Why Movie Piracy IS Bad (And What To Do About It)

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 4th, 2014 at 10:09 am,

SDOD Why Movie Piracy IS Bad (And What To Do About It)


There is one jewel of wisdom to be unearthed from this whole piracy issue (if you can believe that statement): Both movie makers and movie goers need to take a step toward compromise. But how to do that?

Why, by embracing the digital marketplace, of course!

It’s already beginning to happen: this year has seen a slight increase in the number of movies you can watch from home on the same day you can watch them in theaters. Most digital cable services that I know of offer “Same Day On Demand” (SDOD), often in HD quality, for smaller films that maybe aren’t getting a wide theatrical release, or films going straight to DVD/Blu-ray because they were deemed unsuitable (read: not profitable enough) for theatrical release. Pretty much the same deal goes for digital downloads (DD) through itunes, Amazon or similar online services.

I myself became aware of the golden shores of SDOD/DD last Halloween, when Fear.net dumped Clive Barker’s much-troubled film Midnight Meat Train onto on demand (for free!) BEFORE the film hit DVD. Not only did that viewing make me feel cool for catching a talked-about horror flick before most others had a chance to – it made me grateful to the studio for not trying to trick me into theaters and even persuaded me to watch Fear.net more than I ever would have done before.

This year, I’ve watched some films that were actually good on SDOD, including the Robin Williams black-comedy World’s Greatest Dad, and the homage to 80s horror flicks, The House of The Devil. And, after enjoying the experience of seeing both films in gorgeous HD from the comfort of my own home, I’ve come to the conclusion that Hollywood is seriously undervaluing this lane of the market.

twilight Why Movie Piracy IS Bad (And What To Do About It)Twilight hit VOD the same day as its DVD release. Needless to say, fans were happy.

Some other great films that didn’t get a fair theatrical shake but could’ve been great success in the digital market: Black Dynamite, Assassination of a High School President – and though it made big profits, the 50% of the audience that hated Paranormal Activity might’ve felt different had they been able to view it from their living rooms (as it stands, a PA sequel might turn out to be a flop).

Let’s just break this situation down for a second (in some nice, easy-to-follow bulletpoints):

  • Movie theaters are already transforming themselves into a spectacle-heavy business (how many movies at YOUR local theater now come in digital prints, digital 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D… how many more will follow suit next year?).
  • Movie theaters can be very annoying (for reasons we clearly state HERE).
  • HD TVs & Home Theater Systems are more prolific than ever.

Ok, some good points, but SDOD/DD rentals cost (on average) $6.99 per movie – why should you pay that high a price? I’ll tell you why:

  • A $6.99 rental for you and a date is still MUCH cheaper than two movie tickets costing $7 – 12 a piece to see the same movie.
  • At home with SDOD/DD, you can eat what you want, drink what you want, relax how you want – hell, not wear pants if you want!
  • No one (except your family) is likely to ruin your movie-watching experience.

popcorn and tickets revised Why Movie Piracy IS Bad (And What To Do About It)

Still not convinced? Still think that $6.99 SDOD/DD experience isn’t worth it? Here some numbers to compare:

  • The movie ticket price figure stated above.
  • The fact that you’re already paying around $100 a month (or more) for digital cable, mainly for those four or five cable shows you like.
  • Premium movie channels on cable cost an extra $15 a month per channel (in some places) for what is largely hit-or-miss viewing.
  • For true HD movie quality you need a Blu-ray player ($$$) and either a rental service or ample $$$$ to buy those Blu-rays.
  • If you think services like Netflix are the answer, that’s still $10-20 a month for movies that aren’t even in HD (unless you own a Blu-ray player); $50 a year for Xbox Live.
  • The money you’re spending on rental services is going toward months-old movies – never that new flick you’ve been dying to get out and see.

So what SHOULD be the new model for Hollywood?

Keep reading pg. 3…

« 1 2 3»

TAGS: Zombieland
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Arguing that the money I’d pay to go watch or legally download or a stream a movie is helping the producers assess its worth thus affecting and shaping the movies industry future is just stupid.. first of all, it isn’t the money a movie makes that matters, at least not alone, there’s critics reviews, and viewers opinions and ratings, and awards and nominations and all that, I mean they’d be just stupid not to make Zombieland 2 after the crap loads of publicity they gained thanks to us illegally downloaders.
    Even if we assume money is what matters, fair enough since the world is pretty much driven by money, then we should also note that all movies _except record-breakers like Zombieland_ are pirated and downloaded illegally by an almost consistent amount of people who want to watch movies or want to be entertained without having to pay, or simply cannot actually pay and can barely afford Internet connection they pirate things through, then the percentage of people who pay is also pretty much consistent, therefore still providing the studios with the knowledge they need to make “future-shaping decisions”, and still have millions upon millions upon millions if they make a good movie.
    Oh, and the stealing and wrong and right argument is just silly that I won’t bother replying to it. yes, some people consider the morality of their online activities, and so is their right.. and I just don’t, and so is my right, unless you’re the producer or the police of course.

    • Hey guess what isn’t your right? To steal f’in movies. God you people are the worst.

  2. there’s this guy on Craigslist and he sells downloads of anime to your hard drive and charges you 15 to 20 dollars per season. this guy puts up ads daily I have flag them numerous times this guy makes me mad because I’m a legitimate seller of DVDs and can’t get hardly anything, my question is how do you turn this person in to fbi, they leave their phone number on the ad, and this guy is it hard to find on the internet.

  3. People really don’t pirate crappy theatrical copies of movies. The majority of all pirating is done on dvd and blu-ray copies due to the severely higher quality of the picture and audio. Not to mention you shouldn’t blame pirating for the lack of a “Zombieland 2″. You should blame the lack of a Zombieland 2 on HOW THE HECK CAN YOU MAKE A ZOMBIELAND 2??? It was a standalone movie with nowhere left to go at the end. No one has any sympathy over the fact that people like you are brainwashed enough to want a second, watered-down version of the same movie that was only marginally good in the first place. If I’m wrong then I’m sorry, but tell me how it’s possible to make a Zombieland 2 after their shallow characters were resolved due to twinkies and clowns?

  4. Maybe this has been talked about before, maybe not, so here goes. First, when it comes to watching tv shows no stations, network or online service can match the elegance of what you can get from downloading a pirated version. No commercials, which is the big one for me, I stopped watching regular tv because of them. But also you can keep them, watch them at your leisure without any entry into anyone’s log book. That quality of product is not offered by any network.

    There are many sides and views about these things and it’s unlikely anyone is entirely wrong or right. But, really, hasn’t everyone who has had anything at all to do with the production of any video, movie, song, , hasn’t everyone concered already been paid?

    We’re really just talking about corporate greed, right?

    • No, this has nothing to do with corporate greed. My god I hate you people

  5. I would be happy to pay, contribute something but there is also nothing in place for that. I can pay 3 bucks for a single episode I can only watch one at a time when I’m online and logged in. With the shows I download I can queue up an entire season and binge watch for a week.

    In the end, if it wasn’t for the downloads I wouldn’t see any tv show. I haven’t paid for cable in over 25 years because I simply cannot tolerate paying to watch 30% or more commercials designed to manipulate me. Oh, and btw, I’ve only been downloading shows for about 5 years. I went without tv for nearly 20 years.

    Showing many of these producers and actors and directors, and writers, my appreciation for their talent would be great, if it didn’t mean sacrificing so much of my privacy.

  6. 1: it is theft. plain and simple, is it yours? no. if you can’t recognise that it is wrong, you are a few moral beers short of a six pack.
    2: as it is theft, all attempts to justify it fail at the the moment you try and form a defensive rationale. wrong = no.
    3: Pirates are on average middle classed massively spoiled petulant quasi adults, who could easily afford to pay for what they pirate, but don’t because they don’t possess the self discipline to regulate their behaviour. if you do it, at least own it.

    if watching films and tv was in the top 10 of a humans essential needs to survive, you might have a point.

    Either get some self discipline or own up to the idea that you are a thief and through a pretty shallow upbringing and low moral fortitude you believe you should be able to choose as an individual what precepts you live by within a society.
    But that is exactly what “society” is not.
    Option 2 then expands out to the notion that everybody should have exactly the same right to do the same thing,
    which in turn leads to a break down of common law. So …buh bah…no society.
    to counter act your anarchistic tendencies, society will impose blanket restrictions on everybody, you, me, your mom.
    Society works better when it’s citizens voluntarily raise the bar of expectation, rather than encourage a police state.
    but you knew all of this already and you fully deserve the society you create.