Pirated Simpsons movie traced to phone
A man has been arrested in Australia on suspicion of filming The Simpsons Movie in a cinema on his mobile phone and uploading it to the internet. The unnamed 21-year-old from Sydney has been charged with copyright theft and could face up to five years in jail.
An illegal copy of the hit movie was available on a streaming website and downloaded more than 3,000 times even before the official film was screened in the US, according to the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT). That copy, said to be the first in the world, was traced to an address in Sydney.
Cooperation among the Australian Federal Police, AFACT and distributor 20th Century Fox resulted in the removal of the unauthorised copy within 72 hours of its posting.
AFACT investigators found that the movie had also been re-edited with an unauthorised French language version, reformatted and shared using Bittorrent and other peer-to-peer services, resulting in more than 110,000 downloads.
Adrianne Pecotic, executive director of AFACT, said that more than 90 per cent of newly-released movies that appear on the internet and on the streets around the world originate from camcorder copies.
"The speed and spread of illegal copies across the global internet as a result of this copy being made from a mobile phone in a Sydney cinema is staggering," she said.
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The concept of theft.
I am most intrigued by the idea that a download of a film is theft.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that going into HMV and taking a DVD from the shelf, then leaving without paying is theft. The DVD has taken money to produce, and once it has been removed it cannot be sold to another person. But a copy of something? Immoral maybe, but criminal?
It does take the assumption that once I have seen the film I will no longer wish to purchase it. There is also an assumption that I would have purchased it in the first place. Before it became easy to get copies of films through the internet There were many films I did not see, as I did not think the experience was worth the asking price. I have also purchased many legitimate copies of films. In the loft I have over 500 videos, and I have book cases with a current total of around 300 DVDs. The price I paid for these numbers in the thousands of pounds, the value now for the whole lot would probably be less than £200. The legitimate copies of films de-value faster than cars, and to be honest I don't think the drunken/stoned ramblings of the director/actor really qualify for the huge mark up over the cost of the raw materials. All I really want to see is the film, I doubt I have seen the extras on a fifth of the films I own.
So what incentive do I have to buy a legitimate copy? The key idea behind ANY free market is that goods are only worth what people are prepared to pay for them. Many people are no longer prepared to pay the price that is being asked, and if that many people are willing to watch a film that was recorded on a phone surely this must raise a few questions in Hollywood. The upside of this golden age of communication is that a far larger audience can be reached, so far more viewings of a film can be sold. But greater numbers will de-value the product, and tha studios do not seem to have taken this into account. The works of Da Vinci sell for millions, but there aren't many of them. If you could reproduce each painting millions of times, and each was indistinguishable from the original, you would not be able to charge millions for every one of them, though this seems to be what the film industry is trying to do.
As Bob Dylan sang, "The times they are a changin". The studios have made a phenominal amount of money for the entertainment they have provided, most of it when they had a strangle hold on the distribution. Times have changed, and in a very short space of time they have lost the grip they once had. Hard to adapt it may be, but adapt they must, as they cannot turn the clock back.
And a quick note for those who say that there will be no profit in making films anymore, so the industry will be terminally damaged.. If that is the case, why has the music industry not collapsed? They had to make some difficult choices, and the transition was painful and is still ongoing. But the quality of music is improving as more artists can get their music to a larger audience. If it is good, people will pay, but you can no longer easily tell people what to like, you must let them make their own choices. $250m spent on a film will not guarantee the biggest profit of the year, a good story does not need the best special effects. Hopefully these changes will allow studios with less financial clout to show what they can do.
I love anonymous slander, who doesn't? And personally I think Aubry Thonon is missing out if he's never experienced the exquisite joy of anonymous name calling. For instance, didn't you think that James Butler was being a bit of a bellend? Next time follow that urge and tell him so.
Re: 2 Things ...
"Third, you simply cannot equate the participation of an internet user in downloading copyright material with real world theft - it is a completely different act, with completely different motivations and effects."
I disagree about the motivations. Something for nothing is the common motivation.
I disagree about the effects, as well. Just because there is a difference between an item being present or not, as in traditional theft, and whether there is an economic loss or not, as in Internet piracy does not mean that the effect on the economic strata is different. Both really do damage real people.
I also disagree with Mr. Ballado-Torres in his assertion that Internet piracy doesn't diminish sales and his justification for that statement. Note the many entries in this very thread from people who would rather illegally download a pirated movie to watch on their superior home theater system than wait for it to come out on DVD when they could simply rent it for a couple of bucks.
I do agree that my rant was quite over the top. I'm afraid I lost my head a bit. It's truly disturbing that the type of criminal act being discussed here is treated so ignorantly, particularly when there is (often) intelligent-seeming contributors supporting the activity with blithe dismissal.
I'm not fond of thieves. I still remember a time when it was considered a virtue NOT to steal, whether it be ideas, material or objects. It seems like those ideals are slipping away faster than Americans' civil liberties, these days.
Go on with your rantings about how thievery is some sort of badge of honor.