Editorial

Editorial: The film industry is asking for piracy

Piracy, illegal file sharing, or whatever you choose to call it, isn't a problem that can (or should) be solved by modern-day witch hunts and draconian censorship policies like SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). Doing that ends up creating legal precedents that can lead to far more dangerous kinds of censorship. The only way to stop piracy is to start at the root cause: the networks and studios themselves.

It's not hard to understand that they would want to protect their business. But the ways they go about doing it are downright stupid. Rather than trying to adapt to new innovations and changing markets, they keep trying to hold on to the past, and they want to pull you back with them. They've been playing this game for a long time. Hell, if it was up to them, there would have been no VHS, no cassette, no internet... well, basically anything that's been invented since the '60s. Bills like SOPA are just more hopefully futile attempts to hold back society and technology.

For example, we recently reported that shows from premium cable networks, like HBO and Showtime, suffer from piracy far more than network shows. It just so happens that these networks have one of the most archaic business models of all. Charging a subscription to access all of your content, large portions of which are crap, is as dead a business model as the vinyl album.

 

Networks have the same problem, but they've been far more flexible in adapting to new technology. By making their content available on portals like Hulu soon after it airs on TV, they brought a ton of pirates back into the fold. People aren't pirating because they think it's cool, they're pirating because it's the only feasible way to see something. If you're in one country and want to see a show from another without waiting years, BitTorrent is the only way.

When Fox decided to delay the Hulu release of some of their biggest shows, guess what happened? Piracy went through the roof. The trend that emerges is that studios are driving people to piracy because of their inflexible business models. For better or worse, the world is a different place than it was ten years ago. The digital revolution kicked into high gear back then, give or take a few years, and we're spoiled; we want what we want when we want it, on the screen that we want it on.

Just by looking at the comments that some of our recent stories got, there are a lot of people out there who are happy to, maybe even prefer to, pay for their content. I'm willing to bet that if the networks would be more open to timely digital distribution, that they would see their profits increase and piracy decrease.

If they want to make sure , they can sweeten the deal by adding some exclusive content to the digital versions. Heck, by doing that, they might even get repeat profits when TV viewers tuned in to see the extras.

And keep in mind that I said increase their profits, not salvage. Despite their struggles with piracy, most studios and networks continue to be profitable. Actually, they're making way more money now than they were before file sharing took off. According to The Raw Story, a recent study by the nonpartisan CRS (Congressional Research Service) found that:

...total gross revenues and box office receipts have doubled in the last 15 years. Grosses went from $52.8 billion in 1995 to $104.4 billion in 2009, while box office receipts went from $5.3 billion in 1995 to $10.6 billion in 2010 — yet hiring still went down... That seemingly proves the industry’s biggest concern is not the Jack Sparrows of the Internet, but rather Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. And in spite of the CRS report, Netflix insists it is good for studios.

That, my friends, is all that you need to see in order to grasp just how out of touch the studios are. Netflix IS good for them. Even if it does have a negative impact on some people's jobs, that's only looking at the short term. The economy changes constantly as new industries rise and old ones die. I'm sure that many people have lost their jobs as a result of the music industry's shift to digital media, but it was ultimately a good things. Those jobs will be replaced and even expanded by new ones. It's like the carriage industry trying to ban cars! Short term discomfort is not a reason to try and hold the industry back. That's just going to make the changes that are inevitably coming all the more painful.

On the other hand, this doesn't mean that piracy isn't hurting them. Even though they are still making money, they probably would be making more if it wasn't for piracy. It might be greedy, but, for better or worse, that's what our society is built on. I see a lot of people complaining about the studios being greedy, the record labels even more so, and how they wish they would go out of business. That makes sense when they do something stupid (SOPA comes to mind), but it's incredibly short sighted.

The Swiss government's decision to do nothing about piracy is almost admirable and troubling at the same time, the rationale being that piracy doesn't seem to have impacted anyone's profits. While this may be true, it probably has impacted their growth to some extent. Our economy depends on this growth to drive it forward, and revenues should change with inflation as well. It's impossible to be sympathetic to the film or recording industries, though, because the tactics they choose to employ are absolutely abhorrent.

Now, I can't help but bring a little pet peeve into this. The fact is, like it or not, we need them. I had a conversation with a guy once who said that there would still be 'art' if we didn't have record labels and film studios. Sure, there was good music before there were record labels, but it generally wasn't recorded. There was no one to record and distribute it. Film, on the other hand, has always been commercial.

Movies are very expensive. If it wasn't for the film studios, then the highest quality film production you could expect would be the latest viral craze on YouTube. If no one paid for their entertainment, then there would be none. Art, maybe, but most of the things we enjoy are hardly 'art.'

Now is a critical time, as the movie studios and TV networks find themselves in the same situation that the music industry found itself in at the dawn of the millennium. Now is the time for them to make a choice: adapt or die.

Images courtesy of TorrentFreak, Alex Torrance, and Fox

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"probably would be making more if it wasn't for piracy"

It's simply free vs paid distribution, like saying train companies would make money if it wasn't for cars, like Gabe Newell said in regards to file-sharing, it's a service issue.

I like the article but I do not think any show is worth the risk. I have all of the movie channels & Netflix, sure it takes a while to see the movie but its not that bad. Movie theaters & pay per view cost more then I want to spend.

I saw the article about the Hurt Locker lawsuit FAIL but all it takes is an overzealous law firm and a judge to allow the case to happen. Eventually something will pass where a flood of lawsuits happen, I would hate for me or my kids to get hit by one of them. Overcautious? Perhaps but its all about risk, working in IT and if I was ever hit by a lawsuit like that could be career ending or limiting for me. If the lawfirm got your ip info and traced it back to you, how many years would the statute of limitations be, imagine being sued 10 years from now for something you torrented this morning.

I agree that the movie studios have a poor business model but I don't think they make people pirate movie, people do it because it is easy and it isn't as easily available as they would want. Its as easy as sending email, surfing sport scores, downloading free porn and pirating music.

Finally, internet restrictions in different countries, that would suck but thankfully I am not in a country where they lock anything down, that would be terrible.

It's pretty simple: I 'pirate' TV shows because when they finally become available in my home country, it's years later, out of order and with bad German dubbing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a snob when it comes to language, but I have been spoiled by the original versions since DVDs suddenly had 'em 15 years ago. This goes so far as I can hear which joke they tried to translate and failed miserably... well.

Also I don't feel like I take business away from anyone. Who's the victim if I p2p some show here that will come on TV in three years where I won't watch it anyway for the reasons above?

It's time for the EU to get this particular act together and unify all that copyright nonsense. It's absurd that I can travel from Hammerfest to Palermo without the need for a passport or changing money but it's completely OK to watch some youtube video on one side of a river but it's locked on the other (just as an example; same goes for all legal internet media).

They will always get my money for DVD/BR sets with a certain rewatchability. And I'm highly willing to pay a reasonable price *LOL* for things I will watch only once, like most series. They won't let me do the latter, however. Because I live in a small country not too high on the negotiating priority for the media industry bigshots. 8 million people? Screw it. 500 million people? Oh my, I'd like to see Hollywood's rush to make things available...

Finaly a great article highlighting the "real" problem behind piracy.

As the article states a lot of us are prepared to pay for ourselves if there was a good alternative to piracy. As of now there's none.

I wouldn't mind some sort of renting service where I pay for watching the movie once, and if i want to see it again i'd have to pay once more. Right now the services that exists lack in quality, availability and more importantly price. If the quality and availability sucks then i'm not prepared too pay for it since I can get much better quality for free somewhere else.

Give me a service with great quality (1080p) and new series and movies and a pricetag of maybe $1 per watch i'd be gladly using it. But right now I have to pay almost the same amount as if i went to a store and bought the movie only to end up with a rented movie in useless quality.

That price might be a bit low offcourse but it's a start, i've given the movie corporations my thoughts and views and now I think they should come up with a counter-offer and maybe I (the consumer) and they (the companies) can meet somewhere halfway with a great service that's usable.

At the moment i'm feeling like the corporations are more interessted in putting their possible customers into jail then they are in actually turning us into paying customers. I'm quite confident that we won't take their side anytime in the future as long as they are against us. Start working with us and i promise you that I will take the companies side and defend a half-bad solution as long as they show that I as a customer are important too them and that they are ready to adapt.

You should never work against innovation and progress, and that's why laws like SOPA should never even be considered in the first place.

Sorry for my bad English,

Purely FWIW...

"... Movies are very expensive. If it wasn't for the film studios, then the highest quality film production you could expect would be the latest viral craze on YouTube. If no one paid for their entertainment, then there would be none. Art, maybe, but most of the things we enjoy are hardly 'art.'"

Yes & no, IMHO anyway... It is expensive to make a movie or TV show, but a LOT of the expense is hard if indeed possible to justify -- the video content biz often functions like US gov, figuring they're spending someone else's money so who cares how much anything costs. There's little or no way a lot of those involved, particularly at the higher levels, are worth close to their salaries + bonuses, & I believe that's what they're so interested in protecting. One way they've accomplished that for decades is controlling distribution. Michael Robertson [mp3.com etc.] sent out an eye-opening email [http://goo.gl/4H2As] on how the music labels control legal, on-line distribution -- the movie & TV folks have a similar philosophy on-line or off, e.g. the people who created the Blair Witch Project got screwed because when it came to distribution they were at Hollywood's mercy. Perhaps that's why the TV & movie industries are so scared of on-line distribution? It enables talent to bypass them entirely. And perhaps that's why Google & Amazon etc. are willing & maybe even anxious to bankroll *outside* talent? After all, how much of what you see on cable/satellite is poorly conceived, written &/or acted? They've also lowered the bar when it comes to video quality -- most content on cable/satellite & Blu-Ray is lower quality encodes, while streaming content from the likes of Netflix suffers from bandwidth restrictions to the same effect. Not only have HD cameras gotten *Much* cheaper, you might find you don't even need a higher end consumer model to match the quality they've trained viewers to accept.

Through the 80s, photos were something you had the local drug store send out for printing, page layout/design, not to mention typesetting & printing was handled by higher priced pros, & in the early days of the web people were commanding top dollar for writing the simplest html. E-books have enabled anyone to be an author, & now Amazon is enabling publisher-free distribution. The list goes on and on, if you cared to write/create one, showing how the marketplace has been shedding what might at the worst be considered parasites. That it happens to or with the movie & music worlds is a given -- the only unknown is how long it will take, & how effective those controlling distribution will be forestalling the inevitable, using tactics like SOPA. I'm sure more than a few are just hoping to get all they can before they retire to some tropical paradise.

----

"Even though they are still making money, they probably would be making more if it wasn't for piracy. It might be greedy, but, for better or worse, that's what our society is built on."

IMHO of course...

Would they make more money if current strategies are pursued & ultimately were/are more successful? Only if that enables them to raise prices &/or cut costs [probably as the result of forcing customers to accept lower quality]. 1) people don't like to give their money to companies, people etc. they despise, & 2) people tend to do what they feel is right. That 2nd is the basis for most all law enforcement & judicial systems -- we'd all live in some sci fi version of a police state otherwise. In a nutshell then, to get more of the people that are illegally downloading today paying some or more tomorrow, the studios & labels need to make more of those people want to buy their products -- they are never going to make customers out of those who for 1 reason or another can't buy what they sell. Indeed a portion of illegal posting & downloads happen because people are doing what they feel is ultimately just & right -- the psychology or humanity of it [take your pick] is little different from dissidents in societies &/or countries many consider repressive posting whatever forbidden content on-line. That forbidden content is already available to those who pay the price [though it may not be in dollars & cents], and a great many people will always feel that forbidden means forbidden; arguments & debate over forbidden posts & downloads center on how rule-based we are ourselves &/or our own, individual sliding scales of what in fact should be forbidden. Please realize that A LOT of marketing/conditioning has gone into making us see things emotionally & in certain ways -- I have yet to hear or read of Syrian or Iranian dissidents called pirates, yet getting info of/on events out of their country often means posting content on-line illegally, & while that content is Very different than the latest movie release, what they're doing remains the same. Wikileaks is another great example -- love 'em or hate 'em, agree or disagree, most of the arguments I've read center on how we feel individually about what they've released rather than a blanketing belief that all secrets should remain secret, e.g. the US gov isn't trying to prosecute leakers of info they've found useful.

I do disagree 100% on the greed part. Commonly used as a blanket, derogatory alternative to "Your mama..." I personally think you're better than that.

By Webster dictionary definition greed is wanting more than you need -- strictly by that definition if you're living above the standards of any surviving, but starving population, current or past, you're being greedy. That's based on the barest minimums needed to survive -- hardly realistic & perhaps an overly literal interpretation, it nonetheless illustrates how the word can be used or applied almost anywhere in most any fashion. Truth is, there's not a surviving species on earth, plant, animal, even viral that doesn't seek to always expand it's numbers. Every society is greedy as well -- negative growth &/or stagnation = decline, & there's no society based on the goal of oblivion [cults maybe, societies no].

Come the Christmas season one recurring theme is the overwhelming Consumerism [that's you BestBuy], which I think can & does get out of hand -- retailers happily selling over-priced Charlie Brown Christmas trees is proof enough for me. But that's no more greedy than the local baker selling rather than giving away bread so s/he can feed their family & pay the bills. Nor is it greedier than parents in a more socialist country wishing they had more food on the table for their too hungry kids, even if that meant more than their absolutely fair share, or the farmer who plants/harvests more than absolutely needed so there's something left to sell at market. Indeed the word Greed has come to be no more than an easy epithet, made all the more fashionable because it appeals to one of our baser habits or traits, Envy -- pretty much universally pitied & despised, we could still identify with Gollum because it was his envy that got him into his mess of a life... too often calling someone(s) greedy is thought an acceptable way of saying "I don't have that but I really want it for myself", though very few will admit it.

The studios and copyright industry can kiss my arse. I'll never pay for their content. In fact, I download for all my family and friends too. Good luck changing me

If you guys think it is bad in Canada, you should come live in India!

But actually, torrents isn't the only way. I personally just use VPN's to watch shows and listen to music. If these companies have a problem with this also, then they can seriously go b*** someone.

The Dark Knight said,
If you guys think it is bad in Canada, you should come live in India!

But actually, torrents isn't the only way. I personally just use VPN's to watch shows and listen to music. If these companies have a problem with this also, then they can seriously go b*** someone.

Try to get premium hulu outside the US. it don't work. Even with VPN you are limited on the content, quality and availability (tablet, phone, game system, computer, etc).

I've never tried, but why doesn't it work? Does it specifically need a US credit card and billing address?

I just use the free Hulu, CBS, iPlayer, etc. Once the shows release on DVD, I import them.

Nothing new in this editorial.

I hate the whole country or continent centric crap. The internet would allow global access for many services but stupid deals from media companies prevent this, instead limiting services like Netflix or Rdio to US only and having YouTube pop up "this music video is not available in your country" crap. Shooting themselves in the foot by shunning potential customers just because they're in a different country.

I would gladly pay for a service that let me watch the latest episodes of various US TV shows for a monthly fee, in HD quality. And by HD quality, I don't mean the barely DVD quality that is offered by streaming services now. I wouldn't mind having to download a few gigabyte file to watch a show like one would do via BitTorrent. I've got the connection for it and waiting 30 minutes for it to load is no biggie. Even if you had to use a proprietary player it wouldn't be so bad if the player itself is good and doesn't get in the way.

At least for PC games Steam has made copy protection less annoying because you no longer need to have the DVD in the drive to play. Personally I'd rather buy the games from Steam too but normally they're usually just as expensive as buying from the store, just without the resale possibility.

Since I got a part time job I've had the money to go genuine on all my favourite games, I did this because they were good games and the makers need rewarding but I now have to faff around changing disks in between games, to me it appears P2P is easier which is worrying...

thealexweb said,
Since I got a part time job I've had the money to go genuine on all my favourite games, I did this because they were good games and the makers need rewarding but I now have to faff around changing disks in between games, to me it appears P2P is easier which is worrying...

You see thats the beauty of Steam. You can have a game on your steam account and play it without any cd's and still keep the box at home OR you can have just the games on your account that go with you from computer to computer, it's brilliant!

Ently said,

You see thats the beauty of Steam. You can have a game on your steam account and play it without any cd's and still keep the box at home OR you can have just the games on your account that go with you from computer to computer, it's brilliant!

The problem with steam is when my friends reinstall Windows and have to redownload all their games they always go over the fair use policy fot their ISP

thealexweb said,

The problem with steam is when my friends reinstall Windows and have to redownload all their games they always go over the fair use policy fot their ISP

If you use Steam and need to reinstall Windows, just copy your Steam folder to some place safe, then copy back it again after the new Windows installation. You don't need to download all your games again.

Legally purchase a movie, sit through several minutes of stupid FBI warnings and commercials which your player won't allow you to skip. Pirate a movie, the movie starts immediately with no interruptions and you can watch it anywhere you want with no restrictions.

TRC said,
Legally purchase a movie, sit through several minutes of stupid FBI warnings and commercials which your player won't allow you to skip. Pirate a movie, the movie starts immediately with no interruptions and you can watch it anywhere you want with no restrictions.

IT Crowd: "You wouldn't steal a baby!"

TRC said,
Legally purchase a movie, sit through several minutes of stupid FBI warnings and commercials which your player won't allow you to skip. Pirate a movie, the movie starts immediately with no interruptions and you can watch it anywhere you want with no restrictions.

I think it's convenient only that I'm unable to purchase anywhere except on one of those "start your trial today" websites. I went as far as to use netflix, but even they don't have a lot of the content that I like. I WANT to see Paaz magic egg (an older cartoon) but they didn't have it. Nobody sells it except an amazon sponsor who won't sell it unless I sign up with a co-sponsor. It's getting ridiculous. So next best thing, you know what

Don't forget the cinemas themselves! they moan all the time, I'm sure income has gone up while people through the doors has gone down. (Might be something to do with the tripe currently shown)

I remember Vue in the UK kicked up a stink about Alice in Wonderland because the studio wanted to take it to DVD quicker! So while studios are themselves a problem, cinemas are the other one.

Just roll out the subscription free, pay as you go online services which would offer an incredible flexible service, just like PC gaming. Want that movie straight away before its released, that's ok we can pre load it!!!

Reason why some companies are against this is because it gives the smaller guys an easier chance of getting something to market without using the middle man as much!

great read,and I agree about the old business models of premium TV stations. Discovery for instance is a station I frequently watch, however there are days where I miss a show. Thanks to the new digital transition I can no longer easily use my tv tuner card on my computer with out the digital box or a cable card So dvr is out for me. Discovery has very few shows on hulu which leads me to only one outlet and that is torrenting or online streaming unless that is I want to watch the rerun at 2 am.
I don't get it, are these networks not seeing the big picture here? Its DVR or VHS recording if you want to talk about old school or nothing

If you're in one country and want to see a show from another without waiting years, BitTorrent is the only way.

There's that "entitlement" mentality that I was talking about in another thread on piracy. It seems that a lot of people outside the US feel that they have some sort of inherent right to watch shows that are produced here. Guess what? You don't. Most shows here are paid for by advertising. If you are pirating a show then you generally aren't seeing the ads, and even if you did see them, they are likely for products that you can't purchase anyway since you are in another country. The same goes for people in the US watching shows from other countries. Do I have the right to watch, for example, an original broadcast of Doctor Who? No. Why? Because I don't pay the UK TV license that supports the show.

For every TV show to be available globally at the same time, there would have to be some sort of system in place that allowed everyone, everywhere to pay to support it. While such a system is in theory possible, it would require coordination between every production company and broadcaster in the world to implement it. Probably isn't something that could happen even in a timeframe of a decade, much less in a matter of months or years. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have only been around for a few years now. I think it is a little premature to say that the media companies aren't willing to change with the times. Look at all of the companies that have signed on to distribute their shows on these services. And there are more being added all of the time.

I know where you're coming from, but the "entitlement" argument is getting as jaded as the other side.

If you want people to stop downloading the shows, open them up. People wouldn't feel the need to download the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Quahog if they could stream it from Hulu or buy/rent it from Amazon or iTunes. There are systems in place for legally supplying these shows either for a price or free with ads. So take down the borders and give people a chance to go legit.

Looking at the gaming world, Steam have no problem globally supplying games (and putting them on sale globally too, here's looking at you EA).

This is the 21st century. We're supposed to be a global village. With a global economy. So why are some industries still trying to live in the past? We've evolved, so keep up. Adapt or die. It's business 101.

roadwarrior said,

There's that "entitlement" mentality that I was talking about in another thread on piracy. It seems that a lot of people outside the US feel that they have some sort of inherent right to watch shows that are produced here. Guess what? You don't. Most shows here are paid for by advertising. If you are pirating a show then you generally aren't seeing the ads, and even if you did see them, they are likely for products that you can't purchase anyway since you are in another country. The same goes for people in the US watching shows from other countries. Do I have the right to watch, for example, an original broadcast of Doctor Who? No. Why? Because I don't pay the UK TV license that supports the show.

For every TV show to be available globally at the same time, there would have to be some sort of system in place that allowed everyone, everywhere to pay to support it. While such a system is in theory possible, it would require coordination between every production company and broadcaster in the world to implement it. Probably isn't something that could happen even in a timeframe of a decade, much less in a matter of months or years. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have only been around for a few years now. I think it is a little premature to say that the media companies aren't willing to change with the times. Look at all of the companies that have signed on to distribute their shows on these services. And there are more being added all of the time.

It's nothing to do with feeling entitled to watch a show, if it's only available one way I am going to get it that one way, I don't feel like I have a right to do it though... If there was a legal way to do it by paying a fee, then I may feel entitled to pay that fee.

In his statement he didn't even comment on whether these people are entitled to download it via BitTorrent, just that it is the only way to get the show for some.

roadwarrior said,

There's that "entitlement" mentality that I was talking about in another thread on piracy. It seems that a lot of people outside the US feel that they have some sort of inherent right to watch shows that are produced here. Guess what? You don't. Most shows here are paid for by advertising. If you are pirating a show then you generally aren't seeing the ads, and even if you did see them, they are likely for products that you can't purchase anyway since you are in another country. The same goes for people in the US watching shows from other countries. Do I have the right to watch, for example, an original broadcast of Doctor Who? No. Why? Because I don't pay the UK TV license that supports the show.

The point you're making isn't bad, but I think you're placing too much emphasis on it. Suppose you're watching television in your home, and you get up to use the bathroom during a commercial break. Did you just give up your right to watch the show? Should the police be allowed to arrest you because you're now technically "stealing" the show? How about display televisions in stores - are you stealing if you stop to watch what's playing for a few moments, and then continue to walk on once the commercials come on?

roadwarrior said,

For every TV show to be available globally at the same time, there would have to be some sort of system in place that allowed everyone, everywhere to pay to support it. While such a system is in theory possible, it would require coordination between every production company and broadcaster in the world to implement it. Probably isn't something that could happen even in a timeframe of a decade, much less in a matter of months or years.

I'm not so sure about that. When the music industry found itself in trouble, look how quickly they got their butts in gear and set up a similar system. I know that iTunes, for instance, isn't completely the same over borders, but it's a good system with only a few hold outs, and way better than anything that came before it. Sooner or later, I think that the TV and film industries are going to have to do the same.

roadwarrior said,
For every TV show to be available globally at the same time, there would have to be some sort of system in place that allowed everyone, everywhere to pay to support it.
That is obviously a false statement, because the TV shows ARE available globally at the same time, through p2p.

People have an inherent right to information. Trying to restrict information will only harm humanity.

If the system doesn't work with free information, it is the system that needs to be changed, not the freedom of information.

DRM is seriously the stupidest **** I've ever seen, thats the point of buying something, is that I can watch it anywhere.

I've bought CDs that have it, and also downloaded them just cause of DRM.

It also doesnt help that most the movies made nowadays look like complete crap. Why shovel out 10 bucks to sit in a theater with annoying people who cant shut up to watch a movie were after your like "....that was a piece of ****, I cant believe I wasted my money" When I can just download it and watch it in my own home and stop it when ever I want if it sucked.

Its been shown in several studies that region and DRM protection is THE cause of piracy.

I bet if you look at network traffic in Canada for bitTorrent, netflix and hulu - and looked at network traffic for the US for the same you would see it is about equal overall (accounting for population and accounts).
Netflix, pandora, and hulu will take up 80% of the US traffic, but bitTorrent would take up 80% of canadian traffic. Plainly due to the content not being legally digitally distributed!

In canada a poor-mans-netflix is available. No ones even heard of pandora or hulu, and sites like grooveshark or last.fm are impractical.

Open these sites across the boarder and guess what the result will be?

srbeen said,
Its been shown in several studies that region and DRM protection is THE cause of piracy.

THIS. Do you know how many users on Steam were ready to purchase "Arkham City", even preordered it just to get a "Sorry this game is not available in your region" message on release day? Or EA's Origin where for months EA ignored user's issue where you can't set your store language or the language of the game you want to buy? It's as if they're saying that people outside the US/ E.U. don't matter when we're waving our money at them.

Great article. There are several shows I watch almost religiously, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Warehouse 13 especially, and until I can buy the DVDs/Blurays I'd have to wait for about two years after airing in the US if they are available at all. And I want to watch them in English, not that crappy German where most of the jokes are lost (TBBT are pretty good with translating the jokes...but still). Did you know that if i rent a movie in the swiss iTunes store i only have the option to rent it in german and french...not even italian is an option (which is an official language)...I don't like to watch translated movies...I watched Ong Bak in thai with (german) subs because there was only a german sound track on the dvd...it's therir fault i might download the series and buy the dvds as soon as they are out (about 2 years later)...

Well they could make a lot more money if they wanted. Stop being so stupid about licenses, let iTunes sell your TV Shows worldwide soon after they are on TV. Let Netflix service customers worldwide. You get it...
Until I get an option to pay for and get the content within a reasonable timespan and way (paying trough ads and waiting half a year for local TV to air them in <720p isnt) I will likely keep downloading TV shows, from where I stand it looks like they aren't particularly interested in my money anyway and as such won't be crying over "lost profits"...

Chester0 said,
Nice read

Agreed. good points for both sides.

BUT... at the end of the day i don't feel sorry for them as most fairly known films make enough profit on the theater run alone (and probably enough on DVD/Bluray etc). as far as music... from what i have read nearly all of the profit goes to everyone but the artist, so why support RIAA type stuff.

just looking at myself... i would say those rental type places take more of a loss than the studio's who make the films do as many of the films i see (i have seen 66 this year so far just looking at films released in 2011) without ways of 'obtaining' them i would have never seen to begin with more than likely. so based on that they have zero $ losses. although to be fair... there is probably still some films i would rent at local video store or possible netflix type stuff had i not been able to see them otherwise although since i said i have seen 66 films this year those would be MUCH less if i had to stick to the legit ways (especially if i was paying the traditional $3-ish bucks per rental) and would probably be no more than 10 (maybe 20 tops) films or so.

also, some films i have seen in theaters this year where due to me liking a director which without my other ways of obtaining films from that director i would most likely have never known if i liked his films or not which in that particular case i went and see a film in theaters this year i otherwise would not have.

so basically... rental/netflix type places are probably taking more of a loss from me than anything else and i am sure me going to the theaters occasionally (if i got higher expectations for it) would probably not happen if it where not for me being able to see the volume of films i have in a typical year to get more familiar with what i like and certain new actors/actresses or directors etc.