Early Movie DVD Releases Contemplated While MPA Gets Warrant for All of New Delhi

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Movie pirating and movie downloading is a big problem. From the home recording ‘enthusiast’ who goes into a theater with his video camera and then posts the movie to a peer-to-peer download site, to the big crime syndicates who manage to acquire a pre-release reel, it costs the studios big bucks.

Two efforts to address the piracy problem have been reported this week, each quite opposite from the other.


First, in Hollywood, movie studios are contemplating moving the release date of new movies on DVD to coincide with, or at least to very closely follow, the movie’s opening in the theaters. One such studio is the Walt Disney studio, whose CEO-elect, Robert Iger, recently suggested the move.

“Consumers have a lot more authority these days and they know that by using technology they can gain access to content and they want to use the power that they have,” said Iger. “We can’t stand in the way and we can’t allow tradition to stand in the way of where the consumer can go or wants to go.”

In other words, if you can’t beat them, join them. If consumers are going to obtain the movies for home viewing anyways, why not offer them legitimate copies when they want them, rather than holding off so that they turn to pirated copies, and lose sales in the process?

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Of course, the movie theaters are up in arms about this. Said John Fithian, the president of the National Association of Theater owners, “Mr. Iger knows better than to tell consumers – or Wall Street analysts – that they can have it all, everywhere, at the same time. He knows there would be no viable movie theater industry in that new world – at least not a theater industry devoted to the entertainment products of Hollywood.”

Obviously Mr. Fithian is out of touch with this current world, where consumers already can have it all, everywhere, at the same time. For that is exactly the situation to which Iger’s comments speak. Points out Todd Wagner, a co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, which not only finances and produces motion pictures, but has major holdings in Landmark Theaters, “Why do we make the assumption that five months later people are still interested in your product? If I hear a song on the radio, they don’t say, “Five months from now you can buy the CD”.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, another major player in the movie industry, the Motion Picture Association, is attempting to address the movie pirating problem in the only way it knows how: with aggressive legal tactics. However this newest development may astonish even the staunchest of MPA apologists.

 

The MPA has obtained a search warrant to allow it to conduct searches for pirated movies and related materials in New Delhi, India. Now, there is nothing unusual about the MPA obtaining a search warrant, however this search warrant is unusually broad. In fact, it couldn’t be broader. Actually, I believe that it may be unprecedented.

The MPA has obtained an open search warrant for the entire city of New Delhi, India.

In a statement, the MPA explained that the order “permits police to search any premises suspected of containing pirated products, and permits officers to open locked premises without delay. The order is expected to be especially useful in facilitating raids on the notorious Palika Bazaar, where information about imminent raids often leaks before police can effect arrest and seizures.”

Personally, I suspect that Mr. Iger’s idea may be more successful. It’s certainly less distasteful.

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3 thoughts on “Early Movie DVD Releases Contemplated While MPA Gets Warrant for All of New Delhi

  1. Oh dear; I suspect there’s a few MPA cronies lurking here too. Nothing would surprise me regarding the totally unscrupulous thugs of the entertainment industries. Better to shoot them all now and be done with it. Why wait until they’ve invaded and looted every household, raped our wives and daughters, and sent us off to jail, just before they offer their latest movie? BTW, the “pirated” wares mentioned happen to be dirt cheap, but of top quality; and are mainly “sold” in countries where people generally have no money, and so there’s little if any profit. What profit is to be made on a packaged DVD going for 60 cents? These people, even many in more ‘prosperous’ countries, could never afford to buy the overblown priced products even if they wanted to. Get real! People too cheap to buy? Go sell your propaganda to the Martians. We weren’t born yesterday.

  2. disney’s mr. iger is a bit smarter than the mpa. his approach is much more likely to work, stripping the pirates of their market with a timely, quality product to compete with the shoddy wares of the pirates. given a choice i would prefer the legal product, those too cheap to buy the real thing deserve what they get, junk.

  3. “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”

    Glad I don’t live in India, I guess.

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