Monday, February 20, 2012

Piracy Depression

Not Captain Jack Sparrow in a black mood, but theatrical losses due to pirates on the internet:

... Film piracy has a very little impact on box office results in the U.S. but likely cuts into studio profits overseas depending on the time lag between a film’s American debut and rollout overseas. Those are the surprising conclusions of an extensive study titled “Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales.” ...

The study also concludes that since the advent of piracy software BitTorrent in 2003, the longer the lag time between a film’s release abroad compared to its U.S. opening, the greater the depression in box office receipts. ...

So I guess the solution is for studios to release movies the same day around the globe.

The sad reality is, there will always be crooks ripping off the content creators. It was happening a century ago, and it still goes on. Of course, new technologies provide bandits with newer ways to steal, but thievery is a constant through time.

There are still counterfeit DVDs, but that problem is slowly taking care of itself as more of the world's population accesses "the cloud" and the little silver disks begin to go the way of vinyl LPs.


Nathan L said...

Make it easy for us to pay you money to watch your film. It's that simple. And it's not anything that the record companies, the game companies, or even the publishing houses haven't had to learn.

You'll note that none of those industries have a 6 month "theatrical window" where you can't actually buy the record, the game, the book. When it's out, it's out, and you can all buy it and listen/play/read wherever you want.

It's not gonna be popular with exhibitors or distributors. But as we saw with the record industry in particular, there was no amount of yelling and screaming that was going to keep Tower Records in business. We can get there sooner, or we can get there later, but we're going regardless.

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

In other words, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! (which sounds way corny but it seems so obvious to me)

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

Certainly releasing it the same day globally doesn't sound too far-fetched the way things are these days with digital projection and all that. It certainly something to look forward to if they ever learn (I still feel the prices need to go down myself).

Anonymous said...

I do think that a common release date globally would help at least a little, I know a lot of people who pirate because they don't want to wait six months (more or less) for a movie. Some then choose to rewatch it when it does hit the cinema, but many do not. Sad but true.

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

I was glad enough to wait out on Arrietty until it showed up, but I DID have ways to see it far, far early through any means possible (of course back in the day it had to be a VHS tape a pal sent me).

Anonymous said...

This cartoon should be required reading for all industry execs:

It explains the issue quite clearly.

Now, of course companies are free to withhold their releases or restrict them. (Avatar Blu-Ray 3d for example, only available if you buy one particular brand of 3dtv. Or just torrent it.)

They have the freedom to do this, just as they have the freedom to make any number of business decisions that line the pockets of pirates rather than their shareholders.

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