"Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem... If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable."
So the next best thing is piracy. You can piss around with DNS settings or wait for the DVDs to be available, but piracy is just so much more convenient.
Also, where is the redbox clone? Quickflix is a joke as a netflix competitor, and there's no redbox clone that I know of. 40GB bandwidth caps? 80 for $100nzd/month? Even piracy is hard at that level.
There's much more competition here, I'm amazed that I can get unlimited internet on my phone for £12 per month (giffgaff).
Back in NZ my monthly home internet cost the equivalent of £25 with no phoneline (cable - which is rare in NZ), and was capped at 10GB per month. Compared to other services, this was really cheap!
So guess what's going to happen when you have such an amazing connection.
I have Netflix setup as well, super convenient but you never seem to get HD.
ctrl-alt-shift-S brings up a bandwidth selection in the Netflix player.
I don't solely have fibre just for netflix. I was assuming using a 3rd party dns server to unblock Netflix they are actually proxy'ing some of the content, so it's really their server that limits the download speed (I mostly watch on my Apple TV so not many options there).
I might try that on the desktop version even though I don't use it much.
I live in Ponsonby and we have had fibre available here for over a year now. I thought the plan was to have most of it done by the end of 2015?
I feel your pain, bro!
I remain amazed that no ad-hoc network solutions are available. Every wireless device & router should provide at least some off-official-network connectivity. It's not even a hardware problem. Over time, enough overlap should provide a pretty good alternate network service with no caps on bandwidth or content, giving incentive for providing bridges and "unapproved" services. Certainly would have its issues, but would provide more options with almost zero cost.
I blow part of my monthly 'real across-the-ocean internet' limit downloading Night of the Living Dead from archive.org, then provide access to it for other New Zealanders using the hypothetical local mesh network.
And we haven't even gotten to any of the other problems, like address assignment, routing, etc.
More realistically, ISPs could place far higher bandwidth limits on local (to NZ) traffic. That is, if it is just the undersea cables that are lacking, not the rest of the infrastructure as well...
I'm not saying either of these are realistic or easy. I'm just saying that the sarcastic quip "I'm sure ad-hoc mesh wifi is an excellent solution to limited across-the-ocean bandwidth." is not a real criticism of the proposal.
Bittorrent could be scoped to the country too, it doesn't have to seed or download across the ocean.
And speaking of across-the-ocean bandwidth: don't underestimate the bps of a freighter stuffed to the gills with MicroSD cards. https://xkcd.com/691/
I do not doubt the ability to solve technical and financial challenges associated with scaling up an ad-hoc network. Been there, done that, can do it again.
That is all.
It's even more apt when you look at the numbers and see that piracy isn't hurting the top or bottom line for the movie business to any appreciable degree. To some extent, that's because the movie business has been very good at stomping out piracy (at least among mainstream, non-tech-savvy consumers). But even at its peak, piracy wasn't hurting movies the way it was hurting music.
The problem for Hollywood is that "moving the trash can" is extremely hard. Primarily, because nobody has any idea where it needs to be moved to. Secondarily, because "Hollywood" isn't a single entity. It's an industry full of competing companies with conflicting agendas. When we say "Hollywood should just do X," we're talking about herding cats. (Extremely fat, lavishly well fed cats, who have no individual incentives to be herded.) The MPAA seems large and monolithic, but it's basically a lobbying organization. It doesn't set any grand, strategic agendas within the industry itself. The head of a movie studio doesn't answer to the MPAA; he rarely even interfaces with the MPAA (if at all). He answers to the C-level execs of the media conglomerate who owns the studio, and those guys answer to Wall Street.
In those cases I simply don't watch it. It's not that important to me. But I'm sure others at that point just say screw it I'm going to pirate it. Either way - the industry makes no money off the viewer when they easily could have.
I am not from USA but I also tried to use those services using a VPN, but when I use a VPN I do not get an effective speed that is stream-worthy so I say, "screw it, I am not paying twice - once to VPN and once for the service which I can't really stream anyway".
I'm not affiliated with 'em, I just use it.
There's a third option if you're using an iPad: the built-in PPTP/L2TP/IPSec client or the official OpenVPN client. Your point still stands for the Apple TV.
Paying the wrong amount, or one way or the other not following the terms of a licence (such as watching netflix outside of the US), is just as much piracy as bittorrent is.
That's basically what it boils down to you jump through a lot of hoops in an attempt to get it legally they take your money accuse you of piracy and sue you.
I'm not so sure.
"Piracy" isn't a well defined legal term, so I'm guessing we're talking about copyright infringement here.
But US copyright primarily extends from US laws, which are hard to break if you're in a foreign jurisdiction.
Treaties like the TRIPS agreement extend copyright (and other IP) rules and enforcement to foreign jurisdictions, but it's not altogether clear that TRIPS would require every jurisdiction to prosecute someone who receives a stream from Netflix through an additional hop. (In fact, it obviously doesn't apply everywhere, as some jurisdictions give complete waivers to copyright infringement for personal use.)
More to the point, with streaming, it's not really clear the user has made any copy that would be required for the violation in most jurisdictions.
I don't know the situation in Italy, but it's at least not a foregone conclusion that using a VPN to watch Hulu or Netflix violates anything aside from a terms of service agreement. An unenforced TOS provision hardly has the same legal heft as copyright infringement (unless the CFAA is thrown at you, but that's a whole different animal...)
well. sometimes the US has strange notions of 'foreign jurisdiction'. for example if a US citizen were to order a drink at a bar overseas and that drink happens to contain rum from cuba. you've just violated US law. that will be $250,000 and 10 years in prison. 
see this bit from treasury.gov:
"Transactions Involving Cuban-Origin Goods in Third Countries
The question is often asked whether United States citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States may legally purchase Cuban origin goods, including tobacco and alcohol products, in a
third country for personal use outside the United States. The answer is no. The Regulations prohibit persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from purchasing, transporting, importing,
or otherwise dealing in or engaging in any transactions with respect to any merchandise outside the United States if such merchandise (1) is of Cuban origin; or (2) is or has been located in or transported from or through Cuba; or (3) is made or derived in whole or in part of any article which is the growth, produce or manufacture of Cuba. Thus, in the case of cigars, the prohibition extends to cigars manufactured in Cuba and sold in a third country and to cigars manufactured in a third country from tobacco grown in Cuba."
London Film Productions Ltd. v. Intercontinental Communications, Inc. found jurisdiction for a US district court in a case with a British plaintiff, a US defendant, where the infringement took place in several Latin American jurisdictions.
However, the court only took the case because it was found there would be an enormous hardship to force the plaintiff to pursue relief in several foreign jurisdictions. And note, the US federal court still applied the laws of those countries, because the legal jurisdiction remains the place where the alleged infringement takes place.
Also note, "The Second Circuit has seemingly disavowed London Films Productions’ approach, rejecting plaintiff’s reliance on that opinion in Murray v. BBC, 82 F.3d 287, 293 (2d Cir. 1986). with the dismissive remark: “We are, quite frankly, at a loss to see how this lawsuit has any but the most attenuated American connection,” a comment that applies even more strongly to London Films."
Further critical analysis of London Films here:
Now given that contract you agreed to with netflix, I think is pretty safe to say that you're violating the law in every last jurisdiction on earth.
Sure they won't sue you for it, generally speaking. But you're definitely violating the law.
Some laws, tax laws, apply regardless of jurisdiction, because jurisdiction is found by some connection of yourself to the state. But if you commit murder in Canada, that's a violation of Canadian, not US law (unless you're a member of the US armed forces, in which case it's a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice).
But more importantly, it's not illegal to break a contract.
You can't even get punitive damages for a breach. One example illustrating this is US Naval Institute v. Charter Communications, 936 F. 2d 692 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1991.
Judge Posner explains why the law favors this in "Economic Analysis and the Law" as follows:
"Suppose I sign a contract to deliver 100,000 custom-ground widgets at $.10 apiece to A, for use in his boiler factory. After I have delivered 10,000, B comes to me, explains that he desperately needs 25,000 custom-ground widgets at once since otherwise he will be forced to close his pianola factory at great cost, and offers me $.15 apiece for 25,000 widgets. I sell him the widgets and as a result do not complete timely delivery to A, who sustains $1000 in damages from my breach. Having obtained an additional profit of $1250 on the sale to B, I am better off even after reimbursing A for his loss. Society is also better off. Since B was willing to pay me $.15 per widget, it must mean that each widget was worth at least $.15 to him. But it was worth only $.14 to A – $.10, what he paid, plus $.04 ($1000 divided by 25,000), his expected profit. Thus the breach resulted in a transfer of the 25,000 widgets from a lower valued to a higher valued use."
1) that action was illegal (violated law, contract provisions, ...)
2) that damages were incurred
3) that there was a causal connection between the action and the damages
It is pretty obvious what happens in most situations. For example if you damage someone without violating the law, you cannot be punished for that (well, not legally).
It is also pretty obvious that if you violate a contract, but it has no consequences for anyone, you can't be punished for this (this is a major difference between our -mostly- canon law and judaic or sharia law, where the state/everyone is responsible to punish you even if no one was bothered by your actions (the state in judaic law, everyone in sharia law, although muslim states are in the process of changing this, because despite allah's "wisdom" the part of sharia where everybody should attack everyone they believe to have broken the law turns out to be massively counterproductive and destructive. There are many such changes, the one I like to remind muslim nutcases of is that sharia specifies the death penalty to any muslim not living under an islamic state (something they thoroughly implemented during the crusades for example), and there's plenty of fatwas of this)
What the judge illustrated is that he judged that condition 2 was not satisfied in this case. There are lots of qualifications though. First, anyone who was damaged was reimbursed (A), not just for the price he would have paid, but on top of that for the resulting damages. I doubt you'd want to use this very often, as it does mean paying damages. Also : this is a very "American" judgement, and on the extreme side even for America. I would expect this not to work on most judges.
Well sure, except that won't apply here since there is ample precedent of courts finding copyright breaches do damage the copyright holder.
Pirating content != Ignoring region restrictions, otherwise buying a film on holiday and then watching it on a region unlocked dvd player would be piracy and it clearly isn't.
It is breach of contract, but that does not by itself constitute piracy just because it is to do with media.
For example, when Adobe CS used to come in boxes, it was literally cheaper to fly return to the US and buy it there. They weren't providing local support or anything - just phone and online support from the same offshore call centres they use for other markets.
That doesn't talk about the address where you established your account, it's clearly about where you are doing the viewing.
It sounds like they offer their service anywhere if you use the right VPN.
GoG is doing good work in making a lot of these things available, it solved the big System Shock 2 hole in game retail.
What do you recommend? Grim Fandango is a brilliant game. I bought mine on ebay :-)
Probably the worst example being Cinema Paradiso. The original cut had nostalgia with a mixture of regret and acceptance of what is past. Then, the new cut concludes with the disappointment of trying to confront past missed opportunities. Whether it's meant to be hyperrealistic, I also liked the original movie, which was a different movie, but can't be found anymore.
I think the same goes for the earlier releases of Star Wars. I know that the special effects of the era weren't "better", but the modern CGI makes them different movies, and I'd like to have the original version available, too.
IIUC, only the 2008 release set has them. But you can still buy those. Just check the reviews etc carefully to be sure it's the correct release.
Seems to agree with everything in this thread, unfortunately.
The PC industry is in a way better shape. Steam, GOG, ps3 and xbox store. There are way less restrictions based on countries and delays, and almost all games have multilanguage pre-installed so you can play in any language you like.
Downloading/Streaming movies in other countries other than the USA have huge delays, very limited choice, high prices, and most of the time you can't even choose in what language you can see them.
Later, when I knew what piracy vs legal was, it was definitely a convenience thing. Until very recently, legal games were painful and very inconvenient in comparison to pirated games. Pirated games offer many advantages: no DRM is the most frequently mentioned "feature", but also pirated games often were the only way to get the games in their original language (especially for those of us in countries whose primary language is not English). Keep in mind translations are usually awful, and were even worse back then. A bad translation could completely destroy a point & click adventure game!
Then came the joys of indie games, Humble Bundle, Steam, GOG, and easily purchasable and downloadable legal games. But you may still wonder: what can they offer against the price of zero from downloaded warez? Well, they offer the huge satisfaction of letting me help the developers. For me, that's very valuable. I won't cheat the devs of their hard-earned money, and I get to play games without DRM in their original language. The best of both worlds, and pirates can't compete with that!
This is not necessarily true. There are people who spend more on a seedbox or VPN each month than a Netflix + Rdio/Spotify subscription cost.
Furthermore, private trackers have restrictions on them (ratio limits, etc.). Depending on what kind of content you're looking for, it's not exactly "free" either in money or time to be an active Bittorrent user.
It just so happens that that cost is still less than the "legal" alternative - if a legal alternative even exists (look at pippy's comment about accessing content in New Zealand).
You know, I've never understood the point of private "community" trackers. Anything mainstream will be on TPB. Anything extremely fresh will be on the release group's own (almost-always-public) tracker. And for the really long-tail stuff--unpopular nonfiction books from the 80s, for example--they've just never been digitized at all. What's an example of the sort of thing people find private trackers uniquely valuable for?
It's so impressive that I think some of these private trackers could reasonably argue in court that they are engaging in fair use for academic study. It's archival work at a scale that would be unimaginable if restricted to recognized institutions.
also, release groups usually dont have their own trackers, their releases are generally ftp'd to a few topsites and distributed from there (some private trackers get directly from the source thus having a slightly faster pre time and are more desirable/exclusive, others get it further down the chain of distribution)
So the main reason to do it is high download speeds on old unpopular torrents.
I haven't used public torrent sites in years - the private option is so much more attractive.
The other is, well, you're wrong about the long-tail stuff. TPB, for example, has lots of audiobooks but is very short on printed material. A dedicated book tracker may have a much better selection of fiction, textbooks, and other sorts of specialty books (tabletop RPGs, for example).
It's true, private trackers generally are "obscure" if you consider every person in the world (just like the majority of the world doesn't read HN). But if you niche down to your basic interests, then there are good private torrent trackers that will generally have almost everything worth having in that area.
Aside from that, this is a difficult to prove assertion. I'm not sure there's actually been a paid legitimate service that's actually better than the free pirate one overall, when you take out the morality equation.
Netflix, rdio, etc. do seem to be doing quite well at proving that people are still willing to pay for a good service with legitimate content, though. Imagine if they were actually as good as the alternative.
(Note that one person's gem is often another person's crap...)
Yet, vodo.net, even being free -- still has higher friction than The Pirate Bay, less choice in [encoding] quality -- but at least supports offline usage (unlike Netflix).
I don't pirate stuff very often now. Spotify and Netflix usually ensure I have something to watch and listen to. There are a few exceptions. Once every 6 months or so I subscribe to a proxy to catch up on a bunch of TV shows which aren't on Netflix, LoveFilm etc. Realistically I would pay for the things I download if there was a reasonably priced option. I rarely want to own a film or TV show, I just want to watch it once. $30 for a season of something is too expensive..
The three most important reasons, for me, are:
- immediacy/ease of use: It just works and I can find what I want easily. I value my time at roughly $200/hr, so it's easy to justify ~$10/mo if it saves me even 3 minutes of my time.
- availability: I don't need to have terabytes of local storage because I can just stream whatever I want, whenever I want.
- patronage: This is the most important thing for me...I want to pay for content. I think the industry has, by and large, behaved like spoiled toddlers for the better part of 2 decades now, but that doesn't make it right to not pay them for their work. And I think I'll get better content if I pay for the things I like.
In all seriousness unless you're stupendously rich surely that's an overestimate by roughly an order of magnitude? You'd pay me a hundred bucks to drive you home in half an hour instead of taking the hour-long bus?
I, too, am curious where GP works.
In retrospect, I wish I'd chosen a number that others would relate to a little better. At $50/hr, an $8.99 Netflix subscription is still paid for in just over 10 minutes of free time, which is just as illustrative of the point I was trying to make.
You're aware artists get ~$0 from streaming services right? Huge names like Radiohead make maybe $100/month from Spotify and the like. Unless you're huge, you're probably getting pennies, if that.
Buy the album, go to a show, get a t-shirt. That's patronage. Don't hand your money over to a record company exec, filtered through a middle man, and pretend you're helping the artist.
But even if those numbers were true, the fact remains that's how the artists have chosen to make their music available to you. You have no right whatsoever to work around that.
The pirate's service will be more valuable to me when he offers more that I value than the legal provider does. How much either charges for the service has no bearing on that. Now, the legal provider may actually offer something more valuable, but some people will still choose to pirate because the cost is free. But that is clearly not always the case, since people still often pay for content. Otherwise, Steam wouldn't be a business. That's what Gabe is getting at.
I could pirate games for free, but it's a pain compared to Steam, and I value my time. Since the service provided by Steam is superior to pirating the software, and because paying on Steam is less hassle than attempting to pirate a thing, I use Steam. (There are other reasons, but from pure rational self-interest or whatever, that's how it works for me.)
So legal providers that offer more than pirates do will still face issues of piracy, however legal providers that offer an inferior service to even pirates might expect that their product will have near-100% piracy rates, and they will be forced out of business.
This is just dodging the subject; I'm talking about net value. How valuable would Steam be to you if it cost $100 a month to be a member?
Anyways, my point was meant to be in the context of movies, which is what's offered by the linked service. Steam works because they sell games, not movies. Games aren't hard to pirate (a game's bits aren't any harder to get than a movie's), but pirated copies are hard to use compared to legal copies because it's easy to build games that require Internet connectivity to verify authenticity. No one minds this because they probably need the Internet to play the game in the first place (Google "World of Goo piracy" for an example of what can happen when just this one point doesn't hold true, and tell me again that piracy is just a service problem). People like to say Steam is "DRM done right" but it's not, it's just that it happens to be the case that the DRM doesn't require anything you don't already need to enjoy the content.
Movies are obviously different. How would one offer a service that can beat piracy on convenience, when piracy offers un-DRMed files that you can use anywhere? It's conceivable, but how much would they be willing to charge for this service? Therein lies the rub.
The root of the problem is that the movie industry does not agree with people's valuation of their content. They don't want to sell you a just-released movie, unDRMed, for a buck, or anything approaching the $0 that piracy charges. They'd rather keep their existing business model and try to raise the perceived risk of piracy.
It's disingenuous to say that it's a service problem and not a pricing problem merely because the service doesn't exist, when the primary reason that the service doesn't exist is pricing. The movie industry isn't going to invest in building a service if they can't sell their content at the price point they want.
The most important thing to note about Steam isn't the DRM, it's the prices. The content producers have conceded to the fact that they have to adjust their prices to match the public's perception of the value of their content. The movie industry hasn't made that concession. Yet.
But very rarely does it have properly synced well-written subtitles, multiple audio tracks, and a quality encoding. Find a combination of those that works together without 30 minutes of fiddling with the subtitles and you've probably just wasted your weekend even if you frequent high quality private trackers.
It's also generally harder (not impossible, mind--same as the above) to find extras like cast/crew commentary, blooper reels, etc. These wouldn't be hard for studios to provide in some theoretical Movie-Steam.
Even in the case of games that don't use an internet connection to verify themselves, though, Steam is still more convenient--automatic patching without needing to try and find a new crack every time, no need to hunt down files or patches every time you want to reinstall, less concerns about malware, etc. If Steam had a monthly fee, I'd probably still see it as worth it up to a certain point--definitely not the 100$ you mention, but considering how much use I get out of it it isn't completely off the table.
I do not care about extras. I do care about ability to jump where I want in the movie and about seeing movie I brought without warnings and ads.
My experience is diametraly different. Legal sources like netflix, TV or some DVD's are usualy low quality, cenzored and cropped versions, terribly dubbed with no original audio or subtitles. On the other hand, i have usually no problem finding pirated copy which has none of these issues.
I do know that subtitles haven't been an issue for me when downloading from private trackers. 30 minutes is a gross exaggeration.
But I don't agree he's being disingenuous. He's just speaking about the service problem in that particular quote. Gabe has also addressed the pricing issue in the past, talking mainly about how the sweet spot for maximizing profit on Steam is much lower than most people would have thought (the blog post is old, and it's been a while since I read it, but that's the gist).
It's mostly a service problem IMO and also to a lesser extent a pricing problem, and if you asked Gabe he might say the same. Unfortunately that quote makes it seem like he thinks it can be one or the other, but that's not likely really true.
Currently I'm more satisfied with the illegal offerings, I've tried a subscription service: Lovefilm (which isn't amphibious), and look at many of my DVD boxsets, that have no value added content whatsoever.
I have three seasons of very poor quality Star Trek episodes on DVD. Now I think the studios owe me a better quality version. Which I don't think I should pay for. In my mind you should just pay for the license to watch, listen, read... and it doesn't really matter about the medium of delivery.
I used torrents and music blogs a lot to discover new music (and napster/kazaa back then), but nowadays I have a Rdio subscription which is much more convenient.
The point is, Rdio is one of the few streaming providers working in my country. If Spotify / iTunes worked, I would subscribe too, since their catalogues are complementary. If the labels don't want to stream into the 7th world economy for whatever stupid reason, too bad... they are the ones losing money.
I haven't pirated a song in about 5 or 6 years with the exception of a leaked album (Random Access Memories). NetFlix meets a lot of my movie needs, and ironically reignited my movie pirating when they removed "2001: A Space Odyssey".
If you give the consume an easy and convenient means to access your content, most users will consume it via that method. Most people don't "get" torrents, or care to learn how to use them. My Mom still pays $.99/mp3 on iTunes... I can't get her to switch to spotify.
Here's a comparison. You could buy a new album off of Amazon or iTunes every month for $10. These would be DRM free copies that you would own.
So for $10 a month you could have 1 album that you own, or you could pay $10 a month and have access to I don't know, 4 million that you are renting?
We could also imagine that after a year Spotify goes out of business. You've spent $120 on Spotify and don't have anything in return. In the same amount of time you would have spent $120 on iTunes or another service and own 12 albums.
There's a convenience factor here and I think it is obvious that especially in the short term (which is what most people are weighing), it just makes sense to use Spotify or another service, even if you don't actually own your music.
Has anyone tried the Google musicy thing? I seem to be stuck on the "owning" the physical disc and music bit still.
I wonder how much data it'll burn through. At work there is an NT-based proxy and I haven't found a good Android one to work with it, so I will probably burn through my monthly limits on my cheapskate data plan.
Did you mean "DRM free"?
Movies would be a little harder, but I'm pretty sure iTunes and Netflix aren't going away any time soon.
"What the hell man, are we in 1999 mode?!"
If Spotify goes away, then I find another provider or start building my library again... in the mean time I literally have ALL of the music... which I'm okay with.
I lead a fairly contented life in my small corner of the world and there are probably two things that angers me equally. One is the way affluent countries treat me when I want a visa to visit or transit through them and second is the message on Amazon that a particular ebook is not available to me because of my geographical region. I only resort to searching online for a pirated ebook or converting youtube music to mp3 after I have exhausted all options of finding the content on a legit online store.
Some movies were not released in all regions. The user can import the DVD from a differet region. Some OSs impose restrictions on how many times the SVD drive can change its region. Piratig the content solves that.
It didn't play on my DVD player. The copy protection upset it and the DVD player refused to play my legitimate DVD that I had purchased. I could watch the introduction video showing me the deep joy from purchasing the DVD (why do that on the DVD that I had bought???) but not the actual film.
It made me angry. But not angry enough to pirate films. I have never pirated a film. If I can't afford the cinema, I'll just wait until it appears on Lovefilm or ordinary TV. I don't need to rush to see a film. It's not like they're going to go out of circulation or will not be in the bargain DVD bin in 3 years time.
So I wouldn't say there is no user cost for piracy. For me, occasions I have been tempted to pirate something it is more about convenience or lack of access.
As for tv shows I don't own, I find it too troublesome to pay two services so I'm not gonna buy a Hulu membership.
Worse: if the purpose of the VPN is explicitly to lie about fulfilling your end of the contract (and you state here that you do use it for that), it could in the worst case be considered fraud. If you enable the VPN outside of the country because you can't watch netflix otherwise, that's definitely fraud (whether or not you actually read the contract with netflix).
Also note that neither of these facts need to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, as this is not criminal law, the judge merely needs to believe it to be true.
The upside is that we are getting closer to what piracy actually is (taking a boat by means violence) as opposed to the over-dramatised and legally void attempt by the MPAA to call unlicensed use of media something else; the downside is that you fail to notice that the idea of jurisdiction isn’t really nearly as plain as what most “hurr-Heer-Merica!” lawyers and military hawks like to thing.
Both contracts stipulate that you won't look at the content outside of a given service area. You then proceed to
a) violate the actual provision (contract violation / copyright violation)
b) use technical means to fool the other contracting party into thinking you haven't violated the contract (fraud)
Not following the terms of a licence, that's exactly what piracy is (gets more complex if there are multiple licences for the same content, but ...). Just like fraud is nothing more or less than deceiving parties you've contracted with into believing you're respecting the contract, with intent to violate said contract.
I have bought kindle dollar books just because I was lazy to find "drm free" version and convert it with calible.
But my price for IP crashed way down - 5-10 Euro is the top I am paying for something.
The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that if you go straight to TPB you could have it already downloaded and ready to watch in less time than it takes to try and find a way to pay them. They've set the barrier to entry too high.
It doesn't cost any money, but that doesn't mean it has no costs.
In a similar vein, sometimes the pirate provides you with malware. Free malware isn't exactly a bargain over cheap content.
Even Origin is easier.
Netflix is easier.
Well, I thought so. But for older games Steam is harder and worse than torrenting. Say, old Gothic, Thief, TES, Fallout or, say, VtM: Bloodlines all either explicitly require or just really need some manual patching to properly work on modern OSes and hardware.
GOG's nice in this aspect (pre-bundled unofficial patches, emulators and whatever), but it has US/EU-level pricing, which feels quite large in poorer countries like Russia.
So, if the game's older than 2-3 years and it's not multiplayer one, it's probably better to set a sail for The Pirate Bay. If it's recent, then Steam's probably easier.
It drives me crazy when the licensing drops out for a show while you're in the middle of watching through the series!
The majority of revenue comes from rich regions such as USA and Western Europe. Many regions, such as Russia and Eastern Europe, will buy software but only at a significantly reduced price. Look at average income by country and it makes total sense.
If you sell your game for $50 in the US and $5 in Russia then everyone will just change their region to Russia and buy your game for $5. Or Russian keys will be resold to Americans for $10.
You could sell your game for $50 in Russia but then no one would buy it so it's a waste of time. You could also sell your game for $5 in the US but then you won't make your dev costs back.
If you're doing those things at arms length, it's really difficult to keep those costs down. Your only option is basically an internationally known Tier 1 law firm. They are _not cheap_. Not only will they bill you plenty per hour, they will take a heck of a lot of time making absolutely certain before they provide an opinion as they don't want to expose themselves to liability.
Whether or not it justifies every price hike out there is in the wind. There are still non-trivial costs associated with doing business in another market even in the digital age, though.
Source: have done digital business in many, many countries from Australia as a base. Have had legal docs localised into AU, US and UK law. Paid staggering amounts of money to lawyers for same.
In any case, there are zero tariffs on digital goods between the US (where most games are made) and Australia, due to the free trade agreement. 
So, you have an environment where there is less tax on the goods than in the UK, yet the prices are higher. The answer is not "government has its finger in the pie". In fact, the GST at 10% isn't that far off sales tax across the US, which is generally 7-9%, so seriously, the answer really, really isn't "taxes".
Imagine a law that says, "The price of Photoshop in Australia cannot be more than the price in the US". Wouldn't that law be economically similar to one which says, "The price of Photoshop in Australia cannot be more than $400"?
You sure about that? I have a strong suspicion that taxes/tariffs make up a significant portion of that.
However, the price difference is often larger than what taxes alone would suggest, but surely localization plays a part here. Still, many European countries would need a reduced price just like the developing countries (to a lesser extent) to have an equal purchasing power compared to the US.
How is that fair?
I bet some people would even spend five, perhaps as much as ten, dollars per month for infinite access to all movies ever created ever. With generosity like that they're practically god damned saints.
P.S.: Btw - I don't usually download movies and wait until they are released on GooglePlay/iTunes/Amazon. But you know what? From all of those back in Germany only iTunes was available and even then you had to be lucky to get good quality and original language instead of the German dub. There are countries outside of the US.
Bring back sane copyright laws (Life + 70 years?) and we'll talk about what is and isn't reasonable. Copyright and laws are in a race against storage, bandwidth, and technology. I'm pretty confident technology is always going to win.
Now, you may believe that this moral justification is nothing more than an argument and the real justification for pirating a show is "because I am greedy, screw the authors"; however, this applies almost exactly to media conglomerates and their pro-copyright lobbying and protectionist activities. So, all in all, this is a small but perfectly valid piece of the debate.
Copyright is an artificial construct, as antiquated as the buggy whip. Those who make their living around it should investigate other plans.
I'm quite happy with my career, but thanks for the suggestion.
I am willing to pay, nay I would love to pay, for Rick and Morty, but from my research I have found no way, short of VPN + US credit card, to buy a season pass. So you have potential customers who have to resort to piracy because the industry has no interest in distributing to their region. Am I going to buy Rick and Morty when it eventually comes out in Sweden? Not very likely as I will already have watched all episodes.
The same holds true for The Walking Dead, thankfully HBO has started releasing episodes of Game of Thrones the same day in Sweden as in the US and I can and am paying for that.
Anyway 'movies from internet' just provide better services. And in most countries in Europe it is actually legal.
No you don't. You know the time when you go in and you know how long the movie is so you have a good idea of when it ends. Why does the time matter while you're watching it? Put the phone away and enjoy the movie.
15 years ago, when games were sold mostly in stores, you had to go through a publisher to get your product in front of customers. And there was a limited amount of physical space in stores -- so games had to compete with all the other physical goods that store might offer.
With digital distribution, both development and publishing are closer to perfectly competitive. It'd be pretty easy to build all the technical functionality of a basic online game store -- although building relationships with gamers and developers is harder.
What bothers me is that Steam is starting to get lock-in -- many developers feel pressured to be on Steam, that a significant fraction of their market will be inaccessible if they don't. And as Steam builds more features into their client libraries, it's getting more tempting for developers to use those features, making non-Steam versions of things harder to keep feature parity (or even maintain two different builds of the code).
Once Steam has lock-in, I think they'll try to take control of pricing from developers, and we'll see prices for Steam games rise.
I try to vote with my wallet and avoid buying games on Steam, but it's getting harder and harder to do that.
If you look (like I just did) you'll find that Steam isn't region locking games, the publisher is. And yes, Valve is acquiescing, but we don't know what kind of agreements exist between Valve and the publisher.
In that particular case Steam itself was not disclosing this to users in those countries. So on release day in the US, when the countdown timer reached 0, those in region locked countries had the surprise of not being able to play their pre-ordered game.
It's simply another frustration that made customers wonder what they had paid for, with some trying to use a workaround like a proxy (not always successful), or even considering pirating the game in the meantime.
Given the choice between spending time or spending money, people usually spend money. It's one reason Steam is so profitable. So it can't be true that most people inherently want to steal.
It seems like people want convenience. When faced with a choice, people usually choose whichever option is least bothersome. That implies a goal for content creators: be the least bothersome option, and users will pay you.
Unfortunately for the movie industry, Popcorn Time is currently the least bothersome service. It's free, decentralized, and tastefully designed. The industry should clone Popcorn Time, because that would put them in a better position than they're currently in.
Have you considered how difficult it is to obtain media legally nowadays? Even Netflix is a pain in the butt, what with ISPs purposely throttling it in addition to an incomplete library due to licensing and incompatibility due to silverlight.
It has in fact never been easier in the history of time to legally acquire media. It takes approximately 4 mouse clicks in iTunes to purchase and start downloading any movie, TV show, or music. You can start streaming it in after about 30 seconds, or you could let the whole thing download. The quality is also higher than pirated content because they have a fantastic encoding off of source material.
If I gave you an iTunes account with free access to to everything on iTunes it would be far faster and easier to use than even Pirate Bay. Toss in a cheap $99 AppleTV and you can get it in your living room hassle free. The only downside, of course, is that it costs money. Of course renting a movie on iTunes is faster, easier, and cheaper than renting a VHS from the store 15 years ago but when you can pirate it for free who gives a shit?
<insert snarky comment about not all media being available on iTunes or in all countries>
No, the only downside is that iTunes Movies are DRMed BS. I have to buy an Apple TV to watch it on my TV. I have to use an iPhone and copy the movie to the phone, wasting my precious flash space.
With the .mkv files I get from a .torrent, I can stream them to my TiVO with pyTivo , or I can host them on a server  and use StreamToMe  to stream them to my phone, ipad, computer across the cell network or local wifi with no restrictions. I can stream to non Apple devices with Subsonic .
It means when I'm visiting friends or family house we have access to all my movies without me having to plan ahead. It means when I accidentally arrive 40 minutes early to a meeting I can kill time in my car by streaming an episode of a TV show.
To me that is the reason to pirate. I'm happy to buy stuff. I just want to actually be able to use the stuff that I buy. There is no service out there that does everything I can currently do.
Oooh, I like this new feature where poorly-thought-out comments include their own rebuttal. Can't wait 'til it rolls out to the rest of HN.
Personally, I just stick to local content instead. Much easier.
This couldn't be further from the truth. x264 .mkv encodes look significantly better than the iTunes versions.
For example, from Pacific Rim;
x264 - http://imgbox.com/abwySllC
iTunes - http://imgbox.com/adgle3KK
x264 - http://imgbox.com/abm2Jr9l
iTunes - http://imgbox.com/acpmeiCt
The difference is night and day, in my opinion. The homebrew encodes usually come with higher quality audio, too.
Funnily enough, I have a Netflix account, an Amazon Prime account, and a Lovefilm account (UK based DVD/Blu-Ray rental service). Despite having all these services, I still prefer to pirate movies because it's simply more convenient and the quality is better.
Google shows the US release date as May 1 2013 in cinemas, with the DVD release on August 27 2013 - nearly 4 months after it's first out. By this time people will have been downloading a version of the film for at least a couple of months.
Very few cinemas will still be screening the film after 3 months, so where does one go to see it in that period? The easy answer is to the internet.
I believe that people will pay, and Spotify has huge success in releasing albums either early, at the same time or very shortly after physical release. Whilst this wouldn't be possible with films due to the fact that there isn't much of a secondary market (bands now taking the attitude that albums are a support to merch/shows), there is a need to rethink how quickly people can get access to films. If an HD rip is available after 2 months then perhaps iTunes should be ready to release the film at a higher price point (as they already do for some early digital releases) for those who are willing to pay the extra.
In Australia there is nothing that comes anywhere near as close as Netflix. We have cable TV in the form of Foxtel, but the price is about $110 AUD per month to get the good movie channels and channels with popular shows on them. Then we have the up and coming Fetch TV service which offers a somewhat good alternative to cable, but nothing like Netflix or Popcorn Time does. There is no online service like Netflix in Australia.
Sure, the price point is one thing, but I think Spotify has shown that an all you can eat premium service at a decent price can help reduce piracy. When Spotify launched in Australia a little while ago, I stopped downloading music because Spotify was faster and more convenient, many of my friends did the same.
Americans have a good range of choice when it comes to legal options for movies and TV shows. People in Australia, New Zealand and other countries, not so much and this is why torrents and applications like Popcorn Time will continue to be the best alternative until content licencing for music and movies/tv is sorted.
Grey/parallel imports for physical goods are not illegal in Australia. That is why I can buy a cheap DSLR camera that's imported from Hong Kong and sold by a Melbourne importer instead of paying twice the price for the "Australian" version at a local camera shop.
Netflix is actually very easy to set up, there are $2/month DNS services that make it very simple for even the technically inept to configure their Apple TV / iPad / computer to pick up Netflix in Australia. The combined cost of Netflix + DNS service is far cheaper than any local option, and the quantity of content is far greater.
The speed is not really relevant, I think. Whether it's legal or not — and whether it's likely to be enforced — the interesting question.
1) you are lying to netflix, which has you agree to a contract stating you will only watch from within the US.
You are violating a contract you've agreed to.
2) Netflix checks this, and you are explicitly using technical measures to successfully lie to netflix about your location, purposefully deceive a party you've contracted with in order to get out from under contract terms.
I believe this is fraud. If netflix can convince the police to take the case, you could go to jail for this. Advantage : only netflix can try to make them take the case, and they're unlikely to do so.
3) the content you're watching is licenced, with a licence stating it's watch within the US only.
This is copyright violation, or it's more popular term : piracy.
I would argue that watching netflix violating and circumventing their access controls is worse than torrenting.
I don't know if I would consider it worse. To me it feels like the morally better of the two — at least you are contributing some money towards the shows you like to watch, even if not through the proper channels.
I would also argue that Netflix could likely make it harder to circumvent their access controls, but it is probably not in their interest to do so. If it were up to Netflix, I suspect it would be available globally — Netflix only has to enforce the minimum required geoblocking to satisfy the rights holders. If some people get around this, all it means is more business and more mind share for Netflix. (And arguably more business for the rights holders.)
Curse our shortsighted government. http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/internet/the-rise-and-fall-...
Also consider I could sign up to netflix with my credit card 'not get access' and initiate a charge back (maybe even after a couple of months of watching through a vpn), the pressure would be exerted through visa/mastercard which australia can somewhat pressure (as they have local assets).
Naturally that goes to the point were Netflix refuses Oz customers the ability to get there service at all and misses out on any part of the Aus market or they commit whole hog and give Aus everything. The other thing to remember is that other small countries may initiate similar policies so it might not be just Aus who misses out.
"Either pay this or we instruct any bank with offices in Australia to refund all payments made to netflix at 150% retroactively for 10 years or cease operation in Australia"
This gives the banks themselves an incentive to go after netflix.
Will they go this far for netflix ? No way, I think, but that's one principle behind international enforcement.
Even though we now have Netflix in Canada, the selection is awful compared to the American one.
I completely agree with you on Spotify, though it is annoying to see that the complete catalog isn't available to an Australian account. I've considered starting over with a US-based account using gift cards, but haven't tried it yet.
Also, the network availability (especially on train networks) where I'm generally listening to music probably means that my song is going to cut out.
Around the house, Spotify is great (or an alternative like the just launched iTunes Radio) but out and about I still think there's a big market for local music files.
It's based on libtorrent (C++), Golang, and Python.
The major difference is that since it's based on libtorrent, it has good performance (even on low end CPUs like the RPi) and tries _very_ hard not to weaken the swarm too much (even though it uses sequential downloading).
So this means it runs on Mac, Linux, Windows and even Android and Raspberry Pi (OpenELEC).
Thank you for this awesome project. Can't wait to see it running on my RPi. =)
For your RPi, be sure to have enough space on your SD card. If the video stutters, put a download speed cap.
Famous last words. The Pirate Bay has made the same defense, but companies and law enforcement generally don't seem to care.
I would be shocked if they aren't sued or even prosecuted within the next year or 2. Not that that's a good thing, just that being this open and carefree about it will probably come to bite them in the ass later.
The law that was used to incriminate the founder was a never before cited working material for relative new law, which described an intention to make it illegal to run a service if it is primary used for illegal purposes.
Usage determined the legal status of the site, which is why the prosecutor kept asking if the defenders had known how the site was used. He also used a screenshot of the top 100 list as evidence of primary usage.
My first thought was that email servers would now suddenly be all illegal because they are primary used to receive spam. However, the law is unlikely to be ever used again given the very political nature of the case.
>" The Pirate Bay has made the same defense"
The Pirate Bay certainly makes money from ads, without adblock the site is choked with nsfw ads everywhere (not that you should browse TPB in work!)
If there is a legal decision that open-source devs can be held liable for enabling illegal actions on the part of users, there will be a big "chilling effect" on software in that country, and a danger of other nations imposing the same rule.
Consider the logical implications. Almost any software can be used illegally. If contributors are subject to liability even though their work is non-commercial and they do not encourage any illegal use, OSS will effectively become subject to a government permission regime, and development will go underground.
Also, they are from Argentina.
It looks like "they're watching you" through Google Universal Analytics. Not sure if that's something to be concerned about.
I'm a Linux only user. What do I have right now? Well, Flash player + outdated DRM technology (HAL is been dead for a while, Adobe don't care) or play with Wine to run software that the vendor won't support in Linux.
And after tackling the outdated DRM issue with flash and paying for a movie stream in Google Play, the best I can get is 480p. Really?
Seriously. Make it happen. Take my money.
I am not sure what the point of releasing this app and making it accessible in the US is. The FBI serves at the pleasure of large US corporations, and on their request will turn these guys into cannon fodder.
I find it really frustrating that TIME can publish such incorrect information that could directly lead to the detriment of its readers. I've also seen a couple people in HN saying a VPN is the "safe" way to torrent. Unless you're sure a VPN service won't comply with subpoenas or you've paid in bitcoin, it's not safer than not using one.
I got loads of DMCA takedown notices and I had a form-based reply for every one of them: This is a VPN service, Bittorrent traffic is transient (therefore there's nothing to "take down"), and I couldn't identify the infringer even if I wanted to.
After operating like that for two years I never once had anything come of it. I never got so much as a reply from the lawyers that sent out these notices. I even put my phone number in the form letter if they wanted to discuss it!
The closest thing I ever got to, "you must identify who did this" was the CTO (or was it CSO?) of Level 3 demanding that I tell them who was busting out of their intranet and how to block my service (it worked over all ports--take your pick, UDP and TCP and also through proxies!). I basically told that I would not betray the privacy of my customers and that even if I did have the technical capability to do such a thing (which I didn't). I also told him that when any of my customers got blocked I would simply get some new IP addresses on completely different networks/providers (I had it all automated).
An American company subpeona's a Dutch company to get information about traffic happening at a datacenter in Germany.
They'd need the co-operation of many people from many different countries.
I'd imagine that it's easier to just go after the trackers.
If they're keeping IP logs and handing them over to the authorities, that wouldn't help you in the slightest.
Likewise, if they have your payment information but no logs tying past activity to specific accounts, that's not much of a problem. VPNs aren't illegal. Really, it all comes down to whether you trust your VPN provider to not keep logs.
Legally, most studios may not be able to take advantage of such a payment option because of arcane licensing contract clauses, but most indie filmmakers without such a burden could.
Ideally such a feature would come with some sort of agreement that a studio absolves its right to pursue legal action upon payment of some reasonable amount (like $2-$4 for a movie and $1-$2 for a tv show).
Really? This seems somewhat naive to me...
> “We don’t host anything, and none of the developers makes any money.
That has not posed a problem for those going after others in the past.
As soon as a large enough entity takes notice they'll run, either because there is a case to answer or because they can't afford the legal team required to prove there is not a case to answer.
The takeaway I have from this is that if hollywood chose to embrace this sort of thing, they would solve distribution costs (seed vs host). Their cost will be contained to just marketing and production. Be gone with the archaic contracts and let people get the content when they want it in a way that makes sense for everyone.
The only solution that allows them to compete with pirates is to have one monopolistic mega-corporation that controls all the content, so it can sell it easily without licensing issues. Any new content producers are somehow forced to participate in this corporation. This is even implied by piracy advocates who say "why can't Hollywood just do this"...
But I'm not sure that's really what we want.
Out-of-the-box thinking: what if the tickets to movies were sold in advance of production, like a Kickstarter?
$35 lets you buy the movie ahead of time. A bit steep compared with a dvd, but not by much. (plus whatever other bonuses they threw in).
There is a need for an old, outdated business model, that doesn't benefit the consumer -- and it would appear no longer benefits the industry -- to change.
Consumers want content on demand, without delay, both offline and online. If 'hollywood' as an industry does not accommodate the change in consumer behavior, they will lose to other sectors that do accommodate this change.
Or as Carl Carlson said recently on The Simpsons: "All we want is brand new, big-budget entertainment in our homes for nothing. Why doesn't Hollywood get that?"
See here: http://wiki.vuze.com/w/Sequential_downloading_is_bad
I guess this app just requests blocks starting from the beginning of the movie, and once it has enough buffered, it starts playing.
It effectively degrades the delivery (especially near the source) into something akin to a tree shape rather than a mesh. This can choke the network considerably. This situation would be best alleviated by guaranteeing that when a peer connects to the seeder/peer it downloads a block that is least common in the network, or failing that (the overhead would be horrible) a random block.
This is largely an issue while the torrent has few seeders (i.e. it's young but many people are trying to download it) and you'd be right in assuming that once the file has been available for a while the high demand would improve performance (in the sense there are more people to download from) it's just the initial download for those first trying to download the torrent would be slower (potentially much slower). Though seeders that drop out after completing a certain share/download ratio can cause the more rare end of file pieces to be in even shorter supply as the majority of requests they receive are for the start of file as the swarm grows.
The entertainment industry is going to have to fight hard to remove geo-locking, content siloing by producer, and other barriers to consuming their service in the coming years to catch up with piracy's ease of use. If there's no barrier to entry for the laymen to pirate then it will get worse for the producers.
I bring it up on the basis that the ease of use goal would rely on being able to nearly always download the correct torrent(non fake) and using only the top movies list or a rule on number of seeders may limit the catalogue. I guess they could also use a trusted contributor list if they wanted to allow for a more general list of movies in the case that YTS is not as resilient (for whatever) reason as the pirate bay.
So was this a torrent client to start with?
For the end user how does this compare to websites like stream-tv.me which aggregate links to tv shows? Those links lead to generally poor resolution shows, but not unwatchable. TV resolution with some HD resolution. Have there been cases where content providers go after the users of those sites? (I have a friend who uses them...)
Edit: I've just tried Popcorn Time, and it looks like it stutters on 1080p video...
Some buttons pressed on the wireless gamepad, done.
I personally believe that movie studios would do well to follow the Pirate License(http://retromocha.com/pirate-license.html) approach, but I just don't see them ever being that forward thinking when they are making millions of dollars with the old way.
for apple app store though use apple gift cards, which my friends help me with.
Now don't have netflix, but have watched most latest shows and oscar nominated movies(which did not release in India) on torrent.
Say I'm an asshole and make an app that scrapes Facebook statuses. I call it "Who's Not Home?" If someone posts something like "On vacation in Barbados" in their status, it puts their name and address (plenty of people put their addresses on Facebook, or at least their general area) on a map. Why? I feel like it. I'm not making any money off of it, and the software is completely open source. Of course, the only real purpose of this is for burglars to get easy targets.
Would this be legal?
Sure, sharing intelectual property should be OK even if you make money on it.
After a lot of thinking about it, I believe copyright protection is valuable to society and patent protection is much less so, or even detrimental. That's because copyright protection is very narrow and in economic terms creates an artificial contract between the authors and consumers, as if the consumers hired the author for some small fee.
On the other hand, once the work is created, should the consumers freely share it? Well, I don't see how to prevent it, so the laws and sanctions seem to be the only way.
 My browser can play several modern video formats natively.
Or instead of being afraid, they could fire the lawyers and invest that money in this direction.
Not even joking with the irony
Since it uses BitTorrent, and unlikely anonymously, I'd imagine that the MPAA and their goonsquad are going to have a field day with this.
Now... back in the Megaupload's heyday, things were a bit different. Lots of content, little danger.
Personally I buy most of my content :) especially any program that I actually make money using.
And, there's no apparent way to force Netflix into HD. It's usually pretty good about it, but I'd prefer to just wait a few minutes first and know I'm set. Netflix can be convenient, but searching on a torrent site, click magnet, click OK, click stream is also fairly easy and eliminates the above mentioned problems.
Imagine Netflix, but with every film ever shot in Hollywood.
Would like to mention SS Plex. It doesn't use torrents, but it allows you to stream and download content to a wider variety of devices.
I smell children http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUnhfvGdmmw
Legal? Seriously? You're downloading a free movie, and you're worrying whether uploading it or not would be illegal? It's already illegal. But that hasn't stopped people from using torrents, has it?
In Switzerland (and Germany I think) downloading is perfectly legal. Uploading is not, as you are distributing instead of just consuming.
Similar to how drug laws work here, you won't get busted for smoking a joint, but you will get busted for selling stuff.
No it's not. In general. Depends on where you live. But for me it's illegal to distribute it though, which torrent protocol does.
Trackers are so 2008.
Instead of streaming, it would be a node-webkit-esque app that allows one to;
- Sync media over LAN, sync user's catalog everywhere with the option to sync data from one PC over the internet
- Manage and browse media (By building a catalog of items from several watched directories)
- Delete, move, rename media easily. Perhaps even manage archive formats automatically (autoextraction)
- An api for subtitles
- Build statistics, time watched, tv shows added per x time etc.
- Store metadata like time media was paused at (to resume at), with a visual indicator in the catalog view
- Automated parsing of releases, soft renaming
- Scrape data for each item, generate tags from that data, categories
- Archiving, sorting, grouping
- Personalized catalogs of "what I watch". Kind of like how you might customize http://pogdesign.co.uk/cat/
- A real-time tracker for new releases. It would query a web service which has a bot idling in a prechan, then after parsing each release it is able to match to any item that you watch and notify you that "this just came out". Alternatively, it could, for TV, just utilize airtimes from TVRage
- Personalized page that lists all of the stuff you are looking for. List of things that you haven't downloaded yet but are in your list etc.
- Integrated user defined searches. Allowing one to search their favorite sources autocompleted with things in the application's local catalog of "stuff you want/watch".
- A nice dark interface, surprisingly a lot like what Popcorn Time is doing, though much more complex and functional.
- The ability to choose your own media player to launch, thus giving up statistics, pause time and "watched" states. Would require the user to commit this info themselves, with a form popping up whenever they launch something from the app if they so choose.
- Multiple sub-users per "catalog", so that one person would have access to the same file but may not have watched/behaved the same way as another user on the network
- Integrated "coming soon" feed for tv and movies that you could preemptively select to be notified about.
- One big database file that would be dynamic to the content available to it. This way the installation could be portable, and whenever it detects its on a different system (Synced by a dropbox service or a USB drive), the app will ask to specify watch-folders to sync with the database so that one could keep track of their "catalog", add things to it etc.
- Open source, built on node-webkit like Popcorn. No datamining, pro privacy.
- Works in a browser, thus on phones (I guess some TV's/Consoles too?) connected to the WLAN
- Integration of a "WebUI" from popular torrent clients, with a custom standardized interface for all of them.
So basically XBMC for pirates, I guess.
Something tells me it's a niche market.
And yeah, sure, the pirate bay knows it, I know it, it's facilitating illegal stuff. Is it immoral? I don't believe so.
Oh not again...