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At Least 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies 392

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the you-or-someone-you-know dept.
ThinSkin writes "Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans. A typical movie downloader is 29 years of age, while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female. Kaan Yigit, director of the study, observes, 'There is a Robin Hood effect — most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie downloading as a big deal. The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services — otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive.'"
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At Least 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies

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  • 18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:32PM (#17760300) Homepage
    I suspect the number is higher. Free is very attractive. Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive.

    Combine these two and you have a huge motivation for people to do this, regardless of their ever watching the movie.

    It may be too late to stuff the genii back in the bottle. The result is that this becomes an "entitlement" that people expect. We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, I think 18% sounds too high. I think you overestimate the intelligence of the average US movie-watcher.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by hjf (703092)
        Dude. Bearshare. Ares. eMule. BitTorrent. Do you need to be smart to use any of these?
        • Re:18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Achoi77 (669484) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:22PM (#17761050)

          we're talking about the majority of the US population, you know: the people that type in their search queries in their browser URL field because they can't tell the difference. These are the people that are confused by the big blue lowercase 'e', when internet is spelled with an 'i' ("I want to get on the internet - what? click on the lowercase e? That's totally retarded!"). They don't know how to check their hotmail account. They don't know how whether or not their computer is already hijacked. They can't tell the difference between the internet and American Online. You expect these people to start installing p2p software and start downloading files for their use (nevermind the fact that to go looking for the stuff in the first place)?

          I'm suprised by the age bracket, I totally suspected it would be lower, mostly consisting of teenagers and college kids, ages 13-22. I'm 29 myself, and to be honest, with my current lifestyle, I really don't have the time to fuck around with semi-corrupt files and the arduous process of assembling multiple files from different sources, just to get a cracked copy of a computer game or a movie file. It's much more convenient to take a few bucks and buy the stuff. Why go thru all that hassle? Especially at 29 years old? Sure, when I was in college I had all the time in the world to wait for that ultra-rare mp3 to finish downloading from Germany. But I'm used to fast now and more importantly if it costs a few more bucks for the convenience, I don't mind shelling out. I've got income, and I will pay for my fast-paced (or some would just call it lazy) lifestyle. So sue me. I pay for the service, not the art.

          • ...I had all the time in the world to wait for that ultra-rare mp3 to finish downloading from Germany. But I'm used to fast now...

            Wow... your internet connection must be pretty slow. Mine's not the fastest available to me, but is a decent speed (7Mb)... fast enough that a 4.5GB DVD would take about 1.5 hours to download, or roughly the amount of time it would take to watch it. Haven't had much call to do it, but that has more to do with my lack of interest in movies than my available bandwidth.

          • Re:18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by shmlco (594907) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:45PM (#17761398) Homepage
            From TFA: "The study's authors didn't clarify whether "downloaded" implied illegal downloads or participation in legal services such as CinemaNow!"

            It seems that the rather sensationalistic headline is contradicted by the article itself.

            Not to mention that this seems like a typical Slashdot bias. Picture the reaction if one were to prefix the article with: "In a study conducted by the MPAA..." People would be falling all over themselves pointing out how the numbers have to be grossly overstated.

            Either way, since the article didn't provide any information about how the study was conducted, how the 2,600 people were found, demographics, et.al., I have to believe the numbers are simply bogus. Cherry pick your starting group, and you can extrapolate to any absurd number.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by esobofh (138133)
            Funny.. because I'm 29, and this article has me dead on. I'm not impatient like I was when i was a young buck (don't need to have everything NOW!) and I have more important things to spend my money on (like investments, mortgage payments, groceries, etc). My broadband connection is consistently fast and reliable and I have huge hard drives. I setup a number of bittorrent downloads and let them complete when they will. There are always 5-10 on the go, and there's always something new to watch when I have the
    • I can't speak for the Californian ones, but having looked over a friends here in Vancouver, that's an industry that desperately needs to trim the fat.
    • by naoursla (99850)
      > Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive.

      Really? Is that actually a motivating factor in most people?

      Man, am I out of touch with the world.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eln (21727)
      18% actually seems a little high to me. I don't download full-length movies because it takes too damn long (unless the quality is really crappy), and when I decide I want a movie, I don't want to wait all day for it to download. If DVDs cost 50 bucks a pop, maybe things would be different. Maybe I'm the only geek who thinks like this, I dunno.

      I'd really like to know more about the way this study was conducted. It says it was at least partially done online, which opens up the possibility of a selection b
      • Re:18%? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by QRDeNameland (873957) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:08PM (#17760848)
        18% actually seems a little high to me.

        I'd say so, too...unless they are counting porn.

        I think the movie industry is really overstating their case here. A recent study [npd.com] claims that P2P downloads are 60% porn, 20% TV shows, and only 5% full-length movies.

        So what are they so worried about? Consider the fact that porn is by far the most downloaded copyrighted content, and it's probably safe to assume that pirated porn represents a much, much larger percentage of porn consumed in comparison to "legitimate" movies, and thus their "losses" are far higher. Can anyone honestly claim that porn is dying from piracy?

    • Re:18%? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:45PM (#17760492) Homepage

      Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.

      Dwindling profits for Hollywood's major studios is probably for the best. Obviously Hollywood has been incapable of producing--among popular blockbusters--a decent percentage of truly fine artistic achievements in spite of their huge profits. Meanwhile, in Europe studios haven't always been capable of turning a profit, but have been supported by private patronage or government subsidies for the arts, and look at the results: such money turns out to be enough to keep workers employed, and in spite of limited budgets it has given us monuments of world cinema. Just look at most of Ingmar Bergman's films, for example.

      • I have this theory that Hollywood should be allowed (by whom, I have no idea) to put out about 10-20 movies a year. That way they'd ensure that only the best directors, actors, writers, etc would be working, and anyone who has any part in the making of a movie is going to a damn good job of it. That would immediately filter out all the crap. It would also guarantee that movie production companies make money, since every movie would, at least theoretically, be great in terms of quality. And in the film i
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by argoff (142580) *
      "Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive."

      It is even more attractive when doing something that is legally criminal is morally the high ground. Then you are not only gaining, but protecting others too.

      "We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the stars, but ..."

      I disagree. The need for people in media will always be there. When you kill the copyright cartel, that will force the market to center around information services
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jenkin sear (28765) *
      No frickin way is it 18%.

      Broadband reports [websiteoptimization.com] has US broadband penetration at 47%.

      You're saying that half of all broadband users are capable of downloading a bit torrent client, running it, finding divx, installing it, and getting the movie to run... sure, they could be downloading quicktime movies or WMV files, but any of these combinations is equally challenging to your mom, your grandpa, and your brother in law- 1 person out of 5 is a hell of a lot of people.

      The US population is roughly 300MM. 18% of this i
      • Re:18%? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:10PM (#17760870) Homepage Journal
        There's no way that there are 54 million people actively downloading 4GB movie files..."

        well, since you backed that up quite logically...

        Now, if you had read the article:
        " U.S. online population"
        and then noticed the head line says 25 million.
        Any one of these would indicate to someone of average or greater intelligence that it's not al Americans.

        Based on the actual artical, 18% seem pretty reasonable a number.
        Now if broadband is at 50%(adjust for easy of math), that mean 150 million americans have
        broadband. Pretty cliose to 18%.

        Please. Try. To. Think.

      • by bfields (66644)

        No frickin way is it 18%.

        Broadband reports [websiteoptimization.com] has US broadband penetration at 47%.

        You're saying that half of all broadband users...

        Woah! Check your units--the 18% is "percent of the US online population"--so that's only 18 percent of people (or households? I'm not sure) that are online.

        Whereas that "penetration" number appears to be a percentage of *all* (online or not) households.

      • Re:18%? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by soft_guy (534437) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:13PM (#17760908)

        You're saying that half of all broadband users are capable of downloading a bit torrent client, running it, finding divx, installing it, and getting the movie to run...
        Why would you pay actual money for broadband if you didn't know how to use it?
      • by quenda (644621)
        The US population is roughly 300MM. 18% of this is 54 million people.

        Mods - please!?
        How does this guy get +5 insightful when he clearly hasn't bothed to read the summary, let alone the article.
        No - he hasn't even read the fscking HEADLINE! It says 25m, not 54. 18% of the online population.
        Yeah, if I'm surprised I must be new here.
      • Re:18%? (Score:4, Funny)

        by Swift2001 (874553) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:38PM (#17761302)
        Oh, broadband isn't necessary. I downloaded a movie at 56k. I downloaded one movie, and it took me most of 2006.
      • Re:18%? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Robber Baron (112304) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:54PM (#17761536) Homepage

        You're saying that half of all broadband users are capable of downloading a bit torrent client, running it, finding divx, installing it, and getting the movie to run... sure, they could be downloading quicktime movies or WMV files, but any of these combinations is equally challenging to your mom, your grandpa, and your brother in law- 1 person out of 5 is a hell of a lot of people.
        Umm...it's not that hard...

        Step 1: Download Bitlord.
        Step 2: Download VLC Media Player
        Step 3: Visit Mininova and find a tracker.
        Step 4: Open file with VLC and enjoy.

        But still I think your right. It's probably not 18% of all citizens, probably more like 18% of all households with broadband.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076)
      We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.

      Really? Even if there were no copyright laws and the US basically had piracy like China there would still be multi-million dollar movies made because they still make more money than not making movies.

      Come to think of it... There have been a great deal of large scale movies coming out of China/Hong Kong lately. Like "The Promise" and that other that
    • by Fordiman (689627)
      Agreed.

      18% will admit to having illegally downloaded in a telephone survey.
      Another 28% are sufficiently paranoid about it to lie.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:36PM (#17760350)
    we are FREEDOM fighters.

    Movies are binary encoded Information.

    And Information Wants To Be Free.

    It is our right and our duty.
  • by siufish (814496) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:36PM (#17760360)
    and I've only seen one last year! Where can I find the others? :)
    • by abscissa (136568)
      and I've only seen one last year! Where can I find the others? :)

      Americans, or movies?
  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:36PM (#17760364)
    Are these folks just too lazy to go to the library and rip DVDs from there? Young people today!
  • It's easier! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:37PM (#17760382) Journal
    One of the reasons I personally pirate movies is it's easier. I don't have to mess around with anything, I just find a torrent (easy as pie), click 2 buttons and I have it within a couple of hours (on a good torrent under 1 hour). Why ever would I goto the cinema or to a shop to buy something I can get for less effort and money?
    • Re:It's easier! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:41PM (#17760432) Journal
      "Why ever would I goto the cinema"

      Why? To enjoy the theater experience. You know, flying popcorn, being kicked by the idiot behind you, cell phones ringing, babies crying, people talking endlessly.

      Thats why!
    • Why ever would I goto the cinema

      Hmmm interesting. You must be older than the most typical age of downloaders if you know what a "goto" is :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840)
      Funny, I find downloading movies to be way more work than it's worth. Trying to find a functional torrent, alone, is a huge pain, and then you have to wait hours for the damn thing to arrive. And all so you can get a crappy Xvid transcode of something I could've gone to Futureshop and bought for $15, or gone to the video store and rented for $5.
      • by Fordiman (689627)
        You're exactly right, which is why an additional N% of people just have NetFlix and a good DVD ripper.
    • One of the reasons I personally pirate movies is it's easier. I don't have to mess around with anything, I just find a torrent (easy as pie)...
      But when ever the regular anti record / movie industry stoy pops up here, the story is exactly the opposite, that P2P file shairing protocols like BitTorrent are not used for this sort of thing, certainly not by anyone here! So which is it? You can't have it both ways...
  • by TobyRush (957946) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:38PM (#17760398) Homepage
    Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past

    ...and roughly 34 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded the first few minutes of a full-length movie, then cancelled that download to try to find a faster one.

  • Smart (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Monoliath (738369)
    The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services

    That's the smartest thing I've read throughout this entire entertainment industry / piracy fiasco. Treating the root problem, instead of the symptoms is sheer brilliance.
  • Sampling Frame? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FST (766202) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:39PM (#17760414) Journal

    In a study of 2,600 Americans polled via telephone and online


    The sampling frame would have an inherent bias towards a higher percentage, as those without internet (ie. those who weren't part of the sampling frame, and those who are very unlikely to pirate) weren't even asked. No mention of accounting for this in TFA. Flawed study. Nothing to see here, please move along.
  • by naoursla (99850) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:39PM (#17760418) Homepage Journal
    And it has absolutely nothing to do with $10 tickets at the theater.
    • All the people who I know who download movies enjoy a good theater movie. Spending $10 to get to see a movie on a giant screen with no compression artifacts and an awesome sound system is still a reasonably good deal. The thing that downloading really replaces is DVD rentals, which are strictly a bad deal compared to 2CD XviD releases.

  • Convenience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:40PM (#17760424)
    This is what the MPAA doesn't quite get. Most people I know over the age of 21 hate going to the theater. It's a fucking hassle.

    So when a blockbuster is released like LOTR the options are:
    a. suffer in the theater
    b. wait half a year for the DVD
    c. download the torrent

    Just make the first runs available for download and guaranteed the piracy problem will be minimized.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      I like the cinima. I don't know where you people live that makes it hell, but I sure dno't want to go there.

      I seldom hear a cell phone, crying baby or anything like that.
      Of course, I don't go to the 2 dollar mantinee, so maybe that's the difference.

  • by davidc (91400)
    I really can't believe a figure of 18% of the US population. That's something like 60 million people. Considering scads of folks are still on dial-up, they must have been downloading the darned things for DAYS (only to find the crc is bad at the end of the download anyway...)
    • by davidc (91400)
      Oops, didn't RTFH properly. Make that 25 million people. I still don't believe it though.
    • by ThePyro (645161)
      Agreed, it's way too high. I just can't believe that 18% of the US population has the know-how to even install BitTorrent, much less download several gigabytes worth of movies.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Gee, I wonder why people do not think that this is stealing. Maybe because loss of potential sales does not equal stolen product?

    The reality is that these groups hate to admit that technology is devaluing their product. Basically, for the first time, these groups have realized that they are unable to set their price to whatever they like. Now that a consumer is able to download their product readily, their product is not as valuable as it once was. As hard as they try, this will not change because it is
  • It would seem the next generation of bandwidth rollout predicates the true boom of pirating, considering that official services aren't likely to drop you and can usually keep a good data rate. P2P and the like are too unreliable for downloading a huge movie to be worth the hassle to most people.
  • Eighteen Percent?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:43PM (#17760462) Journal
    Unless the phone poll was conducted exclusively in Silicon Valley, this seems way too high if you ask me. Last I had heard, the U.S. was at about 60% coverage of the population having broadband. I think it's reasonably to say that, bar a few insanely patient people, only broadband users download movies. That breaks down to 30% of the people that reasonably can download movies, have, and I think it's totally absurd to say that a little under 1 in 3 broadband users have pirated a full-length movie.
    • Unless the phone poll was conducted exclusively in Silicon Valley, this seems way too high if you ask me

      They may be counting copies distributed on the darknet after downloading. Burning a CD for a friend, that sort of thing.

  • Bullpuckies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:46PM (#17760506) Journal
    Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans.

    Absolutely, positively false.

    Any not because I consider people more honest than that - If you include people copying DVDs or even back in the days of copying VHS tapes, I'd put the figure closer to 70-80% that have pirated a movie.

    But to specifically say "downloaded"?

    18% of the US population either doesn't have a net connection anywhere near fast enough to download a full-length movie, or has no clue how to actually do so. The most inflated figures available only put roughly a third of the country as having "broadband", which includes quite a bit of the "anything faster than dialup" you see in rural areas, usually under 384kbps. And of those households with "real" broadband, fewer than half of the occupants actually have a clue on how to use the internet (either young parents with kids too young to pirate, or older parents who only have it for the teenager kids).

    So no. 18% of respondants in an almost certainly urban area (much higher broadband penetration) have downloaded a pirated movie. The MPAA, however, needs to learn the meanings of "external validity" and "sample bias".
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultramk (470198)
      The report says "the U.S. online population", not the overall population.

      I'm willing to bet that a majority of the people in whatever "the U.S. online population" is, have broadband.

      Most people with dial-up don't sit there for hours surfing, looking for online surveys to fill out. I suspect that there are some flawed assumptions in this study, but adding more flawed assumptions doesn't help.

      M-
  • by Generic Guy (678542) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:47PM (#17760516)
    When I found out that Hollywood regularly adjusts their accounting practices [wikipedia.org] to show their movies all lose money, I decided to adjust my own checkbook to show that I paid for all the movies on my computer.
  • by bedonnant (958404) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:50PM (#17760572)

    A typical movie downloader is 29 years of age, while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female
    I am glad the summary thought best to inform us that all that are not male, are female.
    • by Toba82 (871257)
      This helpful information is for the benefit of those who haven't yet mastered the black art of subtraction.
  • by CatConnoisseur (1001802) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:51PM (#17760602)
    I think the reason people pirate (new) movies is not because that they think celebrities are already rich. Going to the theater is usually a not-so-great experience. Not only do you have to drive there, but you have to deal with annoying people, pay $8 a ticket, and suffer through ten minutes of bad trailers. Then, once you finally think you are going to enjoy the movie, the people behind you talk or chomp annoyingly loud on their popcorn. Not to mention that it seems the best movies these days often are a limited release, so your *only* option is to pirate it. Somebody needs to offer a nice service where you can buy theatrical releases for $5, that become unplayable in 24 hours.
  • by benhocking (724439) <benjaminhocking@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:54PM (#17760654) Homepage Journal
    What I love is that they called it the "Robin Hood" effect. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor - not to himself.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      That's way it's the Robin Hood effect. steal from the rich to give to the poor...themselves.
  • by countSudoku() (1047544) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:54PM (#17760656) Homepage
    I've never downloaded a single movie or song... I just copy them from friends, family and co-workers. Let's see the MPAA stop me! Come on you pussies I TRIPPLE-DOG dare you to stop me from copying DVDs. Asshats.
    I just counted a few days ago and estimate I have around 850 individual DVD discs, with about 60%-70% being real store purchased DVDs, the others being copies of movies, shows and the MST3K DVD collection project (every MST3K episode ever, all going to DVD).

    The reason I copy is so I can take my time with the "borrowed" DVDs and to watch stuff I would never be purchasing anyway. Nor would I rent them. How the MPAA can claim that they lost a purchase from someone like myself just goes to show what a bunch of useless, greedy douchebags they are. F them, I make plenty of real purchases. Perhaps I should just copy everything and never pay for it. Their tactics make a good case for me to just go all bootleg. *Then* what? Can they ever stop sneakernet?

    no.

  • by Quick Sick Nick (822060) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:55PM (#17760670)
    That's right, I'm a movie pirate! And I like movies rated ARRRRRRR!!!
  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:57PM (#17760698)
    These results are meaningless! The article states that the "researcher" estimates the error rate to be plus or minus 2.4%. If it was a statistical sample, there would be no estimate of error rate, but instead an actual error rate. If this wasn't a statistical sample, then all that can be stated is 20% of the 2600 people surveyed.

    It's also interesting that a survey that was taken via telephone and online is used to extrapolate to the entire population. Since not everyone has a computer, then they could hardly be included in the population (statistical not US). Furthermore, telephone surveys only include people with listed telephone numbers, so again, your statistical population is skewed. Online surveys do not work if they are voluntary (ie would you like to fill out our survey?) Since there is no indication of how many people who chose not to fill out the survey.

    Based on the limited information given, it appears that this is another example of using statistics to get them to say what you want. Since most people are functionally illiterate when it comes to statistics, it's very easy for people to use bogus statistical methods to manipulate the data and ultimately the readers of the article.

    For any sample to be legit and extrapolated to an entire population it has to be random and representative. If it's not both of those, then the extrapolated data is meaningless.
    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:16PM (#17760952) Homepage Journal
      What is it with you people? You are not telling anyone anything they don't know.
      People who analyize statistice account for all this, and in face it can be very close.

      Back of envelope:
      47% of americans have broadmand(call it 150 million for easy).
      25 million of those are clamied to download at least one movie.

      Thats about 18%.

      Now most people in the US with broadmand have a listed telephone number. Yes yes I know your crowd is extremly cool people no one has one, but really you are an insignifigant statistcal abnormality at this time.

      The data is not meaningless, you just have to try and understand statistics in some practical way.

  • Adult movies (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jerry Rivers (881171) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @07:57PM (#17760700)
    What they don't tell you, because the question is never asked because nobody would answer truthfully if it was, is that most downloaded movies are porn.
  • If MGM or whoever owns the rights to it would rerelease it at a sane price, I would have bought 1984 instead of downloading it. After watching it, I decided that it was okay, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be (though whatsername...Jessica I think, looked pretty hot in her nude scene).

    I definitely would not have been happy about this had I shelled out the $100 or more that the resellers on Amazon are asking for this title. This is certainly one that could use one more remake, and hopefully b
  • by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:02PM (#17760778) Journal
    I've mostly curbed my blatantly piratical activities and gone back into grey-area piracy (television, backing up my own DVDs, copying CDs to my iPod, etc.), but I think that's because the novelty has worn off. Yes, I can download using a torrent, but the quality is usually not as good as what I can rip myself from the original, so I give preference to buying/renting the media. BitTorrent is useful; it is unquestionably the best distribution network available today. My initial experience with it was basically "whoa! magic!", and I'm sure that's a major factor today. Everyone I've introduced to BitTorrent is equally enthralled.

    People are curious about what you can get on the wide-open Internet. Free stuff is all over the place. Downloading gives near-instant gratification (well, unless you're on a modem) without leaving your house. There is practically no competition to the ubiquity and convenience of P2P file sharing. Satellite and Digital Cable aren't IP-based solutions, so it's an extra service on top of your Internet fee. None of the major television networks allow you to pay them directly and get an Internet-based feed, nor do any of the major motion picture production houses.

    I think a more sane approach to P2P piracy is to increase the rate at which people get bored with BitTorrent. Offer competing, low-cost alternatives to buying or renting the media. Provide television service on the Internet. I'm certain that I would pay money for high-quality Internet-based content delivery. I *really* want to watch live sports on the Internet. I'd love to log into my local television network and download archived copies of stuff they aired. And I'm quite willing to pay for it. I've already chosen my distribution medium, and the pirates are the only guys catering to it. Don't complain about the piracy, offer an alternative.
  • Good Start (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gatesvp (957062) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:04PM (#17760810)

    18% sounds like a good start, I'd expect this number to increase to about 35-40% before the studios finally release non-DRMed versions for downloads (at lower than DVD prices).

    This board (Slashdot) is filled with a virtual panoply of views on this subject. As is usual though, I think the truth of the matter lies in the nebulous neutral zone.

    Let's face it, neither side has really taken the high road on this. People download and distribute movies like they were free commodities and the MPAA bullies people unreasonably and tries to make us all thieves.

    I have to sit in theatre with my $12 ticket and watch the stunt double talk about his belief that stealing movies is wrong (I just paid $12 for this, talk about preaching to the choir). And then I blow 20+ minutes watching advertisements for other movies (AKA: previews). When I take a movie home, I have to watch the trailers (they lock out the buttons) for movies I may already have seen or in fact may already own. And then I can't complain and return the video b/c it's already open.

    However, the vast load of downloaders are some mix of vigilantes and free-loaders, collectors and connoisseurs. So every solution proposed by the MPAA (i.e.: DRM) effectively blocks the good downloaders as well as the free-loaders.

    In the end really, both sides are too stuck up to take the high road and fix the problem. So we'll just end up with 40% of people stealing music before the studios just give in. After which we'll be flooded with 5 years of low-quality movies until people start anteing up again.

    Why not just skip the whole process, stop bad-mouthing everyone and figure out something that works. If I want to buy newly-released Italian movies for my family and I can't find them, then who can I lean on to get them out here? If I can't stand previews, then how can I organize around them? Can I show up late with a dozen friends and walk in near the estimated end of the previews? Can I take cell phone calls during the previews, I mean, it's not really the movie is it? You know the stunt double guy? I just stopped going to the theatre that showed him. Maybe I should start asking sales clerks about return policies on DVDs, or refusing to buy DVDs that are "not quite DVDs".

    I'm a basketball fan, but I don't have cable. Once they start posting my Raptors games to the Net, then I will start buying them (so that I can watch them on the bus to work). But until then, I just don't watch them. I don't download them illegally out of some self-righteous belief that I can, I'm taking the high road and waiting for them to catch up.

  • 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female

    Bloody hell, I'm glad they included the second figure, otherwise I would have been all at sea!!!
  • ...make that 25 Million...and one.

    : p
  • by Jazz-Masta (240659) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:13PM (#17760906)
    Most people believe that pirating movies and music does not hurt the big stars. Well, realistically it probably doesn't. But there are hundreds or thousands more people that work in/on movies than the big name stars and I'm sure their salary will be the first to be cut if the studios feel the pinch. You can save a few million by cutting salaries of all the other workers while keeping the stars' paychecks high.

    Same deal when a company falls on hard times, the lowly employees get canned, raises are suspended, some salary reductions may occur if voted in (sometimes employees are given this choice instead of being laid off), but the CEO and the high-ups still make a crapload of money.

    Not to say I'm a Saint or anything. Sometimes I get to thinking and realize I may be getting that one key grip laid off.
  • Who says we aren't doing our part to stop global warming? ;)
  • Supid Peopel (Score:2, Interesting)

    by da_yingyang0 (1048770)
    Who was stupid enough to admit to that over a phone survey where they have your name, address, and phone number?
  • 63% male/37% women? Almost all of my male friend know how to use bit torrent and often download movies and TV shows with it. About 10% of my female friends know how to do this. A sizable proportion of my male friends do this macho thing where they show off how much of the hard drive space they have is filled with pirated material. None of the women I know do this. So I don't believe that 37% of downloaders are women.
  • Surveyor: Have you illegally downloaded a full-length movie?
    Random Individual: (nervously) Um.... no?

    Without more details as to how this study was conducted, we really have no clue whether these results are reasonable or not.
  • For most adults going to the Theatre stinks, the seats are too close, the 30 minutes of commercials are annoying and by the time you pay for one ticket, an 8 dollar tub of popcorn and a 5 dollar drink its cheaper to buy the dvd 6 months later.

    When I was a kid I would go to the movies a couple times a month, now its a couple times a year. I actually have more free time to do so, but the negatives far outweigh the positives so I stay home.

    Legal downloads are insane, most of them are more expensive than DVD's, have crappier resolution, and have so much drm they are basically useless. If streaming movies were available day and date with DVD or PPV releases at a cost similar to PPV it would probably go over much better.

    I know Divx (Not the encoding but the format pushed by Circuit City) wasnt popular in the store, but something similar would be a pretty decent solution for downloads, a limited play but burnable download for $3-$4 sounds alot more attractive than driving to a rental place.

    Whatever happened to Mark Cuban's experiment with day and date theatrical releases? It sounded like a good idea, I really dont think the theatre crowd will shrink much, the few times I go it seems its mostly teenagers there for the hang out so they will still show up. Movies that have to be experienced on the big screen will still draw crowds.

    I suspect alot of the fear with day and date releases is that streaming or downloads will even the playing field, at the theatre you get anywhere from 1-20 choices where with an online service you could potentially have hundreds, suddenly art and independent films have the same marquee as the big studios which will only hurt the big studios.
  • by LifesABeach (234436) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:15PM (#17761812)
    "...while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female..."; There, we have it, Hermaphrodites are honest folks.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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