Every year the MPAA claims to be doing everything in its power to stop pirates from destroying the film industry. Of course, what they really mean is that they are wasting millions of dollars and work-hours.
Not only does there seem to be little proof that pirated downloads are actually hurting the film industry’s bottomline but the efforts of the MPAA are doing nothing to stop it:
Waxy.org’s Andy Baio has once again published an extensive collection of data about this year’s Oscar nominations and their availability on P2P networks. He’s been doing this for the last seven years, during which the overall picture has remained pretty much the same; almost all Oscar nominated movies are available on file-sharing networks before the annual awards ceremony. In fact of the 26 movies that were nominated this year, 23 are already available in DVD quality on P2P networks. (via NewTeeVee)
While this same article points out that it is taking longer for pirates to get copies to the internet, by a matter of days from year-to-year, it makes it very clear that the major studios are going to have to figure out a new approach to fighting the pirates other than chasing them around the net with “cease and desist” orders and dragging fans into court.
Maybe they should, um, take a few lessons from the pirates and begin releasing usable digital copies themselves without endless forms of DRM that cripple the end-users ability to do what they want with the movie.
Just a thought.
RIAA, the group perhaps most singly responsible for turning music fans against the major labels, is currently suing a young man who is being defended, in part, by a Harvard professor.
In an attempt to shed some light on the absurd arguments RIAA uses to make their case, the defendants requested that the court allow the trial to be webcast live.
Tenenbaum’s attorneys had sought the Webcast, arguing that streaming the hearing would allow the public to effectively attend the trial. The record industry opposed the request on the grounds that the publicity could prejudice a potential jury pool.
Gertner last week discounted the RIAA’s arguments, noting that the organization repeatedly said it sued non-commercial file swappers in order to generate publicity that would dissuade others from sharing music. Her order authorized the Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society to host the streams.(via)
Now the trial has been delayed as RIAA appeals this decision.
Let’s review, shall we. RIAA claims that these trials should be a warning and deterent to other file-sharers but they don’t want anyone to actually be able to watch the trial. That makes a ton of sense.
If the major labels want any chance to survive in the digital age they need to reign in RIAA and start treating their potential customers as partners instead of pirates.
These are the sorts of stories that must scare the hell out of big media corporations. According to TechDirt, Spore, the hugely anticipated and horribly DRM‘d game for Electronic Arts, is now the number one most pirated videogame in the world.
Yup. As TechDirt puts it:
“In other words, EA’s “antipiracy strategy” backfired almost completely. The company got a huge PR blackeye which probably only encouraged more people to download the game via file sharing. Can someone explain, again, why any company thinks DRM works?”
I think of this as a rhetorical question, but, honestly, can anyone explain it?
ArsTech has a great (and very well annotated) look at the ongoing struggles of the UK government to find some sort of working resolution between the music industry and people who use the internet to listen to that music in ways the music industry disapproves of – i.e. file-sharing, linking and streaming copyrighted content.
These are going to be the big issues facing every nation connected to the internet and the manner in which each government decides to handle it will be fascinating to follow.
One thing I desperately hope goes the way of the Dodo Bird (poor guy) is this whole “Three Strikes and Your Banned For Life” idea. This is insane for a slew of reasons.
1) Banning someone from the internet for life is equivilant to forcing someone to be a member of modern society without access to the most important communication and information delivery system in existence. Not only does that seem to violate the basic concept of the punishment fitting the crime but it seems kind of impossible to regulate. How the hell do you ban a person from getting online? Let alone enforce it.
2) Why “Three Strikes?” Not only is this arbitrary but they don’t even play baseball in the UK. What is this magical “three strikes” thing all about? Why three? Why not one? Or one hundred?
3) Finally, what constitutes a strike? What is the line between “sharing” – something we are all taught at an early age is a fine and noble act – and “stealing?”
I could go on, and I likely will in later posts. For now, please get educated on Intellectual Property policies and get ready to fight for your rights – they’re coming to take them away.
I find the weekly list of top downloaded TV torrents fascinating.
Last week the top three shows were TOP GEAR, WEEDS and STARGATE ATLANTIS.
Unlike the classic Neilson numbers, the torrent list is much more international. It also clearly has a bent toward a younger, more tech-savvy audience. However, one would be wrong to ignore how important these types of fan can be to a show that is not viewed as traditionally popular at a given network.
The trick for the networks is to figure out how to lure that crowd away from the pirated torrents and toward their own streams.
Of course, that would mean real innovation and change so don’t expect anything soon.
In the ongoing “war” on internet pirates, the MPAA has submitted a court brief claiming that they don’t need evidence to prove guilt of piracy! (via Wired)
“Mandating such proof could thus have the pernicious effect of depriving copyright owners of a practical remedy against massive copyright infringement in many instances,” MPAA attorney Marie L. van Uitert wrote Friday to the federal judge overseeing the Jammie Thomas trial.
“It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement,” van Uitert wrote on behalf of the movie studios, a position shared with the Recording Industry Association of America, which sued Thomas, the single mother of two.
As TorrentFreak puts it:
“So, the MPAA is basically saying that is is too hard to come up with solid evidence, and because of this, they should not have to proove anything. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it”
Once the MPAA can convince the courts it doesn’t need evidence they will be one step closer to their supreme goal – imprisoning all of their customers thus making them the perfect captive audience.
According to the GuardianUK:
“More than half of young people copy the songs on their hard drives to friends and even more swap CD copies, according to research that reveals the huge challenge home copying poses to a music industry already battling internet file-sharing.”
“Overall, 95% of the 1,158 people surveyed had engaged in some form of copying, including taking the music contents of a friend’s hard drive – 58% – and the more old-fashioned method of recording from the radio.”
Of course, this is causing the established record industry to call for tougher laws, more policing, bigger fines all in hopes of getting things back to the way they were…which is absolutely bat-shit crazy. That’s like stirring your cream back out of your coffee. It just isn’t going to happen.
Recording execs must feel a bit like the Stone-Age workers in this excellent skit from That Mitchell and Webb Look: