Evidence-based copyright: UK online movie marketplace is expensive, broken, patchy


8 Responses to “Evidence-based copyright: UK online movie marketplace is expensive, broken, patchy”

  1. jayson says:

    An excellent article, but it leaves out one other major reason for “piracy,” and that’s the quality of streaming video.

    If I want to watch, say, the Daily Show or The Office, I can of course watch them on television, through the cable that I pay for. If I want them on-demand, though, the legal options are to either pay again for a download through iTunes, or stream them online.

    Hulu and ComedyCentral, just to give an example, both have video players of their own that are inferior to either downloaded files or a progressive download system like YouTube. 
    Anything less than a perfect internet connection will result in dropped resolution or frame rates that can get so low as to be unwatchable. 
    The players are plagued with other technical problems, such as freezing the image so that a page refresh is required, which generally loses your place, kicking you back to a 90-second unskippable commercial.

    In theory, you can get movies and television shows through streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc. In reality, the only way to be 100% sure you’ll see your video in the same quality you’d get from broadcast or DVD is to download an actual video file.

  2. formosaman says:

    Another point related to the bad value you get with legal downloads is related to subtitles (closed captioning). As of last time I checked (more than a year ago) only a tiny tiny percentage of movies on iTunes feature subtitles and there is no way to add them later. Thus, if I wanted or needed subtitles it is far easier to torrent the movie and then download subtitles from another source.

    This relates to jayson’s point above, in that what you get with legal downloads is inferior to either pirate downloads or DVDs/Blurays.

  3. Dr_Wadd says:

    This research appears to dovetail rather nicely with my opinion that for a rights holder to retain copyright they need to make the work available for the general public at a reasonable cost, otherwise the work lapses in to public domain.

    I have no problem with the concept of copyright per se, I full accept that creators have a legitimate right to be paid for their work. However, it is a bit rich of publishers to trot out this argument and then to pursue pirates who couldn’t pay for that work even if they wanted to.

    My model, in the rough details works something like this. In order to retain copyright the publisher has to make the work available for purchase in a standardised format, and the work has to be made available for an extended period of time. This is to prevent publishers expoiting loopholes such as making a work available only on Betamax tapes, or only on sale for 24 hours per year. If the work has not been available to purchase for an extended period of time, say two or three years, then the argument about protecting income is null and void, there is no income to protect, and thus the work lapses in to the public domain.

    This ensures that customers have legitimate access to copyrighted works, publishers have an incentive to ensure that their works are available to customers, and by forcing publishers to make works available for purchase, it should hopefully increase the royalties paid to the artists involved.

    • Alex says:

      Simply. Excellent. Idea.
      Which is why it will sadly never happen :(

    • Yacko says:

      “I have no problem with the concept of copyright per se, I full accept that creators have a legitimate right to be paid for their work.”

      Copyright is not about money but is about control, rendering the rest of your argument moot. I’m on your side, however, the law would have to be extensively changed.

  4. digi_owl says:

    BTW, the lack of evidence is not surprising as IP rights is the next step on from financial “services” like what one find in the City (old London core and the heart of the UK finance market). Strong laws regarding IP is required for the “knowledge economy” to function, as it creates artificial scarcity and rentier opportunities.

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