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Movie Industry has to move online to tackle piracy

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Oct 2005 21:44 User comments (3)

Movie Industry has to move online to tackle piracy Speaking at at the launch of an anti-piracy and counterfeiting initiative, NBC Universal Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Wright said the movie industry has to launch online movie download services to avoid the same mass-piracy problem that the music industry had. "It's something we have to do, but it has to be done well," Wright said "These movies are so expensive we have to be careful ... We're pretty close. Hopefully by the end of this year we'll be able to do that."
He was speaking at the launch of BASCAP, which stands for Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy. Among the attendants were Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Jean-Rene Fourtou of Vivendi Universal and Eric Nicoli of EMI. Wright has said the move has to be made quickly to tackle online piracy, or else the movie industry will end up in the same situation as the music industry. The music industry is taunted by the sharing of millions of copyrighted MP3 files a day on P2P networks, untainted by over 14,000 lawsuits against file sharers, and through other ordinary methods like through IM programs, e-mail newsgroups etc...

Then you also have to take into account the increase in the numbers of street pirates across the world who have for years being selling full quality CDs for a fraction of the retail price. Wright fears this as does the rest of Hollywood. "The problems are spreading and no one is immune," he said. "In my business we're just looking over the shoulder of the music industry, which has gone through a very difficult time." The spread of broadband Internet access around the globe means that movie piracy online is increasing everyday, with movies being traded as early as their theatrical release.

So what the movie industry wants and needs are iTunes-like services for movie downloading. Movielink, a venture of five major Hollywood studios and CinemaNow, jointly owned by Microsoft, Lions Gate Films, Blockbuster and several other firms are examples of two existing services for movie downloading, but of course the trend of legal music downloads is very different to convincing people to legally download movies.

Firstly, music files are generally small. With most broadband connections downloading music from legal services takes seconds. Also DRM on music seems to be sort of "acceptable" for the people who purchase from legal music stores but would it be acceptable for movies? People like to be able to bring movies around with them, like taking a DVD to a mates house to watch it there instead of at home.

But what if you cant play a download on your mates computer? Will there be a "burn to DVD" option just like the "burn to CD" option most legal music services offer? If so, then how long would it take to burn? would it have to be encoded first or will all downloads be 4.36GB DVD-R image files? These are questions that we all have, but we'll have to wait for the answer. For now the movie industry can work on legal alternatives, and hopefully keep consumer interests in mind as well as financial interest.

Wright also commented on the DVD format war that seems to be approaching. "You'd always rather have one standard -- that's going to happen eventually," he said. "Hopefully this won't go as far as Betamax-VHS." Amen to that quote!


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3 user comments

14.10.2005 21:56

"The problems are spreading and no one is immune," he said. "In my business we're just looking over the shoulder of the music industry, which has gone through a very difficult time." LOL Do you think that maybe they are finally learning a lesson? Only time will tell!

24.10.2005 22:09

i think they should keep the download as mpeg4(avi) that's my way to watching a film on a computer.

34.10.2005 23:09

If they don't put any copy-protection crap on the movies, I'll genuinely consider it - so long as they are priced to reflect the reduced distribution costs. Otherwise it's newsgroups, eMule and BitTorrent for my entertainment needs. I must say, at least they are fighting piracy productively instead of suing people left and right.

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