Confused Views: The 7 sane solutions to movie piracy

Feature Matt Edwards

Following reports that unskippable warning notices are going to be added to American DVDs and Blu-rays, Matt comes up with a few anti-piracy solutions of his own...

The latest measures introduced in America by the FBI to combat movie piracy are (according to this site, who I have no reason not to believe) adding unskippable warnings on DVDs and Blu-Rays. There’s no point analysing this move, because it’s obviously insane. To attempt to understand this lunacy is to risk succumbing to it. 
  
What we need right now are sane solutions to the movie piracy problem. Thanks to the Internet, stealing films is no longer a pastime strictly for feral teenagers and desperate drug addicts. Statistics that I cannot and will not verify suggest that one in three people is in a constant state of illegal downloading. In fact, some of you are probably swiping a film from the comfort of your living room as you read this. Pack it in, you dirty bird.
  
It’s always my opinion that the FBI could use my help. That’s why I’m always writing to them to tell them who I think is responsible in high profile murder cases (you guys would not believe what I’ve guessed some of Hollywood’s elite are up to). Here, I offer the only sane solutions to stopping movie piracy, unsolicited and barely considered. 
  
  
Emotional blackmail
  
This new attempt to let people know about the damage caused by piracy is misplaced, because the only ones seeing it will be people engaging in the exact opposite of piracy. Getting a message to movie pirates is tricky, but not impossible. 
  
What I’m suggesting is that every 15 minutes in a film everyone stops acting, the explosions stop kabooming and the bullets take a rest in midair. One of the cast members turns to the camera and tells the audience about how movie piracy has affected their life. Whether it’s loss of income, trouble financing a sequel or just slower Internet speed when piggybacking off their neighbour’s wi-fi. 
  
Eventually, movie pirates will develop a conscience. Well, that or lose interest in cinema entirely. I mean, it would ruin it. I know that in theory it would likely just cause people to download old films, but unfortunately, in the name of preventing piracy, I’ve ruined those, too. Any film ever made will, every 15 minutes, feature a clip of me screaming “Please don’t ever download films illegally!” for 90 seconds. Ideally, we’ll insert it into every YouTube video a couple of times, too. 
  
I’m not sure how that will help, but my gut tells me we should do it anyway. And from experience I know that the FBI are always interested in hearing about my gut.
  
  
Unique download codes for content that people actually want
  
I understand that some films already come with a download code which gives you access to interviews where the film’s stars attempt to sell you a film you’ve already watched and some trailers for cinematic tat that no one cares about. What I’m suggesting is that we take this idea of giving people something extra for their money, but that we actually follow through on it with something that isn’t dreadful.
  
Specifically, my idea is this – you pay to see a film from a legitimate source, you get a code. That code can be redeemed for an online strip-show from the cast member of your choice.  Of course, this is an idea with a built in problem, but a problem which I have solved. 
  
No one knows better than me that society frowns upon a pervert. The fact is, no one is interested in all of the times you didn’t launch a saucy vigilante campaign as the superhero Sex-Man. So, rather than having to face the public scorn of admitting that you’re going to redeem the code, you get to indignantly throw the code away. However, a second copy of the code gets emailed to you by an account with a conspicuous name. Something like ‘Downloadcodes@nothingrudeaboutthis.com’. 
  
This is a wonderful way to do the moral thing by supporting the film industry and to do the immoral thing by being a disgraceful sexual degenerate. 
  
  
Burn down the Internet
  
FIRE!
  
  
Rename Piracy
  
Pirates are cool. Of course the kids are all downloading films if it makes them a pirate. Ever since Johnny Depp took to waltzing across our screens as Captain Jack Sparrow everyone has secretly wanted to be Peg-Leg Bill or Walk-The-Plank Pete. What better way to do that than to sit in your computer chair downloading?
    
Make downloading films sound awful and people will stop. Here are some alternative terms for ‘pirating films’.
  
‘The court finds you guilty of….’
  
Being a knobhead.
Pansy-stealing like a big girl who hasn’t got the nerve to shoplift.
Digital film molestation.
Sympathising with Jeremy Kyle.
Greased Lightning.
Eufartnasia.
Dog walloping.
Tinkering with Travolta.
  
  
A punishment that fits the crime
  
Giving a $4 billion fine and a 300 year jail sentence might seem like a fair response to stealing a film to you if you’re the sort of person who spends most of the day shrieking in order to drown out the voices of the dead. To a regular person, though, it seems a little over-the-top. By fining people an amount of money that is detached from reality, the threat of being punished doesn’t seem real. 
  
What, am I supposed to be worried that the government are going to take my half a million dollars away? I’m no private investigator (it seems like every attempt I’ve ever made to follow Kat Dennings has only added to the minimum distance I have to keep away from her at all times), but even I could work out fairly quickly that someone like me doesn’t have that kind of money. I mean, I have four different Pot Noodle stains on my shirt and only one of them is fresh.
  
What we need, then, is a punishment that people can comprehend. The first thing that came to my mind was a decent clubbing. People hate being clubbed. 
  
Alternatively, how about public humiliation? We catch people who are downloading films (using technology?), then, when we have enough of them, they have to act out the film to a rowdy bar crowd. This should at least see a dramatic drop in the number of people downloading shock films just to see what the fuss is about. Just how curious are you about The Human Centipede or the uncut version of A Serbian Film? Because, with this rule, you’re going to need to be really, really curious.
  
Public performance leads me nicely onto the next possible solution.
  
  
Make plays less boring
  
In music industry, they attempted to combat losses to piracy by adding zeros to the end of concert ticket prices, because you simply can’t replicate the experience of a live event. 
  
Did it work? No. 
  
Should the film industry try it anyway? Absolutely. 
  
Will it work? Almost certainly not.
  
We need a live action deterrent to stealing films. Theatrical cinema screenings simply aren’t cutting it. No one wants to pay £12 to see a film in a poorly maintained building with sticky floors and screens that smell like jalapeno peppers, teenage grinding and popcorn farts. Plays, on the other hand, could hold the key because, from what I’ve been told, theatres are really nice. People wear suits to them and they’re not even being tried for anything.
  
You can’t download a play. Many of you won’t know that because it’s never really been worth trying. Plays are all stuffy period dramas about the difficulties of having an affair in an aristocracy. However, if film studios were to make new plays about things that people actually find interesting, they might be able to beat the pirates.
  
While it’s not my place to say how they should change plays, I think it goes without saying that more guns, explosions, slow motion and people in fat suits are required. The ball is in your court, Hollywood. It’s up to you to tennis it into some kind of profit.
  
  
Give the guys behind Epic Movie money
  
For every film you illegally download, the team behind Epic Movie will be given one dollar towards the budget of their next film. If they makes it to $250m, they get to remake Jaws.
  
See all the Confused Views here.

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I think you may get through a lot of tiny tears dolls if you oust the people who downloaded "A Serbian Film" - very funny article by the way.

Heh, but in all seriousness:

Subscriptions for films should be pushed harder - for example: cinemas offering "passes" that you pay a single monthly fee to get to watch as many movies as you want - when you want.  I'd happily buy into that.  Secondly, Netflix (and Sky and all that jazz) work well as well providing that the film companies are willing to license it.
With the likes of Adobe moving their ultra expensive CS6 suite to a monthly licensing scheme (with annual commitment options available), the need to find the software legally should (I repeat: should - but not necessarily the case) they need it.

Films are the new software, IMHO.  And let's face it - the future of physical film media being replaced by all digital doodads is doomed.  Film = software.  There, I've said it.

Also: make a film, get the pirates to distribute it rather than relying on the old traditional methods.  Sure, you're unlikely to make a penny, but hey - it'll be seen by more people than the ridiculous system that Big Content has right now.  The added bonus being that pirates add the best subtitles (auto translation) and add all the bad reviews about your movie to the cover.  Extra entertainment! 

(Once the film has been seen by as many people as possible - then sue the pirates to recover the costs)

Very nice, although now I'll be worried every time I watch a film that I'll remember this article and imagine you shouting at me to stop downloading (as if I would). Not so bad if it's a funny movie, but not so good if it's something serious and I burst out laughing in the middle of the cinema. I'll be sending you the bills for all the films I get kicked out of.

Simple solution: Make films available on DVD/streaming/etc the same day as cinematic release and drop prices. I don't object to paying for films, I do, however object to having to pay cinema prices for a film, then having to wait 3 months and then paying another tenner for a physical copy.

People would still go to the cinema for the experience and the quality, but for those who want private viewings in their own home, I think they would happily pay for the DVD/Blu-Ray just to have the film as soon as it was released. They could even sell genuine copies of the film at the cinema for people to take home.

I think it would easily deter pirates. Why spend hours downloading a dodgy torrent with crappy sound for free on day of release when you could pay a few quid on Netflix/iTunes/Sky Box Office and get a quality HD stream on day of release?

Ah, pointless article masquerading as comedic content.
Satire is very hard to pull off convincingly isn't it?

or show everything in 3d, whether it was actually made in 3d or not, making it impossible to shoot bootleg cams.. oh wait.

I'd quite happily be found guilty of Greased Lightning.

Trouble with that approach is that cinema owners would be up in arms as having simultaneous release on home formats would most likely mean a major drop in revenue for the cinemas (which are already operating on flimsy margins set by the studios). And given that cinemas fail to react on annoying little arsebuckets that play with their mobile phones, or give running commentaries (very generous) to their neighbours during a performance - I'm thinking cinemas are going to need all the help they can get to generate any form of profit.

So I'm happy for a cinema -> home format window providing that when the film comes out on whatever format it may be, it is on ALL formats.  Rental or purchase.  I'm STILL waiting for Hugo to come out on iTunes to rent.  Blu-Ray has been and gone for yonks.

For goodness sake, get rid of the unskippable anti-piracy shorts before a DVD film starts. If I'd downloaded the film, I wouldn't have to put up with the same user-hating abuse.

That last solution is genuinely terrifying. I wouldn't just stop pirating. I would be actively berating everyone else to stop as well.

How about rewarding people who pay for movies instead of adding advertising to the start of DVDs, reminding them how bad piracy is with tedious unskippable videos at the start. how about giving them cool extras? Make the films really collectable. Artistic boxes etc.

Wow those warnings really annoy my, i might start pirating all my films from now on.

How about not charging ridiculous amounts for movies.  There is no reason to charge more for the bluray than the DVD.  People are sick of being ripped off.  Remember audio tapes.  They were about 9 bucks (canadian) for a new album, while the CD was 21.  It actually cost less to make the CD.  The music business is paying heavily for screwing its customers, the movie business should have learned the lesson.  Some people will always get what they can for free.  However, it products had fair pricing, more people would be buying. Obviously, I am referring to new releases.

piracy is free and easy to do. you find a solution to unlimited free movies and music you find a solution to piracy 

I like the last one. Haha!

It wouldnt be downloading a movie with crappy sound and picture then, you could have the dvd rip that the first person to the cinema bought and put straight on the internet :(

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