You Wouldn't Steal A Car...
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 11:06 by Helen O'Hara in Off The Wire
So reports have been all over the internet over the last few days that a work print of X-Men Origins: Wolverine leaked online. Supposedly, it's of "DVD quality", runs only a little shorter than the expected running time of the finished film and contains essentially the whole plot. On the other hand, it's without a score, has incomplete effects and is missing the footage from the recent reshoots in Canada. That hasn't stopped some people downloading it and watching it, with at least a minority regretting it, posting online that the leaked copy is sufficiently complete for it to have revealed the plot to them but also sufficiently unfinished that it has ruined the experience.
So let's talk about piracy for a minute. In some ways, I may not be the best person to do this: I don't watch pirated movies, I don't download or buy 'em, and I don't even particularly want to. That's more because I think it's a bad way to watch movies than anything else: I'd rather wait a few weeks and see it in the cinema, or in a decent-quality DVD (or Blu-ray; I'm all hi-def now), than risk whatever some dodgy bloke down the pub is selling / trust some random onliner. I like the whole experience of watching movies properly: I like cinemas, or at the very least watching decent-quality movies on TV. Heck, even trailers can lose their impact on the small screen. I saw the Bruno trailer last night in a cinema and one of the biggest laughs was when people noticed that Bruno's adopted son was wearing a "Gay Boy" babygro - but online that's almost invisible.
That's not to say that I don't get where downloaders are coming from. You hear about the vast sums made by these films at the box office and it may seem victimless. It may be more convenient (but really, how hard is it to get hold of films legally these days?). It may seem like a money-saving option in these credit-crunch times (although not if your £5 down-the-pub copy of Dark Knight turns out to be unwatchable). You may want to stick it to the man, but piracy just seems like a rather pathetic way to do that - especially since, I suspect, it's damaging the small indie movies rather than the big blockbusters in general (although Wolverine's case may see an exception to that rule).
A big huge argument against piracy is that it's against our interests. Download your movie instead of paying to see it - say, Serenity - and chance of that getting a sequel go waaaaay down. Hellboy only got sequelised because it did well on DVD; ditto Blade. The more niche it is, the more offbeat, the more it depends on people actually paying. If Wolverine does badly at the box office after this and we don't get to see him go to Japan, there's going to be a case for blaming the downloaders.
That all said, the studios could help themselves a bit. The figures they bandy about for piracy's vast cost to the industry are based on the fallacious assumption that every person who downloads a film would otherwise go to the cinema and buy the DVD, and do not do either, which is simply not true (NOTE: having since spoken to the MPA about the figures, we'd like to correct this point and convey that the figures arrived at do not apprarently make this assumption. They are arrived at via a complicated formula based on surveys taken form a cross-section of moviegoers and feedback concering their cinemagoing habits as a result of watching or not watching pirate movies - Ed). Many people want to see it early but still go see it in cinemas; others test it by downloading before buying; some people who download will both go to the cinema and buy the DVD, or wouldn't ever have spent money on it and only downloaded it because it was free and they figured they might as well. There are endless combinations, but few of them are as bleak as the assumptions the studios make. We believe you're losing money; why not convince us using real figures?
The relentless "piracy is a crime" message (which is, legally speaking and despite changes to the law, not entirely accurate: breach of copyright in many circumstances is a civil wrong, not a criminal one) just irritates people, and those unskippable, infuriating adverts at the start of every film I buy (legally!) are the single thing most likely to send me out on the streets trying to find one of those furtive-looking guys with the rucksack full of Watchmen DVDs. Hey, it may be shaky and have some toilet-bound dude blocking my view of Billy Crudup's blue bits, but at least I don't have to sit there and be reminded that I wouldn't steal a handbag.
The studios do a better job of convincing us when they improve the cinema and home cinema experience. When a film is released on Imax, or in 3D, it's harder for anyone to argue that the download version is in any way comparable. When it comes out on Blu-ray in a spiffy transfer with a boatload of nifty extras, it's harder to say that you can get the same thing for free at whatever site you frequent. THESE are the sort of moves that convince us to keep it legal; not the endless preaching and scare stories (Piracy funds terrorism! Osama Bin Laden and the Mafia download movies for free!).
Just to be clear, Empire's position is that piracy sucks. For that matter, it's mine as well. But if the studios are really going to get serious about targeting piracy, it might not be a bad idea to go easier on the people who aren't pirates (y'know, the ones who bought the DVD) and maybe get your own houses in order so that films like Wolverine, and before it Hulk and Soul Plane, don't leak online before release. Film journalists have long been required to submit to metal detectors and relinquish phones* before watching particularly hot-button releases, but the big leaks to date have - pretty much without exception that I'm aware of - come from inside the studios.
I won't be watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine online: I'll be in line for the first screening, at the biggest possible screen with the biggest possible bag of Minstrels. I hope you'll join me there.
*And if there's anyone out there who would seriously watch a film pirated on a phone, I've got news for you: you are not a real film fan.
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Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 12:53
Spot on Helen. Any true film fan would want to see any film with the best possible visual and aural clarity. I have only once ever downloaded a movie, Hot Fuzz, but then again I did pay to see it three times at the cinema and had the DVD on pre-order, so I consider myself to have in no way taken away from the studio on that.
But look at Taken, it was out for almost a year online, as a DVDrip no less, and it's absolutely stormed the US box office. Why? Because it kicks ass, and does that even more on a big screen with crunchy sound effects.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 12:55
I have downloaded the pirated version, but I have absolutely no intention of watching it before I see it at the cinema. Instead I'm gonna watch it afterwards cause I'm quite interested in the whole movie making proceedure so it'll be interesting to see what the film looks like 'mid-post-production' as such.
I have never bought a pirate dvd, nor will I ever do so. I DO however watch TV episodes of stuff that has aired in the USA but not in the UK yet as a)No adverts - huzzah! and b) by the time it has aired on UK TV I'd have been majorly spoiled on most major plot points (e.g. kept getting spoiled for Supernatural last season when I was good and watched it on ITV2 as it had already aired months ago in the USA) . I do then, however, tend to then buy the series on DVD when it comes out. Maybe a solution (for TV anyway) would be to offer the episodes online via subscription WORLDWIDE on the airdate?
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 12:57
to be honest I dont download films online, I always stream them. Its just way to expensive to go out to the cinema, mind you most of the time i just end up buying the DVD/Bluray when the film comes out. There used to be a time when going out to watch a film would be under £5 now your almost paying £8+ to watch a film once, see it makes sence to buy then to watch.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:04
I'd say yeah, hang 'em high, but lets face it, this is Fox.
These guys destroyed Alien Vs Predator, the Alien series itself, Fantastic Four, Futurama, Family Guy, Firefly.
They gave us The Happening and Babylon A.D. X-Men 3 was given the go ahead with tremendous action and little interest for fans of the first two, and of course tried to delay or stop Watchmen.
Couldn't of happen to a worse company.
I saw it, it was a highlight of summer film, I don't care for Shatner-less Star Trek or Bale swearing at poor Bryce Dallas Howard.
No, this, Angels and Demons, Coraline, Public Enemies and Transformers 2, that's all, and I'm glad I didn't fork out cash for this.
Yes maybe some bits are to be edited, but no amount of editing can save a film made to the lowest common denominator.
Fox hates fans, and loves to make the worst movies possible for the idiots out there.
Maybe a bit of a fight back is just what they need, I don't feel guilty seeing this one, always have done before, even with Uwe Boll flicks, and that's saying something.
Screw Fox, whilst the film will make money, piracy never hurt anyone in the industry, well, a few job losses, but only adds to the bonuses of the suits at Christmas, when they have another sci-fi remake with Keanu Reeves and a god awful Hugh Jackman Crocodile Dundee film for three hours...
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:13
I agree with everything you say Helen, except that those irritating anti-piracy ads at the beginning of genuine DVDs are entirely skippable on all my discs. You must be buying fakes made by FACT!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:15
Have to agree entirely Helen. Music is widely available to download free (and at excellent quality) and I have to say I do occasionally listen to some albums before I go and buy them - but will only download with a view to buying anyway. As for downloading illegal copies of films, why would anyone want to watch a piss-poor quality film? The whole point of film, for me, is to enjoy a great story etc etc whilst being able to see/understand everything that is going on with the best possible 'visual and aural clarity' (thanks rosskies for the quote). And while I don't have a blu-ray player, I am more than happy to buy dvds (which are generally readily available quite cheap not long after a films dvd release) and watch them on a good tv with a good sound system behind it. And as for the cinema, as a student it can be pretty cheap to go and watch a film, so i do often, but paying £8 does seem a little expensive. It is such a great experience going to the cinema and seeing an awesome film that I don't understand why people would want to tarnish their image of a particular director/franchise/whatever with a leaked post-post-production copy.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:16
I have to say I can see the attraction of ripping off a copy of a film here and there... not that i do it really - have done one or two in the past, but far from being a full time pirate.
the problem i have is for me and my girlfriend to go to see a film its gona cost us £20... so i may as well what for it to hit Sky HD or buy it on Blu Ray.. and that way I can watch it a few times if its good for the same price.. but it also means hanging around for the best part of 6-8mths and putting up with all the spoilers and talk on the movie.
Also, my local Odeon, seems hell bent on showing me 1000 screens of bloody harry potter.. rather than a decent selection of ALL the current films. Overall, i love going to the cinema and some films NEED to be seen on a big screen (even the 46in HDTV at home is still not up to it really... )
but so long as the likes of Odeon limit the choice and hike the prices up I can see more and more people opting for the pirate route... and the flip side is that the cinemas loose the audience and so hike the prices up further to compensate and put on films that will draw a big audience rathet than a decent indie.... its an ever decreasing circel really.
I think Empire should champion the cinema chains to offer cheaper seats and get the film studios to push the content out there for all of us - surely things like Orange Weds have been a huge help to both in getting the audience out of the armchair, or more importantly, away from the bit torrent sites, and into the wonderful dark rooms with 40ft screens!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:18
I reckon the credit crunch will have an on going effect on piracy. Even if you don't want the hassle (or risk of getting caught) of downloading stuff, you can easily pick up DVD's on the cheap. £2 for a title not even in UK cinemas and if it's poor quality you get your money back or a refund. Comapre this to paying £8ish a ticket and the time you get your popcorn, juice etc.
I'm not sticking up for piracy, but inequailty has a big effect on society just now. Not poverty, inequality. I could go to the cinema and spend over £20 on a night out, but I could also pay £2 for a DVD I can watch over and over again. Sad state of affairs.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:26
Fair play Helen! I used to download movies but stopped after trying to download Happy Feet(do not try downloading it unless you have a foot fetish and like foot fetish porn).
The only time I download is when I have seen a film in the cinema but want to see again after the film is gone from theatres but not yet out on dvd. It also helps me decide whether or not I want to buy the DVD(I usually do).
The last time I did the above was for Sin City back in '05 so you can see how rare it is. I'm too addicted to my HD and Blu-ray to go for the rip-offs now too :D
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:26
I've only ever downloaded a film for free off the internet three times. First time was because no cinema within a 20mile radius was showing Garden State (which after viewing I then bought on dvd).
The second time was with Die Hard 4.0. I had actually paid to see that at my local Cineworld but the speaker set up was awful! You couldn't hear a word anyone said when any action was happening. Instead of paying another £7 to see it again I downloaded it (dvd quality) and actually got to hear and enjoy all the clever quips. I then, in turn, bought that DVD.
The latest time (as I said above) was Wolverine which I will watch after seeing it at the cinema so I can rejoice in the work that goes into post-production...then (assuming its not shite like X3), I will most likely buy the dvd too :)
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:27
My stance with everything downloadable... try before you buy.
I completely understand the argument you're putting forth, but I'm not in the position to go and see every film I want to see, nor buy every CD I want to listen to. So I will download them and watch / listen to them, but only if the quality makes it worth my while. I completely refuse a bootleg camcorder in cinema job, and I will not actually pay for a pirated version.
In my opinion the problem isn't stopping the pirates, it's making the legal format more enticing.
The cinema is too expensive and the experience is not good enough. Our local cinemas are falling to pieces, any night can be full of people that ruin the experience, chavs shouting at each other, people throwing food, walking in front of you, audio cutting out. As a couple we only get one shot at seeing it at the cinema too, as we have to get a babysitter.
What should be done? Spruce up the cinemas, offer special discounts, refuse the idiots, have security in each screen, make the experience worthwhile. Give you the ability to get a rebate on the DVD when it comes out, get £5 off or your cinema tickets value back.
DVD quality is falling in standard too, what happened to booklets? Mixed regional widescreen transfers and extras? Release dates. Things need standardising. The whole thing is a mess, this applies to the theatre too.
You don't have to settle for rubbish quality downloads, anyone who really knows piracy understands this. Using the watchmen as an example, I havent seen it yet because I didn't dare go see it at the cinema, and it's not decent enough quality to download yet. So I intend to download the BluRay rip, watch it and then decide whether or not to buy it, I'm a patient person.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:29
I'll join you, but only if you share the minstrels.
Forgetting for now, this particular issue, since I think an early leak is bad anyway, the studios (both movies and music) really need to find a way to embrace peer to peer downloading of movies and songs instead of trying to criminalize it all and call it piracy.
Essentially, if a model is put in place where people pay a nominal fee every month (won't be hard since a lot of people who pirate have no problem paying nominal fees for online role playing games or X-Box live or whatever) which allows them to download and share whatever they want, and then a portion of that fee go to the studios. It wouldn't be amazingly difficult to figure out who's owed what as those downloads are tracked pretty accurately and while there won't be nearly as much revenue earned from this than from cinema tickets or DVD's, as you say, it doesn't really seem to be hurting anything as most people who pirate either go to see the movie/buy the DVD anyway, or they were never going to see it in the first place. I don't know many people who look to piracy as an alternative to the real thing. And thus, the revenue earned from "piracy" would simply be extra cash for the studios.
And the "You wouldn't steal a handbag" thing... yeah, sorry, but treating legitimate buyers of your product like thieves is helping no one.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:36
Bang on, Helen.
I never buy pirated DVDs from some bloke in the pub as the quality is usually way too poor to even bother, and I very rarely even download as they're similarly hit and miss.
The one recent exception to this was watching a copy of In Bruges that my mate had downloaded on the off-chance. We loved it and introduced another mate to it, then introduced our respective ladies who also loved it, then introduced at least two or three more mates, most of whom have since introduced others to the film. Now at least three or four of us own a copy of the DVD, bought legally, with all monies going to the artists involved.
So for the 'cost' of one download (the equivalent cost of an EK47, presumably) they've ended up making three or four times more than they would have had we not been introduced to such a wonderful little film that had slipped under the radar of most of us.
Save your downloading for episodes of Scrubs or porn..... or both....
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:36
I have to be honest, I don't really understand why anyone would want to watch an incomplete version of a movie that they were probably going to see in the cinema on a small screen. I've never, and will never download or buy a pirate copy.
The sheer amount of coverage this latest leak has received - an AintItCoolNews Talkbacker being quoted on BBC.co.uk anyone?! - must surely have bumped up the download figures too. Once it's out, it will stay out. The FBI may *think* they solved the problem but somebody somewhere will have it mirrored.
The movie strikes me as being the perfect candidate for big-screen viewing (Wolvie flying through the air towards the chopper would be invisible surely?) and I'll also be there opening day with my Cineworld Unlimited card - £13.99 a month for unlimited movies. One or two visits covers that easily.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:36
I disagree with the paying for pirate copies of stuff, because I can't see any justification fo r giving cash to somone who's basic skills involve illegal recording and copying, or merely knowing (however many degrees of separation) someone with these skills.
It does seem wrong that some @$$hole gets the cash, and nothing goes to anyone involved in providing the material they are producing.
As for free downloads - I am less passionate about it, as at least no-one is making cash out of other peoples hard graft (depending on the film/TV program, some do seem to have minimal graft involved) and cash. I generally disgaree though with not contributing in some monetary way towards the film/TV show.
I cannot take a "holy and untouchable" standpoint, because I am an impatient naughty boy, and have downloaded free copies of TV programs. Why?
For one of them, I couldn't get round to a friends house who has sky and watched it whilst it aired.
For another - Its out in the States, and Virgin1 isn't showing it until the summer (the currs)
And the final show - I missed the BBC showings by too much of a gap, and so missed the iPlayer bit.
Why don't I feel guilty?
Because for those shows I can get (i.e. non sky) I pay licence fee, and will watch in the summer too.
because I have got the previous seasons of all of these shows on DVD and will BUY the "naughty boy downloads" when they come out on DVD.
Loss to the studio - in my mind - bu99er @ll (because I ain't getting Sky for one TV show!)
Getting closer to the topic in hand - it would seem downright retarded to pay for an incomplete film.
Secondly, I do agree with the comments that the best way to make people not get pirated stuff (films and TV) is to ensure that the quality of the legal alternatives is much better, and that release times are similar across the globe (then impatient people like me wouldn't be kind of bad).
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:37
ianrathbone - thats a good point about falling cinema quality being partly to blame. When I saw Iron Man the first 10mins was set at the wrong ratio so half of it was projected onto the floors and when I saw Watchmen the Saturday morning after release they, for some unknown reason, turned the lights on for the first 20mins! The screening was full and despite at least 10 people going out to complain we were all just told 'nothing we can do - tough!'. No apologies or offers for refunds. Not exactly winning repeat customers that way. After spending close to £15 (ticket, bus travel and a bottle of water) I'd expect a better experience then that.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:40
Well said, Helen. I have downloaded things in the past but I have usually already seen it. Best example I have is Clerks 2: saw it in the cinema once in the States, twice here, downloaded it to keep me going until the DVD came out. I don't see anyone losing any money over that.
If I don't want to pay to buy a DVD of a film I haven't seen, it goes on the rental list.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:48
I do download movies fairly regularly I must admit. But I have to say that there is a reason. I go to the cinema to see every film I am interested in. I always pay to see what appeals to me. But there are still movies which I know I wont spend money on seeing in a cinema that I still wouldn't mind having a look at. Punisher war zone for example- never going to see it in the cinema but still want to have a look. In that respect downloading has opened movies up to me that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. If I like those films I then buy them on DVD to have a proper copy- thus the company has lost nothing and in fact gained a dvd sale that they normally would not have had. I'm not going to download the wolverine film because I want to see it in the cinema even though I am desperate to watch it.
Radiohead had the right idea i think- donation. have a film available for a proper high quality copy that can be downloaded with a donation maybe a month after release- people can get their hands on the film, pay for it in someway and people who want to see it in the cinema can still do that. Im not sure if the logistics would work out in the end but forward thinking is needed- use downloading to help sales and distribution and getting a bigger audience than usual. don't turn it into an evil enemy which will further damage the industry. Downloading should be the next big way of distribution.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:52
The problem is that a lot of people seem to think that the world owes them something.
The plain truth is that someone has come up with an idea & written a script or bought the rights to adapt a story. Someone has put up the money and then cast and crew have been employed to complete the movie.
Our end of the bargain is simple. If we want to see what they've made, we pay them for it. It's business. It's pathetic for people to justify theft (which is what piracy is), by saying that they don't like Fox or any other company. If you don't like Fox, simple, don't go and see the movie. If everyone who doesn't like the rubbish that Fox produces did likewise, then the company would either suffer heavy (legitimate) losses or they'd be forced to alter the way they do business.
Just don't give me this self-justification nonsense that you are a freedom fighter trying to right the wrongs of the world by illegally downloading/purchasing a pirated film. Yep - you're a modern day Gandi.
And for those who say they can't afford to go to the cinema. True - some chains like Odean are increasing their prices at a ridiculous rate, so do what any other honest person does.
1. Get a job (if that is the problem)
2. Find a cheaper cinema
3. Arrange your finances better
4. Don't go to the cinema so much - there is other ways to enjoy yourself (get a girlfriend if that's the problem)
We all like the opportunity to get something for free and especially when it seems like a victimless crime and it's so unlikely to get caught. Truth is - that doesn't make it right.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 13:55
Agree wholeheartedly, Helen. Another thing I would consider is that piracy is morally wrong. True, those "you wouldn't go to the toilet in a policeman's helmet" ads are stupid, but I can't be alone in thinking that downloading someone else's work for free, instead of paying for it, is a largely sucky thing to do. I don't buy into the "try before you buy" argument, although I do get the "try AFTER you buy" that people are suggesting for Wolverine (I also don't have a problem with people downloading TV shows, because they often have sponsorship deals tied into the actual programmes, and also coz you could just have a friend record it for you, so it's not quite the same...).
The Wolvie thing has me thinking: if so many people here are saying they're interested in seeing the unfinished cut after they've seen the film at the flicks, how cool would it be for Fox to throw their hands up and offer a spesh dish DVD release which contained the pirated version on an extra disc?
Finally, the source of the links: when I was at uni, my housemate habitually downloaded EVERYTHING: new films, games, and albums. He had so many he couldn't store the CDs in jewel cases anymore, and had to resort to paper envelopes. And the source of most of these pirated versions? Academy screeners (this was pre-watermarked DVDs) and post-production houses. So, Helen, you're right: the true source isn't bloke-in-the-street, but rather the studios themselves.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 14:13
"You wouldn't steal a car" states the pre movie warning! I watched The Escapist (excellent!) with my cousin Gimpy Pete the other day and as a convicted car thief I asked if this warning applied to him? He said it was down to the individual and that he personally had never bought a pirate DVD. However, he stated that most people he knew who did buy them, did so as a result of the ongoing problem of hordes of cunts populating most multiplexes! I have to agree. Only the other day while watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at my local Cineworld (Huntingdon) a ginger fuck-pig 4 seats down seemed more interested in talking at regular volume to his equally malodorous girlfriend! I shall soldier on but the multiplexes need to remedy this annoying and growing trend.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 14:14
I prefer fizzy Cola bottlles myself - the little ones, not the massive big ones!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 14:28
Just a thought, but why do I read on IMDB about the clever and amusing false names that studios use to ship movies to cinemas - Rory's First Kiss, Blue Harvest, etc? Why are false names needed at all? Unless I'm mistaken, no-one would be able to steal and use the master tapes unless they had cinema projection equipment anyway, and copying those tapes would be all but impossible. Seems that the only reason to ship the movies under false names is because the threat of theft/piracy comes from WITHIN the system, and not from Joe Public.
The studios need to work much harder to persuade us not to involve ourselves in piracy. Having Daniel Craig (earning millions per movie) pulling at our heartstrings to protect the jobs of the poor schmoes who work on his movies seems a bit pompous to say the least. And I'm pretty certain that Empire ran an article some time back in which it was proved pretty conclusively that the "piracy funds terrorism" line was utter bollocks.
The worst example I have come across is the insert in the "Superman Returns" DVD - linking movie piracy with the Morecambe Bay cockle picker tragedy. Apparently the head guy, who sent the pickers into the bay every day, had a stack of knock-off DVDs in his house. What the fuck is that all about? How are the two things related? Are Warner Bros REALLY trying to argue that if we had all been good little boys and girls, there wouldn't have been any pickers in the bay to be drowned? Shameful.
And let's face it - if piracy was genuinely costing the movie industry the amounts it claims, piracy would be taken a LOT more seriously. The fact that piracy allegedly costs millions every year and yet movies can be made with budgets over $200 million tends to suggest that the industry isn't exactly on the bones of its arse.
Do I buy pirated DVDs? No. Do I download movies? No (mainly because I wouldn't know where to start). Can I see why people do? Yes.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 14:49
Yes, piracy will indeed hurt the business. Just like libraries has hurt publishing. Or, no... wait...
Also, Helen, it is not easy to get the films you want to watch legally. It's probably possible to buy most of them, but then again, you may not want to own every film you want to see. I see downloading as a rather inconvenient way to rent films. It would be much more simple to just pay to rent them, IF THEY WERE BLOODY AVAILABLE. Stupid industry.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 14:52
Indeed you are not the best person to submit a piracy report as you clearly have no idea how good downloadable movies are. I have been downloading movies for over a year now and have never watched one that has been recorded on a mobile phone neither have a watched one movie recorded on a camera, they have all been DVD-rips.
One of the reasons that I watch downloaded movies is because the UK is so far behind the rest of the world releasing movies it is frightening. I watched Religulous, Let the Right One In, Red Cliff (Parts 1 and 2) over 4 months ago and just last week caught Ong Bak 2. They were all perfect DVD rips and were free.
I used to go the cinema twice a week to see movies. One of the reasons I stopped going was a) it was becoming stupidly expensive, b) the general British public are completely uneducated in cinema-going manners and c) the standard of movies has slipped considerably that these movies are quite frankly not worth my money.
This article would have carried much more kudos if Helen actually knew what she was talking about and had seen movies that are "pirated". The days of "pass the popcorn" and toilet breaks during the middle of copied movies are long gone (there are still some of these around but you just have to ignore them). Downloading movies is the only way forward.
I am sure that the new X-men movie will get the standard 3 star review from Empire so why bother forking out money for a rank franchise anyway. If my download of the new X-men movie stops another sequel being made then I am all for it.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 14:57
I live in Japan and have been downloading movies for the past 6 years 24/7. I know which sites to go to to get the best movies that are always dvd quality. I now even know how to get blu ray movies to play on my ps3 well before they are available to buy anywhere in the world. The best pre release ones to get are R5's from Russia where the picture is DVD quality and the sound is synced with an English cam source which isnt always great but is fine. I will go and watch the big films at the cinema such as Watchman recently but when there is fuck all being made these days that really grabs my attention and when i live in a country where films come out sometimes a year after the rest of the world and the download speeds are soooooo fast its unbelievable why the fuck not eh? I have a back room full of 1000's of original VHS, DVDs BLU Rays i have bought over the years, its not like ive not given 1000's of pounds to the industry over the years. Just cause you work for Empire and see everything early and for free doesnt make you god so fuck you Helen who are you to tell us? Oh, and by the way, the effects are funny in Wolverine as they are incomplete although the score is fine. Its a great film regardless of whether the effects are finished or not. Who leaks it in the first place anyway?! Surely someone gets fired for it at Fox?!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 15:24
I think as the gap widens between the price we pay for the pristine quality, surround-sound, Blu-Ray experience and the cost to download or stream entire, reasonable quality films from the internet, more people will pour over into the latter camp.
The more epic films (e.g. The Dark Knight, maybe Wolverine – who knows yet) and Disney/Pixar family-type films may not suffer as much for a while. Let’s be honest though –these days, a hell of a lot more people who are in two minds over whether or not to watch the latest Paul W S Anderson offering (or equivalent gubbins) will try it out online rather than spend the £15 or so to either catch it at the cinema or buy the DVD.
It’s time that the studios realise they aren’t always providing a realistically priced film experience for the entire audience they’d like to draw in and offer some middle ground. Can’t they take their cues from the music industry? Why not support sites which stream certain films starting from their cinema release date, as long as you don’t mind lower resolution (but still clear) and parting with a few quid? At a lower cost, the studios will make their money via more paying customers who wouldn’t have budged from their sofas/desks anyway.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 15:43
McQueen (#25) has it spot on
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 15:47
For the past couple of years me and my girlfriend have an umlimited card each at our local cineworld cinema at only 20 euros a month and it is well worth the money especially some nights when we watch two movies and we go to the cinema pratically every weekend so you may say its pointless for us to download movies since we are going for next to nothing. But unfortunately thats not the case. Sometimes I find it ridiculous that we in UK/Ireland still have a big waiting gap for the release dates from the US for some films. I mean in Hong Kong or Malaysia films get released in the cinemas there before they get released in UK/Ireland and in Hong Kong or Malaysia the movie piracy is very high, just go into the streets and you'll probably find it on dvd for a few quid. Only thing that annoys me with the movie industry is the delay between US and UK/Ireland
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 15:53
McQueen and jono, the description of a screener-type pirate copy was intended for humour, as should be fairly obvious. The camera remark is something of a journalist in-joke, since the insistence that we hand in our phones is something that drives us all mad, since it clearly ISN'T the source of pirate films. I am aware that there are high quality pirates out there; doesn't change the fact that I like the whole experience. And jono, if you think you get a job at a movie magazine without spending a heck of a lot on cinemagoing and/or DVDs, you're tripping. By the sounds of it, I spend considerably more than you so I'd get off the high horse.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:04
I myself have never downloaded a movie or bought a knock-off dvd from a market stall or 'chap down the pub' but can understand why people do - increasing cimema costs and the reatil price of dvd's can be quite high.
Its hard for the little guy with a family to support and mortgage to pay to afford to see every blockbuster at the cinema and buy every dvd they might wish to from the shops. Orange wednesdays is a very good deal but i only have one wednesday every 10 weeks off work!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:05
You are still the wrong person to have written this article, and throwing in pretentious "journalist in-jokes" just confirms that. I would say that 90% of the movies that I have seen over the last two years have been nothing short of pony, so I have no problem with downloading movies instead of having to pay for a completely risible experience.
I think that it is also worth noting that there are many different reasons for downloading (see post no. 26, who I completely agree with). I live in Germany and they dub all of the movies over here and I am not paying to see that. Malaysia will be my next stop though as I recently came back from there with over 50 movies....have that Helen.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:09
I'd love to be able to afford to fork out £9 (£18 if I pay for my girlfriend!) a week to watch a film at my local flicks, alas this isn't the case. I agree with McQueen, granted it doesn't make it right, hence 'Illegal', but if it saves me a fortune to watch films, which it does , then I'm all for it and if it means that Jackman/Pitt (insert your fav actor) only takes home $15m per film, then I certainly won't lose any sleep over it!!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:12
alvin007 - hello mate!! Fancy a game of FIFA tonight??!! Give me a call over the weekend and I'll run through how to download these movies. Got X-Men by the way, fucking funny seeing Jackman flying about on wires, probably improves what is a horrible movie!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:15
I think jmebaby25 has made the most reasonable points here so far. But to add a similar point to that:
Some justify downloading with "try before you buy", and then if they like it they buy the DVD, therefore equalling a sale the company wouldn't've had otherwise. But this doesn't justify it -- because what of all those films you DIDN'T buy? You still got to see it, and they still lost out on the money they should've made.
Just because you "don't want to see it much but would if it were free" doesn't mean you gain the right to see it illegally for free on the off chance you WILL like it and consequently buy the DVD; it means you shouldn't get to see it, until you're prepared to pay for a ticket/rental/DVD or catch it on TV. If you can't afford to, tough shit -- you'll either have to wait til you can or miss out.
If you want to be able to justify it, that is.
I've pirated movies, for various reasons (for example, I needed to reference one in an essay -- it was gone from cinemas, the DVD wasn't out til a month after my deadline, so I pirated it. And it was crap). I pirate music much more often, because the quality is fine; I don't pirate films much because I like to watch in the best possible quality on the biggest possible TV with surround sound & all that jazz. But at no point when pirating do I justify it to myself with some "try before I buy" or "I'm sticking it to the man" argument. I'm stealing, it's theft, it's illegal. Ooh, I'm a criminal.
My point is this: pirate if you want, but don't pretend it can be reasonably justified.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:18
McQueen, the word you're looking for to describe this particular in-joke might be "nerdy" but it's not pretentious. And blogs depend on having an opinion, and I know quite enough to have an opinion on this. But clearly you're getting defensive, so I'll leave it there.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:22
Badblokebob...brilliant...your sign off line is 'My point is this: pirate if you want, but don't pretend it can be reasonably justified.'
And then in the previous paragraph you wanted a reference for an essay....so you pirate it....oh at least you aren't trying to justify why....oh you are.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:23
You can't skip the anti-piracy ads but you can fast-forward through them.
"You wouldn't steal a car... you wouldn't burn down an orphanage... you wouldn't punch a nun in the face...."
Yeah we understand, get on with the film!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:28
Helen - maybe you should take McQueen out for a fish supper and have chat about the good and bad of movie piracy!! You never know it might be the start of a beautiful friendship!!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:28
Whoa whoa whoa, they've put non-pornographic material on the interweb? That's a bold strategy, I hope it pays off.
The only item of furniture I have is a shelf with my nerdily organised selection of films; with a section for 80's action segwaying into Guillermo and finishing with about 10 discs of Lord Of the Rings.
Saying that after seeing Watchmen at both the normal cinema and the Imax, I did have a sneeky stream to watch that opening scene again. But then of course, I'll be adding the ultra-uber-'have you ever spoken to a girl' collector's edition to The Shelf so I don't feel too guilty.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:31
Woody, good use of Dodgeball quote!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:31
I download movies and TV shows BUT I also go to see them in the cinema and buy the bluray when it becomes available... I'm currently unemployed and spare cash is very hard to come by as I have bills and a bank loan to pay from the wonderful £120 I get every 2 weeks from the government.
I download more since I've been unemployed as I simply can't afford to see all the movies I want and believe me it's not for the want of trying. I delete them as soon as I finish watching them, never share them with anyone and spend the little money I have buying them when I can.
I don't have any of those cinemas where they have special deals like Orange Wednesday or cheap prices. My local is an independantly run cinema so they charge ridiculous sums of money for everything. My last visit cost me nearly £20 for the ticket, popcorn and a drink... I go to movies by myself as there are no needless interuptions from friends etc.
I would reckon the majority of downloaders (not all) are usually people who are simply too young to see the movies. The guy that buys a pirate DVD is most likely a family man who can't afford to splash out £60 for his kids to see a movie.
There are many reasons why people will watch pirated content and there will always be those who hate piracy. I'm somewhere in the middle as I know that everyone involed has to get paid at the end of the day from the stars to the guy who makes the coffee so I put my money where it needs to go.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:31
Piracey might not be a victimless crime but while the movie industry continues to treat it's consumers as idiots it deserves nothing more than the bed it has made for it's self.
I personally only download films that I can't get a hold of by going to the cinema. Pathfinder never came to any cinemas near me (and I'm talking within 25 miles) so I waited for a DVD screener to appear online watched it loved it and then bought the original. The same went for 24 i'd never seen the begining so I downloaded the first season I now own 1-5 on DVD.
I couldn't go to the cinema last summer because my wife was was in the midst of a very difficult pregnancey so I downloaded both Iron man and the Hulk. now I have them on blu ray along with many other movies that I downlaoded during the course of her pregnancey such as Spiderwick Chronicles which we loved and the Dark Knight which I desperately wanted to see at the cinema but promised my wife I wouldn't go and see without her, but was gone by the time she was able to get up and around again.
My home cinema set up cost me over 3 grand and to be honest I'd rather watch a movie at home than go to a crap cinema which has lousey sound, frequent aspect ratio and sound synching cock ups and uncomfortable seats. If hollywood wants to stop piracy it should just release the movies simultaneously for home and cinema audiences at a competitive price instead shamelessly milking us for all we have at six month intervalls
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:32
You must be pretty low down the pecking order at Empire Helen if all you do all day is reply to jokers like me and McQueen. I would love a job like yours but cant imagine it is very well paid so i will stay here in Tokyo thanks with 16 weeks holiday a year paid for as i travel round south east asia picking up blu ray and dvd rips for a quid. McQueen, we need to hook up, i like the cut of your job young man. I can give you an awesome site to get the fastest most high quality up to date movies from. If i put it on here i dont think Helen could resist the temptation to download:)
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:37
pop it on jono31 I could do with seeing Inglorious Basterds at home!!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:37
Thanks Helen, I live my life to a concentrated stream of more pop culture references than one Mr T. Bisley of Meteor Street.
It's a metaphor.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:39
The thing I dont get about Helen's argument is that in the second paragraph of your blog you mention wanting to watch ''a decent-quality DVD (or Blu-ray; I'm all hi-def now), than risk whatever some dodgy bloke down the pub is selling / trust some random onliner''. Since you have never downloaded a film, it is fair to assume you do not have first hand experience of what a pirate DVD looks like (a point already made by McQueen). In many cases the quality IS DVD, or Blu-ray.
I think your argument is essentially based on morals/ethics rather than practicality; i.e. I wont download that film because it is against the law, rather than I wont download that film because the quality is bad (granted in some cases the quality is poor, but it is just a case of knowing where to look to find DVD/Bluray quality). It would be better if you explicitly argued that instead of saying that it is the quality which is the issue.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:43
"You wouldn't steal a handbag. You wouldn't steal a car. You wouldn't steal a baby. You wouldn't shoot a policeman. And then steal his helmet. You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet. And then send it to the policeman's grieving widow. And then steal it again! Downloading films is stealing. If you do it, you will face the consequences."
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:45
jmebaby25 has hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned. Although I download the odd bit of music, and very ocassionally a movie, if I was pushed I'd still admit that what I was doing is wrong.
There's a few reasons I can think of for why I still do it:
a) sometimes I'll download music from an artist that I've not heard of that much. If I like it, I'll go out and buy the rest of their stuff, so they earn money they might otherwise not have got if I never listened to a pirated version of their stuff. If not, then I won't bother - I don't like their stuff so they're not going to miss out on wads of cash from me anyway. (These days Spotify tends to mean I just test the water using that instead).
b) if I'm downloading music from an artist that has sold millions of records, I figure that they won't miss a few quid from me if I pinch one of their albums.
c) as someone else said, it feels like a victimless crime (even though it's not) because you're stealing 0's and 1's over the net, rather than something tangible that you can touch (like a DVD or a cinema ticket).
As far as films go - practically the only time I downloaded a film was Pan's Labyrinth. The nearest screen showing it was 150 miles away, and I subsequently bought it on DVD.
Really, it IS still stealing though. You're stealing someone else's work - it's no different to stealing a painting, or a sculpture. People like McQueen seem to think that because they can get away with it, then it's okay and screw everyone else, but they are just being smartarses.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:49
jono31 - you might have 16 weeks paid holidays a year, but sadly judging from your post, you're a right twat.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:53
If everyone in the UK has a spare penny lying under their bed; that's a shit load of cash missing. Similarly if everyone thinks "its just little old me" then its again a couple of million times the lost revenue of one ticket. Though I suppose you could also argue if the studios are worrying about the spiralling cost of production, a few of their talking props could take a reduction from the $20M they make for 6 weeks work.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 16:55
I don't think going to the cinema is that expensive. I have a Cineworld Unlimited card, which is £13 a month; that means if I go to the cinema once a fortnight (which is the least I go) each trip costs £6.50. Like I say, I often go once a week, sometimes more, so I reckon my average cinema cost is £5.
Plus, most of the time I either don't have any snacks at all, or I take a bag of M&Ms (bought at a supermarket and therefore a lot cheaper than at the cinema) and a can of Pepsi (multipack can working out about 20p at the most).
Okay, everyone's definition of "cheap" and "expensive" is different, but in my opinion a trip to the cinema costing between £5 and £7 depending on snacks and including petrol isn't too bad in my opinion. Also, because it's effectively "free at the point of use" it means I'm not too fussed if a film turns out pants, and I'm more willing to "risk" my money by seeing something I otherwise wouldn't bother about.
As for DVDs? Well, they're, what, three quid? Five? As long as you're not mad-keen on the latest releases. I remember when I was a teenager, having to spend £13 on VHS releases. And if you're just interested in renting, isn't lovefilm about a tenner a month? So all in all, I really don't think the cost is too high.
Having said that, last week I look my lovely lady out for a meal and IMAX Watchmen, and the whole kit & kaboodle - including city centre parking, as we had to go to a different cinema than usual to see the IMAX version - clocked in at about £60. Ouch.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 17:12
I'm a downloader.
Yup, kill me now if you must (kiddin', please don't hurt me). I'm not going to make it less evil by saying that the voices in my head made me do it. I consciously watch movies online and LOTS of them. Well, to be honest, American and British TV shows mostly. And I say 'watch online' because downloading is totally old fashioned these days. Streamingvideo is awesome and of a better quality than what the legal sites offer (that is: if you live in the country where you are allowed watch them!). Btw, it's not even illegal to to watch movies online, online distributing is a crime.
Anyway, the point is: I watch a lot of movies online because I want to see every ff-ing movie ever. I love films. And I love going to the cinema. Problem is, I always go to the cinema with a bunch of friends and there is so little time everybody can actually go, I just miss out on a lot. Thus thou might say: go buy the DVD you criminal! Well, dude/miss, I do. My DVD collection is massive and I don't care if I've seen the film illegally before, I'll buy the DVD for the extra's anyway.
And what about these movies that come out months later or not at all? Do I just have to accept that the other half of the world has fun with them and we have to wait until never? Hell no, I want to see it on release too. I was totally psyched about Hellboy II and they kept it from us for half a year. I'm not going to wait. And Slumdog Millionaire? When it was finished, everybody said it was only going to get a limited release. I wasn't going to wait for a Danny Boyle movie, I had to see that stuff now! Loved it. When it finally got a international release in all theatres (months later), I begged everyone to see that cool movie in cinema so they wouldn't miss out on it.
I've seen a part of Wolverine to. Just to see a bit of Gambit. Have they done him justice? Just needed to know! Trailers are too short. Will still see it in cinema with all my friends. Am I evil because of it? Than fuck good.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 17:14
Piracy is weird one because the copyright rules are so vast and complex that it is really difficult to work out what is and isn't OK. I don't buy copies usually because without the 5.1 and crystal picture (subtitles are nice for late night viewing too) it just isn't the same.
However, I am in receipt of a pirate copy of Grindhouse from the USA which I only got after I was told the movie was to be split in the UK (it was rubbish) but I would have avoided it if the full version was on UK screens.
I think about the 3 most surprisingly good movies I saw last year; The Orphanage, The Mist and In Bruges. All 3 were given to me as DVD backups by a mate, I really loved em and went out the next day and bought the DVDs from HMV so that is piracy, but is it really? I would never have normally seen any of those movies on DVD or at the cinema so have I really stolen when I was compelled to invest?
Perhaps the biggest thing that annoys me and will turn me to piracy on the odd occasion would be bad DVD releases. DVDs which have no directors commentary and few features etc because I know that in 12/18 months time there will be the proper DVD with all this stuff in. In that case, maybe a DVD download from the net will be good enough while the studio tries to rip me off until a new edition comes out (how many copies of Reservoir Dogs do you have on DVD/BD?).
Just a couple of random ideas of mine; piracy aint always pure evil or great either but there are arguments either side; its up to the studio to add value to make people spend IMO, when they try to rip people off and take em for a ride they drive more people to try pirate material.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 17:21
I think there needs to be a greater transparency and education as to how devasting an affect piracy has across economies. In terms of the numbers associated to tentpole films, you only usually hear the production cost, which excludes P&A, the studio running costs, DVD manufacture, distribution and so on. To take a tiny percentage of a movie's gross can effectively wipe millions from the balance sheet. There are alot of complaints about Spin-offs, remakes and abundant sequelitus but if we want studios to take risks with more original content, we have to expect to pay for it. The cinema has never been cheap. It's a treat, a indulgent luxury that employs so many people its untrue. Saving Private Ryan pitched up in the town next door which had been ruined by the loss of its aviation industry, The boost to the economy was profound. But I worry that movie piracy will lead the industry to eventually encounter the same problems as the music one - and no-one wins from that. The viewer doesn't win, the media sector doesn't win, and those wanting Wolverine going berserker will lose to.
Oh and Helen, spot on about those ads. Even more annoying are those that extol the virtues of Blu-Ray on conventional DVD. Worse still the old vids that extol the virtue of DVD!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 18:04
But there is no evidence of piracy leading to lesser profit for entertainment companies! If you can find even one independent study that proves any losses, please provide a link. Libraries were supposed to be the end of publishing. Cassettes the end of the music industry. Heck, even pop music in the radio was thought of as a threat way back.
One could of course still argue that piracy is immoral and/or illegal... And I think it probably is. But there are no legal alternatives! It might be different in London or wherever you live, Helen, but even though I live in a fairly big city there really aren't any decent video rental stores around. I would have to buy all films I want to watch, and that just isn't a realistic alternative.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 19:21
I won't download movies purely because I enjoy watching them in the cinema, or on DVD (Not quite yet Hi-Def yet), BUT..I was offered and did take up on copies of Kung Fu Panda and Dark Knight, AFTER I had seen them in the cinema, and pre-ordered on DVD.
I do firmly believe in a physical copy of a movie, but I don't see any harm in making a legal copy (even if it's just the movie, no extras) available online after the cinema release window has completed. This would be a "second chance" (or for some, a first) to see the movie before committing to buying the DVD. Come on Hollywood, what's the problem? The more people you have paying YOU for it, the less of those godawful "Wouldn't steal a handbag" ads you have to include!
and FYI...no, I wouldn't steal a flipping handbag...but then I don't have an urge to!! I *DO* want to see movies though, and will pay for them legitimately, but don't expect the movie studios to take the piss with me. (OK...rant over)
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 19:39
People stealing a download of a film is not stealing.... well not in my case! Let me explain; films I enjoy or have time to see ill quite happily cinema it up (now £7.50 in my local) and when its on Blu Ray in 6months ill buy that (£17-£20).... then when its given a directors cut ill get that too if the movie is worth it (another £17-£20).
So by the time iv been financially raped by the industry iv paid upto £50 for just one movie! Now yes thats my choice but im a movie buff so me not paying up is like asking a clubber to stay in at the weekend!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 19:46
Just one thought, slightly off topic.
I brought a copy of "an evening with kevin smith" (highly recommended, btw). A "friend" of mine borrowed it and decided he'd keep it.
I downloaded another copy. Did I do wrong?
(And yes I know, I need better mates)
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 20:02
I agree totally, I love going to the cinema and getting the whole experience. I saw Knowing last week and enjoyed it mainly for the spectacular disaster sequences where you can feel your seat rumbling underneath you, I somehow doubt the experience will be the same on DVD let alone some videoed copy from inside a cinema.
The thing about Wolverine that disturbs me is you' re saying the leaked film is incomplete of some footage and special effects, who has access to this kind of version of the film ? surely only someone in the film industry close to the production of the film ?
A lot of people I know can easily get pirated dvds and do so regularly, and quite often they say quality is good but also say I started to watch it but the quality was awful and there was no sound so I switched it off. I say whats the point just go watch it at cinema. I've also heard some people sayng they've watched a timecoded preview copy on DVD, where are they coming from ?
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 20:19
Piracy!?! What's wrong with it?
Speaking as a true fan of movies, i have not seen a shonky pirate DVD in years, most of the pirate DVD'S i have been given or have seen online have been of RETAIL quality. my reasoning is this, it is £5.50 to watch a movie at a cinema, but only £2 to get a pirate copy, just before people go nuts i have an explanation. I grew up during the ass end of the whole Video Nasties Era. I saw most of the hollywood Blockbusters on VIDEO in the comfort of my own Living room, for me i only go to the CINEMA if the film is directed by someone i respect, However if its the latest summer blockbuster i usually watch it for free, if i truly love a movie i buy the legitimate retail copy.
when Holly wood stops remaking all of my favourite horrors, and lets not forget the sheer bittereness i feel towards the whole two-faced way in which major studios bought all of the little production companies.
Yes CINEMA is great, however for the price of my ticket i expect more than the bog standard identikit formulaic cack they are peddling.
The view that all PIRATE-DVD seller is a crack peddling child molestor is just sheer hollywood propaganda. if you cant afford the cinema ticket buy or download a pirated version, if you love the movie you will end up buying the retail DVD anyway, hollywood still gets its Blood money.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 20:26
Was that an intentional "Doubt" reference at the end?
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 20:36
Right let me start by saying I totally agree with you Helen, piracy is crap, they look crap and why would you have a dvd player let alone blu-ray to watch shit pictures on your 1080p tv? I don't believe that Fox deserve what has happened but lets be honest has anyone stepped back and realised that the coverage Fox gets for being a terrible studio is worldwide now and no other studio gets bashed like they do. They are an awful poor company and their track record with blu is shocking, long load times etc. Yes I'm hi-def now and on another point, me and my mate both upgraded in July last year, he hasn't been to the flicks since Planet of the Apes remake but buys nearly everything new, besides replacing his dvds on blu. He also gets to see pirate copies which, as mentioned previously are always screeners, either for the academy or press. Anyway I pre-ordered Quantum as soon as able yet he brings me a copy a week before release (can I add I went first showing on opening day at the flicks) and watched the pre-credits before turning it off and chucking it in the bin. I watched just a little bit just to see how poor it was: utter shite. He has no computer so doesn't download let alone buy his blu-rays online ( which I much prefer cos its a lot cheaper than the bloody high street) and always buys what he may have seen for free. Case in point he watched 2 copies of Quantum before release on dvd and bought the blu on Monday morn for £20. I on the other hand will never watch a pirate movie (I had already seen Mr. Bond). For me there is nothing like the anticipation of release day be it a Monday or a Friday (I finished work early on the 6 March so I could see Watchmen in the afternoon), I have to have a proper copy sat on the shelf, same with music, though surprisingly I am always on the internet but never ever feel tempted for a crappy pirate copy. I will be writing another novel here in the near future. Eyes peeled!
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 21:14
I'll occasionally download a film inbetween its cinema run and DVD/BR release, but only after I've actually seen it at the cinema, and then I'll buy it when it's released to own. Yeah it's still a little dodgy, but the movie companies are getting the moolah off of me in the end, so I don't see the harm :/
I've never bought any copies off of some twat on the highstreet, and nor would I ever try to make money off of the fact that I've downloaded it, as, y'know, I've actually got a full time job.
I also like how some folk on here think they're geniuses because they know where to download a high quality movie rip from :) It's not rocket science guys, any chump with a PC and an internet connection can get these films.
At the end of the day I agree with Helen's last comment. You really can't be that much of a movie lover if you find it acceptible to watch the latest anticipated blockbuster on your monitor/TV at a shitty sub-dvd quality resolution. Get a bloody job, if you've got a job and can't afford a trip to your local Odeon, get a better one or try and cut down your crack habit!! :) And then get your ass down the cinema.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 21:31
I downloaded it and watched it and some of the claims made above are inaccurate
1. It does include the score
2. It is DVD quality
3. I don't believe for a second that it doesn't include the reshoots.
The fact is that its quite an average film. I wouldn't mind seeing it when ALL the cgi is put in but the movie I saw was dull, whiny and does a HUGE disservice to a lot of favourite X-Men characters. If I was Ryan Reynolds I wouldn't have bothered being in it at all.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 21:31
I think Helen makes a fair argument but I have to disagree with her conclusions. The market for films (like other media) is changing and piracy is one of the by-products of that change and the failure of the industry to adapt. One of the problems is the delay between cinema releases and DVD and Blu-Ray. Often the latter are held back and staggered across countries until Christmas or the award season to maximize short term sales at maximum price. And furthermore, the differences between region 1 and 2 versions are annoying. I don’t understand why I have to buy a region 1 version of Sin City just to get the all the special features.
This failure is a matter of money. While we may enjoy the cinema, many people would prefer to pay that little bit more and own a version of the film that they can watch in the comfort of their own homes. This would push some cinemas to the wall. Personally I love the cinema, but given the choice of watching a good film on a cinema screen with obnoxious, noisy people and paying a fortune for drinks and food, or watching with friends a (good quality) version on a big LCD TV with cinema sound, it is a close call.
Changing such practices alone will not stop online piracy, but it will do a lot to stop illegal DVD sales. Piracy is the costly way of showing the film industry that the status quo is not working (as it is doing for music). Changes to the service will be costly for all those involved in the industry, but that is the impact on modern technology and is necessary for it to thrive. The industry has to learn that it can’t attempt to control the market to profit maximize and to use the internet for more than viral promotions and trailers.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 21:37
Oh and if you know the right places then you need never get a dodgy copy version of anything
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 22:04
piracy rocks. if you arent doing it already, get with the program. january just gone had to have been the best time for us as there was so many screeners leaked. i watched dvd rips of movies then. that only came out in the cinema months later(gran torino,the wrestler,7 pounds,che,etc...) in the comfort of my home on my 32" plasma.do i/should i feel remorse or guilt over this? to quote a great man "no dice chachi". like i said, if you arent already, start downloading!
ps: its also well established that piracy(be that on the high seas or the world wide web) is the coolest form of larceny.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 22:23
I have only one thing to say:
Kudo's on the big bag of minstrels.
The majority of real film fans have positive experiences of being inside a cinema, from childhood maybe, and so we'll always be back... Until cinema's become too expensive because the piracy has wiped them out, then we'll create our own in secret places and we'll be the righteous criminals.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 22:25
The fact is no-one is ever going to stop downloading 'illegal' copies of digital data, be it film, music or Microsoft Office. The only way the powers that be are going to save their pensions (and let's face it - the movie business is always going to favour the people who are too high up in the chain to have actually made any creative effort) is to adopt the 'join them' attitude, since trying to 'beat them' is not working.
With any of the traditional 'media' (a misnomer that confuses most of the suits to this very day - a medium is the transfer of information. The way it is transferred is what most people in the industry mistakenly call a 'medium') they are struggling to catch up with the full potential of a digital age and its hand-in-hand relationship with the internet. Film downloads, be they legal or otherwise, should be embraced - and the sooner the old farts get to grips with this the sooner they can realistically recoup the millions they seem to think piracy is costing them
In the meantime it's all very well for Daniel Craig to preach to me in the trailers about how recording Quantum of Solace puts camera-operators out of business but if the best Sony can come up with for a 'special edition' 2-disc DVD release of the film is a couple of featurettes and a music video then keep those concealed cameras rolling, I say!
I don't condone piracy, i just think the studios are spitting their dummies out cos the new kids are disturbing their precious status quo and they're too stuck in their ways to adapt.
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 22:31
I totally agree about adverts at the start of films on DVD and before the feature in cinemas: preaching to the choir and doing nobody any good. Also, they suggest that the quality will be poor and that the sale will lead to all sorts of things. It seems to me that most pirated copies of films these days come from studio leaks or Academy 'for your consideration' discs. So, the people who make films need to face facts.
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 00:20
I LOVVE movies. And I LOVVE to download. I am a movie fan. I download dvd quality movies because I have no patience to wait on them coming out on DVD. But once they are released, I will buy them.
Movie studios are complaining theyre getting ripped off.
Now they know how WE feel. I love movies and all the extras that are included on the dvds. I watch them all. The more the merrier. But how many times have I (as a fan) gotta buy my fav movie. The dvd, the special edition, the directors cut, the deluxe edition, the writers edition, the guy who sweeped the floor in the editing room edition. (Star Wars is a case in point. Between the video, widescreen video, remastered widescreen video, laserdisc, dvd, the original un-bolloxed release and eventual Blu ray I must have personally paid for a wing of Skywalker ranch.!!!) Theres now the obligitory re-release with more extras because the sequels coming out. Blu ray is the same. They advertised that these discs can hold up to 5 times more information, yet u dont get 5 times more extras. They have now started to re-release blu ray discs with more extras. Casino Royale (in time for Quantums release) and soon Transformers (Well what do you know!! in time for its sequel) And they know fans will pay because we're movie hungry freaks.
Dont hate the player, hate the game.
Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint.!!!
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 00:33
I do occasionally download the odd film/tv show off t'internet. I like to think of all the thousands of pounds I have spent over the years on VHS, just for the format to become obsolete, forcing me to spend more money on the same product on DVD ..... and now Blu Ray - As far as i'm concerned, the film companies owe me !!!!!!
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 01:28
I wouldn't have gone to the cinema, I watched it just cos it was there - so in a way they have scored a new fan & should be happy.
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 03:12
"You wouldn't steal a car" That argument always tickles me, if I could download a free car with a click of a button you bet I'd 'steal a car'
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 09:34
i remember watching a lot of pirated films when i was younger, but they were always shocking quality. It didnt take me long to stop watching them.
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 12:22
I don't download/buy cheapo dvd's from the bloke down the pub, mainly becase I think it's scummy.
There's an air of scumminess and common-ness about it that I really don';t want to associate myself with.
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 12:44
"You wouldn't steal a car"
I would if I could download it! :)
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 13:46
helen, i have a question for you. What about people that live in countries like Greece???
My mother is scottish, so i love to watch english movies, and all of my books are in english. But, it is terribly expensive to go to the cinema here, movies come out much later, and i can never get to watch animated movies in english, they're all dubbed.
Let's now move on to dvds. Do you have any idea how much they cost? its about 20 euros for each! thats close to 20 pounds. that's just ridiculous. no movie is worth that much. Don't even get me started on blu-ray... its just to expensive to even consider. And to a couple of you who said well ''get a job''.my parents do have jobs but they also have bills to pay, and kids to feed. They can't aford to pay all that money.
I can't even watch a decent tv show on the channels we get here. So i don't feel the least bit guilty for downloading those. if i could watch my favourite shows on tv i would.
So the only way i can get a decent movie on dvd is on my birthday and at christmas when i buy a few from amazon.
I still buy something if i really love it. i have all of byffy and angel, firefly & serenity, Battlestar Galactica, the matrix trilogy, the lotr extended edition, and a bunch of other stuff, those are just my favourites.
I just don't see why i should spend 10 pounds for something before i even know if i like it. It seems like a terrible waste of money,
Not to mention all of the movies that i simply cannot find anywhere....
So no. i do not feel the least bit guilty for downloading movies. if i like them i buy them.
Judging by the people i know, I download the most movies but i also own the most movies so i don't think the industry is losing money. If i couldnt pirate, i wouldnt buy more i'd just watch less.
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 19:21
I hate the film piracy stuff. I disagree with it wholeheartedly. And the only reason I'd ever do it would be to go against the splitting of regions. For example, films that have no release planned on Region 2, or TV that doesn't get aired here for a long time (Ever, in some cases.) Even at that, if I enjoy it, it will be getting bought on DVD. I have a huge collection already, which includes TV shows I never would have seen otherwise. For gods sake America, Learn from Lost and Heroes!
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 21:15
I bought a pirate of Batman Begins (after seeing it twice at the cinema) and after watching it realised that there was a whole 15 minutes missing from the film, including his first appearance in the suit at the docks. Now if anyone watched this without seeing the proper film first they would go around saying how crap it was and how disjointed it seemed, hence dissuading other people from seeing it in the first place and realizing that it is in fact an excellent film.
Since then I have not bought a pirate copy. I love films too much! I would rather wait a couple of months and buy the DVD.
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 22:03
The facts why i download films are as follows
1. In a time when the country is in a recession the price of going to the cinema increases rapidly. Over 7 quid to see a film now plus 200% onto confec prices. makes a trip to see a film well over a tenner. What if i want to see two or three films a month? sorry my wages don't stretch that far
2. My local cinema is not in london, and therefore i get to miss out on many indie films. Without downloads i wouldn't have got to see REC, Devils Backbone, The Air i Breathe, Tell No-One, Man On Wire, The Orphanage amongst others (my cinema showed ACADAMY AWARD WINNING - No country for old men TWO weeks after release. As soon as the major cinema chains accept that people north of Watford are film fans too then all will be good.
3. I only download dvd rips and screeners. I still go to the cinema to see the blockbusters as i feel thats when they are best viewed. If i like a film that i download i will wait till it is available in the sales. I have over 300 original dvd's yet have only paid full price for half a dozen of them. Please don't say that i'm a criminal when i have a shelf that bends under the weight of legally purchased dvd's on it.
Film piracy will only cease when the film industry and the cinema chains take a long hard look at themselves and realise that they are being elitist and pricing the average film fan out of what they love. To say that downloading films makes me NOT a film fan is offensive.
For the record i'm taking my niece/nephew to watch Monsters v Aliens 3D on monday that trip will cost me nearly £30 and that will prettty much be my film budget for the month.
Somebody who GETS PAID to see films is not in a position to cast judgement on those who would like to see all the 4&5* films they review but money and oppurtunity doesn't let them do so!
Posted on Saturday April 4, 2009, 22:40
These are just a few of the films that i have bought legally. All of which i had to wait months before they came down to a price i deem acceptable (£7 or under). All BOUGHT back in the day when i didn't have access to broadband. NONE of these films were shown at my local cinema but ALL worthy of at least three stars or more.
The Squid & The Whale, Thumbsucker, Primer, The Machinist, Ray, Hotel Rwanda, Garden State, Little Miss Sunshine, House of Sand and Fog, Capote, Zodiac, Brick.
Helen you reply in an earlier post that you've paid your way to see your fair share of films. Some of us other mere mortals are not fortunate that a hobby turns into a career.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 05:29
As a film fan, I also hate the poor copies that are circulated. However, my issue is pricing. Even before the credit crunch, I have found the price of original DVDs and especially special editions etc, to be too much. Going to the cinema is also viewed as a treat. As such, my DVD collection is not half as big as I wish it could be. Does it make me a lesser film fan because I am not willing to shell out so much of my hard earned cash on the movies that I love? I truly hope not, as I am the one who feels cheated.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 07:37
your reviews front page has four 4* reviews. for religilous, wave riders, modern life and cherry blossoms. None of these films are being shown at my local cinema, which is not a small cinema its a massive Odeon multiplex. Therein lies the problem of why people download.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 08:14
I love movies, and I love the theatre going experience, even though I rarely go to them much. Watching them on a nice-sized TV is a decent alternative.
I don't like streaming or downloading new movies on the net. Never have. I don't like watching stuff on computers, especially recent films.
The only exception to this is Google Video (I watched "Plan 9" and "Reefer Madness") because it showcases public domain films. And Hulu.com, because it's sponsored by the studios and has some gems available.
Here in Mexico, bootleg DVDs are common. My parents have no problems with them, and they bought a few. The quality tends to be average, with some decent surprises on visual and sonic aspects. The local theatre hasn't shown "Gran Torino" and "Milk", and I really want to see them. I'll buy the bootlegs just so I can...they cost 20 pesos (close to 2 dollars each...don't know how much in Euros). But I see them as temporary copies, like rental...eventually I shall buy the special edition DVDs, and catch them in the theatre if they ever are a part of a "classic cinema" showcase 30 years from now.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 10:05
When all the must-see films are in 3D, the uncultured, tree-hugging film pirating swine are screwed.
Whilst they moan about cinema prices lining the pockets of rich studios I am sure they don't smoke cigarettes, or drink brand lager, or wear branded clothes or, even, have a top-make computer and a massive, fuck off television to watch their sub-standard, crap picture and worse sound 'cinema experiences'.
I don't consider them criminals. But when they say they downloaded and watched the same movie I saw at the cinema, there's no way we watched the same film. Their opinion is worthless on the matter. I smile politely whilst looking down my nose at them, and go and speak to a proper person.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 13:29
For the record Helen, I watched the new X-Men movie and it is complete toilet. But I am sure that Empire will give it the standard 3 star review. I am glad that I downloaded it as I would have demanded my money back if I would have seen it at the cinema. The unfinished special effects and wirework are just about the best thing in the movie, DVD quality though, naturally.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 14:35
if anyone can name me a film that retrospectively did not take enough money to justify its inception then i'd consider stopping by admitted sporadic downloading of films. but insofar as i can see if any film regardless of its funding is good enough, it will eventually turn a profit, a case in point being In Bruges, which has done well despite a god awful promotional campaign. whether these films make as much as they ought to because of illegal downloading is open to debate, but so long as they make enough to keep making them i for one dont much care.
i dont think anyone can deny the [minor?] criminality of the act, but to stretch my point, you could argue that illegal downloading maybe even helps audiences since the only films that hopefully dont get sequels are the ones that were so bad, they dont get supported. so whilst i may consider watching wolverine on my pc, i'lll probably still go to the cinema and buy the dvd which will therefore pay the way for Magneto/Wolverine 2 or whatever. but after seeing the punisher warzone im utterly ok with letting the film bleed out and thus sparing the public another horrific sequel.
i realise that the market should dictate this rather than my criminality but ok with that as well.
minstrels maybe the best chocolate in the world by the way.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 15:33
the proudest thing i own (i dont have kids yet!) is my dvd collection, and now my new shelf dedicated tio my new fancy blurays!! nothing more exciting than waiting for my pre-order of Pinocchio to arrive (my postman hates me thanks to on line buying!) and hmv online sale means you can get dvds for 2.99 now! as for people who say cinema and films to buy are too expensive, i have four words for you, Cineworld Unlimited Card and Blockbuster! rental IS try before u buy!! people who watch pirates esp ones where ppl get up and stand infront of the screen DO NOT LOVE FILM! logic would suggest you wouldnt even know what Empire Magazine was! i bet your the person who pisses off the newsagents by reading it in the store and dont buy it!!!!
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 19:25
labyrinth4eva read my above posts. if you think i'm not a film fan just because i occasionally download a film. Then you are very much wrong
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 20:28
Fuck all ya, who tell me I'm not a film fan because I download the odd film. Your partner is probably so glad you spend so much time in the cinema, because it means they can screw around behind your pompous, self righteous minstrel eating arse.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 22:24
How nice it is that you can all afford beautiful new home cinema systems with HD, Blu-Ray, surround sound and the rest.
What about those of us who love films, want to be able to watch something new and inspiring when we can but simply can't afford it? I'm on a tight student budget at the moment and try to get to the cinema when I can, but simply can't practically manage to afford such a lavish system.
For some of us piracy is just a means of doing it for the short term while times are hard, I'm sure most of us will rejoin the flock once the time is right, I know I will but all that I have to watch a film on at the moment is a very crap laptop.
Get iTunes to lower the price of downloading a film, then we'll talk about piracy.
Posted on Sunday April 5, 2009, 23:18
Nice article Helen.
I know plenty of people who watch pirate films. Never gone down that route myself, even as a poor student with no money.
Pirated movies defeat the point of a film for me. I want to see my films on big screens, I love the cinema experience (screaming kids notwithstanding) and I'll happily pay for DVDs too.
It isn't even a question of moral. I want the best experience I can get, not some crap where the sound and picture don't even sync like some of the pirated dvd's I've seen mates with.
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 09:40
A friend of mine sent me a chat on Facebook last night pretty much telling me about Wolverine as he was watching it at that instant. The first thing I said to him was: "HOLD ON" followed by a "I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THIS MOVIE UNTIL I HAVE SEEN IT AT THE CINEMA". I pretty much swore at him, cos I knew if anyone was going to watch a leaked version of a movie like Wolverine, it would definitely be him. I said to him, I don't care what u think of the movie, the fact is, you have downloaded it. He still went on about the effects being shit and the movie itself being a waste of space. I just sat there and thought 'are you for real?' Granted the last movie he saw at the flicks was Watchmen, but still can he not wait til the official release of Wolverine before making his mind up? Clearly not.
I will say that I have watched a few pirated movies in the past, but I learnt not so long after that its definitely better to watch movies in the cinema for the experience or on DVD for that home quality entertainment. Hell I watched 17 movies (yes 17 which is big even for me!) last year between May and August (and thats not counting me seeing The Dark Knight twice!). Now, if I don't see a movie at the release date or near enough to the release date, I will wait for the DVD. Otherwise I will do what it takes to make sure I see a movie on its release date (or preview if possible as was the case of Hellboy 2 last year. Seen a good two weeks before official release). But I was engaged in a war of words with a few people last night about them getting the so called DVD copy of Wolverine. They all came back saying 'it's just a DVD' to which I replied 'no it's not just a DVD, it's a whole lot more' You cannot experience movies in that way at all. Either go to the cinema, buy the DVD or just dont bother downloading it at all!!
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 10:06
Another thing tho, Helen and I have noticed a few people say this already. certain movies dont get shown at the big cinemas, or, in the case of the likes of Bolt, Monsters Vs Aliens and Journey To The Centre of The Earth, they are not shown in 3D presentation in some cinemas. For example, the cinema I visit all the time (coincidentally called Empire, go figure!), didnt show the 3D versions of My Bloody Valentine, Bolt, Monsters vs Aliens and Journey To. Out of all those 4 movies the only one I saw was Journey To when that was released last year. The other 3 I havent bothered with cos I am not really interested in them right now. I might buy the DVDs we will see. But, in terms of people not being film fans, well that can be argued in two ways: 1. are they not a film fan simply cos they download movies rather than pay for them? or 2. are they not film fans simply cos they have no choice but to download movies if their local cinema doesnt show the film they wish to pay for? Credit crunch or not, I will be seeing a lot of movies this summer (starting off early with Fast & Furious this weekend). I love movies, I even do movie reviews on Youtube. What does make me laugh is that u have all these rogue DVD traders selling 'DVD quality movies' for a fiver, when HMV and Amazon et al are all selling DVDs at literally next to nothing. Last week I purchased The Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy for under £12 off Amazon. Need I say more?
What also pisses me off, is that my friends know what films I have in my DVD collection. Most notably, Star Wars and my most prized possession the 13 disc monster boxset of Superman DVDs. One cheeky bastard of a friend of mine actually asked me to copy him all my Star Wars and Superman for him. I took one look at him and told him promptly to 'Foxtrot Oscar'.
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 10:33
Ok the Helen bashing in this thread is unnecessary, its her blog you can disagree with her for whatever reason, but making it personal is just stupid and reduces your argument.
I won't be downloading or streaming movies, because I like to watch at the cinema (I agree it can be expensive if you go on Friday's, buy food and drink, or live far away from a cinema) or own the DVD (which is you wait a bit can be quite cheap, and we have a love film subscription for all those films we aren't sure about).
And for all the people using the 'libraries killing publishing' argument, libraries still have to pay for the book, its not the same.
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 11:31
What an awesome blog! Brilliant read Helen. You are absolutely right in every way here. I hate pirated movies. I love going to the cinema, i love the experience....shamed to say, i love the popcorn too! You just dont get that with a pirated copy.
Even when it comes to dvds, I want the box, i want the extras, i want the 'easter eggs'. I have a collection of over 320 dvds now and i just couldnt even think about scarring it with a fake copy!
Oh, and those adverts at the start do my head in as well! As if stealing a car is the same as stealing a movie! Get a grip! Both still wrong in my opinion but its a little over the top.
More blogs like this Empire! Well done :)
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 11:38
I think DVD releases are probably the most downloaded and when its 25 quid for the new releases i think the studios (and stores) can go fuck themselves. I'd never DL a film about to come out in the cinema though. With the exception of Gone Baby Gone cause I didn't know would it ever come out but I bought the DVD so I think i'm absolved
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 11:42
The thing is, nothing makes you look more like a cretin than saying
"fuck you, you know nothing minstrel eating bitch" the comments regarding an opinion after this type of statement normally carry a lot less weight.
However, I do find this an interesting blog, particularly as this is a site read and controbuted to, by film fans. From what I understand the diversity of opinions whilst quite wide has a few main groups:
1) Piracy is EVIL, never done it, never will.
2) Piracy is wrong. Have dabbled, and results were poor/unsatifying.
3) Piracy is wrong, but I can justify my uses. Also, I don't do it that often, and I normally make sure I contribute to the process.
4) Piracy isn't wrong, oh look, is my avatar the jolly roger.....
What I am surprised about, is firstly that Helen, who normally gives well reasoned arguments, based strongly in facts and knowledge, hasn't got any notable experience of pirate material with which to base some of her arguements on.
Secondly, the fact that most of these posts say "I pirate for a reason, but I pay the studio anyway, so its okay". This strikes me that the studios are doing something wrong to make us want to turn to piracy on occassion. It suggests that possibly increasing the global availability of films at the same time, and also via some form of in-expensive download, may fill this niche.
It doesn't help with the fact that an number of DVDS are released as vanilla or near vanilla, making a number of the fans reticent to buy the first release, restoring to illegal downloads to see the film, and then paying for the better "special, limited, super, mega-mix, deluxe edition" that comes out 6-18 months later, which contains features and commentary, that we actually want. This "releasing the same film on DVD in different packets" does make us film fans annoyed.
So we wouldn't steal a car, but also, we wouldn't buy the same car twice. so why would we buy the same film twice?
p.s. dairy milk beats minstrels
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 12:06
The film industry is no special exception. Where are the ads telling us how evil we are for supporting slave labour? Piracy doesn't support a legally recognised set of businesses and these businesses can afford to fund aggressive ad campaigns telling us how awful we are for not giving them our money. I couldn't care less. It's just entertainment. If the film industry collapses, it won't stop people making films.
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 12:25
Honestly, I've been teetering back and forth about watching the thing. You've convinced me, Helen, to go with my gut. I grew up as one of those sad Wolverine fanboys, and no matter how badly (and I'm assuming [i]badly[/i]) those idiots at Fox have fucked him up on-screen, I still feel I owe it to myself to survey the damage in full.
Like nclowe near the top, though, I think I'll watch the leaked copy afterwards, to see just how much of an improvement the nightmare I'll have wasted my money on actually was in comparison.
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 13:13
I think Empire and a lot of people are missing the point on what a pirated copy of something is. The view of a pirate copy being "bad quality filmed in a cinema" is totally outdated. The threat is also not to the theatrical release directly, but the DVD release and indirectly the theatrical release as the release window narrows. Once a DVD copy is out on the market legitimately, then pretty much every available copy from the likes of Pirate Bay etc. is that same perfect copy. These sites are used by thousands and have reviews, which tell other downloaders what the quality of the copy is, so there is No risk. This is the reality of the situation. And now given the ease to connect PCs to the vast LCD and Plasma screens that people have in the home, they can watch these 'perfect' copies on 50" screens. The sacrifice is only to wait 3 months post cinema release to get this home cinema experience for free.
The film industry seems to be in total denial because as with Empire's knowledge expressed here, they are totally lagging in understanding what is going on, even though they have a very simple proxy in what has and is happening to the music industry.
The Film Industry is in very real danger. Downloading a full movie today at 8Mb broadband speeds takes roughly about 40 mins to an hour. At 100Mb speeds, which are already being offered by Virgin this reduces to less than 10s! Added to that the rapidly declining costs of storage space and massive LCD screens and it is quick to see how piracy will become the simple easy choice.
The film industry needs to make their version of consumption easier than the alternative, which means easy, super fast and guaranteed downloads along the lines of iTunes today. iTunes today has become simpler, easier and a more complete experience than searching for music any other way and the price point makes it a straightforward purchase. The Film industry can't rely on the DVD long tail to bail out their excessive, lazy film budget
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 14:13
Have you just watched Dara O'Braian's "Talks Funny"? He makes the exact same point, but funnier...
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 15:10
Please help. I have a moral dilemma as confusing, perplexing and brain expanding as the Schroedingers Cat conundrum.
I would steal a car but I won't watch pirate films.
For example, say I'm in a life or death situation where the theft of an automobile (of any kind) is the only way out and enables me to, say, save the lives of my wife and child... yes... I'd do it.
There. It's out there.
What I won't do is casually and needlessly subject my wife and child to low quality audio visual entertainment just because it's free.
AS such, I feel harrassed and abused everytime I go to the cinema and as such tend to go less.
What should I do?
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 15:49
No mention of how much viewers get charged for going to the cinema or buying the DVD/Blu-Ray. Or how some studios release "seven" editions of the damn film on DVD, so if you wanna have a decent copy of a film you like, you darn well may have to buy it 3 times.
For a film fan, it's just to expensive to go to the cinema or buy DVDs to watch every film that looks good or interesting.
Posted on Monday April 6, 2009, 21:28
for me and two kids to see monsters v aliens 3D today it cost over £23 for the tickets alone!
Now i saw this at the cinema A) as a treat to the kids and B) you won't get that experience on a dvd (illegal or not)
BUT, thats my cinema budget gone for the month. Anybody who think that cinema's aren't partly to blame for the increase in piracy is quite frankly talking out of their rear end. I've just bought 7 dvd's on HMV sale for only a coulple of pounds more.
Want to see fast and furious and the boat that rocked. However if a good quality download becomes available i'll probably go down that route.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 00:51
So what's the deal with watching films Streamed online? Slightly less dodgy than downloading and passing them on? But you're still not paying for them...
It's another huge moral grey area. I don't download music or films, but do from time to time watch streamed TV shows like 30 Rock, and the occasional film- and I'm really not sure how to feel about this!!
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 08:35
TEFFH - LOL ! Don't tell me, your either fucking Helen, or work for Empire. Now take that dairy milk and shove it up your self-righteous arse. You sound like a fucking monk. People like you make me sick.
What is it ? You meet someone, you are getting on really well. Your thinking about fucking them. Now you are dying to fuck them. She/He's really doing it for you, then all of a sudden, they drop the fucking bombshell..... They occasionally download films, and the odd album/
What do you do ? I bet your flipping the fucking table, yelling 'SCUM, mothefucking cunt ! How could you play me like this ! I'm sorry EMPIRE !! I never knew PLease forgive me ! '. Do you fuck.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 09:49
Actually THERAHMAN, because I can structure a well thought out argument, the result is that I have a limp dick and I am unable to fuck anything, neither Helen, nor any other member of Empire. Nor alas, am I able to go for the DIY alternative that it appears you go for on a regular basis.
Also, are you going to get to actually make an intelligent point anytime soon? or are you all noise covering for little product?
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 10:28
Wow, there's a lot of hate in this forum. Is it not possible to give an opinion without swearing at people you don't know? Put simply, I do not own a ny pirated movies because I do not want any dodgy looking covers ruining my collection, they stand out like a sore thumb. It's easy enough to wait for a dvd to drop down to £5, usually in Tesco or Asda, doesn't cost the earth and i've picked up a ton of films for less than the price of one night in the cinema.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 11:50
Why is it that this blog has turned from the days when we could chat about Will Smith being Captain America- a fairly contentious issue for many people- and there was no bitching or swearing or abuse, to a blog where some people can't help but voice the first obscenity that comes to their mind. (Oh... that must be exhausting) Yes piracy is a big issue which people react to differently but is there really a need to be abusive- it really has spoiled what i thought was a really interesting and intelligent discussion. Children probably read this you know. Can we please stick to the topic at hand without resorting to insults.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 12:34
As a car thief, i find the title of this blog entry pretty offensive.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 13:39
Stop trying to pointlessly justify yourself....If you do download films illegally, in my book, no, your arnt a proper film fan IMO.
As bad as cinemas can be with the people that frequent them these days, going to the movies is about the experince. Watching a finished film, 50 feet wide in a dark room with great surround sound and a bag of revels is what the entire concept of film is about. No im not a self righteous prick or someone stuck 50 years ago, i just like films shown the way they are designed to be.
Trurth is the world doesnt owe you anything, box office is business and you are stealing a product, no matter what you tell yourself. If you cant afford to go to the pictures...then dont go and wait for it to come out on lovefilm. If you cant afford to buy the 5 editions of Sin City DVD then just buy one and make do. Sorry, nothing personal just the facts of life.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 14:15
So, Chiropterror... How do you suggest I get hold of the films I want to see (as a film fan, I might add) if they are not 1) available for rental or 2) not playing in the cinema? Should I buy them all? That would sometimes include ordering them from abroad with a region code that clearly shows the distributors do not want me watching that film.
While answering that, please read up on "no true Scotsman".
And please, people, stop using the argument that illegal copies are of bad quality. That's not becoming true just because you repeat it. One reason for not renting films from streaming services is that the quality is way, way better on Pirate Bay.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 14:34
Elvine- good point well made. I count myself a proper film fan. I go to the cinema about twice a week, I buy DVDs very regularly. I even own my own projector on which to view my home cinema collection. I count myself just as much a film fan as evryone else does on this blog and on this site. So because I download the odd movie which I wouldn't otherwise see I am no longer a film fan- I dont think so. I dont earn a massive amount of money and so dowloading becomes a tool with which i can maintain my love of movies, whilst continuing to go to the cinema and buy dvds as well as expereince a whole bunch of films that I would otherwise see. Wanting to keep on watching films is surely a better mark of a film fan rather than if they download or not.
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 14:35
sorry meant to say "that I wouldn't otherwise see"
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 14:41
When I saw the title of this blog with the picture of Wolverine going bonkers, I thought we'd be talking about some form of new car security system that triggers an angry superhero to deter (slice up) thieves
Posted on Tuesday April 7, 2009, 17:03
If my cinema isn't showing the film i want to see then i'm sorry i don't see why i should have to wait months for the dvd. If i download a film and then buy it later on DVD. The studios get the money and i'm happy too. The only people that miss out are the cinemas who are the real criminals in this story.
You have your opinion that i'm not a proper film fan and i have mine, but being a fairly regular cinema goer AND owning over 300 original DVD's qualifies me as such IMO.
P.S read my earlier posts before you pass judgement.
P.P.S well said Elvine
Posted on Wednesday April 8, 2009, 08:09
Definitely late to this but hey. I live in Japan where what I want to watch comes out months after the UK let alone the States. Cinemas aren't cheap, and a trek to get to (plus public transport is stupid expensive here). I don't really have the space to store any dvds I want to buy, and shipping them back to the UK when I come back wouldn't be practical. The result? I download t.v. shows and movies. This will change when I move back, but for now, I'm sorry to say that I feel I've got a fairly justifiable reason for doing the dirty.
Posted on Wednesday April 8, 2009, 13:58
At the end of the day its only my opinion. You do what you like.
Yes im sure many of the illegally downloaded movies you have are HD quality, not my argument at all. Im talking about the holistic experinece of the cinema.
In terms of "i cant afford it", i just dont see the difference between this and any other service. I would like to drive a ferrari but i cant afford to so i dont go stealing one to drive it. Some people may like to buy expensive wine but end up drinking plonk as its all they can afford.
And in terms of the cinema being too expensive, your right it can be. However this isnt rampant profiteering in many cases. Cinemas dont make that much on ticket sales, its extras like those awful hotdogs that supply the profit. Plus studios typically only actual take in 60% of the money the film makes at the box office. Fine if your The Dark Knight, but many films like Hellboy for example must have only broken even after DVD sales.
If you can honestly say that you buy any dvd that you download, fair enough. But i bet theres an awful lot of people who couldnt put their hand on thier heart and say that. They may buy 1/3 half of the 200 films they watch which probably averages out at over a grands worth of money the studios have. Im aware of people who dont actually buy any after downloading.
At the end of the day, you are free to do what you like. However dont justify yourself constantly, comparing yourselfs to some sort of post-modern Robin Hood, subverting the evil system. The system isnt great i agree but im not sure this is the way to solve it. You may be robbing from the rich but your giving to yourself. Downloading movies is just a form of high-tech shoplifting, stop kidding yourself it isnt.
Posted on Wednesday April 8, 2009, 17:51
chiropterror - you are a joke. who says that films are designed to be watched in a huge dark room whilst tucking into overpriced confectionery? You, that is all. Yet you present it as fact. Given the choice between sitting in a huge, overly air conditioned room next to an old lady who is struggling to release the last Murray Mint from its cellophane prison and behind the couple who find it necessary to narrate the whole bloody movie, OR sitting in my living room in my dressing gown, sprawled out on a sofa watching on a huge projector screen complete with surround sound and the ability to pause the film, I would choose the latter 99% of the time. The only time I would change is for huge big budget films where the huge screen and unique atmosphere of the cinema actually make a difference. And that is without counting the £15 cost of a ticket, transport and popcorn.
I have roughly 250 DVDs in my collection but stopped buying them about 2/3 years ago when I noticed the studios rushing out inferior quality ones and then adding all the special features to the later super duper uber-edition etc... on top of that, it takes around a year for them to get to a reasonable price and by that time i have usually lost the desire to see that particular film, unless it is especially good.
There is also the problem that the majority of films these days are utter garbage, produced to appeal to the lowest common denominator, favouring special effects over proper characterisation. I got robbed out of the price of a cinema ticket once for "Dude, Where's My Car". Never Again.
Posted on Wednesday April 8, 2009, 17:52
Therefore, due to all the above reasons, I download regularly. I probably have around 700GB of movies on a hard drive roughly the size of 2 DVDs, thus saving my already straining DVD shelves. That does not mean I don't go to the cinema now, but I can really pick and choose what I pay for without sacrificing seeing the other films. Downloading also means I can watch the films at the earliest possible occasion. Why studios choose to release some films - eg. Gran Torino -- months later in this country baffles me. It is like they are screaming out for people to download the damn thing.
I feel absolutely no guilt about what I am doing. The movie business is money hungry and they are far too concerned with the finances than the quality of the movie. A perfect example is the final series of Project Greenlight where they decided to try and make a film “that makes money, rather than a good film”. I work in the film industry in this country and I justify my downloading partly because I am paid pittance, if at all. Out of 6 jobs as runner/ assistant etc I have only been paid once. At £100 a week that worked out at around £1.20 an hour. Therefore, I would have to work for at least 5hrs in the industry in order to cover the price of admission to the cinema – something I am only occasionally prepared to do. If my career takes off and I eventually make a respectable wage then I will certainly be able to put more into the industry but as it currently stands, I feel I am giving far more than I am taking.
The whole piracy issue is extremely tricky and I can see both sides of the argument. However, the studios will get nowhere unless they embrace the technology and envisage a new way of selling their product.
That is all.
Posted on Wednesday April 8, 2009, 21:51
Yet again the cinemas prove me right. Empire's online front page heralds "let the right one in" with a 5* review. Would love to be able to go and see this at my local cinema but my neaerst cinema showing it is 50 miles away.
For the record my local cinema is not some tiny effort. it has 9 screens but its film variety is and has always been an embarrasment. I will likely be downloading this movie and then if i enjoy it (as i suspect i might) i will eventually but it)
Posted on Wednesday April 8, 2009, 22:08
Yes ajm60, i am a joke. Why do i even go on breathing....silly me for expressing an opinion. A right that i defend for everyone actually.
I think youll find there are alot of people who prefer to watch films in the cinema. I agree the experience isnt perfect though.
Truth is i can see why people have to download, (large families, little money) and im not in fact judging anyone. I guess what i do find odd to is the long winded self justification as to why doing this is 'right'. When deep down many people are trying to tell themselves repeatedly "this isnt illegal, im doing the right thing...."
Download movies if you like, i wouldnt stop you, thats your choice. But its not for me and its not how i see cinema.
Posted on Friday April 10, 2009, 09:41
I want to see Dexter in HD and 5.1 sound. I have a projector and an above average sound sytem.
Dexter is made & brodcast this way in America.
I can afford and I'm very happy to pay to see Dexter this way.
I called ITV who brodcast it in the UK. They currently have no plans at all, let alone a date when they will broadcast Dexter this way.
So I called Paramount and when I found someone who could even be bothered to lower themselves to talk to a "customer" they said currently no plans to release Dexter on Blu-Ray in the UK.
So I want to pay but they have refused to take my money so I too do not feel sorry for these people one little bit...
Posted on Friday April 10, 2009, 09:57
I wouldn't steal any of them but if I buy a car, or a handbag, or even a DVD from a shop, if I don't like it I can return it for a refund. Usually without much trouble.
We don't get refunds for a crap film in the cinema. That'd be upwards of a tenner wasted, with no means of recompense.
Hollywood OWES ME for films like Indy 4, Attack of the Clones, Eyes Wide Shut, yadda yadda yadda. Until they start paying refunds, I'll be watching pirate films as a 'try before you buy' exercise, or as a way to recoup some of my losses.
Posted on Friday April 10, 2009, 12:00
I haven't read all the comments on here as it seems to be quite the hot topic and don't know if this has been put forward but cynic in me reckons this is an extremely clever marketing ploy by Fox.
Think about it
The print available online is apparently incomplete, missing effects, score etc so a large percentage of people who were going to see it in the cinema but watched the leaked print are going to want to see the complete version either at the cinema or on dvd.
The leak however, has generated an enormous amount of mainstream media coverage, essentially creating a buzz that most marketing departments would commit serious crimes for.
I'd say there are some suits of Fox who will be looking at the net effect of this "leak" and if Wolverine does better numbers than Last Stand (which I think it will), they'll be rubbing their grubby little hands with glee.
Posted on Saturday April 11, 2009, 16:53
the problem is peer-to-peer file sharing. in my mind there is nor real difference between this and borrowing a dvd from a mate. ive not paid to see this film but im still getting access to it.
also feel its worth looking at buying secondhand dvd's you can pick up many dvd's for around £2 if your happy to buy them secondhand (which i do alot). again the film studio is not getting any money from me but i still now legaly own a copy.
Posted on Saturday April 11, 2009, 19:20
Hi, I am from India and I'm not proud to be downloading. We just don't get to watch R-rated movies in our cinemas (not even on DVD and I'm not only talking sex). Buying foreign DVDs is illegal in this country. You give me any other option....
Posted on Wednesday April 15, 2009, 12:15
Apart from the price which where I live is now pushing £12 (plus £4 for a box of popcorn) there are many reason's to avoid the cinema... I vowed never to return after a bad experience with Fantastic Four 2 (the image was cropped and out of focus - nothing after I complained) but bit the bullet to go see Watchmen (great film) at Imax. What did I get for my almost £20, a couple sat next to me talking through the entire film, peoples phones going off and no break to got to the toilet because the greedy cinema operators wanted to squeeze as many showings in as possible!! No sorry if the film industry wanted to sort out piracy they could quite simply - reduce prices and let people who don't want to torture or a cinema trip to download movies early... I download movies all the time (full HD and DVD quality), I also buy films I really like and rent from online rental sites. And another thing Huge Jackass said he was "heartbroken" that hes baby was leaked early... I'm heartbroken that my hard earned money goes to pay he's ridiculous multimillion pay packet!!! Excuse me I have to go vomit up my breakfast...
Posted on Friday April 17, 2009, 11:38
Surely some people in the UK are downloading films for free simply because they have been released in America but not over here?
In this time of instant communication, isn't it time studios got rid of the ridiculous notion that America deserves to see films 3-6 months before everyone else?
Posted on Friday April 17, 2009, 11:40
As for the bag of Minstrels, I'm glad you can afford the ridiculously inflated price tag!
Posted on Saturday April 18, 2009, 17:57
'Over or under weight guys that don't get laid. They're our bread and butter.' As Kevin Smith wrote in 'Chasing Amy' comic fans are sometimes an odd breed. My feeling is: had this leaked film been the latest Stephen Dorff picture (most likely about a guy that doesn't fit in, so is therefore to cool for school) no one would give a s#$t. But this is Wolverine. Easily Marvels hottest property after Spider-Man. Of course people are downloading a first look version. The question isn't if this is right or wrong. It's, don't these people have better things to do than watch an incomplete film, with no sound track or effects? You know, like getting laid or working for a living perhaps?
Funny old world, innit?
stu 2 stu
Posted on Monday April 20, 2009, 08:50
So many people are complaing about the cost of going to the cinema as a reason to justify downloading a flim, My local given you the option of paying just £13.99 a month and you can go as often as you like. (personally going 2 to 3 times a week)
I have had my card for over a year now a have seen just about every film in that time, yes a i have saw some rubbish but at the same time have saw some films that i would never have gone to see, and came out thourully entertained.
Yes going to the cinema can be expensive, but there are options out there better that downloading and everyone has to admit that nothing beats sitting watching a film onnthe big screen which your over sized coke and way to much popcorn.
Posted on Monday April 20, 2009, 10:13
To: stu 2 stu
Aren't you a lucky boy! No such deals where I am, that price is pretty close to what I would pay for one ticket... Also " everyone has to admit that nothing beats sitting watching a film on the big screen", sorry but no you don't speak for everyone, thats your opinion and your welcome to it... It's sad but most of the British public have no manors and will quite happily talk/text/fidget through the entire running time of a film with no consideration for others... Lets not even talk about the quality control that cinemas (don't) have nowadays.
The film industry need to embrace change, otherwise they will lose out - piracy has been around for a long time and it's not going to disappear after a few high profile legal judgments... TPB FTW!
Posted on Wednesday April 22, 2009, 11:15
My name is Old Nick and I regularly watch and download pirate films.
I occasionally buy DVDs and, even more occasionally, go to the cinema - and I'll be damned (too late?) if I'm gonna take a chance that the film I spend what little cash I have on, is a dud.
Stars are paid megamillions because that's how much their films make. If films make less money, then pay them less.
Films should NOT cost as much as they do to make. Make them for less. Be more creative.
I don't visit the cinema any less or buy any less DVDs because of online availability. But I do get to see more films.
Thanks to online piracy, I became properly aware of the work of Werner Herzog. I now own two of his DVD boxsets.
I also have Kubrick and Hitchcock boxsets, but was able to find rare films by both directors online - all unavailable in any format.
I see it like a public library. I'm getting a free education. And any stuff that really makes an impression on me, I go out and buy/see.
I've also made numerous DVD/cinema recommendations to friends & relatives based on films I've watched online.
I have mixed emotions about the pirates, dealers, suppliers of unpaid for content themselves. I wouldn't dream of doing it; like I think it takes one kind of person to smoke the occasional joint and a very different kind of person to actually deal the stuff.
But if the resource is there? Sure, I'll dip into it occasionally.
I don't inhale though, honestly.
Posted on Tuesday May 5, 2009, 18:13
post number 21 from master exploder was damn hilarious.
I've only ever downloaded movies that i've already seen in the cinema and are available on dvd. This is mainly a "love going to the cinema" thing and a quality thing. I'm also in north america which means i dont have to wait as long as in england. I think it would make a huge difference if companies started distributing movies at roughly the same time all over the globe.
my 2 cents worth anyways.
I SAW IT FIRST
Posted on Tuesday May 5, 2009, 19:58
Hello boys and girls...
I have a copy of the script ( Inglorious Bastards ). I read it and what I have to share is not good news. If this indeed is the script written by QT, then I must tell you that at its very best, it's little more than a low-brow, un-amusing melodrama about ( you guessed it ) a girl's revenge. I kept asking myself: Is this shit for real? Are we going to watch "Kill Bill" all over again on a WW2 set?
I might also add that that whoever typed the script did not know the difference between the words "there", "their", and "they're". It looks to have been written by a semi-literare person with a fondness for comic books. I had a hard time believing that the man who wrote Pulp Fiction would also write this mis-spelled ( "Basterds" ), choppy script. But why then does the script keep getting pulled off the internet? Is it that Miramax does not want to spoil the ending for audiences? I think not. Many novels are adapted and made into movies without hurting box office results. I think the script is getting yanked from cyber-land, because it's very badly written, and perhaps a warning to readers to stay far and away from the soon-to-be-released movie. To add further insult... the historical facts in this story are a mess -- the story ends with Hitler dying in a French cinema, caused by a small explosive. That's great... but why would an author use a major historical figure if he intended to stray so far from historical truth? It lends to the script's over-all comic book quality, but, truly I have expended my patience for Kill Bill self-parody. If the movie version of "Inglorious Bastards" is anything like "Death Proof"... this may become a swan song for a drowning duck. Quack-quack....
If you would like to read this trashy script, please contact me at:
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