Imagine for a moment if Napster were cloned hundreds of times. If there were a NapsterStanford, a NapsterMIT, or a Napster for your high school
completely independent from, yet just as powerful as, the original. Imagine what would have happened if Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker had released the
source code, allowing any developer to essentially copy and build upon his software. Imagine if Napster were open source.
The RIAA would have fought a war on a thousand fronts. And lost.
Video piracy is on the verge of having its Napster moment. A piece of software appeared last week called Popcorn Time. It makes watching pirated
movies as easy as firing up Netflix. Everything is free. There’s no mess or fuss — you press play.
Popcorn Time makes it as easy to watch pirated content as Napster did to download songs. It’s a nightmare for Hollywood.
Popcorn Time has already forked. After an early scare, the old developers ceded to a new team because the pressure and attention was simply too much.
The program is just that good.
Streaming is the future of both piracy and legitimate distribution. If Popcorn Time implodes again, another program will be built on top of the rubble
and stand even taller than the first. The only thing that can slow its growth is Hollywood’s full embrace of the stream and, judging by the
popularity of pirate services, it had better come soon.
When taking a look at this, this is like Youtube, but working via torrents and letting one stream different HD-movies immediately, adding subtitles to
them. The developers got scared off at first and went out, but the source code was opened for the public and well, by now it is in different languages
all over the internet and well, personally I highly doubt it is something that Hollywood can stop.
When considering what impact Napster had on music industry, I believe this will have similar if not stronger effect on movie industries, which means
it is very likely the prices of movies would go down soon.
Considering the policies of different movie companies, I hope this would some effect on those. Many here come from US or some other big country. These
are the focus points of the companies, although the smaller or poorer nations are often the ones who have problems with such policies.
- The prices are inflated so high, that only very big channels with a large audience are able to buy the latest content in fast enough. A channel with
a smaller target group has to wait a few years until the prices go down enough. Prices should be set according to nations and their average salaries,
not one price for all which only the largest channels are able to buy in. At the end it is just a content, something already created and I believe
personalising the fees based on nations would earn significantly more for the companies than selling the stuff years later when the movie is not
popular anymore or the series was premiered years ago.
-The DVD prices in larger/richer nations are generally significantly lower than in smaller nations due to larger market - you can earn from revenue.
For the latest DVD here for example people would have to pay around 30-50 dollars. A lot for watching the movie once/twice, especially considering
that the average salary is times below US one. The laws are more complex and with addition to getting by all the legal fees, the market is so small
the prices have to be set so that the distributors earn from the higher costs, not revenue. Also it often takes more time for DVD to reach these
-The regional policies often create a situation, where people in certain areas have no access to content. For example the most popular internet
streams, like Netflix or Lovefilm, are not available for people from many areas. And well, even these sites, do not have access to all content.
I am not pro-piracy per se, although I understand the reasons behind high piracy levels in certain countries and regions, usually it is the fault of
bad policies by the companies hitting them back. If you do not create same options for people around the globe, somebody will find a way to step by
the policies and create something like the Popcorn Time.
With the globalisation, I hope sooner or later, companies would realise that something needs to change. I hope that this could have some effect on the
industry. Maybe some day there would be some global legal site, forgetting all the regional things and everybody has access to the latest content for
a reasonable cost (also the salaries of different nations should be counted in). I would have nothing against paying 5-10 dollars a month to see any
movie, any series, anything that is not in the cinemas anymore and has premiered already in TV channels.