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Old 02-14-2012, 08:48 PM   #31
sonnyboo
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Originally Posted by josh-ozirigpro View Post
Whatever you DO go with, remember that a pirated copy is not lost revenue - chances are that person wouldn't have bought your DVD even if they couldn't find a pirated copy.
Yes, it absolutely IS lost revenue. Whether the user would have purchased it or not, they benefited from being able to see it without the copyright holder being compensated. Your don't get to eat a meal from a restaurant and decide after eating it if it was worth paying for or not.

Your assumption also alleviates the concept of TIME. 6 years ago if anyone told me I was going to buy a Peter Gabriel album, I would have told them they were insane. Never going to happen. Now I've spent over $200 on import CD's and all the remastered copies. Similarly, I never would have believed that I would buy Citizen Kane on DVD or Blu Ray, but now I own both - legitimate, not bootleg copies.

Piracy is not here to stay. A new form of the SOPA bill will get passed at some point and the wild wild west of the Internet will end. This may not be tomorrow, but within 10 years the law is coming to the torrent sites.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #32
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The most important point: a pirated download is NOT a lost sale! Thinking of them as lost sales is how the RIAA managed to come up with the ridiculous sum of 75 TRILLION DOLLARS (greater than the GDP of the entire world) when they sued Limewire.
Josh, I have had real world experience with this first hand. There was a specific day that our sales dropped, and after doing some research, we google searched "name of movie" and google's new algorithm had put a torrent site #1 for the search of "my movie- for sale" - Do you not think that people that were searching for my film didnt downloaded my movie for free? Guess what, the next week I got a call from a friend who said "Hey Nick, I was going to purchase your movie online, but I got it in a torrent file." (yes I got pissed) This was a FRIEND, can you imagine around the world?

So Josh, I just wanted to let you know that you can maybe take what I just said above, and add that to your mind the next time you think torrents dont prevent sales.

Nick
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #33
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You can't lose something you never had. If you eat a meal from a restaurant and don't pay they can't sell the same food to someone else who is willing to pay - but you can always sell the same movie to someone who's wiling to pay.

And I'm not sure what your point is about time; to me it sounds like you're saying someone who may not be willing to pay for something now may be willing to pay in the future, which is absolutely true - and the same person who pirates your film now may be willing to buy the special edition DVD, or one of your other films, in the future. Six years ago had you heard of Peter Gabriel? Had you heard any of his music? That's because someone spent a lot of money to make sure you had heard of it, even if you weren't ready to buy it then. Was that marketing money lost revenue, or a legitimate business expense paid with the knowledge that it would bring in paying customers in the future?

Finally, I'll repeat myself once again - it doesn't matter if SOPA or another similar bill passes. It doesn't matter if these torrent sites are blocked. None of this will stop illegal downloading. What it will do is cost a lot of money for enforcement, money which you will pay through taxes. It will also likely hurt a lot of legitimate sites. What would you do if the site you use to sell VOD or DVD copies of your film is abruptly blocked because one of the big studios complained that there was content on the site that infringed their copyrights? Or if the site simply refused to accept content from independent producers for fear of accidentally getting blocked due to infringement?
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:02 PM   #34
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You can't lose something you never had. If you eat a meal from a restaurant and don't pay they can't sell the same food to someone else who is willing to pay - but you can always sell the same movie to someone who's wiling to pay.

And I'm not sure what your point is about time; to me it sounds like you're saying someone who may not be willing to pay for something now may be willing to pay in the future, which is absolutely true - and the same person who pirates your film now may be willing to buy the special edition DVD, or one of your other films, in the future. Six years ago had you heard of Peter Gabriel? Had you heard any of his music? That's because someone spent a lot of money to make sure you had heard of it, even if you weren't ready to buy it then. Was that marketing money lost revenue, or a legitimate business expense paid with the knowledge that it would bring in paying customers in the future?

Finally, I'll repeat myself once again - it doesn't matter if SOPA or another similar bill passes. It doesn't matter if these torrent sites are blocked. None of this will stop illegal downloading. What it will do is cost a lot of money for enforcement, money which you will pay through taxes. It will also likely hurt a lot of legitimate sites. What would you do if the site you use to sell VOD or DVD copies of your film is abruptly blocked because one of the big studios complained that there was content on the site that infringed their copyrights? Or if the site simply refused to accept content from independent producers for fear of accidentally getting blocked due to infringement?
Is this comment directed towards me?
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:32 PM   #35
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I think it's directed towards Sonny:

"Yes, it absolutely IS lost revenue. Whether the user would have purchased it or not, they benefited from being able to see it without the copyright holder being compensated. Your don't get to eat a meal from a restaurant and decide after eating it if it was worth paying for or not."

From me to you regarding what you said before:

As I said, I empathize with that. I really do.
When I said a pirated download is not a lost sale ; this is in reference to the ridiculous lawsuits brought up by the big studios where they've managed to calculate "losses" of TRILLIONS of dollars far greater than the gross domestic product of the world.

Whether or not your film makes a loss directly or indirectly due to piracy is something you will never know unless you have the stats in front of you. Until then, you have no idea how many people downloaded it, how many of those people even watched it, or even if those people ended up buying a copy because they liked it so much. There're just too many variables and, for lack of a better word, the statistics are just "projected guesses".

I mean, what if I release an absolute crap-shoot of a movie, but for some reason a million people download it for free. Apart from doing a bait and switch ("hey this looks like a great movie *ten minutes later* what the crap?!) how many of them were actually going to dish out money for it? How many of those downloads were people, like your friend, who were actually going to pay for it but then decided not to?

The bottom line is, like the War on Drugs, fighting piracy on the internet with rules and regulations is ridiculous. As I said, shut down the main sites and they will pop back up. Have you seen how many times the Pirate Bay has been brought down, only to be resurrected hours later?
Until you address the end user and the reasons for their actions, nothing will change.

Unfortunately, it seems to be common that asset creators bury their heads in the sand and blame it all on piracy (much like terrorism is blamed) rather than analyze the reasons and move on from there.

@Paul:
You bring up some excellent ideas. I can definitely see how revenues for rental places have been affected first hand by piracy. There are, as always, many factors at play, but I would say that it's likely to be a key point.

------

Whoops: Looks like it's already happened: http://www.dailytech.com/The+RIAAs+D...ticle24005.htm
Guess they'll have to think of something different considering TBP can now be downloaded in a 90mb file...

Last edited by josh-ozirigpro; 02-14-2012 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Some news
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:51 PM   #36
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You can't lose something you never had. If you eat a meal from a restaurant and don't pay they can't sell the same food to someone else who is willing to pay - but you can always sell the same movie to someone who's wiling to pay.
Of course you can sell the same movie to someone who is willing to pay, but why would they be willing if they can get it for free? Especially in the illegal (in every definition) pirating of easy downloads?

Illegal downloads strip us of our rights to sell our work, at least the professionals who make a living at this. If you chose to give your movie away for free, there is no copyright infringement. For those of us who don't want to give away our work, and it is available for free - we have had our rights taken away without consent or permission.

Time will tell whose predictions will come true, and I agree that some sites will always be there for pirating, but the rampant high percentage of users will soon lose that ability to easily access them once the new laws are passed. Yes, we will pay for the enforcement with taxes and other ways.... so my point is proven - you will pay for the internet piracy one way or the other in the future. Everyone will, even those who did not participate.

I for one cannot wait until this comes to an end. Piracy is theft and we don't live in a socialist or communist state where everyone is "entitled" to movies, music, and TV shows for free. I've already gotten thousands of dollars from lawsuits against individual users who downloaded my feature film illegally. I do not feel any sympathy for them whatsoever. If it were possible to also press criminal charges, I would. A simple purchase or rental for $5-$10 would have avoided them paying out hundreds of dollars each in settlements.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:09 AM   #37
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You bring up something that has always irked me personally.

If I walked into a store and stole a copy of the same movie that you released (and settled with users) I would either get off with a slap on the wrist or a small fine.

Why is it appropriate to punish users with a charge several thousand times higher than that for "stealing" a digital copy?

I'm not saying that punishment is incorrect, but rather wondering why there is such a contrast between the two.
It obviously doesn't work as a deterrent.

Also, you might have missed the link I threw into my last post, but it would be a nice one to read to really highlight why any laws they introduce will only damage legitimate businesses as the pirates (and the ones doing the actual damage) will simply work around it.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #38
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I'm there with you sonnyboo. The few people I know personally that pirate stuff and have no qualms about it feel a sense of entitlement. It's either "the prices they charge for movies are ridiculous" or when it comes to software, "I just want to try it out first and make sure it fits my needs and the demos offered are never full featured enough to do it. If I like it, I'll buy it". Of course, I don't know if they've bought any piece after downloading it and they talk about movies like it's their birthright to watch stuff at a price (even $0) they deem appropriate.

Josh, the article talks about TPB using magnet links now to mange and host the bittorrent files. True, TPB itself have somewhat washed their hands of it, but now instead of filing suit against one entity, TPB itself, they'll be able to sue the pants off of any one of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of magnet hosts that will pop up. By hosting that content, it's placing you liable for distributing however many thousands of dollars worth of intellectual property that isn't yours to dole out.

The studio system has it's flaws, they are businesses out to make money any way they can, but in doing so they employ people in our field to do it. It's a little crazy to be pro-piracy and plan to make money in filmmaking.

Sonnyboo, out of curiosity and if you don't mind answering, did you hire a lawyer to file suit against individual pirates and settle out of court, or handle it all yourself? Out of state stuff or in your area? Again, out of curiosity. I have no features out there to be pirated, just want to know how it works haha.

In the mean time, if you know a fairly gullible pirate (with no heart issues) and want to give them a panic attack, send them this:
http://www.prankdial.com/pranks/digitalpiracy
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:18 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh-ozirigpro View Post
You bring up something that has always irked me personally.

If I walked into a store and stole a copy of the same movie that you released (and settled with users) I would either get off with a slap on the wrist or a small fine.

Why is it appropriate to punish users with a charge several thousand times higher than that for "stealing" a digital copy?

I'm not saying that punishment is incorrect, but rather wondering why there is such a contrast between the two.
It obviously doesn't work as a deterrent.
Shoplifting isn't that light of a fine. Hundreds to thousands of dollars and possible jail time. A judge may let a teen off with a warning or community service or something depending on the situation, but that's not always the case.

Also, when you download a torrent file you are also uploading and hosting that file for others to download. It's akin to the difference of being a drug user and a drug dealer. Dealers are sentenced more harshly.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:21 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by PaulGriffith View Post
The studio system has it's flaws, they are businesses out to make money any way they can, but in doing so they employ people in our field to do it. It's a little crazy to be pro-piracy and plan to make money in filmmaking.
http://www.prankdial.com/pranks/digitalpiracy
You're absolutely right.

However, I think the current model of attacking the pirates instead of listening to their qualms and finding a way to meet that demand in a (probably) very creative way.

I mean, look at how iTunes completely changed the music business.
Look at how micro transactions in video games have become the new norm.

How many users hesitate to throw $.99, $1.99 or even $4.99 at an application, just because it's cheap, convenient and easily accessible?

Maybe I just have a different out-take on it because of my background in games, but I just don't understand why the big studios aren't scrambling to come up with the future of movie distribution.
Don't they want to be the next iTunes?
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #41
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Well, you can watch most new release shows on Hulu for free with ads, you can buy them for $3 for iTunes, you can digitally rent a Movie for about $6 or buy it for $15-20. You can also drive to the gas station and rent a DVD for $1.

It's not about accessibility, it's about price and commercials. You can find a link to megaupload (or you could) to watch a show without commercials, you can download the movie for free. Maybe there is a creative way to do it, but right now it looks like people making that argument expect Universal to stream their library for free. Sony does with some on crackle with commercials. But free means that you'll be bombarded with even more ads at lower and lower production values. It's not a win-win.

Free market usually sorts this stuff out. If someone has a great idea for distribution it usually wins out, like iTunes. Piracy bypasses that and destroys room for innovation. If there was no piracy, at all, then a lack in DVD sales may drive studios to release them for less, or a lack of theater goers may drive down ticket prices. With piracy in the equation, that doesn't work, because like with any retail item as stealing increases, prices have to go up to cover losses.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:45 AM   #42
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Well, you can watch most new release shows on Hulu for free with ads, you can buy them for $3 for iTunes, you can digitally rent a Movie for about $6 or buy it for $15-20. You can also drive to the gas station and rent a DVD for $1.
But I can't. I live in Australia. We don't have access to Hulu here. Same with the digital renting. AFAIK iTunes is the only place which has a decent offering and I refuse to have that bloatware on my computer. So I'm stuck with renting or watching at the movies.

Service issue

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If someone has a great idea for distribution it usually wins out, like iTunes. Piracy bypasses that and destroys room for innovation.
I would argue that it's the other way around - I'm fairly certain that iTunes was developed as a direct opposition to piracy.

I've always been a fan of thinking that people are inherently good - they will do the right thing if you give them the opportunity to. And as we can see with the statistics of distribution models like Steam and iTunes, this seems to be true.

And as for destroying innovation?
Well, I'd rather get $1 from an honest person than have that person pirate and end up with nothing.
If piracy is costing us "so much" then surely it makes good business sense to develop a system which offers a competitive solution.
If Joey from down the street was undercutting your editing business by getting his grandma to cut the videos for free, wouldn't you simply use that as an excuse for creating a better product to offer to your customers (and therefore convince them to go with you instead)?
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:42 AM   #43
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If piracy is costing us "so much" then surely it makes good business sense to develop a system which offers a competitive solution.
getting warmer
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:26 AM   #44
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getting warmer
By offering service with a smile
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:56 AM   #45
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OK, but lets be realistic here - SOPA, needs to rewrite there entire act.

Here is how I feel it should be plain and simple

If a website is giving away free movies illegally - They should get 3 warnings (1 every 3 days) on the 9th day and they have not complied to stop the theft. There service provider can legally be shot down.

If they do get in contact, then we give them extensions to fix the problem, as problems do happen.

I a third part is hosting an illegal video, the third party is hosting material that is pirated (like a website with an embedded youtube link) SOPA leaves them alone and doesnt touch there site, SOPA goes after youtube (not to shut down youtube) but to have them remove the video from there server.

So that covers US lol --- Im to tired to figure out what to do with international site, someone continue this with their thoughts please need sleep. lol
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