Sunday, 18 December 2011

I Stole The Film

Since the NZ Government thinks we are all pirates / kowtows to America thinking we are all pirates, I watched a film about pirating, Steal This Film. You won't see this in the theatres, or video stores. You will see this if you download it directly. Or torrent that. That's rather the point.

In Part I (2006), pirating is introduced. Pirate Bay is set up, and raided. And is still around. Torrenting is here to stay, under the nicer name of "media sharing". In Part II (2007), they talk about how pirating in one form or another has gone on through time, and people adapt to it. And so do companies. Movie industries refuse to (so far), because it would be the end of them...

Fine. Let's try that as a thought experiment: torrenting becomes rampant, it's a common everything day, what happens? Hollywood disappears! Well, not really. It's one thing to watch a movie on your computer or big screen TV, but there's still the giant movie screen. And with no sign of 3D TVs being any good, those films will still have a market. (And IMAX films.) And not everyone will be torrenting anyway. And some people will want the BluRay version with tons of extra features they can't be hassled downloading. Hollywood isn't disappearing immediately.

But let's say it does collapse enough to only be one company left. What of all the people there? Will the unemployment rate suddenly jump up? Again... no. I can see the theatre sector suddenly gaining a lot more people. And it's not like the movie industry will go away, already we have people making movies and relying on torrents, etc., to get the word out so people want to see it. They rely on donations and DVD sales to cover themselves, but they aren't forcing to not copy and distribute it for free.

Even if that fails to happen, people have found new opportunities. Those people that destroyed the movie industries won't be getting entertainment any more, and will still want to be entertained, so there's an opening. The industrial revolution didn't destroy civilisation (although some might differ) but gave new tools to use. This might not be that extensive, but torrenting is a tool, and ways to use it will be found and/or something completely different to movies will arise.

Ultimately, it is here to stay, so the movie sector will have to adapt to it. Some people will never pay, only get things for free, no matter what. But that's always true of any area. A new model will arise, and money will be found in other ways, some balance between "no copying" and "total information freedom".

For as long as there are profits to be had, there will be a way found to get them.


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