ArchiveFebruary 9, 2006

wait, piracy doesn’t hurt?


UK research shows that, on average, downloaders are film fans who view the same number of legitimate films (cinema, rented and bought DVDs) as the average active DVD consumer (24). On top of that, they also consume illegitimately acquired movies.
Says Lavinia Carey, British Video Association, in a BBC interview.

So wait, that would mean that… piracy doesn’t hurt the movie industry, or at least not the way they’ve been claiming for the last few years. Coming from that source, this means a lot.

Another thing about DVDs and media releases that I (well, and just about every other consumer) always found to be a bugger is the damn regional code. The DVD drive in my laptop is long since locked, as I happened to move around a bit and (god beware!) watched DVDs from American and Australian friends, sometimes one after the other. Original, bought, non-pirated DVDs, that is: If they were pirated, I wouldn’t have that problem. Now I would only be able to buy German DVDs, as the last DVD I watched before the drive was locked happened to be German. Grrrreat!

This whole regional code business tells a lot about how the movie biz managers think. Quote, again, by Lavinia Carey from the British Video Association, in the same BBC interview:

…if you were to acquire the rights to, for example, a Hollywood arthouse movie to distribute in the UK, and parallel imports from the USA were being sold in the UK by someone else, you’d lose your investment.
You being the importer, not the consumer. Well, maybe that’s not our (the consumers’) problem, or interest? We don’t even want to think about release windows – we just want to watch a movie. Think about it. And think about the fact that, just as a simple example, I can’t buy any more DVDs because my drive is locked because I bought original DVDs instead of downloading pirated copies. Does anything there strike you as just a tad odd?

(Thanks, BoingBoing)

BBC goes download


Again, the BBC is testing some really cool stuff. After the incredibly bold & brave Action Network (formerly known as iCan; here’s a German interview about it.) and a pretty competent podcasting experiments, the Brits are now running a trial with watch-on-demand with BBC2:

The BBC plans to allow viewers to effectively create their own schedule by logging on to watch at their convenience – on broadband. In the BBC’s most dramatic experiment in on-line programming, a trial of virtually all BBC2’s content may be be provided via broadband.

Thanks for the hint to James from netribution.



ICANN has been having problems with its legitimacy for quite awhile. Annette Mühlberg, German member of ICANN-AT-Large Advisory Committees (ALAC), has made an important point: The few registered At-Large-Structures (ALS) who are accredited at ICANN won’t be able to really make an impact on the governance of ICANN, simply because there aren’t enough of them. She asks civil society groups and other NGOs to register their organizations at ICANN – the deadline is 15 February. Given how incredibly powerful and influential ICANN is (reminder: they basically set the ground rules of the internet, in a way) it’s really important for civil society and users (that’s us, that’s you!) to have a say in how the web is run, or no?

Thanks, Christoph!