Posts tagged piracy
Posts tagged piracy
Excellent and level-headed perspective on piracy. It’s anti-bombast:
One of the most common questions fledgling developers ask me is how they should protect their games from pirates. My answer is, generally, “The minimum amount you can get away with.” That is because I have learned never to forget the following guideline …
Whenever you find yourself starting a sentence with, “I don’t want people to pirate my game, so I am going to …” you are very close to making a big mistake.
This is fucked up. I want to pay for music. I value the content. But selling it to some people in some countries and not selling it to others is messed up. And selling it in CD only format is messed up. And posting the entire record on the web for streaming without making the content available for purchase is messed up.
I’d love to know the percentage of site owners who will “pursue licensing agreements.”
Attributor gave site owners two weeks to respond to both messages. At the end of this process, 75% of copying sites agreed to either take the content down voluntarily or to pursue licensing agreements.
I wrote a short post back in 2008 that praised YouTube’s nascent Content ID service. I found it to be a progressive middle-ground between blatant copyright infringement and heavy-handed takedowns. After all, most of YouTube’s infringement is tied to good intentions: people want to share / discuss / amplify material that resonated with them. Content ID provided (and provides … but I’ll get to that), a way for copyright holders to claim their content and make a little money. Most importantly: that attention-worthy content remained up for all to share / discuss / amplify.
A piece in today’s New York Times shows Content ID has transformed from promising idea to key component. With the help of Content ID, YouTube will reportedly make around $450 million this year and — this is the big news — turn a profit.
Chalk one up for open-minded solutions!
The same article includes two other notable excerpts. This one:
“YouTube is a big component of our display revenue, and display is our next big business,” Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, said in an interview.
And this one:
Mr. Schmidt said that YouTube’s role began to change about a year and a half ago, when he asked the unit to start focusing on revenue. The strategy had been to amass “an audience first, then figure out the tools that will create the revenue, then you go to the content partners and say, ‘Hey, look guys,’ ” Mr. Schmidt said. “And I think we’re at that point now.”
With Android on the rise (160k activations per day?!) and the Chrome web app store on the way, I’m guessing Google will soon make sweeping changes to the Android Market. This piece from CNET hints at an early first step:
The new mechanism runs in real-time, with a server receiving requests to verify that an app was legitimately purchased through the Android Market.
Getting developers to trust the marketplace is vital. Say what you will about Apple’s policies. It runs a well-tended shop.
Take a look through any torrent site (looking isn’t illegal, btw) and you’ll see that most of the activity occurs around new releases. And that’s happening under the current system where new releases are available for either purchase or rental. Remove rental from the equation (you know, the lower priced, easier, less restrictive option) and suddenly pirates go from fringe-dwelling copyright violators to service providers. Wow.
Here’s what this will do: It may drive sales of DVDs a bit short term. But soon, online movie piracy will pick up to new heights. If the movie studios have nightmares about piracy now, their reality will be truly terrifying with this plan in place. There are two major factors that stop movie piracy from being as bad as music piracy was a few years ago: Broadband speeds and convenience. Let’s speak to the latter one first: With services like Netflix, Redbox, iTunes, and the like all offering fairly easy ways to get movies you want, when you want them, it’s less of a headache for most people to use them rather than digging around online to get them for free. But with this new 30-day window in place, the masses would be driven online to search for more illegal content — and more importantly, it would begin to fuel a piracy ecosystem for Hollywood content. There would be more people downloading, but also more people sharing. That’s the key.
Findings from the Vuze study noted in this article should be taken with a grain of salt. Pro-BitTorrent conclusions support Vuze’s business model.
That said, the article poses an unanswered question I think I can shed a little light on:
What it doesn’t reveal, at least not explicitly, is why those users buy DVDs but not the downloadable movies sold or rented by authorized outlets such as CinemaNow, iTunes or Amazon.com.
The answer: Handbrake. Pop a DVD into the computer, adjust the settings/formats, and let it rip.
If the industry really doesn’t understand why savvy content consumers avoid “approved” files, they’re worse off than I thought.
I worked with Brian O’Leary on this report for nearly a year, so it’s gratifying to see it finally out in the wild. But I agree with Teleread’s Paul Biba — we need much more data and analysis to make this truly useful:
My own view of the presentation: piracy data is from O’Reilly so it is limited to technical books and a small market segment - a segment where you would expect to find piracy because of the technical expertise of the readers, thus it is unclear to me how this data translates to a mainstream publisher, if at all. It is an excellent effort and more participants are needed to make the limited data set meaningful.
More info on the report is available here.
Kudos to Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter for injecting some much-needed reality into this piracy story. Examples:
Indeed, at last year’s average ticket price of $7.18, the piracy could conceivably — though not likely — have cost Fox $28.7 million.
It’s taken a long time for this to sink in, but a pirated product is not necessarily a lost sale. There’s no way to know if someone who acquires a pirated piece of material would have ever bought that material. That’s why “lost” dollar figures must always be countered.
These closing sentences illustrate the discrepancy between executive overreaction and box office sales:
Nevertheless, “Wolverine” scored a better opening weekend than any other movie this year.
Said [Rupert] Murdoch on the call Wednesday: “At Fox, we couldn’t be happier with last weekend’s $85 million opening of ‘Wolverine.’ ”
This same issue popped up with the “Dark Knight.” Warner Bros. gnashed its teeth over piracy losses, yet the film grossed more than $500 million in the U.S. alone, making it the second most successful movie of all time.
Expanding on this a bit … I’m convinced that all-inclusive, always-available streaming services will eventually emerge as the dominant delivery mechanism for music, movies, TV shows and books. Some of these will be ad based (and free to the end user) and others will require a subscription. Future generations will scoff at our misplaced need for “ownership.”
Mr. Mulligan said the decision could encourage more music listeners to turn to a growing number of services that provide “free” digital music legally, as part of a broadband subscription or with the support of advertising, for example.
“The best way to fight free is with free,” he said. [Emphasis added.]
From the article:
“It’s time to bring the hammer down,” said Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California.What, and whom, are they hammering? And what will this blunt trauma accomplish?