The Motion Picture Association of America is doing their best to follow in the footsteps of their brethren at the RIAA and make business harder for its members. They, Im guessing at the direction of some lawyers of their member companies, want to try to make cable and satellite companies shut off the “analog hole” when showing movies that are being released to TV prior to their DVD release. In the MPAA’s own words “Distribution over insecure outputs would facilitate the illegal copying and redistribution of this high value content, causing untold damage to the DVD and other ‘downstream’ markets.”
The MPAA is staring right in the face of a paradox and they must make a choice. 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.
Invest in a positive message that can get people more excited about their member products and the unique experience offered in theaters, or send a message that your customers are crooks and pirates. Invest in a message that could generate more revenues for your members, or invest in the cost of trying to close the “analog hole” which costs taxpayers money as you waste legislative time, consumers money, as you waste the time and money of cable, satellites and telcos who will fight this effort or spend millions having to adopt it, and of course drive up the cost of the movie going experience because of all the above.
I have more than 1 billion dollars invested in the entertainment industry. I get to see our content distributed illegally online. I get a daily report of all the torrents and other files available online. You know what I think about that ? So what. Thats what i think. Its collateral damage. Unlike music, it takes time to upload and download movies. People with more time than money will steal content. THey werent going to pay for it otherwise. People with a conscious will pay for the content. Fortunately that is most people.
For all the money the RIAA wasted on trying to stop digital piracy, about all they acccomplished was explaining to everyone exactly where and how to steal music. Please do not make the same mistake. Right now its a hassle to unitlize the analog hole to copy movies. Most people have no idea how to do it, particularly for HD delivered movies. Please do not go through a big process of teaching people exactly what the analog hole is in hopes of getting companies to prevent its use. All you are going to do is turn on the lightbulb for many who would otherwise not have a clue.
The theatrical exhibition industry just experienced a phenomenal several weeks with The Dark Knight setting record after record. People by the 10s of millions went to the theater, many multiple time to enjoy the unique experience of going to a movie. 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.