The movie industry, 15 years on…

“We don’t want to sue 16-year-olds or mums and dads. It takes 18 months to go through the courts and all that does is make lawyers rich and clog the court system. It’s not effective.”

(Graham Burke)

This view, from the producer of Happy Feet and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is very much that of the movie industry 15 years on from Napster: it now turns out that hounding its audiences through the courts is too expensive and thus not worth the bother. Impressive stuff.

How about thinking that the long-term solution might also include simply trying to get the products people want to them when they want them, rather than subjecting them to restrictions that make them less attractive?

How about listening to the studios that are saying the only way to reduce peer-to-peer downloading is by creating systems that allow the public to access films in a variety of ways, from free downloads accompanied by advertising, to charging reasonable prices for downloads, all-you-can-watch tariffs, streaming, and anything else that technology allows for?

How about eliminating those absurd geographic zones, which again, only encourage downloading, or why not simply take a more understanding, sympathetic approach to people who, when all is said and done, simply want to access the movie industry’s products?

How about getting real about the real impact of peer-to-peer downloading on their profits, and stopping seeing every download as a lost sale; and while they’re at it, they could stop buying corrupt politicians and getting them to pass laws that make it easier to hound their potential customers through the courts?

After 15 years is it too unreasonable to hope that they might have learned something? Thanks a lot guys: big deal, we’re not going to be dragged through the courts… And?

(En español, aquí)