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Sony Pictures CEO threatens to stop selling DVDs in Spain

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 02 Apr 2010 1:37 User comments (16)

Sony Pictures CEO threatens to stop selling DVDs in Spain Blaming illegal file sharing and streaming, Sony Pictures is hinting that they may stop selling DVDs in Spain.
In reality this appears to be just posturing, perhaps intended to put pressure on the Spanish government to criminalize all illegal copying. Under current Spanish law copyright infringement is only illegal if it's done for profit.

According to the LA Times, Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said, "Spain is on the brink of no longer being a viable home-entertainment market for us."

Spanish Minister of Culture, and former filmmaker, Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde appears to be firmly on the side of movie studios. He's currently backing legislation that would make it possible for the government to shut down websites for even providing links to unauthorized movie or music downloads with no judicial oversight.

He also apparently believes the people of Spain are simpletons who don't understand the concept of intellectual property. He has said "in Mediterranean countries, it's hard for people to understand that immaterial things can be worth as much as material things."

It seems unlikely that Sony Pictures would give up all revenue from DVD sales in Spain simply to make a point about piracy. And if they did decide to make such a poorly thought out business decision it certainly wouldn't stop downloaders from getting their movies through unauthorized sources.

If anything, it would increase unauthorized downloads while drastically reducing studio profits in Spain. If Sony wants to destroy their business that's between them and their shareholders.

But I would hate to be the executive responsible for explaining the decision to analysts at the next quarterly earnings call.

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16 user comments

12.4.2010 1:47

And nothing of value will be lost.

22.4.2010 2:30

It seems like every move Sony makes is custom-tailored to damage their business and screw their customers. Their own cutting off their nose to spite their face is a far bigger threat to them than file sharing ever will be.

32.4.2010 3:06
av_verbal
Inactive

scare tactics to enable a huge change in the law to allow sony to bypass paying for due process and have ordinary tax payers foot the bill for what is at the moment civil crimes. another good reason not to ever purchase anything sony.

Quote:
perhaps intended to put pressure on the Spanish government to criminalize all illegal copying.
that is probably a fair assumption considering what sony thinks about copying media we supposedly own the licence for!


Sony BMG's chief anti-piracy lawyer: "Copying" music you own is "stealing"


Originally posted by sony:
Gabriel asked if it was wrong for consumers to make copies of music which they have purchased, even just one copy. Pariser replied, "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Making "a copy" of a purchased song is just "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy'," she said.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Apr 2010 @ 3:11

42.4.2010 3:51

If they think piracy is high now, just wait till they stop selling the legal copies...once that happens, every Sony movie will be pirated or ignored.

52.4.2010 4:28

This article was released yesterday by Ben Fritz on Los Angeles Times, but indicates that "special correspondent" Cristina Mateo-Yanguas in Madrid contributed to this report (who now claims that Sr. Fritz wrote the article and got the data by himself)

This article is suspected that araised from Spain itself as part of a FUD campain from Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, to pressure the spanish goverment, as well the European Union, to support her "Sinde Law". Even worse, the data according to research firm Media-Control GfK, which where used in this article, are very questionable as they have worked for Promusicae and SGAE.

Shortly after Sony Pictures released an statement disproving Michael Lynton's allegded comments, insuring that "they have no intention of abandoning the spanish DVD market", Universal and Paramount released similar statements shortly after.

62.4.2010 8:55

Originally posted by ematrix:
This article was released yesterday by Ben Fritz on Los Angeles Times, but indicates that "special correspondent" Cristina Mateo-Yanguas in Madrid contributed to this report (who now claims that Sr. Fritz wrote the article and got the data by himself)

This article is suspected that araised from Spain itself as part of a FUD campain from Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, to pressure the spanish goverment, as well the European Union, to support her "Sinde Law". Even worse, the data according to research firm Media-Control GfK, which where used in this article, are very questionable as they have worked for Promusicae and SGAE.

Shortly after Sony Pictures released an statement disproving Michael Lynton's allegded comments, insuring that "they have no intention of abandoning the spanish DVD market", Universal and Paramount released similar statements shortly after.

If you can point me to a source where I can verify these facts I'll be happy to correct the article. So far I'm not finding them on my own. It sounds plausible enough, but I need to see the statements for myself, and preferably be able to link to them.

72.4.2010 11:29

So, they won't have to see Spider-Man? I'm moving to Spain.

82.4.2010 12:06

Bad Sony. You are just greedy.

92.4.2010 13:06

Right..... if you don;t fill he need the poeple will do it without you fool......

102.4.2010 18:39

Originally posted by vurbal:
If you can point me to a source where I can verify these facts I'll be happy to correct the article. So far I'm not finding them on my own. It sounds plausible enough, but I need to see the statements for myself, and preferably be able to link to them.
http://www.cincodias.com/articulo/tecnol...dstec_1/cdstec/
http://www.radiocable.com/hollywood-cont...a-por-sony.html

Vurbal, these articles were written in spanish (sorry) but I'll highlight the most relevant points mentioned in most articles regarding this news:

- Michael Lynton's alleged comments were disproved by Sony Pictures hours after the story was published by the LA Times, there's no confirmation he actually maid such claims, still he's "the guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the internet. Period."

- Sony Pictures released an statement insuring that "they have no intention of abandoning the spanish DVD market", and clarified they're observing closely video sales and downloads in each of the markets they operate to evaluate their viability.

- Universal Pictures has insured they aren't stop selling DVDs in Spain.

- A spokesman from Paramount Pictures insured thay have no news to abandon the spanish DVD market, and said "It won't be a surprise because the spanish goverment is doing nothing against piracy".

- Ben Fritz claims that the data for his article was provided by Cristina Mateo-Yanguas in Madrid, yet she claims that he got the data by himself.

- The data included in the LA Times article, were taken from a study done by firm Media-Control GfK, which are very questionable as they have worked for Promusicae and SGAE (the equivalents to the RIAA and MPAA) as it was exposed a year ago by spanish press.

- Ángeles González-Sinde, Spanish Minister of Culture, and former president of the AACCE (Spanish Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences) is the mastermind behind the "Sinde Law", part of the industry's goal to persecute file-sharing in Spain, and hopefully set the example to implement it in the European Union.

This article is suspected that araised from Spain itself as part of a FUD campain from Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, with indirect backing from the industry, to pressure the spanish goverment, as well the European Union, to support her "Sinde Law" and persecute file sharing, and as many have suggested, controlling Internet in Spain.

There is something that is not mentioned in the LA Times article. There has been an increase of spanish consumers in the import and purchase of DVD and BD movies, especially from countries like UK and France, where films can be found down to half price, and even with shipping costs and taxes, its still cheaper than purchasing them at their local shops.

Even so spanish law and courts have ruled years ago, that private copy and file sharing without profit are 100% legal, spanish consumers have been paying a tax (named canon) on all blank DVDs and CDs, DVD/CD recorders, cell phones, PDA and MP3 players, hard discs and USB/Flash memories, scanners, printers and ink cartridges sold, to compensate private copy and file sharing.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Apr 2010 @ 15:59

114.4.2010 18:48
miriwax
Unverified new user

Such a drastic way to prevent piracy. Now people will really head for the net for their latest movie fix. Dumb move Sorny.

124.4.2010 19:15

There is no need for DVDs anymore anyway, unless it is blank DVDs to record the films downloaded from the internet.

135.4.2010 13:09
I like DVDs
Unverified new user

Originally posted by malcarada:
There is no need for DVDs anymore anyway, unless it is blank DVDs to record the films downloaded from the internet.
Many DVD release contain impressive quantities of bonus material, directors commentaries, behind the scenes, cast and crew interviews, and some come in boxes with booklets or memorabilia. Makes for good christmas or birthday presents. Downloads aren't much of a present - are they?

The sad thing about downloads is that they don't deliver better picture or sound quality movies, usually the reverse. They are only interesting because they offer the opportunity to get something without paying. Nobody would want them otherwise.

Piracy isn't a victimless crime - people in Spanish DVD stores are out of work, and filmmakers cant get finance for their films because piracy reduces the possiblity of making money back. This is no different to any area of life, no business would survive if everyone stole from it, and its employees would be left without a job.

Websites on the internet shouldn't expect to be treated any different to any other business. There are many instances where a traditional non-internet business suspected of doing something illegal is subject to temporary closure which would become permanent if the charges are proved.

Given the levels of internet crime - phishing to steal bank id's and illicit hacking of sensitive personal information - the internet has no right to expect special treatment.

145.4.2010 17:35

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Many DVD release contain impressive quantities of bonus material, directors commentaries, behind the scenes, cast and crew interviews, and some come in boxes with booklets or memorabilia. Makes for good christmas or birthday presents. Downloads aren't much of a present - are they?
Bonus material is like garnish - it fills out the plate but hardly anyone eats it. I think the last time I actually watched bonus content on a DVD was about seven or eight years ago when Star Wars episode II came out. I couldn't even be bothered to when Star Wars episode III came out. Maybe I'm just unusual in that I buy movies for the movie and not the director's opinion of his movie.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
The sad thing about downloads is that they don't deliver better picture or sound quality movies, usually the reverse.
And 21 divided by 3 is 7! There's no way to take a video source, compress it and have the result be of better quality than the original. That's not the point of compression.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
They are only interesting because they offer the opportunity to get something without paying. Nobody would want them otherwise.
Hollywood has yet to match the convenience of a quick torrent download. There's a TV series that I choose to support by buying DVDs of it even though I can download it online. However, for convenience's sake, I still download it because it's a heck of a lot easier to watch a 350MB file on my HTPC's hard drive than it is to dig out a DVD. Sadly, the entertainment industry is made of dinosaurs, and as such they've come up with no method this convenient.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Piracy isn't a victimless crime - people in Spanish DVD stores are out of work, and filmmakers cant get finance for their films because piracy reduces the possiblity of making money back. This is no different to any area of life, no business would survive if everyone stole from it, and its employees would be left without a job.
No business would survive if all its managers decided that the best way to increase sales was to pull out of the market either. The only thing that inhibits me from spending more money than I do on movies and music is the thought that the people making money from it sue millions of people in a futile attempt to prolong the life of their dead business model.

That, and the ridiculous level of copy protection on most DVDs that forces me to dig out my ancient DVD player because my HTPC chokes up on them...

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Websites on the internet shouldn't expect to be treated any different to any other business. There are many instances where a traditional non-internet business suspected of doing something illegal is subject to temporary closure which would become permanent if the charges are proved.
Trouble is, many of the websites that get closed aren't even doing anything illegal.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Given the levels of internet crime - phishing to steal bank id's and illicit hacking of sensitive personal information - the internet has no right to expect special treatment.
The internet is not a person and does not have rights. The users of the internet are the ones whose rights are at stake. Sadly, those rights are pretty non-existent, since the entertainment industry can censor innocent people on a whim with a takedown notice and extort thousands of dollars from them with no more than a letter.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Apr 2010 @ 17:37

1510.4.2010 0:55

I love Spanish cinema. They will surely be fine without Hollywood. Besides, no dvd's more torrenting...

1610.4.2010 6:58

Originally posted by nonoitall:
Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Many DVD release contain impressive quantities of bonus material, directors commentaries, behind the scenes, cast and crew interviews, and some come in boxes with booklets or memorabilia. Makes for good christmas or birthday presents. Downloads aren't much of a present - are they?
Bonus material is like garnish - it fills out the plate but hardly anyone eats it. I think the last time I actually watched bonus content on a DVD was about seven or eight years ago when Star Wars episode II came out. I couldn't even be bothered to when Star Wars episode III came out. Maybe I'm just unusual in that I buy movies for the movie and not the director's opinion of his movie.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
The sad thing about downloads is that they don't deliver better picture or sound quality movies, usually the reverse.
And 21 divided by 3 is 7! There's no way to take a video source, compress it and have the result be of better quality than the original. That's not the point of compression.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
They are only interesting because they offer the opportunity to get something without paying. Nobody would want them otherwise.
Hollywood has yet to match the convenience of a quick torrent download. There's a TV series that I choose to support by buying DVDs of it even though I can download it online. However, for convenience's sake, I still download it because it's a heck of a lot easier to watch a 350MB file on my HTPC's hard drive than it is to dig out a DVD. Sadly, the entertainment industry is made of dinosaurs, and as such they've come up with no method this convenient.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Piracy isn't a victimless crime - people in Spanish DVD stores are out of work, and filmmakers cant get finance for their films because piracy reduces the possiblity of making money back. This is no different to any area of life, no business would survive if everyone stole from it, and its employees would be left without a job.
No business would survive if all its managers decided that the best way to increase sales was to pull out of the market either. The only thing that inhibits me from spending more money than I do on movies and music is the thought that the people making money from it sue millions of people in a futile attempt to prolong the life of their dead business model.

That, and the ridiculous level of copy protection on most DVDs that forces me to dig out my ancient DVD player because my HTPC chokes up on them...

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Websites on the internet shouldn't expect to be treated any different to any other business. There are many instances where a traditional non-internet business suspected of doing something illegal is subject to temporary closure which would become permanent if the charges are proved.
Trouble is, many of the websites that get closed aren't even doing anything illegal.

Originally posted by I like DVDs:
Given the levels of internet crime - phishing to steal bank id's and illicit hacking of sensitive personal information - the internet has no right to expect special treatment.
The internet is not a person and does not have rights. The users of the internet are the ones whose rights are at stake. Sadly, those rights are pretty non-existent, since the entertainment industry can censor innocent people on a whim with a takedown notice and extort thousands of dollars from them with no more than a letter.
Considering that alot of websites make money or try to make money off the files they share via ads,donations,ect thats no different than selling a bootleg copy IMO, everything else in your post I agree with tho.

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