p2pnet.net news:- “In the absence of movie piracy, video retailers would sell and rent more titles. Movie theatres would sell more tickets and popcorn. Corn growers would earn greater profits and buy more farm equipment.”
Goes without saying, dunnit?
Appropriately, Cotton, promoter of Peer Impact and NBC/Universal’s general counsel, is the man carefully selected by the major studios to lead the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy’s Campaign to Protect America.
Campaign to Protect America. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
If NBC wants to, “stage a show in the Theatre of the Absurd, that’s fine,” says Brodsky, going on:
But perhaps a review of the production is also in order. Corn farmers are doing just fine, thank you. According to the June 20 Wall Street Journal, corn sold at $3.83 per bushel this morning, up from $2.08 a year ago. Corn futures are even higher – $4.03 for the December crop. And don’t worry about the popcorn guys. According to the Popcorn Board, Americans consume 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year. Of that total, 70 percent of popcorn is eaten at home, and the remaining 30 percent is divided up among all the other places – movie theatres and sports stadiums, among other venues. These figures don’t appear to reflect the impact of the rampant piracy that NBC posits.
Could there be anything else in NBC’s program that is questionable? NBC tells the FCC that “As much as 60-70% of traffic on the Internet consists of P2P file transfers by a very small minority – fewer than 5% – of users. P2P thus outstrips every other communication and distribution protocol on the Internet and continues to grow exponentially.” NBC calls P2P users “bandwidth hogs,” and says 90% of the transfers are “in knowing and flagrant violation of our nation’s copyright laws.”
NBC must know that P2P is a more efficient way of distributing content, and that users aren’t “bandwidth hogs” that clog the tubes for everyone else. It was only a few months ago, Nov. 17, 2005 to be exact, that NBC had quite the different view of P2P technology when it announced a deal to distribute movies and TV shows over Peer Impact, a P2P network.
This is what the Peer press release said: “NBC Universal and Wurld Media, the creator of the legitimate Peer to Peer (P2P) service Peer Impact, today announced an agreement that will make Universal movies and NBC Universal TV events content available to Peer Impact customers on demand. This agreement marks the first ever license of major studio content to a legitimate P2P service. Titles will be available for rental for a 24-hour viewing period after purchase.
Wurld Media, huh?
“Peer Impact is about as far away from the true concept of p2p as it’s possible to get,” said p2pnet back in 2005, going on:
“It’s a venal, hard-core commercial corporation which unsuccessfully tries to pass itself off as a p2p ‘community’. However, the first four names in its ‘partners’ list put everything into perspective. They are Warner Music, Sony BMG, EMI and Vivendi Universal. Now it and NBC Universal are trying to pass off a one-day movie rental scheme as a ‘p2p’ service.
“Owned by Wurld Media, Peer Impact touts something it calls Peer Cash, which has nothing to do with real money. Under it, marks are expected to allow Peer Impact into their computers so it can use them to funnel sales.”
p2pnet thought this looked a lot like the now defunct Weed resale concept combined with a failed Brilliant Digital Entertainment / Joltid idea to get into punters’ systems and cash in on the results..
p2pnet reader Scratches Head commented at the time, “Let me get this right, I pay for my internet connection, electricity, and for the music. I leave the computer on and hooked up and load my drives with music. IF I am lucky enough that someone uses my bandwidth to get the song, I get what? This isn’t even real money. I doubt that my utilities would accept this (what was it again?) Peer Cash, as payment for their services.
“No matter what I do in this process it is always going to cost, no matter how many songs people chose to d/l from me. The theoritical is rarely going to be met. This is closer to pymarid selling than an opportunity with just another scheme to slice away from you the user money and in this case your bandwidth also. Must be nice to get such ardent supporters to defend it as well.”
Back to Brodsky on corporate corn
” ‘NBC Universal has a long history of embracing technology to better serve our viewers,’ said Bob Wright, vice chairman of GE and chairman and CEO of NBC Universal. ‘This agreement is a significant step forward in our goal to capitalize on the myriad possibilities of new digital-media services, in a way that allows us to safeguard our content from illegal distribution’.”
The canard about P2P taking over the Web was popular a couple of years ago when Grokster was a hot issue. Now, not so much. Ellacoya, the maker of deep-packet inspection routers, reported on June 18 that the trend of P2P traffic taking over the Web has been reversed. Now, basic Web traffic, mainly streaming audio and video, accounts for 46% of traffic, while P2P takes up 37%. Traditional Web page downloads are 45% of the basic (HTTP) Web traffic, with streaming video at 36%.
Just for the record, how is the movie industry doing these days? Let’s see what MPAA President Dan Glickman wrote just the other day on Huffington Post: “From long-awaited summer sequels to smaller films that make us laugh, think, or both, the movies are enjoying a revival. Everyone is heading to the movies.”
Consumer spending on home video (sales and rental) was $24 billion for 2005, according to the Entertainment Merchants Association. Meanwhile, box office revenues keep climbing as well, even as ticket prices keep going up, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. Perhaps things aren’t as bad as NBC would have us believe.
What we are left with is a call for a radical policy change based on bad, or at least questionable, information alleging millions of dollars of “lost” revenue and “lost” jobs. That’s a recipe for disaster, as policy choices on larger world stages have shown.
Why propose this, then? It will probably be only a matter of time before Hollywood’s friends on the Hill, probably some Democrats, start sending letters to the Commission, in the name of the intellectual property protection. Like NBC’s filing, those letters will be the source of great amusement.
If your Net access is blocked by government restrictions, try Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. Go here for the official download, and here for details. And if you’re Chinese and you’re looking for a way to access independent Internet news sources, try Freegate, the DIT program written to help Chinese citizens circumvent web site blocking outside of China. Download it here.
rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/p2p.rss | | Mobile – http://p2pnet.net/index-wml.php | | And use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site
Tired of being treated like a criminal? They depend on you, not the other way around. Don’t buy their ‘product’. Do bug your local politicians. Use emails, snail-mail, phone calls, faxes, IM, stop them in the street, blog. And if you’re into organizing, organize petitions, organize demonstrations and then turn up on your local political rep’s doorstep, making sure you’ve contacted your local tv/radio station/newspaper in advance. Don’t just complain. Do something!Also See:
The Inquirer -P2P attacked for keeping corn farmers poor , June 25, 2007
Techdirt – NBC Exec: Think Of The Poor Corn Farmers Hurt By Movie Piracy, June 22, 2007
Public Knowledge – Worms Help Ruin NBC’s Corn Farmer Story, June 20, 2007
carefully selected – Corporate Power vs People Power, June 16, 2007
Peer Impact – The NEW Peer Impact, August 16, 2005