January 4, 2005 8:34 AM PST

Piracy hits Hollywood in the wallet

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People working in the entertainment industry see digital piracy as a major threat to their businesses, according to a new study by In-Stat/MDR.

In a survey of film and TV industry workers, nearly half said illegal theft of entertainment content threatened their bottom lines, In-Stat said Tuesday. About 27 percent of those surveyed said they had already lost revenue because of piracy. The survey was taken by 1,806 people working in the variety, broadcasting, cable and news sectors.

The entertainment industry is trying to grapple with illegal downloading of music from the Internet, as well as file sharing and the use of peer-to-peer software. These efforts got a boost last month, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether companies that produce file-sharing software can be held legally responsible when people use their products to swap copyrighted material.

The Federal Trade Commission has also begun to focus on the issue. The FTC last month hosted a two-day workshop on file swapping that looked at the effect of the practice on entertainment companies, as well as the risks faced by consumers.

In-Stat said more than one-third of film industry insiders see a strong impact on their business today from illegal downloading and copying.

"Piracy was the No. 1 concern among emerging threats," Michael Wolf, principal analyst at In-Stat, said in a statement. "This is no surprise, given the impact it is already having, according to those in the home entertainment market. In turn, those in the TV space (see) personal video recorders as the biggest threat to their business in the future."

In-Stat also noted that executives in the film and TV industries consider Apple Computer and Microsoft to be competitors. Survey respondents feel that Apple currently has the best products, though "Microsoft is coming on strong," In-Stat said in a statement.

More than half of those surveyed also said the video game business will be either "somewhat or very important" to their businesses in the near future.

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I don't even watch "live" tv anymore
I use my computer to capture television programs and then watch them in my living room. No more having to wait for the show to start and best of all, zip through the commercials. For shows I really like, like Seinfeld, I edit out the commercials. You'd be surprised how many are in a 30 minute show.

I blame the entertainment industry having to resort to this, as commericials have only gotten more and more intrusive and programming has gone down the toilet.
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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30 minute show
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Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
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Costing Who?
I have a collection of Movie files, I wont say how many but its substantial. But that has not stopped me from still going to theaters and buying dvds. I probley see a movie in the theaters 2-4 times a months (x2 because of my girlfriend) and we rent 4 or more movies a month. There are probably only a hand full of movies in my collection that i havent seen in theaters, many because they are older movies. I dont see how that constitues at them lossing money? specially when movie still make 100 million. If they servied only lowered payed workers maybe the solution is some of the big wigs should take less of a cut. that would fix things and everyone would be happy.
Posted by (1 comment )
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Give us something worth paying for.
I go see movies like maybe twice a year. I DON'T download any movies at all. Maybe if Hollywood produced something worthwhile I'd go to a theater. I'm not willing to pay what they're charging to see recycled plots. Sorry.

As for TV... Hokey smokes what a pile of dung. I can't remember the last time I actually watched a show regularly. I think it might go back to about the 3rd season of X-Files. It would be so nice if a show could have clever writing again. This "reality TV" is so far in the wrong direction that I can't even see it in the distance.

I don't pirate movies or TV. Why would I? It's all drivel.

As for music... If I think the music is good then I'll gladly support musicians. Too bad so little of my $25 for a CD actually makes it to them. Now iTunes on the other hand makes a lot of sense. It's actually affordable.

Wake up Hollywood!
Posted by herkamur (115 comments )
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...further
I forgot to add one point... Sorry.

Maybe if consumers were presented with programming (movies, television, music) with some quality as a reasonable price piracy wouldn't be such a problem.

Speaking for myself, I'm willing to pay a reasonable price for a worthwhile product. I don't feel that what I'm being offered is either of those things: reasonable or worthwhile.
Posted by herkamur (115 comments )
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