Tag Archives: ACTA

“A Game of Thrones” – To Torrent, or not to Torrent?

We've all been there, haven't we?

From The Oatmeal’s comic – “I tried to watch Game of Thrones…”.

Of course, you could always just be patient and wait for the DVD box set, but that’s not quite as fun, is it?

Older blogger snarking aside – try waiting a year for a movie to possibly be released on VHS rental tape and THEN come and complain to me about not being able to see the stuff that you want to see when you want to see it – this comic nicely bashes the nail on the old proverbial.

Big Media companies want to create desire for their product, so that it has a ready-made audience who’ll pay to consume it.  Then, via a combination of arrogance, shortsightedness and media rights deals structures which are so last century that it pains me to think of them, a large part of that eager audience is cut out of the picture.

Can’t afford to/don’t want to subscribe to a cable/pay tv package?  You’re screwed.  Have the misfortune to live in a country deemed unlikely to have an audience for the product?  You’re boned.  And as we geo-lock everything anyway and you’re not in the US, we don’t care about you anyway.

I never excuse piracy and what Big Media would term IP theft (is it still theft if there’s no legal way to acquire something?), but I can certainly understand why hardcore genre fans sometimes resort to it – if you can’t legally watch it via pay TV and there’s no streaming option, no physical media to import and you want to see it, are you supposed to just say “Bugger it!” and not bother?

At that point, a tv series has gone from being an entertainment to becoming a nerd-friendly quest with an entirely achievable end game – downloaded content on a hard drive – which takes money out of the creator’s pockets, out of the distribution system and makes the process of making television, films and games that bit tougher.

A simple solution – make it easier to buy your product, before Hollywood and it’s antiquated business model ends up being as decimated as the music business was by P2P sharing.

 

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What he said…

Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann on the central issue affecting content providers, via Reddit.

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ACTA is the new SOPA?

Now that the internet has calmed down a bit about anti-internet legislation SOPA, should we all start worrying about ACTA instead?

ACTA Demotivational Poster via Very Demotivational.com

If you’re not up to speed on your legal challenges to a free, unregulated internet, ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and purports to do as its name suggests and enforce the regulation of intellectual property rights in signatory countries.

This proposed legislation won’t be debated fully before the European Parliament until June,

but a prominent MEP has already resigned, citing behind-the-scenes manoeuvres by officials preparing the agreement for his reticence to participate in a debate which, it seems, is less of a debate and more of a signed, sealed and delivered mandate which doesn’t really resemble democracy or the practice thereof by my understanding.

Of course, one might argue that a 14-year-old kid firing up a sweet Torrent client and illicitly downloading the new Drake album or a dodgy copy of the new “Sherlock Holmes” is engaging in a form of anti-democratic activity which is ultimately far more harmful to musicians, producers, record labels, CD pressing plants, distribution companies, retailers and a myriad of inter-related interests and we should be doing something about that, but I digress…

Colours nailed to the mast, I feel that we need to allow musicians to make a living from making music.  I’m not at all certain that SOPA and ACTA do anything more than bolt the stable door long after the prize pony has made a run for it, but if they do anything, they might just set some alarm bells ringing in the heads of folks who use the internet and don’t think twice about downloading music without, y’know, paying for it or even thinking about the implications of what they’re doing.

Lots of people in the world are finding their respective economies tough to deal with and I absolutely understand that – things like entertainment are a luxury which many people have to think twice about before paying out money for, but a dubious downloaded file isn’t an answer and only ends up screwing over a singer or band who’s at the bottom of a long line of music industry people who get paid long before the artist does.

I’m damned if I know what the answer to this problem is – we have a generation of kids now who don’t view ‘owning’ a physical copy of music or a film as being at all relevant to them and I think that’s partially what terrifies the established entertainment businesses because they can’t keep marketing new media formats to a demographic who regard their product as being ephemeral and not something that they need to have access to on a long-term basis.  If you get your tunes online, via a phone handset, why do you need to have shelves of CD’s which you might rip once to a hard drive and then never look at again?

So, if I’m reading this correctly, the whole problem with copyright is a generational one and as long as that divide exists, there’s no good solution to it beyond some entrepeneur coming up with a service which gives the kids what they want, gets the suits their cut and somehow doesn’t screw over the creative types either?

Good luck sorting out that problem…

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