AfterDawn: Tech news

Mark Cuban speaks out about MPAA, piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Aug 2008 13:46 User comments (25)

Mark Cuban speaks out about MPAA, piracy Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Chairman of HDNet has recently written an opinion piece in his blog about the RIAA and the MPAA in which he asks the MPAA to stop what they are currently doing and instead work to promote going to the movie theaters. Promotion over prevention he says, and I am sure many will agree.
"The MPAA is staring right in the face of a paradox and they must make a choice," Cuban says. "They can continue to invest in the war on Digital Piracy (as opposed to physical DVD piracy, which can be monitored and slowed by confiscating actual DVDs and duplication equipment), or they can invest in promoting the fun of going to the movies."

Cuban cites the story of the RIAA, which continues to wage its never ending war against file sharers of music, when he says that the MPAA may be making enemies out the same consumer it is trying to woo. "Invest in a positive message that can get people more excited about their member products and the unique experience offered in theaters." The MPAA should refrain from calling customers "pirates and crooks" as well. Name calling is never nice.

Cuban also correctly observes that if the movie studios invested more money in making movie theaters an experience worth paying for, it will always defeat piracy. We can use the experience of the "Dark Knight" for one. Sure it was available as a camcorder or TS download in its first hours of release, but it also broke opening day, opening weekend and a few IMAX records as well. Make it worth seeing, and customers will pay to see it.

Noting that he has over $1 billion USD invested in the entertainment industry, Cuban knows the pitfalls of piracy. "I get a daily report of all the torrents and other files available online," he writes. "You know what I think about that? So what. That's what I think. Its collateral damage."

Cuban brings up another excellent point, one that Afterdawners have been saying for years now, that many users that pirate films would have never in a million years gone out and paid for that film in the first place, so it cannot be considered a loss.

"People with more time than money will steal content,"
Cuban adds. "They weren't going to pay for it otherwise."

Cuban concludes:
"Could you please, please, please use the money you are going to spend fighting the unfightable and instead spend it on promoting the fun of going to the movies ? More people going to the movies is more people getting excited about movies. More people getting excited about movies means more people watching movies on TV, which is good for revenues, and more people buying DVDs or legal downloads of the movies. Again, good for revenues."

After reading his entire blog post, I must say it is the most refreshing bit of news I have read in a very long time. The RIAA has, in my opinion helped destroy the record industry by suing children that will never again purchase a CD or download a track legally. The RIAA has spent billions of dollars in legal fees and where have they gotten? Nowhere, absolutely nowhere. Piracy remains at all time highs and there is nothing, short of suing everyone with a computer, that they can do about it. Take down a torrent site, five more will replace it. You cannot stop the advances of technology, you can only hope to adapt as well as possible. Apple made their money off the iPods that hold thousands of pirated tracks, not the 20 cents or so they make off each legal download.

Listen to what Mr. Cuban has said MPAA and movie industry, you cannot stop piracy nor can you contain it with lawsuits or name calling. You can however, stop piracy with good movies that make paying $10 dollars to go to the movie theater worth it. For more information, see: Dark Knight.

For those interested in reading the entire blogpost, it is available here: Marc Cuban's Blog.

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25 user comments

110.8.2008 15:09

...and the earth moved.

Whoa I can't believe what I just read.

210.8.2008 15:38

I read this earlier in the week. He makes TONS of great points, especially "they weren't going to pay for it otherwise." Too bad it's just one man's opinion...

310.8.2008 17:32
david89
Inactive

finally someone who gets it to bad hes not the leader of mpaa. Mark Cuban is a Genius i agree with what he said and i hope you can change some minds good luck with that.

410.8.2008 20:27

But good sense never prevails. LOL

510.8.2008 21:41

Originally posted by garmoon:
But good sense never prevails. LOL
Amen.
Especially since the Hollywood Mafia does whatever it can to drown out the voice of reason.

610.8.2008 21:45

I don't particularly care for Cuban, but he did finally do something that I agree with. Most of us on this site have been saying these things for years. Finally, someone with money has decided to voice a similar opinion. MPAA & RIAA, you listening?

710.8.2008 22:15

Soo true.. My opinion, Pirates are just like drug dealers.. take one down and 2 or 3 pop up.. better to focus more on prevention, not that drug dealers shouldn't be arrested but I am sure you get the point!!

810.8.2008 22:50
drach
Inactive

I have some advice for movie theaters: Make larger seats for tall people so we don't have to sit with knees against the seats in front, and put in a short intermission in long movies so people can use the bathroom without missing parts of the movie.

910.8.2008 23:54

Originally posted by drach:
I have some advice for movie theaters: Make larger seats for tall people so we don't have to sit with knees against the seats in front, and put in a short intermission in long movies so people can use the bathroom without missing parts of the movie.

No. You're not 6. You can hold it during these so called "long movies". Go before and then after.

1011.8.2008 2:13

i do belive if you find something and like it you should buy it like a cd or a movie and support the artist and actors so they dont totally go away but if u dont like it u sure shouldnt have to waist your money on it

1111.8.2008 5:24

Jasper44 you can get on you knees and blow/suck. Because I'm a type 1 diabetic and therefore have to piss more often than the average jackass. So yea for a two or two and a half hour or longer movie. I would like to have a chance to go piss without missing parts of a movie I paid for. This is one of several reasons why I prefer to download a movie. The others are cheaper refreshments, no annoying people, not paying for gas to get there (20 miles away), always in (and sometimes better) surround sound, and sometimes even better picture.

1211.8.2008 12:03

Originally posted by defgod:
Jasper44 you can get on you knees and blow/suck. Because I'm a type 1 diabetic and therefore have to piss more often than the average jackass. So yea for a two or two and a half hour or longer movie. I would like to have a chance to go piss without missing parts of a movie I paid for. This is one of several reasons why I prefer to download a movie. The others are cheaper refreshments, no annoying people, not paying for gas to get there (20 miles away), always in (and sometimes better) surround sound, and sometimes even better picture.
There is a chance that Jasper44 would not have made the comment in the first place if you had mentioned your condition in your original post.

Back on topic, didn't this guy also make some controversial statements in the past regarding file sharing? I thought I remember not liking him for some reason. It was an aD article awhile back. He's changing his tune now, I see.

1311.8.2008 12:31

@ emugamer

Are you referring to the article where Cuban attempted to sue YouTube?
Mark Curban sues YouTube

He asked them to report users that were knowingly uploading copyrighted material (more specifically, material that HE has rights to... figures).

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2008 @ 12:33

1411.8.2008 17:13

He makes some good points. I don't go to the theater to watch movies any more. The MPAA will assume that this is because of piracy. But in truth, it's because our theater (or rather the projectionist in our theater, who always screws up the aspect ratio so that planets are shaped like eggs) sucks, and there are always a bunch of middle schoolers there who are noisy through the whole movie. If I want to have a decent movie experience, I have to drive 200 miles (that's another $25 of gas and three hours of traveling) to see it at a decent theater. Then factor in the fact that most movies these days are crap, and I don't see movies in the theater. Piracy or no piracy makes no difference; I just consider it to be a waste of money. If they bothered to try and improve the movie-going experience, maybe they'd get me in a theater. Suing people isn't going to get me there.

1511.8.2008 20:11

Originally posted by DoggRuff:
@ emugamer

Are you referring to the article where Cuban attempted to sue YouTube?
Mark Curban sues YouTube

He asked them to report users that were knowingly uploading copyrighted material (more specifically, material that HE has rights to... figures).
Actually, it was this one:

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/11929.cfm

Talk about a 180 degree turnaround!

1612.8.2008 0:43
susieqbbb
Inactive

He does make great points!!!

I am sorry to say if the mpaa wants people to go to movies make movies 4.00 to 5.00 per person to go and see a movie all the time not lets charge 9.00 per person when if i wait a few months i can rent it for 3.00 and if the movie does suck why pay to see it anyways.

The whole point of the mpaa is to go after piraters of there movies but yet they haven't gone after any piraters that are major mob type figures they say that pirates are mob members if that where true then you wouldn't be able to find piraters and you complain about piracy when in fact you cannot tell me that you and your kids have never pirated anything in your life.

So basicly like a say you want piracy to stop you need to make software and movies affordable in that country.

1712.8.2008 4:30

Yup, make software more affordable!

How on earth are poor families supposed to get there kids ready for the 09 Madden bus when the 2 disk game is running $89.99 plus tax for the 360 Hmmmm


No time for Leap frog!!!

1812.8.2008 11:53

Originally posted by garmoon:
But good sense never prevails. LOL
Couldn't have said it better myself. ;) I think I said that somewhere before but I'm sure as OLD as garmoon is he said it before I did. hehehe. :P

We all know he has unbelievable wealth. Mark Cuban that is. ;) So some of what he says can be thrown away but the thing that stuck out with me is the "they weren't going to buy it otherwise". That statement, which I've seen plenty, is something the MPAA doesn't understand. It's a fact of life in this digital age and they better get used to it or they will "PUSH" away many of the people they are trying to attract!! Me included.

....gm

1912.8.2008 12:45

Originally posted by drach:
I have some advice for movie theaters: Make larger seats for tall people so we don't have to sit with knees against the seats in front, and put in a short intermission in long movies so people can use the bathroom without missing parts of the movie.
Medical condition or no, a ten minute intermission, if built into the movie, like it used to be, isn't going to cut into profits that much. It would restore what movies now lack; the theater experience. If it's on a small multiplex screen, coming out of a digital projector, with snacks I can make or buy cheaper, why should I go to the theater?

On that note, one of the biggest disruptions to the experience is squalling kids who don't want to be there in the first place.

Yet they get in cheaper.

Why? And don't give me the "because it's hard for parents to afford/find time/etc." argument. I'm a parent, I paid my money and taught my kids to behave.

If they can't keep their kids quiet, I'd be willing to pay more to see that they did.

The tallness point is a good one, too. In order to pack in more sardines, they've taken to flattening the multiplex floors. It used to be someone had to be 7 feet tall to ruin your experience. Now, they can be your height and still get in the way. Steeper angle on the floors, everybody's happy.

2012.8.2008 15:03
lynchGOP
Inactive

No doubt about the 'making the movie experience worth paying for'.

How about lessening prices of tickets, improving the quality of the food at theatres or bring your own, making chairs more comfortable or better yet...............DITCH THE TYPICAL THEATRE and do all flicks in the IMAX. The Dark Knight was well worth the 11.00 ticket. WELL WORTH IT. Best movie in years!!

2112.8.2008 15:42

And I realize that this is only slightly on-topic, but if you ever hanker for movie popcorn (one of the reasons I kept going to movies I really could've rented) buy some coconut oil. Pop it in that, use popcorn salt (finer grind) and if you want, use the nuclear butter flavoring available at the supermarket. It'll taste exactly the same, be fresher, hella cheaper, minus the preservatives and silica, and you can have it any time you want. It's also slightly better for you, since you use less oil and don't add sugar, like they do.

2212.8.2008 16:16

Originally posted by mspurloc:
And I realize that this is only slightly on-topic, but if you ever hanker for movie popcorn (one of the reasons I kept going to movies I really could've rented) buy some coconut oil. Pop it in that, use popcorn salt (finer grind) and if you want, use the nuclear butter flavoring available at the supermarket. It'll taste exactly the same, be fresher, hella cheaper, minus the preservatives and silica, and you can have it any time you want. It's also slightly better for you, since you use less oil and don't add sugar, like they do.
Oh it's on topic!!! It's food and I like food. lol. Thanks for the recipe... :D

...gm

2315.8.2008 15:41

Quote:
Originally posted by defgod:
Jasper44 you can get on you knees and blow/suck. Because I'm a type 1 diabetic and therefore have to piss more often than the average jackass. So yea for a two or two and a half hour or longer movie. I would like to have a chance to go piss without missing parts of a movie I paid for. This is one of several reasons why I prefer to download a movie. The others are cheaper refreshments, no annoying people, not paying for gas to get there (20 miles away), always in (and sometimes better) surround sound, and sometimes even better picture.
There is a chance that Jasper44 would not have made the comment in the first place if you had mentioned your condition in your original post.

Wait!? DRach and defGod are the same person?


Cuban made great points but like others have said, they will fall on deaf ears(so to speak).

2415.8.2008 18:40

Originally posted by defgod:
Jasper44 you can get on you knees and blow/suck. Because I'm a type 1 diabetic and therefore have to piss more often than the average jackass. So yea for a two or two and a half hour or longer movie. I would like to have a chance to go piss without missing parts of a movie I paid for. This is one of several reasons why I prefer to download a movie. The others are cheaper refreshments, no annoying people, not paying for gas to get there (20 miles away), always in (and sometimes better) surround sound, and sometimes even better picture.



Not to start a disease war but, maybe you should control your diabetes better and stop blaming the movie industry for the length of their movies. I too have type 1 and have never considered how frequently I may have to piss within a two hour time span, and let that dictate whether or not I should go to the movies. No, it sounds to me like an excuse to download, not a reason. I rarely download, and I rarely go to the movies because of the 9 flippin' bucks it costs at the door, outrageous concession costs (not their fault), and the fact that Hollywood has become UNORIGINAL. Everything sucks. All they put out these days are terrible re-makes, in an attempt to tap in the nostalgic side of their customers, ultimately ruining the franchise names, or they put out uneventful movies with ridiculous plots, most of which we've all seen before when these movies were called something else. Nothing original has come out in years. Why pay all that money when I can just wait to get it from Netflix, then if it's pretty good, add to my ongoing inexpensive collection (hint-burn). Family movies are what people want. Something that can entertain everyone in the family. "The Transformers" was a alright, but because it had some success, now they're gonna try over and over to popularize other obscure 80's shows. Come on now, how many actually watched and liked "Thunder Cats" when it was a cartoon. CHEESIE!! I can go the rest of my life not seeing it in live action and be just fine. I have seen a few in theaters but they'd have to be really something before I spend my hard earned ducks. There is a reason why all these computer animated movies are making so much money and breaking box office records galore. They usually have good plots and are entertaining for the entire family. Worth the time and money. Come on and get on board Hollywood, you are loosing money because your product sucks these days, not because of piracy. Stop with the excuses. We are ready to start being entertained again, but for now you make me sick.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Aug 2008 @ 19:28

2518.8.2008 8:41

I'd like to see an usher with a paddle for all the unrully kids, and a gladiator type nest to him in case a parent disagrees.

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