Feeds

Whodathunkit? Media barons slit own throats in anti-freetard crackdowns

New study claims: 1. Make something easy to buy 2. ??? 3. Profit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Hollywood could slash piracy rates by simply making its content easily and legally available, rather than trying legal and technological hacks to sustain its current business model.

That's according to researchers from libertarian think tank the Mercatus Center. The team analyzed file-sharing news website TorrentFreak's weekly top-10 most-pirated media, cross-referenced it with stats on legitimate media buying and streaming, and published it all on the new Piracydata.org.

Over the past three weeks the data has shown that none of the pirates' top picks were available for legal streaming and only 53 per cent were available to buy at all, and only 20 per cent of which were available to rent.

"The MPAA is complaining that Google leads people to infringing links," team leader Jerry Brito told the Washington Post. "But what's the alternative?"

The media companies need to "change its business model to take their own voluntary measures to deal with piracy," he said, rather than trying to alter search results to demote links to pirated material.

There's a growing body of evidence showing a link between the availability of content and piracy rates, and there's a proven market for legal content. A common complaint from the music industry is that "you can't compete with free." Tell that to Apple, which is reaping billions from iTunes purchases.

The media industry fought hard against the iPod maker's pricing policy when iTunes first launched, as the industry wanted to set its own pricing and file-copying controls – none of which were working. But, thanks to the iPod, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had the industry by the balls and forced it to accept his terms.

The end result is that music piracy rates have dropped significantly and lots of revenue generated – although not as much as the media industry would like. El Reg wonders what would have happened if the industry had bought out Napster and embraced digital media sooner rather than fighting against it.

Meanwhile, the policy of bringing legal cases against digital pirates and trying to get legislation to remove internet access from those suspected of illegal file-sharing have reaped the industry acres of bad publicity, a trickle of compensation, and a lot of disgruntled customers. But it does seem that while piracy is always with us, most people prefer to stay on the right side of the law.

The results of the study garnered a quick response from the Motion Picture Ass. of America. Its spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield poured cold water on the findings. She pointed out that the recent zombie TV show The Walking Dead was pirated half a million times in the first day of its release despite it being available on a free streaming service in 125 countries worldwide.

"If a particular film isn't available for stream or purchase at a given moment, however, it does not justify stealing it from the creators and makers who worked hard to make it," she said in an emailed statement.

"Our industry is working hard to bring content to audiences when they want it, where they want it, but content theft is a complex problem that requires comprehensive, voluntary solutions from all stakeholders involved." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.