Legal buffer: I will not say what the content was. It may have all been non-copyrighted cat videos ;)
The service was available cross region. Stored videos in multiple resolutions for streamability in low-bandwidth situations. No DRM bs. It cost me under $400/month to run the whole service, and I could access it from any device, anywhere I had internet.
I gave access to a few friends and family and they all chipped in to help cover expenses (it was never profitable). I ran it for a few months before I started to lose interest in maintaining it - it was mostly just a proof-of-concept, and fell back to Netflix/HBO/other subs for convenience.
I applaud Netflix, HBO, etc for offering competitive solutions to monopolistic cable companies and other restrictive media outlets, but this will always remain a problem.
Once you create a piece of art and put it out for the world to see, you cannot control how/when/where it will be shown. Stop trying... Just make it more convenient for people to pay to view it.
Going after people for low-level copyright violation, like sharing a password, is childish.
Cat videos are far more enjoyable to watch than the dreck that Hollywood is putting out these days.
It's also really strange given how much the opposite web content is becoming. With patreon, we're starting to get some seriously fringe content, and the streaming services don't seem to be too afraid of having an opinion either.
It's not a phenomena unique to movies, or the modern international economy, it's a pattern that pops up all over the place. Look at multi-tool pocket knives: capable of doing many things, but mediocre at everything.
This comes off as incredibly self-entitled and arrogant.
That piece of art? It takes years and tremendous amount of people hours to bring these films into existence your enjoyment. I grew up in Hollywood, in family of filmmakers. My friends are actors, producers, and well anybody else who is involved in the business - and we all dedicate unbelievable hours of love and labor into the “non copyrighted cat videos”
Yes. The system isn’t perfect, but ... what you’re doing is quite frankly, stealing. It’s offensive. We’re entitled to our livelihoods as much as you are.
Show some gratitude please.
This project was built as a fun proof-of-concept. Less than a dozen people used it, and none of them cancelled their other paid services to use it. Also, like I mentioned, it was never profitable and I never made any money off of it.
Also this is coming from a fellow content creator, of many types (music, short videos, random pieces of art). Never once have I thought that anyone owes me anything for it. Unless I'm hired to shoot a video, or design something, I can't think of a more self-entitled and arrogant state of mind to be in, than to expect someone to give me gratitude because I spent time doing something I love. Doing what you love isn't enough self-gratitude for time well spent?
The only real argument that will get people to give money for dedication to an art is the appeal to pity. It's "I am pursuing my dreams and dedicating time to building something I love, I would really appreciate financial support for it so that I can continue to do so". The second the tone switches to, "I am owed gratitude in the form of money for this masterpiece I have created", is the second I will pirate that shit into oblivion.
Imagining that people loved my content so much that some would even go to illegal means to enjoy it, is a compliment to me.
Also, this appeal, is the reason that I pay for most all of the media I consume - music, movies/TV, games, concerts, etc. It is my way of showing appreciation because I can afford to, and choose to.
Having some appreciation that people actually give enough of a shit about the art you create that they'll try to get to it illegally, that's a mindset to strive for. If they pay for it, damn... you're doing good.
That’s not cool. Simple.
The point is, it's not that hard to build Netflix, it's hard to get the rights to the content itself. I, and many others, just want an easier way to get access to the content. Streaming services are frustrating because the selection is limited and varies, buying digital copies is frustrating because you are still beholden to the company you bought it from to support whatever devices you want to use it on.
I have absolutely no problem with paying for content, I have a problem with being locked into a specific DRM-scheme, especially when the price is essentially the same as physical media that I could rip myself to do whatever I want with. Just let me buy/rent DRM-free content and I won't be tempted to pirate. The problem is that piracy is often easier than the legal method, and when that happens, people will prefer to pirate.
For example, Netflix didn't work on Linux for quite a while. When it finally did, I was locked in to using a specific binary blob on my machine, so I have no idea if it's actually secure. If I choose to use another platform (let's say I experiment with RISCV or POWER9 devices), I'm again out of luck with most streaming services.
Why can't I just buy an MP4 of a movie and use whatever software I want to watch it? If that was an option, I'd buy a lot more movies, but since it's not, I suffer through the crappy selection on Amazon Prime and Netflix, not wanting to build too much of a library on Amazon or any other digital video platform.
You are allowed to backup a movie for your records, which means you can record Netflix shows for later consumption. Those backed up shows watched later are not counted by Netflix’s algorithm, so that production company is not paid.
I’m not supporting one side or the other, I’m raising awareness that IP theft is not so simple when the production companies are still getting paid even with loopholes in the regulation
I grew up around musicians. Musicians steal and pirate themselves all the time. Nobody will bat an eye if you pirate their music. Being poor themselves most know that affording a concert or paying for legal music can be a hassle so they don't bust people's balls.
I've pirated tons of music myself. I've also spent thousands of dollars in vinyl, potentially tens of thousands in festivals with their associated costs and merch, and have spend more money in building a sound system for parties that I have no possibility of ever recovering.
Art doesn't entitle you to a livelihood. If you don't like the level of compensation, get a day job and do it for kicks like the vast majority of people do.
It seems that you specifically do not like the deal, which is fine of course, but that doesn't excuse stealing and copying content that you didn't pay for.
iTunes has spent the last five years very aggressively moving away from that to subscription revenue because it makes no money.
Maybe? But I haven't seen any surveys.
The dude above is freely admitting to grabbing movies wholesale and distributing them in a glib manner. And I’m addressing him, because it’s wrong. I’m the guy on the other end of the economic equation.
End of the day it’s a choice to do the right thing and respect the artists behind the work you enjoy regardless what the “reality” is.
The copyright industry's propaganda about 'piracy = theft' is based on the frankly absurd concept that anyone who pirates media would have paid for it had piracy not been an option. This claim doesn't hold up to the slighted shred of scrutiny.
>End of the day it’s a choice to do the right thing and respect the artists behind the work you enjoy regardless what the “reality” is.
Except when you pay money for TV, movies or video games, your money either doesn't go to the artists behind it, or very little of it does. Rather, the money goes to the investors who funded the work, or the publisher contracted with the musician. The real people lacking respect for artists are the publishers/record labels whose entire contribution to the process is making the initial investment, paying artists the bare minimum - and moaning about internet pirates, it seems.
This is the reality with any industry that has lots of "losers" for every winner. What you don't see is the massive amount of money lost by these same investors on media that doesn't hit. Returns on the winners have to be high enough to justify continued investment in the space. Media isn't created for free.
You don't get in trouble for copying a licensed work, you get in trouble for making it available to others without permission from the current rights holder (or more likely, their hired thugs or your ISP).
How would Fair Use and libraries work if copying alone were illegal?
Libraries pay content owners in virtually every country in the world.
They also don't pay publishers or content creators every time a material is consumed, and they don't employ DRM to ensure that people aren't violating the licences of works that are being checked out. In fact, they don't keep records of people while inside the library, so a content creator can't control how their products are being used and by whom. There are surely some DMCA violations happening at any given moment.
Copyright is an exception to natural behavior.
But just because it's easy to copy does not make it legal.
>This comes off as incredibly self-entitled and arrogant.
>That ~~piece of art~~ bag of Rice? It takes years and tremendous amount of people hours to bring these ~~films~~ grains of rice into existence your enjoyment. I grew up in ~~Hollywood~~ a farm, in family of ~~filmmakers~~ farmers. My friends are ~~actors, producers~~ farmer, harvesters, and well anybody else who is involved in the business - and we all dedicate unbelievable hours of love and labor into the ~~“non copyrighted cat videos”~~ bags of rice
>Yes. The system isn’t perfect, but ... what you’re doing is quite frankly, stealing. It’s offensive. We’re entitled to our livelihoods as much as you are.
>Show some gratitude please.
Now that I have changed the object that is "being protected", do you see how unreasonable and senseless your argument is?
Those arguments you used could be used exactly as they are to argue for any monopoly whatsoever, and then we would all be worse off.
Of course you're entitled to try to make a living, but if you making a living requires the state to subsidize and enforce your business model, then maybe you should change your business model.
There have been artists, writers and inventors for millenia, and for the vast majority of time they haven't needed an intellectual monopoly l, so why do you ?
Secondly media is far more complex than the art we've had for millenia. The sheer amount of resources to create a modern movie dwarfs what artists have created in the past, its comparing apples to oranges.
The laws against theft, contract law, corporate law, tax law, equities laws, real estate law are there to allow business to be done in a secure trustable way.
Subsidies exist for all businesses like roads, electricity, farm subsidies, tariffs, protect business models, and allow businesses to transport goods for a low cost or protect them from competition.
Isn't this argument completely wrong/pointless considering reproduction was close to impossible until the last ~20 years? If nobody can access/copy my product, i don't need to protect it much...
In past I paid for some content multiple times for instance, because one company decides to shut down their DRM servers, and then I had to buy it again from elsewhere. Yeah, just like that - I was frankly very upset.
Also, piracy is different to stealing. Both are wrong in my opinion, but still very, very different things!
At a complete guess i would say most people (with ok paying jobs) that pirate do so because they think the charges are so high they amount to theft + the whole stealing from a thief is ok
Look at how much Tom cruise or the rock have made from movies or the upper layer of studio cucumber water,egg white omelette employee. There is a massive amount of profiteering on movies. Of course indie and a whole lot of roles are done by people getting normal wages.
If the rock took a 50,000,000 pay cut and the studio cut their extravagance the steaming cost will come down, but they choose to profiteer because they can pushing up streaming costs
You seem to have been indoctrinated by the big media companies, to believe their profit-maximising false narrative. Copyright was designed to terminate, at which point everyone is entitled to the material. Media companies have repeatedly pushed law changes that are purely in their own interest, to extend the original fairly reasonable short terms to what they are today, "forever" for most purposes.
People aren’t getting too worried about people pirating Gunsmoke or whatever.
It does everything I need to watch my...personal home videos.
I'm sure I could use a completely FOSS setup, but plex is convenient especially paired with...other services.
Last time I looked they didn't really have much for client apps yet.
As @diminoten mentions, legality is questionable here, so I do not recommend. If you do dabble, restrict access, and encrypt everything so that if you lose your keys, they only option is to destroy the stack and start over.
Cloud provider of your choice
Plex media server running on a high-throughput instance, with cloud storage mounted locally for reading. (Redundantly created in multiple regions depending on where the service is being accessed from)
A separate master instance responsible for downloading content from a private torrent site, with cloud storage mounted locally for writing.
Multiple on-demand background workers that are spun up when new content is available to be reformatted in various resolutions. They pull the original video from cloud storage, create various versions, and re-upload it to the cloud storage.
The largest cost is in data usage, and storage.
@diminoten Not sure what I did to "oversell" it. I used off-the-shelf tech components, and some cloud-enginuity from experience, to build a proof-of-concept competitor. I didn't build the entire interface from scratch, or write my own OS, if that's what it sounded like.
Do you think it would be viable using a pool of 'a few' residential connections (think fiber >500 Mbps upload) in each region, with some x86 server behind each to transcode / store?
The idea being to self-host the whole infra between users themselves, those willing to plug a desktop/server somewhere.
I figure you'd only need a basic load balancer in an actual cloud (always on) which redirects to whichever server is available enough.
Any thought about any of this?
One feature I haven't seen on any commercial service is the ability to integrate with your IMDb watchlist, and automatically download "Linux ISOs" when they become available.
You can certainly get a similar thing working on a Raspi, but you'll likely notice buffering issues. Especially if you try to stream different content to different clients.
Your archive on bigger drives next to it. Problem solved.
If that's not enough use zfs with a nvme cache and add a few more sticks of ram I to it.
Total cost ~€40.50 per month. Hetzner gives you infinite ingress and a few TB egress bandwidth per month. As long as you only give access to your box to family/close friends you'll never hit that cap. And all they need is a Plex account. Then you just invite them and the setup is done, zero technical finnicking for them.
But yeah, RPi is rough because you do need legit CPU to transcode on the fly, which is what Plex does, and the more users the more transcoding power you need.
But Plex is very limited in its encoding capabilities. H265 with HDR is just not supported properly. On top of that, there is just no way to encode H265 in real time (a high quality reencode of a Bluray can take days on top of the line Xeon CPUs). One would be better off downloading a few versions of the same movie; plex supports choosing which version to play.
It's a truly self-running system. Other than the upgrades, you're able to select whatever shows you want to follow, and that's it. They automatically get downloaded, sorted into the right directory structure, picked up by Plex, and on-demand streaming around the world is yours, with all kinds of cool features like bandwidth optimization, offline show downloads, etc. More or less feature parity with Netflix, without any of the restrictions.
Of course it's 100% illegal, though honestly I've never heard of a prosecuted case in the US.
Would take about 30 minutes to actually get everything up if you have most of an idea of what to do and a sloppily written guide.
Users would probably be better of, if these systems would be distributed rather then centralized. Like a plex server per household or something, where family owns all the stuff they bought and can freely watch it.
What I'm looking for is a future proof stack. DRM has failed many times to deliver that.
I have not kept up with their developments but it was created by Mormons to help families stream movies while filtering out content deemed not appropriate. IIRC at one point and possibly to this day the tech included a massive farm of physical disks being spun and streamed to end consumers with skip points programmed in.
I was interested because they had a way to rent movies for $1, which I think is a fair price for older titles (I'd actually pay $2 for older titles). I feel like their business was essentially Redbox, but with a more efficient way of transferring product from one person to another, with a layer of customizable filtering on top. That seemed completely legit to me, but apparently copyright law doesn't agree.
"Expecting people to pay for your service is childish."
They aren't going after people, they are just resetting passwords.
It did not end well for NinjaVideo for what it's worth so maybe it was good you lost interest.
> "I... fell back to Netflix/HBO/other subs for convenience"
Seems like they're doing a fine job then.