The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, made up of thirty democracies, focuses on issues facing the economy, the society, and the environment due to globalization. Their executive summary aims to identify the economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy. In 2005, they found that pirated and counterfeited products amount to $200 billion, ecxluding trade conducted through the Internet. To put this number into context, the report states that the amount is larger than the GDPs of 150 economies. They found that piracy operations are in large led by organized crime such as gangs and terrorist groups. Only groups with financial stability and vast distribution networks would be capable of controlling such a market. Even though certain target groups have been identified, it is still difficult to catch and combat these pirates.While piracy exists in all economics, it is most pronounced in developing countries. The report calls upon governments to strengthen law enforcement and regulation to diminish these networks.
While some counterfeit goods could potentially be harmful to ones health, such as counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs, other pirated goods such as movies serve to decrease economic growth and discourage creativity. Due to the Internet, new distributions outlets are available for pirated material. As the report emphasizes, the Internet provides an infinite market for products that can be sold through full anonymity. Not only does piracy effect copyright industries, it is also shown to effect areas of trade, the evironment, and employment as well.
The report finishes by suggesting methods to improve information on counterfeiting and piracy to better target such groups. By developing more information on the national and global level that is systematically collected, comparable, and comprehensive, there can be a uniform system for combating these illegal activties.
In my paper, I intend on identifying the challenges the movie industry faces. The data collected by the OECD provides significant insight into the nature of the groups disseminating pirated goods. In addition, their numerical figures will help me quantify the impact of their activities, economically and socially.
Shujen Wang, the author of this aritcle, analyzes the complexity of protecting property in a technologically advancing society. By recognizing the film industry's universal impact, she aims to situate ideas of piracy and copyright in "the larger contexts of power, technology, and the networking logic of globalization. The reader is provided with a history of important legislation that has led the industry to its current situation, noting the DMCA as important national legislation and TRIPS as a global one. Acknowledging that the copyright industries continue to be a leading force in the U.S. economy, she summarizes reports from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which break down where copyright markets receive revenue and what percentages are lost to piracy. The article highlights the importance of overseas markets and how the MPAA has adjusted to accommodate these markets.
Another section emphasizes that technology and piracy are inextricably linked to power and control. Each country has devised its own standards for copyright protection, but in a world based on global information economy, nations must work together to protect property. While it is up to each country to enforce copyright laws, members of the World Trade Organization must accommodate broader terms of agreement. The WTO agreement states that that "all state laws of its member countries must conform to the TRIPS agreement by 2006." Such agreements are deemed necessary because of the digital advancements that have complicated anti-piracy efforts. The next section of the article provides a background of film piracy dating back to the 1970s. Back then, finding pirates was simpler when such copies were tangible, but in this digitally advanced realm, "information is stored digitally, content is liberated form the medium and all that flows to the recipient is the information." Furthermore, the speed at which information is transferred increases while the cost to reproduce it decreases--ultimately giving pirates an advantage. She argues that copyright protection is the only way to preserve our global information economy.
Contextualizing copyright and piracy in a global context reveals the immense significance digital technologies have in global trade. This article outlines the history of the film industry and the ways in which it has had to alter to sustain economically.
This article analyzes the preventative measures the movie industry must take in order to protect their copyrights and stifle piracy. It is made clear that various factors, particularly the invent of broadband Internet, peer-to-peer networks, and improvements in video compression technologies have made such efforts extremely difficult. Thus the industry must exercise legal and technical means to battle competing markets. The entertainment industry is aiming to hold the information industry accountable for all copyright violations. Furthermore, they are urging the information industry to also institute anti-piracy technologies in all software and hardware. By elaborating on the previous legal battles that complicate the debate on whether to hold the user or manufacturer accountable for piracy, the authors device a better solution that assigning blame. The article suggests that the movie industry should adapt their supply chain to provide cheaper, quality, convenient products than any illegal form could offer.
This new model would force the industry to reconstruct how they distribute, exhibit, and produce films. The second section delineates the current framework of the industry tracing back to the 1970s. The weaknesses are exposed and the industry's long-term "techo-phobia" is identified as a major culprit. The next section brings attention to the legal battles of the MPAA and the RIAA to protect copyrights and further discusses the benefits and setbacks of the DMCA. Two organizations have been assembled to try and deal with these problems; one is the Digital Media Device Association and the other is Project Hudson, which is made up of technology giants such as Samsung, Toshiba, and Nokia. Various solutions are proposed, such as digital watermarking and smart-card technology, but all have flaws. Because neither legal nor technological solutions effectively can eliminate piracy, the most sensible answer is economically based. In terms of distribution, the article suggests creating e-Blockbusters near ISPs, which would enable consumers to rent movies in a cheap and accessible manner. For exhibition, theaters must adapt by adjusting the "window scheme, offering differentiated digital viewing experiences, and developing fast-access storage to reduce portable media." Production will take on a purely digital form, reducing the need for human interaction almost completely.
There are plenty of viable options available to improve and sustain the movie industry; it is just a matter or time and technology. The aforementioned solutions can improve the industry and successfully eliminate piracy if executed effectively. The article articulates my very thesis and attempts to provide an answer as to how the movie industry can change to this digitally advancing world.
The Internet is forcing the movie industry to adapt its current business model in order to keep up with the online trend. With the growing popularity of online movie download sites, Hollywood will have to figure out a way to compete. This article featured in The Economist argues that if the film industry embraces the Internet they will profit considerably more than if they were to fight it. One of the most advanced Internet distribution sites is ZML.com, which offers over a thousand films for download to various devices at low costs and good quality. Unfortunately for Hollywood, this website is a pirate site. Piracy and the increased accessibility pirates have to online material discourages the film industry from making titles accessible on the web. While film industry has always been slow to accept new technologies, failure to do so with the Internet could result in damaging effects. The article points out that studios such as Paramount and Disney were opposed to the DVD at its inception, primarily because they would rather keep their stringent business model than adapt to a new one. Still, some studios are embracing the Internet and its potential to spur new revenue.
While some studios have helped to create legal online rental services, they have reaped little success. The author suggests that download-to-buy options would be more profitable and could show the movie industry the capabilities of the Internet. In addition, the current sites are not particularly enticing for users because the movies offered are second-rate--with very few blockbusters or major hits available. The article goes on to explain the reasons for Hollywood's reluctance to go online. Most notably, the DVD industry is so popular that they fear risking such a large source of revenue. In reality, the industry could profit by increasing the amount of titles available through an infinite online database rather than through limited shelf space in DVD rental stores. Regardless, there exists technological obstacles that are difficult to combat. For example, download times can reach up to an hour and most people would rather watch movies on their televisions than on their computers. Lastly, the "lack of common standards" prevents a uniform system for online distributors. Despite these challenges, the article points out the potential remedies and the various ways the industry is currently taking steps towards overcoming these difficulties.
Although wary of what the Internet may bring, the industry recognizes its potential to reach the masses. Studios spend a significant percentage on online marketing because it is so successful and provides beneficial feedback. By targeting substantial groups interested in specific subjects, the industry can use this response to shape their films. The most promising invention described is the flash-memory enabled kiosk, which "overcomes many of the weaknesses of the present model and the current deficencies of the Internet," says Mr. Lieberfarb, who is on the board of MOD Systems.This article directly aids my paper through its summarization of the multitude of adaptations and inventions that film industry has had to make in such a digital world. It is apparent that the movie industry must adapt if it does not want to falter in this digitally advancing society.
This New York Times article from 1997 shows how far piracy has come today. It emphasizes the difficulties the movie industry has to face now compared to eleven years ago. In the last year or so, the two blockbusters that hit the streets before their openings were the "Hulk" and "American Gangster." Although the Internet has made proliferation of these movies capable, bootlegs have existed for quite sometime. Back in 1997 "Men in Black," "Batman and Robin, and "Hercules" were leaked earlier than its intended opening and were available for purchase on the streets of New York for five dollars. The article isolates New York as the major hub for pirated motion pictures. Back then, the estimate of how much the industry loses from domestic revenues is about $250 million (compared to $6.1 billion in 2005).
The author suggest that bootlegs are acquired by people sneaking camcorders into advanced screenings. The films are often of bad quality, but consumers want what is new before anyone else. To clean up piracy, the government and individuals targeted the streets of New York. In 1992 when Spike Lee's film "Malcom X" came out, he and some friends went to 125th Street with baseball bats to scare vendors of bootleg films. The MPAA geared its efforts towards attacking duplication labs in New York; the raids led to the seizure of over 10, 000 bootleg videos. Besides selling copies on the street corners, bootleggers set up booths, akin to tourist attractions, that stock the most recent films for purchase.
This article is a great comparison of how piracy has developed with technology. Pirates are now almost invisible due to the Internet, the quality of the films pirated is of superior quality, and dissemination is almost impossible to contain. The losses incurred by the industry back then have significantly increased and the pirates are more organized. A brief discussion of the drastic changes that have occured in the last decade will help contextualize the efforts the MPAA has had to undergo.