Piracy and the movie industry: change your business model now or end up like the music industry




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Changing Copyright Law

Changing copyright law runs into two of the same problems already explored above. First, if the public’s conception of copyright law is not in line with the law, the public will not obey the law.61 Second, since piracy is a worldwide epidemic, the substantive reach of the law would have to be enforced at an international level.

Additionally, as seen with the enactment of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DCMA”), passing a law does not guarantee that it is going to be followed or be able to be enforced.62 The DMCA criminalizes the production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (digital rights management, DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. DRM on entertainment content, however, has only frustrated consumers.63 Software programs have also been developed that can break the encryption in DRM, giving people great incentive not to follow the DCMA. Continuing to grant more power to the copyright holder is further against what the public conceives as fair and will result in less cooperation by the public with copyright law.64 Therefore, it would not be worthwhile for the MPAA to spend a great amount of money and time attempting to solve piracy by international copyright law reform.

So far, as the CEO, you are not enjoying your conversation with the accountant. He seems to keep showing how piracy wins no matter what. The accountant tries to calm you down by explaining that you have to take things in perspective. First, the movie industry does not have it as bad as the music industry did. People are not going to stop going to the movie theaters. The movie theater experience is analogous to a music concert, and there are no studies showing that piracy has affected the revenue stream from concerts. In fact, industry analysts have shown that downloading movies has little effect on a person’s movie theater activities.65 And DVD sales, which are more at risk of being affected by piracy, considering their similarity to music CD sales, account for less than half the revenue of a movie, unlike how CD sales were usually the main revenue for an artist. Therefore, the piracy problem for the movie industry, although serious and increasing, must be taken into perspective. You, as the CEO, do not have to worry about your box office sales and DVD sales dropping to a point where your margin is approaching zero in the near future. You have time to experiment with different business models and recapture the new generation of consumers led to piracy and their lost revenue by offering a better alternative to pirated movies.


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Piracy and the movie industry: change your business model now or end up like the music industry

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