back to article Blighty's film biz asks gov to hurry up pirate crackdown

The government should implement anti-piracy measures contained in the Digital Economy Act (DEA) "as quickly as possible", an independent panel appointed to review the future of the UK film industry has said. The Film Policy Review Panel was appointed by the government and has said that copyright infringement is contributing to …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So while the US are having a massive backlash against there poorly thought out rushed ideas, these guys want to push through THERE poorly thought out rushed ideas.

    Great idea!

    1. IPatentedItSoIOwnIt
      WTF?

      SOPA and PIPA got debated by elected officials, our DEA is only alive because the system of law was abused so blatantly by a twice caught fraudster (Mandy). It got rushed into law in an completely undemocratic process called "the wash". This is a period of time when parliament is dissolved in the run up to a general election but somehow laws still get passed with no-one able to debate or challenge them.

    2. IPatentedItSoIOwnIt
      WTF?

      At least....

      SOPA and PIPA got debated by elected officials, our DEA is only alive because the system of law was abused so blatantly by a twice caught fraudster (Mandy). It got rushed into law in an completely undemocratic process called "the wash". This is a period of time when parliament is dissolved in the run up to a general election but somehow laws still get passed with no-one able to debate or challenge them.

  2. SJRulez

    copyright infringement is contributing to declining industry revenues and that a "key element" to addressing the problem was in implementing the measures

    One of the biggest factors is the stupidly high prices charged to visit the movies and to buy films which are only compounded when you see films getting the highest box office takes and profits of 100million+

    The measures and monitoring they suggest will only ever catch out the small time people who don't know enough about how peer2peer and other technology's work to protect themselves. They major pirates will still continue, lets face the actual downloading of the movie is the tip of the ice berg..... who's going after the people selling them in pubs, shops and other places.

  3. semprance
    FAIL

    "The Film Policy Review Panel was appointed by the government and has said that copyright infringement is contributing to declining industry revenues"

    I just took the liberty of scanning through that PDF and there is not a SINGLE statistic to suggest that piracy is causing any sort of significant detriment. In fact, Piracy only features as 9th on a list of methods for digital viewing. FUCKING NINTH! And they believe that this is enough to call for the application of draconian laws.

    Other fun statistics include:

    - Paid digital media consumption is growing

    - Overall costs for producing film have lowered.

    - Much of losses can be attributed to disproportionate box office share between films (so not piracy)..

    And yet they insist that the film-makers must line their pockets with even more of their customers' money by dragging them to the court room.

    I weep for humanity, I really do.

    1. Fuh Quit
      Pint

      I think you've answered my question

      which is "Will this lot be bust before 2013 hence the reason for the rush?"

      seems a rather large NO.

      When will everyone realise that the casual "pirate" is the one this is aimed at - because the other pirates have been doing well since Betamax. Heck, I've only ever seen ET on Betamax pirate tape and would never want to watch it again and destroy that experience!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guilty until proven innocent

    Guilty until proven innocent.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Some dispute'

    'The film body acknowledged that there was some dispute over the quality of evidence that the creative industries have previously produced to make the case for new anti-piracy measures to be introduced. '

    In much the same way as there is some dispute over the quality of evidence for the existence of Bigfoot.

    There's also some dispute over the calculation of losses incurred by piracy, eg basing them on retail sale value of a DVD, as opposed to (say) the revenue generated by 1 night's rental.

    Calculated the latter way, the losses would be orders of magnitude smaller, which would weaken the case for cosseting a cartel unable to adapt to a changing marketplace.

    In other news, the Gas Mantle Manufacturers Association is lobbying for a levy on the electrical light bulb.

  6. Pat 11

    big question

    Where is all this money they expect to make going to come from? Pirates are not lying around in piles of cash they would have spent on cinema/dvds, they are largely young folk with little spare cash.

    Btw, there's an interesting levelling factor in piracy...if something is massively popular and thus profitable, it's easy to pirate, but obs.cure stuff can only be paid for. I think many petiole have a sense of this and are not so bothered about Beyonce losing a few sales.

  7. Blofeld's Cat
    Flame

    An open letter...

    To the Film Industry and their political friends.

    Dear Sirs,

    May I politely point out that you need to get your act together and bring your industry into the 21st Century.

    Do you really still think that one "pirate" copy equals one lost sale? Perhaps you need to start assuming that your customers are on to your little scheme and wisen up.

    I do not go to the cinema now and have not done so since the major chains turned their "theaters" (sic) into warm places where people can enjoy a bit of food and drink, while using their phones and talking to their friends. I believe there was some sort of film being shown the last time I went, but nobody seemed to be taking any interest in that.

    Consequently I tend to buy (yes buy) films on DVD so I can watch them in the relative comfort of my home. Now I may be slow on the uptake here, but I have learned that if I can bear to wait a month or so after the UK release of your latest "blockbuster", I can actually buy the wretched thing at a supermarket for about 10% of the original price. (You notice the 'buy' word again.)

    While I'm ranting, could I also suggest that you might consider using some sort of 'plot' in your next production. Again I realise that I'm somewhat old fashioned, but I do rather prefer films that have some sort of storyline, rather than those with only clever special effects, and nausea inducing 3D.

    Not, I hasten to add, that all recent films are totally devoid of 'plot'. That would be too sweeping a statement given the number of remakes of 'classics' that are now appearing. Incidentally I did notice that many of these films were 'classics' because they had a 'plot'.

    Still at least these remakes make a change from yet another sequel to some tired franchise. Although I do notice a trend where these are simply a vehicle for some 'star' or another. Which reminds me has the person responsible for casting Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau in 'The Pink Panther', been hunted down and fired yet?

    If any of these suggestions are useful, then please do get in touch with me. My IP lawyers are awaiting your call.

    Yours etc.

    Ernst Stavro Blofeld's cat.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Steve Martin was never Clouseau

      Another film to ignore with the US Wicker Man, Taxi (NOT Taxi Driver) ect ect

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        Go

        Wicker Man

        NOT THE BEEES! NOT THE BEEES! AAARGH MY EYES!

        You don't need to see the film, but you do need to see the trailer:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_mW8mBzmHo

        The French version of Taxi is awesome, from the inimitable mind of Luc Besson. Everyone needs to see it:

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0152930/

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Taxi

          I know - that is why I mentioned it - got all 3, pity 1 is non anamorphic and the subs are off the screen in letterbox mode.

          Funny really I had completely forgotten about the ruining of the Italian Job

    2. gerryg

      Unfortunately they're attending live theatre too, now

      I do not go to the cinema now and have not done so since the major chains turned their "theaters" (sic) into warm places where people can enjoy a bit of food and drink, while using their phones and talking to their friends. I believe there was some sort of film being shown the last time I went, but nobody seemed to be taking any interest in that.

      +1

  8. Avatar of They
    Thumb Down

    It'll be a farce

    I like this, I can't wait for this to kick in and sales of the british film industry to remain poor because it is all shite anyway.

    The amount of false positives will be massive, when saas and cloud technologies with IPTV etc all rolling out the systesm won't cope.

    Roll out wide spread use of encryption.

  9. Anonymous Cowerd
    Pirate

    Stop lecturing me on theft everytime I try to watch a film

    or making me watch trailers, adverts etc. ad nauseam. It's not as if the "pirates" have to put up with that shit.

    Making a product that I can use for the purpose it was intended might go some way to preventing copyright infringement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I rip copies of my purchased DVDs

      === TRAILER ===

      If you enjoy the rant that follows, you'll enjoy my other rants on topics such as:

      'Why the film studios are bastards'

      'Trailers are evil'

      'DVD - winning the war against pleasure'

      === END TRAILER ===

      I rip copies of my purchased DVDs, just so I don't have to watch the trailers. How fucking dare they force me to watch trailers when play a DVD that I've paid for.

      I think you'll agree it was worth waiting through the trailer to read that

    2. MJI Silver badge

      I gave up

      Stopped buying, stopped watching.

      Tired of put disc in get warning, unable to skip, go to PC, rip DVD, find a blank, burn it, put in DVD player, watch film.

      After this I gave up buying and just waited for BluRay to arrive, until they started it as well - well look numpties, we spent a lot on a player, TV, sound system, and between £5 and £10 per disc, LET US WATCH THE FILM OR WE WILL STOP BUYING THEM.

      I am also a lot more selective with only about 20 BluRays, compared to about 200 DVDs

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge
        Joke

        "You wouldn't steal a handbag. You wouldn't steal a car. You wouldn't steal a baby. You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet. You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet. And then send it to the policeman's grieving widow. And then steal it again! Downloading films is stealing"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Stealing

          And so is charging me $25 for a movie when it's sold for $5 in another country (legally I might add, but I'm not legally allowed to import it). Or selling me the latest version (blu-ray) of the Star Wars trilogy as the original, but failing to mention on the packaging that they've been 're-made' with the wonders of c.g.i. and still putting 1977 down as the year it was made.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You could return it as not fit for the stated purpose

            but you won't get anywhere cos they'll just assume you've ripped it!

            1. MJI Silver badge

              return - no luck

              Hassled the producers - just told them I no longer buy them - if I miss a good film - tough

    3. Ru
      Pirate

      "You wouldn't download a car"

      I rather like the newer DVDs I've seen which have a very brief message saying 'Thankyou for supporting the film and TV industry!' or somesuch. Seems like finally the publishers are catching on to quite how universally they are despised.

  10. irish donkey
    Megaphone

    The hope is...

    the longer it takes the better the law will be. (hopefully)

    Better to mean.... better in terms of a balance between the rights holder and the consumers.

    Everybody deserves to be paid but copyright needs balance and that is something which has been sadly lacking in these big business sponsored laws.

    Of course where Big Corp have been found to be avoiding Tax. You can steal their stuff as they steal from us. Trying to think of an good example...........Ahhhh! there's one: U2 they provide no benefit to any society the money hoarding ............. Can anyone think of any other Big Corp that steals from the tax payer.

    1. david wilson

      >>"Of course where Big Corp have been found to be avoiding Tax. You can steal their stuff as they steal from us. Trying to think of an good example...........Ahhhh! there's one: U2 they provide no benefit to any society the money hoarding ............. Can anyone think of any other Big Corp that steals from the tax payer."

      Why 'steal' *their* stuff?

      If you don't like them, then whether you like their stuff or not, why not just ignore it?

      Personally, if I *really* disliked someone, I'd find it hard to enjoy what they produced, especially in a world with so much choice of stuff from people I don't meaningfully dislike.

      1. irish donkey
        Megaphone

        because if enough people complain

        then maybe Gubermints will plug the loop holes which MegaCorps use to avoid tax/steal money from hard working tax payers.

        Vodafone taxed their employee's UK wages and then kept the money. That £12bn would have saved a lot of jobs in the UK.

        Keeping silent just condones their larceny.

        Shout it loud because those are our jobs they are destroying.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Nail on the head

    "The panel ... recommends that rights-holders and retailers more actively take advantage of the growing consumer demand for access to films online via a broad variety of devices. A wider range of business models could be explored, recognising that there are opportunities for the private sector to use cloud-based facilities and for copyright owners to make their material legitimately available in an increasing number of different ways," it said.

    Well it is at least refreshing to see that the panel recognizes the fact that the movie industry needs to move with the times.

    Take the new UK launch of Netflix, the content is poor due to the fact that the movie wants to increase the time (and many have done so) between when they release the film and when it is available to rent. Or the industry is so bloody greedy they impose draconian terms and conditions on allowing their content to be available that many streaming services just cannot abide by and so thus further reducing the content available.

    Many many people would pay good money for a streaming service that had the latest films available to watch on demand (and a decent back catalogue) rather than the utter shite that is being peddled at the present time.

    The more I read about how lobbyists are pushing for more draconian laws to be implemented due to their utter contempt for others and just trying to line the industries pockets further just pushes me further away from buying their products.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    Film obtaining

    I have only done this for films not available in formats I want.

    In my case HD-DVD rips I then copied to my PS3.

    Was not buying a DVD as it was SD, and of course the PS3 can play HD rips of the the dead HD format.

    That said I think I only did 2 films like this.

    I would have bought them too.

    I was awkwards back in the rental tape era as well - I used Beta and refused to downgrade to VHS, the rental shop owner had the same VCR as well. Luckily I was saved by DVD. For the 7 or so years I just watched films on TV. For recording I was using a HiFi Sanyo with an old Ondigital box.

    But I can see piracy of films being low and also definately they are rental losses not purchase losses.

    The film industry needs to look at the films (forget remakes and star vehicles), the competing technologies (especially video games), wives watching the pap leaving no time, and the worst - locked down discs which do not let you watch the film (especially Fox - they are an automatic NOT buy) most peoples introduction to piracy are those stupid adverts on DVD telling you - the person who bought the DVD that it is also available for free.

    I think it comes down to that films buffs want to own the film, if the film is worthwhile.

  13. dotdavid
    Paris Hilton

    Guess what, UK film industry...

    ...these silly laws won't effect your sales one jot.

    Where's the Paris angle, because having her in one or two of your films might increase sales in certain markets.

  14. SynicNZ
    Mushroom

    quite interesting numbers in that report

    It is interesting that before the 2.5% of watching films by p2p, there is 26% from dvds.

    That legal download is but 1% (no mention of margin of error) and online streaming only 1.9% suggests that people use p2p because online viewing is just not available (or looking at lovefilm and netflix - there is nothing you want to watch).

    Another piece of data is found interesting is the source of funding for British films. The first point is that its the only table in which the figure are not sorted. Is it perhaps to hide the point that the second largest source of funding is the UKFC lottery (at 18%). That is the national lottery. Its only behind distributors at 20%.

    Me think they protest too much

    1. Mark #255

      re: download and streaming

      These numbers may be low because of very low download caps - with an hour of 720p iplayer taking ~1GB (in practice), that's <10 hours of video per month on BT's bog-standard broadband offering.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try before you buy

    As many have already mentioned the quality of the output of the film industry is pretty damn poor. We have quite an extensive collection of DVDs and Blu-Ray disks, however 95% of them have been bought as a result of seeing the movie first. Since we only go to the cinema maybe twice a year I think it is fairly obvious how we initially acquire & watch most stuff.

    If a film is great, we tend to buy a hard copy, if it's crap it is deleted from both HDD and memory.

    If they succeed in stopping me downloading movies for free, they will also succeed in greatly reducing the number that I purchase.

    I used to buy CDs once upon a time, but only in the period when napster and winMX were popular, where a friend would reccomend an artist I might like, I would download a few tracks & have a listen. If I liked enough of the tracks I would go & buy the CD. I haven't bought a single CD since about 2005/ 2006 when the winMX users dropped below a threshold that enabled pretty fast single track downloads.

    I know I could torrent entire albums or discographies, but then I can't be bothered to trawl through so much content to find decent stuff.

    I am now back in the position I was before the internet. Mates bung me CDs they have burned. Unfortunately for the recording industry, having a hard copy given to me doesn't make me go out and buy the CD (it does however sometimes make want to go and buy some more CDs by the same artist)

    I have said for years that cinema's should charge the fee on exit of the cinema representative of how long you could bear to sit through it. This way box office returns might actually reflect how many people liked the movie rather than how well marketed or hyped it was. All too often you finish a film and think - er that was pretty crap, but by then they already have your money :/

    1. david wilson

      >>"I have said for years that cinema's should charge the fee on exit of the cinema representative of how long you could bear to sit through it. This way box office returns might actually reflect how many people liked the movie rather than how well marketed or hyped it was."

      Interesting idea.

      Might increase people taking a chance on something they're unsure about.

      Some places could probably boost profits by selling more snacks and drinks if attendance went up, even if lots of people left films early.

      Though if it was a really crap film, there could be an annoying queue as everyone tries to get out while it's cheap (or free).

      Maybe 'leave early - your refund goes to local charity' would be an option?

      Though I have to say that the worst films I've sat through weren't overhyped Hollywood tat, but ones that a mate who read too many pseudointellectual reviews insisted on seeing.

      A subtitled film about two Dutch tramps screwing a dead body in the sea? Now *that's* 'Art'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ok, you hooked me.

        What's the Title?

        1. david wilson

          @theodore

          >>"What's the Title?"

          If it's the Dutch (or was it Belgian?) film you're asking about, I didn't pay much attention to the title (and maybe it was dubbed rather than subtitled) but given the guy who insisted we see it, I guess it would have been around 1990/91.

          I would look for more information, but that might risk me remembering more of the film.

  16. Nerd
    WTF?

    Lets face it, it's the blockbuster films that suffer the most from piracy, and not the small independent film makers.

    So instead of this stupid legislation, if they want to increase revenue, why don't they cut back on costs, like the ridiculous salaries paid to executives, producers and film stars.

    In turn they can lower the cost cinemas play to show the films, and reduce ticket prices, meaning more people will go to see the film legally.

    I find it hard to feel sorry for a industry that is so full of self indulgence.

    1. david wilson

      >>"So instead of this stupid legislation, if they want to increase revenue, why don't they cut back on costs, like the ridiculous salaries paid to executives, producers and film stars."

      At least when it comes to 'stars', surely one reason they get highly paid is that (rightly or wrongly) producers/backers think that having one or more big name will increase bums-on-seats and DVD, TV and other sales enough to justify the cost.

  17. Joe Montana
    FAIL

    Unbalance

    The content industry is corrupt through and through, I simply will not support them in any way and the numbers of people thinking like me are only going to rise.

    The film industry wants to push increasingly poor quality product, in an increasingly poor delivery mechanism for ever higher costs... They are greedy, and have absolutely no respect for their potential customers.

    Copyright terms are simply too long, I believe in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay... The idea that someone who produced a piece of media 50 years ago still being paid for it today is absolutely farcical.

    Cinemas are unpleasant environments (noisy, smelly, dirty, over crowded, uncomfortable, you've paid but are still subjected to commercials and patronising piracy warnings) and aren't getting any better, only more expensive.

    DRM schemes artificially restrict paying customers and then try to rip them off by making them pay again for what they would have had in the first place (ie ability to view the movie you purchased on other format devices)... While pirates enjoy superior drm-free media.

    Many movies are simply lousy, and yet instead of trying to offer a product people actually want, the movie industry is angry that modern communication technology allows people to spread the word too quickly and they cant stage their old scam or hyping a crap movie up and making a fortune before the word spread about how awful it is.

    Region restrictions on media are an insulting form of discrimination. Why should I have to wait longer and pay more to see the exact same movie my friends in the US have just seen? On the other hand, why would i bother because by the time its released here i've read all the spoilers online. Why should i not be able to purchase dvds while on holiday, and why should i have to entirely repurchase my movie collection if i go to live in another country?

    Whats even worse is that in countries like china or russia where piracy is rampant, cinemas are much nicer and/or cheaper, dvds are much cheaper and often released more quickly and the other legitimate offerings are often much better than whats offered in the west. So as a reward for having a lower rate of piracy, we simply get shafted.

    There's no way i would want to support an industry that treats its paying customers with such utter contempt.

    1. david wilson

      @Joe Montana

      >>"Region restrictions on media are an insulting form of discrimination. Why should I have to wait longer and pay more to see the exact same movie my friends in the US have just seen? On the other hand, why would i bother because by the time its released here i've read all the spoilers online. Why should i not be able to purchase dvds while on holiday, and why should i have to entirely repurchase my movie collection if i go to live in another country?"

      Why would you repurchase an entire movie collection rather than just taking your old player with you or buying a region-free or unlockable player?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm quite a big DVD buyer, but only because I cannot buy films online free of DRM, and I then rip to my media server so its available anywhere on my network.

    The film industry needs to get itself together and push new films to us through different means if they want to reach that extra... 2.5% of people who use P2P...

    Wow 2.5% really? they expect them all to buy all the films they download? unlikely...

    But since film people are generally not good with numbers, you cannot expect any valid estimates. The same goes for the politicians that will vote on it.

  19. min

    anything...

    ...the Minbird at home wants to watcn, i'll tend to rent from my local library, if they have it, and to their credit in these torrid times for libraries, they generally do. if is it something she really wants to see in the cinema, i'd rather she goes with friends, or come to a local independent cinema with me, which does not have verbose teens with mobile phones surgically implanted to palms or cheeks. no popcorn, but that's no bad thing. nowadays it is rare that i'd buy a DVD/BR, unless i was really keen on a film i had seen - a rare thing nowadays (and it is certinly not going to be a region 2 disc).

    given the quality of most films nowadays, i'm not really feeling like i'm missing much. did watch the new Johnny English film recently...it was the exact same as the last one - generally only funny for RA's physical comedy, but as unmemorable as the first one.

    if this is the general quality of films that they're trying to protect, then best of luck to them. i don't see it changing their bottom line one little bit. as mentioned before, there'll be a load of false positives and general inconvenient crap for a good number of innocent people.

    thank god for other distractions than films...

  20. JimC

    So if you guys think its all rubbish

    Why the hell do you spend time and effort ripping it off? I think the film industry's content is lagely mass market b*****s, so I don't watch it at all: not even on freeview. The thing you really can't replace, if its such dross, is not the money, but the irreplaceable hours of your lives you spend watching it.

    If on the other hand you actually do think its worth watching, but don't want to pay for it, then that's another thing entirely, and all this preaching about value looks a lot like hyprocrisy.

    1. Vic

      > Why the hell do you spend time and effort ripping it off?

      We don't.

      But the film industry has seen a decline in profits because we aren't bothering with the tosh they put out. And they seem to have convinced the last government that that decline is because of pirates with cannon and swords and bandanas and lots of swashbuckling.

      If even the FPRP - which I'm absolutely certain will have no hint of bias in its output - only puts the problem at 2.5%, it is clear to anyone who is looking that the whole "piracy"[1] problem is a storm in a teacup; the decline in film revenues is because people are deciding that going to the flicks is no longer worth the price they charge.

      The government[2], in its usual fashion, chooses to put in place yet more draconian laws rather than fix the real problem, though...

      Vic.

      [1] And I use the word quite wrongly.

      [2] This isn't a party-political thing; the DEA was introduced under a Labour government, and supported under a Tory/LibDem coalition. All three main parties are equally clueless[3] in this arena.

      [3] I'm being generous; there are other, more sinister words that could be used here :-(

      1. david wilson

        >>"But the film industry has seen a decline in profits because we aren't bothering with the tosh they put out. And they seem to have convinced the last government that that decline is because of pirates with cannon and swords and bandanas and lots of swashbuckling."

        Surely having far more movies available from broadcast (and more easily recordable) must also be a factor in what happens regarding DVD sales, and maybe cinema attendance?

        If people aren't bothered precisely what they watch, there's a fair bit to watch legally, either free, or at least covered by their satellite or cable contract.

        >>"[3] I'm being generous; there are other, more sinister words that could be used here :-("

        You intrigue me there - I guess the source of the [3] got removed during editing?

        (Unless 'they' are censoring you.)

        1. david wilson

          I..

          ...should have gone to specsavers.

          Scratch my comment re the [3] - looked for it in *all* the text, twice, but didn't see it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Happy

            ignore my reply

            I'm above deleting posts that turn out to be stupid, wrong, or both.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          he pulled a Pratchett

          his footnote has a footnote.

        3. Vic

          > Surely having far more movies available from broadcast

          > (and more easily recordable) must also be a factor in what

          > happens regarding DVD sales, and maybe cinema attendance?

          Undoubtedly.

          And yet our Dear Leaders see the "answer" to the above is to get ISPs to spy on their customers. I am in awe of the genius behind that.

          Vic.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      We will buy good films

      I tend to record the odd film off Film 4, I don't bother with HD films on C4 or ITV - those logos do my head in.

      But I used to buy DVDs like they were going out of fashion, but cold turkeyed at the time, film quality dropped and locked adverts on how to pirate came in.

      I now buy on average 1 Blu Ray every 2 - 3 months and now that is enough.

  21. squilookle
    Megaphone

    This is getting ridiculous. Yes, everyone working on the films deserves to be paid, but the ISPs do not have a role in ensuring that. The only two roles they should have at the moment is building a decent infrastructure (because a lot of what we have at the moment is crap) and providing improved customer service (because what we have at the moment is crap).

    Further, I do not believe piracy is the cause of their falling profits, as I don't believe that one pirated copy = 1 lost sale. Also, piracy is nothing new. I believe the main causes of falling profits would more likely be the increased choice offered by the availability of other forms of entertainment (games, more television chanels, etc) and the industries own greed (the cost of getting the films, the cost of going to the cinema, annoying adverts about piracy at the start of DVDs and their lack of willingness to play nicely with the likes of Netflix and let them stream new films).

    I believe the solution for them is to play nicely with the steaming services and make it easier to get the films at a fair price than it is to pirate. I feel that Spotify does this for music and I believe there is room for a similar service for films that has still not been filled.

    1. david wilson

      >>"Further, I do not believe piracy is the cause of their falling profits, as I don't believe that one pirated copy = 1 lost sale."

      Surely, to be confident that piracy is not a cause of falling profits, you'd need to believe that on average, "one pirated copy = precisely zero lost sales", not merely that the relation isn't 1:1?

  22. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    AI Turing Muse .... Al Turing AIMusing with Inklings

    And what if the content for pirating was provided for pirating leading media in a new direction? Then would IT be Immaculate Source and Novel and Noble in SIN?

    Who and/or What Creates that Immaculate Sourcery? :-)

    Hi, El Reg, just testing a run of quantum circuits to kickstart some Orwell Prize activity in AI SurReal CHAOS Systems. BetaTesting the Unfathomed Depths of the Perfect Rabbit Hole.

  23. F. D. R. Stuart
    WTF?

    Enough of this. If a business is unwilling to adapt its business model to a changing market it should go out of business. I thought that was what the whole "free market" thing was about. Obviously I need to learn about double standards.

    The fact that legislation only meant to preserve an antique business model of a special interest group is even considered to be passed is a disgrace. It only goes to show that there is distinct lack of seperation of big business and state.

  24. Tringle

    Stopped buying a while back . .

    Maybe I just have more patience now.

    The rental shop closed, where I was a regular if small time client. There is no English language downloading service in France (and the French ones are horrifically expensive), so no go there. DVDs in the shops here, €20+, BluRays €25 plus; no film hard copy is worth that much to me. Go to the cinema occasionally, hate 3D.The last DVD I bought was Avatar, 'cos it was cheap.

    So now I get my films for free. From Film 4 or some other satellite channel. I can wait a year or so to see a film for free, thanks very much.

    As someone else has already pointed out the industry should pay us to watch low IQ teen drivel movies that comprise the bulk of current output.

  25. SleepyJohn
    Pirate

    STOP PRESS: Media Industry changes tack to outwit pirates

    I just spotted this announcement in another Reg article. It seems the Media Industry is utilising its remarkably sensitive, state-of-the-art skill at customer relations to go up against Google. Perhaps the moguls will now become so rich that they won't have to worry about Johnny Silver & The Parrots nicking their coffee break cash.

    -------------------------------------------

    Media Industry Search Engine challenges Google!!

    Welcome to RACQUETS, the great new alternative to Google. We promise to bat your searches back and forth until you have no money left. Enter your search term and have your credit card ready!

    - You have entered 9 words. The cost of your query will be $99.99. Read these conditions then call a premium number on your cellphone at peak time and wait a while if you do not want to continue; otherwise your credit card will be automatically charged shortly after you have finished reading:

    1 - Your search term, the displayed results, all your family photos and any rectangles with rounded corners will become the Intellectual Property of Bagman Extortion Racquets inc. If you look at them we will sue you.

    2 - Your eyes will be tracked as you read the results. If you want to read them again you will be charged again, and again for successive views of all or any part of the results. If you remember results we will sue you.

    3 - You are not permitted to read results aloud where others might overhear, or leave them on the screen facing a window. If you do we will sue you.

    4 - You are not permitted to copy results to your hard drive or a usb stick or the cloud or your brain without paying Bagman Extortion Racquets an extra fee. If you don't cough up we will sue you.

    5 - Failure to comply with any of the above will result in immediate disembowelment without anaesthetic, together with a fine of $666 for each of the bits and bytes involved. We will not tolerate online piracy. Piracy is theft. Piracy is evil. If we run short of caviar in our penthouse garrets we will sue you. Stop Online Pirac ...

    8 - You have now exceeded the time limit for this search. Your credit card will be charged again. Our legal advisors (Fuckyou Fuckwit & Payme) have noted where your children go to school. This is to ensure that our service is not abused by pirates. If your children sing Happy Birthday we will sue you.

    9 - You have failed to cancel the search so your credit card will be charged again. To stop further automatic payments every 13 seconds go to a library computer in a nearby town, load this page and press CANCEL (Windows Vista only, 0200-0215 local time). If you succeed we will sue you.

    -------- Be a HIT MAN with RACQUETS! --- --- HIT the online PIRATES!! --------

    RACQUETS had three searches on its very first day, two from bored cats and one from a very fat Bluebottle. Analysts warn Google to beware of this ground-breaking, polished commercial challenge to its airy-fairy hippy business model. The Media Industry warns that if the human race continues to communicate amongst itself without paying the MAFIAA extortion money it will do its damnedest to prove the Mayans right. And finally a Mayan pops up and says that a more accurate analysis shows that only the Media Industry will end in 2012. So the rest of us will live even more happily ever after than we could possibly have hoped to.

  26. MyHeadIsSpinning
    Pirate

    Fat lot of good it will do but...

    I sent an email to the prime minister via the number10.gov.uk website. This is what I wrote: -

    Dear Prime Minister

    I am writing this email to let you know that I oppose any UK version of SOPA and PIPA, both US bills of which you are probably aware.

    My reasons are that: -

    1) Copyright infringement is not theft, but is in fact (excuse the pun) unlicenced copying (the dictionary definitions for theft and copying are very different). It should not be tackled in the same way as theft.

    2) The entertainment industry is making as much money as it ever was, demand and consumption are still very high. The entertainment industry does not need to have the internet castrated in order to survive.

    3) SOPA and PIPA are bills created for and by corporations serving their interests and undermining basic freedoms which up until recently were taken for granted by US citizens. Our colonial friends are forsaking their freedom to make a quick buck; we should not do the same.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fire up the VPN

    To the Pirateorium!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waste of time

    "In its draft code of practice, Ofcom said that internet users should receive three warning letters from their ISP if they are suspected of copyright infringements online. Details of illegal file-sharers who receive more than three letters in a year would be added to a blacklist, the draft code said. Copyright-holders would have access to the list to enable them to identify infringers. Under the draft code, ISPs could also have to suspend users' internet access if they were found to be illegally downloading copyrighted material."

    OK so i purchase a mobile dongle with an unregistered sim, what you going to do then??

    What if i use a VPN?

    Even when they do finally take action, they really think that it's going to stop piracy!

    Guess what?? ITS NOT!

    Fair access is what is needed, try to use the stick before the carrot and you'll be sorry. Be warned. People will not put up with it.

  29. Fuh Quit
    Pirate

    Dear Media Industry - meet 21st Century

    Honestly, I can remember the early days of DVD when I bought a region-free DVD and, over about 6 years, bought 800 DVDs.

    Many in the early days were played on my DVD player before they were finished in the movie theatres where I live. Over the years, this improved as I am sure the studios sat up and noticed that regional sales were higher in certain regions (which would ironically also charge less than local markets). I think releases on DVD and BD are actually quite close together now so there is no need to have region-free any more.

    The refusal to move to a 21st century model and deliver content quickly and cheaply to people in a manner in which they want to consume it. We are the decision makers, not them. We are saving them money in the long run with fewer factories needed, fewer delivery trucks, fewer overheads......as long as they embrace it not try to fight it. #occupyhollywood

    Two more things:

    1. If you treat the world as segmented and make your consumer feel 2nd rate, they will use the globalisation of the Internet against you. So.......stop.

    2. If piracy gets J-Lo off my TV screen due to those Fiat ads, I'm off to TPB to download everything she's every mad and encourage you to do so too.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lot of tax money used to "protect" the media industry. How about using the taxpayer money to also protect the taxpayer?

    When are we going to see government initiatives to force the media industry to stop cheating on the customers? When are they going to investigate things like:

    - over-charging customers for content they've already paid for (I paid for the DVD, I should only pay production and distribution costs for the Blu-Ray, isn't it?)

    - price fixing for the discs and even for on-line distribution channels

    - keep blocking or at least delaying new distribution models (where's my Netflix in Europe, without idiotic content limitations?)

    - mis-representing themselves as "protecting the artists", when they quite often are screwing the artists themselves

    1. david wilson

      @AC

      >>"When are they going to investigate things like:"

      >>"- over-charging customers for content they've already paid for (I paid for the DVD, I should only pay production and distribution costs for the Blu-Ray, isn't it?)"

      Taken to an extreme, if there was some film with absolutely stunning effects on Blu-ray, the kind of thing that would make millions buy a Blu-Ray player to watch, would it necessarily be 'unfair' for the DVD to be sold dirt cheap, or even given away with a newspaper, just to get people wanting the Blu-ray one?

      In that situation, would someone really have a case for saying it was unfair that they had to pay more than production/distribution costs for the Blu-Ray?

      Surely, at minimum, if there was an 'upgrade' service offered, you'd expect someone would have to pay at least the DVD/Blu-Ray price difference plus some fair admin fee?

      Even then, you'd *still* have to look at the figures - if one particular flavour of 'fairness' could be enforced, and they make less money due to no more double-buying, that isn't likely to be absorbed indefinitely via people simply making lower profits even if you, I, or anyone else might think it 'should' be in an ideal world.

      If they keep charging the prices for future films which they would have done in the existing system, it's likely that they'd manage that largely by spending less money on making the films.

      Maybe big stars could just take less money (though how likely is it that they's soak up all the 'losses'.

      If you're assuming the film producers are money-grabbing bastards (which many of them may well be), if they thought they could spend less and get a film that was just as good (or at least, just as popular), why wouldn't they be doing that already?

      Last time I looked, there wasn't a service running in bookshops where I could swap a paperback book and get a new hardback version of the same title for just printing+distribution cost, or even for the paperback/hardback price difference.

      Bastards! - why make me pay twice for the same content?

  31. David 45

    Stirrers

    Well, they WOULD say that, wouldn't they?

  32. Graham Wilson
    Flame

    We users urgently need a global organization to counterbalance the powerful copyright industry.

    This story is another case of 'here we go again'.

    The copyright industry has to get 10/10 for tenaciousness and ability to lobby successfully. So ingrained that righteousness is on its side and that it must not be challenged on any aspect of copyright law, that it's clear PC and Internet users need to take another approach when attempting copyright reform on the Internet (negotiating with zealots is wasteful of time and effort). The combined efforts of thousands in the past 24 hours shows that another way is possible.

    Where users still have some leverage is through their sheer numbers and at the ballot box. As we've just seen with the web blackouts over the US SOPA/PIPA legislation, that vast numbers of complaints seriously worry elected representatives. Whilst this effort has been both wonderful and influential, it's still far from being successful in the long term, given that we're up against one of the most formidable and experienced of opponents ever--the copyright industry.

    The copyright and patent industries have amassed huge forces since the Berne Convention of 126 years ago. Not only do they have the immense power and force of this longstanding international treaty behind them but also they've amassed a huge army of 'police' to fight for them, organizations such as the WTO (World Trade Organization) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) are at their every command. Together with newer treaties that are currently in formation such as ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), changing copyright laws or stopping new ones from being implemented will require a huge undertaking.

    In another post on El Reg earlier today (http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1288964) I suggested we should capitalize on the effective Internet blackout of the past 24 hours. It's shown everyone, especially elected representatives, what a mass movement can achieve when it's united. However, one swallow doesn't make a summer, nor are smallish individual organizations such as the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) ever going to be fully effective lobbyists as the resources, power and authority of the likes of WIPO et al dwarf them. However, what we've witnessed for the very first time within the past 24 or so hours is what the collective power of ordinary users and like-minded organizations are potentially capable of achieving. And we must capitalize on this while there's still momentum.

    Clearly what's needed is an overarching international organization that's capable of tackling head on the copyright and patent industries and their henchmen, WIPO etc. The aims of such an organization would be to reform draconian copyright law and to make certain that it's fair for BOTH users and authors/creators, especially on the Web. It would also ensure that all internet users, whether they're individuals, corporations that use the Web, ISPs or Web hosts, are not continually subjected to jackboot tactics or held to ransom over issues such as piracy etc., either by governments or powerful vested interests such as the copyright industry. What this organization would NOT be about is legalizing piracy or endeavouring to do away with copyright altogether--rather one of the primary aims would be to reform copyright laws and treaties to the point where piracy would become a trivial matter.

    Some may say I'm just an idealistic daydreamer. Perhaps so, but there's one thing certain in this information and Internet age and that's whoever controls access to information also controls the power. The stakes are huge and there's much at stake: whether the Internet remains a users' commons or becomes a corporate/government garrison almost certainly depends on how determined we Internet users are and how ferociously we fight the coming war.

    Since the late 1970s, early '80s, laissez-faire economic theories--those from the Austrian School of economists (Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises etc.)--have become popular and supplanted neoclassical/Keynesian economics that sat more easily with Millenarian utilitarianism where 'the greatest good for the greatest number' was a primary axiom. Leaving aside the rights or wrongs of this economic approach, it, irrespective, has meant that it's been much easier to corporatize (lock up inside corporations) all sorts of information, and in fact this has happened on a grand scale over the past 30 or so years. Similarly, governments have been complicit: once where information was publicly and freely available it is no longer so. Now regularly one pays for once-free information, or has to force one's access to it through FOI, or it's unavailable through being 'commercial in confidence', and so on.

    The outcome has been that information has often become 'lost' to the public, or once where there would have been no issue, copyright 'fair use' provisions are now challenged by rights holders to the point where ordinary users feel intimidated to the extent where they no longer use extracts; or where governments have no compunction about extending unfair copyright law such as indefinitely locking away 'orphaned works', or extending copyright duration for such long time frames that copyright is effectively in perpetuity--or for such a long a time that it becomes worthless (the concept that much information is perishable is important).

    Copyright holders have had immense legislative success over past centuries with governments having granted these privileged elites almost everything they've ever requested. Clearly, past attempts at reforming copyright law by normal means have not worked and such attempts should be regarded as a hopeless waste of time. Rights holders perceive any attempt to change 'THEIR' copyright laws as a blaspheming heresy and they protect them with a religious zeal rarely seen elsewhere, therefore to make changes to existing laws almost guarantees the need for an entirely new approach--and we've seen it in operation over the past few days.

    The stunning grassroots reaction to the proposed draconian SOPA and PIPA legislation provides us ordinary Internet users with an almost certain way to success but it'll only be effective if all of us unite with sufficient solidarity to see the copyright war through to a successful conclusion.

    Make no mistake, the coming war will be a fight for power, the winners being those who will eventually control access to information and ideas.

    1. SleepyJohn
      Go

      We should make the Media Biz 'Beware the Ides of March'

      @ Graham Wilson - "Where users still have some leverage is through their sheer numbers"

      I think this has to be the key. It clearly is not possible to rationally discuss the need for a changing business model with what seems to be just a bunch of avaricious gangsters whose brains have been addled by noxious greed. Who needs them, for heaven's sake? Well, we don't, for a start. They need us though - without us they are nothing. We are the ones in the driving seat, and there is a very simple way of making them realise that - we can STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS; as customers did to Ratner's Jewellers when the boss insulted them - and it collapsed overnight.

      Not a single law, just or unjust, was broken; just no-one bought from the shop. And no-one was sued, no solo mums imprisoned, no children bankrupted, no old ladies arrested, no business destroyed, no websites shut, no students extradited like baby-killing terrorists. Ratner could not point a figure at a single one of his destroyers, yet destroyed by them all he most surely was. Remember - WE PAY THESE PEOPLE'S WAGES. And we have the power to not do so.

      Perhaps Blackout Day, which I think has been successful in making the media mob's political lackeys wake up to how truly pissed off an awful lot of people who ultimately control their salaries are becoming, should be developed further. There is only one thing these racketeers understand and that is money. We must make their bankers wake up to the same reality as their politicians. I have no idea of the figures, real or MAFIAA-invented, but if a tiny handful of 'pirates' can 'destroy all their livelihoods' by not buying for a couple of days things they would not buy anyway, just think what effect could be had by millions of ordinary folk not buying for a couple of weeks things they normally WOULD buy.

      One day of minor but noticeable internet blackout seemed enough, in conjunction with a crescendo of complaints, to start the mob's politicians back-pedalling. I wonder what their bankers would think of 14 days with no sales of any music or movies? Perhaps the bastards would come crawling to us on their knees begging for mercy only to find the vacuum filled by independents producing good quality work and wooing their ex-customers by serving them instead of sueing.

      This would only require folk to stop buying a few things they do not need, and would be very easy to implement - just start a snowball rolling around the big snowy internet. And here is one: A soothsayer predicts the Ides of March will see me lose interest in music and movies and stop buying them for a fortnight. I wonder if anyone else will feel the same on that historically fateful day, not known for its kindness to despots. Perhaps some influential websites will bring attention to this worrying prediction by displaying a black banner depicting a Jolly Roger next to BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH.

      Or am I alone in being so concerned about the future of OUR internet? Which belongs to all of us, not just to a self-anointed, indelibly corrupt few. We must show these gormless thugs that the internet is a modern, multi-faceted Hydra - cut off one head and it will grow a hundred more, each with the fresh power of its youth and the cunning of its parent; cauterise the stump and it will explode into a thousand, every one with a different power and raging with anger.

      @ Graham Wilson again - we already have a "global organization to counterbalance the powerful copyright industry". All we have to do is mobilise it.

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