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Slyck Interviews the MPAA 139

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fireside-chats dept.
An anonymous reader writes "P2P community and news source, Slyck, interviewed vice president Dean Garfield of the MPAA. Topics covered range from the MPAA's thoughts on BitTorrent, Limewire and DRM. Garfield acknowledges that they do not have much of a grip on the file-sharing world as they would like to believe."
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Slyck Interviews the MPAA

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  • Uhh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Poromenos1 (830658) on Friday December 23, 2005 @08:45AM (#14325871) Homepage
    The motion picture industry is working aggressively to take advantage of wide array of digital distribution platforms

    He misspelled "ban".
  • by TheUncleD (940548) on Friday December 23, 2005 @08:52AM (#14325885)
    It's hard to have a grip on anything p2p these days, since most p2p users have more than a single client depending on their interests/needs. Sometimes, bit-torrents come in handy, other times people resort to eMule/limewire and the various sorts of softwares available. Big deal. Kazaa really did it best when they got into the market and spread like wildfire before the competition. Their use of advertising helped give them a profit and in turn, feed back into making them a stronger company. And now with skype, what a landslide that was... The future of p2p is going to be up to the communities of people and their needs. It's not enforcable like it once was, shutting down warez servers one at time like the old-days. It's everyone and everywhere these days and gripping the market as a whole is next to impossible. Good luck
  • Open Source? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onion2k (203094) on Friday December 23, 2005 @08:55AM (#14325894) Homepage
    Given that few would support commercial piracy, and given the poor publicity over the use of DRM, how much of their problem is directly caused by commercial piracy?
    Garfield: "We are studying that issue, but do not have a real answer. Identifying the scope of the commercial versus the open source problem is no easier than discerning real data on p2p usage.


    Eh? Where in that question did he infer the interviewer was talking about open source anything? This sort of ridiculous statement about the open source by a clueless muppet with no idea what open source is, let along how it works, just makes him look like a jerk. The interviewer clearly meant commercial piracy as in a person selling what they make with a DVD duplication system in their garage as opposed to someone sharing something they've downloaded either through a P2P network or giving copies to their mates.

    Gah. Idiot.
    • Re:Open Source? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ilex (261136) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:15AM (#14325950)
      Yes I noticed this rather statement myself. The way I interpret this is Commercial == Far eastern bootlegs / car boot sales, for profit. Open Source == P2P Little Johny in the bed room, personal use.

      This shows a worrying mindset in the entertainment industry. They believe that Closed proprietary systems (Microsoft) is good and Open systems (Linux) is bad. Of course this isn't new, we've long suspected this. Now the entertainment industry have pretty much admitted it. So don't expect future legal media formats to be able to play under Linux.

      This will result in Linux users having to resort to illegal bootlegs further reinforcing the Open Source == Piracy perception which may hamper the commercial adoption of free and open systems.
      • Perhaps he recognized that open-source and free operating systems like GNU/Linux posed a significant challenge to implementing DRM solutions that movie studios could live with. Perhaps they think that an open-source DRM solution would be easily hacked. Or that a significant/important segment of their customer base can bypass DRM with free software is a problem. Or, as is more likely...he simply doesn't have a clue.
    • Calm down! What he said is that studies regarding open source versus proprietary software aren't particularly easy to interpret, and that p2p/piracy/DRM relating to sales drops studies aren't any better.
    • Mr. Garfield keeps using the word "source" throughout the interview, and from the context I believe he is referring to sources of digital media, not source code. By "open source" I assume he means non-commercial, non-DRM'ed sources of digital media (i.e. P2P networks like LimeWire etc).
    • Re:Open Source? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)
      Is it possible he's trying to seperate between closed source P2P apps like Kazaa/Napster and OSS products like Bittorrent/Gnutella? I don't think it is obvious what the interviewer meant.

      Maybe he misunderstood Slyck. I think a fair interpretation of 'commercial' would be: P2P programs that are supported by advertising.

      I wouldn't necessarily get my panties in a bunch.
    • I think he didn't mean open source was a problem, but the task of getting accurate numbers on OSS usage data. i.e. how many Linux installations there are vs. the number of Windows installations. (Due to the nature of Linux distribution, there is no accurate way to count exactly how many are using it.) I think he's saying they have the same problem with P2P vs. legit distribution - they have no way of gaining any remotely accurate statistics about exactly how many people are doing it. In short, he was us
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2005 @08:55AM (#14325896)
    How much of their problem is directly caused by commercial piracy?

      Garfield: "We are studying that issue, but do not have a real answer. Identifying the scope of the commercial versus the open source problem is no easier than discerning real data on p2p usage.


    Last time I checked, 'open source' and casual piracy were not synonymous.
  • by mauledbydogs (853179) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:01AM (#14325916)
    That's truly dumb. Educating parts of the market by beating people with a piece of legal two-by-four is not productive. Advertise, promote, share information and engage with the people you're trying to reach is healthier and more likely to create understanding.
    • That's truly dumb. Educating parts of the market by beating people with a piece of legal two-by-four is not productive. Advertise, promote, share information and engage with the people you're trying to reach is healthier and more likely to create understanding.

      And how is the MPAA supposed to deal with people who are fully aware that copyright infringement is illegal? You can "advertise, promote, share information and engage" with such people forever, and they'll still pirate copyrighted material. The Sla
  • Way to go! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dysfnctnl85 (690109) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:11AM (#14325941)
    "The motion picture industry is working aggressively to take advantage of wide array of digital distribution platforms and to provide consumers a wide array of legitimate options for enjoying movies and television shows.

    Hey, way to be about 15 years late. Everyone with a half a brain realizes that Hollywood should have changed their distribution methods when the Internet usage became widespread, instead of *ignoring* the problem.

    "One way to look at this issue is through an analogy. At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add. However, if that technology were to automatically report the fact that you speed to the authorities then peoples perspective would change. DRM is the same. The technology is a part of a balance that is struck with the consumer."

    Ewwwwwwwwwwhaaatttttt? The device doesn't curb your usage of speed; am I the only one that doesn't see how this analogy is supposed to work?

    I'm going to step out on a limb and say that this war on piracy is like the war on drugs -- a glorious method of wasting resources. There's nothing you can do to keep people from *acquiring* media however they want; just as you cannot keep drugs out of America.

    Yeah.
    • Ewwwwwwwwwwhaaatttttt?

      OKAAAYY!!
    • Re:Way to go! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:21AM (#14326212) Journal
      You can't expect such a large industry to be so flexible as to understand, in advance, the ramifications of p2p. Even now they persist in believing that they can stomp it out if they just put enough work into it, or that they can come up with a cheap technical fix which will roll back the clock all the way to LPs, where you couldn't make copies at all without permission.

      So it's not surprising to me that they seem to think DRM is an addition to their product that consumers would find to be "valuable". Not sure how it's going to pan out in the long term. I think DRM is completely impossible for the next ten years...even if they got the ability to put flawless DRM capable hardware in all new TVs, DVD players, CD players, etc, it would still take at least that long to achieve sufficient market penetration with that DRM'd hardware, and that doesn't even count the inevitable flaws and backwards compaitbility issues, as well as the fact that there is no DRM standard.
    • " There's nothing you can do to keep people from *acquiring* media however they want;"

      sounds like a bit of a tough break for the poor bastards who try to earn a living by creating that media doesnt it? You really think the guys that make new albums, new TV shows, new movies and new games should not be paid for it? Clearly some uses of DRM are batshit insane, but you cant blame people for wanting to be paid for the fruits of their labours. Not every artist or software company is evil, but they all seem to be
      • Something has to change, though. These methods that the MPAA are attempting to employ are both flawed and wasteful. There is no way to prevent people from ripping the content. If pirates have the machine that can turn a recording into analog A/V then the game is already lost. I think the solution is for the Movie studios to figure out how to offer their wares at a low enough cost to compete with pirated videos. I'm not smart enough to say that is a for-sure fix, but if I could legitimately buy a DVD without
  • You know (Score:4, Funny)

    by FidelCatsro (861135) * <fidelcatsro.gmail@com> on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:12AM (#14325945) Journal
    I would like to say what the MPAA do have a firm grip on , though it would be considered rather untoward in polite company(Hint , it includes all of them partaking in corporal punishment of monkeys )
    • "Garfield acknowledges that they do not have much of a grip on the real world as they would like to believe."

      And for those who didn't figure it out, FidelCastro is calling the MPAA a bunch of wankers.
      Go Fidel Go!

      /hides from Dept. of Homeland Security.

      • by rk (6314) *

        "...FidelCastro is calling the MPAA a bunch of wankers. Go Fidel Go!

        That's "Mr. Catsro" to you, bub. :-)

  • by zogger (617870) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:16AM (#14325955) Homepage Journal
    ...money. I don't see much mention of this important fact in the article. See this quote "We are also concerned with making sure we are (sic) understand and make use of the latest technological advances"...well, gee, how about drastically lowering prices on legit copies then? This is possible now, but they *aren't doing it*. How about making profit through volume sales by using the tech advances that have made digital copies extremely cheap to distribute? A lot of people wouldn't bother to "pirate" if the price of the cheap plastic disks or a legit download was just more reasonable. I mean significanty more reasonable, like a few dollars tops for a DVD movie for example, which they could do if they chose to. In years past, the actual manufacture of the physical media was very expensive, and there was no cheap effective way to distribute outside that method, but today? Someone needs to bust out of their Hollywood residing price structure and recognize that a dollar elsewhere is not the same as in zipcode 90210. It's extremely cheap to make dupes now, so why hasn't "the industry" responded appropriately?



    They want all the economic advantages of the latest tech advances, but they don't want to pass those benefits on to their customers, nor even allow their customers the same tech or advantages. This is called gouging and people respond appropriately to it.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I agree. For example, this year we are giving our 3 teenagers (shhh, it's a surprise) each their own Yahoo Music Unlimited accounts. At $60 for the whole year for unlimited streaming of 192Kbps content from a million track library, it's a fair price FINALLY!!! We bought one subscription last May and have been trying it out. I would say we can give it generally good reviews, though it has some rough edges (most of which were because 3 of us were using it - you can register up to 3 PCs).
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Wait till next year when they expect you to pay for it again, or their subscription lapses and they 'lose' all the music they downloaded. The RIAA will have helped push the piece up buy then to so you'll probably be paying $120. -- No one is getting me to rent music.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:35AM (#14326003)
      Seriously, man. The prices on DVDs are so ridiculously high I almost never buy them. No matter how great a movie is I just am not going to pay $25 or $30 and in some cases $40 for a DVD!

      Put that price down to $5 and I won't download another movie. Even $10 works.

      How can a tell?

      I by DVDs of Taiwan and Chinese movies because they only cost about $12 or so. These are legit copies, they just aren't America sanctioned releases i.e. the DVD menus are only in Chinese and there might not be subtitles. Sure I admit I download Chinese movies sometimes, but mostly it's better to just go to the store check out the new releases and buy a couple.

      But would I consider buying the same movie in the $30 "American Release", no way!

      Oh and I am slightly pissed that DVDs cost significantly less than VHS tapes to make yet the consumer pays more than twice as much!
      • eh i see 5-15 dollar dvds, shop around

        not to name stores, but actually, you know what? i hate this argument of dvds costing money. I'm an anime fan, i pay the amount i need to pay for quality material even if it isnt quality. i'm under the impression you support the art by buying it even if you saw it twice before on fansubs (and i have) so enjoy your cheap lil prices of 30 dollars, they a heck lot more expensive in japan

        well that's my argument, they not under the mpaa so hmm
        • Japan is a good point. DVDs and CDs of Japanese material are easily 2-3 times more expensive than equivilent American products, and you know what? Taiwanese piracy of Japanese movies and music has never been more popular. It's not hard to see why someone would rather pay $10 for a Taiwanese professional quality bootleg than $40 for a Japanese original.It's gotten to the point where many musicians (I know of NIN specifically) have started including extra tracks in their Japanese releases to help them seem le
      • by pla (258480) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:25AM (#14326243) Journal
        No matter how great a movie is I just am not going to pay $25 or $30 and in some cases $40 for a DVD!

        Name one major-release single-DVD movie (as opposed to the "super ultra limited edition 20-discs-of-commentary re-re-re-re-release in the gold-foil box with a hologram and beta-test sample animal cracker of the most annoying but cute character in the movie" versions) that retails for over $25.

        Many full season boxed sets go for around $40, but a single movie? I have yet to see it.


        Put that price down to $5 and I won't download another movie. Even $10 works.

        So go to WallyWorld and root around in their "2 for $11" bin with the rest of the livestock/consumers. Buy used, where you usually see big-name movies for $8 or $9, and "B" movies (which sometimes include the Best movies, oddly enough) for under $5.
        • I have seen, at Best Buy, Disney films (Oliver and Company comes to mind), that when 1st released were 29.95$.

          Granted, Disney is a greedy bunch of scum merchants, but they are (sadly) not alone.

          In their "special Interest" section, I've seen National Geographic Documentaries go for as high as 45$ for a single 75 minute long DVD.
        • Anything released by the Criterion Collection, including Rushmore as well as a number of other semi-mainstream movies cost about $35-$40.
        • In Sweden DVDs might be 199-249sek for new and well known movies (currently Fantastic Four, SW ep3, Batman Begins). A sek is 7.95 usd at the moment, so that's 25-30 usd for a movie here.

          Then they usually drop to 149sek and stay there if the movie is good (same with games). If they're really old or not that good, they drop to 89sek or '2 for 99sek' after half a year or so.
      • Don't buy 'em in the first week, and check other places. I've been buying DVDs at the local pawn shop, usually about 3 months after they hit the stores, still in the wrapper at times ... $5 each normally, some times down to $3 when I buy 5-6 at once. Still in the wrapper too for the most part. Just picked up both kill bills for $9 total. New in the wrapper. If you don't mind VHS, $1.50 each, less as you buy more.
      • "Put that price down to $5 and I won't download another movie. Even $10 works."

        I can't sympathize with you on this. As recently as just ten years ago, VHS (that's right, the old tapes) movies were retailing for $80-120 each. Back then, I felt completely justified in going to the store to rent three movies and buy three blank video tapes.

        Recently (6-8 years ago), the MPAA came to its senses and dramatically lowered prices across the board. Now a newly released A-title movie goes for an average of $20. Pe
        • I agree with you completely. DVDs are quite reasonable... I don't know where the hell the OP was going to buy a single movie for $40. I've never seen one for more than $25, and the vast majority are $20. In some cases, you can get a DVD movie now for less money than the soundtrack to the same movie.

          In fact, my only gripe about DVDs is that I think they should throw the movie's soundtrack in as a bonus. I'd much rather have the soundtrack to The Aviator than a commentary track I'll never listen to. But
      • That is why I only buy DVDS when they first come out. Usually cheaper on the first week like at Fry's Electronics and Best Buy. Pricematching helps if you can.
    • "We are also concerned with making sure we are (sic) understand and make use of the latest technological advances"

      I think that is the most important thing said in the whole article.

      MP3s & P2P has caused them to change tactics slightly but everything is still heading exactly where they want things to go, they just need to wait a few years.

      What will things be like then?

      1. DVDng players will be even more restrictive than they are now, possibly only allowing a limited number of plays on certain discs. The
      • The market you described them wanting is one where Millons of customers will just walk away.

        I think that PVR thing will be the biggest impact. I have some shows on my Myth box that are almost 3 years old. Auto delete, no thank you. I realize Myth will never have autodelete, but then again it may become illegal to have. The restrictions wanted by the networks for PVRs will eventually cause the biggest consumer backlash in a long time.

        I know they're trying to cook frogs here by doing things slowly, but th
    • What about niche products though? your analysis surely breaks down there. If you are amking a movie that everyone in the street will like, you can sell it online for $5 and do fine, but if your market is 10-50k units tops, you simple can't do that. It seems that you may be advocating a market model where only the lowest common demoninator crap gets made.
      • The current situation is a counterexample to your reasoning.
        Right now most DVDs are the shittiest shit possible.
        Good movies are harder to find that crappy ones, and less sold. And they don't produce them. The other day they were filming parts of a Miami Vice movie around here!! talk about crap! crap squared! And DVDs dn't cost 5 bucks right now.
    • "It's extremely cheap to make dupes now"

      That explains everything.
  • by laughingcoyote (762272) <barghesthowl.excite@com> on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:21AM (#14325959) Journal

    At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add.

    Correct in terms of a car, but that's where he (and the **AA's at large) go wrong on DRM.

    When I'm going down the road, I WANT to know how fast I'm going. I don't want to wait until the nice police officer decides to pull me over and inform me of it, nor do I want to find out a bit too late that I'm taking a curve way faster then I should. Therefore, indeed, the speedometer is a value add-it's something that I, the owner of the car, WANT in my car (and in fact, even if legal not to have one, would not purchase a car without one.)

    DRM by definition cannot be a "value add", only a "value subtract". No consumer buys a DVD saying "Man, I hope they made it hard for me to back this thing up!" or "I sure hope this will refuse to play on my computer without installing a bunch of intrusive software".

    • Yes, it would be more like having a car that decided how fast it would go, without considering what the driver told it to do. Some cars do have speed limiters, but only at very high speeds, much higher than any speed limit you would hope to find. That could have added value of prolonging the life of your car. Running then engine at full speed wouldn't be very good if you did it all the time. Also, disabling the speed limit, or modding it, as far as I'm aware, is not illegal, so long as your car doesn't
      • by 91degrees (207121) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:53AM (#14326072) Journal
        Heavy Goods vehicles in Europe are required to have a speed limiter fitted that limits them to 56mph. A lot of truckers are strongly opposed to these since they consider them to fail to solve the problem they are designed to prevent (accidents through speeding), and prevent any benefits that legitimately driving over this speed will offer. These are pretty much the same problems we have with DRM.

        Personally, I'd be quite happy with DRM that told me how many times I'd copied something, what generation copy it is, and any other information that may be relevent.
    • Interesting thought:

      As punishment for the Sony Rootkit, all Sony Media employees and employees responsible for creating the rootkit should have speed monitoring devices attached to all of their vehicles. If they speed, they get mailed a ticket. They can also have all thier phone and email conversations recorded and available on the internet to the public. If they are in such a hurry to live in an Orwellian society, I say, let them have a little taste of it.

    • At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add. ... DRM by definition cannot be a "value add", only a "value subtract".

      Except for dangerous roads, you normally wouldn't need a speedometer except that the police enforces speed limits. DRM can be a "value add" if there's enforcement on video copying, e.g., the recent French proposal to legalize copying if you declare your intenti
    • He might have been referring to the onboard instrumentation which stores your driving history. Not the instrumentation that displays info to you, but more like an airplane's flight recorder. Can be used by service stations to tune for your driving habits. Police and insurance companies would like access to these for investigations. For example http://www.expertlaw.com/library/accidents/auto_bl ack_boxes.html [expertlaw.com]
  • Creativity? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by kingturkey (930819)

    At the same time, we are working to make sure that people respect the creativity and hard work that goes into making television shows and movies.

    Creativity in movies? What cinema is he going to? I've seen alot of remakes of old movies, movies based on books and games, but not much creativity. It seems they are running out of this "creativity". I'm not too sure about the "hard work" either, it seems the industry just substitutes thought and actual work with a big wad of cash to make shiny special effects.

    • "I'm not too sure about the "hard work" either, it seems the industry just substitutes thought and actual work with a big wad of cash to make shiny special effects."

      What about all the people working hard to produce those special effects? The artists making 40k, working 80 hours a week, to get the CGI up to spec on deadline?
      • >What about all the people working hard to produce those special effects? The artists making 40k, working 80 hours a week, to get the CGI up to spec on deadline?

        If all people involved in the making of the latest cinema crapfest really worked 80 hours a week while making 40k, and not just the poor sods burning their eyelashes in front of a monitor to do the CGI, you could make a handy profit by selling DVDs at two bucks a pop. There would be no "piracy problem."
  • sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmellMyTeenSpirit (207288) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:50AM (#14326062) Journal
    "One way to look at this issue is through an analogy. At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add. However, if that technology were to automatically report the fact that you speed to the authorities then people's perspective would change. DRM is the same."

    There are two key problems that his analogy brings up. First of all, consumers would obviously resist this hypothetical speed tracking hardware. Perhaps something like this will be implemented some day, perhaps not. But it will surely be fought, and rightly so. Until the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade and we lose our constitutional right to privacy, that is.

    But the real difference is that speeding is often an issue of life and death, both for the driver and for everyone else on the road. Piracy isn't even remotely analogous. Even if the industry could prove that piracy is hurting them so much, the "hurt" here is loss of profit. I apologize for not sympathizing with your pain, my rich corporate friend.

    "The technology is a part of a balance that is struck with the consumer. The creative community distributes high quality digital content and the consumers accept that they can't randomly and wantonly redistribute that high quality digital content."

    As a consumer, I do not accept that I can't randomly and wantonly redistribute their content. He's talking about how he wants things to be, and then he characterizes consumers as agreeing with him. Someone needs a reality check.

    Although I do like his use of the word "stuck". Personally, I like to think that a bargain is only good if one side is getting shafted because they lack the legal and legislative resources to stand up for themselves.
    • Re:sigh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by m50d (797211)
      But the real difference is that speeding is often an issue of life and death, both for the driver and for everyone else on the road. Piracy isn't even remotely analogous. Even if the industry could prove that piracy is hurting them so much, the "hurt" here is loss of profit. I apologize for not sympathizing with your pain, my rich corporate friend.

      I think his analogy is dead on. The kind of DRM the customer would be happy with is that which tells you whether your copy is "genuine", but no-one else. With lu

    • First of all, consumers would obviously resist this hypothetical speed tracking hardware. Perhaps something like this will be implemented some day, perhaps not.

      If you're talking about the first case--of an onboard computer tracking average speed--it's here, it's normal, and it's in most mid-class and above vehicles sold today. I've personally had in-dash "trip computers" with this info in a '91 Saab, a '95 Jeep, a '97 BMW, and a 2005 Suburu. And you have heard of GPS navigation systems, perhaps?

      If you're
    • by Ochu (877326)
      Until the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade and we lose our constitutional right to privacy, that is.
      I'm sorry, I may be confused, but how does a court case that guarantees a right to abortion bare any relation to a right to privacy? Is someone venting?
      • Yes, you are confused. The basis for the Court's decision in Roe v Wade was a woman's right to privacy. However, the Constitution does not explicitly mention our right to privacy. The Court implied this right from other parts of the Constitution.

        "...in varying contexts the Court or individual justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right...This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we fee
    • Sorry to burst any bubble you may have, and I know this is Off-Topic:

      we lose our constitutional right to privacy, that is.

      We have NO Right to privacy granted ANYWHERE in the Constitution. Nowhere in that document (nor any Governmental Document of its like) does it state we as citizens have any rights to Privacy.
      • We have NO Right to privacy granted ANYWHERE in the Constitution. Nowhere in that document (nor any Governmental Document of its like) does it state we as citizens have any rights to Privacy.

        Well, while the phrase "right to privacy" may not appear in the articles, bill or rights or subsequent amendments, you have to admit that this speaks pretty explicitly to the subject of personal privacy:

        Amendment IV

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable s

  • by Gibsnag (885901) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:50AM (#14326065)
    "We are committed to making sure that the digital distribution of content is a reality."

    It already is a reality, you just missed the boat by about a decade.

    "For example, we are still trying to learn more about what people want for entertainment, how do the(y?) want it, and how we strike a balance that is fair and gives people choice."

    I can answer that for you, we want it cheap (as in ALOT cheaper than CDs), easy to download and without DRM. That will stop a larger proportion of piracy than your existing methods of beating old and young alike with legal documents. I mean you basically have a choice, use DRM piss off a large proportion of your audience, however pirates will just strip the DRM away (don't be naieve enough to think that it won't be cracked) and it'll be shared as a clean .mp3 file, or you can deliver that clean .mp3 file yourselves, gain some good publicity from that and get more from people who'd rather buy a clean .mp3 than pirate it if possible.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Uhh... they were talking about MOVIES, not music. Although I still think your point is valid one.
  • Well, yes: (Score:3, Funny)

    by SamSim (630795) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:58AM (#14326094) Homepage Journal

    Garfield acknowledges that they do not have much of a grip on the file-sharing world as they would like to believe.

    Well, yes, as proven by the fact that file-sharing still occurs.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seriously, are they really that out of touch with reality or is it a smokescreen to cover up even more malice towards us?
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:13AM (#14326161)
    "We want to tell stories about fantasmigorical pirates not spend much of our resources on fighting piracy. It should come as no surprise to you that every studio is committed to making movies and television shows that people love and are willing to see. Some times we are successful, but when we are it is not from a lack of trying. No one gets up in the morning and says today 'I am going to make a really bad movie.'"

    They say are committed to making movies and television shows that people love and are willing to see, but usually they have run out of ideas and just remake the television shows into movies that will make money.

    For example, which one of these bombs would you say was a good idea?
    The Dukes of Hazzard?
    Starsky and Hutch?
    Fat Albert?
    Lost in Space?
    The Mod Squad?
    Scooby Doo?


    I was not willing to see any of them, but I guess Hollywood is in a creativity crisis and the MPAA is not helping.
    Nobody gets up in the morning and says I want to make a bad movie, but they DO get up and say I want to make a movie that will make a reasonable profit regardless of the insipid and tedious script.
    • Well, for the record Scooby did $153 Million [imdb.com]. Not exactly a bomb.
    • This depends entirely on what your definition of "Good Idea" is. If I'm reading the data at IMDB right, all of the movies you mentioned except "Lost in Space" turned a pretty good profit. What better way than ticket sales is there to measure whether a movie is one that people "love and and are willing to see"? What definition of "bomb" are you using? Usually, a movie that's a "bomb" is one that doesn't turn a profit at the box office. Perhaps you think these movies suck (of course, you don't really kno

      • ---There's plenty to criticize about Hollywood, but I think you're just being pretentious.

        I guess everyone has their own sense of taste, and I did see a couple of those movies I mentioned...but still it would be interesting to see movies that are totally original in theme or storyline is what I was trying to get across. It leaves a bit more to the imagination, and you don't end up comparing it to its own original version.
  • by slapout (93640) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:20AM (#14326208)
    ...because when I first say the headline I thought it said they had interviewed Garfield the cat.
  • Cute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by typical (886006) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:48AM (#14326377) Journal
    Identifying the scope of the commercial versus the open source problem is no easier than discerning real data on p2p usage.

    Ah, yes. Those problematic open source P2P authors.

    Mr. Garfield, I like hacking on P2P software. You can sic attorneys on every visible open source P2P author, and all that will happen is you will drive people underground -- and you don't need much of an underground to write all the software that anyone could ever use. You aren't going to manage to stop the production of open source P2P software.

    Perhaps you'd like to look at Microsoft, Mr. Garfield. Microsoft has greater annual revenues than *all your member studios put together*. Microsoft has *clout*.

    Microsoft wasn't able to quash open source development, despite spending an awful lot of money and effort on it, Mr. Garfield. I'm going to give you *very* slim chances of succeeding where they failed.

    What are you going to try? PR? Microsoft did that. They called Linux a virus. They said it exposed users to liability. They said that it was insecure, and that it was *communist*, Mr. Garfield. It didn't work.

    How about legislation? Maybe, if you're *really* lucky, you can manage to pay enough legislators to vote in laws criminalizing the production of software that is used to cause greater than some degree of purported damages. I don't think that you can manage that -- you'd face opposition from a lot of tech types, and a number of legislators have noticed that people don't *like* stories in the newspaper about nine-year-old girls being sued for thousands of dollars. But let's say that, despite all that, you manage it. There are a *lot* of open source programmers overseas, Mr. Garfield, and software does not understand national boundaries. The US government made export of encryption code illegal due to national security concerns for a long time. What happened? Encryption development and distribution continued, from overseas. It didn't do any good. You can't quash software development.

    You going to try to track down all the people copying software and music and movies down? Mr. Garfield, one of the primary functions of a computer is to reproduce and distribute data quickly and accurately. There is *huge* demand for this, demand which far exceeds and outweighs any demand for entertainment. They have a device which does *exactly* what you don't want. There are *too many people* that want to be able to copy around movies for this to work.

    How about a technical solution, Mr. Garfield? You spent plenty of effort trying to lock up DVDs -- that didn't work (you excluded Linux from your supported platforms, which was pretty stupid and put a lot of very smart Linux-using techies and crypto types to work on the problem, but even if you hadn't, it wouldn't have lasted long). You want to try again? Well, there are a lot of security types who would love to take your money and can guarantee you the moon, but it isn't going to happen.

    You want to try keeping digital data from becoming analog? Good luck.

    You want to try keeping analog data from becoming digital? This is a new, interesting one. You're now trying to plug a hole that requires *one* person with *one* analog-to-digital encoding device somewhere in the *world* per movie. It makes no more sense than trying to use CSS to keep people from getting at DVD content. It's just not a feasible approach.

    I know that this is a really appalling concept, and one that you probably don't want to entertain. But it is possible -- just possible -- that your only solution is to reduce costs to where the convenience and guaranteed quality of buying your product from you outweighs the inconvenience of pirating. That means that you have to trim all your excess fat. That means that maybe you can't spend hundreds of millions of dollars producing and marketing a movie. Maybe you can't *have* actors that get tens of millions of dollars for every work. Maybe you need to use CG, and can't afford to recompen
    • Yes! this post says all that I was thinking as well as the rest.

      There is just no way to stop it. Nothing to stop anyone from hooking up analogue outputs from something and capturing on something else. Sure it won't be "high quality" but half the time I don't believe thats a issue.
      The "people" will go to great lengths to do what they are not supposed to.
      Just look at those crazy people who scan entire Dungeons and Dragons books, one page at a time.
      How are you going to beat that?!?
  • WTF?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iolaus (704845) on Friday December 23, 2005 @11:26AM (#14326561) Homepage
    The proposed introduction of ICT (Image Constraint Tokens) with blue-ray and HD-DVD formats as part of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) offers a way forward, a means of limiting the quality of secondary copying. ICT would enable a user to still see content, but not in its original resolution. This way, analogue displays and other unauthorized devices can still receive and play content, just not in a rich HD format.

    That is from Slyck! Last time I checked those technologies did things like disabling HD output unless you are using HDMI (with support for a no-copy flag). WTF?!? Not only are most HD displays manufactured to this date lacking an HDMI input, but such technology eliminates my FAIR USE RIGHT to make a full quality backup! What kind of a sell-out crappy-ass solution is that?

    If you want to make sure I never pirate content here are a few tips:

    • Make the content cheap (a few bucks a movie, $.50 a song, etc.)
    • Make the content easily accessable (let me download it from a fast, searchable site)
    • Make the content high-quality (give me the option of HD quality video and CD-or-better quality audio)
    • Once purchased, let me use the content as I damn well please (rip it, burn it, transcode it, play it on a computer, play it on a portable device, etc).

    Once these requirements are met, all my media will be obtained 100% legally because it will just make sense!
    I am willing to pay a reasonable amount for convenience, quality, and flexability.
    • Since when do you have a right to make a full quality back-up?

      I only ask this because I'm too lazy to go read through the Sony v BetaMax case to see where they talk about image quality.

      Back in those days, making a backup (to tape) created an inherently non-perfect quality result. Even worse, that copy degraded with repeated use.

      I think you're misunderstanding the relationship between the ability to make a perfect digital copy and the right to make one.

      Just my 2 pennies
      • Well, if I'm only afforded the right to make a copy and not a copy with the full quality technology will allow, I'd say that's an awfuly slippery slope! If that were the case, what would stop the *AAs from restricting copies to some unuseably low quality?
        • If that were the case, what would stop the *AAs from restricting copies to some unuseably low quality?
          MacroVision?

          If you've ever seen a dubbed tape that has been mangled by macrovision, you'll know what I mean.

          I agree with you, but it would be awfully tempting from a content provider point of view to limit copies to a lower quality and perhaps make you pay for the privelege of a bit for bit dupe.
    • I personally find AllofMp3 more convinient than Kazaa, Morpheus, or any of those things.
      • Years ago I described the ideal online music store. IIRC, I said that it would beat out Kazaa by being organized like a regular music store and have all the songs available in a variety of formats. And it would beat out iTunes and all the sad pathetic attempts at online stores by the RIAA by being hellaciously cheap and selling the tunes in plain simple formats unencumbered by DRM. For those of you who don't know, allofmp3.com sells music at $.02 per megabyte, so the average album at 192kbps will set you
    • I'm no law student, but according to a lawstudent friend of mine there's actually a huge difference(we've debated the fair use subject again and again).

      check item 16. @ http://copylaw.com/new_articles/fairuse.html [copylaw.com]
    • Once purchased, let me use the content as I damn well please.
      Does that include copying for subsequent resale? If so,
      • Are you prepared to let the copyright holder in on the deal?
      • How should the cookie crumble?
  • Sorry Mr. Garfield (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AnyThingButWindows (939158) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:07PM (#14326797) Homepage
    but I own a computer repair store in a town of about 5,000. I am the only one. I do not support DRM or anything with 'Trusted Computing', and NEVER will, for that matter. When someone asks what they should use to get music, I point them to Limewire. I preload Limewire, FireFox, AVG, Nero OEM, and Ad-Aware, on all the PCs I sell. I put the burdon of DRM reactions on the MPAA, RIAA, and those who sell broken music that violates my customer's fair use rights. When a customer has a Sony rootkit problem, I fix the problem, then give them Sony's number for their corporate office, and the number of a good lawyer. If a customer has music with DRM attached to it, I have tools to strip the DRM from the songs, then re-encode them into mp3 format. I now have 3/4ths of the town's file sharers on limewire, and am going strong. I don't put ANYTHING on a customers computer that restricts what they can, and cannot do with THEIR OWN machine. Untill the entertainment industry gets their act together, and stops infecting people's private property with viruses, and spyware, lobbying our elected officials, and continued cyber-terrorist activity, I will continue to recommend Limewire, and fight them with what resources, and influence I have. And at the moment Mr. Garfield, my business is expanding, fast, and vastly increasing.
    • While I agree with the rest of /. that DRM is bad, to me it seems you may be going a bit far. First off, like or not, isn't removing the DRM on songs illegal? (Thanks, DMCA!)

      Second, why point them to Limewire for their music? I can understand trying to fight the Evil DRM Imperialists, but downloading music that isn't released for free is wrong, even if the government punishment for such is overly severe. Why not point them to one of the smaller companies that carry more independent labels and offer un-inhi
  • by argoff (142580) on Friday December 23, 2005 @12:24PM (#14326887)

    BitTorrent

    Slyck: With your outreach to Bram Cohen, it appears that you are trying to bridge the gap between file-sharing developers and content providers. How do you think this interview can bridge the gap between file-sharers and the MPAA?

    Garfield: "Stereotypes are often borne out of silence and a lack of understanding. (understand us, we're greedy) This dialogue, as well as our work with Bram and others, is aimed at creating greater understanding through conversation and action. (or coercion)

    "The motion picture industry is working aggressively (aka, threatening to sue people) to take advantage of ( or exploit) wide array of digital distribution platforms (aka universal controll) and to provide consumers (aka coerce into using) a wide array of legitimate (aka, we can strangle you with content controlls) options for enjoying movies and television shows. Slyck is a great venue for sharing our plans (aka siezing controll) for the digital future and gaining feedback."

    Legislation

    Slyck: Do you feel that the future of your industry will better be served by legislative means only or through negotiated compromise and cooperation to eliminate the sources of first run high quality pirated material?

    Garfield: "Even in the movies it is rare that silver bullets truly work. (aka we make crapy content most of the time) Our strategies for addressing the promises (of total controll) and pitfalls (loss of monopoly) of the digital age are and have to be multi-faceted. In some instances our solution (coercion) will be legislative (bought off)in others it will be based on negotiated compromise (lawsuits). It is worth noting that those two principles are not mutually exclusive. It is often said that the legislative process is like making sausage - - it is a messy compromise. (no 100% monopoly) Even where we go down the legislative route there is always a lot of dialogue and compromise." (and payola)

    Thinking that this implied a reluctance on their part to litigate, we then asked; Does the MPAA feel its legal actions, on behalf of its member companies, helps or deters transition P2P users to legal alternatives?

    Garfield: "We think that it helps to move P2P users away from the illegitimate (ones that we can't monopolize) systems. When people understand that the risks and costs of engaging in this conduct are significant many of those people will stop. (so death threats are next) Not everyone does change their behavior and right now we are having the unintended effect of helping to move people from one illegal service to another. (oops) LimeWire has recently soared in popularity (it has? is this a trap?), because of the closure of other illegal P2P services. That is not lost on us. We are working on strategies to address that problem. (perhaps physical torture and violence?)

    "Moreover, as we roll out more and more legitimate alternatives ( that we can monopolize) we will also have a greater impact (ream people for more overpriced content). We also know that many people, not Slyck readers but others, don't often recognize that downloading and posting movies via some P2P groups is illegal (they don't care) and some parents don't know what kinds of things their kids are doing on line. ( aka - consider suing the parents too) It is our hope that these suits will raise community awareness to piracy (boarding ships and murdering people? NOT! ) and its consequences (our cartel gets broken) and I think our legal actions help to achieve that goal." (to restore the cartel)

    Statistics

    Given that few would support commercial piracy, and given the poor publicity over the use of DRM, how much of their problem is directly caused by commercial piracy?

    Garfield: "We are studying that issue, but do not have a real answer. Identifying the scope of the commercial versus

  • NEWS FLASH (Score:2, Interesting)

    Hackers and the user community are always one step ahead of the RIAA and MPAA.
  • by schlick (73861) on Friday December 23, 2005 @02:20PM (#14327558)
    In the course of the interview the issue of watermarking was discussed. This allows an audit trail leading back to the source of every copy that is made of media. Interestingly, Dean said that he wasn't keen to adopt any system that would give them an incentive to track down people and seek to take legal action against them.


    This tells me that they don't want to persue the people in the industry who are actually leaking the content. They don't want to litigate against thier own. They'll sue a little girl, but not some lacky that works in the industry. You'd think that they'd be interested in at least tracking the propagation path. Hell I'd be interested in that.

    On a different note, I'm a movie junky. When a new movie that I really want to see I want to see it on a big screen with an awesome sound system, with my redvines, popcorn, and cherry coke. My roommate actually got a pre release of Ep.1 and I refused to watch it on his 21" computer monitor at VCD quality. It would ruin the experience.

    What I don't like it the whole "event" marketers try to create (one of my bigest pet peeves about Apple as well). When it is ready to release, f*cking release it!!! The artificial scarcity only makes me annoyed, sometimes pissed off enough to hold out buying it, sometimes violate copywrite as a means of flipping them the bird. Don't treat your customers like imbeciles (even if they are).
    • My roommate actually got a pre release of Ep.1 and I refused to watch it on his 21" computer monitor at VCD quality. It would ruin the experience.

      Heh, I thought the movie itself did a pretty thorough job of that.
  • The various ..AAs of the world should take a page out of the lawmakers' books. When a proscribed activity beomes so widespread that enforcement of a prohibition becomes impossible, both politically and effectively, then sensible Governments legalise, regulate, and tax it. I'd like to see the content creation industries face up to the fact that their best option is to not only run their own BitTorrent trackers and seeds, but also to license others to do so. I just so happen to like content which at least att

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