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Jack Valenti is at it again (1 Viewer)

Lee L

Supporting Actor
Oct 26, 2000
I saw this article on MSNBC that has Jack showing the Senate Judiciary committee a priated copy of Gladiator in a hearing. He said that someone from the MPAA supposedly downloaded this off the internet and said something to the effect that no one would ever go to the movies again if this if stuff off the internet would be this good in the future. Senator Orrin Hatch agreed wholeheartedly that Valenti made a better point than anyone on the issue so far. Jack was calling for the usual controls on HDTV and copying and of course mentioned how bad pirates are.
While I am certainly not a pirate, I darn sure want to keep my rights to record somehting one day when all we have is HDTV. I am afraid that there are just so many different technologies out there that threaten to deprive us of our rights we just can't keep up anymore. We need to let congress know our position.

Brajesh Upadhyay

Supporting Actor
Jul 11, 1998
Agreed. Hollywood worries too much. That "Gladiator" copy was probably downloaded from the web in mpeg-4/Divx format (no, not that old Circuit City pay-DVD thing). The quality sucks IMHO.
Re: HDTV, at 19+ mb/sec, downloading a full-length movie off the web would take forever even on broadband. If people find a way to distill a compressed format, I think it'd still be too big (or worthwhile) to download.
If Hollywood provides DVD (like they do now) or HD movies at affordable prices, few consumers would resort to piracy. There would be no point to it, or worth the time & trouble.

Karl Englebright

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 9, 1999
My wife and I were recently invited by a neighbor to watch a movie at their house. He didn't tell us what it was but said we'd be "surprised". My neighbor had downloaded Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon from one of the MANY newsgroups that do nothing but post movies. They split these huge files into many, many pieces and then post them sometimes over several days. After say, 3 days you can have the whole movie and use a utility that assembles these things back into one file once your done downloading all the pieces.
Quality, needless to say, was appalling. I told him that what he was doing was not only illegal, but in my eyes sacralegious. How could you even stand to watch this! I managed to convince him to watch an actual legal copy of a movie, since I wasn't going to sit in front of a freakin' computer monitor to watch a crappy, illegal copy of a movie. He also showed me another download of a movie somebody had copied from a DVD. This one looked quite a bit better but it was still nowhere near real DVD quality...On our way home,while shaking my head I asked my wife, how can they stand to watch a movie that way??? My wife said, "not everybody is as picky as you are about movies"
Anyway, there are a couple points to this story; 1)Yes, you can download movies from the internet and, 2) If you have a fast connection to the Internet, there is no shortage of sources out there that provide them. Some of bad quality, some of not too bad quality..
So the questions in my mind are:
Are there a lot of these types of people out there? Enough to be worried?
Could the paranoid people in the industry actually be right about this?
I don't know, but my recent experience sure opened my eyes!


Senior HTF Member
Jul 24, 2000
"After say, 3 days you can have the whole movie..."
That is, IMO, the reason that most people don't do this. Who in their right mind wants to struggle with downloading a poor-quality movie over 3 days, when you can rent an excxellent copy of it for a couple of bucks?
I can see doing it for the novelty of it (in fact, I downloaded "Meet the parents" this way the first week I had cable modem, just to see what the hoopla was about. It sucked, and took too long), and I can see there being a small market where some nerds like to have a movie before it's released on DVD/VHS (then again, "Crouching tiger..." has been available on Region 4 DVD for months).
Currently and in the foreseeable future, this is NOT a threat to the studios, and if we're talking HD quality movies, they are so much larger than even the crappiest copy you can get on the Net, that they are even less of a threat.
"Are there a lot of these types of people out there? Enough to be worried?"
Hundreds of thousands, probably. Considering that a movie like "Hannibal" has about 100 times as large an audience the first weekend alone... no, it's not enough to be worried.
"Could the paranoid people in the industry actually be right about this?"
No, they are not. They are using it as a means to make the regular public pay every time they want to watch something. If anything, they will increase pirating, but they don't really care. Movie pirating is a fart in space compared to how much they can make by turning everything into pay-per-view, which is what they want.

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