Late last year, my old parents who don't speak English came to visit me for a couple of months in the US. I'm just a graduate student with a limited budget, and my mom is car sick so we couldn't go out every night. I didn't want them to waste time on Facebook after dinner until we went to bed, so I had to think of something to do. We would spend time watching classic movies together every night with the little projector I have. I would have to download the Vietnamese subtitles from subscene and play the pirated movies with VLC. Sometimes the timings were a bit off but VLC allowed me to fix it easily.
There was no streaming service offered at any price that allowed me to have native language subtitles with those movies. I'm very happy for the time we had together, it might have been the very last chance we had in our lives. I am very thankful because BitTorrent and VLC allowed me to do what would be otherwise impossible.
Until they master such exotic technologies as "streaming video" and "volume control" they're going to keep driving people to torrenting. Netflix figured this out a decade ago, and I wonder how many people have ever "given up" on Netflix to go torrent a show? I can't imagine it's a lot.
The movie company sold the rights to show that movie in the UK to some other company instead of Netflix, probably for more money than Netflix offered them.
Also, you're paying a fixed monthly fee, and unless you're part of the small minority that travels a lot, you're not likely to drop Netflix over not being able to watch certain movies in foreign countries, hence they didn't lose anything.
Let’s say you’re a French movie distributor. You know the French market, you know which movies will sell, you know how to market to French audiences. Because of this you can bid more on the rights to distribute movies in France than a global company that doesn’t have any specific knowledge about the French market (your return is likely to be higher and you’re liekely to have fewer failures). Same in the Czech, Romanian, etc markets.
But let’s say this movie conflicts with the release of some other movie you’re distributing so you want to hold it back for three weeks.
What’s your proposed solution? Tell the studio they can only sign deals with global distributors? Tell them to accept less money?
Stop signing exclusive deals with regional distributors. If you're going to put something on Netflix, put it on Netflix world-wide. That doesn't mean you can't also put it on a streaming service based in France that concentrates on French language movies -- do both. Let them each pay you for non-exclusive global rights.
You get paid more per service for an exclusive deal, but you also get paid by fewer services. Which is increasingly looking like a bad deal as the many different services proliferate. Having a hundred buyers is more profitable than having only one buyer that pays ten times as much.
It's the same game they're playing with regional exclusivity to begin with -- get more buyers by dividing up the rights. Rights in one country aren't worth as much as rights world-wide but you can sell them to more people.
The difference is that regional exclusivity makes customers angry and non-exclusive licensing makes customers happy.
It's not that easy to work away from. Which is why Netflix has been paying more to create or co-create content (most Netflix content isn't world-wide exclusive it seems).
Which is another reason not to use regional licensing going forward, and pass laws to disfavor it in general. It increases transaction costs -- then when Netflix or any of your hundred other buyers wants global rights to a particular film, they have to negotiate with a hundred regional distributors instead of just the original creator. The transaction costs go from "N" to "N times M" where N and M are both large. And transaction costs make otherwise profitable transactions either less profitable or not happen at all.
I'm curious what your proposed legislation would be. Just outlaw exclusive licensing? Would you prohibit vertical integration between content producers and distributors or just force vertically integrated companies to license content to competing distributors?
How about a distributor that has an inherent market advantage and so can bid higher on the rights than other distributors? Would that be allowed? Or would you require producers to charge some lowest common denominator fee so that you can't create releases that are effectively exclusive?
I just can't imagine how you would ever effectively police this without taking away a lot of free market rights from participants.
BTW, just so it's clear, I fully support the current EU Digital Single Market rules that try to enforce the fact that you should be allowed to watch your content while you are traveling. I think that's much easier on all sides of the equation because you're not forcing anyone to make additional deals that they don't want to make (i.e. distributing content to other companies when they want it to be exclusive). I just think it's a big step from that to actually legislating away exclusive distribution deals.
A big thing would be to just discontinue legislative support for it. Get rid of any law preventing third parties from circumventing region locks, so that major companies can overtly thwart them.
Then you can get a "tell Netflix I'm in..." selector from your ISP or bank and the problem gets solved by the market itself.
But there are still two big gaps
1. Even for physical or download to own media, you can still strike distribution exclusives and you can make them based on language. I can make a deal with a German distributor that they're the only ones that gets to distribute the German version of my movie. They can choose to delay the release of the German version for as long as they want. If you only speak German then you can't watch the movie even if the French, Italian, Spanish and Polish versions were released 6 months ago.
2. This really doesn't help with SVOD (e.g. Netflix-style) services. I can make exclusive deals with an SVOD provider in Germany and one in France. If the French provider decides they're going to hold back the release of the movie on their service then, sure, with the EU single digital market the German provider has to let you sign up, but now you're signing up for SVOD services all over the place.
This is being actively addressed by the EU:
e.g. I have a colleague who lives in Malmö (Sweden) and commutes daily to Copenhagen (Denmark). Lots of people travel into Luxembourg every day.
When I lived in the UK, the director's family lived on a pretty island in Spain, and he went every Friday for the weekend. Not exactly good for his CO₂ emissions, but people do this kind of thing.
I don't understand this practice as well, when you are paying for a DVD or a VOD service which allow you to download the file, you can still watch it anywhere. Is it illegal to bring a DVD abroad?
Why don't they give you the catalog you paid for in first place, everywhere, depending on your country's bank card? Then, no more need to setup a VPN blockade.
I feel these copyright companies often pick the most inconvenient option, even if it's costing them more in the end.
Start from https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/digital_en – I've read something about them solving (or aiming to solve) exactly the situation you describe.
On another note, some companies like this. Take Valve with Steam. They are definitly in a position to dictate "no region lock bullshit", yet they still make them available. Because it means more money.
However, in reality, the content owners really aren't that dumb and incompetent. There are very punishing legal implications to breaking the contracts, especially your relationship with others. And the content owners don't just do nothing; there's quite detailed questions and requirements they give when you renew their content, and they very often discover things they want to change after.
It's obviously a problematic enough relationship that netflix doesn't want to be a part of it anymore. More power to them; I wish this could be done for all industries as easily/well.
In the EU most people have identity documents... and enough services that provide identity verification.
The said verification is mandatory in some industries like online gambling.
There is no intrinsic hurdle to remove the retarded IP block. Using VPN to bypass it is just yet another step away but again, why bother with VPN when I can get it via torrent?
I think they might be getting there - they've shown they can generate their own content that people want to watch and that they're a "destination" site - both pretty big sticks to wield at the next relicensing discussion.
(Imagine trying to explain to your investors that your next 10 years of films won't be on Netflix...)
The deal can include whatever the content owners want it to include. And the content owners want it to include strict enforcement.
They can specify the specific technical details of enforcement, if they want. That's a legal contract, and one that they have a financial incentive to offer. Or they can specify an acceptable level of enforcement failures, or they can specify financial penalties for insufficient enforcement, or they can specify Netflix carries liability for infringement that it allows.
Or they could leave Netflix to do as they will, but threaten to pull their content or to sue Netflix for contributory negligence or whatever if Netflix doesn't comply. The fact of the matter is, the content owners have leverage and Netflix is not (yet?) in a position where they can blow off such concerns. Netflix is trying to get into that position, by creating its own content, but right now the majority of their content is dependent on other parties finding Netflix an acceptable content partner.
depends on the VPN...
if you mean 'commercial vpn service', then probably yes.
if you mean 'routing it through some other machine you own', 'your access to <xyzpq network>' then probably no..
vpn != commercial vpn service
This is also not the full story. Recently I was watching one TV series on Netflix and when I was in the middle of the season Netlfilx informed me that by the end of January they will remove it because of copyright deal (they could stream it only for certain period of time in Poland). Of course that series is still available in UK.
(For reference: the launch price for all AAA releases is 2000 RUB (~35 USD), while the same games on consoles often go up to ~$60 and even beyond. Especially on the Switch: Zelda is ~$80!)
People here kinda grew up with the idea that paying money for non-physical things is just ridiculous. And still many people only pay money for multiplayer games that rely on official servers.
Steam offers the multiplayer AND good launch prices AND sales with huge discounts AND a very convenient interface for downloading and launching games… so tons of PC gamers did get sucked into it :D
I assume a motivations of it are a) to have presence next to console games and b) gift-giving? If there were at least the basic versions of the games on the disc, you could add c) people with slow internet to the equation, but that seems less and less common.
This is part of why the grey market for keys has surged here - when Steam and the stores are both about the same amount for a new release, the only cheaper avenue is to exploit the real vs perceived forex difference, and (moreso) the fact that grey market key stores don't price in our consumer protection laws (and in turn, the buyer doesn't get any of those protections).
This is why I predict that the $10 per month unlimited video streaming services will work, and the $10 per month unlimited music streaming services will fail. I don't think enough people are prepared to pay that price for unlimited music.
I mostly grew out of that phase, and began pirating things mostly to discover new obscure content. What.cd was amazing for music discovery, and I definitely went to a handful of concerts and bought a handful of CDs of bands I almost certainly never would have discovered without what.cd. Same goes for old and indie films.
These days I do very little pirating. I'll occasionally pirate a TV show or film that I can't find on the handful of VOD services I or my friends subscribe to. Say what you will about the bad aspects of the modern media ecosystem: DRM, "stream instead of own," fragmentation, etc. But, at least for me, the industry has done a decent job of competing with piracy on convenience.
It has, but the fragmentation that you mentioned is starting to seriously erode this progress. If the situation worsens on this front, I can definitely see a resurgence of piracy, again because of convenience.
Anecdotally, out of the people I know, only two still pirate, but a lot use illegal streaming sites.
My setup is idiosyncratic, and I wouldn't expect Netflix to build in every feature of power-user video players like mpv and vlc. As long as Netflix uses DRM, their service will be inadequate for some small segment of the population, and that segment will pirate their content, because their DRM has done nothing to stop their content appearing on torrent sites within hours of its release.
No, it makes sense. You want to play videos in a video player. Until those services let you choose your video player, i will remain sceptic.
would have had just as much utility and impressive shinyness without the latency..
I did as Netflix had continuous problems with keeping high quality stream at all times. Playing local file I have guaranteed HQ content without stops to buffer more data. Even with 250 Mb/s connection (measured using Netflix's own fast.com).
Incredible, that this is worth mentioning. But here we are (no offense to parent, it's just funny that downloading a movie is a feature).
Think about how incredibly less complex Netflix's tech stack would be, if it's just a big fat file server offering all shows or seeding torrents.
Sure, there is extra hassle for getting them in the first place but Netflix still has small library for my family (e.g. has Frozen but not Tangled).
It amazes me how actively hostile most of the TV networks are towards viewers. It's very obvious that we're the product and the advertisers are the customer. If the NBC app crashes in the middle of a show you're forced to re-watch all of the ads from the beginning. If an advertisement doesn't load for any reason, there's no timeout or error handling, you're just done watching that show until you kill and restart the app (and re-watch all the ads again).
Yes, someday they will realize most people under 45 don't watch TV news. That someday will come when their current viewers die. The stations will be lost -they already "tried" streaming. Who wants to bet that they will desperately add more advertisements to any stream they can.
And yes - ultimately it's about ad sales.
Where I come from around half the marriages are between people of different nationalities and a significant percentage of those between people of different languages. Even when people are fluent in a language, subtitles still allow a much more comfortable viewing (and also learning a language better). This is something that all those US-centric services just don't get. Netflix is improving with its own content, anyone else is far behind.
If the Netflix app allowed side loading my own subtitles, it’d be fine. But of course it doesn’t and won’t.
So guess what I do when I finish Narcos season 1 and discover lack of subtitles in season 2. Or when a show available on Netflix doesn’t have any (and I want to watch it with my spouse who can’t read English subs quickly enough).
Strangely enough, since discovering this aspect of Youtube, that has become my goto site for most movies, and definitely helped cut down on my pirating activity.
I had a similar experience last year trying to watch "The Orville" using the Fox Now app. First they place restrictions so that you can only watch the 4 most recent episodes.
And then the Android app itself was horribly slow and crashy. The interactive ads were annoying, but I could have lived with it if everything else had worked smoothly.
I'm so lazy these days that if it isn't already available on Netflix, I won't bother watching it. There's enough stuff on there that I can just watch something else. I'm also cycling through some Stanford physics lectures by Leonard Susskind, which satisfies my desires for intellectual simulation right now.
Does that include Chromium though? I think probably not. I will give it a try in Chromium but if that doesn't work then I will not be able to use Netflix still.
I'll still torrent when I buy a movie on DVD, because it's way easier to download than to rip it myself.
It says: "Sorry, this video is not available from your location."
I like to watch the first episode of a new show to see if I'll like it. But this is one show I deeply, I say again deeply regret watching. I'll never get those 22 minutes of my life back.
The show is cringeworthy. It's one of the un-funniest sitcoms (can they call it that?) I've ever seen. It's that bad.
Everything has a price, but I wouldn't watch another episode unless they paid me $100. And if the second episode was as bad as the first, they would need to keep doubling that payment for each additional episode.
The video was really laggy, skipped dialog due to lag jitters, and served up 15 minutes of ads for 22 minutes of content.
Ended up not watching the show because of NBC site not working right.
They won't master. They focus on monetization before they got the basics in place. Case in point MSNBC. Unbelievable where in the world the page is loading scripts from and phoning home to. Add weak streaming and of course the experience is brittle and virtually unusable. If MSNBC wants to share information with serious partners they may do that but the cheap way they let everyone add a tracker is embarrassing.
Their site is so pitifully bad I refuse to use it. I tried, I really did. But when the ads break and you’re forced to reload the stream, only to be put back to the start, with no ability to skip forward? Sorry, no.
I wait a day and torrent the show with the ads removed. And I don’t feel the tiniest bit bad about it.
The last time I used BitTorrent must be 6-7 years ago now.
I wanted to watch Lord of the Rings the other day, and to my surprise they pulled it from the available content in my country.
Also, it depends a bit on where in the world you lived. Netflix for the most part was a US phenomena, and even as it spread elsewhere the library offered often lagged what was found in the US. So people would use proxies and similar to access the US library from abroad.
The only exception I make is when software has overbearing DRM in place. I will not hand over money for a tainted product when I can get better for nothing.
With video media I'm largely covered with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video but there is still plenty of content I'm missing. Instead of doing the right thing many networks are rolling their own half arsed subscription streaming services. Nobody in their right mind is going to stay subbed to the likes of CBS All Access when the only thing half worth watching is Star Trek Discovery, I've seen many people ditching their sub now that the season is over.
Whether that reduces piracy or rather the legal enforcement which pushes torrents into the shadows of its former self does not hinge on the quality of the delivery.
Sadly, this has nothing to do with streaming and everything to do with rightsholders (aka "Hollywood").
The rights on the subtitles are held by the company that makes them, are then sold to the company that distributes the movie, which are then resold to regional distributors, separately from the rights to show the movie. This means that if you want to show, say Transformers, you have to negotiate with one company to show the picture, another company to license the sound, and yet another company for each set of subtitles.
It just isn't worth the effort in most cases to negotiate the Transformers English titles in France, for example.
Movie industry licensing and asset packaging are stuck in a time when you had to move physical reels of tape and film around, and still haven't caught up to digital technology.
Relevant quote: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair
Until they see disruption or increased profits, I don't expect they'll change. I expect them to actually be disrupted before seeing it coming.
It isn't a good argument, but I could see it being made.
Translated subtitles would be copyrighted by the translator under a derivative license from the studio owning the film.
Subtitles of the type you suggest don't currently exist as standalone products; the level of detail and information you are describing would require the subtitles to be part of the film itself (see e.g., Atomic Blonde or John Wick for good examples).
Since using your own subtitle file, Netflix just doesn't have to do anything besides displaying them. Finding the correct subtitle is the users job, not Netflix. After all this would be called "use your own subtitle here" and I think Netflix can handle Unicode. Not everything has to be spoonfed for the dumbest user alive. Also, I don't think there is a reliable way to detect delays in the subtitle, especially if it's in a different language then the audio track. If you have a reference subtitle track, this might work, comparing time of first appearance. Any subsequent offset might be due to 25/23,976 which could be detected, but again, this is not Netflix's problem.
Everyone could have access to all movies/songs/books ever written with every subtitle file, dvd-only extra and whatnot they want. Could in the sense that it already exists and the marginal cost of delivering it to people is 0.
All that dealmaking, liscencing and such that you are describing... They're not strictly necessary. At least, they are not required to deliver the "goods." They are required in order to get revenue. Revenue requires pricing which requires exclusion, scarcity.
Not giving everyone everything is wasteful.
Sound is part of the film license in the US and Europe. This includes music and songs within the film. Studios pay out big bucks to license songs for films.
For example: my current employer would pay a license of approximately $500 to license major label music that will be played at an event to a live audience, broadcast globally, and streamed to 10 million viewers. (The total music budget for a 3-day event is maybe $5000, and that covers hours of music.) A movie studio licensing that same song for a movie would pay a minimum of $25,000, just for that song, assuming that it's part of the back catalog. A song that made the top 100 of the Billboard lists when it was released could command more than $100,000.
That's why sometimes the songs in the shows on Netflix are different than the ones on the DVDs, for example.
For whatever reason this is not the case for series in Netflix, which most of the time contain also in English subtitles. Wouldn't have helped the original commenter's case of course.
Just curious about the technicalities of copyright law.
Netflix, a Californian company, simply couldn't fathom that some people might understand English and Spanish.
Or they just decided the path that serves the most people without complicating matters is to assume you want subtitles for any language not selected as the primary audio language.
I think the relevant question here is how would you design a control panel that allowed you to define which of the many languages which might be in the movie should be subtitled or not? I think the people that care about this (that is, those that speak both languages and find it annoying) is vanishingly small.
44% of Californians speak a language other than English at home, and 1/5 nationwide , yet Netflix' product doesn't seem to cater particularly well to those audiences.
And I'd add that what to subtitle is an artistic choice; directors carefully decide what languages to use and what they want to subtitle or leave untranslated. Plus Netflix have to deal with source material from hundreds of companies. Creating clever subtitle features quickly gets out into very deep waters.
On the web, you can serve customized content to every single client, because the tech enables it. It's just wrong to go for "one size fits all".
No one on this site will have problem with that UI, but I personally know people who have issues with much simpler things.
It's really not hard. The real problem is that because it's closed-source software, the user must rely on the creator to think of every edge case.
The only reason I have left to pirate a movie that is available to me on netflix is to get more stable playback, the ability to play slightly faster, and the ability to use Smooth Video Project.
It's obvious that DRM-based platforms have driven TV manufacturers to implement expensive frame-interpolation into their displays, when it can be done much more efficiently at the decoder level, on machines where it makes sense to already have a fast GPU. This is the thing I find most frustrating with this situation.
On hbo Nordic, (The Scandinavian hbo go) off means -OFF- and it’s absolutely infuriatingly stupid to expect that I can speak Spanish, or Russian, just because I don’t want Scandinavian subtitles when watching an English movie
I thought to myself 'Cool, I have not seen this movie since it's initial release. I remember there is an extended version, let's check it out'.
Nope, you only get the base version on Netflix. And that's until netflix removes it from it's library.
I am pretty sure that for such a well known movie, I could be watching the hires version of the extended cut with all its goodies after 2 minutes of research if I wanted too thanks to bitorrent.
This is in terms of amounts of books that I have downloaded! Most associate torrents with audio/video downloads. But any books lovers here - should check out the wealth out there.
I sincerely want to 'buy' all books I have downloaded after I own a house and a dog.
Bittorrent and VLC gives you 100% control over how you view content. And subtitles are a huge part of the watching experience for many people.
a) Being on time. If you want to take part in the online discussion about tv shows, you have to watch them on time. For a ton of shows I can't even buy episodes on the day they come out. Torrenting is still the far superior choice.
b) Languages. Yes netflix, I know that I live in Germany. That does not mean that I don't want to have the option of watching anime in Japanese with English subtitles. And Amazon, it's great that I found out you are now showing advertisements before every episode, but it's also in German. While everything else on amazon.de is in English for me.
c) Quality. I don't care that your algorithm thinks my network is not fast enough for HD. Just let me tell it that it's wrong. Or I could torrent and download something in actual HD within just a few minutes.
The worst thing is that all of those are completely artificial. There is no technological reason for any of those problems to exist. And ignoring if I want to or not, in most cases I don't even have the option of throwing absurd amounts of money at them to make them go away. Because of greed, laziness and/or stupidity, torrenting is still the superior option in most cases. For me.
PS: Mostly thanks to Bandcamp.com music torrenting is completely dead for me.
Seconded. My music search these days is
Find interesting band
v not sure I can
Is on bandcamp? +-no-> be arsed to even
+ check torrents
Really I prefer buying CDs at shows. Artists usually get to buy CDs from their own labels for $1 each, where if you buy it on Amazon/iTunes, they have to pay their label back for the recording costs, so they get like $0 until they hit some number (usually a few thousand). So if I buy a CD for $12, they're probably getting at least $10 of that.
Particularly on Bandcamp there are countless small, honest labels that act as a curator and really help to develop their artists while taking a fair cut. Being featured on one of them is a huge opportunity for most artists.
I also buy almost everything I find on Bandcamp. Excepting those über-hipster techno artists with 100-copies vinyl-only releases (but those you can usually still find rips on Soulseek.)
Begin excerpt from said interview:
What do you think about OiNK being shut down?
Trent: I'll admit I had an account there and frequented it quite often. At the end of the day, what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, it was there, and it was there in the format you wanted.
If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid, but there isn't the equivalent of that in the retail space right now. iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc.
Amazon has potential, but none of them get around the issue of pre-release leaks. And that's what's such a difficult puzzle at the moment. If your favorite band in the world has a leaked record out, do you listen to it or do you not listen to it?
People on those boards, they're grateful for the person that uploaded it — they're the hero. They're not stealing it because they're going to make money off of it; they're stealing it because they love the band. I'm not saying that I think OiNK is morally correct, but I do know that it existed because it filled a void of what people want.
Cease excerpt from said interview.
Flash forward 11 years and there still isn't a legal alternative to OiNK' Pink Palace (OPP) that can hold a candle to it. I love music, but the music that I love I can not find on any streaming service.
The bands I like are old enough that they are no longer touring or producing music and since I can not find any of their "old" songs on any (legal) streaming or downloading sites I am left with zero options to support the bands I personally like.
Redacted has almost anything that's not the most obscure of the underground.
Although for the more obscure things, youtube-dl is #1 where soulseek fails
How come? I know What.CD closed down, but I remember that RuTracker had quite a large selection of high-fidelity music records.
I've used Google Play when I couldn't find something on Bandcamp because it lets me purchase and download the album in a browser. But even then you have to have an account.
They want to make sure everyone uses their software that runs on their overpriced hardware, and DRM is yet another way to enforce that.
but yeah I never liked it/like it on windows.
iTunes successfully turned me off pirating music, why would I do it when I can pay 99p for a song and have all the metadata correct, including album art, perfectly synced to all my devices in perpetuity? And no DRM means I can play them on my non-apple/iTunes devices and media players.. great!
Well, unfortunately I want to own my music, so I don't like to use streaming services and there was an issue with some music going missing. So for as long as apple are pushing their subscription model so hard I'm going to go back to ripping from youtube or downloading FLAC torrents and converting them myself.
(sorry, I'm a little bitter that the entire UX around apple's media player changed to push this bullshit so hard)
I even… buy music on iTunes… and overwrite all of their metadata with MusicBrainz's.
I haven't tried bandcamp but iTunes is annoying for me today. Features like the "complete my album" and recommendations no longer exist except inside Apple Music.
It is so damn hard to find media in other languages, and there is no reason for it. The US and Germany are both very technologically advanced countries producing a great amount of media in their own majority languages, but as a German speaker in the US, Harry Potter is about the only German language novel I can reliably find. I like Harry Potter, sure, but I like other books too. I shouldn't have to fly to Germany to find them.
Another thing. I buy most movies I like on iTunes, but I have an issue with the films one of my favorite directors; Werner Herzog. The company that distributes his films on iTunes has decided to mostly make his films available with only a dubbed English soundtrack rather than the original German with subtitles. Even though I don't speak German, hearing the original actors voices gives me a better feel of what the director was doing. Herzog actually shot and edited two different versions of Nosferatu, but his ear for english, or his actors comfort with English make the english version clunky and stilted. In Aguirre, the Wrath of God, the voice actor doing the English for Klaus Kinski can't convey the delusional desperation in the closing speech to the monkeys on the drifting raft the way Kinski's voice can.
Interestingly, I recently bought Almodovar's Women on Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It defaults to a dubbed version, so every time I watch it, I have to reconfigure my AppleTV to play the Spanish, but add english subtitles (a setting that I have to back out when done because it screws up all my other films). Its funny because several of the characters in the film are actors that do voice dubbing, and there are several scenes where they are dubbing an American film into Spanish. Translating that to a english language film it seems like she is dubbing an English language film into English. kind of absurd.
This is so true. I have a decently fast connection (75mbps) and Netflix's own speed test tells me the pipe really is that fat. YouTube can play 1080p60fps content without breaking a sweat. But Netflix is always blurry af.
I tried firefox Chrome edge and even the native windows app. The quality is always lesser than what you can get on YouTube.
It's the same on Android. I think it doesn't even show me 720p on my 1440p phone. Even when I pre-download something so the network strength is not an issue.
On the other hand, Amazon prime content is crispy clear 1080p most of the times.
Other browsers are at a lesser resolution, I believe it was 720p but that could be wrong.
Edit: yup, 720p on everything except IT.
Up to 720p on Windows, Mac, and Linux
Up to 1080p on Chrome OS
Internet Explorer up to 1080p
Microsoft Edge up to 4K*
Mozilla Firefox up to 720p
Opera up to 720p
Safari up to 1080p on Mac OS X 10.10.3 or later
As I said, the weird part is that their is no improvement in quality even if you pre-download the content.
I understand that there are business and licensing reasons for that, but it is still a bummer to use a much inferior second rate version of the website.
I generally found that buying a season pass on iTunes typically gives you episodes as soon as they come out. They often offer shows in the original version and with German subtitles/audio. In original versions, the shows get released in parallel with the US. And if there's something missing, I use an US iTunes account (Apple TV 4 permits quick account switching).
Because apparently fuck japanese shows, both ways (right holder side and distributor side).
Netflix is getting better at this game, but worldwide same time release is still more of a miracle than a standard procedure. If it ever gets release outside of japan in the first place.
Got burned once when my flatmate downloaded family guy and we got "mail" by an attorney of 20th century fox...
But yes, I got Netflix and Amazon Prime too. They simply don't have everything in every language.
Why? You have to get through tons of ads, have to hope they are of decent quality, etc. With BT I download, and in about 5 minutes I have the whole thing in HD.
All streaming in HD in about 5 seconds.
> All streaming in HD in about 5 seconds.
Yeah, until it's not. I mean sure, 20 seconds of low quality is not the end of the world. But there is no reason it should be that crappy. And they are competing against easy and free, having only "moral high ground" as the competitive advantage. So at the very least, they shouldn't be worse.
I literally never have 20 seconds of low quality on Netflix et al. It is sharp HD from the moment that I start streaming (UnityMedia with 200 MBit/s downstream).
Example: I just watched "Dark" and it defaulted to English dub, but it just took a second to switch it to German with English subtitles.
(Being Dutch, I am used to having subtitles, so for some reason I prefer English subtitles over audio only. I guess that I have to concentrate less with subtitles.)
Plus the connection is not very good for streaming, so torretning is the route to go. We tried cable, but the number of adverts and the length was insane (I'm originally from the UK, I seem to recall being annoyed at the sheer quantity of ads when have visited the US as well)
Even worse is although most films at the cinema come out dubbed in our language or at the very least with subtitles, Netflix doesn’t have any content in our language or subtitles. It does have an option for Russian, but most people under 40 don’t speak it.
I wrote above about why this is, and you're right, it is artificial, but it has nothing to do with technology.
What the Popcorn Time devs did was simply amazing. It had a Netflix-like interface plus a huge selection of content that you could watch right away. The industry should learn from these guys.
Just make your content available, easy to obtain and people will pay for it. It's that simple. There's no reason, in 2018, that I cannot go online and legally stream/download any movie/TV show I want. Classics, old movies, 90s movies, whatever. Just make it available at a reasonable price, in a easy to use UI and people will pay. How is that hard to understand?
The media one gets from such services contain DRM (digital restrictions management; I use this expansion of the term because I side with the people who are subjected to the restrictions, not with the publishers who subject others to those restrictions). DRM is anti-user, always implemented with non-free software, and (even on its own greedy merits) routinely fails to achieve the claimed goal of preventing unauthorized copies. But DRM achieves a little-discussed goal of giving someone else control over one's computer. In this time of remote control and mass surveillance, it's worth noting that DRM is rightly seen by those subjected to it as a threat, not a friend.
And there's nothing incompatible with commercially distributing DRM-free copies of digital works via a free software client. Private BitTorrent trackers work and could be set up and used by authorized distributors to implement commercial distribution. But years into the existence of the commercial streaming services there's no indication that they care to try.
These issues aren't explored at all in the wholly lacking article; these issues are ignored as reasons why people would want to retain full control of their computers and copy data via a free software BitTorrent client.
Agree. Regional licensing restrictions (music & video) and timed availability (video) seem to be lingering issues for legal streaming services and until they're solved/ forgotten the Popcorn Times will always have a place.
No, that's just easy from a consumer perspective. But it's not simple at all from the business perspective. Making movies and TV is expensive and complicated. Getting them to break even means a lot of careful work to maximize revenue and profit from a variety of revenue streams. It means dealing with a lot of players that are trying to maximize their own revenue and profit.
Things can and will get better. But not by ignoring the essential complexity of the domain.
Steam gets this so right - games change price all the time, go on sale etc.
It's the same phenomenon you see with landlords - rental properties go unoccupied for huge periods of time because they believe they'll get a better deal just in the future - with media we've let absurd copyright durations do the same damn thing, and probably at the expense of artists and content creators who I want to support.
However, centralization of the marketplace, even from a publisher standpoint, isn't a Good Thing. Steam's degree of control over the game publishing platform market is pretty pathological from the view of developers.
A better solution from the content creators' standpoint is a marketplace with competitors. In gaming, this doesn't really exist (maybe GoG/Humble?) but in streaming media delivery, it does (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video).
Free markets don't promise perfect efficiency in each case. They promise to be reasonably efficient on average. They also don't promise perfect happiness for just one side of the market; they're a means of reaching a compromise between all participants.
What hidden complexity am I missing on the delivery / payment side?
Not speaking of making content free, but making content easily accessible, at a nominal price.
The easily accessible part has been proven solveable, by hobbyists, already.
US movie studios are reasonably good at making movies. They are maybe not so good at translating them into Chinese, figuring out how to market them in China, and distributing through the many channels there (first-run theaters, second-run theaters, VOD, DVD, streaming, and probably more). So they sell distribution rights to other companies.
If you want to replace that, you have to come up with a system that is better both for consumers and producers. Yes, hobbyists have figured out part of what's better for consumers. (Although those technologies are terrible compared with Netflix, so only a part.) But optimizing for one criterion is way easier than optimizing for two or more.
Also they introduced a "blank media" tax on everything (CD, DVD, SSD, HDD, USB flash drive etc.) as a compensation for the presumed losses.
The whole copyright thing is just a US export thing, as soon as it becomes a problem for them, they'll force the EU to make it a problem for you too.
The term is from England, but many of the rules are from France. Because in France they came up with "rights of the creator" that included things like the estate being able to deny someone the use of a play or song after the creators death.
Then these two got merged via the Berne convention on copyright. But USA didn't sing that one until the 1980s(!).
So for a long long time, USA used a variant of the English copyright law, that only concerned itself with the printing of books (then as the tech came online, they expanded it to cover the likes of recorded music and computer software).
One thing to keep in mind is that the Berne convention requires that the signatory nations respect copyright duration of the nation of first release. And thanks to France we have this whole thing about death plus X years.
And like i said, USA didn't sign any of that until very recently. And thus we had situations like Tolkien becoming popular with hippies because an American publisher picked up a copy while visiting the UK, and went on to print a pile of cheap copies back in the US.
Anyways, thanks to global media corporations, lobbyists, and the whole Berne thing, we now have a constant ratcheting of the whole death+X duration thanks to the lobbyists playing on national fears of being out-competed by others with "better" terms for the corporations.
IANAL and all that.
you're kidding right?
after brexit the EU has lost 70 million citizens, its second biggest economy, its largest city (which also happens to be the world's financial capital), and its main military/cultural power
whereas Trump will be gone in a few years
Brexit took that rent and tore it open, but if/when Scotland secedes from the UK and rejoins the EU, that might affect things.
Trump being gone doesn't necessarily mean the US is going to suddenly regain it's former prominence. This discussion, of course, is ignoring the Elephant/Tiger in the room (China).
How do you actually mean by this? It seems to me that the vast majority of big Hollywood movies are of US origin and not European. For example see here, http://www.businessinsider.com/highest-grossing-movies-of-20... where only Beauty and the Beast could argued is "appropriation of European culture". If anything, it seems like the EU not enforcing copyrights is an attempt by the EU to itself commercially appropriate US culture. The US populace generally isn't spending its money on imported films from the EU. The reverse on the other hand happens quite a bit.
No-one can sell derivatives back to the US. The US can use elves, orcs, dwarves, vampires, werewolves, Repunzels, Thors, Lokis, fairy godmothers, Romeos, Juliets, etc. commercially all they want.
But we can't use Supermen, Wolverines, Mikey Mouses, etc. commercially.
I'm not saying it's a bad move from the US pov, but let's not claim it's done for the sake of artists, it's done for $$$ tax revenues and keeping US entertainment as a dominant export.
It's basically an extremely effective one way, heavily US favourable trade embargo that they've codified into international trade law.
It seems to me that you may be more opposed to a seeming US monopoly on entertainment than you are to the effects of copyright law. You don't argue against the merits or lack thereof of copyrights but rather make distinctions about the US vs Europe. Don't fall victim to mood affiliation.
- Company hires a bunch of artists to make something, pays them one time, keeps gathering checks decades after the artists are dead, and even longer after they're getting any payment for the work.
- Artist collects money from their work, dies, and the estate continues collecting for decades.
The purpose of copyright should be to encourage artists to create works for the enrichment of society as a whole, by giving them a monopoly on sale of those works for a limited time, followed by a release of the work into the public domain.
Instead, we've got constantly-extending terms, slim-to-no chance of something still being culturally relevant by the time its copyright expires, and people besides the artists receiving the most benefit, in many cases.
Copyright itself can be a good thing, but the current U.S. implementation of it sucks.
But if that doesn't happen, then next January will finally see works start entering the public domain again, starting with ones from 1923.
If Disney keeps copyright of Snow White the government can tax Disney's extra profit to pay for cancer research. Isn't that more socially useful than giving everyone the right to watch Snow White on YouTube for free?
Why stop there. Wouldn't it be ever more socially useful to hire vandals to break windows and graffiti houses so the government can collect the taxes on the repairs. See also: war.
Just because something generates economic activity, doesn't mean it's a net benefit to society.
With vandalism the costs clearly outweigh the benefits. With copyright extension it seems to me the benefits outweigh the costs.
Not to mention the fact that the Snow White character itself was pulled from the public domain.
This is an appeal to emotion. It's not very honest to cherry pick a nice sounding example. How about taxes spent for wars and so on?
> Isn't that more socially useful than giving everyone the right to watch Snow White on YouTube for free?
The money that people saved by not paying disney do not disappear. They will be spent, perhaps on cancer research, or something else.
In some countries petrol tax must be spent on building and maintaining roads. Similarly, can't we have an 'expired IP tax' which must be spent on cancer research?
> The money that people saved by not paying disney do not disappear. They will be spent, perhaps on cancer research, or something else.
Some people might decide to work less because they no longer need to pay for the movie. Hasn't the money 'disappeared' in this case?
No, you don't generate money out of thin air by working. It's a transfer from somebody else.
Besides, for many people working less is obviously valuable, otherwise you'd see a lot of people working 100 hours a week.
Are you trolling?
You're comparing a petrol tax used to maintain roads, to an "expired intellectual 'property'" tax which hypothetically would be used to fund a completely unrelated activity, one which cannot be argued with, because how could you be against cancer research, you heartless bastard? What about the children with leukemia? You monster!
I will therefore raise you a "let's put a cancer research tax on EVERYTHING! No disposable income until cancer is cured! You have to be in favor of it, or you are a cold, emotionless hater!" You can't disagree with me, because "no enemies to the left, no friends to the right."
Do you see how this goes? All I have to do is out-extreme your extremeness, and you can't disagree with me, because emotional appeals to child cancer research. It's an intellectually dishonest form of argument, so please, knock it off.
Seriously, do you not realize that you are proposing to give the government ownership of all expired copyrights? What part of "for limited times" and "public domain" do you not understand? You actually want the government to own everything in our culture?!
patents are largely unrelated to discussion of copyright. the durations are separate, and in fact, patent durations are largely harmonized to be 20 years, now. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_of_patent
that's nothing compared to the ~75 years of copyright.
It's made clear to me every time I want to go watch something and am willing to pay money for it but it's not available on any of the platforms (read: middlemen) I pay to subscribe to; I have to subscribe to yet another one just to see that show. Or it was there until yesterday, then it was removed without warning.
I found myself in a position recently where the only way I could watch a particular show would be if I went down to the store and bought the box set on DVD. But I don't own a DVD player, haven't needed one in years, and wasn't about to buy one..
But it's totally necessary; back before it existed no one ever made any money for their creative works, so with no incentive no one ever made anything creative before copyright law. OH WAIT.
2. this is disingenuous. it is already the case that the massive majority of artists have a very hard time generating a sustainable revenue stream from their work, and this has always been the case. the goal of a copyright system is, amongst other things, to try to help with that.
2. So with copyright it's super hard for artists to live off their work. How is that defending copyright? If you're claiming "Well, it'd be even worse -without- copyright!", you haven't actually made a case for that. Certainly, if we want to fix the fact artists have a hard time, perhaps an alternative monetization scheme, irrespective of copyright, is the right answer?
The original idea was that copyright is a compromise that maximizes the social welfare, people give-up their natural right to copy and share for a limited time so that more culture is created. Of course, once the system was set in motion, the holders of valuable works had a very strong motive to exert political pressure to extend the copyright to absurd lengths and push the notion of "intelectual property" at face value, instead of the original social compromise. No one was left to fight for the public domain and now we have these huge dynastic corporations that are strongly anticompetitive, using warchests of past works that new creators haven't yet amassed. If not for the internet and long tail consumption it enabled by lowering entry barriers, a few companies would own all comercial culture.
Who, specifically, is that 1928 copyright still encouraging to create new media? How does it benefit society more to have insanely-long copyright terms than it would to free up creations earlier for riffs, remixes, and so on?
Seriously, I tire of this notion that discussion must be dry and boring. Holding discussion hostage to "don't say anything that might offend, police your tone, and say everything as plainly and factually as possible"-type rules allows intellectually dishonest participants to game the system, i.e. bullshit asymmetry. Clever use of rhetoric is an effective tool for highlighting disingenuous arguments. In this age of information overload, we need it.
The main issue is that "Artists to get paid for their work" seems to work against copyright in many respects. Consider CD Project Red, which has DRM-free downloads on Good ol Games. Basically all modern copyright protection schemes are effectively outlawed on the GoG platform and yet "Witcher 3" manages to do incredibly well. (As well as many other games on the GoG platform)
In contrast, the heavy-handed approach with DRM and Lootboxes on Steam and whatnot seems to be failing hard at capturing audiences and letting people feel like they're actually contributing to the artists / creators of various works.
Another model: the Patreon model, seems to be the #1 source of new upstarts around the internet. Youtube Stars and high-quality content like "Smarter every day", and also lots of... unsavory... lower quality content... gets paid through the Patreon model (which is wholly independent to copyright).
You can destroy copyright tomorrow, and ALL Patreon stars (comic-artists, Youtube stars, minor video game developers) will continue to be paid for their work.
Even in the music industry: it seems like "gigs" are the main way for bands to make money. Some money is made from iTunes / Amazon downloads, but most of that money goes to Sony (or other Publishers). Not the artist themselves.
As such, the general feeling is that "copyright protects the Corporations", not the artists. Corporations deserve a cut of course: middle men are necessary in a lot of fields. But I think almost everyone feels like the current copyright system provides too much benefit to the middle-men, and not enough benefits to the artist.
How do I know it's deliberate? Because some twenty years ago it was me who informed the Hungarian public about downloading being legal if no income was generated -- even if upload was not --- in a series of articles in Chip Magazin after a very long interview with Artisjus (the Hungarian collective rights management agency) and they have had at least a significant role in wording the copyright law then (if you would want to be a less careful journalist you would even accuse them writing it) and I'd bet anything they have had ... some ... input into the current law as well.
Do note the tracker sites themselves are illegal, this has been established last summer by the highest court in the EU. http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&doc... (change the doclang argument to HU to read it in Hungarian).
Why I, who never use my CD/DVDs for copying anything but homemade content, have to pay for someone else's illegal copying is not clear to me. Especially since the tax doesn't change anything for the person who is making the copy - it's still illegal.
And most aren't using special plugins with Kodi, they just use Kodi to play their content they get from torrents and Usenet.
Apparently people watching DVDs they've purchased somehow harms the public good. Yay, go Tories!
There are also countries outside of the USA in which format shifting DVDs is explicitly legal (France for example).
Sure, there is a contingent of people using it to rip their own movies, but if that was really a core usage of Kodi, it would be a core feature. But it isn't. If you rip DVDs or bluerays, you have to integrate third party software.
What is a core feature of Kodi? Grokking large numbers of video files that use usenet/torrent naming standards as well as a nice API that virtually all torrent clients integrate with.
Now that I have a streaming subscription to Tidal (CD quality) I find very little reason to look to alternative music sources. With Amazon Prime the same goes for a lot of TV and movies. But for niche stuff there will always be torrent sites.
Speaking only for myself, blocking commercials is probably the biggest motivator for myself in seeking DVD sets and/or series of TV shows. Once you have stopped watching "live TV" you'd be surprised how sensitive you become commercials blasting every 10 minutes. Kind of like turning off your ad blocker (I honestly don't know how people survive the web without those things). I'm willing to pay for the "privilege" of not being yelled at every 10 minutes...
Edit: I mean yes, it's technically illegal but I've never heard of anyone being charged for personal use. And if it did happen the penalty would be a lot smaller because the damage done would be the price of a new blu-ray.
This is where things are going IMHO.
Sometimes this has forced me to spend more money on drives/other storage (for example, I manually upgraded both my PS3 and PS4 to the largest capacity drives they support). And I have a NAS with a bunch of drives in it. Worth it, IMHO.
Most publicly available pirated content is terrible quality anyway. If there are shows and movies you really love it's worth it to make yourself a high quality rip. Emby/Plex are super convenient, especially playlists. Who wouldn't want their own private streaming service with all the content they love. The discs sit in the basement as disaster recovery.
(Well, added to my iTunes library, actually, but - you know.)
Do you count digitizing my existing DVD collection with Handbrake "piracy"? I don't.
While you're grouping them in that category, why not put Microsoft Windows Media Center, XBox Media Center, and Playstation Media Center, and Apple TV in that category as well.
The one off video players are more likely used for home videos or one off video files.
I'm not saying there aren't plenty of legal uses for Kodi and Plex, I'm just saying that people aren't paying for a Plex pass or spending countless hours on Kodi to catalog their personal home videos.
Neither program is even well suited to that. There isnt even an easy to use interface on either for including custom content.
But drop in a file names the.big.bang.theory.s05e11.720p.brrip.mkv and they both know exactly what to do.
As far as I am aware, if they are not distributing their changes, there is no copyright violation.
I'd be interested to see what laws they are violating.
It is the copying that is the tort. Distribution is a separate tort/crime.
You don't mention your jurisdiction but this is common to international law and applies in almost all countries.
> A few people I know just check out movie from the local Library on DVD or Bluray, rip them and then watch them from Plex, [and then return the DVD or Bluray without deleting the ripped copy].
This is textbook piracy.
A person who copies a specific work and does not distribute it is not breaking the law as far as I am aware.
That is why I'd be interested in seeing what laws have been broken.
If they watch the movie again without a license then it would be copyright infringement.
Assuming they live in a jurisdiction that allows format shifting they've not made a copy without a license or right to do so.
For example: What if Open Access journals used peer to peer for nearly-free content distribution? That'd allow the open access publication fee to be basically eliminated, and what costs are left could be handled by donations.
That should be much higher in Wikimedia's TODO list, IMHO. There is a browser extension called WikipediaP2P for chrome, but if I'm not mistaken the author is not affiliated with the Wikimedia foundation and it's only for chrome.
I donated money once to the foundation so now I receive emails from times to times, asking for more money. It nags me when I read the claim that they need money to pay for servers and yet they don't seem to make any effort to distribute Wikipedia in a P2P way.
In 2017, Wikimedia received ~87M in donations while only ~2M were spent on hosting.
And who the hell are their employees that are getting paid 33 million dollars a year? How many employees are there?
EDIT: Reading a related comment's linked OP-ed, it appears that the Wikimedia Foundation spends a lot of money on non-wikipedia things. That is disturbing to me. I would like to donate to Wikipedia, not Wikimedia. Wikimedia may or may not be worthwile (I'm simply not familiar), but it isn't where I want my money to go.
Otherwise no big deal that it may or may not fit your values to donate to Wikimedia.
Wikipedia's TODO list has only one item: beg for more funding
Are there any projects like this already?
In another thread someone mentioned PopcorntimeXSci-hub which sounds about right with maybe some Tor sprinkled in, and I have seen http://sciencefair-app.com/ (Encouraging but very early).
Would you run encrypted hosting for Wikipedia|Sci-Hub|PirateBay?
One thing a peer-to-peer architecture for Open Access distribution could enable would be the ability to put a whole bunch of experiment data and supporting documentation online for cheap/free as part of the journal article. Part of the reason it's difficult to replicate some scientific results is lack of access to the data and poor documentation. A series of photos and video of the experiment, access to the full experimental data set was never practical for traditional journals, is expensive to do with traditional Open Access as the researchers would have to pay the hosting fees (indirectly as part of the publication fee), but would be trivial with a peer-to-peer distribution model for the data. It'd also allow a really easy and cheap way for enthusiasts to contribute to science by acting as seeds for non-profit open access journals.
From personal experience, I produce tens of gigabytes of supporting data, photos, and video for each experiment that never gets published, in part because justifying the hosting fee is difficult. Peer-to-peer distribution of this data as part of an open access journal article would make it a lot easier.
Fortunately, new browsers such as Brave are already working on supporting IPFS and other decentralized protocols.
As long as I learn that a show I wanted to watch today on Netflix was taken away by Netflix yesterday, torrenting will never die.
Especially if you use a neat service like https://bitport.io/ and/or a VPN like https://speedify.com/
>The real problem here is that there’s no way to know just how much of VPN traffic is growing or how much of it is BitTorrent. Though different traffic studies look at the internet from different vantage points, some simply would not be able to see VPN-obscured BitTorrent traffic.
I'm on a VPN all the time, and torrenting without a VPN, to me, is living on the edge. I'd constantly wonder: how long before I receive a stern letter? Every day would be a desperate roll of the dice. I'd turn to alcoholism to dull my anxiety. That kind of life's not for me. So the hundreds of gigs in shows and movies I torrent (can't purchase those anywhere without DRM, can you? And paying for them indefinitely to get them [if the licensing doesn't run out] with streaming compression seems silly instead of just downloading them once) is obfuscated! Yay!
That's really a USA thing.
Most of these sites are invite-only, and each tend to specialize in a specific type of media. One site might accept only movies, another TV shows, a third comic book scans, and a fourth might be the go-to repository for textbooks and e-learning materials. Not all that into blockbuster movies? Just join a tracker that specializes in older and more obscure films.
On many of these sites, the material uploaded often includes many more choices in format and quality than is commercially available. A movie, for instance, might offer the option to download a 1080p encode in various video and container formats, or even a full bit-for-bit rip of the BluRay disc. This level of detail and dedication to the pirate media also tends to spin up a community within the site. After all, the people who dig through bargain bins of comic books to scan and upload them (or who scan the big Marvel/DC releases each week) are probably a lot more interested in sticking around and discussing their favorite comics than the drive-by downloader who is only interested in getting his hands on the latest Walking Dead issue.
It's an interesting ecosystem, and while commercial products have caught up greatly on the convenience side I think there is a way to go still on baking in quality, variety, and community.
Out of curiosity, what would you say is the go-to technology for pirates now?
I'm not sure if this is because I am yet again unaware of What's Next until it's too late, or yet again Simply Stubborn on what tech I use, or whatever Option Three is this time.
Furthermore, I would consider the source (plagiarismtoday.com) when choosing to trust some of the items in this article. I've never heard of them - but my initial inclination is to believe they have an agenda.
Why would I buy a game in the store when I can just illegally download it? Why would I pirate games when I can easily get them on Steam? Why would I download a series when I can watch it on Netflix? Why would I try hard to pay for my non-netflix series when I can just download it? Why would I go out and buy a CD when I can just illegally download it. Why would I download MP3's when all is available on Spotify anyway.
From this reasoning, I think the future might hold: why would I open a bank account and do slow wire transfers when I can just use cryptocurrency?
> The internet is now dominated by legitimate choices for video streaming.
I really, really would love that to be the case, so that copyright holders stop freaking out about their presumed losses due to pirated content, and would just leave the pirates be.
I personally really love the patron model (e.g. Patreon) where people who have the money and care about something can promote it for all of humanity.
As a (relatively) poor kid I pirated a lot because I didn't have a good alternative. But now that I'm better off, I'm really happy to pay and support content creators while allowing others who are not as lucky as me to get it for free.
At first, it was just a recurring paypal where subscription got you access to a private forum.
Then creators started putting development materials and bloopers on it.
Then extras and previews.
Now a lot of patreons are just turning into paysites. All the content is on patreon, all of it behind tiered paywalls. Its no different than technology we had in abundance in 2004.
The difference is that with paysites the owners of the site handled the payment processor. Now those creators have forfeited their autonomy for the (probably worthwhile as web centralization has shown) increased exposure and convenience of being on THE recurring payments site. Now one corporate entity can arbitrarily kill someones business on their own whims while taking a cut of all their fans contributions.
> The real problem here is that there’s no way to know just how much of VPN traffic is growing or how much of it is BitTorrent.
That's a show-stopper problem for the entire article. All of the claims made in the article hinge on the idea that BitTorrent use is undergoing a "Long, Slow Decline". But the author provides no way to back up that claim and buries the lede suggesting why: they don't have the data to back up the claim in their chosen title. The article is largely a joke, a collection of baseless speculation, propaganda (including uncritical use of "piracy", "Legitimate Alternatives"), no awareness of why people share data via BitTorrent, and nothing that indicates an awareness of how laws differ around the world (an American bias is unacceptable since the Internet, BitTorrent use, and alleged activity are all global). Sadly some of the feedback on this group echoes the same sentiment: claims about what most people do without posting any sources to back up the claims.
On top of all that, the article is hosted on a service that could use a more resilient underlying infrastructure. As one poster here pointed out, it's as if the article should have been hosted on a service that lets people pass around verbatim copies of the article.
 See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html on how these and other terms are unwise to use without explaining what you mean. One of the giant risks is conveying an undisclosed viewpoint that colors your take on everything else: "unauthorized copying" or "prohibited copying" could have been used instead of "piracy", for example. I'd add "legitimate" to that list of words for the same reason: the word implies that such copying is illegitimate where it is illegal. But as that gnu.org article also points out, "[L]aws don't define right and wrong. Laws, at their best, attempt to implement justice. If the laws (the implementation) don't fit our ideas of right and wrong (the spec), the laws are what should change.". If we're to have a reasonable discussion of this, we ought to admit to our views and speak of them clearly, not hide behind propaganda without ever explicitly coming to terms with their implications.
Case in point it's super easy for me to find discogs of even unusual artists I grew up with on torrent sites. But if I search for artists mentioned a lot in the indie music press today I really struggle to find anything on the torrent sites.
I don't trust corporations to look after their own cultural artefacts. Karagarga is a beautiful example, passionate individuals will mash together video from one movie release, audio from another and subtitles from another to create a competent release of a film because no perfect copy exists. They'll do it purely for their love of the source material.
This is what happened to a lot of the songs by amateur musicians on mp3.com when it shut down in 2001, and that was all downloadable. I still have a few songs I downloaded from mp3.com that I have not seen hosted anywhere else. For streaming this has been an ongoing problem with SoundCloud for a long time. A lot of musicians delete their accounts or get blocked, move on with their life, and there is not a download option so all that is left are "check out this cool track" dead links.
This is ironic when you consider that a lot of mp3 blogs of the 2008-2011 era were about "rediscovering" amateur cassette and little known vinyl releases from the 1970s and 1980s.
By no way can a vendor-locked, regionally-policied, DRMed thing be considered a "better alternative", IMHO. I would rather pay twice (or even more) the price of the legitimate alternatives to just legalize the usage of unlimited, no-nonsence, DRM-free standard-format files exchange if only this was legally possible.
Finally, a lot of piracy around the world took the form of downloading files and burning them onto discs form physical distro, which has also changed for the most part.
* People who just want to watch "something", often while multitasking
* People who like a show / movie, and want to own it for future re-watching
"Watch something" has vastly improved. There are huge collections of content available online, TV/movies from all eras, Youtube's "amateur" video content, Twitch streams, and of course social media as a passive entertaining time-sink.
But the experience for fans, in my opinion, hasn't improved much.
The choices are: buy disks, or pay for multiple subscriptions to content owners (eg HBO Go for Game of Thrones). Otherwise you depend on a subscription that may drop content in the future, or a purchased stream (eg Amazon instant video) with variable performance and online-only availability. I'd argue we regressed - disks and disk players are more expensive, while streams are added costs if you want to buy the disk. It's also getting harder to rip disks for personal archival. I still regularly pirate movies, even after purchasing the movie - stealing is sadly the easiest way to get a non-DRM digital copy.
In short, I'd have killed 5 or 10 or 15 years ago for the torrent speed/quality/content that's available today. That says something.
Plain text, runs in a terminal (which means screen or tmux allows for remote, headless, operation).
No ads, just torrenting.
I'd pay for entertainment, if it was quick (streamed) and maybe per episode. Seems really easy to do. But no, it's either a whole season on outdated media in English (that includes foreign movies, it's always dubbed) or nothing. If it's geographically limited, I can't get it.
So, no, fuck you all, I'll torrent and more importantly, seed, as much as I can.
Even with the government cracking down on the Internet, torrents are still seemingly unscathed, so that's one good thing.
And if you can't afford it, well I'm of the opinion that you should still get it. This is how Windows and Word became the most used software in the world. Ultimately, brought more users than it lost.
If I want to watch content more than once, I contribute to increased traffic every time I stream that content. In other words: Streaming = certain amount of traffic, every time content is viewed.
P2p downloaded content is usually downloaded once, but can be watched infinitely without touching the internet.
The article also fails to touch on the fact that the internet itself is now much more mainstream (especially globally) than it was in 2006.
Of course there's less torrent traffic today than there was in 2006. Streaming services are big for mainstream content that is being consumed by the mainstream. The non-mainstream continue to fill their increasingly cheaper storage devices with downloads. The difference being: they don't contribute to internet traffic every time they consume media.
Kind of renders the article moot for me..
1. Quality, especially audio, on many netflix movie I just cannot hear the voices. VLC is much better at mixing 5.1 to stereo for my speakers (not mentioning having multichannel when I watch on TV)
2. Being able to apply filters. I don't use many filters, but when I watch movie on my computers, I like to change the gamma of VLC, as my monitor is calibrated for color accuracy. In the browser, the color balance is wrong, I can adjust that in VLC without changing my monitor calibration.
3. Subtitles, I want subtitles on the black borders when possible. What I often do is applying a crop filter to have only one black border at the bottom and I place the subtitles in it.
There is a trend now that the encodings are larger. A 110 minute movie can be anywhere from 5 to 10 gigabytes or more in full high def. Sometimes you can find newer movies in smaller sizes; sometimes not.
Downloading and storing that is inconvenient compared to streaming. It takes longer; less powerful mobile devices don't decode the large stuff very well; you may get skipping if you happen to view these huge downloads over shitty Wi-Fi in a crammed airspace.
An 0.8 to 1.5 gig download is still a reasonable alternative to streaming.
I was traveling back in January and crammed 16 movies into as many gigs of free space on the 32 gig SD card on my tablet for watching on planes and in hotel rooms. I did that by running almost each one of them through ffmpeg to get the bitrate down. In some cases I tweaked the resolution. In one or two of them, I re-coded the audio to a lower bit rate (256 kbps to 128: it wasn't a musical movie, WTF!) Almost no perceptible loss of quality; all perfectly watchable.
Pain in the butt to do that, though!
Basically, I have this theorem that two hours of a perfectly watchable movie with good sound do not require more than around 1.5 gigs of H265+AAC data. When I see larger sizes, I tend to become kind of reluctant to pull the download trigger.
That is, a torrent using http://www.bittorrent.org/beps/bep_0046.html to keep an up to date archive of magnet links or something?
If not, does anyone if any of the major trackers offer an API to scrape all magnet links + tags? I don't want to take on the liability of publishing said tracker-torrent, but I can certainly write the software to make it easy.
This might be affecting overall bandwidth numbers of bitTorrent. But from usage point of view, I absolutely do not see any decline. Programs like Popcorn time are actually phenomenal in terms of their UI/UX, thus it's getting adopted crazily.
I have access to netflix, amazon, and Youtube, but when they fail, in the most ridiculous ways, there is always the guarantee of torrents in the highest possible quality.
If you want to read Ever17 bittorrent will aways be there keeping it available to mankind. Since I DO believe creators should be payed when possible I see this a win. Piracy for me was always about being a library of Alexandria. Not a way to steal the latest Hollywood trash.
A newer iteration needs better anonymity to become ubiquitous again.
Outages, exclusive availability, time-delayed availability, poor quality transcodes and poor overall quality, and literally every damn service decided that $10/month is a good price.
Which it might be, for any one service. I don't want to start paying $10/month (or equivalant) for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Disney, Sportify, etc.
Now I just xdcc stuff from various IRC networks or I just search via Google with "index of movie_name_here 720p mkv".
If I download a movie I know it will always be available and work 100% of the time regardless of internet connection or money. If I delete it after watching, BitTorrent gives me a similar guarantee provided I can be online.
I recently met up with an old roommate who still keeps a NAS with TV shows and movies and he had tons and tons of stuff on there that you simply can't find anywhere. Lot's of old kids shows for his daughter, old stuff that you could only get on MySpleen.
With everyone moving to streaming and not having the wall of DVDs/BluRays/VHS tapes, we have lost something, but stuff isn't on streaming forever. Things rotate out, and fewer people are actually buying media. Even with eBooks, you're paying for a license to see that media for a limited use.
still, you can get much better quality (bitrate, not resolution) via torrents, which is why i don't use streaming sites.
It's a far cry from the early days, when you'd start downloading an album of compressed mp3s on LimeWire, and hours later realize you got some pieces corrupted and they wouldn't play.
Not really. The admins called it quits because they didn't feel like continuing.
Currently, top piracy options like torrent websites and Kodi addons constantly get taken down by the government (through methods described in this article).
But what happens if a distributed YouTube exists with every movie in pristine 1080p quality, that lives on a blockchain so the government can't shut it down or issue DMCA takedown requests?
This would keep movies alive after take-down requests, but you'd need to ensure the video wasn't poisoned (someone broadcasting they have a video when it's actually something entirely different). You would need to hash the video and store the hash on the blockchain. If Youtube changes the video (removes audio) you'd need to keep multiple versions of that video on the chain and clients would vote to confirm that those hashes were legit for when that version was up.
You'd also want to have some system to let you know if videos you have are no longer on YouTube (incase you want to delete them or if they have illegal content) and videos could still disappear, but only after everyone who has a copy decides to stop hosting them.
It would totally violate YouTube's TOS, but it would be the start to a more robust, distributed and democratic video hosting ecosystem.
It seems like one of the more appropriate types of data to be storing on blockchains.
Exchanging trackers for pow isn't a real advantage. Especially for large datasets (Youtube) where a third party will have to index the blockchain for reasonable to access it.