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  Reply # 734782 19-Dec-2012 10:06 Send private message

I think several others have probably mentioned the main problems feeding piracy amongst people who would otherwise be happy to pay - universal and simultaneous availability, user-friendly and accessible services, reasonable charges, no DRM, openly embracing format-shifting. There are some who really can't afford content, and obviously they will continue to pirate, as will some who simply won't pay. There aren't any potential sales there in any case, so really the focus needs to be on users like me who just want to get the content in the most user-friendly way possible, and sometimes simply cannot get content because of stupid restrictions that have no place in a digital world.

It's not f&%king rocket science, it's just that these dinosaurs are used to extracting higher profits from their outdated business models and are clinging to how the world used to be. What they should be looking at are the free and subscription services and seeing what is happening there - for instance I intalled Pandora last week, listened for an hour, and then went online and purchased 7 CDs from new artists (which is what I used to do back in the day when I pirated music because these alternatives didn't exist).

Anyways, my recommendation for music at least is Bandcamp - DRM free, download available in multiple formats, nearly all the money goes to artists, and the site has full and unabridged streaming for all the hosted content. Brilliant service and a big middle-finger pulled to the record industry.




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  Reply # 734851 19-Dec-2012 11:37 Send private message

NZtechfreak: I think several others have probably mentioned the main problems feeding piracy amongst people who would otherwise be happy to pay - universal and simultaneous availability, user-friendly and accessible services, reasonable charges, no DRM, openly embracing format-shifting. There are some who really can't afford content, and obviously they will continue to pirate, as will some who simply won't pay. There aren't any potential sales there in any case, so really the focus needs to be on users like me who just want to get the content in the most user-friendly way possible, and sometimes simply cannot get content because of stupid restrictions that have no place in a digital world.

It's not f&%king rocket science, it's just that these dinosaurs are used to extracting higher profits from their outdated business models and are clinging to how the world used to be. What they should be looking at are the free and subscription services and seeing what is happening there - for instance I intalled Pandora last week, listened for an hour, and then went online and purchased 7 CDs from new artists (which is what I used to do back in the day when I pirated music because these alternatives didn't exist).

Anyways, my recommendation for music at least is Bandcamp - DRM free, download available in multiple formats, nearly all the money goes to artists, and the site has full and unabridged streaming for all the hosted content. Brilliant service and a big middle-finger pulled to the record industry.


QFT I agree with everything said here 




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  Reply # 734854 19-Dec-2012 11:43 Send private message

I stopped buying DVDs when I bought "Charlie Wilsons War" and found out there is a 15 minute Aids (World Vision) ad you cannot skip everytime you load the goramn thing. If I buy it I do not want to be spammed by adverts, I also do not want to have to cut out a kidney if I want a DVD Box Set. I especially do not like that when I moved from the UK I had to rebuy over half my DVDs or buy an expensive (at the time) multi-region player.

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  Reply # 735878 21-Dec-2012 09:29 Send private message

Behodar: And here we go again with regional restrictions! I got The Dark Knight Rises today, which has an "Ultraviolet" redemption code. According to the back of the case, "Ultraviolet not available in the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man". Well, I'm not in any of those places so I went to the site and was greeted with "Sorry, this offer is only available in United Kingdom". It's not a good sign when the packaging doesn't have the right information!

I'm going to contact their support to see what happens :P

A week later I finally got a reply from Flixster (which seems to be the "Ultraviolet company"), telling me to contact Warner Bros. I suspect that WB will tell me to contact Flixster...

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  Reply # 735900 21-Dec-2012 09:58 Send private message

old3eyes: I see that Instagram are to become a pack of pirates as at January 16 in that they can steal your content and unless you close your account before then there's nothing you can do a bout it. Try using the likes of a Getty image without their permission and their lawyers will on to you real fast .

Guess it's OK for these large companies to steal from you but if you do it back well it's a new ball game..


you can choose not to use instagram.

I think it is pretty funny how people love pirating valuable content but then complain when they think instagram wants to sell their filtered pics

I've got news for you: nobody wants to buy your crummy instagram pictures!

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  Reply # 735917 21-Dec-2012 10:35 Send private message

NonprayingMantis:
old3eyes: I see that Instagram are to become a pack of pirates as at January 16 in that they can steal your content and unless you close your account before then there's nothing you can do a bout it. Try using the likes of a Getty image without their permission and their lawyers will on to you real fast .

Guess it's OK for these large companies to steal from you but if you do it back well it's a new ball game..


you can choose not to use instagram.

I think it is pretty funny how people love pirating valuable content but then complain when they think instagram wants to sell their filtered pics

I've got news for you: nobody wants to buy your crummy instagram pictures!


Plus that whole selling thing is based of some very poor understanding of the license agreement.




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  Reply # 736313 22-Dec-2012 13:30 Send private message

Behodar: A week later I finally got a reply from Flixster (which seems to be the "Ultraviolet company"), telling me to contact Warner Bros. I suspect that WB will tell me to contact Flixster...

The saga continues. Prepare your popcorn :)

Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the message that I sent to Warner Home Video; the acknowledgement and reply emails from them don't have the original text. However it was something like this:

I recently purchased The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-ray, which includes an Ultraviolet redemption code. According to the packaging, it doesn't work in three locations (Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and Ireland). However, when I try to redeem from New Zealand, I get the message "this offer is only available in the United Kingdom". Obviously this contradicts the information on the package so what can I do to get this working?

The response from WHV:

This UltraViolet™ Digital Copy offer is not available in New Zealand. Warner Home Video is committed to offering Digital Copy as widely as possible. Digital Copy offers vary based on title and countries due to a variety of logistical reasons.

Thank you for contacting us.

At this point I thought back to this thread and decided to stop being polite:

Typical. I tried to be polite in my first message but frankly I was expecting an answer like this. It seems that on one hand, movie companies go out of their way to frustrate paying customers, and on the other hand complain about piracy. I find it incredible that countless people move files between countries on a daily basis, but when the movie and music industries try it, it suddenly suffers problems due to "logistical reasons". Ridiculous.

I'm not expecting a response to that one!

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  Reply # 736345 22-Dec-2012 15:08 Send private message

I am going to honestly say,

As an ISP, my company profits from piracy.
I would rather not, but we sell gigabytes and unfortunatley i cannot control what our customers do with those gigabytes.


What would i like to have:

1) A music, movie and tv show download service avaliable for your desktop, iphone and other such devices.
The price should be set so that you pay $10 per month for *everything*, or a cheaper $5 per month on a per-device basis. DRM could be used provided that if the service shuts down, the content must be unlocked so that it can continue to be used. I would be happy to pay on a tiered basis not for the level of programming, but instead for a no-ads version.
All programmes should be avaliable in this catalog. No regional crap.

2) Content providers get paid when their programmes are watched or music is listened to. With a song valued at a .33 score, tv programme at a .66 score, and a movie at a 1.0 score.

If subscriber X pays $10 per month and downloads 3 songs from warner music, 14 songs from virgin music, 11 tv shows from HBO, 8 shows from TVNZ and 3 movies from 20th Century Fox then the following would happen.

Subscriber X used a total of 19.66 points
Take away the network operational costs - say 20% for maintaining servers, hard drives, peering and CDN systems.
Will mean that $8 gets divided up proportionatley to the content providers. For this particular subscriber, a point equals 40.67 cents.

1.0 points to warner music ($0.4067)
4.66 points to virgin music ($1.8983)
7.33 points to HBO ($2.9830)
2.66 points to TVNZ ($1.084)
3.0 points to 20th century fox ($1.2203)


So if the service were runnng a large data centre with many many terrabytes of storage, they can say to the content providers... Hey you can just dump as much as you want into our servers, and get paid when people watch it. No cost to ya.

Think about it... content providers have heaps of old content, or tv shows that have not been picked up by the NZ major tv networks, but at no cost, they can dump the programes into the subscription service and get paid for it - when they wouldnt have been paid for the content at all.

So for something like Weeds (upper class suburban mom starts selling pot after her husband dies), White Collar (CSI miami but based on money laundering and art theft like oceans 11 rather than gruesome murders) and Season 2 of Rick and Steve (the happiest gay couple in all the world made of lego) were not picked up by any NZ networks. So the companies that made those programmes, movies or music would not have made any money in NZ, unless they put the content into a streaming service, where they could get paid when their content gets watched.

It also encourages companies to put backcatalogs of their shows into the service - like Friends. They made 11 seasons and i dont think any nz network is broadcasting old episodes at the moment - so there might be a chance that someone in a streaming service might want to watch an old episode or have a marathon, which they could then get paid for.

3) ISPs need to have CDN boxes so that popular content is served from the isp's data centre lowering the costs for the ISP and potentially unmetering some shows based on where they are served from. A little "this show is unmetered" icon could appear in menus and search results in the service interface.


Edit: Sorry i may have used the word streaming when i specifically ment on-demand above.




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  Reply # 736347 22-Dec-2012 15:20 Send private message

raytaylor: ... but we sell gigabytes and unfortunatley i cannot control what our customers do with those gigabytes.


I would not join an ISP that ccontrolled what I would be doing with my gigabytes.





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  Reply # 736972 24-Dec-2012 19:40 Send private message

Just to add my 2 cents...

I generally agree that piracy can't be altogether stopped, but it can be drastically reduced if the industries give consumers what they want at a reasonable price.

I'm not going to venture any comments on the subject of price except to say that the price difference between the various "local" iTunes stores and the price difference between physical and digital rental really annoys me. I don't see any justification for this except possibly differing tax costs and the desire to keep prices more stable than the conversion rate from USD to the local currency. This should be sorted out.

The primary point I wanted to make is in relation to giving consumers what they want. In particular, in terms of immediacy.

Several people in this thread have said that they want to be able to download TV shows within a short time after they've been aired in their country of origin. While I think that is a nice idea, I think it is much more of a risk for TV content producers to make this possible than it is for movie and music content producers to do the same. The risk is in loss of traditional revenue streams. In other words, if TV show producers sell you their content directly, they may stand to lose revenue from syndication and global distribution. By selling direct to consumers they'd effectively be erroding the value of what they're selling to local broadcasters and/or running the risk that local broadcasters may decide not to purchase because their audience already has access to the content through other means.

This point seems to me to be unique for TV content. The same clearly does not apply to music because their traditional money source is the consumer; in other words, the faster music producers can make music available to you, the faster they can make money. Movies are slightly different because they're generally released to cinemas first, but they're more similar to music than TV shows in this regard. Assuming we are satisfied with getting the ability to download blu-ray quality movies at the same time as physical blu-rays are released then the movie industry should not have a problem satisfying us. Asking for them to make movies directly available to consumers before or at the same time as cinema release would be a totally different question of course.

So for TV shows I think it is a question of balancing the revenue producers might get from selling their show to TVNZ, MediaWorks or Sky rather than making it directly available to consumers. This situation where local broadcasters can purchase rights but delay showing content, or show the first season then drop a show is definitely a problem. I guess producers and broadcaster content purchasers play a bit of a game of chicken.

All of this is the stuff that generates the need for regionalisation. How to sort these things out, I don't know.

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  Reply # 736990 24-Dec-2012 20:59 Send private message

I simply see this as a point in time where the technology that's used to view/use the content is ahead of the technology that's being used to promote/market/sell the content.

It's possible to track the hardware used to download content now. And we're moving to mobile wallets, which will mean we can easily be billed on traceable devices (despite our location).

It's just a matter of time, and a mind-shift in the charging model. But we're taking about the way America does things, and money. They really don't understand less is more..... And like gun laws, change is easier to talk about than to achieve

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  Reply # 737010 24-Dec-2012 22:25 Send private message

mm1352000: While I think that is a nice idea, I think it is much more of a risk for TV content producers to make this possible than it is for movie and music content producers to do the same. The risk is in loss of traditional revenue streams.


As opposed to the much greater loss of traditional revenue streams due to piracy?




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  Reply # 737014 24-Dec-2012 22:42 Send private message

I don't think that there will ever be a 100% "solution" to piracy. Some people will always have the means and skill to do it and, when presented with the opportunity, will take something for nothing where they can. Just like a farmer deals with some inevitable losses to vermin and spoilage, piracy will always be around to some extent and there is little point in becoming obsessed by it. The trick will be to strike a balance which reduces piracy as far as possible and maximises legitimate uptake.

To my mind, this isn't rocket science. If you want to maximise the chance that people will purchase your stuff rather than pirate it then there are three simple things that need to be addressed:

1. Availability. t has to be available for legitimate purchase, in a reasonable timeframe from original release because, whether you like it or not, the alternative the pirated product certainly will be quickly and easily available. Regional locks, and jerking people around with lengthy delays in other markets will simple make the pirated product attractive.

2. Attractiveness. You should make the viewing experience for legit product at least as pleasant as for the pirated product. No unskippable promos, ads, and piracy warnings etc. The less pleasant the legit product, the more (relatively) attractive the pirated product. Plus, drop the DRM. Entirely! It's annoying and people want the product they purchase to painlessly work on all their devices - and the pirated product sure as heck does.

3. Price. Price it reasonably. You can never compete with "free" for all potential viewers, but if it's reasonably priced (as well as being readily available and pleasant to watch) many people will choose to purchase.


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  Reply # 737015 24-Dec-2012 22:49 Send private message

freitasm:
raytaylor: ... but we sell gigabytes and unfortunatley i cannot control what our customers do with those gigabytes.


I would not join an ISP that ccontrolled what I would be doing with my gigabytes.



+1

I would drop any ISP that thought it was entitled to that level of intrusion/snooping/control like a hot potato.

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  Reply # 737026 24-Dec-2012 23:23 Send private message

SaltyNZ:
mm1352000: While I think that is a nice idea, I think it is much more of a risk for TV content producers to make this possible than it is for movie and music content producers to do the same. The risk is in loss of traditional revenue streams.


As opposed to the much greater loss of traditional revenue streams due to piracy?

I'm saying it is a choice for TV content producers to make.
Don't get me wrong. I don't like the current situation any more than the majority of the people that have commented in this thread seem to, and I like many of the suggestions that have been put forward. However I do feel that the ideals that have been advanced make little or no attempt to consider how the transition away from the current model might happen and have assumed that music, movies and TV shows can and should be made available in the same way. I personally think the situation is more complex than that.

My goal in posting was to draw people into suggesting more concrete actions that might reasonably taken by entrenched industries. The industries obviously want to irradicate piracy and are assumed to want to satisfy consumers, but changes like those that have been suggested are not insignificant. They may have side effects like the end of free to air TV as we know it... or maybe a significant change in the content.

So my question is how do you see these things realistically happening?

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