Monday, December 05, 2011

The Anti-Piracy Thing

Hollywood players are working overtime to knock out pirate streaming sites and other rogue operations on the internet that infringe copyright. A Hollywood trade paper weighs in, wondering about the future if the MPAA, IATSE, SAG and other don't prevail in their lobbying efforts with congress ...

... Even if Hollywood fails to bring lawmakers on board to pass the latest anti-piracy measures, it's likely we'll see alternative attempts by copyright holders to attain injunctive relief against search engines, social media sites, advertising networks, and domain registrars. If the MPAA is successful in its lawsuit against Hotfile, for instance, the next step might be wiping off the company from the face of digital Earth. The MPAA is already collecting data on its many affiliates. The future of copyright cases looks to be a dragnet.

The way the internet usually goes, the next firewall put up will be countered by a new flame thrower. Then another barrier -- legal or logistical -- will be built and that too will be breached. People motivated by greed (and who among us doesn't have a bit of that disease?) will find a way to make money.

This fight is going to be a long one. And Switzerland has decided it doesn't want to participate:

... Based on a new report on the impact of unauthorized downloads, Switzerland seems to be saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The study, released by the Federal Department of Justice and Police, has concluded that piracy doesn’t have a negative economic impact on the nation and contends that the current legislation, which allows for copyrighted material to be downloaded for personal use, is sufficient. Chris Marcich, president of the Motion Picture Association, Europe, tells me it’s a “surprising and disappointing result.” ...

So I guess all the pirates in St. Petersburg, will be moving to Lausanne and Geneva. Such a deal.


Jim Mortensen said...

The future is clear.

Do what Apple did with the music industry. Make it easier to watch/buy content than it is to steal it.

Boom. 80% of piracy goes away.

I wouldn't even consider "stealing" an episode of South Park; there's a ton online. Supported by commercials and advertisements.

Anonymous said...

Or, better yet, buy it on iTunes without the bleeps.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that an entire well-educated nation would take the approach that since they have no content-creation industries to destroy, they're going to condone digital piracy. Pathetic.

For those like Jim Mortensen, who don't have a clue what they're talking about, I suggest reading Robert Levine's Free Ride.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - read Levine's book if you want a lopsided view of a protectionist elitist.

Hollywood needs to find a way to monetize piracy, which it could if it readjust it's profit motive and sources of revenue.

The genie is out of the bottle and piracy won't go away. Time for the dinosaurs to evolve or die.

Anonymous said...

I read the book schmuck. I create content for a living too.

Never said that I or anybody deserves it for free. Maybe YOU need to learn to read.

I just know that the pirates will not go away no matter what our government will do and the old model will not work any more.

I've figured out to monetize my content off of those who are pirating it, maybe when you pull your head out of your rustic ass you'll see it too.

Anonymous said...

A spoken by someone who is not in the industry.
Theft is theft regardless of how many people do it or if the people you steal from appear to have plenty of money

Anonymous said...

That makes absolutely no sense. I'm not talking about stealing people's work or making money off of stolen work. I'm talking about making money off of MY content from the would be pirates by making the pirating something that would not worthwhile.

You guys just keep thinking in the box and beg the government to yet again help big business while they all cut out us little guys.

RandomAnimator said...

I read the book schmuck.

For whatever reason, I dont believe you.

I've figured out to monetize my content off of those who are pirating it, maybe when you pull your head out of your rustic ass you'll see it too.

Here's the thing. If you run a teeny tiny company and create inexpensive content, I can see finding a way to make whatever business you're talking about work.

But for big companies with big overhead and big productions, big money needs to be made to keep those companies afloat(like Disney, Pixar, DW, Blue Sky, ILM, Weta, Sony). We're just lucky that as of today, it's still a hassle to try and download full HD videos of pirated movies. But when the day comes that the internet and computers are robust enough to easily and quickly download full HD movies without interference from RIAA or MPAA, those big studios could be in big trouble. Given the choice, people will always download for free if theres no chance of punishment, and the content is just as good as the pay material.

Do I think it's possible it could actually cause some of those studios to close if movie sharing became as rampant as music sharing in years past (remember Napster?)


I'd hate to see the spectacle of a big-budget Hollywood film with dazzling special effects go the way of the Do-Do. But it is possible. I think laws to protect and enforce copyright infringement and piracy are important, necessary, and working to a point.

Do I think the casual and occasional movie or TV show being downloaded isnt a big deal. Yes. I do it sometimes too when I cant find a show through a legitimate source. But I'd hate to see it become the norm and wreck the industry.

But by all means, if you have a better solution, I'm all ears. But as of now, the best course of action is containment and enforcement.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you read the book, so "NYAHHH!!"

I never said that there shouldn't be anti piracy laws, yet as you pointed out they are not always effective nor will. I'm saying Hollywood needs to figure out hoe to make money, considering there will always be pirates.

It isn't up to just the studios, it's up to many other players who are pretty quiet on the subject. The big special FX shitty movies you love will still be made.

But studios aren't making as many movies in general - the small tiny companies you look down on are. They're the ones who will flourish with the new economy, and honestly will be better for the art form.

As far as giving you the better solution - that ain't free you pirate!

Marcus said...

"[..] But I'd hate to see it become the norm and wreck the industry."

That's been said for years in the movie business and before that in the music industry. They make up their own statistics about how much revenue they lost and blame it on piracy. At the same time they go about their business the same way they have for the past decade or two and do not account for evolving consumer demands.

iTunes hit the nail on the head for the music industry and forced the suits out of their whining and complaining; and Steam and DLCs are making great progress in doing the same for the video games industry. TV also is well on it's way to making money off a 21st century distribution model, but the movies are still relying on the same old distribution model (while sharply rising consumer prices) and are the ones currently crying foul the loudest. Of course it is a geographically tight and fairly inbred industry at the top, so that doesn't help progress.

Enforcement isn't going to do much other than fill the pockets of a few law firms and the MPAA. Worse though, you'd have to deal with more and more government regulated data services, and that's just scary. We've got enough Big Brother already.

Anonymous said...

"Do what Apple did with the music industry. Make it easier to watch/buy content than it is to steal it.

Boom. 80% of piracy goes away."

Most artists did not have much of a choice in that equation. The record companies and Steve Jobs, last I heard, did not invite them to the table. It was 'an offer they couldn't refuse.'

It was an enormous trade-off. Something will always get lost in the inevitable change. It is usually the people on the bottom, as usual.

But okay, 'Boom', you sally forth with confidence, oh self-appointed decider of the marketplace!

Get bent, pal.

Anonymous said...

In my experience it's almost always people who have failed to get into the big studios (or get their books bought by publishers, or their music recorded by labels) who are happy at the destruction of the current business model. They're at the periphery of some creative industry (film, music, books), they've never been able to make it. They have a combination of schadenfreude (at the elites who have kept them out) and they're thrilled that they can make a sustenance living selling their semi-professional works products online.

It's called making a virtue of necessity, and while it may be necessary for them, it's no virtue.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that statement would be noble if studios didn't practice black listing, collusion, false bookkeeping and other tactics to screw creatives and suppress content.

But hey go ahead a drink the Koolaid.

Anonymous said...

The fact that some studios do some crappy things doesn't mean they, and we as animators, deserve to have our livelihoods and careers destroyed by smug, self-righteous thieves. You've now proven that you're not actually in the industry, so why don't you go away and play somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Our livelihoods are being outsourced constantly, by those fantastic studios you hold dear.

I've lost more work due to that and poor management than pirates. I still freelance for them, I'm just not their bitch.

You wonder why we have a union? Is it because studios like to play fair? Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Ive been around the TAG blog long enough to see this same anonymous poster cry and complain constantly about how everything is unfair at the studios and always ends his pathetic rant with "grow up."

Pot calling the kettle black methinks.

Now hush it, failed artist.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a whiney "animation-nationer." All sound and fury--no talent or balls.

Anonymous said...

Oh you PA's trying to call out an old timer, let me know when you get your pubes. Bunch a company ass munchers.

Anonymous said...

You can't get or keep a job at a big studio, but instead of taking the hint and seeking a new career, you continue to do crappy freelance jobs while you applaud the piracy that damages those studios who rejected you. Got it.

Anonymous said...

You are retarded. I was on staff for two successful shows from start to finish. I freelance now, because I've branched out into commercials that pay much more than staff jobs. And I can pull enough hours to keep my union benefits.

But again you keep sucking on the studio teat, work that unpaid overtime and cry when you get laid off and can't find another way of making a living.

I don't applaud piracy, I just find a way to combat it, in stead of depending on a corrupt government and corrupt corporations to do it. So keep up the good work company butt boy.

Anonymous said...

Call us whatever you want, but I never work unpaid overtime and am compensated extremely well for honing my craft on some of the most successful films in the business.

I'm extremely happy with my studio teat.

Anonymous said...

He might want to claim how well he's doing at freelance, but my guess is it's not a "teat" he's sucking on to make ends meet.
Either way his is the typical a-hole attitude of "I've got mine so screw you"

Anonymous said...

Whatever helps you sleep at night cupcake. I actually give work to folks. You are why we have a weak union.

Anonymous said...

Sorry what was that? Havent been back this thread in a while. Been enjoying my studio job too much...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Finally somebody said it. How can they possibly caculate lost revenues. Your content is sooo good everybody in the US would pay to see it? "im an artist,i create content" who doesnt? Im an electrical drafter, I create content too. Does that mean i own these images. If so then im going to get a copyright on a circle, and nobody can use it without paying me. If you are mad that your craft is so easily copied then build furnature. Piracy suks for your business but placing the internet in the hands of the US government or private companies will be worse. that kind of power will allow them to "own" the internet. then the only free content you will see on the web is advertising. Someone could "plant" copyprotected material into a website and then have them shut down the next day before they even knew what happened. this policy will be abused no matter what side you are on and create a war. The real victim will be the internet itself. Ownership of images and sound is too subjective to define. its like trying to make words illegal. Hello digital communism. And the artists out there cant deny the fact they probably use the internet for inspiration. You are technically enjoying someone elses free content.

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