asks his mom "Would you have sex with George Clooney for a million dollars?"

    The mother responds " While I am a married woman, that is a lot of money. He is also a very attractive man."

    The boy asks his sister "Would you have sex with Brad Pitt for a million dollars?"

    "Well of course! " she exclaims

  • by jonfr ( 888673 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @06:09PM (#54636317) Homepage

    This former network CEO (I'm not sure about his position in this former company) is wrong. The reason for this is just streaming, just Netflix or something else. Torrent alone is not a factor in this at all. For instance TCM Nordic closed down on 1st June due to drop in viewing and this is not first time that Turner Network close down television stations. They have closed down Silver and Showtime (I think it was) in the Nordic countries (where I live) due to drop in revenue and viewing of those stations (all where subscription cable television only stations, either included in a package or part of an extra channels people where able to buy).

    Television networks are going out of business the same way newspapers did few years ago and nothing is going to change that fact. Blaming it on piracy is stupid and not according to facts or data on this matter.

    None pay-walled article.

    https://torrentfreak.com/pirat... [torrentfreak.com]

  • Ten looking to blame anyone but their own incompetence for their failure. Management need to look no further than a mirror, massively overpriced content deals with US suppliers, poor local content combined with excessive spending on that poor content. piracy could be non existent and Ten would still have gone bankrupt.
  • So their thinking goes

    - Pirates release a movie on the Internet
    - It gets bad reviews
    - They lose money

    There's a step before that in which Hollywood makes a crap movie. You don't see them complaining about this happening with the blockbusters (I still think they are crap but that's a different post). It doesn't matter if people have seen the movie before if the movie is one that they like. Make a movie that they really like then they'll watch it more than once and putting it out on the Internet will be good a

  • Movie Piracy Cost Australian Network 'Hundreds of Millions of Dollars'

    Goood

  • As usual, they are using bad math. One instance of piracy does not equal one lost sale. Since the dawn of media and software piracy, "pirates" have taken advantage of easily available titles to consume much more than they ever would if DRM worked and they had to pay for everything they copied/downloaded for free. To state it another way, if I couldn't download an average of 200+ albums a year, I would still only buy the handful I buy now. The same is true with movies and software, due to the limited disposa
  • Meanwhile in reality it's a hostile takeover bid in action.
    A couple of guys on the board who own other media companies blocked an effort to secure finance.
    They will buy it at file sale prices very soon.
    They would have done that already but there is a pesky law that needs to be changed first and that's planned for next week.

    So extremely grubby business practices with a bit of help from people in politics that they donate to and nothing else - not even "movie piracy".

    I just cannot remember how many times mo
  • I'm still waiting to buy a legit copy of GoT from last season here in Oz.
    Fuck 19th Century Fox, come join us in the new century.
    The Channel 10 melt down is to push our ass licking politicians to relax the media ownership regulations
    so Murdoch can buy all newspapers and free to air broadcasting.
    He already has his puppet Michelle Guthrie running the ABC into the ground.

  • you articale looks good if you need more research then go on http://www.webetutorial.com/ [webetutorial.com]
  • No one should ever trust what comes out of his mouth, having three times been convicted by the ATO of tax avoidance schemes.

    But FWIW, the issue is the contract Ten has with Fox, or as others like to point out in Bourke's word...
    "The product that [Murdoch AUS] is buying from [Murdoch USA] and is now arriving have been pirated out of sight."

    The sale of "Product" was a means to an end to the real goal; to shift profits internationally through transfer pricing arrangements. Those economics don't work anymore as

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