Movie Industry Preparing Suits on File Sharing

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by chanoc, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. chanoc macrumors 6502

    chanoc

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    #1
    Found this on Google News:

    Movie Industry Hypocrites

    Yeah right, some kid downloading a movie is going to hurt the pocketbook of some rich edit worth millions of dollars. :mad:
     
  2. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000

    Phat_Pat

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    #2
    i hate the riaa they are so greedy. i mean its not like these actors or artists are living like we are. people who download are really not hurting them too bad. in fact i will occasionally download one or two songs. If i like them i'll usual buy the album off iTunes. So really i'm helping them out. :eek:

    i dunno this whole subject can go either way.
     
  3. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    #3
    I do not think trying to sue the entire file sharing community is the most feasible way of doing things. They are right that those illegal file-sharing are infringing on intellectual property but trying to sue the whole lot just seems too ridiculous. Alternative methods by offering legal downloading look so much better. On one hand, they can try to curb piracy and on the other, they can look to improve sales.

    I think one fine example would be apple itunes. Don't RIAA learn anything at all? or are they too blind and caught up in their so called crusade to rid all evil-doers to explore other ways?
     
  4. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

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    #4
    Dumbass quote of the day from the RIAA:

    Idiots! :p [​IMG]
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    No offense, but that's a very ignorant statement.

    1. About 90% of SAG members make less than $20,000 a year from acting.
    2. It takes a lot more than a big name star to make a movie. Ever stick around to see the complete credit roll? You think everyone listed there makes bank? If after three years in the Industry in LA you aren't scrapping together nickels and dimes to pay the rent you should pat yerself on the back for a job well done (if you can afford to rent a small/moderate sized apartment in a good area w/o roommates you're a freakin' success). The vast majority of people in the Industry are working stiffs pulling 10-12 hour days 5-6 days a week.
    3. There are millions of people in the US alone that make their living either directly, or indirectly, from Hollywood. It's those people that feel the pinch when money gets tight. Did Hollywood stop making movies when the economy really tanked after 9/11? No, but they sure did tighten their belts. By xmas of '02 there were 'round 100k fewer Industry jobs in LA than in Xmas of '01.

    The big name actors and bands are, by far, the huge exception, not the rule. Is everyone who works in the computer field as rich as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Michael Dell?

    Don't get me wrong, there are a bunch of greedy ****s running the major studios. And they probably won't personally feel a pinch if people start downloading movies left and right. If there is a pinch to be felt it will be felt by the people busting their butts to make ends meet. Don't be so ignorant as to assume that everyone working in Hollywood is rich and livin' large.


    Lethal
     
  6. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #6
    The problem with that is, long before Enron started cooking the books, the film industry was expert at it. They have this ongoing claim that they're running in the red. No matter how fabulously their latest blockbuster is doing, it still hasn't made enough money to pay the star the 3% of the net that he contracted for. Jack Nicholson, I believe, had to sue WB to get his share of "Batman" because they kept claiming it hadn't made any money. Riiiiiiight....

    And while it's not directly related to finances, Hollywood also treats its writers like dirt. The director, not the writer, is considered the "author" of the film. It is his vision that ends up shaping the movie. If books worked that way, the editor would turn someone's novel over to five or six other authors, who'd change it so much that the original author wouldn't even recognize it...and the editor would be dictating the process all the way. Any decent author would throw a fit at such behavior...but Hollywood has movie and TV writers under their thumb, and if they want to work in the industry, they've got to accept these unprofessional, degrading circumstances.

    So while I'm not defending the piracy, I can't really shed any crocodile tears for the studios, either.

    BTW, did you read that last paragraph? I wonder if Steve Jobs is listening....
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    From what you're saying, a part of the problem is the skewed pay that superstar actors get, not from the money "lost" from piracy. Some people get paid millions, while others get paid around $20,000. The loss of the (seemingly) less significant, behind-the-scenes job opportunities in the movie industry was due to an economic downturn, and yet that didn't hurt any of the big named actors or movie executives. They probably didn't take a cut at all. So think about it --- less revenue, less profit, less money available, and yet execs and big-name actors get paid the same amount of money (and therefore, a larger % of the money that's made), which means that cuts could only be made to other personel.

    The job loss is due to inequity in pay more than anything else. If everyone took the same percentage pay cut, then everyone could have kept their jobs. But that's not reality. So in a way, yes it is the greed of the big-name actors and movie studio's, and associations like the RIAA who are to blame since I doubt they actually feel the pinch, making the same amount of money knowing full well that there isn't as money available as before.
     
  8. Xenious macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    But didn't you see the TV and movie theater spots? It hurts the guy who painted the sets for Dick Tracy too! ahhaha ;) (not to mention probably god kills a kitten every time a l33t h4x0r downloads a movie on P2P)

    Seriously though they do have to visibly protect their copywrites if not only for public strength perception but to keep the copywrites themselves.
     
  9. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #9
    I really don't understand what the pro-P2P people are moaning about. So what if someone makes a lot of money by investing in a successful company. That is how capitalism works and it's certainly not more the case in the film and music industry than in other industries.

    If you want a more equal distribution of the profit you should start working toward a socialist/communist government. Personally I'm a lefty, but I realise that competition is usually well suited to ensure that if someone takes out too much profit from an industry then someone else will be able to invest in that market and be successful by making better and/or cheaper products.

    Distributing and downloading pirated copies of music, movies and software is not going to give the "greedy owners" a hard time, it will just drive up prices and reduce quality of the products we get. Pirating is just plain and simple stealing from your fellow consumers who pay for their products.
     
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    What does the RIAA have to do with anything? The MPAA is the one filing the lawsuits. I'm surprised that they've taken so long to do so. It seems as though a lot of people have been downloading movies and t.v. shows much sooner than they were available in worldwide distribution.
     
  11. James L macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 14, 2004
    #11
    I enjoy listening to the thieves justify their theft by saying "screw the movie companies".

    Carry on, thieves!

    :D
     
  12. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #12
    The comments above about competition are interesting, because the increasing popularity of music and now video piracy points out exactly what the anti-RIAA/MPAA people are saying: that the industries are in desperate need of competition, but as with any monopoly, that's by definition very hard to introduce compared to a competitive market.

    What the majority of thes "pirates" are saying is "I like your product, but you are charging far more than it is worth to me. I am seeking a competitive product at a more reasonable cost, which at this point is the cost of maintaining the resources necessary to do P2P." In oversimplified economic terms, prices are set too high, but due to the current monopoly there's no downward pressure. (Or perhaps there is--falling sales--but the trade groups prefer to blame it on P2P.)

    Another economic way of looking at it is that there are two seperate markets: people who are willing to pay for a theatrical experience and/or the collectable value of a physical piece of media, and people who care little about quality and just want to see the movie/show in the most convienent way possible, but aren't willing to pay much for it.

    In most markets, you'd have different products targeted at these groups--a Honda Civic vs a Corvette, an iPod vs. a $35 portable CD player, or 1st class and Economy class on a plane. But although you could argue that straight-to-video and TV movies are the alternative to the theater, those aren't what the market is asking for, nor are they comperable alternatives. Same goes for TV--people don't like planning their schedules around the TV (hence the popularity of TiVO), or waiting for the box set, so they look to P2P to fill in the gaps.

    Basically, the Hollywood and music industry monopolies are starting to sag under their own weight as prices increase due to "production costs" (which should for the most part be lower if actor and mogul salaries had stayed constant, since technology has improved) while quality steadily decreases, and although they've chosen to blame it on piracy, the real cause is selling a product for more than a segment of the market is willing to pay, and not offering to distribute in a form that people obviously want.

    This doesn't make piracy OK, but if you look at it economically, P2P is just another market force, and the only one right now that's got any hope of weakening the monopolies in that market space.
     
  13. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    Atlanta
    #13
    When P2P piracy affects profits, the immediate effect is on the studios' profits and the above-the-line talent who sometimes get royalties or percentages. Then, in order to compensate for these losses, studios will feel obligated to raise ticket prices and/or move production out of the country, where labor costs are lower, exchange rates are favorable, and foreign governments realize the incidental benefits of movie production and encourage it through tax incentives. Then yeah, the guy who paints the sets in L.A. doesn't get a paycheck. So, you are in effect encouraging offshoring by piracy.

    Yes, Hollywood accounting needs closer scrutiny. Yes, some talent makes obscene amounts of money, just like professional athletes. However, these are the people who can produce what a lot of you can't, an entertainment product which people want and are supposed to pay for. If you could produce that, you would probably not appreciate theft of that product, either, I'll bet it isn't easy. (BTW, Apple Computer likely has more money than you do, does that give you the right to pirate software or steal iPods?)

    Some of you try to rationalize stealing from the "rich", but it isn't any more honorable or justifiable than stealing from anyone else (assuming you are not somehow reading this from feudal England). You are not exactly penniless if you have DSL/cable modem and a computer.

    On another note -- just because piracy increases despite lawsuits, is there any empirical evidence that piracy would not be worse without lawsuits?
     
  14. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #14
    How is the music industry and the movie industry a monopoly? And how can anyone compete against something that is stolen and given out for free?
     
  15. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #15
    And one very important thing that is forgotten by the "I-think-that-Hollywood-and-the-music-industry-are-monopolies-and-charge-to-much-money-therefore-I-steal-people" is that when piracy increases, it won't hurt the big companies in the industry, because they will survive anyway, but it will destroy the smaller companies who are trying to start up and give the big companies more competition.

    It's just not possible to justify piracy. I would prefer it if the pirates just admitted that they steal because they are cheap rather than pretending that they do it for some good cause.
     
  16. musicpyrite macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

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    #16
    Head for the bunkers men! They're on to us!!! :D



    This will NOT stop the download of illegal movies. Just look at what has happened in the music industry.
     
  17. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #17
    Gee, I really don't know.... ;)
     
  18. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

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    #18
    So we have thieves stealing from scumbag thieves such as the RIAA. How do we sort out that moral quandary? :D
     
  19. chanoc thread starter macrumors 6502

    chanoc

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    #19
    Film Industry Was Formed By Piracy

    I call them hypocrites!

    "Free Culture, How Big Media Uses Technology And The Law To Lock Down Culture And Control Creativity"

    - Lawrence Lessig

    Good read! :cool:
     
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #20
    I do agree that the major studios have very, very ingenious contracts and stipulations on who gets what when, but you can't judge them by how well a single movie is doing. The majority of movies never turn a profit. So the few movies that do turn a profit have to cover the losses of the ones that tanked. Look at Chornicles of Riddick. It tanked hardcore and probably put Universal in the hole for, ballpark, $70 million. D'oh. It's going to take a lot of winners to cover that debt.

    Generally speaking writers probably do get the biggest shaft in the film world. But the book/movie analogy doesn't really fly. They are different mediums that require different things. What works on the page, or works in the writer's head, has a good chance of not working during shooting (and vice-versa, what looks bad on the page may look great on film). A screenplay is a framework. A begining. Not a finished product. And a movie, by its very nature, must be a collaborative effort. And the person that controls the hundreds (thousands?) of people working on the film is the director. Do directors' get too much credit for good films? Probably. Do director's get too much blame for bad films? Probably. But that's life. If you,as a writer, want your written word the be the final,the only, version then don't write screen plays. The writer gives control to the director and the director (unless he's a complete control freak) gives control to the editor. It's not uncommon for the final cut of a film to be different from the director's original vision of the film. There are so many creative people involved in the making of a film that you can't "lock" the story and say "this is how it is, never deviate from this."

    As wicked as the studios are there are wicked individuals in every part of the business. There is a lot of talent, a lot of ideas, and a lot of ambition in Hollywood, but only a small amount of money to go around, relatively speaking. Studios or not it quickly turns into screw your neighbor. Of course the same is true for any business where there is a ton of money on the line. But Hollywood's dirty laundry is typically much more colorful than that of some Fortune 500 company.

    And, in regards to TV writers, they have the power in their medium. Directors shuffle thru constantly.


    Abstract,
    No. My point was that "I'll pirate a movie 'cause it won't hurt the super rich actors" justification is hollow. I think people are ignorant to many of the realities of the business so I was trying to offer some education.


    Lethal
     
  21. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    #21
    Duff-Man says....stealing/piracy is wrong and there is really *no* justification for it. I've heard all the arguments about "rich studios" and "greed" and whatever...it is all BS...you want it, buy it...if you think it is too expensive, don't buy it and tell them why.....oh yeah!
     
  22. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    #22
    piracy is wrong but is there another way to solve this problem instead of waving a sword and threatening to kill everyone.
     
  23. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    Oct 20, 2002
    #23
    I'm not at all surprised by their law suit. It just show how they feel about the rest of us. They think they know more than we do, arrogance. Maybe someday they will learn were there actual income is derived.
     
  24. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #24
    From the people that pay for the movies instead of those that download them for free?


    Lethal
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #25
    Why don't they go after the people that leak the media to the P2P networks in the first place, Take Eminem's new album, its being released a week early to curve pirates, well if its unreleased how did it sneak out the door? Why not find the mole and prosecute him before it gets to the thieves.
     

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