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pirate cartels have dark bidding

February 8, 2008 by jjosh

One of my favorite blogs, and the first "portal" (a la boingboing, metafilter, etc) I ever came across is It’s a bit tech-y perhaps, but I kind of love that…over the years he’s been pretty consistent with updating his links to interesting stuff, but not so consistent at posting blog entries. Fair enough, the links are great fun, and the blog posts would be fun when they showed up.

But now he’s trying to post daily(?!) and he’s turning out some good stuff. For instance, he’s got a great post crunching some data concerning Academy award screener DVD’s and pirated copies of movies that show up online. The graphs are fun, but the gist of the post is that more of the Oscar-nominated films than ever are available as DVD-quality pirate downloads, but that they don’t tend to be Academy screeners.

Interesting. Mark, Laura and Lila were visiting last weekend, and when, in the name of research, we downloaded No Country For Old Men, the quality was pretty amazing, and the film seemed to be all over the net. Lila loved it.

Waxy mentions that a lot of the pirate copies are due to overseas Region 5 DVD’s, or R5’s…as Waxy says: 

These DVDs transferred directly from the film source were intended to help them compete with pirates by providing high-quality retail copies of films at the time of the film’s release. Instead, it’s created a huge new method of acquiring films before screeners are even released.

check the definition of R5’s here, at Afterdawn. This sure seems like a weird way to try and defeat the pirates, doesn’t it? Seems like it would help them more than hinder them. I wonder if some massive pirate cartel has a man on the inside at the MPAA, doing their secret, dark bidding.

In the future where anything that can be copied will be stripped of value, anything that cannot be copied will become more valuable. I can see how this will work with music, where the performance will become something to pay for, something that can’t be replicated. But what’s going to happen to films? I suppose the cinema experience can’t really be replicated…although giant tv’s and surround sound are doing a pretty good job.

Also microwave popcorn.

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