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Special Treatment For George Lucas?


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#1 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 05:10 PM

Here's an interesting article on how the feds busted down the doors of www.elitetorrents.org for setting up downloads of Revenge Of The Sith.

http://news.yahoo.co...ime_starwars_dc

Some how I doubt the feds would have done the same thing if these guys where supplying boot legged copies of one of my productions.

I wonder if the fact that George Lucas is famous and worth 3 billion had any thing to do with it?

Isn't the law the law? Don't you have to shut down the pirates regardless of what they set up to download? The famous productions and the not so famous?

Maybe I'm wrong?

On the web-site the feds have a message that says...

"It is unlawful to reproduce or distribute copyrighted material, such as movies, music,
software or games, without authorization - even when done for free over the Internet.
Individuals who willfully distribute or download copyrighted material risk criminal
prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 2319. First-time offenders convicted of criminal felony
copyright laws will face up to five years in federal prison, restitution, forfeiture and a fine. "
 
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 05:17 PM

Do you have to see the negative side of everything? High profile cases may help discourage the practice, plus even if a disproportionate effort is put into stopping piracy of "Revenge of the Sith", there is also a disproportionate effort to PIRATE the movie, so it make sense to put more officers on that job.

I'm not sure any area of law enforcement is completely proportionate in effort. There are often high-profile cases persued for various reasons, some understandable. You want the public to understand the problem of piracy, you don't go after people pirating movies that no one has heard of -- at least not as aggressively. Or this is a case where the media isn't interested in reporting on run-of-the-mill anti-piracy efforts but only big stories like this one, so you end up getting the wrong impression that no efforts are made in curbing ordinary piracy. Maybe.

It all depends on how you see the world.
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 06:01 PM

If revenue losses where an issue then surely the feds would concentrate their efforts on protecting small time producers who can ill afford to lose the money.

I doubt these downloads of Sith had any impact at all on GLs revenue streams. Certainly by the box office numbers he looks like he's doing fine, and will add a hefty sum to his 3 billion he already has.

Like you said, "depends on how you see the world."

I say help the little guys, and let the billionaires fend for themselves.

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#4 Robert Edge

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:05 PM

I will admit that I had never heard of torrents until last week when a friend tipped me off and sent me some associated software. I checked it out. It is wrong. Whether the police should be involved is another matter. In any event, my taste in film, and that of torrents participants, apparently differs. There weren't a whole lot of films on the sytem that interested me. I'm happy to pay for a legit copy.
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#5 J. Lamar King

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:38 PM

They need to bust the bonehead in George's company who let the thing get out anyway. If you're looking at a copy with burn ins, it's an inside job!
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:41 AM

Would this be considered part of the "digital advantage"? I wish someone could pirate those old-fashioned film movies before they even were released in theatres. . .
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#7 Gordon Highland

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:18 AM

Maybe he does get special treatment, and I'm not so sure I have a problem with that in this case.

Saw a show on Discovery HD last week, three hours on "the science of Star Wars." I know the guy has been influential and all, but this opened my eyes to all kinds of stuff I'd never considered that have actually since come to life that he first dreamed up, including many things for the government (and their contractors).
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:34 AM

Oddly enough I watched The Science of Star Wars last night.

Interesting perspective you have, not saying it's wrong, just interesting.

To my mind I still don't see how his contributions to the film and scientific world merit a raid on his behalf by the feds.

I thought lady justice wore a blindfold?

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#9 Christian Appelt

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:42 PM

I would like to rephrase the initial question:

If an unknown filmmaker or a small distributor (without the backing of a million lawyers) reported the piracy of his independent movie, would action on the same scale be the result?

I really doubt it...although I agree with David Mullen that there is a positive side to it because nobody's film should be pirated for downloading over the Web.
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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 06:37 PM

It's also interesting to note that the feds never raided the HQ of Napster during the entire ordeal.

The entire fight was done in the the courts.

The court battle was quite long, it took the music industry months to get their way.

Yet Lucas seems to command attention even the music industry can't muster.

I wonder what would have happened if a Canadian based site was downloading Sith? The music industry in Canada has LOST court battle after court battle to stop music file swapping over the web.

Since the US feds have no authority to act in Canada, I wonder what would have happened?

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#11 Robert Hughes

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 02:33 PM

Seems to me there was a piracy study done a year or two back that found that the majority of illegal internet movies came out before the films were released, meaning that industry insiders were the source of many of the piracies.

http://www.zeropaid....e an Inside Job

Any doors being kicked in at Lucasfilms?

Edited by Robert Hughes, 27 May 2005 - 02:35 PM.

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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:04 PM

There are no shortage of disgruntled workers in the Lucas Film empire.

I can't say any thing more than that.

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#13 Mike Brennan

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:03 PM

There are no shortage of disgruntled workers in the Lucas Film empire.

I can't say any thing more than that.

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<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Then its not worth saying.


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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:59 PM

It's worth saying to illustrate that some one on the inside would have motive to steal a copy of the film.

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#15 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:49 PM

Would this be considered part of the "digital advantage"?  I wish someone could pirate those old-fashioned film movies before they even were released in theatres. . .

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Movies have been pirated long before the "digital advantage." Most of the movies that get bootlegged are movies that are recorded with higher end video cameras (betacam or some of the more expensive DV cameras out there) from the projection booth in the theatre. Alot of the newer bootlegs are rips of the DVD, usually stolen from the DVD authoring house, or the facility pressing the DVD's.

There was a great article in Wired magazine explaining this whole thing...
Wired: The Shadow Internet
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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 09:09 PM

"Alot of the newer bootlegs are rips of the DVD, usually stolen from the DVD authoring house, or the facility pressing the DVD's."

Hmmmm, plenty of disgruntled people making $5.50 hr in those facilities :D

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#17 Rik Andino

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:05 PM

There was a great article in Wired magazine explaining this whole thing...
Wired:  The Shadow Internet

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


WOW...you gotta be amazed at the dedication and diligence of bootleggers...
Some of them put more time into their work than many of us.

Personally I think fighting piracy is like the drug-war--it's a losing battle.
You can't fight people this dedicated...
Unless you're willing to annillate them using facist tactics...
But that opens a whole nother door we don't want to open.

Besides you're really fighting the consumers and their demands
Which is impossible to fight...while there are buyers there will be sellers.

The only way the Industry can fight back
Is by offering more than what the pirates (I calling them that) can give.

They've got to make the cinematic experience better...
They have to make people want to go to the theater and not wait for the DVD.
When Television was first invented Hollywood counter by creating Cinemascope
Well now something similar has to be done here to keep the audiences coming.

Personally most of the movies I see people downloading are the mediocre ones
The ones that people wait till it's on video to see, or watch when it's on TV
Those are the films people won't pay to go see at the movie theaters.
Maybe Hollywood should stop making those crappy mediocre films...
And maybe Hollywood should focus on making better movies
Maybe bringing back the epic films and pushing the limits of sound technology...
Maybe shooting more IMAX films and stuff in 65mm...
Presenting the granduer of the cinema--
And not just something that feel the same watching it on TV.
Maybe this'll help maintain movie theaters filled and the downloading less
Because if you fail to please the customers they will go elsewhere.


And lowering ticket prices might help. ;)
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#18 Nathan Milford

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:54 PM

And lowering ticket prices might help.  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



For me, lowering ticket prices doesn't make a difference. It's the theaters themselves... many of them just don't seem to care. They don't care about obnoxious moviegoers, cellphones (I love seeing the LCD of someone's cellphone every 5 minutes as they check the time or take a picture!), bad projection, trashed prints. I'd gladly pay a premium for a positive theatrial experience... and I typically do go to the better movie houses in NYC (i.e. not the Union Square 12) to avoid these things and I usually pay a higher price. Still, 9 times out of 10 I am still disappointed and distracted by my experience.

As for the grandeur of the cinema... HAH! Most theaters care only enough to keep the seats filled.... but it's easy to keep the seats filled if they're stuck to it by gum or thier shoes are stuck to the sticky floor!
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#19 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 03:04 PM

I'd gladly pay a premium for a positive theatrial experience


Next time you're in LA check out the Arclight, on Sunset and Vine (I think). It has to be the greatest theater in LA right now, and it's only two dollars more expensive than the AMC's around here.
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#20 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 03:33 AM

Next time you're in LA check out the Arclight, on Sunset and Vine (I think).  It has to be the greatest theater in LA right now, and it's only two dollars more expensive than the AMC's around here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

And they validate parking, which makes them about the same price as many of the other theaters. Good stuff.
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