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(SeattlePI)   Not only is Hollywood running out of ideas, they're also running out of ways to combat online piracy   ( divider line
    More: Spiffy  
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21256 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Dec 2004 at 4:29 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

191 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-12-12 10:32:40 AM  
Did a report on this...

Did you know the MPAA's boxoffice numbers have increased over $1 BILLION each year, for the past 5+ years?

//Doesn't make piracy right, but just sayin'..
2004-12-12 10:33:47 AM  
icy_one: how did they?
2004-12-12 10:36:28 AM  
email all your pirated content back to the MPAA/RIAA. It's the only fair thing to do.
2004-12-12 10:37:16 AM  
Okay, anyone have the Paige Davis sex tape?

/no joke
//haven't found it yet
2004-12-12 10:37:46 AM  
I'll throw a few things in, as a graduate film student concentrating in producing.

Legitimate DVDs have been an intensely huge market, and the profits are going through the roof every year despite the ability to copy/rip them at will. Why? Because there's a perception that the cost of the dvd for the quality and packaging is worth it. DVD prices have gone down after just a few years on the market. If people believe they're getting ripped off on something, they're going to want to steal it.

Anyone believe $17 is the real value of a CD, with all its filler? If CDs were to cost, say, $10 across the board, they wouldn't be having near as much piracy. People like the physical CD, the cover art, liner notes, etc if the band seems to really be putting out an album that's worth it. The music industry gutted themselves by flooding the market with overpriced filler.

Ironically, it's the big studios, not the little indie films, getting hurt by this pirating, because people are ripping the latest summer action crap, probably because they know/expect it's crap. If everyone hears a movie is good, people will flock to the theaters to take part in the collective experience of seeing it. End of story.

Speaking to theatrical exhibition, people go to the movies because it's something to go out and do. A date, a celebration, whatever. The lure of the big-screen partcipation will never go away. It's common now anyways for a movie to lose its money theatrically but make it up in ancillary/DVD sales. All the pirated DVDs on the streets of NY probably have some impact on ticket sales, but $10.25 isn't really a decent price of admission, either, not when you're going to be bombarded with crappy advertising the whole time. In my mind, every minute they bomb me with crappy ads, their asking price for admission goes down $1.00. Believe me, I know what they get paid to show that crap.

That's probably why people steal so much in NY: the city isn't worth what it costs.

2004-12-12 10:40:55 AM  
Here's an interesting note also:

The makers of Polar Express were so terrified of piracy that they released it everywhere in the world on the same day.

Not only that, during filming, if they had, say, a note to Santa, they would shoot the note several times in English, German, French, etc to broaden the international appeal.

2004-12-12 10:45:49 AM  
You disagreeing with a company doesn't give you the right to steal their property. I don't mind if people do it, as long as they stop pretending that they're any better than scumbag crack-addict shop lifters.
2004-12-12 10:49:09 AM  
Anthropomorphic Mouse:Piracy right now does a better job of distributing movies than the legal distributors do! If you try to outdo the pirates with a legal method, it won't kill piracy, but it sure will make a dent.

Yes, a very good point!

The "pirates" aren't really pirates. They aren't doing it for the money. They are just free distributors who spend time and energy distributing this stuff.

It's amazing how good the movie and music industry has been to make people want their products all over the world. I mean, people buy each other CDs and DVDs for Christmas. No wonder people in the internet all over the world have a common ground of sharing this stuff. Everybody in the friggin world wants the new whatever band CD or wants to watch the whatever movie.

I love bit-torrent. And, as time goes by soon we will have fiber optics and INSANNE bandwidth to zip around files. I think the great thing about BitTorrent is not in its technical sophistication as much as it's social nuance. Kazza and emule etc does not form any sort of communal coherence. BitTorrent and the related software does with ratios and websites with forums and comments. It's a wonderful format.
2004-12-12 10:57:40 AM  
I haven't heard anybody saying that BT generates more money for the entertainment industry, so here goes:

I used to download movies off Kazaa, a few years ago. However, I never ended up watching them because I hate sitting at my computer for two hours at a time. Sure, I could go get a TV out card and hook the PC up to my TV, but I'm far, far too lazy to do that.

So I stopped pirating movies a long time ago. As I, too, absolutely hate the theater-going experience (the public pisses me off), I only had a few options left open to me.

Of course, the best of these is Netflix. I'm not all about stealing movies, or sticking it to the man, or whatever; my primary interest is watching lots of movies without my having to do any work. That's why, for me, Netflix > BitTorrent movies.

Now, TV shows...that's another matter entirely. I downloaded the entire run of Aqua Teens on a whim, and loved it so much that now I have all the DVDs. I never would have seen this show otherwise, honestly. Same with Arrested Development. It's not like I keep all the stuff I download; I watch it and delete it; since most TV shows these days are on DVD anyway, I'll go out and buy it. DVDs are better than crappy divx files, anyway.

Moral: In my opinion, people download stuff because it's the best way for people to get the stuff they want. If there was a more reliable, easier option, (even if it costs money) people will take it. Bottom line.
2004-12-12 11:01:12 AM  
Anthropomorphic Mouse
... popular movies like Star Wars ...

Alright, someone call a tow truck, Anthropomorphic Mouse is stuck in 1977.

If you didn't notice, Star Wars went from a solid action/drama/adventure to a poorly executed comedy based on rather atrocious oneliners in just 1 episode.

The only good things are that big things get blown up. Seth wants big boom!
2004-12-12 11:13:48 AM  
/I blame Lars, it should have been him instead of Dimebag.

That would make sense. That would be some sense of justice.

2004-12-12 11:17:51 AM  
This Here Giraffe
copyright infringement != larceny
2004-12-12 11:18:04 AM  
I only started using bittorrent when FOX started preempting the first two thirds of "Malcolm in the Middle" because of football.
2004-12-12 11:18:43 AM  
but the real question with Bittorrent... can you get good porn off of it?
2004-12-12 11:21:56 AM  
It doesn't really matter where the server is, because if you are using bittorrent you are sharing the file as well, and they will bust you, because they busted me, and it sucked. There's nothing safe about bittorrent or

Yep, I'm with you on that one. They got me too. Heck, even the linked article that most people haven't read points out that "Anyone who uses BitTorrent and is under the illusion that they are anonymous are sorely mistaken," Malcolm said. "There is no reason why those lawsuits wouldn't include BitTorrent" users.

Since its the uploaders that they watch and BitTorrent automagically uploads as soon as you start downloading....

Funnily enough, my helpful ISP in it's letter pointing out what some in the house had apparently been downloading, directed me to sites telling how to stop the sharing for the various other applications.

The message was simple: download anything you want, just don't send it back out.
2004-12-12 11:23:00 AM  

That's probably why people steal so much in NY: the city isn't worth what it costs.

Isn't most of the movie stuff done in CA? What does NY have to do with anything?
2004-12-12 11:25:00 AM  
SilentStrider: but the real question with Bittorrent... can you get good porn off of it?

Silly rabbit,
2004-12-12 11:30:41 AM  
Nothing Speshel
If you're using a router, then you need to check out the port forwarding on your router. It's not so much that the ports aren't "open," it's just that they're going to your router instead of the machine you want them to go to. You don't want to forward all your ports though, just the ones associated with bittorrent.
2004-12-12 11:36:16 AM  
Bwahahaaa. Piracy hurts the little guy. Like Mexicans are taking all our good jobs.

I needed a good laugh.

[image from too old to be available]
2004-12-12 11:41:58 AM  
Many thanks AVARICE217
2004-12-12 11:44:54 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-12-12 11:48:24 AM  
Oh and a quick second plug :

ExoSee provides advanced connection-system,
creating private/public Networks for file-sharing, making files-transfer fast, safe and clean.

Program made to share files publicly and/or privately through a community oriented environment with other users of same community you start.
Application also includes HTTP-server (option to enable/disable), giving users the capability to create their own customized webpage for users to view at their own leisure. All Groups/communities to join are ran by individual users. If you don't like a community, simply switch to another or create your own for your friends/users by either public or private use.
2004-12-12 11:51:11 AM  
I don't download movies for one reason:

The MPAA was nice enough to actually put up a public service announcement during the movie previews to ask me nicely to not do it.

The RIAA's immediate resort to gestapo tactics really put that in perspective for me. Fark that, they can learn to produce CDs at an uninflated price (Anyone remember the incident? I got my $13.) or they can continue fighting against this juggernaut.
2004-12-12 11:57:18 AM  
There is, of course, The Whammer Solution!

In American mining law, you can stake a claim anywhere, but you have to develop that claim to the tune of $500 a year or more or lose it. The same should apply to copyright.

"Use it or lose it". The vast libraries of copyrighted material *have* to be retail marketed at a profit, annually,or they lose copyright protection. The government no longer has to track millions of old, never used copyrights, only the profitable ones. This would be GOOD FOR BUSINESS, and VERY GOOD FOR CONSUMERS.

Think about it. Music, books, movies, television, radio. You either make money from it, or stand aside and let other people make money from it.
2004-12-12 12:01:01 PM  
Oh come on, do shut up with all of this "larceny" and "stealing" nonsense. If they completely shut down all file-sharing tomorrow, it wouldn't have much of an effect on the profits of the movie studios.

Many of these pirates are kids. Kids who aren't suddenly going to all be buying their personal copy of every movie out there if you stop "piracy". They will go back to sharing the old fashioned way: with a recorder, or inviting 8 friends over to watch the rental - which is evil because Hollywood needs the money those 7 other rentals represent.

There are also a great many "collectors" out there, who want only to d/l ALL music ever made. They certainly aren't going to take their obsession into Media Play tomorrow if you shut down file-sharing.

The assumption that every shared file represents a lost sale is a lie, and they know it. The MPAA and the RIAA know how much money file-sharing ISN'T costing them, so why the fuss?

This issue is a smokescreen to cover the real assault. What they really want is to control ALL film and music flowing across the internet, under the guise of fighting "piracy".

Look at what technology has done for musicians, it is now possible to make a quality record in your home, without the
"help" of a major label. You can even advertise and distribute it, right from your basement. This is beginning to happen with film too.

This is what scares them, that they might be cut out of a market they feel they have a god-given right to dominate and control.

fark 'em.

fark 'em for Ishtar.

fark 'em for Ashlee Simpson.

You want to keep your precious "Intellectual Property" safe? Then keep it in your intellect.
2004-12-12 12:19:57 PM  
I have no sympathy for the media companies in this. Yes, techincally it's a crime, but they're attempting to blame a more-or-less innocent party for their own corporate excess and slowly disintegrating system. The fact is, the vast majority of pirated material downloaded would NOT have been bought legitimately. They get zero dollars either way. They just like to claim $X Billion in losses under the laughable assumption that everyone who downloaded Britney Spears' Greatest Hits actually would have shelled out a Jackson for the lousy waste of plastic.

A few people download CDs they would have otherwise purchased. A few people discover CDs online and go out and purchase what they otherwise would not have. The most believable studies I've seen suggest this works out so close to even as to make no real difference.

Would they LIKE to get those billions in royalties? Sure. But it's never, EVER going to happen.

In the meantime, their businesses are slowly self-destructing. They're keeping their heads above water, mainly with a lot of advertising trickery, but most are aware they're in serious trouble. The RIAA, especially, in their refusal to even consider online distribution until it was far too late have probably sounded their own death knell. (but, like any large creature, it's going to take them awhile to die) And as they continue to pump out more and more manufactured crap, and get more abusive towards the customers, the customers are going to flee. Either to online, or to smaller record labels.

(note: Most CD sales data they cite does NOT include small or European labels. So if you bail from the RIAA to only buy obscure Euro rock groups, they will consider you a "pirate" when lobbying congress)

Ditto for the movie system. They've gotten themselves locked into a spiral of destruction which, really, began with Star Wars. Every year there are more huge summer blockbuster-wannabes, costing $100 mil or more, most of which can never recoup their money. This is an unsustainable trend and it will crash, sooner or later - probably the year that there is NO big summer hit and all the studios lose billions.

And their shareholders and members are getting anxious. But instead of addressing the actual problems in their business models, they've invented this phantom menace of online piracy which costs them very little (if anything) in real money, but makes for a wonderfully convincing villan in the piece. And by stacking all the blame and focus upon THAT, they shift attention away from their real problems, and keep on spiraling into the abyss.
2004-12-12 12:21:31 PM  
A question for the torrent-savvy farkers out there...

I have azureus, and it complains because my ports are blocked by my NAT firewall. Unfortunately, I lost the password to my router and can't unblock them.

But I also have BitLord v0.56, which works fine, doesn't complain about the NAT firewall, and still gives me good download speeds. What gives?

What difference does opening or closing those ports make?
2004-12-12 12:26:18 PM  
whammer: Use it or lose it
I like the cut of your jib.
Jib? Pirate language!
2004-12-12 12:35:41 PM  
I don't understand the argument that "downloading will hurt the profits of the company distributing the product." That assumes that every time someone downloads something, that person would have intended to buy the product. I do not believe that is true.

If you want to say that your cd is "art," then let us preview it first. After all, would you go to an art gallery and buy a painting that was covered so that you couldn't see it first?

And what about that shiathole of a movie called "The Village?" That was a rip off even if you didn't pay to see it.
2004-12-12 12:43:00 PM  
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Grokster case. What this means is that if the Grokster decision is overturned, clients like Kazaa, Grokster and bittorent would be liable for any illegal content traded over their networks. The appeal refers specifically to appliances that have the potential to allow infringing material to be traded, so yeah, Brahm could get some serious shiat if that ruling is overturned.

However, there are loads and loads of free legal shiat to get off the net. MILLIONS of books, movies, everything. NOT EVERYTHING IS COPYWRITTEN MATERIAL, and some things that are, such as those covered under a creative commons license, are freely available for download and distribution while simultaneously reserving some rights.

Personally, I download everything coming off BBC. BBC, as far as I know, could care less if you download or share their programs around. Most people I know stay off the material that is offered in boxed sets, as obviously those are assembled for profit. But the documnetaries and the things that are shown and freely available, no one seems to have a problem with.

The only tv shows that I have noticed attracting attention are those made by paramount - like star trek, etc. The stuff on the big 3, cbs,nbc,abc - no one seems interested in sending out c & d's on.

Yes, the rss feeds are the new wave of how things are done, in my opinion. Also, suprnova, which does host torrents for infringing material, is working on a decentralized client which would effectively end the ability to track torrent streams back to ips.

If you get busted or get a C & D for anything - go here

chilling effects

That is a clearinghouse on the web for C & D's, they are also tied to the Electronic Freedom Foundation which is the place where you can find the most current information on court cases and defences related to copyright cases.

There are several other places now lobbying in Congress for YOUR RIGHTS to trade information freely with whatever client you like over the net. Ipac and are two.

All of these places also have rss feeds.

OK - this is my page - I keep a LOT of feeds there pertinent to legal material, copyright news, etc. etc.

The best place to get rss feeds that are combined with bittorent that I have found is Feedster. Just select a feed and do whatever you want. You will need an agregator or client to read them with.

There are thousands of completely legitimate ways to get torrents, podcasts, rss feeds, downloads of just about whatever you want on the net.
2004-12-12 12:43:25 PM  
The RIAA doesn't DARE go after "pirates" to the extent that they would like.

What happens if you attempt to "litigate" against people who know more about computers than the CEOs, lawyers and corporate goons do?

You get hacked.

The RIAA sues little kids because they haven't got the cojones to take on any real "pirates", and they know it.
2004-12-12 12:45:45 PM  

Unfortunately, I lost the password to my router and can't unblock them...

Baad boy. Don't go around lying and stuff. Lost password, pffft.
2004-12-12 12:47:41 PM  

Unfortunately, I lost the password to my router and can't unblock them...

If you unplug it for like 10 seconds or thereabouts, hit the reset switch after you plug it back in (you have to hold it down for like ten seconds too), it should reset back to factory specs.
2004-12-12 12:50:25 PM  


Unfortunately, I lost the password to my router and can't unblock them...

Baad boy. Don't go around lying and stuff. Lost password, pffft.

I'm not kidding! I think I must have been in one of those moods where I suddenly decide to use a new password for extra security. For the life of me I can't get into the damned thing with any of the passwords I usually use, and it's not the default, either.

I'll have to reset the thing but can't be bothered to set it all up again since I'm getting a new router in a week or two.
2004-12-12 12:53:48 PM  

I'm not concerned about that case. I'm not terribly fond of the current SCOTUS lineup, but they are fairly rational. If they overturned Betamax (which is what this would do) the reverberations would be staggering. Plus, it would also go against one of the most fundamental rules of our legal system - you aren't responsible for what someone else does with something you make. I simply cannot imagine any way that they could rule against Grokster without rendering illegal VCRs, DVD-R drives, and hypothetically, the whole of the Internet.
2004-12-12 12:57:29 PM  

I'm not concerned about that case. I'm not terribly fond of the current SCOTUS lineup, but they are fairly rational. If they overturned Betamax (which is what this would do) the reverberations would be staggering. Plus, it would also go against one of the most fundamental rules of our legal system - you aren't responsible for what someone else does with something you make. I simply cannot imagine any way that they could rule against Grokster without rendering illegal VCRs, DVD-R drives, and hypothetically, the whole of the Internet.

Yeah and you are right! But why did they agree to even hear it? That's amazing! And I have to admit I've gone really paranoid over the whole thing, because yeah, if they even toy with that decision the whole ball of wax could rumble to a stop. Its nuts! On the other hand, if they uphold it, things are going to skyrocket, and man, there will be millions of clients unloaded overnight.

Its the lynchpin thing that has me worried. Its like everything revolves around that decision, and man, thats just not right to begin with.
2004-12-12 12:59:49 PM  

My guess is that they just want to re-affirm Betamax. If they hand down another ruling saying, in essence, Betamax applies to the Internet to, then that stops a lot of silly litigation that's wasting everyone's time.
2004-12-12 01:05:29 PM  
I wonder how many people will pick up on the Azerus reference Eric Hexagon?

And well said MeganAndJulian

If studios released (for free) more movies on the internet, they wouldn't have this problem. Take the catalogue of movies they have, plut in some commercials every 10 or 15 minutes and release them. The commercials (via the sponsor) pay for the release. And the vast majority or people are to lazy to edit them out.
That's how movies were broadcast on television (non cable) for the last 60 years. The sponsors paid with advertising.
Now, corporate greed dictates that every lackluster piece of no brain crap should make half a billion on merchandise on a marketing with dvds.
Take note Hollywood. The stuff you produce is crap. Most piraters pull it down. Watch it once. And then trash it, as it's not worth keeping.
And to make a small change in the term pirate.

Pirate means you're going to pull it down, and resell it dozens of times over, and make a profit.

The vast majority of people who share on BT are sharers. Generous people who have something they let other people use, without profit. It's not the old days when the internet first started and everyone had a pay site (Warez....does anyone even use that antiquted term now?)

Next thing you'll know, people who borrow books at the library will be subjected to fees and lawsuits by the MPAA and RIAA for reading without paying for it.
2004-12-12 01:11:52 PM  
What's sad is that while both the movie and music industries are trying their hardest to "stuff the shiat back into the horse" they could get smart and find ways to use the internet to their advantage.

Given that the mediums both are marketing are digital, there HAS to be a reasonable way for them to use the net to sell perhaps a reduced quality version of their product online for a lesser profit.

Personally, I think the RIAA should go suck eggs. I heard a story once that, back in the day, the dude that wrote Napster went to recording studios looking for funding for his new tech and was told to go shout off a high rock and that his tech would never fly. So, a few years later they get the most liberal court in the land to turn back the "bad business decision" clock and shut him and his idea down. The recording industry could have had an atom of foresight and realized where the technology was evolving too and steered the tech to a profitable place for them...but they didn't.

Now, the movie industry on the other hand has the advantage of seeing what has been happening with music. The only reason the movie producers aren't screaming (yet) is that a movie is a much larger download and requires much more time to both up and download...but that change is coming too. Their efforts would be much more wisely spent acknowledging that technological change is rampaging toward them and deciding on a course of action that takes advantage of it rather than futilely try and stifle it.
2004-12-12 01:17:03 PM  
To all those who are AFRAID to download/feel threatened that the "bad guys" might connect to you:

Get PeerGuardian - with a nice blacklist, you can litterally keep those prying eyes OUT of your PC.
2004-12-12 01:19:13 PM  
Thieves should be shot.
2004-12-12 01:19:33 PM  
And the BlockListManager available from the same site (peergaurdian), purplesmoke420.
2004-12-12 01:23:27 PM  
Here are the blacklists (block-lists) (pop-up)
2004-12-12 01:25:07 PM  
Thanks James_Maybrick ,

I haven't used peerguarding in a while - after my blocklist got too big, it started being a big CPU/memory hog for me. I have heard, however, that they have fixed this problem.
2004-12-12 01:34:35 PM  
make a movie worth my $15 dollars that it costs to go see and i will give you my money. most movies just arnt that good.
2004-12-12 01:40:33 PM  
god i love bittorent and ive got about 60 some movies from suprnova so far and ive either replaced my entire music collection or just added to it with high res music ive picked up off there.
in the 2-3 years ive used BT, ive only got one infringment notice.
2004-12-12 01:43:33 PM  

Sure, they CAN. But they've become so obsessed with their ludicrous profit margins that they refuse to lower the price to something reasonable enough that the average person would want to bother with it.

I do NOT consider the ability to download an album, without physical cd, case, liner notes, plus compression artifacts lousing up the sound, for the SAME price as buying it at the store to be a bargain at all. In fact, it's downright insulting.

And that's their big problem. The RIAA controls so much of the market collectively that they simply do not care what the customers think. "We will provide this product on OUR terms, or you can fark off." This is what's led to "innovations" like putting copy-protection on CDs that installs itself as a device driver without asking permission.

As I see it, the rampant online piracy is the market adjusting itself. The "invisible hand" in action. The fact is, copies of music OR movies downloaded from the internet are inferior, often vastly so. But the monopoly powers have become so abusive that more and more people prefer that to actually buying their wares. (or stop buying pop-music all together) And the more arrogant and abusive they get, the more it's going to happen.

And you can look at other areas of the music industry to see who's getting it right. Look at Classical. You now only pay "full" CD price for superstar conductors or performers. If you just want a copy of Beethoven's 9th, you can get a fine performance of it for under $10. (or just about any other piece) They recognized they were losing customers, dropped their prices, and amazingly, they now continue to profit. (and there's at least one online MP3 store providing most tracks at 50c or less)

The internet brings the potential of HUGE leaps in distributing power, but simple macroeconomics says, the more available your product is, the lower the price should be. Either make it rare, and make it expensive, or make it common and profit through cheap but huge bulk sales.

The RIAA thinks it can have this both ways, and they simply can NOT. And either they're going to figure this out, or they're going to implode.
2004-12-12 02:05:28 PM  
Incidentally, in tinfoil hat mode, I have suspected for a couple years now that the RIAA intentionally inflated the price of their online stores to make them unattractive, so they can go say "Look! We give them legal downloads and they STILL pirate! We must outlaw digital music immediately!"

The success of iTunes is really a testament to how much people really DO want legal downloads, even to the point they'll let themselves get screwed over to get them. Just imagine if someone embraced the sales model in a customer-friendly way. They'd rake in the money.
2004-12-12 02:10:18 PM  
Here's another alternative to running around like jackasses suing people

Transitional Fair Use
2004-12-12 02:21:18 PM  

I never really bought music before file sharing came about. Through file sharing I've found bands I never knew existed before. If I find the band is good, I'll buy their CD. Unfortunately, one band, Infected Mushroom, is hard to find in stores and online (reliably).
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