Finally! I hope everyone of these illegal movie downloaders get the maximum $5000.00 bill handed to them.
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Targeting the bootleggers, great news!
86 replies to this topic
Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:43 PM
Yes Phil exactly right. Go to the store and buy it for $14.99. Then you can watch it over and over again for years to come. Why on earth waste time downloading a movie and burning your own copy? Makes zero sense.
Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:06 PM
Well, Richard, people download movies because there's no fee for doing so, and they'll be free to spend their money on other things.
And if you don't have $5000, as many of them won't, you can't really be fined $5000.
Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:13 PM
"Certain people are risk averse and it's cheaper to settle rather than to hire a lawyer to deal with it, even if you are innocent."
This is a fear campaign, like the one against Napster in 00' and likely wont solve anything. The only way the picture industry is going to fight a problem that's existed since the beginning of cinema (in the early 1900's, film reels were sometimes stolen as they were being transferred from theater to theater, and then shown for profit) is to get with the times. It took far too long for NetFlix to emerge, and iTunes is a less than perfect distributor. Legal distribution of a wide range of titles needs to become common place on the internet. Why Turner Classic movies has not made a deal with NetFlix is beyond me. This will not completely solve the problem, but it will curtail it for some people and return profits to where they belong. I would love to be able to go to the Warner Bros. website and stream any movies in their catalog for a price, or any of the big studios. Thieves have existed in society for a while (See The Thief of Baghdad, 1924), I don't like them anymore then anyone does, but a lot of honest people are also being lured into illegal downloading. These people are doing it out of convenience. Why is it, studio's making millions of dollars cannot set up a system that's better then a few pirates in Sweden?
Edited by Leila Abigail Hogan, 21 February 2014 - 04:14 PM.
Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:32 PM
Actually here in Canada they can. A court could order a judgement against the offender, once that happens they will either have to sell assets to come up with the money or have wage garnishment and payed to the court. The offenders won't simply walk away by saying, "sorry I don't have any money." The debt will be registered against them for life.
Sounds harsh doesn't it? Well guess what I don't care. Stealing a movie over the internet is no different from walking into Walmart and stealing it off the shelf. Absolutely zero difference. So go get em' movie industry, you have my 100% support. As I type this, BOTH of my features are on dozens of bootleg sites and being stolen on a daily basis. That is money lost to me.
Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:11 PM
Stealing a movie over the internet is no different from walking into Walmart and stealing it off the shelf.
You've been informed why this isn't the case before; please pay better attention.
Piracy of any copyrighted work is a victimless crime if the pirate would not have purchased the film anyway. Nothing is lost in that case. Nobody is deprived of anything. There was never any legitimate sale to lose.
It's impossible to tell for sure, but my strong impression is that the vast majority of people who pirate films could not have chosen to purchase everything they pirate in any case because they're often too poor to do so. Regardless of what you think of that, the claims of industries whose products are widely pirated are enormously undermined; if the MPAA claims that $n has been lost to piracy, I tend to divide n by at least four to come up with a more reasonable figure. And I think that assuming 25% of all instance of piracy represent a lost sale is extremely generous. I suspect it's in the single digits.
Regardless of my guesses at the numbers, I don't support piracy. But I do think that claims that "it's the same as theft" are patently absurd.
Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:46 PM
Phil is right. You haven't actually lost a dime. In fact, you probably benefit more than you think.
Edited by Zac Fettig, 21 February 2014 - 07:47 PM.
Posted 21 February 2014 - 09:37 PM
And your arguments are utter bull sh*t.
Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:09 PM
I will be referring the Canadian Asian mall sellers I catch selling bootlegged copies of Against The Wild to the RCMP:
I'll be looking after March 11th.
Read this folks, if you think this is a joke guess again. You could go to the big house for a long time in the US if you mess around with pirating movies:
So Phil regardless of your belief: "But I do think that claims that "it's the same as theft" are patently absurd." The law in Canada and the USA doesn't see it that way.
Posted 22 February 2014 - 12:29 AM
Sorry Phil, Theft is theft, and as we move ever further away from physical copies of a movie, this is going to become all the more important to enforce.
I don't care if some spotty teenager wouldn't have bought it anyway. If they don't buy it, they don't watch it. End of story. Are they really so broke they can't afford $7 a month for Netflix?
Saying 'they wouldn't have bought it anyway' is a facile argument, and one which manifestly does not hold legal water in any other form of theft. After all, most things that people steal, they wouldn't buy , hence them stealing it.
Posted 22 February 2014 - 01:08 AM
Well exactly Stuart. We could just steal all of Phil's gear and say, well it's not theft I never would of paid for all that stuff anyway.
How someone can honestly say, "Piracy of any copyrighted work is a victimless crime" is beyond me and totally absurd! Basically Phil is saying that the mountains of copyright legislation on the books is totally useless and not needed.
Why don't I get a blu-ray of Star Wars and just start selling it to the TV networks for broadcast and pocket the money? That movie still has a lot of legs and still plays a lot on TV. After all if I sell it to the TV networks and take the money it's a victimless crime.
Posted 22 February 2014 - 02:11 AM
Well, from the way I read the story. that's precisely what won't happen. The court will be watching very carefully to make sure that claims are limited to a reasonable estimate of actual damages.
Legally, the whole thing is pretty dubious.
For one thing, the only "pirates" affected are TekSavvy customers. What about all the other ISPs?
All this is going to do is make people look for alternatives to downloading through the "front door"
The biggest problem is that people are trying to massage laws designed centuries ago to protect printed books to fit modern digital distribution technologies.
When the only practical means of copying books was re-typesetting them and printing hard copies, piracy was fairly impractical, and fairly easy to trace.
But you'll note that no mechanical copyright law provides for any compensation for multiple readers of a printed book, EXCEPT for the case of libraries, where a tally can be kept of how many people accessed the book. You can lend the same book to any number of people you care to, and they can all enjoy reading it, and the author is not entitled to a cent.
I can rent a DVD for a dolllar from my local library, and I can then lend it to as many people as I like (that would be able to watch it for the week I have it for). There's no law against that. But if I rip the video files and give a copy of that to my neighbours, THEN I an committing a serious offence.
Basically, the current laws are absurd and unenforceable, but a lot of vested interests seek to pretend otherwise
Posted 22 February 2014 - 02:24 AM
Consider the case of a $20,000 car vs a $20,000 software package.
If I steal the car from a car yard, but then have second thoughts and hide it from view or dump it in the river or something, ther eis still going to be considerable loss.
The car yard will be missing a stock item, but also people toiled to build the car, mine the iron ore needed to make it, and all its components; there is loss all down the line.
Now suppose I notice a CD containing software that retails for $20,000. I similarly make a copy of that, but never get round to using it, simply leaving it in my drawer.
Apart from wasting a blank CD, what loss has occurred? I am most unlikely to ever be buying a $20,000 software package, so if I didn't have a bootleg copy, I simply would do without.
The simple difference is, with manufactured items like a book or a car, the manufacturing cost makes up a significant part of the sale price. With software, the manufacturing cost is essentially zero, and the sale price is purely arbitrary; basically whatever the vendor thinks he can get away with.
The REAL threat from movie downloads is to this business model, not the industry itself.
Anyway Richard, if you're going to be in the business of marketing family movies I'd suggest you walk away from these sort of discussions. It is not true that "All publicity is good publicity"....
Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:51 AM
Sorry Phil, Theft is theft,
Well, yes, inasmuch as blancmange is blancmange. But online piracy isn't theft.
and as we move ever further away from physical copies of a movie, this is going to become all the more important to enforce.
Sure, but again, it still isn't specifically theft when you simply can't prove a loss. And I wouldn't be such a stickler on this if I thought there was even the probability of a loss.
Making any business model based on intellectual property work relies on keeping piracy down to workable levels. I fully appreciate that the internet has the potential to increase piracy to levels which might be significantly non-workable. All of these things are true, and legislation and enforcement powers may be required. But again, again, most piracy still isn't theft.
Saying 'they wouldn't have bought it anyway' is a facile argument
Yes, sure, absolutely. That's perhaps why it feels a bit unsatisfactory, but I think it's still valid. Life does not owe us nice, pleasant explanations for everything. It's a terribly easy get-out, but it's still true.
Now, selling bootleg DVDs is a rather different matter, as you're then demonstrably creating a sales opportunity that is denied to someone else. By definition, that's an incident of piracy in which there was an intention to buy for money. But it's necessary to be clear on this: taking a copy of something which can be copied at effectively zero cost is fundamentally not theft unless you can show that a legitimate sale would otherwise have existed. Another reason this is a bit too unsatisfactory is that it's pretty much impossible to tell how many incidences of piracy do represent lost sales, but that isn't an excuse to assume that all of them do. As I've said before I think it's clear that the vast majority don't.
It's not really very morally upstanding behaviour, it isn't right, and people shouldn't do it. But it is not theft, and I think continued attempts to claim that it is actually undermines a lot of arguments against piracy. It makes anti-piracy campaigners look draconian and intolerant and out-of-touch, and highlights the fact that they don't really have any idea how much loss is caused by piracy (and nor can they).
Nobody's ignoring the cost of producing this stuff. Nobody's questioning IP and the right to charge for intangible information as a fundamental concept. But you can still take a copy of it without denying it to anyone else, and that's the key issue.
"You wouldn't download a car!"
Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:06 AM
Yes it is.
If I write a book, make a film, record an album, and you want to read, watch or listen to it, then you have to pay what I ask. If you don't, then you are stealing if from me, regardless of the physical costs.
If you wouldn't have bought it anyway, then why the fuck are you stealing it?
In addition to this, most people who steal online also share what they steal, and that is denying the copyright owner the opportunity to sell to those people.
Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:12 AM
Well, look, I've explained the counter-argument ten ways to sunday, and I'm not sure that doing it again is going to help, but I'll try just one more time, making it really simple.
- Theft by definition involves depriving someone of something
- If someone would not have chosen to pay for (say) a movie, that "something" doesn't exist.
- That someone can still have (say) the movie, because the movie can be duplicated at zero cost
Nobody is deprived of anything here.
The only objection to this is that some pirates would have bought a movie if they couldn't have pirated it. We cannot possibly know what proportion this represents, but I work on the basis that it's under 25%, probably under 10%.
But crucially, in the case where the purchase would never have happened, nobody is deprived of anything, so no theft has taken place.
I'm not necessarily saying I like this situation, or that I approve of it, I'm just explaining the situation that exists. It isn't helpful to use emotive terms like "theft" and "stealing" in this case.
Posted 22 February 2014 - 10:46 AM
That's a very lawyerly defense, Phil, and one that rests on a definition of theft that is hardly applicable any more. By that strict legal interpretation, no-one need buy any software or music ever again. No-one need pay to see a movie in a theater, as long as they don't sit down. That's clearly unsustainable and undesirable, and clinging on to an outdated legal term does not make it any less wrong.
Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:19 AM
I just hope I never get paid in royalties. If someone wants to see a film I made and they don't want to pay for it, so be it. I know people who have watched a movie online then decided it was so good that it was worth going to pay to see in a theater. I hope someday I can live in a world where people can access whatever content they want for free, but there's always the fact that we're inside an industry that puts most of the value of the product in how much money it makes. Also, studios wouldn't be willing to pay to make a film if they didn't think it would cash out, which is a larger problem in the industry in general. We're still in the age of the blockbuster, which is why the piracy thing is even an issue.
But I tend to agree with Phil. If there's no intent to distribute a pirated copy for money, the profits that are lost really can't be accounted for. Would you say watching TV online after the fact is stealing, when it's available on TV for free anyway? True, you're not exposing people to advertising, but that's already been bypassed by DVR systems. I can't really see a solution to the piracy debate until streaming services get more advanced, because I know personally that I usually can't find the exact film I want on Netflix since I cancelled the DVD service. In the end, I just want people to see my work, and if they weren't going to pay for it anyway, they might as well be able to watch it, talk about it, etc.
Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:35 AM
That's a very lawyerly defense, Phil
Yeah, it is, but it does have one use: it explains why, when people from the content industries start shrieking about however many bazillion dollars they've lost to piracy, they're so often talking pigswill. This particular brand of pigswill is currently being used to argue for unreasonably draconian enforcement action, often at the expense of people like ISPs rather than the content industry itself, and which gives content organisations unreasonable amounts of power and access to people's data.
I've even heard filmmakers say things like "If only everyone who'd pirated it had bought it..." - but that was never going to happen, and these people shouldn't flatter themselves. It leads to people making bad decisions based on this fantasy that every piracy is a lost sale and that simply - and pretty obviously - isn't true. Even if enforcement was 100%, I fear that the actual extra revenue for MPAA members would be vanishingly minute.
Ultimately this is a distraction. All the time spend worrying at this particular bone is time not spent confronting real problems, like the quality of summer blockbusters which is putting people off making movies a lifetime's hobby as opposed to a frivolity of childhood, and the economic risks of the tentpole model - to say nothing of the status of international industries. Odeon have run ads recently encouraging people not to pirate in order to avoid wounding the British film industry, which is just absolutely comical - as if piracy is the reason we only make four movies a year, whereas in reality it's Odeon's booking policy that's the reason we only make four movies a year.
I get that it's frustrating to see one's work pirated - I write a lot these days and I see my stuff duplicated all over the damn place, on blogs and dubious website - but I don't see that as a loss of revenue as much as just an impoliteness.