Friday 13 January 2012

Illegal Streaming of Movies

Some kid from the UK was running an illegal streaming site, called TV Shack, and he's in the process of being extradited so he can face trial in a US Court. Read about it here.

Now, that's fair enough. He broke numerous laws, probably lost the studios hundreds of thousands of dollars, and he profited through advertising.

So, he's the bad guy.

But watch what happens two years from now, when the studios make websites that look exactly like the illegal ones. Why? Because It's what the people want, and soon the studios will follow.

These kids who set up video sites are catering to what the people are demanding. The studios could do the same thing now -- cut prices and stream the films online. Give the public what they want.

That's what we learned from the music industry. The argument was "people just want to steal", but it wasn't true. People just wanted mp3's. And remember when they tried to stop music being on YouTube? They used to ban your account if you put a track online. Now they welcome it with a big advert on your video, because they found out how to monetize it.

I'm tired of this game. I'm tired of the crazy prices. When I was a teenager I saved up week after week to buy 'FRIENDS' on VHS. It was £19.99 per video. Each video had four episodes. I spent hundreds and hundreds.

And then the DVD'S came out, and they put eight episodes on a disc and a deleted scene or two. And we accepted it because the technology was better.

And then eventually they put it on a single box set, which cost a couple of hundred but now only costs £40.

But if I go on a website tonight and stream an episode because one of my DVDs won't play properly, I'm breaking the law?

Netflix just launched in the UK, streaming only, £5.99 a month. This kind of thing is the future, but right now their catalogue sucks, it's half-assed. Same goes for lovefilm.

But all the major broadcasters in the UK stream their programmes the next day online. And you can get them through your Xbox. Netflix is here from the USA and maybe someday we'll get Hulu.

The point is, everyone is coming up with answers, but the Studios sue the kids who supply them. But a year or two from now, they'll copy them. One way to look at the people behind these sites is as lawbreakers, but in my opinion, they're just leading the way. The studios will follow, right after they've put them all in jail.

Care to share?


  1. I agree! I don't see the studios as being opposed to this kid because he's doing something wrong, but because they're not the ones making the money, and that's wrong.

    When something like this happens, it's a signal to start figuring out new systems and new innovations, instead of trying to clamp down because it's never gonna work.

  2. I agree, it's time to herald the future!