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Does piracy help or hurt word-of-mouth movie buzz?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Martin Dew, May 20, 2019.

  1. Martin Dew

    Martin Dew HTF News Editor

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  2. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Piracy doesn't help anything! It's plain wrong.
     
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  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My takeaway from this information is that those who did the research would have zero problem with my reaching into their pockets or purses, removing their wallets, and returning them empty.

    "It's theft, and theft makes thieves."
     
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  4. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    there's always a victim. no matter what kind of piracy you're talking about. if you get it for free then you've stolen it. word of mouth? is that like "hey, see that movie...here's where to get it! it's so gooooood!!" lol

    Now, I'm iffy on people who pirate then like it and pay to see it or own it later. More than one game maker had told people to go ahead and try their game and if you like it buy it. Minecraft was done that way originally. Let's just say, I like it a lot! and bought the Windows 10 version after upgrading my computer. Also, I remember one company actually providing the info to get the game through those kinds of channels! if movie makers can make that work for them in the same way... people will still pirate and not pay really. lol They don't even care if they are told it cuts down on new stuff coming out for all kinds of reason.

    /mr. obvious
     
  5. Ross Gowland

    Ross Gowland Stunt Coordinator

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    I suppose if I nicked a packet of sweets from a shop and told people at work they tasted nice it might encourage a couple of them to buy a bag.

    But I've still nicked a packet of sweets from the shop. :)
     
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  6. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    It hurts everything. Terrible.

    Amazon has an open door policy though, warmly welcoming pirates. I bought DVD, and Blu-Ray that were illegal fakes. The last Blu-Ray I bought from them which was hot garbage "The Year of Living Dangerously" was returned and I talked with a member that assured me it would be dealt with, and taken down. I believe that was three years ago. It is still available for the low price of $34.99. I just wonder how many others got (and will continue to get) suckered with their hard earned money going to the hands of thieves.
     
  7. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    Here's a link to the original article, which is completely uncredited in the OP. In fact, like all the other recent clickbait posted in similar fashion lately, it could just have been linked in a post in an existing thread. What's happening around here, HTF?

    The concept of positive piracy, by the way, is utter b*ll*cks.
     
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  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I had a chat about piracy with multiple reps at Amazon several years ago. They do support it.
     
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  9. Message #9 of 32 May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Piracy destroys lives.:angry:
     
  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    In theory, exposing a potential audience to a project for free can be a persuasive sales pitch. We know this works for how often it’s used: individual songs played on the radio for free to promote a new album, trailers to promote a movie, etc.

    Here’s the problem with movie piracy in comparison to those legal free sample giveaway examples. Most people just watch a movie once. If they’ve pirated it, even if they enjoyed it, most viewers aren’t going back and then buying a disc after watching the pirated version. So that sale just evaporates.

    Additionally, on an anecdotal level at least, I’ve found that people who tend to pirate content tend to hang out with other people who do the same. So it’s likely not a case where one person pirates a movie, but then recommends it to ten friends who go out and pay for it. It’s more likely that one pirate recommending a title while just encourage another pirate to steal it.

    I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: the biggest hurdle that content creators face in 2019 and beyond isn’t getting an audience to choose between physical or digital versions of a title, it’s getting people to pay for the content at all. Most people simply do not perceive pirating digital content to be theft. The behavior runs the gamut from people who share passwords they’re not entitled to share, to looking for stuff on YouTube that shouldn’t be there, to buying hacked streaming boxes, to actively downloading material from torrent sites. Most people don’t equate that with walking into a store, taking something from a shelf and leaving without paying, but that’s exactly what it is.

    That’s the big battle, right there.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Conversely, when people who do pirate films encounter those of us who do not, it can lead to some delicate discussions. A couple of years before I retired, I inherited a new group of employees from an organization we merged with. I was chatting with one of the technical staff, sort of a getting to know each other session. I mentioned my love of film and my home theater, and he told me he had copies of just about every film out there that he could get me a copy of -- probably thinking that would gain favor with his new boss. Since I didn't really want to piss off someone from my new group with a lecture, I just politely declined and told him if I was interested in seeing a film I preferred to purchase or rent it.

    I really don't think the person, who was a pretty nice guy, even thought twice that what he was doing was stealing.
     
  12. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    But if the sweets cost more than you think they should due to company greed wanting to make more money, were discontinued and only available as old stock is available at specialty stores, or aren't sold at the stores you'd rather buy from or don't use the same quality sugar they used in 1977 -- you'd be completely justified in stealing them, correct?
     
  13. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    As a member of SAG, I get DVDs of movies during awards season and in 2016, I was a member of the SAG nominating committee and got something like 60 DVDs. Friends often hint (and sometimes downright ask) to borrow them and I have to say no (though they are perfectly welcome to watch them with me). But once out of my hands, it is out of my control and though a friend may promise not to lend it to anybody else, the ultimate responsibility is mine and the reality is those DVDs sent to me as a courtesy could easily be pirated so I say no.
     
  14. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    Not to condone piracy, but I think there are a few instances where it can be both morally and financially neutral. Take the original Star Wars movies where fans have either undone the special edition changes or scanned old prints of the films. I suspect anyone who has downloaded these has already bought the legitimate versions in several different formats, and would buy them again if they were offered by the rights holders. There are other similar cases - for instance, someone scanned a print of the 1979 Dracula with the colour intact. And others have married original audio mixes of blu-rays that only offer a remix. I've downloaded some of these and don't feel the least bit morally conflicted about it, nor do I believe that any studio or distributor has lost a penny as a result.
     
  15. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Not passing judgment (well, maybe a teenie weenie bit :)) but you are still taking someone else's copyrighted work and not compensating them for it. It's wrong, no matter what reasons you have for justifying it. I'd love to have a blu ray or DVD of Disney's Song Of The South but we all know that's never going to happen if Disney has anything to say about it. Could I justify obtaining a pirated copy or bootleg disc with the justification that "Well, it's Disney's fault for not making this classic available to us and denying its fans the pleasure of this wonderful classic"? Well, I could try I suppose but I would still be in the wrong.
     
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  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I have a younger co-worker - he's probably around 30 - who thinks I'm a total chump because I pay for movies.

    He doesn't view piracy as stealing because he thinks the studios make enough money.

    I guess if he thinks the Walton family is rich enough, he thinks it'd be okay to grab whatever he wants from Wal-mart and not pay...
     
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  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    But it's much more ambiguous,

    Take people who collect audio bootlegs. I own some "unofficial" recordings but I've not stolen anything because this is material the artists never released - they can't lose money on product they don't provide.

    If the artists officially released the music, I'd buy it - just like everyone who "pirated" the 1977 "Star Wars" would happily fork over money for an official version.

    You can't compensate someone for something they refuse to sell...
     
  18. Message #18 of 32 May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Sorry to sound like a broken record (too late I know :)) but if Disney refuses to sell Song Of The South, they still own it. No, you can't compensate them for something they refuse to sell but you still have something that doesn't belong to you, legally or ethically.
     
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  19. Todd J Moore

    Todd J Moore Supporting Actor

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    In some ways it can almost be tough. What do you do when a studio adamantly refuses to release something? If the only way to see it is a bootleg, do you get it or not? Song of the South is of course the poster child for this. But then try being a fan of movie serials. While it's true that most of the Republics got legit releases on VHS, if you wanted to see the Columbia serials, chances were you had to get a bootleg. Only about 10 of the 57 Columbia serials got a legit DVD release and the number might not even be that high to tell the truth. Sony has shown no interest in their serials to date, so serial fans do what they have to do to see them. Is it right? At the least it may be morally ambiguous in certain areas such as classic films available no other way. And in that respect, some pirates are almost making sure the films don't disappear forever. Then again, there sadly are serial fans who are content with their bootlegs and won't upgrade even if a legit copy comes out so caveat emptor.

    The biggest problem I have with piracy is that pirates don't really care who they steal from. You're just as likely to run across some microbudget film that some poor schmuck broke their back on as you are a major blockbuster. Want to know who's really being killed by piracy? The porn industry. I have friends who work in it and are really up in arms. No sooner do they put up a clip than it shows up on some Tube or File Sharing site. It doesn't help matters when people like Howard Stern advertise that they go to such Tube sites. Ironically, pirates may do to the porn industry the one thing no politician ever could: kill it.

    Where I work it seems like half the work force has those jail broken boxes and they brag about it. Sometimes I bite my tongue and other times I just light into people about it.
     
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  20. Martin Dew

    Martin Dew HTF News Editor

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    Thanks, Brent. The article was for press consumption verbatim, for re-authoring and as released by Management Science's PR team. I modified it but if there's nothing substantial to add or subtract, I'm happy to let an article ride if I think it's of interest to the forum. It seems like this one has been. I concede that some articles have required a click to see a full report or expanded text but, once again, I only post information if I think it's of interest. Most of the time spent as news editor is wading through hundreds of press releases each week and deciding what's a good fit. I appreciate your feedback, though.
     
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