David Pogue over at Scientific American has an interesting article that makes a point that most Irreal readers are familiar with: Hollywood encourages piracy by not making movies available legally. Pogue points out that many popular movies are not available to rent online and that none of the 10 most pirated movies can be viewed online legally. The result of this, of course, is that users—who are not at all inclined to be denied—simply download the movies illegally netting Hollywood no income from the viewing.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The music industry has already figured this out. Some people will pirate regardless of availability but the vast majority of people simply want to see the movie and would happily pay for it if it was available. Of course, this is well known and was neatly captured by the now famous Oatmeal cartoon. The industry mumbles about existing agreements and protocols as if these things were out of its control. Of course, they aren’t—it’s Hollywood for goodness sakes.
As I said, none of this is news to the people around here but it’s significant that we’re now reading these opinions in organs such The New York Times and Scientific American. It’s one thing to have nerds pointing out the obvious but quite another when the establishment media starts mentioning the same inconvenient truths.