Give respect, get respect
August 3, 2003 11:32 AM   Subscribe

"Movies: They're worth it!" In a move to educate those darn thieving kids and their evil P2P file-sharing networks which are used to trade ripped movies, the MPAA has launched a public service campaign to explain, in layman's terms, why violating their copyrights is wrong. …Yes, these are the same people who have just brought us an entire summer of bloated sequels, shameless celebrity vehicles and uninspired hack-work. Respect!
posted by Down10 (81 comments total)

 
I think J. Lo inadvertently summed up the problem with movies today: "It's turkey time. Gobble, gobble."
posted by filmgoerjuan at 12:01 PM on August 3, 2003


From "You're cheating yourself": If people take the films for free and the Studios can't recoup their investment, they may not be able to make the big summer movies we all enjoy so much; the TITANICs...

This is a counter-argument?
posted by cortex at 12:15 PM on August 3, 2003


The real counter-argument:
If we don't give the movie industry enough money to make bloated star vehicles, then Schwarzenegger might not be the only one to go into politics... Think Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon and Mel Gibson on the same ballot and be very afraid...
posted by wendell at 12:37 PM on August 3, 2003


*sigh* I'm sleepy.

and just think how bad the guys who cleaned horse shit off the roads felt when we switched to the automoble?
posted by delmoi at 12:43 PM on August 3, 2003


Oh dear god, wendell, that you SO much for THAT happy notion.

Madonna for President!
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:44 PM on August 3, 2003


Bullshit teenager logic: Hollywood movies are crap, ergo I am justified in downloading hundreds of them for free.

If you don't like them, don't watch them!
posted by dydecker at 12:54 PM on August 3, 2003


Yes, these are the same people who have just brought us an entire summer of bloated sequels, shameless celebrity vehicles and uninspired hack-work. Respect!

Okay, I'm against the overhanded tactics of the MPAA and RIAA, and I agree that the "you don't HATE cute fuzzy puppies, do you?" tone of this site is beyond condescending, but can we drop the "we have the right to steal movies because we think they suck / why should I pay 16 bucks for a CD with only two songs I like" paradigm right now?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:00 PM on August 3, 2003


If they'd just release movies in the UK as the same time as in the USA, instead of up to six months later, perhaps we wouldn't feel the need to download them as much?
posted by Mwongozi at 1:14 PM on August 3, 2003


XQUZYPHYR:
I agree. Until the general movie viewing public "votes with its feet", Hollywood will keep churning out the same pap. American movie viewers aren't being forced to buy tickets to "an entire summer of bloated sequels, shameless celebrity vehicles and uninspired hack-work", they actually want to.

Mwongozi: You have a point there. Although theft is, indeed, theft.
posted by sharksandwich at 1:17 PM on August 3, 2003


xquzyphyr: while we're at it, can we stop using the word "stealing" to describe copyright infringement, which differs from actual stealing in that it involves loss of potential income rather than loss of an actual possession?

yes, sharksandwich, theft is theft; but copyright infringement is not theft, it's copyright infringement.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:19 PM on August 3, 2003


...and shouldn't be felonious.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:21 PM on August 3, 2003


while we're at it, can we stop using the word "stealing" to describe copyright infringement, which differs from actual stealing in that it involves loss of potential income rather than loss of an actual possession?

This is like saying that shoplifting an ugly article of clothing is OK because "they weren't going to sell it anyway" so it' just lost potential income. It's not the outcome, it's the act that is at issue. It's stealing, not "shrinkage assisted inventory management." Taking property be it intellectual or tangible is illegal under current law. I have watched this point labored over and over senselessly. Removing the term theft is just an effort to rationalize away illegal behavior.

If you steal money from the payroll office the day before payday even though they were going to pay it to you tomorrow it's still burglary. The outcome, really, is the same as waiting to payday for the money but involves illegal behavior in reaching the outcome.
posted by shagoth at 1:30 PM on August 3, 2003


Y'know, this is like every time I see a commercial now telling me how bad cigarettes are? Or an obnoxious no smoking sign? It just makes me wanna start smoking again. Just to spite the bastards.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:33 PM on August 3, 2003


Stealing is walking into a Art Gallery and taking a painting under your arm and leaving.

Copyright Infringement is going to a national gallery and taking a digital photograph of a painting, then going home and printing it for placement on your wall.

One involves the theft of property, making it so there is 1 less painting in a gallery, the other does not. In either case, no money exchanges hands with the gallery, but in the second case there was potential for a sale of a painting.

It's a thorny issue, and neither side is completely in the right, but there is a difference between "stealing" and "copyright infringement" that is worth noting, and perhaps, worth thinking about when drafting new laws to deal with it (please, please, please don't use old property laws for copyright infringement).
posted by mathowie at 1:37 PM on August 3, 2003


I'm not downloading pirated movies, nor am I advocating doing so, but the MPAA repeatedly insults my intelligence — they are gradually reducing any sort of respect I have for their for their craft, despite their monetary losses. I do continue to see movies in the theatres, but I don't appreciate the condescending attitude the MPAA has towards the audience, whether it is portrayed through their films or else in campaigns like these.

If you output garbage, expect it to be treated like garbage.
posted by Down10 at 1:43 PM on August 3, 2003


Forgive a naive question, and it's one that's already been asked I'm sure, but I'm wondering if any is law broken if you do the following:

Make a "fair use" copy of copyrighted material, purely for your own use, and put the original away in a safe place. Store the copy on a publicly accessible server, because you might be anywhere when you want to listen to it. Place a prominent notice on that server saying "the material on this site is copyrighted: access by persons not in possession of a legimate copy constitutes infringment and is punishable by law".

Now, as far as I can tell you have done nothing illegal, but merely made a copy for your own use and stored it in a manner that is convenient to you. Any other person who ignores your notice downloads or copies the material has taken the burden of infringement on themselves. My uninformed legalistic guess is that you have done nothing actionable -- because the law doesn't place any legal burden on the purchaser to secure the material. As long as you didn't advertise it or in any way indicate to others that they may use your copy, are you safe from lawsuits?
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:51 PM on August 3, 2003


George_Spigott: Is your action fair us? Yes. I imagine, though, that you have a legal responsibility to not negligently open your fairly ripped collection to the universe. An open server of ripped mp3s might well constitute an attractive nuisance not unlike a swimming pool with no fence or gate. I'm not certain on the legal precedent but there's a distinct possibility that your actions might lead to liability for any piracy that occurred since you made no effort to deter illegal use.
posted by shagoth at 3:48 PM on August 3, 2003


Don't copy that floppy.
posted by the fire you left me at 3:50 PM on August 3, 2003


As long as you didn't advertise it or in any way indicate to others that they may use your copy, are you safe from lawsuits?

Well, I'm not so sure. If you stored the file on the public ftp server intending for others to download the file, or are reasonably certain that others would also download the file, then you still might not be safe. Of course, it would be almost impossible to prove.
posted by gyc at 3:55 PM on August 3, 2003


If you output garbage, expect it to be treated like garbage.

So you're saying that people download movies because they don't want to watch them? That if better movies were made, people would download them less? I think you're stretching for a justification here.
posted by 4easypayments at 4:19 PM on August 3, 2003


XQUZYPHYR - The MPAA would have argued (and in fact probably has argued) that the copy of The Godfather that HBO broadcast on July 3rd and that I still have sitting on my Tivo waiting for a convenient time when I can watch it (again) is theft.

You may well agree with them. I don't, and I think most reasonable people would say that a position that treated it as theft would be absurd. This stuff all happens on a continuum, and if they're going to take an extreme position (and it seems clear that they are), then I'm going to take the opposite extreme. Maybe in the middle we can find a place to compromise.

In many places, public drunkenness is against the law, and so is vehicular homicide due to driving drunk. In many places, copyright infringement is against the law and so is theft. One is worse than the other. There's no point in pretending there's the same thing unless you want to inflate the perception of harm by associating the lesser with the greater wrong.
posted by willnot at 4:32 PM on August 3, 2003


the fire you left me: thank you, i think that was karma paying me back for the previous two occasions on which i did not earmark certain links "NSFW!" ew. ew. ew.

question for shagoth, etc: we have established that ripping media of music or movies that are widely commercially available is Bad and Wrong. what about file-sharing something that is not readily available? example: we shouldn't trade files of the hulk (regardless of its quality), but what about ripping an mpeg of my brilliant career? my own feeling about file-sharing is that major labels should follow the lead of itunes and emusic, but there are certain media (such as films) that lose quality in translation from big projected film to postage stamp-sized mpegs/real media. at the same time, there are films that have little commercial potential and are not available on video...what are the ethics of file-sharing those films?
posted by pxe2000 at 4:34 PM on August 3, 2003


pxe: ripping for personal use if Fair Use. It can be argued otherwise, but it doesn't really wash given the previous legal precedent. The problem is that people are ripping and sharing widely. There's even a case to be made for sharing within family or circles of CLOSE friends being Fair Use. Again, the problem is and has always been wide sharing of files over the internet.

The ethics of freely sharing copyrighted material are an open question depending on your moral underpinnings, but distributing someone else's copyrighted material without permission is illegal. As for iTunes Music and eMusic, I agree, it shows that some publishers are thinking about the idea that there are avenues for distribution that allow similar immediate gratification to the purchases that file sharing does and allows legitimate use.
posted by shagoth at 4:48 PM on August 3, 2003


i must admit to some hypocrisy when movies are file-shared, on the basis of the fact that i make films [self-link] and want to go into film editing as a career. even though i'm not at a point in my career where i can show my work in big theatres, i see that showing films on the internet creates a significant loss in quality of the movie (not flash-movie, but short films, movies, etc. that were meant to show on a larger screen).

my take on downloading music has been well-documented here, but i don't have a problem downloading albums or songs that have been out of print for a long time and demand high-prices on ebay. the artist isn't going to see a penny of what i would pay for an out-of-print record, so choosing to download it instead of giving my money to a record collector is an ethical wash.

the problem with out-of-print film is that almost all films that are not available for purchase were made available to the general public on videotapes. analog videotapes degrade in quality not only with play, but with age. sure, you can rip a copy of tanner '88 instead of paying $40-70 for a badly-worn vhs tape, but the quality would be worse -- you would not only be watching it in a format that the filmmaker probably didn't intend, but the screen would be smaller and tracking and aging issues would persist.

sorry if this seems like a straw man, or if i'm airing my issues (wait, isn't that what mefi is for?!). i just want to make the point that not everyone is using file-sharing as glorified stealing, and the issue gets thornier depending on what media you're file-sharing with.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:15 PM on August 3, 2003


Hmm. Personally I find that hideous flash intro justification for the 2 cd, dvd quality rip of LOTR: The Two Towers that I just finished downloading, along with a handful of other movies.

Seriously though, I know its stealing, I know that there is no way to justify it, and I don't care. In all other aspects of my life I am an ethical person, not only that but this issue (and software piracy) presents the only internal inconsistency in my carefully structured set of ethics. I'm not certain why. I don't buy the "big business can afford the loss" argument, nor do I attempt to excuse what I do.

The thing is, most movies only look good on the big screen. While I've bought cds, I've never bought a video or dvd for that reason, it just isn't worth the price. If I rent a dvd I can rip a copy easily enough, but I don't, it isn't worth owning most movies. Most movies I download I delete after viewing, a few I save. What does this add up too, I don't know, I guess I don't feel bad about it because it doesn't feel like theft, even though it is.

Software is a little different. I would never use stolen software for financial gain. If I like a program and want to use it long term, I buy it, the theft just allows a longer trial period.

Back to the issue at hand. I don't respect copyright because it is outdated, bloated, and doesn't benefit either the consumer or the artists, be it music, movies, or software. Always excepting, of course, the small independent artists, film makers, and authors of shareware. But I ramble.
posted by Grod at 5:24 PM on August 3, 2003


XQUZYPHYR - The MPAA would have argued (and in fact probably has argued) that the copy of The Godfather that HBO broadcast on July 3rd and that I still have sitting on my Tivo waiting for a convenient time when I can watch it (again) is theft.

You may well agree with them. I don't, and I think most reasonable people would say that a position that treated it as theft would be absurd.

I don't agree with them, but I also think you trying to compare those two scenarios is absurd. Distributing a file of a copyrighted work without the owner's consent is in absolutely no way remotely comparable to recording on home video a broadcast of the same work specifically authorized by the copyright holder to be broadcast, especially when that authorization directly involves compansation to the copyright holders, be it advertising revenue or in HBO's case proceeds from subscription services. Unless you think 120 cable channels are broadcasting to you solely out of the goodness of their hearts it's absurd to suggest there's no money involved in the process.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:29 PM on August 3, 2003


Most of the time, the movies available for download on the Internet are obtained when someone sneaks a camcorder into a theatre . . . [t]he sound isn't right, the picture isn't in focus, people are walking in front of the camera, and scenes are missing.

Uhm, sure. Has Jack Valenti taken a look around P2P networks since 1999?
posted by yerfatma at 5:38 PM on August 3, 2003


Yeah, dude, most of the movies available were ripped from advance release dvds, mostly "Screeners" (so called because they are sent out to various awards committees for screening, and display the subtitle 'for your consideration' every twenty minutes or so) and are encoded with any one of several flavors of mp4, all of which are far superior to the current mpeg2 used in dvds, allowing approximately an hour to a cd with zero loss of quality, and up to two hours with minimal loss of quality. Of course, cams still exist, but any ripper worth his salt puts "cam" in the title. And the only ones who download 'em are the die hards who can't wait another week or two to see the full quality version.
posted by Grod at 5:42 PM on August 3, 2003


another thought:
i read somewhere that the theory behind why many are blase towards file-sharing music is that the quality of music that's widely available is so bad that customers can justify stealing. since i don't have a source, this is poorly worded, but the music that's pushed down the gaping maw of the public is generally so embarrassing (the britneys and bizkits of the world) that the low quality justifies stealing.

i'm not saying that i endorse this line of thinking, but i am curious about whether this is also a factor in p2p sharing of film. it seems like good, high-quality filmmaking is as accessible to the general public as blockbusters, drecky and otherwise; here in boston at least, well-respected independent films like the pianist and far from heaven play at the same multiplex as, say, the matrix or bad boys (this is a bad example, but i hope you see what i mean).

what role does the quality of films and the respect that filmmakers grant their audience (and this adheres to both blockbusters and independents) play in their accessibility on p2p networks?
posted by pxe2000 at 6:15 PM on August 3, 2003


Since when is the movie industry hurting? Last time I checked the last few years have been great business for hollywood. Prove to me a strong inverse correllation between number of movies downloaded in a year and total box office revenue and then I will be on your side and argue tooth and nail to get people not to pirate movies.

But until then, I spend about $30 a month at the theater, much more than I can really afford to spend, and I feel like I'm not hurting anybody by downloading DIVX copies of movies. On the contrary, the facts seem to be counterintuitive -- the people who pirate the most also go to movies more than most people.

Like I say, prove to me otherwise and I will stop.
posted by Hildago at 6:21 PM on August 3, 2003


Does anyone have any serious and trustworthy figures on how much movie sharing is going on?

From my own experience downloading movies from the internet (USENET and KaZaa, mostly - never could get BitTorrent to work right), it's generally a pretty painful experience. It takes forever even with a broadband connection, and the quality is usually pretty cruddy. Ripping a DVD to an easily portable and sharable format is still a fairly involved process for a non-hacker, unlike CD ripping, which is point-and-click anymore. Are there really millions of people downloading the latest movies? I'm morally certain that it's nowhere near millions - maybe in the tens of thousands, I'm guessing. A drop in the bucket, in other words, especially compared to real live DVD-burning pirate operations. I'm not saying this justifies downloading movies, but I seriously don't think file sharing needs to be a felony.

And to those who still insist on equating theft with copyright infringement - theft involves stealing a tangible asset from the rightful owner. Copyright infringment means distributing a copy of a literary or artistic property without the permission of the creator. Filesharing doesn't involve tangible assets; it involves distributing copies of intangible assets. What's so hard to understand? Filesharing of copyrighted works is illegal, but it is NOT THEFT.
posted by RylandDotNet at 6:39 PM on August 3, 2003


On the contrary, the facts seem to be counterintuitive -- the people who pirate the most also go to movies more than most people.

You have a source for this statement? If not I say bullocks to it. I've seen more movies than anyone I've ever met (average 1 a day since 1990) and I've never downloaded a movie in my life.

Like some of the other folks above, I find the rationalizations that many mefites take regarding the illegal possession of movies and music pretty ridiculous. Filmmakers (musicians, whatever) put time in working on these things the same way you do at whatever it is you do to bring home the bacon. Enjoying the fruits of their labor without proper compensation is disgusting and, without exception, I don't know a soul who would appreciate if it were done to them at their own work.
posted by dobbs at 6:42 PM on August 3, 2003


This is like saying that shoplifting an ugly article of clothing is OK because "they weren't going to sell it anyway" so it' just lost potential income.

No, because my downloading The Matrix doesn't prevent other people from seeing The Matrix, whereas my stealing a pair of sneakers actually results in lost income. Copyright infringement is a crime, but it's not stealing.
posted by jpoulos at 6:43 PM on August 3, 2003


what role does the quality of films and the respect that filmmakers grant their audience (and this adheres to both blockbusters and independents) play in their accessibility on p2p networks?

I can only speak from my own experience, but what I've seen is that the movies that get shared the most are the film equivalent of the Britneys and Bizkits - summer blockbusters and schlock. Not without occasional exceptions, certainly, but for the most part.
posted by RylandDotNet at 6:44 PM on August 3, 2003


The site has links to a bunch of legitimate alternatives. You could go to movieflix.com. They have movies that I don't think are even available on P2P networks. Try finding a DVD rip of "Bikini Med School" on Kazaa. You can't, so don't bother. MovieFlix also has "Fast Food," which features Jim Varney AND Traci Lords. Why would you commit a crime when the classics are available for $5.95 a month?
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:52 PM on August 3, 2003


Distributing a file of a copyrighted work without the owner's consent is in absolutely no way remotely comparable to recording on home video a broadcast of the same work specifically authorized by the copyright holder to be broadcast, especially when that authorization directly involves compansation to the copyright holders,

Of course they are similar. How can you say they aren't? As a subscriber to HBO for probably 10s of years, do you believe I have the right to own a copy of every single show or movie they've broadcast during that period? Certainly the rights holders didn't authorize that. They authorized a single (or series of), real time broadcast(s).

Now that I have a near perfect reproduction of The Godfather on my Tivo, which you feel I have the rights to have (or since I don't want to put words in your mouth which you feel is not comparable to downloading an unauthorized copy), would I also be within my rights to go online and download a much lower fidelity version of the movie? I'm not sure why I'd want to, since the higher quality version is better suited to viewing, but once I have a copy of the video what is the difference in terms of the copyright holders rights? Is it only because I spent $10 in July that I can keep a copy of The Godfather around for my later viewing pleasure? Do I have to keep up my subscripton to HBO, or is it enough that I was a subscriber in July? If The Godfather was showing in my local cineplex, and I spent $10 for a ticket to see it, would I be within my rights to take in a video camera and make a copy of the film? If I'm not, how is that different from taping it off HBO?

Like I said, this stuff is all on a continuum. There is no bright line between what is fair and what is unfair.
posted by willnot at 7:15 PM on August 3, 2003


On the contrary, the facts seem to be counterintuitive -- the people who pirate the most also go to movies more than most people.

You have a source for this statement? If not I say bullocks to it. I've seen more movies than anyone I've ever met (average 1 a day since 1990) and I've never downloaded a movie in my life.

Ack. Boy is that twisted logic.

Not that I'm willing to believe the first statement without some facts either, mind you.

I download movies. I find myself in the same sort of ethical situation as Grod. I feel I am a very ethical person, but for some reason, downloading movies and watching them doesn't twinge any guilt from me. Perhaps it's that I go to the theatre often and buy and rent a lot of movies. Maybe it's just that I don't feel like there's someone watching. I don't know what it is, but there definitely seems to be some sort of ethical void.

Oh and Grod, I don't know how you can say "zero loss of quality" with a straight face. Even 2 CD rips of movies have noticable artifacts.

dobbs: If the issue is soley one of artistic compensation then surely you're against the sale or loaning of used media. Have you ever borrowed a book from the library? Did you realize you were "Enjoying the fruits of [the author's] labor without proper compensation". Did you feel really guilty?
posted by ODiV at 7:31 PM on August 3, 2003


dobbs:
I find the rationalizations that many mefites take regarding the illegal possession of movies and music pretty ridiculous. Filmmakers (musicians, whatever) put time in working on these things the same way you do at whatever it is you do to bring home the bacon. Enjoying the fruits of their labor without proper compensation is disgusting and, without exception, I don't know a soul who would appreciate if it were done to them at their own work.
fair enough, for work that is available to the general public (on cd, dvd, vhs, authorized internet stream, media ad nauseum). to those people who have an absolutist view of file sharing, i ask: what about work that is completely out of print for reasons of supply/demand (not enough demand to invest in making it available in wide release)? is it better to download it for free, or to purchase it from someone who will charge you five to ten times what it cost with the filmmaker seeing no money from that?

i realise this is a straw man in the world of movie p2p, where this "rationalization" is more plausible in music. (mp3s have equal sound quality to cds, where mpegs of movies see generational wear and tear, etc.) i also know that i ask this in every single p2p thread. folks who absolutely oppose to file sharing have yet to answer this question, so i continue to ask it.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:39 PM on August 3, 2003


I must be missing something here.

What I don't understand is why anyone would download a movie. I recently got a speedy connection (yeah, I know... I live in the sticks) and scooped up one recently just to see how it worked. It was an all around unsatisfactory expierience, the quality wasn't that good, it took forever and I can't say I enjoyed staring at the monitor for a couple of hours.

I imagine I could burn it, but on the other hand I could wait a few months and rent a dvd/vhs to copy. That is, providing I could find a movie worth seeing more than once or twice. I'm just not getting the point of the whole thing and question how many people really download entire movies.
posted by cedar at 7:50 PM on August 3, 2003


4ep: So you're saying that people download movies because they don't want to watch them? That if better movies were made, people would download them less?

I'm saying that the more overhyped witless tripe that Hollywood churns out, the less people will appreciate it — which means they'll be more inclined to mistreat the product (sharing it over P2P) than valuing it as a personal treasure.

Anyway, I thought the real dangers of movie piracy which lead to bigger losses of money were mass DVD/VHS counterfeiters who operate out of Asia. …Why is this campaign Web site in English and not in Chinese?

Please don't get me wrong: I am against trading feature films online (especially the ones that are in print and/or currently available in DVD format). It's not fair to the people who make the films and the hard-working people on the sets and in post-production (even when making crappy movies, they're just doing their jobs). I'm saying that the MPAA has poor tactics in dealing with copyright violations and film piracy, and by insulting the audience (or insinuating that we don't care about movies enough to want to pay for them) could be hurting their cause more than helping it.
posted by Down10 at 7:55 PM on August 3, 2003


jpoulos: Thank you for the "infringement =/= theft" speech. The biggest PR coup the corporate world has ever pulled is convincing people that copying and stealing are the same thing. When I participated in the government consultations for the Canadian Copyright Reform Initiative, it took a full hour or two to get over that hump.

cedar: For some of us, the experience is a lot better. I can download a movie in about 30-45 minutes, which is faster than it takes me to get to the movie store and back. The quality is usually comparable to DVDs (if encoded right, a 2-CD rip will be transparent in an ABX test with a DVD to most people), and I have my system setup to stream the audio and video to my TV and stereo in the living room. So, it's a pretty comfortable experience for me.

Almost all the moves I've downloaded that I've really enjoyed, I've picked up used somewhere. It's also allowed me to promote moves I think are worth watching that haven't gotten much publicity, I know about a dozen people that purchased Equilibrium when it came out because I'd shown them my advance copy at home, or sent them the file.

With that said, I would like to state that I firmly believe the existing copyright system is broken, and even if my actions were terminally damaging to the major studios, I would rather download films than give more money to the MPAA and their army of law-buying and student-crippling lawyers.
posted by Jairus at 8:16 PM on August 3, 2003


Ripping a DVD to an easily portable and sharable format is still a fairly involved process for a non-hacker, unlike CD ripping, which is point-and-click anymore

So's DVD ripping and converting to just about any format. From there, if you know how to burn an S/VCD or a disk image, it's as easy as audio ripping. Software to rip DVDs and convert them into one of any number of formats which may then be watched on a computer and/or a standard entertainment system have matured rapidly given the fact that most of the programs available that make it this easy are freeware.

I think many of the reasons why the MPAA and RIAA and like entertainment organizations are overreacting so badly have to do with what we are now doing with things like books, music, and motion picture entertainment by digitally encoding it, is, essentially, digitally encoding the thoughts/visions/dreams of the creators of the work. Is not software digitally encoded thought? If so, then why not anything else that can be converted from one format into a bunch of ones and zeroes. Since ones and zeroes can be transmitted between people quickly and relatively easily, what then is there need for a middleman that takes the thoughts of the creator in question and distributes them to the masses? We can do it ourselves now. And are. And the entertainment industry, in their short-sighted greed, have helped that process along by embracing digital technologies and media, yet wish to bear none of the responsibility for the problems they've helped to create. They'd rather sue thousands.

That the lack of a concomitant way to easily pay any creator for the privilege of obtaining their thoughts (their work, their blood, sweat and tears, their whatever) in a digitally encoded format somehow makes the people who currently do it de facto felons is wrong, wrong, wrong. On that way lies danger.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:18 PM on August 3, 2003


You have a source for this statement? If not I say bullocks to it. I've seen more movies than anyone I've ever met (average 1 a day since 1990) and I've never downloaded a movie in my life.

You misread my statement. I say it seems to be so, at least in my case. I made and continue not to make any claims in a broader sense, hence the absence of support.

Continuing on, your own argument is a bit convoluted, seeing that I never said that people who see a lot of movies download a lot of movies as well, only that people who download movies probably also see a lot of movies. Note the distinction. While my contention may or may not be true, your counterexample is pretty much irrelevant to it.
posted by Hildago at 8:20 PM on August 3, 2003


What I don't understand is why anyone would download a movie. I recently got a speedy connection (yeah, I know... I live in the sticks) and scooped up one recently just to see how it worked. It was an all around unsatisfactory expierience, the quality wasn't that good, it took forever and I can't say I enjoyed staring at the monitor for a couple of hours.

Cedar: Speed is still an issue on DSL and Cable, and that's the limiting factor. The quality of the rip can be pretty much anything you want, from unwatchable to a direct frame for frame grab of the movie, the limiting factor being how much bandwidth you have to send and receive huge files. For instance, on the local network at my university I can get a meg per second with regularity, so I can therefore afford to download very nice 2-CD rips.

My point is just that while currently the market for DIVXs is a bit limited, that's not going to be the case 5 years down the road, when bandwidth will be a lot easier to come by. So divx or whatever format follows it IS a viable target to attack if you want to eliminate movie piracy.
posted by Hildago at 8:26 PM on August 3, 2003


If the issue is soley one of artistic compensation then surely you're against the sale or loaning of used media. Have you ever borrowed a book from the library? ... Did you feel really guilty?

I don't feel guilty in the least. Why? Because I understand how libraries work. Your claim that

Did you realize you were "Enjoying the fruits of [the author's] labor without proper compensation".

isn't based on anything but a misinformed opinion. Libraries pay a higher price for the items they lend. They don't order books from the publlishers at the prices Borders gets and they don't walk into a Borders and purchase them. They pay a substantially higher rate to compensate the publishers (and hence the authors) for the number of eyes that will enjoy them. There's nothing to feel guilty about.

At least, that's the way it works where I live. If whereever you are works differently, I can't imagine publishers co-operating with libraries.
posted by dobbs at 8:35 PM on August 3, 2003


If I wanted to donate a copy of a book to my local library right now, I doubt I'd turn me down. Lots of guilt there to be felt, I guess. Even libraries that don't take donations for new volumes take them for paperbacks, genealogy rooms and (gasp!) video collections.
posted by raysmj at 8:58 PM on August 3, 2003


Damn those libraries!
posted by Hildago at 9:13 PM on August 3, 2003


Of course they are similar. How can you say they aren't?

The former is the distribution of unowned media seperate from any actions of the copyright holder. The latter is an action only capable as a result of the copyright holder willingly agreeing to a form of distribution of the work. To use Matt's analogy, the difference is between photographing a painting during your trip to the museum during visiting hours and breaking into the museum to photograph it because it wasn't disturbing anyone at the time. You don't own the museum or the painting, so the fact that you can enjoy looking at it doesn't give you the right to declare what's a legal way to obtain it.

would I also be within my rights to go online and download a much lower fidelity version of the movie?

How could you think the answer to that is yes? Owning a copy of something you were legally allowed to obtain doesn't give you the right to obtain another copy illegally just because the quality is lesser.

Everything else you said completely ducks the issue of why taping a TV broadcast and downloading a movie file is different. The ability to obtain them came from completely different circumstances and you know it; you're trying to unite both methods under the ridiculously over-broad declaration that since they both exist, you're allowed to have them.

On preview: yeah, damn those libraries, the way they're composed of donated and/or purchased materials that are individually borrowed and returned for future sharing in a tangible non-replicated format through a non-profit secure foundation. God, how can you be against file-sharing software when they're so clearly the exact same thing? This isn't a faulty, tired analogy at all!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:29 PM on August 3, 2003


For instance, on the local network at my university I can get a meg per second with regularity, so I can therefore afford to download very nice 2-CD rips.

And this is exactly why I hate it when the students come back in the fall. It's always immediately noticeable, as the campus network grinds to a complete halt until the university can add more bandwidth to deal with the increase in people using these services. Given the budget crunches a lot of universities are facing this year I have to wonder if this will be the year they say screwit and start blocking access to the various p2p networks.

Actually, the numbers are kinda interesting to look at (look at the bottom yearly graph). Last summer when students came back the traffic doubled. During the school year, that traffic went up by another 50% (of the increased traffic), and this summer only went down to 150% of last summers traffic. Yeesh, and it wasn't that long ago campus traffic was on a single T3 line.
posted by piper28 at 9:54 PM on August 3, 2003


XQUZYPHYR - OK, let me try to reduce it further to the essence of what is happening.

The copyright holder to a movie is granted rights to control how their movie is copied. In one case, they sell the right to broadcast the movie to HBO. In another case, they sell a DVD. In another case, they sell the right to show a movie to a local theater.

Now, I come along, and I make a copy of the broadcast, or I come along and I make a copy of the DVD, or I come along and I film the movie as it is shown in the theater. The copyright holder has not granted me the right to make those copies. In all cases, I am making a copy of the work that the copyright holder would rather I didn't make and didn't have.

There is no material difference in what I'm doing or in the rights that the copyright holder is granting. The copyright holder gets paid (by HBO or by the person buying the DVD or by the theater). They sold a right for that specific use, but they did not authorize my subsequent use/copy. There is no real difference in terms of what's happening with the creators' works. There is a difference in how society currently views one versus the other. That's it. Aside from that they are exactly the same thing.
posted by willnot at 10:04 PM on August 3, 2003


I.... *looks around* I have something I need to say... *shuffles feet* I..uh... *coughes nervously* Earlier this week, I downloaded and watched, uh... *sighs* Gigli.

That's right. I've seen it. And the only thing I can say is that people should be killed for making that kind of a movie.
I'd also like to mention that I was doing other things at the time, not focusing all of my attention on the movie. So, I can't really say that it wasted two hours of my life. Probably...30 minutes of good focused time. So...I wasted 30 minutes on that piece of utter crap.
posted by graventy at 10:05 PM on August 3, 2003


graventy, really, we have limits on the disgusting personal things we share here, keep this up and we're gonna go to MeTa, all right? My god, have you no shame, no discretion?

*tee hee*
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:49 PM on August 3, 2003


Speed is still an issue on DSL and Cable, and that's the limiting factor.

Which is why the MPAA is running these ads now, before everyone has an Internet connection fast enough to make Internet movie piracy a serious issue. A movie is still many times the size of an album. The MPAA has watched what has happened with music and has seen all the mistakes the RIAA made. That probably won't stop them from making some of the same ones themselves, but certainly a campaign of this sort is something the RIAA could have done -- but didn't. The MPAA is showing some semblance of clue, although whether it is enough clue is quite debatable.
posted by kindall at 11:36 PM on August 3, 2003


yeah, I agree with kindall and others, movies are essentially at same stage that MP3s were in 1998. Only the gearheads know how to rip a DVD to divx and understand the differences between encoding rates and quality. Only the hardcore types have the bandwidth and know where to get movies, and know how to properly enjoy them (not on a computer).

The RIAA royally fucked up MP3 by trying to stop it too long after it started, and instead of converting people to customers, continued trying to stop it until it was too late. People are finally getting a chance to buy mp3s in 2003, 6 years after the format started growing online.

The MPAA can do a lot to thwart people from downloading movies with their heavy-handed campaigns like this, but I honestly hope they are also pursuing a method to let people pay for movies. So far there's only one bogus industry backed DRM-loaded way to pay for movies, but just like the music I've bought at the iTunes Music Store, I'd happily pay $5 or even $10 for a great quality rip I can run full screen, and that I can download on a fast line from a legitimate place.

Right after I saw Pirates of the Carribean in the theater, I wanted to see it again, but not enough to actually go back to the theater. I located a so-so copy online and watched it again (piping the output to my tv and watching mostly just the fight scenes), but I would have loved to pay $5 for a nicer quality version that didn't require another trip to the theater, nor require downloading stuff for hours from different sources.
posted by mathowie at 12:05 AM on August 4, 2003


Only the hardcore types have the bandwidth and know where to get movies

Neato. I'm hardcore.

I don't know why so many of you seem to think this is difficult or time-consuming (not mathowie, specifically, but there have been several comments to that effect upthread). I'm on the cheapest, slowest DSL I can get (1.5 Mb down, 512k up), and with Kazaa Lite, I can generally download anything reasonably new or popular with that all-important 16-23 year old male demographic in less time than it takes to watch it. By this I mean that it takes less than 90 minutes to download a Divx (or Xvid or whatever flavour-of-the-moment mpeg4-hack codec of the moment was used) to download a 90 minute film at more-or-less VHS quality (Grod, you are definitely talking bollocks there about 'no loss of quality'). I could effectively stream it, in other words. If it's new, it'll be a cam, or a screener, but anything more than a few months old is usually a DVD or video CD rip.

And I'm most assuredly not hardcore, although thanks to my far-flung location, all of my movie and television - other than 30 minutes or so of BBC World news per day on the TV - is aquired in this fashion, and generally deleted after I watch it on my PC.

If my Australian visa comes through and I move back to a place where english-language media floods into my brain at all times, I'll probably stop.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:48 AM on August 4, 2003


In the past few months I’ve dipped a tentative toe into P2P filesharing for the first time, a combination of access to a fast network with the right ports enabled and the fact that you simply can’t buy legit media here; there isn’t any for sale.

My experience is similar to that of RylandDotNet and cedar. Most of what was available was popcorn crap, the quality appalling and the screening copies took forever to download.

I caught myself promising myself that when I got home that I’d never put myself through the pirate experience again.

On a related note, it strikes me that the MPAA would do better emulating the RIAA’s tactics of salting the P2P networks with dummy files. Having spent months unsuccessfully trying to download the tracks from the new albums by Massive Attack and Blur, I can testify to the effectiveness of this tactic.

Why on earth do people continue to share out dud files or has the RIAA really got 100 odd computers attached to Kazaa all sharing crap.
posted by dmt at 1:48 AM on August 4, 2003


Everytime this topic comes up, people inevitably say that : 'but there's so much misnaming out there!'

Me, I take the mind-crogglingly advanced precaution of looking at the name, metadata and filename for the file I'm downloading, and cancel it if there are any discrepancies.

Imagine that.

One time out of 50, at most, do I get something I'm not expecting. It's not rocket science, really.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:59 AM on August 4, 2003


Sorry, that was needlessly snarky.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:07 AM on August 4, 2003


Stavros: Thanks for that, I'd just reread the entire thread and was going to point out that no one's brought up the problem of misnamed files.

Rather, the dud files I was referring to tend 3-7mb of silence of which only the first second plays before skipping on to the next track. A variation on this theme is a four minute self-help recording. Distinctly unsettling.

I know you use Kazaa, try downloading pretty much any of the tracks of Think Tank by Blur or (and especially) 100th Window by Massive Attack.

Boomeranging back to some of the issues addressed in the post, I have every intention of buying pretty much all of the content that I'm going to keep.
posted by dmt at 4:11 AM on August 4, 2003


If violating copyrights is wrong, what is subverting the spirit of the Founding Father's intentions for copyrights, (that copyright be for "limited times" so that the "useful arts and sciences" would be encouraged) so that big corps can get even bigger and fatter?
posted by Blue Stone at 4:18 AM on August 4, 2003


As a side note, I couldn't help noticing that all the people in the PSA work on salaries and not based on points. In other words, they're not at all directly affected by whether or not a movie is profitable.
posted by plinth at 5:31 AM on August 4, 2003


If violating copyrights is wrong, what is subverting the spirit of the Founding Father's intentions for copyrights, (that copyright be for "limited times" so that the "useful arts and sciences" would be encouraged) so that big corps can get even bigger and fatter?

Good business.
posted by walrus at 5:55 AM on August 4, 2003


It's interesting that the movie industry is preparing for a battle against it's enemy, the consumer. A similar battle to the one being misguidedly fought by the RIAA. In the meantime, neither organisation is addressing the real threat to the entertainments media industry. Nothing to do with the internet: you can buy this shit in Oxford Street, right outside the Virgin megastore. Costs about £7.50 a DVD and the quality is superb. But it's cheaper to pay for a multi-million dollar advertising campaign and to sue a few college kids for thousands of dollars per file than to stand up against organised criminals who are actually making a profit subverting your copyright, correct? Wankers ...
posted by walrus at 6:22 AM on August 4, 2003


Grod writes:

"I don't respect copyright because it is outdated, bloated, and doesn't benefit either the consumer or the artists, be it music, movies, or software."

Good thing you didn't say "books" here, since as a copyright holder on a few, I find it very useful, and I would look piteously upon anyone who says it's not of benefit to me.

Anyway, I would suspect it's not copyright protection that you are really opposed to, it's the fact that artists regularly get hosed by large large corporations who take the rights to their creative output in exchange for distributing said output. But that's an entirely different thing.
posted by jscalzi at 7:01 AM on August 4, 2003


Sorry to post again: I'm up against my three strikes and you're out rule in this thread already, but I just wanted to respond to jscalzi's "that's an entirely different thing".

See, I think the entire point in the entertainment industries seemingly outright resentment of the very idea of non-physical media is that they're extremely frightened that it endangers their current monopoly on distribution. If you, jscalzi, are able to "print" and distribute as many copies of your books as you like, at virtually zero cost to yourself, it means that you have absolutely no reason under the sun to get in touch with a middleman, viz: the organisations they represent. You have as fair a chance at popularising your work as anyone else, in an open market, and if it's good quality its value should rise quickly. It also means you're more likely to sell at a fair price, since my book, at a few cents cheaper per download, may represent better value to the consumer. This is known as fair competition.

So rather than it being an entirely different thing, I believe you have hit upon the entire crux of the issue. If they can equate non-physical distribution with terrorism, they might stay in profit for another fifty years. Otherwise I give them five to ten, max.
posted by walrus at 7:15 AM on August 4, 2003


And this is exactly why I hate it when the students come back in the fall. It's always immediately noticeable, as the campus network grinds to a complete halt until the university can add more bandwidth to deal with the increase in people using these services.

If by "grind to a halt" you mean 800K/s downloads instead of a meg, then maybe. I've never noticed much of a problem, but ymmv.

Which is why the MPAA is running these ads now, before everyone has an Internet connection fast enough to make Internet movie piracy a serious issue.

Kindall, that's pretty much what I was trying to imply, although I guess I stopped short of saying it. This ad campaign may be the first well-timed defense they've ever tried.
posted by Hildago at 7:30 AM on August 4, 2003


Walrus writes:

"If you, jscalzi, are able to 'print' and distribute as many copies of your books as you like, at virtually zero cost to yourself, it means that you have absolutely no reason under the sun to get in touch with a middleman, viz: the organisations they represent. You have as fair a chance at popularising your work as anyone else, in an open market, and if it's good quality its value should rise quickly."

I like the world you live in, Walrus, but alas it doesn't have much relation to the world I happen to live in.

As it happens, I have both self-published electronically (in the form of an SF novel called Agent to the Stars on my Web site) and I've been published professionally by publishing houses such as Rough Guides and Portable Press (with a book by Tor coming out next year), so I have some real-world basis for comparison here.

The reason to get in touch with the middle-man organizations, as you called them, is simple: Scale and professionalism. With Agent, for example, it exists as a downloadable file on my Web site. I tell people if they read it and like it, to send me a buck. Over four years, I've made about $2,000, which isn't at all bad, considering it's a totally voluntary payment. But I have almost no advertising budget for it (I advertised it in a text ad here and in a banner ad on Penny Arcade once), and generally the only way people find it is through word of mouth.

Contrast this with my recently-published book The Rough Guide to the Universe. To start, I got paid an advance upfront that was a mighty multiple of what I made with my self-published work. Second, Rough Guides actively marketed the book to booksellers (placing the cover image of the book on their 2003 catalog, for example) and has an entire publicity department to advertise the book so I don't have to -- making sure the book gets reviewed and is well-placed in the stores and so on and so forth. Third, being published professionally makes it easier to continue to be published professionally, which is an excellent thing if you are, as I am, a full time writer.

In exchange for the advertising, production and distribution costs, I give up the majority of profits for the Universe book, but inasmuch as the majority of the costs are borne by the publisher, this is not an entirely unfair trade, and I am, by my own standards, well-compensated. Now, in regards to books, I happen to (in general) retain copyright and the various production costs are not charged against me, as they would be in most music contracts. But if you're asking who grosses the most from my work, it's not me. I make out pretty well, however -- and better, because of scale and professionalism, than I would by self-publishing.

I see value in self-publishing, particularly for attention purposes or for works that don't have the sort of commercial value large publishers are seeking (for example, I'm likely to physically self-publish a collection of essays I wrote for my Web site). But I don't think we live in a world where the value of the "middlemen" is entirely illusory. Quite the opposite -- when everyone can publish (which I think on balance is a good thing), top-flight marketing and distribution will become even more critical, for physical and non-physical versions of work.

Regarding non-physical version of work, the one thing distributors need to realize is that people are not stupid, and that we know how little it costs to distribute material electronically. I think it's nonsense, for example, to publish an e-book and charge the same price you would for a physical copy. Publishers do that so they won't undercut their physical copy sales which rightly or wrongly they see as their primary income source.

For my novel that's coming out next year, I sold the e-book rights to Tor (they were willing to negotiate with me on them, which is very cool of them, but I didn't want to bother with trying to market it myself), but I think that they as well as I are interested in doing something innovative with the e-book rights that recognizes both Tor's need to recoup production expenses (and even make a profit) and to recognize that e-books as such aren't particularly expensive to distribute. This is a third way between defining non-physical distribution as terrorism and going out of business, which I think the smart companies will pursue.
posted by jscalzi at 7:56 AM on August 4, 2003


dobbs:

Wow. I never knew that. Thanks.

I still think there has got to be something else that makes file sharing more wrong than lending or selling used. It can't just be enjoying the works without proper compensation. Maybe it's a matter of scale.
posted by ODiV at 9:05 AM on August 4, 2003


Aarrrr!
posted by rory at 9:31 AM on August 4, 2003


(jscalzi, you're not the only author here and I have to say that your view of things is not entirely realistic either. Plus publishing books is not the same as making movies.)

Myself, I think the site lacks a "The History of Copyright" - it could even be "The Recent History of Copyright". But that would be giving it all away, wouldn't it?

In any event, these movie guys were saying the same thing when VCRs came out. So those of you who tape a show when a friend asks for it because he or she is going to be unavailable, you're stealing. Har-har. Now that's funny.

The only answer to this VCR thingie that the industry has at the moment is "yeah, but analog media is different". That's a very interesting answer, if you think about it. Different how?

FYI: I do not have P2P devices installed in any of my computers.
posted by magullo at 9:51 AM on August 4, 2003


jscalzi: thanks for your reply. I think you are describing the current situation, but it doesn't take much of a stretch to imagine viable websites for e-books, music, whatever, where one uploads ones work, including a free preview, and the site simply takes a cut calculated from the number of downloads and the price of each one. I think that website could survive on quite a low margin. Add charting and a certain amount of ability to review or discuss each track with other consumers, and you're away. The business could probably even stretch to a small staff to look at new stuff and pick out the good ones for some "hot picks" lists. I suspect that if it offered guaranteed speed and quality with a simple, pretty interface, most people would pay a fair price for the convenience. But time will tell ...
posted by walrus at 10:48 AM on August 4, 2003


Magullo writes:

"jscalzi, you're not the only author here and I have to say that your view of things is not entirely realistic either."

Nonsense. It's entirely realistic, because it is my actual experience as an author. It might not conform to what you think, however, and that's fine by me, since I don't speak for anyone other than myself. And while publishing books and making movies are two entirely separate processes, the copyright protections afforded to book authors and those who own the movie copyrights are the same, insofar as I know.

Thereby, when people say they don't respect the copyright protections afforded the movie companies, they are also saying they don't respect the copyright protections afforded to me, and that naturally makes me uncomfortable. Upstream in the thread Grod notes that (s)he doesn't respect copyrights "Always excepting, of course, the small independent artists, film makers, and authors of shareware." And I suppose that's nice of Grod to carve out a little niche of people (s)he feels deserves to be afforded copyright protections. But as a general rule I feel more comfortable with people who don't feel that copyright laws should only apply to those for whom they have some special affinity. That's an interesting a la carte morality.

I happen to think the MPAA, RIAA et al have tended to be mindnumbingly stupid about how they're dealing with copyright protection in an era of instantaneous, mass sharing of stuff. But at the same time I grant it's their stuff and by law they have a right to say how their copyrighted material should be distributed outside of reasonable fair use, just as I would have a say if someone were taking one of my works and distributing it online (or offline) without my consent.

Walrus: Yup, I'm definitely describing how things are today, since "today" is the timeframe in which I have to make my mortgage payment. And certainly in the future there will be easier/better ways for the little guy to distribute books/music/whatever online. I just don't think that it will mean middlemen will go away, especially if the middlemen change with the times and offer the services that authors and other creative types aren't good with. 10 - 15 years from now you'll see "publishers" and "music labels" very much like the ones we have today, handling promotion, editing and administrative backend for a stable of (presumably) high-quality creative types in exchange for a substantial portion of the backend of sales.

And people will look for work from those imprints or labels, just as they know today that Tor provides interesting SF work or Epitaph records offers up punkish rock goodness. Things will change (and hopefully for the benefit of the creator), but I do believe people will be surprised at how much things stay the same as well.
posted by jscalzi at 11:06 AM on August 4, 2003


magullo:
The only answer to this VCR thingie that the industry has at the moment is "yeah, but analog media is different". That's a very interesting answer, if you think about it. Different how?
quality in analog degenerates with age and with copies made. while one can rip an mp3 that sounds identical to the cd from whence it came, a copy of a 1/2" vhs tape to an mpeg is more likely to have color and tracking problems. however, quality in digital formats remains consistent.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:10 AM on August 4, 2003


I just have a few more thoughts to add, and then hopefully I'm done. Firstly, I think the argument for e-publishing will be over and done with as soon as someone produces a viable e-book reader. In my limited understanding, you already have to write the first one up front anyway, and once you've "broken" you wouldn't need an advance if you were getting fair royalties. Of course, everyone needs an editor, but I don't see why that service couldn't also be acheived online, with a similar cut in running costs for any intermediate agents.

With music, the price and quality of home recording/mixing equipment is dropping all the time. Again, you need a good producer, but because digital media can be moved so readily, there isn't much need to pay the bulk of your fees to middlemen.

With films it will take longer, but I'd argue that all the edgy stuff is done on the cheap these days anyway, and the more that Hollywood move into CGI the more I expect a few kids with a blue screen, some digital camcorders and a few ballsy home computers to eventually rival them.

Perhaps one can't get rid of the middlemen in any of those areas quite yet, and there will always be a place for the big screen, but I think there will be a growing marketplace excluding the current status quo, and I think that long term it will make more sense for everybody. I think cpying will always be around, and perhaps we have to build that into the price of blank media and bandwidth eventually, but one can certainly argue that the function of the middlemen will diminish over time, with technology. In my opinion this is inevitable, although I'm probably over-optimistic about the timescales.
posted by walrus at 11:23 AM on August 4, 2003


Sorry, the quality of home recording/mixing equipment is actually increasing all the time, and I patently do need a good editor.
posted by walrus at 11:27 AM on August 4, 2003


Why did nobody pick up on one of the first posts?

If they'd just release movies in the UK as the same time as in the USA, instead of up to six months later, perhaps we wouldn't feel the need to download them as much?
posted by Mwongozi at 9:14 PM GMT on August 3


Grrr...

Example: Finding Nemo
US: 18 May 2003
UK: 10 October 2003

What the hell are they doing to it in that time? I expect fully redubbed English fishies..

I downloaded it, and I'll go and see it in the cinema too - always do (I watch about 2 movies a day and have done for hte last 5 years or so, wasted youth ;).

I find the quality of rips to be pretty much DVD. But I am hardcore.

Mainly I get things I can't get on DVD and then get the DVD when I can get it.

Release dates annoy me. As do things like not giving Spirited Away a british release so I could screen it for my bday. Grrr...
posted by Mossy at 1:04 PM on August 4, 2003


things like not giving Spirited Away a british release

Chip your DVD player, and import it like everyone else does.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:26 PM on August 4, 2003


Example: Finding Nemo
US: 18 May 2003
UK: 10 October 2003

What the hell are they doing to it in that time?


Why, they're making sure the prints are extra scratched up and full of splices by the time they get to you!

Lucky things!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:32 PM on August 4, 2003


They don't order books from the publlishers at the prices Borders gets and they don't walk into a Borders and purchase them.

Actually, as a book store employee (and not a librarian), I'd say this isn't entirely true, as I've sold plenty of books that were going to become library copies.

Maybe you're thinking of library binding versions where the books are of a higher quality and therefor cost more?
posted by drezdn at 10:56 PM on August 4, 2003


Chip your DVD player, and import it like everyone else does.

All my DVD players are chipped and I have the DVD - but I wanted to see it on a big screen (for my 20th I had a cinema screen all set to show it to my mates, but then I discovered the release date of a week before my bday had been switched to 'never'. Bah).

They suck.

Bah. I'm off to watch my copy of Finding Nemo now.. Bah..
posted by Mossy at 7:08 AM on August 5, 2003


They don't order books from the publlishers at the prices Borders gets and they don't walk into a Borders and purchase them.

Even though the thread is over, I have to second drezdn. At least in the library I work at, we buy books at pretty much retail, or if not then very nearly retail. I even asked the head of the library to verify this information.

Now, for periodicals, it's a whole different story. But books, books are cheap.

Note also that I'm at a public library, not like a private corporate library or museum or anything. Might be different there.
posted by Hildago at 12:29 PM on August 6, 2003


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