Online Piracy: Threat Or Myth?

Media piracy is the buzzword lately, but a recent Guardian article suggests that the real pirates are in the boardrooms of the entertainment companies. Written by independent filmmaker Alex Cox, this article tells it from the other side of the entertainment industry, and examines the veracity of recent comments by the Motion Picture Association of America, the increasing corporate influence over intellectual property law, and the recent trend towards restricting consumersi use of technologies such as DVD. The article asks:

But is the MPAAis claim that Spider-Man piracy has cost Columbia Tristar millions in lost profits even true? Spider-Man is one of the most successful studio releases of recent years. Currently the only pirate versions available on the internet are of incredibly bad quality, shot by somebodyis camcorder off a cinema screen. To download them from the web, you have to be fanatical, and very easily pleased.

High-quality "pirate" versions of Spider-Man or Attack of the Clones will not be available until the DVD comes out; downloading them will require a super-fast internet connection. The DVD release of both films is many months away. What fanatical Star Wars or Spidey fan is going to sit at home for six months waiting for a decent pirate internet version without seeing it at the pictures (probably several times) first?

Interesting questions indeed. You can read the entire article at the Guardianis Web site.

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