It’s Not Stealing! I’m Taking A Stand!

I’ve always seen illegal downloading as just that, illegal. It wasn’t until a discussion in class this week that I considered it as a means of ‘sharing’ instead of ‘stealing’.  I can go and buy the new Game of Thrones season, and then lend it to all of my friends to watch. Does HBO then have the right to sue me because I lent them my DVD’s? Isn’t illegal download the exact same thing just on a larger scale?

piracy

The main reason I believe people download illegally is because of the CONSTANT rising costs of paying for products like movies, TV shows, music and books legally. Just as an example: ONCE AGAIN! Village’s prices have gone up. My boyfriend and I can’t even go out to the movies without it costing us $34 for the tickets alone and that’s because we’re students! Once I finish Uni it will be straight up to $40 for the two of us! And that’s just with the regular screen! So we add on the $2 booking fee, the snacks, extra for 3D or VMAX, AAAAAAAAND if you go with 3D you also pay for your glasses (god I miss the days of the free red and blue 3D glasses!). The fact of the matter is that these companies are just ASKING for people to download illegally, the prices for these products are ridiculous and they’re wondering why they’re seeing such a slump in sales! Unfortunately this seems like a never ending problem for companies. It’s all about supply and demand; as the demand reduces from these consumers downloading illegally, the prices keep getting jacked up to compensate for lost sales.

MOney

The other primary reasons include the effort involved in acquiring products; it’s much easier to download than to make a trip down to the shops, and the variety of options for consumers; there’s an unlimited supply of products online for every person’s interests, whilst companies may only provide a limited selection.

Now these companies aren’t just going to take this lying down. To them, illegal downloading is going to eradicate jobs in the creation, production and distribution of these products. Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Disney and the Seven Network attempted to sue internet provider iiNet in 2008 for ‘allowing their users to illegally download’ in an attempt to set a precedent to prevent the larger internet providers from allowing online downloading. The legal battle was unsuccessful, however Parliament has been reviewing the idea more recently and could cause serious issues in the near future for illegal downloader’s. If this is successful, we could all face the same issue we had with LimeWire and have no choice but to pay these ridiculous prices that we as consumers forced up. (credit http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/biztech/film-pirates-put-iinet-in-the-dock/2008/11/20/1226770617457.html)

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Now in my opinion, the battle is not over for these companies! They just need to move WITH the times, and try to meet consumer needs in order to try and combat illegal downloading. Netflix is an example of a company that may offer a medium between ridiculously priced cinemas and DVD’s. They have continued to grow over the past few years to the point where they are now competing with Cable TV in the states for top position according to this report posted at the end of last year.

Graph

(Image retrieved from http://mashable.com/2013/12/05/netflix-cable-users)

Illegal downloading will never entirely be eradicated but it may be reduced if companies are willing to open up the option of online and affordable products. What are your thoughts? Would an online affordable option make you feel more inclined to pay for products legally? Do you think if these laws are put in place to prevent illegal downloading that consumers will have no choice but to pay? OR will consumers just fine a new way to revolt? Leave your comments below!!

downloading

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13 thoughts on “It’s Not Stealing! I’m Taking A Stand!

  1. Emma Grace Cann says:

    I had a great idea that would solve this problem entirely
    So if any company is going to steal it, let it be known on the 16th of august 11:54 am I published it and they have to pay me for it!!

    Anyway, So I think production houses should GIVE MOVIES AWAY! Yes that’s right, give them away for FREEE! High quality downloads straight to the viewer. The catch? They are released a few weeks/months after they are launched at the cinema (the same as DVDs) and there are a few… maybe 5 minutes of ads at the start of the movie that you can not skip.

    This would work because as consumers in the digital age we are already accepting of ads as the price we pay for free content, plus the circulation of free movies would be enormous therefore the production houses can make money from advertising as there is a high level of viewership. Also the advertising can be dynamic so advertisers have to pay a subscription to stay on that film which reduces the older/less popular the movie. The concept is a much more sustainable way of making money from movies rather than have people pay once off to buy the dvd or download.

    You’re welcome film industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually really love this idea! the only problem I can see (which i should have addressed in my blog but forgot) is that you mentioned a few weeks/months after it comes out in the movies. People don’t like to wait that long for content, and that’s another prompt for illegal download. I can tell you that a friend of mine, (certainly not me) who has foxtel couldn’t even wait until the Monday night for the showing of the walking dead, and instead would watch it at mid-day on Monday just because that came out on ProjectFreeTV.com a few hours earlier!

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  2. Jack Clarke says:

    I think that piracy is stealing, and I am not entirely ok with it. Media and intellectual property takes a lot of time and money to make, and piracy effects me personally in both professional work (programming) and my favorite hobby (music).

    There is a massive disconnect that happened for me as a consumer, and it happened gradually. I started off stealing a song here and there thinking it was ok. I didn’t really feel bad since it was massive companies with exploitative business models. Eventually I moved on to stealing whole albums, and still felt disconnected since they were still making “a shitload of money”.

    Now we have reached a stage where companies are cropping up with non-exploitative business models, and indie artists are coming along too. We are treating them exactly the same way and they’re struggling to make money sometimes because of it. Records are now loss leaders to promote shows, which are now incredibly expensive.

    There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Someone wears the cost at some stage or the industry gets smaller, or can’t produce the same quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree in that I believe it to be stealing, but what I’m trying to convey through this piece is an understanding of why people may engage in the act. I know that rightfully, someone should pay the price for a product, it’s the whole point of this ‘buyer-seller’ society we have established, but consumers have decided to try and outsmart companies in order to avoid this payment and as a result, the companies are doing all the payment.

      I can admit that I personally have never done any downloading (but that’s just because I don’t know how to ha ha), I too share this feeling that “it’s a big company, they won’t notice my little download” but when EVERYONE is doing it, we see the impact. The companies WILL end up losing too many profits and have to close up shop completely if consumers continue to undermine the buyer-seller relationship.

      The important thing I want to know is, can companies prevent this from going that far? Can they change the way they operate and/or provide goods and services to stop the entertainment industry from being destroyed?? To give people the incentive to refrain from illegal downloading? OR are we just going to have to wait until Parliament can prevent it? and if so, will this be too late?

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      • Jack Clarke says:

        For this generation the damage is done, we’re too used to getting content of all kinds for free, people would find other ways. The bigger companies betrayed our trust through the 90s so setting up a good relationship with them is unlikely at this stage.

        As far as government legislation, at this point almost everyone has stolen something and should they get warrants to look they’ll be able to fine ridiculous amounts of money. ISPs could easily incriminate almost everyone, everything is traceable.

        Without being able to use people’s internet history in court (by the way, if they see your metadata they can tell if you torrent I am fairly sure) there is not much they can do. The internet has enough holes in it to make it possible to pirate stuff for a long time before it’s patched up.

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  3. Marissa Tsioutsis says:

    Great read! A while ago i worked in a cinema, about 2 months in prices were jacked up, only slight but noticeable, and in another 2 months even further. Then the digital projectors were brought in and the projectionists were to either work front of house (for a hell of a lot less) or face redundancy. In this day and age i agree that companies need to evolve and meet consumers needs, just like Limewire (totally forgot about that one till you mentioned it hahahaha) we’ll find another way. I also agree that if they opened up other options to us, it may be reduced! (but not gone), we’ll have to see!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. from what i’ve read, illegal download isn’t really effecting the movie world that much, small time movies that need that 5 bucks from a DVD aren’t the ones getting ‘stolen’ it’s the big time actors who are missing out, and really i feel like 5 bucks goes a little further with a uni student than taylor swift.

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    • Are you saying that you have more right to the Money for the product than the company or actors who worked for it? If this were the case what about an apple you buy from a large grocer like Coles? Do you deserve the apple for free just because you believe you as a poor uni student need the money more than the owners of Coles & Woolies? A bunch of people spent time & money producing these goods, why should people be allowed to just take without paying?

      It’s the big time productions that MOST people download, HOWEVER smaller businesses are still paying the price because people think the same rules apply, that “they won’t notice just one little download”. Yes these downloads are fewer but are much more impactful for small businesses.

      Once again the purpose of this post wasn’t necessarily to argue if illegal download Is right or wrong, it’s more to look at what these companies Can do to try and prevent it.

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  5. Great post, Rebecca, which has provoked a lot of discussion! I firmly believe illegal downloads are a by-product of an archaic distribution system for film and television. Apple and streaming providers such as Spotify / Pandora have assisted greatly in cutting down the number of illegal music downloads, simply because the benefits and costs of the new distribution models (0.99c iCloud purchases / $15 per month all you can stream) outweigh the cost of free (time sacrifice in searching / finding / downloading questionable quality / potential malware exposure). Consumers of content in Australia want access at the same time and at a reasonable price. The first distribution network to crack this problem and provide legally accessible content will make a fortune – to the detriment of the traditional distribution players. Instead of stuffing around with expensive lawsuits, they should be investing in where the future distribution lies. If they don’t, I suspect the future may well be content created and distributed by Netflix / Amazon / Apple – we’re already seeing this with the success of shows such as Orange is the New Black / House of Cards, etc. I look forward to seeing more posts from you this semester!

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    • Hey Kristel, Thanks for the reply! I couldn’t agree more. It’s a little upsetting that some industries will suffer as things continue to move online, but that has happened with many companies and industries unable to adapt to the rapid changes of technology and demands from consumers.I know personally that I’d be willing to spend that small amount if it did offer these products promptly online. At the moment to get things fast in Australia, you really only have the two options, paying for Foxtel, but then you ALSO have to pay for the movie channels to get all the good shows fast tracked from America, or illegal download. It seems like such a simple concept and astonishes me that no one has decided to take this to the rest of the world!

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