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April 20, 2009

A turning point for online piracy?

Posted: 09:50 AM ET

There was plenty of online chatter this weekend about file sharing and Internet piracy.

This follows Friday's news that four people who ran a popular file-sharing site called Pirate Bay were found guilty of violating copyright law in Sweden.

On Forbes.com, a Harvard professor says Google is the new Pirate Bay. The search engine serves the same function as the piracy sites by enabling people to steal copyrighted content, the professor says. An interesting example from the story:

By searching for pirated music or video, Google users can easily scan a range of lesser-known pirate sites to dig up illicit content. Those looking for the upcoming film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, for instance, can search for "wolverine torrent." The first result is a link to file-sharing site isoHunt, with a torrent tracker file that allows the user to download the full film. In fact, searches for "wolverine torrent" on Google have more than quadrupled since the movie file was first leaked to peer-to-peer networks on April 5, according to Google Trends.

DownloadSquad responded with a counterpoint to Forbes' story.

Ars Technica says the verdict is not surprising given the history of piracy prosecutions:

In the US, Napster was shut down even though it did not host files directly. When services like Grokster sprang up in Napster's wake and tried to make their services more decentralized to avoid even the appearance of control, courts still didn't accept the argument that they had clean hands.

On CNET.com, a writer wonders if we've reached a tipping point. Will illegal file-sharing soon come to an end? Here's the article's evidence of a regulatory crackdown:

Copyright owners around the globe have gone on the attack. They're backing antipiracy legislation in France and Sweden. They're lobbying Internet service providers in the United States to crack down on customers who download files illegally. They're pressuring hardware and software companies to prevent their products from being used as "pirate toolboxes." They're threatening legal action against Google and other sites that aggregate news without permission.

On the BBC, Paul McCartney spoke out in favor of the guilty verdict against Pirate Bay. Here's some of what he told the station:

"Anyone who does something good, particularly if you get really lucky and do a great artistic thing and have a mega hit, I think you should get rewarded for that."

Do you download pirated media? What should governments do about this issue? If you're an artist, what do you think? Feel free to weigh in with comments to this post.

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Filed under: file sharing • Internet • piracy


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Brad   April 20th, 2009 5:01 pm ET

I ride the fence on this issue. While I believe stealing is not a good habit to get into, and I certainly would not steal a CD or DVD from a store, I do not mind downloading pirated music of movies. If I really enjoy the CD or movie, than I will go and buy it. But in this economic crisis I do not have the budget to go out and buy music, or even rent or buy movies. I have many friends who feel the same way. I find myself not wanting to spend $10.00 on even a digital download for music or up to $25.00 on a DVD on a weekly basis. And rentals tend to drain the wallet as well, especially if you are like every other american and dont return the movie on time. I agree with the above comments that the producers and distributors need to change their methods in order to deal with the new 'digital age'. However, I do not believe that physical DVDs and CDs should be eliminated, but if pricing were to go down more people would be willing to buy non pirated material.

I typically will not download or watch a movie that is out in theaters that someone has videotaped. To me this is cheating and is actually harming the producers because a digital copy has not actually been made. Most movies make their money from the box office, not from DVD sales.

As far as musicians go, art is art, and music happens to be art. Just be happy that people enjoy your music enough to want to pirate it. Musicans and recording studios make more money from tours and merchandise sales than they do off of CD or digital sales. Typically I will download a pirated album, but if I enjoy it enough I will actually go out and buy the real thing.
I agree that there is no way that the government can stop this form of piracy. People will get what they want, and if they cant get it, they will just find someone else who can get it for them. Producers and distributors just need to adapt and either make it harder for their material to be pirated, or just tighten down on security so their material wont be leaked. I dont feel sorry for Wolverine... really? who was the mastermind who let that one slip?


DeathWolf   April 20th, 2009 5:01 pm ET

Hmmm what is truly piracy? Could it be the over-priced Blu-Ray DvD's? Could it be the over-priced digital downloads? Nonetheless let's put the blame where it truly belongs...GREED...on all of Hollywood and singers. Oh...so I'm suppose to feel sorry for, oh I don't know any of them because now they can't afford to buy a multi-million or multi-billion dollar lear-jet next year or whenever??? Please...screw them


Jay   April 20th, 2009 5:18 pm ET

You know, it's interesting when I read that a movie cost $20M to make, and grossed $150M in the opening weeks, and the producers are loosing money? Plus, add the money earned by the actors from talk-shows, commercial spots and other endorsements, as well as revenue generated by DVD sales. This adds up to a TON of money, so exactly how is the movie industry loosing money? They are counting every pirated download as a POTENTIAL customer, even though many of those "pirates," like me, generally buy the movie after they watch it. I remember a time during the VCR days when many people would rent the tape and copy it, but no one did anything about it, then (except for complaining, of course), and the movie and music industry is stronger than it has ever been. In fact, I have never heard of any complaints because someone records a radiobroadcast to listen to later. So, having said all this, is pirating movies and music wrong? Yes. Is it hurting any of those industries? Hardly. All those industries are complaining about is the money they could have made because some poeple didn't buy their product. They're STILL making obscene amounts of money, in spite of it. It all boils down to greed; the industry wants more and more money (of course, who doesn't?) and is willing to try to squeeze blood from a rock by making consumers pay more money than they can possibly make in a lifetime in court fees, penalties and jail time. If you think you're loosing money on a non-existant sale, how in the world can you expect to get (more than) that amount from someone that doesn't have it to begin with?


Not that in to your comments   April 20th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

I think, we need more creativity People are always out there to come up with new tech, stay ahead of the game. put your movies on the internet, create a website, let peopel watch it live for 99 cents or 1.99 heck. by doing earn advertising revenue, like networks do. also, let your viewers know, if you watch in theater, u get much better quality and more show...but god damm republicans, they all care about their money and dont want to think about creativity.


Little Servitude Robot   April 20th, 2009 5:32 pm ET

I'm still pissed that Myspace stopped allowing downloadable songs after Rupert Murdoch took over. I think what we have here with the piracy debacle is a big experiment in human nature. The average consumer doesn't want to feel sorry for the big business industries because big business always pulls shady sh*t to maximize profits. It's human nature.

They're always seems to be a majority of people looking to gain for themselves, rather than help other people out. The same could be said for the pirates. They might try to hide behind lofty goals of hurting big business, but the reality is that p2p piracy is incredibly easy to do, it's relatively anonymous, and people, when given a choice between paying for something or having it free, generally choose to have it for free. It's just too bad that the internet age has made people who are creative the victims of piracy. Why couldn't it have been the bankers, or the government, or f*cking McDonald's?

You could say all you want about trying to hurt big business, but P2P piracy makes no distinction between smaller, independent creators and the bigger companies that also employ plenty of honest, hardworking people (I know, you don't care). In trying to put a dent in corporate CEO payrolls and the small percentage of rich artists/programmers, you're actually getting more lower level workers laid off, and putting indie artists and labels out of business (again, the pirates don't really care. They just know that free is totally AWESOME. "Content Utopia", as some have said.)

And as for the "low cost of digital distribution" excuse for piracy, CD's don't really cost that much to make, either. The real cost is in producing the content. That should be obvious to anyone who isn't blinded by the freetard sense of entitlement (junkiez...).

Others demand that the industries get with the times, even though the iTunes store has been around for years now, and most TV shows can be streamed online for free with minimal advertising. Most internet radio/music sites stream music for free, again, with minimal advertising. But that's not good enough. How are they supposed to compete with absolutely FREE. You can't. There's no business model that is better than absolutely FREE. So their only real choice of action is to try and shut down rampant piracy, especially when they hear rumors of the guys from the Pirate Bay pulling in significant profits from their web ads, while gaining huge volumes of traffic by peddling the works of others.

Making copies of copyrighted material is a pretty insignificant crime on it's own. Everybody does it. The scale of P2P changes that impact exponentially. You can't blame the industries for trying to shut down the Pirate Bay, because it's gotten out of hand. I'm fine with piracy being a underground, fringe culture. That's where it belongs. But the Pirate Bay is right there in the wide open, for everyone to see and use.


Copycat   April 20th, 2009 5:45 pm ET

I'd have thought that with a resurgence of REAL piracy around Africa, that the media would finally realize that what we are talking about here is COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

Perhaps if we talk about Copyright Infringement more, we can finally get to the REAL crux of this situation, which is a need for Copyright reform.

And as for the poor, starving musicians, people need to educate themselves. Musicians NEVER make money off of their album sales. All of that money goes to the record companies. Musicians get rich off of concerts, which the record companies don't control.


Seve Lyons   April 20th, 2009 5:56 pm ET

There is an interesting line being crossed here. Media companies want to force a type of consumption tax on the listener / reader / viewer, whereas individuals demand the flexibility to listen read or watch what they own on any device they own. The MPAA may not be aboard the shift, but some new films are being released WITH transfer software due to public demand and those movies are likely to sell better than their locked down competition. Furthermore there is nothing to prevent the consumer from playing a song on one machine and using a $2.00 cable connecting a second machine from recording that same song. Just like the cassette tape duplication of audio is not an enforceable law, recording of broadcast material is not enforceable. A free society will support what is good and destroy what is bad. Really good movies will get purchased as will really good music. There is a distinction that the media industry doesn't not want to face. Would you buy a car without a test drive? Why buy a CD or a movie without a full length preview?


Merinsan   April 21st, 2009 12:22 am ET

I'm always amazed at the attitudes of many people towards piracy.

Quite simply, it is stealing. Just because you don't agree with the price that they want to charge, does not give you the right to steal it. If I were to disagree with the price of a new car, should I steal it from the dealership? If I think the interest rate of a home loan is too high, should I rob the bank for the money? Of course not, yet this is the justification most of you are giving.

I do agree, the industry should look at different business models, such as paid downloads, but I doubt people who are currently pirating will change their habits. The porn industry already offers a lot online, yet the piracy rate for their product is higher than mainstream movies.

Hong Kong used to have a vibrant film industry, producing around 200 films a year. It is virtually dead now, and piracy played a contributing factor in it's death. It could happen for hollywood too, if the piracy rate is high enough.

The bottom line is, people need to learn to be respectful of other peoples property, and music and movies are property – Intellectual Property.


Jorgandr   April 21st, 2009 12:30 am ET

Movies are too expensive. Maybe if they brought movies back down to the price of 1.50 or 2.00 per movie, I would go back to renting them, but jeez louise. At Blockbuster, it is $10.95 to rent a single new release, and there is no ONE DAY sale, it's ALWAYS for a week. These lack of options are the reason people go to file sharing sites. I am a japanese animation fan, and if I wanted 3 episodes of a particular series, it's over 10 dollars, and one particular series has over 200 episodes! That's ridiculous. So, until prices dumb down, I'll stick to file sharing sites. Also, file-sharing sites provide great movies that you cannot get on dvd, like old time movies and such that you could never find. And since the movies are no longer in production, the impact it has on the economy is ZERO because it's not being sold anymore and the copyright expired. Embrace this technology, film industries! I would gladly pay 2 dollars per movie download... it beats Blockbuster's outrageous 10.95 per.


Anon   April 21st, 2009 12:51 am ET

If I buy an album and it sucks I can't get my money back. If I go see a bootleg DVD and I don't like it I won't get my money back either... BUT if I pirate this stuff and I like it I could go to the movie theater or buy concert tickets. Hello think people.


Drew   April 21st, 2009 1:15 am ET

Yet another comments section of apologists saying they pirate to stop greed, or people saying pirating is bad, or generational models are wrong.

The real question is this- is it piracy to download? NO. There is no legal precedent yet set that equates downloading with stealing. Because it isn't. Real pirates sell copied media FOR MONEY in the physical world. Pirate Bay directs people towards COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. That's all. Copying DOES NOT EQUAL stealing. Theft deprives the owner of the original item, copying does NOT. Get your facts straight. Yes, DRM is a big reason why people download- they want to watch media their way. Stop putting DRM in everything, get with the program and add digital distribution in multiple file formats to your selling equation, and stop overpricing your product. 40$ for a blu-ray is too much- try 15-20$.

And finally, go to places like slashdot and boing boing for an intelligent discussion over this matter, rather than reading comments from the other people who only know how to get their "news" and "opinions" from CNN. There is a lot of arguement out there over this- step into our den and read about it.


Volrath   April 21st, 2009 1:25 am ET

When the major entertainment companies come out with a program that doesn't require me to give them any of my information or sign anything and allows me to "test drive," their newest movie song or whatever I will no longer be a pirate. I "pirate" almost all digital media before I buy it. If I happen to really enjoy a particular album or movie then I will go out and buy it because I would like more of that product produced. But why should I pay 20 bucks for a cd that I will listen to for a week then toss on the shelf or even the trash for all the good it will do...


MechanicalHorizon   April 21st, 2009 2:04 am ET

It's interesting that most of the opponents to this call it "illegal file sharing".

Think about it, we are teaching the younger generation that "sharing" is bad.

Corporations want you to believe this, since by sharing you are depriving the company of profits it would have made if you bought the product.

Have you ever loaned a DVD, CD or VHS tape to a friend? By doing so you have just deprived the makers of that product the money that they feel is rightfully theirs, or so this is what they would like us to believe.

Why is online file sharing any different? I have a digital copy of, say DUNE, and my friend wants to borrow it.

Can't I upload it to him? Can he download it from me?

No, because companies want that to be illegal.

Basically, companies are trying to "condition" us into the belief that sharing is wrong.

Earlier today a co-worker asked to borrow some sculpting putty from me, I said no since "sharing" would prevent him from going out and buying putty, which would deprive the manufacturer of their "rightful" profit.

He is against file sharing as well, but did not understand the example or what I was trying to say to him, which is this:

This situation can easily get out of control, all in the name of profits.

And we all know who has more power in this country; the corporations have the ear (and wallets) of the lawmakers, we don't.


DJ Bernie   April 21st, 2009 2:17 am ET

Can't stop the signal...


Jessen   April 21st, 2009 2:25 am ET

people have an instinct for fairness and generally do what is right. i dont believe anyone pirates material out of a malicious desire to rob music artists.

i do not condone robbery at all, however, the music industry has created this situation themselves by robbing us blind for years. now, with the advent of p2p sharing, we have a choice. and the music industry has to do what every single other industry has to do to win customers – COMPETE. lower prices. listen to customers. that's how business works.

by battling their own customers in court, they only serve to alienate us further.


S. Chesak   April 21st, 2009 2:52 am ET

I'm amazed at all the posts here that defend piracy.

It is not an issue of whether an illegal download is a "lost sale". The issue is that it is theft. It costs money to make movies and record music. Perhaps they are over-priced but that's a matter of opinion, either way they should not be FREE.

I think new car's are over-priced too but do any of you pirate defenders think that it's okay to break into a dealer and steal a new car? It is no different pirating digital media. BOTH are theft. The only difference is the online piracy is far easier to both do and get away with. Pirates are criminals, pure and simple.

It is sad how many of you are okay with criminal activity so long as it is easy to get away with.


The Canuck   April 21st, 2009 2:52 am ET

If this ends in favour of the biz industry; it's forboding news for internet entrance sites like Verizon because now the net access in broadband at least has to be shut down to actually afford it. This is the case for most in this reality bits world most of us live in.


Puluking1579   April 21st, 2009 3:05 am ET

I currently work with a small video game publisher, and I see first hand what digital piracy can do to a company. It's really sad when you see artists, programmers, and others working so hard to create something fun and exciting for people. Just to see it stolen or pirated. It's really sad and just because you are not physically stealing something, it doesn't make it okay. People complain about the prices, but it's set for a reason. There are many people involved and they need to get paid! Like they say, "Money makes the world go round." I hope companies do start embracing digital distribution, that will be one way of battling piracy. But then again, it will hurt the retail sector. They need to pass laws and punish people for pirating and downloading. Severe enough that it scares the hell out of people!


Snowman22   April 21st, 2009 3:06 am ET

heck i use downloads to test out games and see movies before i decide to purchase them. with the price of a dvd or now blue ray and pc games why on earth would i take a 16 yr olds advice on what i like to watch.
and secondly i use google most fo the time to find my links and if not them then i use msn live search, does that mean Microsoft is going to sue themselves?
..... plus i dont remember mix tapes being illegal. basically every person in the 80's made mix tapes, so now are we going to sue and arrest every person that lived in the 80's. file sharing is like using a mix tape.. just that it allows you to access more of the tapes then just your group of friends.


internet_lonlive   April 21st, 2009 3:18 am ET

Piracy..what do you mean..information is for sharing..seems if people has got the basics wrong..

"knowledge increases by sharing" "sorrow decreases by sharing"

get it ??


Andy   April 21st, 2009 3:25 am ET

I agree with some of the other users comments about buying media after pirating, and the use of only one or two singles on a CD, as well as the price of movie media. I've downloaded songs and some movies but I tend to download more old media than new. For example, if I'm looking for a movie that was released a decade ago, chances of finding that movie in a store is slim to none, so I'll download it. Downloading new movies, especially before they're actually released for purchase is usually a waste because the quality of the movie is horrible. I still buy DVDs for movies that I really like, and I still go to the theaters to see new movies. And they're not going anywhere, movies are still breaking box office records, so the actors and production crews aren't going broke, despite what they might claim. And as far as music, artists now have listed numerous albums on sites like Myspace's music section. The production companies aren't making money off of these posts, and the music can be listened to as often as the user pleases, without downloading it. If production companies want to increase sales, increase the quality of your product, or cut the price, don't complain because you can't charge more for the same thing.


Jesse   April 21st, 2009 4:20 am ET

ARRRRRRGH!


M Kraak   April 21st, 2009 4:52 am ET

Not surprised that Sir Paul McCartney spoke out against piratebay. Have you listened to what he released since the Beatles?
Well once every while you hear it anyways (radio). This is exactly where the $$$ go (subsidising mediocre nonsense). When people download his album(s) rest assured they will NOT buy the actual CD.
Record companies do not need to scout for talent. Nowadays we have Idols/....'s got talent/X-factor but also YouTube and MySpace. They already have all the data they need for wanting to sign-up an artist from either votes or 'hits' on the internet.
Also manufacturing & distribution has become much less expensive. This is usually outsourced anyways.
CDs should not cost more than $5.00 where $4.00 should go to the artist (more than they get now) and $1.00 for manufacturing and distribution. (they can burn them pretty much anywhere)
$0.10 cd
$0.05 burn
$0.85 Left for distribution

Record companies should stick with their business being pressing records and burning cds.

***THIS IS THE WAY TO STOP PIRACY****


Theblank   April 21st, 2009 5:20 am ET

The industry churns out crap to make a profit. They spam advertise us with adjusted content to target demographics, generally misrepresenting their product.

They over charge us, and resell the same product to us as many times as they can. See it in theaters, watch the pay per view, buy the dvd, and wait, its now a double disk special edition, but don't forget the new and improved HD edition, with all new special features.

They take our money, and then blow it on advertising so they can sucker more people into beliving that yes this really is the "number one movie of the year" or so says Joe schmoe the garbage man.

I have and will continue to support the artists that I believe in, and will do whatever I can to side step industry.


Relayer   April 21st, 2009 5:49 am ET

It's a huge expense for nothing. Some prohibitions are just destined to fail. The industries affected need to adapt their merchandising strategy. Just as now small independents, who by the old business model that these companies are trying to protect never had a venue for their work, are using the Internet to distribute their media. There's a lot of money to be made. To the media giants, stop whining and paying lawyers because you can't figure out how to get your share.


tony b   April 21st, 2009 6:34 am ET

as a musician myself, i wouldn't mind if people were downloading my music without my permission. if some people would like to help me out by purchasing a cd, that would be great! but not everyone has the money and that shouldn't deprive them of the ability to enjoy my music.

and in response to Robert Britt, asking what incentive an artist would have to continue making music if everyone wasn't buying their music...maybe their incentive would be to be an artist for the sake of being an artist, not to sell records. artists shouldn't allow themselves to get to shallow about their art, then it ceases to be art and becomes a product.

Robert Britt also mentioned that the artists need to make a living as well. the fact is that the record companies and labels make most of that money and give a small percent to the artist. the artists in fact make most of their money playing live shows.

i personally make a point never to buy music from stores. i will buy CD's at shows to support the band while they are on the road, because it cant be tough. but i like to show my support by buying a ticket to their show. 99.9% of my music is downloaded for free. i make a point only to download music from artists that i know will not have a problem with it. artists that are just happy to be getting the exposure and to be getting their music out there. artists that are happy just knowing that people enjoy their music.


Tom Richard   April 21st, 2009 6:49 am ET

Anything over 20 years old should be in the public domain.

Why should artists receive permanent, transferable copyrights, when patent holders only get 20 years? There's a good reason for this limitation – it forces technology forward, and similar copyright restrictions would move the arts forward as well. Think of how music, for example, would have stagnated had the works of Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart been held under tight copyright restrictions.

It's time to subject copyright to fair limitation.


James Bellows   April 21st, 2009 7:15 am ET

I try to be very careful of copyright and fair use. However, the copyright law has within it a producer's responsibility to make the material available to the public. I have been searching for a particular CD that is out of print. I have found a Russian site that lists it for download as MP3 for a fee and maintains that they pay the copyright fees. I am probably going to pay them and download the material.

I have long thought that there should be no copyright on copying out-of-production works. The copyright should be suspended, but people caught in the return to production are simply required to buy the new version. Similarly, if one converts material from one electronic form to another, holding the copyrighted version after the conversion, I think that is fair. The copyright owner is paid for the costs of production, but the user has the material in the desired form.

It is not true that the cost of an electronic copy is zero. The cost of servers is real, hence the cost of availability is real. I believe in paying for what people provide to me.


yeruchem levovitz   April 21st, 2009 7:21 am ET

i AM AN ARTIST,
We are the poorest of the poor in the business community everyone takes advantage, WITHOUT OUT US IN THE VARIED MEDIAS AND APPLICATIONS THE WORLD WILL GO " DEAF" "'DUMB" AND "BLIND". The very few that try to support ARTISTS , Please do not rip them off they help YOU HAVE A BRIGHTER MORE BEAUTIFUL WORLD . COME ON PEOPLE STEALING IS NOT " KEWL".


Johnny H   April 21st, 2009 7:26 am ET

With internet companies such as Time Warner and their future plans to charge internet users for the amount of bandwidth that they use, this could be a key to at least slowing down internet piracy; especially for the download of HD Movies. However, I can't help but wonder how this will play out with companies that have been in the attempt to generate revenue through digital distribution. People will have to think twice about doing that as well because they will not only be paying the company they are buying the media from, but the ISP for the use of bandwidth to get it.


MetalRules   April 21st, 2009 8:08 am ET

I've discovered tons of new music/bands by downloading their music to check it out.

If I like it, then I buy the cd and a lot of times go to their concerts. Without downloading the music first, I would have never discovered them, bought their music, or gone to their shows.

Downloading isn't always bad, although RIAA wants you to think it.


Dan   April 21st, 2009 8:25 am ET

A lot of you people, Paul McCartney included, are missing the point, here. The effect of me copying digital media is (A) I get something I want, and (B) ...there is no B. Nobody is being 'deprived' of something they didn't already have.

Sorry to break it to you, but selling things that cost nothing to copy is fundamentally a bad business to be in, and trying to force it to work is a waste of resources. You can help it work better for yourself by making quality products that people feel are worth paying for and setting a reasonable price, but ultimately whether or not they make copies or pay you for them is going to be up to them.


Anthony   April 21st, 2009 8:46 am ET

I don't think piracy is so much the government's problem but the entertainment companies problem. The main reason why piracy even exist is because these companies are refusing to adapt to new forms of content distribution and new forms of technology. Now that the consumer demand has boiled over to piracy they are trying to use the government to maintain that monopoly. Instead entertainment companies should be adapting to the new technology to maintain their monopoly. ITunes did a great job in bringing down the number of illegal music downloads and sites similar to and including hulu.com have done a great job cutting down on the amount of piracy that was occurring with television shows. As long as the entertainment companies keep fighting the piracy war with the denial that people don't want to view content in a different manner this is never going to end and consumers will always be much faster in developing programs to get around "government regulations".


joemama   April 21st, 2009 8:48 am ET

I agree that artists should get returns for their work, but only to a certain extent. If an artist has made a million dollars on a piece of work it should become public domain


Forcemaster2000   April 21st, 2009 8:49 am ET

If they're going to trash Google as promoting pirated material, then they'd better include every other search engine on the internet! What a ridiculous claim.


Jon   April 21st, 2009 8:54 am ET

I use to have a yahoo music account for $5 a month that I legally downloaded music, but they sold there service to rhapsody and they charge $12.99 a month. I'm not going to pay double the price so now I pirate music. They could make more money if they weren't so greedy. If they aren't going to be honest why should anyone else.


Vince   April 21st, 2009 9:09 am ET

It all still seems about money to me. I am a software developer for about 15 years now. No one has ever really made any real attempt to protect our rights, probably because enough money was never thrown at it to get politicians attention. But it started with the music industry, they spent a lot of money and got some attention. The last couple years the movie industry is now throwing money at it to get some attention. But still what about software???? Its all about money not ethics or the law.


Jon   April 21st, 2009 9:14 am ET

If I had music talent, I'd try to get people to download my music for free. As much as possible! It'd sell more concert tickets, get me promotional gigs, sell t-shirts, etc. I'd still be rich without selling a single album.


joe v   April 21st, 2009 9:22 am ET

If any artist. agent, manager, creates a performance in a digital format then they should encode it so that to access it a user will need the decoder. This should control the access. but if a content is leaked, then only the party or person who distributed is liable not the users who access it.

half of the liability for these snarbs are the people who put them out carelessly and then cry fowl, – if these incid are to be prosecuted there needs to be (beyond a shadow of a doubt ) that the originator took all precautions possible to keep this content from being distributed and used anti piracy tools in their digital recordings.

With so many parties involved in evaluating piracy, culpability of the creator needs to be eliminated or at least used as a measure of how much responsibility must be assign to the source when due diligence has not been taken to try and prevent this unauthorized distribution


Ivan Flores   April 21st, 2009 9:27 am ET

As Artists we should be happy that anyone at all is enjoying our work. The music industry should adopt a new business model that relies more on concerts rather than record sales. The distribution of ideas and art has exploded with the wide availability of the internet. The reason that an artist, a true artist, produces his or her work is because it pours out from them with out incentive or reason. If the artist is able to earn a commission from their work then more power to them. However, in this writers opinion, if the artists work is being distributed and gaining a following they should be pleased by the fact that their message is getting across and they are gaining some notoriety.


justVickyLooking   April 21st, 2009 10:13 am ET

When people feel anonymous, they're more likely to do anti-social things(like stealing). Look how people behave in a small town where everybody knows what everyone does, compared to life in big cities, where people are anonymous and crime rates are higher. The internet provides anonymity while also making crime more convenient. It also provides a platform for selling songs for a dollar. We can get the two decent songs found on most CD's instead of buying the whole CD. Maybe music will improve now that we can avoid buying the filler 'songs'. I buy all my songs to support the artists, but don't buy their crap.


Andrew   April 21st, 2009 10:26 am ET

Let's face the reality that the existing copyright laws are fundamentally flawed and inappropriate for the digital age, and they have been outdated since computer software came of age. Rather than attempting to shoehorn existing law onto digital media and distribution, we need to rethink the entire system, recognizing the ease of transmission, limitless free copies, and the incredibly short duration of commercial worth of many products these days (think of how quickly a movie goes from the theater to DVD to Red Box to the bargain bin).

I certainly do not have the answers, but I know that an organization defending its "turf" by filing thousands and thousands of lawsuits against casual users is indicative of required change. The music industry needs to recognize the power of the internet to reduce their costs in promotion and distribution and (this is key!) pass those savings onto the consumers, not in maintaining the same prices and pocketing the difference while unleashing the legal hounds to threaten college students and suburban moms with financial ruin.

Entire industries have come and gone with changes in technology and society - has anyone seen a blacksmith lately? Perhaps the days of all-powerful music and movie production companies are ending. Strengthening laws to prevent those kinds of changes is futile and further strains limited judicial resources, enriching lawyers. It took several years of rampant piracy before the music barons started to offer MP3s for sale, and the instant streaming of movies is finally starting to become a reality. Times are changing, and the laws need to change, too. If the laws don't change, they largely become irrelevant.


Chi Town   April 21st, 2009 11:56 am ET

It's bad overseas too...

While in IRAQ... IRAQ of all places... we used to get DVDs from the Iraq's the week the movie came out... some good... some bad... but I was amazed how fast.

I remember watching 300 on an Iraqi DVD before a friend back home, who went on opening weekend.

This problem will not go away...


Joe   April 22nd, 2009 3:32 am ET

I think it’s funny that McCartney defends the music industry. When he and the Beatles where a huge part of the "fight the man" mentality of the 60's. Guess money does corrupt those idealistic virtues.


anonymous   April 22nd, 2009 4:21 am ET

I find it quite amusing how many people think that pirating software and media is a "new trend". Ever since you could use a tape to make a copy of another tape (be it VHS or audio) there has been piracy. With the advent of home internet in the early '90s and the development of compression formats for media it became more sharing than one man selling another a copy of a commercial product. Yet all of a sudden the markets are affected.

I appreciate art and what artist create, but for them to expect to get millions of dollars for mere entertainment is foolish and a true reflection of our world society and the poor state that it is in.


Me   April 22nd, 2009 10:16 am ET

Honestly, Its easy to download what ever you want. I belive that most of the people do download from internet.

when you need a recepe for a meal , you just go online and look for it instead of buying a book. its the same thing for music or anyhing else.

Of course its not right , but its part of the 21th century i belive.

For myself, the movies or music i like, i go buy them !

This is a huge problem that comes with the evolution of the world.
I would rather spend more time trying to fix the health system and mor major problemes than that one

Priority.


Anthony   April 22nd, 2009 11:33 am ET

This has nothing to do with changing the copyright laws. The business models of the entertainment companies are in the same position across the board from the newspaper companies to the film studios. They are losing money because they are losing their monopoly on the distribution. They are losing that monopoly because they are stuck in the thinking that they can still make money the same way they always have. They don't know how to listen to their customers and deliver the goods that they want. Instead they are so caught up in the statistics of the past that they forgot to innovate and change with the times. The execs are more concerned about satisfying the needs of the shareholders then fulfilling the mission statements of their companies. Its no coincidence that Hollywood has effectively strip mined the 1970's and 80's and made every popular remake possible while at the same time making more squeals in one year then were made in the last 50 years of the 20th century.


Mike   April 22nd, 2009 12:45 pm ET

Face it: technology is cheap. It's only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and clearly this is a sign that a significant number of people are not willing to pay. I am not going to pay money for something I feel has little value when it is already offered for free.


Robert   April 23rd, 2009 12:18 pm ET

Someone turned me on to the idea of downloading newly released movies, recently. It sounded easy enough, and to be honest, it was. The reality though, is that you are watching a watered down version of an otherwise good movie. In the age of Blu-ray discs, I couldn't stand the idea of wrecking another good movie, so got rid of any other movies I'd burned to disc. If I don't see it in the theater, I will happily wait to rent it!

I have an idea for the industry. If we could just see more proliferation of high speed internet, capable of handling true HD content in realtime, a premium charge to "rent" pre-rental release content just might help stem some of the piracy. Sorry theater owners, but in the digital age, I think the time is ticking. When it costs an average family over $50 for a movie with concessions, it's not hard to imagine them being much more selective about trips to the theater.

On a sidenote, and I've maintained this for years. Just because a person downloads (pirates) a song or now movies, does not mean that the industry is one paying customer down. Odds are, that a certain (and sometimes high) percentage of these individuals were not going to be paying customers to begin with. The industry seems to have a way of inflating the figures of lost revenue, as if it disregards this possibility.


mike   April 23rd, 2009 4:51 pm ET

The recording industry is digging their own grave, internet file distribution is just a new medium with no oversight. The companies can't control what is distributed so they spend time and money fighting cases like this instead of embracing the opportunity to capitalize on the relatively new market.
It's all about convenience, I'll gladly spend a couple of bucks to watch my favorite TV show legally on a site like iTunes or Amazon, but when they start flooding the program with ads or up the cost beyond what is reasonable then the scales tip to underground distribution. Stop trying to bleed your customers and work with the flow of progress, not against it. Idiots.


jman   April 26th, 2009 11:24 pm ET

a war on online piracy is ten times worse than the war on terror. nobody will ever stop it. ever. no matter what they come up with, someone will hack it.


Dan   September 23rd, 2009 10:06 pm ET

I download movies and i agree that is is illeagl but there still is many good hearted christains or somthing who pay for everything.
I agree with mental ray they are just making not as much money.

btw

AXXO COME BACK PLEASE. I MISS YOUR MOVIES. YOU WERE THE BEST🙂


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