> But if your boss is a 70 year old billionaire who also owns a movie studio and listens to the MPAA, you don't get a vote. Speaking out against DRM was, as more than one editor told me over the past decade, potentially a career-limiting move.
Each of the distributors is then tied into exclusive deals with TV stations, streaming services, etc.
It's the "exclusive" part of the rights that stops us from having nice things.
Oh, and Steam? un-region-locked? Hahahahhahahaahaha no
I ended up logging into his steam to download the client, then launched from the directory to log into my account(due to their slow servers, steams being faster and more updated - go figure).
You make it sound like the contracts aren't a real barrier. If they break their contracts, they could face millions, nay, billions in fines, fees, and settlements from being sued by everyone they had a contract with.
> they could today stop signing these "old media" contracts
They have. But contracts for broadcasting rights are usually 10 year deals. And up until recently (2010-ish) they were usually just automatically renewed. So you're looking at old media sticking around until 2020-ish. By then, most companies will have moved on from the old way of doing things completely.
May be you will pay for it maybe some other will pay for it but it does not necessarily mean everyone or even most of them who want to watch will pay for it.
Of course media companies should improve their platform but that is a different issue.
The best way to combat piracy is to offer a better service, which I have yet to see. It's always a tremendous pain in the ass, and gives subpar results compared to piracy. Take, for instance, rick and morty. To watch it, I have to sign into an account, link that account to my ISP/provider, and then I get to watch my videos online. Except it barely works. It took forever to get my ISP to authorize it, and the first time they messed it up. After that, online had subpar quality, and would for whatever reason, cut out randomly/not let me login. Compare this to a pirate site/torrent, where it's just one-click, watch in full resolution.
However, from the same creator, there was Dan Harmon's Community. Season 6 was funded by Yahoo, and they put it up on Yahoo Screen. For free! Great! Except they had big issues with buffering, and region locked the show to America. In the end that whole operation was shut down.
That's not too mention that something like twice per week (again today) there is an update which blocks opening the damn steam client. Why can't they update it in the background?
Before that (and because most games shipped / still ship without an auto-updater, for good reason), you had to do it yourself by checking for each game's website (or specialized websites offering some centralization), download and launch a patch executable.
And before fast internet access allowed convenient download of those multi-MB patches (looong on 56k), gaming paper magazines distributed them on CDs (then DVDs) :) . Not so good old times, frankly.
the problem with netflix in a german speaking country: they indeed offered original language audio tracks, but subtitles were often german only, which made the experience unbearable (my guess is that, as always, international licensing is to blame). either we turned off the subtitles, which hurt the experience for me, or watched the movie in german with german subtitles, which hurt the experience for them (and for me).
afaik netflix improved this a lot in recent times - there are a lot more english subtitles available. other than that piracy is the only option for an enjoyable movie experience with guests.
It's frustrating. Here I am willing to actually give them money so that I get essentially what I could with popcorn time!
I morally justify it by still paying my subscription every month and not seeding the torrents.
I tried HBO, I tried!
A few month ago, a court decided it was legal to send copyright extortion letters to people. The hours after the sentence was done, more letters were immediately sent out with more unverifiable claims, and the court website went down from all the victims asking what the heck the court did.
I current pay a tax (Sweden) for a additional permission of private copying. The idea was that people should be able to do a backup of media they legally own, and be able to transfer media between different places like the car, the home and so on. DRM however prevent this, but the law is still there, allowing something for which technology has made impossible. Worse, the lobbist created a exception so that the permission doesn't even trigger if there is DRM. I am only allowed to copy non-DRM media, but the artist get paid regardless if they publish on DRM media or not.
Is it ethical to demand payment for something for which is then not delivered? Is it ethical to ignore a unethical monopoly? Is it moral to respect unjust laws? Is it moral to break unjust laws?
The content in question is new. Ethics definitely play a role. For the record, I tend to be on the side of "if you can't buy it legally, get it illegally", but if there is any ethical role for copyright it is visible here.
Asking people to respect copyright law in current environment is a thought sell. The publishers for GoT are part of those who are currently corrupting and stealing, so from a ethical stand point I have little sympathy saved for them. One could argue that two wrongs don't make it ethical, but then I would argue that respect can't be demanded, only earned. The argument of the article and the lack of a fair product also points toward a lack of mutual respect.
Had this been a self-published indi movie, things would likely look a bit different.
The right way to think about this is that each person has their own ethical line that they will or won't cross in certain circumstances, and companies can and should encourage, through market offerings, them to stay on the commerce-friendly side of their line.
If prices are too high, offer a lower-end product. If people are complaining about nags, offer a higher-end one. And so on until you've got so few people on the destructive side that the people on the commerce-friendly side do the work of bringing them in line.
Of course, this means making your business responsive to the market and not just profits, and that's exceedingly difficult for the media conglomerates. Piracy is the big stick we all have to force them to play ball with us.
Ultimately, there's no right or wrong, just competing interests. It's bringing them all in line with each other that's the goal, not hammering out some grand idea of justice that's going to change every time the market changes.
It's a convoluted argument to justify piracy as being absolutely wrong when the end result of paying for content is perpetuating a system where someone else decides what you can and can't watch (and then attempts to wring every drop of revenue from you for the privilege).
Under capitalism, if the distribution company is not the best provider of their service, then they deserve to be pushed out of the market. So the answer to how good their offering has to be is: Better than the pirates'
* Two words: Cable boxes. In 2016. (And as someone who worked on back end cable apps briefly, it's not like better alternatives don't exist. The service providers just don't care enough to make them better)
That's rather like saying that if your democratically elected officials is not doing things that are in your best interest, they deserve to be pushed out by a man with a gun.
Nothing breaks the rules of either because failure is built right into the system, the stakes are too high to allow such systems to remain brittle. Capitalism is bigger than individuals, firms, collections of firms, entire industries, groups of industries trying to coerce the system. People once thought OPEC could bring down the global order. Never happened. People thought the very existence of nuclear weapons put humanity on a clear path to annihilation. Also didn't happen, but it was hairy for awhile.
Companies then have two choices:
- Trying to enforce the laws that make piracy illegal, which has time and again proven completely ineffective.
- Trying to make legal access painless and more convenient than the alternative, possibly adding value in itself, which has proven successful (Spotify, Steam, Netflix), at least to an extent.
It is a difficult problem (it has been since decades) but I don't think putting in terms of ethics does much to solve it...
This is a problem that everyone should answer for themself.
A copyright is the legal ability to say when and how the media will be shared.
If you want the media, and the copyright owner fails to cater to you and says "f--- off", that's them exercising that right.
It's not like "media" is some universal human right, at least according to the legal system.
If obeying copyrights is not required to be ethical, then right now.
The insistence of US media companies to continue geographically restricting content in an effort to make a few extra bucks has done more to kill US cultural imperialism than decades of "home grown" efforts. As a concrete example, in the past few years there has been an explosion of GoT-style dramas in Turkey (which they've even begun exporting to neighbors in the region).
Perhaps not surprisingly, this season GoT was available same-day on Turkish cable, with either dubbed or original voice tracks.
(Note: Just so you know what to expect, Turkish dramas are sort of a cross between their US counterparts and Spanish Telenovelas. There is some action, but much more emphasis on interpersonal conflicts...and more than a few very long, overly dramatic shots backed with suspenseful music.)
Is it any wonder that streaming sites are all the rage?
Of course Netflix doesn't have the new HBO shows - but that's a different issue.
If you're going there to watch something specific, you might have a bad time. If you're going there to discover stuff to watch and have a good time, it's pretty good.
Complete list: http://germany.netflixable.com/2016/06/complete-alphabetical...
My parents have a semi-expensive digital cable package that includes streaming from a computer. They use it to watch old episodes of their shows from the major networks.
One day, they brought a laptop to the next-door neighbors to watch an old episode. The streaming service wouldn't stream because it wasn't on their home network!
So they have a mobile streaming service that only works from their network, defeating the entire purpose of mobile streaming.
This was a good step forward from last year, where they released the season pass episodes 2 weeks after the airing in the US
Or you could use self hosted VPN to get around restrictions due to lines in the sand.. IF you're feeling generous
And then they complain about pirates pfffshh... If I need to make extraordinary effort to get your thing at a reasonable price, you might as well stay at home.
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." - Thomas Jefferson
> (a) You must reside within the fifty states of the United States of America (“U.S.”), the District of Columbia, and certain US territories (collectively, the “Service Area”) and have reached the age of 18, or the age of legal majority in your state or territory of residence;
Here is an example for California : https://www.eff.org/fr/deeplinks/2010/07/court-violating-ter...
> the court also found that bypassing technical or code-based barriers intended to limit access to or uses of a website may violate California's computer crime law.
If you have more informations about that, I am interested