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What consequences will Internet DVD ripping and sharing have on the DVD market?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Jan 15, 2002.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    This is a touchy subject, so THIS THREAD IS NOT CELEBRATING OR RATIONALISING THE COPYING OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL, BUT MERELY A DISCUSSION OF THE REPURCUSSIONS OF SUCH ACTIONS.
    As internet connections get faster, and more common in households, and as file-sharing porgrams get more and more popular, the copying of movies copied from DVDs over the internet is unavoidably going to have an impact on sales.
    As far as I can tell, there are going to be a number of distinct consequences:
    1) Sales will drop!
    2) That extras scare that was pulicised recently will be reversed - i.e. studios will need to pack discs with extras to differentiate their discs from the illegal internet copies.
    3) Studios will be forced to innovate ever faster than they are in order to keep ahead of the game.
    4) In the long run, DVD may revert to the purely collector's market that it began as - meaning OAR preservation will no longer be an issue. [​IMG]
    Legal action against web-sites like Napster, is only the tip-of the iceberg with regards to the legal actions taken to prevent copyright breech - sharing movies is going to increase rapidly as the software and willingness increases with download bitrates.
    It's also alarming how watchable some of these copies are. A friend of mine downloaded Shrek, and while it was better than VHS, it obviously couldn't touch the sharpness of DVD. Also, whatever idiot decoded it, used the P&S transfer! [​IMG] Dummy!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I love how they claim DiVX:) is DVD quality. Not...even....close
     
  3. Derrick_Ellis

    Derrick_Ellis Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think it will have much of an effect on the DVD industry. For one, you aren't getting the presentation that you get from a true DVD, only a mere facsimile. Two, the people who really spend money on this stuff are not going to sit in front of their 17" (If they are so lucky) monitor and watch a super compressed, highly pixelated version of a movie that took them two hours to download. I think the main people that are spending money on DVDs are the people who frequent this forum, and families. Those people would not tolerate such a poor presentation. Now what I would worry about are the price of DVD-RAM drives going down. True copies of DVDs would be something to worry about, not cheap knockoff internet copies.
     
  4. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    This will only affect high-priced discs and maybe limited or out-of-print ones. Can you imagine what might have happened if "Fast and the Furious" was rental priced??? (I didn't like that movie, but see that the VHS of this is rental priced and the DVD has been selling rather well.)
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    There will always be a segment of the population who feels that this kind of activity is cool, however, I highly doubt it will affect the DVD industry for a number of reasons, the first being inconvenience. If it requires a good deal of time and a massive amount of storage, the number of movies that could be downloaded is limited, especially if the option to rent a better copy of the title for $2 or 3 exists. ISPs charge for excessive traffic, so when the kid who downloads 50G of material gets a bill for it, chances are it will slow down.

    However, if the industry feels threatened enough by it, their response will be more copy protection, even if it means compatability issues with existing players. It could also mean higher prices to offset the perceived loss. The way to stop these measures from being implemented is to keep buying discs, narc on those who are illegally distruting materials, and having the studios fully prosecute those who are infringing on their rights. Nobody is untraceable on the net, there is always a trail, however convoluted.
     
  6. Michael Dehaven

    Michael Dehaven Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think any of your points are valid at this time. At Universities divx ripping is rampant. My son has a few divx rips on his hard drive, but as others have already said the quality is poor as is the selection. Use Bear Share or other sharing programs and you will find mostly Jurassic Park 3, Shrek and many other mainstream mediocre films.I don't think there was any impact on sales, dvd is a multi billion dollar juggernaut. As for rippping being a motivator for innovation and content, well I just don't see that at all. Who has the time to download a divx dvd, on my cable connection it takes hours and hours.
     
  7. JasonKrol

    JasonKrol Supporting Actor

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    ive had a high speed connection for a while, and many file-sharing programs..and I never even bothered to download a DVD rip.

    just dont feel like it..and Id rather watch the movie on my 50" Toshiba than my 17" monitor..and I know the quality is horrible...even if it was exactly the same as if I popped the DVD into my PC DVDRom drive...I might download just to see if I would like the movie..and then I would buy or whatever..

    if anything..this practice might really hurt the rental market...which I personally have no problem with.

    I love the fact that I can download MP3s of new groups and see if I like them..rather than waste my money just to learn I hate the CD...if I like the music..I buy the CD. plain and simple.
     
  8. Hakan Powers

    Hakan Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason, I feel your argument is flawed for two reasons:

    1. The general public is of low moral fiber. Just because you download mp3s and then buy what you like doesn't mean that the average joe does (and this goes further than J6P). Actually, I think most people just skip on buying the CD alltogether.
    2. Replacing rentals. You forget that Blockbusters, Mom & Pops etc, all purchase movies (regardless of medium) that they then rent out. The studios, and later on in the food chain, the artists themselves, actually get paid - something that does not happen when someone downloads a movie instead of renting[/list=1]



      How to stop this? I'm with Jeff Ulmer on that one.
     
  9. Tom Ryan

    Tom Ryan Screenwriter

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    This is a subject that tears me. It seems that anyone who is truly set on downloading a pirated film can do it, though the selection is limited. However, it is NOT limited to merely recent mainstream films. There are quite a few older films ripped from their respective DVDs out there, mostly popular ones from the last twenty years. I myself admit to having downloaded a few rips in the last year, when I had already seen the film multiple times in theaters and wanted something to tide me over for the DVD (Memento, FOTR).

    However, I know of at least one person who is a MAJOR film hoarder. He has over 400 rips, and he NEVER buys the DVDs. He simply doesn't care. He thinks DiVx rips look just as good as DVDs when routed through his TV (nevermind the lack of surround sound, extras, multiple languages and subtitle tracks). I really don't understand how this guy can just rip off the movie studios repeatedly, but he can and does do it all the time.

    In conclusion, I think there will always be a few packrats that collect a bunch of stuff, but overall everybody's DVD collections are growing and people are showing the praise for a good product with their $$$. I think it will stay this way.

    -Tom
     
  10. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    I think its difficult to compare this to the widespread distribution of MP3s in the Napster-era, simply because the industries and media are so different.

    With CDs, the "try-before-you-buy" market is almost non-existant, especially for music that is not played on the radio regularly. Even with popular groups, many "one-hit wonders" have songs that sound completely different from their popular hits. Many people (myself included) feel ripped off if they buy a CD based on one single, then discover that the other songs are mediocre. Napster opened up new avenues for users to try music before they bought it. Of course, since MP3s sound very close to CDs (esp. on lower-end equipment), some people stopped buying CDs altogether.

    DVDs, on the other hand, have a number of avenues for "trying-before-you-buy." Video rentals, movie theaters, even pay-per-view all allow you to see movies before you invest $15, $20 or even $25 on the DVD. Plus, DVDs offer high-quality video, audio and other features that do not carry over in copies.

    I have access to a number of DVD-rips at my school, but I generally pay no attention to them, and they certainly haven't affected my DVD purchases.
     
  11. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    I think people who generally do this are cheap bastards [​IMG]
    It won't affect the sales of DVDs. Why? Well, Napster was so popular because it was so EASY. I have been downloading MP3s since 1996... they have always been up there, just not that easy to find. Not that many J6Ps know how to use a program that is complicated like USENET or MORPHEUS. Therefore, it shouldn't affect the 'legit' DVD business at all (thank goodness).
     
  12. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Well, the effect depends on who you ask. If you ask the studios, they'll tell you that this is the second coming of the plague, and that DVD prices will have to increase to compensate for these individuals.

    Realistically though-the effect will be so small that it won't even matter.

    The major flaw that people make is that they assume that anyone who downloads a pirated copy of anything would have bought a copy of said movie/game/whatever had the pirated version not been available-hence it counts as a lost sale. This is simply not the case.

    True, you'll get people that will download something and watch it once or twice-they probably wouldn't have bought the disc anyway. But these aren't the people the studios are worried about. They talk about the people with hundreds of movies on their computers, unleashing them onto the world. Well you know what-most of these people have NO IDEA what they've even got on there-let alone watched all of it. It's the same thing with Mp3s-I know people who have more music than it would be possible to listen to in a lifetime in Mp3, but that doesn't mean that the company has lost sales.

    My take on this-it'll actually be GOOD for the industry. Think about it this way-someone gets into this "dvd rip" thing and starts downloading movies. Starts off grabbing some mainstream stuff off the server, but then after watching all of those, sees something called "Brazil-Terry Gilliam.avi" or something. Suddenly, someone who might never have heard of a great film discovers it-isn't that what it's all about?
     
  13. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Let me put it to you this way. A person can rip an MP3 version of a movie, convert it to a WAV, put it on a CD, and listen to it on their stereo. The quality difference may not even be noticeable. The size of 15 songs should be about 50 Meg, which is reasonably downloaded.

    With a DVD, you rip the movie, compress it down from 4.7 Gig to say 400 Meg. First, that's a 400 Meg download. The quality takes a MAJOR hit. It really is VHS quality at best. Then they put it on DVD, and they have a VHS or sub VHS quality version that they have for the cost of the media ($1 to $3) and their time to download 400 Meg (probably several hours). Not the same thing, and there aren't any magic bandwidth pipes that will make 4.7 Gig look palatable.

    The danger will be people who can burn the DVD movies themselves without compressing (much like is being done now). Those are the only pirates who will make a dent in DVD sales.

    I would say that file sharing movies will hurt the rental houses the most, and I would say that is a severe exaggeration at best.
     
  14. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    2 things:

    1-No bandwidth solution? Fiber Optics-how about that. Give it a few more years-bandwidth is going to have to explode to foster any more growth, and I think that you'll see that explosion in the next few years.

    2-It's actually quite tricky to burn DVDs without compression, simply because I don't think that there's a writer on the market that can burn a double layered disc. Therefore, most movies would have to be split across multiple discs, which throws off a lot of people right away.
     
  15. Tom De Rosa

    Tom De Rosa Stunt Coordinator

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    Some.

    As an experiment I ripped, Divx'd and burned a movie onto a Single CD.

    Total time spent, including processing ~10 HOURS.

    Quality : Not Bad, however it's in the wrong AR due to Divx limitations

    Sound: Not Bad, MP3 Quality

    Size: ~750 MBs

    Conclusion: Not bad on my PC(would've been better over 2 CDs), but awful on a tv

    Anyway, there is no way I would put it on my machine for file-swapping (too much bandwidth used), let alone download a 700-800 MB file.

    However, if I just rippped and copied onto DVD-R, you're looking at about 60 minutes total.

    The only problem is the blank may cost as much as the original film.

    I think those that want the movie will buy it. Divx is more a tech(Hey I'm cool!) kind of thing. I can't think of Divx cannibalizing too many DVD sales.

    However, computer software is a whole different ballgame.
     
  16. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Trust me Chris, customers with Fiber to the Home (FTTH) that pay for more than ADSL and cable levels will be hard pressed to realize any savings from ripping DVD's. It's not just about getting those levels of service. The access provider is going to be passing along the high bandwidth charges to the customer.

    I'm with Tom. It's as much a technology exercise, a finger to the "man", and a free low quality viewing than a potential threat to the DVD industry.
     
  17. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  18. CamiloCamacho

    CamiloCamacho Stunt Coordinator

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    These rips never goes out to the mainstream. People changes them in schools or collegue, but only to show to the friends. There is no way you can compare a real DVD with those discs.

    The thing that studios must be worring, at least in latin america, are the DVD copies. I have seen a few "russian ALL region DVD's" lately, about 15 US$, that works on all machines and cost MUCH more than the 35 US$ or 45US$ that cost a legal DVD.
     
  19. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    ask yourself "what consequences has internet dvd ripping and sharing had on the market?". Its far from new, only the quality has changed, before Divx it was vivo and VCD. It all depends on what the end user finds acceptable, I stopped (couldn't be bothered anymore) after getting into DVD [​IMG] .
     
  20. Matt Perkins

    Matt Perkins Stunt Coordinator

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    1) Sales will drop!
    Interesting. When music was "free" (Napster), did CD sales drop? When the Internet turned into a vast public library of music, did people stop buying CDs? Even though MP3s were technologically simple (next to DIVX) to create and to get?
    2) That extras scare that was pulicised recently will be reversed - i.e. studios will need to pack discs with extras to differentiate their discs from the illegal internet copies.
    I'm confused. If a disc has extras, and if the extras are in such demand that their absence would deter a dedicated file-swapper, why can't those extras also be digitized and transmitted?
    3) Studios will be forced to innovate ever faster than they are in order to keep ahead of the game.
    If by "innovate faster" you mean, "price competitively and offer a quality physical package," then yes, I agree the studios will be under intense pressure to innovate faster.
    4) In the long run, DVD may revert to the purely collector's market that it began as - meaning OAR preservation will no longer be an issue.
    In the long run, the rampant, plaigarizing, thieving copying of DVDs will enable ... new video mixes. New art forms juxtoposing audio/video from multiple sources. People will have the freedom to use their DVDs. With this freedom will come a cost, and that cost will be borne by all of us: some people are going to take movies for free; some people are going to bug us to borrow (i.e., copy) our collections; some people are going to laugh at the money we "squares" spend on legit discs; some studios will miss out on a few sales from customers whose time (spent decrypting, ripping, synching, uploading, downloading, etc.) is worth less than their money ... so maybe these customers aren't a real high-impact market to begin with. Those effects can't be avoided. But for the rest of us, DVD "copying" is an important right we have to our stuff. (And yes -- when I buy a DVD, that chunk of plastic, along with the 1s and 0s it embodies, become MY stuff.)
    So, WRT video copying ... what exactly are we (oops, I mean, what exactly is Hollywood) afraid of?
    [​IMG]
     

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