Monday, December 28, 2015

Pirate Factoid

Not the bucaneering type, but feature film (and tv show) piracy:

... The most pirated film of 2014, Wolf of Wall Street, was downloaded just over 30 million times. The number one pirated film this year, Interstellar, was downloaded 46,762,310 times. It’s not until you get to number ten on the list that you hit download numbers as “low” as 30 million. ...

There are two animated features on the list: Minions and Inside Out. Big surprise. ...

I cannot tell you how many industry meetings I've sat through the last few years, watching power point presentations full of graphs and charts and grim statistics. Watching studio reps flapping their arms and saying how awful all the theft is (true, that), and how its costing the conglomerates millions, along with the entertainment guilds and unions which rely on residual and re-use fees to fund their their pension and health plans, and provide mailbox residuals to their members.

Even with all the angst and hand-wringing, piracy grows year by year. Kids stream high-end cable shows and theatrical movies on their computers and flat-screens, twenty-somethings watch entertainment via their favorite illegal sites, and cash streams out of studio distribution systems in a torrent.

The problem grows steadily larger. I would like to build up some righteous anger, but then I read this:

'Hateful Eight' Pirated Screener Traced Back to Top Hollywood Executive

... A copy of the new Quentin Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight that leaked online earlier this week has been linked to a top Hollywood film executive, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Andrew Kosove, co-CEO of production-finance company Alcon Entertainment, was sent the “screener” copy of Hateful Eight for year-end awards consideration. That copy was signed for by an office assistant and later shared online, where it is now circulating on multiple file-sharing sites. Sources say officials with the FBI, working in conjunction with distributor The Weinstein Co., have been able to pinpoint Kosove's copy of the film as the source of the leak from a watermark on the DVD sent to him. ...

When a Hollywood Top Dog, or the employee of a Hollywood Top Dog, uploads a new movie into the internet ether, just how upset and beside myself am I supposed to get? Because if Hollywood execs are uploading material, then we're really past the point of no return, are we not?

Maybe the best course is for Hollywood to lobby the government to levy fees on the interwebs, so that money is collected and goes into a pool of money that will pay cash to various stakeholders (and I'm talking individuals, not just the monster conglomerates) in the way Europe exacts foreign levies from distribution channels and pays money back to writers, directors and copyright holders. Because short of something like that, I don't see how the movie creators will ever fish a nickel out of the sea of theft.


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