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TOPIC: Will piracy destroy the cinema business?

Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 05 Apr 2009 20:06 #31325

  • Narrow Gauge
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More and more I hear of people(lobby, street etc)who download films that have not even been released to theaters or I have not been able to book. The newspaper industry and record business have been negatively impacted by the internet-will we be next?
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 06 Apr 2009 10:26 #31330

  • rodeojack
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Nah... I don't think so.

I don't know how much piracy is really going on. Frankly, I don't believe what I hear from the industry. The numbers seem to vary, depending on whether they come from the author, a studio, a producer, or some place like NATO. I do think the problem is more internal to pre-release locations than at the exhibition level. It's like digital cinema... the manufacturers and studios would have you believe that the world is on the brink of overnight conversion, if the banks would only loosen up on some cash. Most of us at the exhibition level aren't so sure.

I think piracy has the potential to affect home viewing more than the theatrical side. People come to our places for the experience we provide. Even the best home setup is still at home. People want/need to get out. That's not likely to change, even with the availability of better home video gear. I have a nice kitchen at my place, but I don't want to eat there every day.

I think the majority of film downloads are done by people who probably wouldn't become our customers if they suddenly couldn't get the films for free. It's just human nature for some to take the cheapest way out. Unfortunately, the invention of peer-to-peer downloading sites has spawned a generation of people who think they're entitled to download whatever they can get.

We've always done a pretty good job of adjusting to current conditions. I doubt many of our customers spend much time at home, downloading pirate copies of dubious quality and condition, for their little screens.
Last Edit: 06 Apr 2009 10:31 by rodeojack.
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 06 Apr 2009 21:49 #31336

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I recently expressed my concerns in a thread titled Pirates Online or something like that. I too have heard many comments that people download and watch movies instead of seeing them at the theater. Some people who made those comments do see films at my theater occassionally, so I'm sure I do lose at least some business to illegal downloads.

At least today I heard a story that lifted my spirits a bit regarding piracy.

www.koco.com/news/19105652/detail.html
Counterfeit DVDs Seized From Flea Market
Vendors At Old Paris Flea Market Accused Of Selling DVDs Of Movies Still In Theaters
POSTED: 10:30 am CDT April 6, 2009
UPDATED: 10:44 am CDT April 6, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Federal agents have seized thousands of counterfeit DVDs from an Oklahoma City flea market.

Court records show vendors at the Old Paris Flea Market were selling DVDs of movies still in theaters.

U.S. customs agents seized 4,655 counterfeit DVDs in searches of a few flea market booths and the homes of booth operators.

Agents also seized counterfeit purses, shoes, wallets, hats, belts and T-shirts. At one home in Moore, agents seized $97,730. At another Moore home, agents seized $53,675.

Agents also intercepted hundreds of counterfeit DVDs being shipped to flea market booth operators from China and the Philippines. At one home, they found equipment to counterfeit movies and 1,099 blank DVDs. No charges have been filed.
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 06 Apr 2009 22:46 #31337

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NO
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 07 Apr 2009 00:16 #31341

  • revrobor
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DVDs whether pirated or purchased legally do not carry with them the "theatre experience". I don't believe either threatens the exhibition industry. Most movie-goers want to see it in a theatre.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 07 Apr 2009 09:45 #31342

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I don't believe piracy alone will destroy the theatre business but combined with several other factors such as high prices, poor presentation,and disruptions in the theatre, they will all contribute to an overall decline in attendance even though our population continues to rise. I have noticed an increase lately in the number of people who tell me that they watched a copy of a movie at home which was still in theatres. Just last week I was in Los Angeles in the fashion district and found two places who were selling bootlegged copies of Monsters Vs. Aliens. (You think the studios could stop this from happening on their homecourt).
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 07 Apr 2009 11:11 #31343

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Prices still the cheapest form of leaving your home. Presentation on the rise with new digital .Movie attendance is on the rise and i believe will stay that way for the next 5 years.
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 07 Apr 2009 16:33 #31344

  • Mike
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short answer: NO

However/ baby boomers aging will eventually clock out and all of the people left will know their way around a download. It's still like nothing you've ever seen on a computer. Even in the cruddiest theatre it's better than home video format. IMHO
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 07 Apr 2009 17:00 #31349

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People can watch sporting events on TV for free, yet they still fork over huge sums to attend live games. Same with movies.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 07 Apr 2009 21:18 #31353

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Yet, they still have TV blackouts in the local area of an NFL game if not enough tickets were sold. I guess somebody thinks TV broadcasts hurt attendance.
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Re:Will piracy destroy the cinema business? 18 Apr 2009 10:32 #31392

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Score one for the good guys!

From Variety.com

Pirate Bay operators found guilty
Swedish file-sharing site judged to be illegal

By ED MEZA

BERLIN. A Swedish court on Friday found the four operators of the Pirate Bay file-sharing site guilty of accessory to copyright infringement and sentenced each to one year in prison.

The defendants, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom, were also ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.56 million) in damages.

Warner Bros., MGM, Columbia Pictures, Fox, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI had been seeking damages of some $14 million to cover lost revenues from users downloading content via Pirate Bay, one of the biggest file-sharing websites worldwide with an estimated 25 million active users.

Speaking at an online press conference, Sunde said they would not pay a cent to the studios.

"We can't pay and we wouldn't pay. Even if I had the money I would rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn't even give them the ashes."

The defendants had argued that the site's activities are legal under Swedish law because it merely points to content stored on the computers of its users without actually hosting any files.

The verdict is seen as a major victory for major media corporations and for Sweden, which has long been seen as a lawless frontier when it comes to file sharing, yet the defendants have said they will appeal the ruling and vowed to take it to the Swedish Supreme Court if necessary.

John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the Intl. Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said in a statement that the trial "was about defending the rights of creators, confirming the illegality of the service and creating a fair environment for legal music services that respect the rights of the creative community" and described the verdict as "a strong deterrent sentence that reflects the seriousness of the crimes committed."

Ludvig Werner, chairman of IFPI Sweden, added: "The criminal conviction of the Pirate Bay operators will not only hearten the music and film community � it is also a huge shot in the arm for legitimate producers and entrepreneurs, who are trying to create a thriving legitimate online business based on proper respect of copyright."

The trial has put the topic of file-sharing front and center in Swedish politics and the verdict is likely to strengthen Sweden's fledgling Pirate Party and the country's growing anti-copyright movement. During the three weeks of the court proceedings, the Pirate Party gained about 3,000 new members.

Pirate Party leader Rickard Falkvinge called the verdict "a gross injustice," adding that it "wasn't a criminal trial, it was a political trial. It is just gross beyond description that you can jail four people for providing infrastructure," he told the BBC.

The trial has provided the party with its key platform issue as it seeks election to the European Parliament in June.

Christian Engstroem, the Pirate Party's European Parliament candidate, is expecting a populist backlash against the verdict: "The ruling is our ticket to the European Parliament."
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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