"Last year, one study reported that digital video piracy costs the U.S. rich people yatch money $29.2 billion a year."
You can't just take that $4 price tag for streaming a movie through Apple TV or wherever, and multiply it by the number of movies people illegally stream, and get a number that makes any sense. The idea that American households would spend an extra $230/year on average on movie rentals, if only those nasty content pirates would get out of their way, is just absurd. Especially when you consider that most American households were never using these illegal streaming sites in the first place. Most of that average would have to be propped up by teenagers and college students who simply don't have an extra $2000/yr of disposable income to spare.
I remember pirating video games about 10-15 years ago to see if they were worthwhile, since the demo scene had pretty much died down. I'd end up buying the games I played through to completion as well.
Roller coaster tycoon 2 and kotor for example.
The other big thing is that the illegal streaming site has everything. So part of the whole "Okay I want to actually pay for the HD version of this" is "Okay now is this on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, or...?"
I've honestly mostly just gone back to dvd.com. It has everything (except for digital only stuff that never got a Bluray/DVD release), you can actually get 5.1 or 7.1 sound, and since I live 45 miles from the San Jose facility it's 1 day shipping.
Remember all those pictures of drug busts we used to see? Police take the weight seized (including packaging) then multiply it by the the highest price they could justify as an estimate of the "street value". That's how a table full of weed gets valued at $100,000,000.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying every purchase needs to pass some utilitarian moral litmus test; and sometimes luxury spending can have positive externalities, particularly when it incentivizes innovation. But we shouldn't pretend that gold-plated helicopters are inherently a win/win/win just because some subsistence wages got paid along the way, when we could have collected the same revenue as taxes and paid those wages for building infrastructure instead.
You can say what you want about IP law; you wouldn't be able to enjoy many big-budget productions if it wouldn't exist. Many jobs, high-paying and low-paying, wouldn't exist. Of course, the business model for content distribution is somewhat nonsensical and the time until content gets in the public domain should be 10 years, but that doesn't mean that IP law shouldn't exist. Not to mention that the 29 billion number is probably also BS.
I'm also finding very little relation between production budget (which mostly goes into things like SFX) and my enjoyment. Some of my favorite films were very low budget, from Dr. Horrible to some Bruce Campbell flicks.
Good writing makes a huge difference.
Decent acting and performance makes a bit of difference.
Replacing all the SFX with sixties-era Star Trek SFX wouldn't make a wit of difference to my enjoyment.
There is a correlation between finding good writers and having big budgets -- if you're dropping $300 million to make a film you might as well hire good writers -- but it's not a super-strong correlation.
If your enjoyment of big-budget movies doesn't infringe on that, go ahead and enjoy them. Since it does, I'll fight every step of the way. Perhaps I'll lose, but I'll fight.
When my parents were growing up, they could take things apart, tinker, and understand them as deeply as their hearts desired and intellects allowed them to. They could modify books (with pencils), archive them (in their basements), and even quote exerts. Building radios or modifying cars were mainstream hobbies.
I'm okay if your IP laws restrict my right to distribute copies of your work. I'm not okay with a copyright regime that makes it illegal for me to reverse-engineer and understand the software which controls my life, to tweak my car, or to understand my phone.
There's a possible dystopia where elections are de facto controlled by secret algorithms at Facebook, where all my information comes from a Google phone with a locked-down infrastructure I can't peak at or understand, where I can't record a 30 second clip of a movie to discuss it in my classroom, and where my car shuts down if I do an after-market repair.
At the time the DMCA came in, the RIAA and MPAA became major enemies of my personal freedom and my child's ability to learn.
It's an interesting case in that the internet has caused big media to push for stricter copyright enforcement and experiment with giving people less and less rights on their products, but at the same time the internet has made people much more aware of the downsides of copyright.
Truth is most (practically all) people want to watch Game of Thrones and are willing to pay for it.
My claim is that if MPAA profits went down even 50%, society wouldn't be any worse off at all. On the other hand, we are worse off for DRM.
I think most people would say were worse off if game of thrones was produced any different. You don’t like visual effects, but you’re in an extreme minority.
Until we see publishers closing doors due to lack of profits this argument doesn't really work.
I'm not a copyright abolitionist, but I'm curious what the second-order effects are to giving money to companies like Disney that are using that money to expand IP laws, buy up competitors, and impose one specific view of cinema on the entire market?
People should obey laws because generally it's a good idea in a functioning society to obey laws. But to the extent that people can deprive companies like Disney of revenue without breaking the law, I kind of feel like they should do so. Not just by avoiding their products, but by making it harder for them to make money in general. It would be good at this point for companies like Disney to fail and for the media ecosystem to become more diverse.
There are extremely negative effects that come from allowing one corporation to own so much culture. I'm not going to break the law, but I'm also not going to lose sleep over Disney the corporation losing profits, because I want Disney to lose money, and I want them to produce less content. I don't want Disney to be the biggest media producer on the market, they're crowding other people out and using their leverage to control things they shouldn't be able to control.
This is more like me buying from store A than from store B. Am I robbing store B?
Surely not giving to charity is worse than any other economic reallocation?
What do you mean by your first sentence? I am fairly sure that movies do actually cost quite a lot to produce.
That does not even matter since looking at marginal cost of a movie makes no sense. Do you want to see movies? If yes then pay for them, if no then simply don't watch them. Justifying stealing isn't the way to go.
I would guess that a lot of the jobs that are discussed in this thread are fairly specialised ones and if that industry would disappear they would be out of work.
That is an awful lot of time wasted of their lives.
Pay of individuals working on set, which the exception of huge name actors, is not really impacted by total movie revenue and they don’t often get dividends. Once the fixed cost is covered, which for most big movies it easily is, the rest is the gravy train for the investors.
The byzantine logic here on a supposedly 'smart site' really goes sideways on ideological issues were people have a) some ideology and b) they want it for free.
The failure of your comment is really quite evident: basically 'every purchaser' could make the same statement about 'marginal revenue' in which case, if nobody bought the content, then, there would be no content and no yachts.
Criminalising people isn't going to turn back this fundamental sea change.
What is also a problem is that prosecuting copyright infringement presents a nasty threat to privacy protections.
- Making private information available as a common activity is not inevitable.
- Staling private information is a crime by any account.
- The underlying economics are against your logic: it takes many workers, doing real work, to make those things. If they don't get paid, it doesn't get made.
- The 'yacht' analogy wrong - the entertainment industry is full of money losing projects, and zillions of people working really hard on stuff because they care and not earning a lot of money. There surely probably more arbitrarily rich people in tech than in entertainment.
Username checks out.
I figure there are more people who enjoy doing silly things to bother other people than who enjoying yachting.
Netflix and the Studios profit margins are similar to other distributors, and after all is said and done, most of them are not 'rolling in it', at least not any more than the local pharmacy chain corporation operators are - those are regular jobs as well.
FYI: Even studio heads are not rolling in it, they make less than the biggest talent/starts, and there are only literally 5-10 of them, one layer below, and those people are earning the same as senior devs at Google with a small amount of stock options. The rest of the distribution machine are not paid so well.
This 'yacht populism' is ridiculous unless, maybe, you're referring to 'Jim Carrey' or 'Tom Cruise', but even then ...
The content is made by people, just like physical things are, if they don't get paid, it doesn't get made, it's that simple.
This is patently not true. Maybe it's true for a subset of the high end content like Netflix series, but the vast majority of creative content e.g. music or paintings are not made with the primarily goal of being paid. Some good examples are how Myspace gave way to thousands of artists, the works on Deviantart or how Open Source is made by volunteers.