Criticizes the MPAA for following in the RIAA’s footsteps and targeting file-sharing customers instead of “investing in a positive message” like “the fun of going to the movies.”
Outspoken billionaire “maverick” entrepreneur and Chairman of HDNet Mark Cuban has written a post on his blog extolling his opinion that “promotion works better than prevention” as the MPAA targets potential customers in its battle against illegal file-sharing and unauthorized distribution.
“The MPAA is staring right in the face of a paradox and they must make a choice,” he writes. “They can continue to invest in the war on Digital Piracy (as opposed to physical DVD piracy, which can be monitored and slowed by confiscating actual DVDs and duplication equipment), or they can invest in promoting the fun of going to the movies.”
Cuban points out the fallacy in waging a neverending war against digital piracy like the RIAA and essentially making enemies out the very people it’s trying to woo into theaters and to buy DVDs and other merchandise. He suggests that the MPAA instead “Invest in a positive message that can get people more excited about their member products and the unique experience offered in theaters” and stop sending the message that its customers are “crooks and pirates.”
He rightly observes what others like Matt Mason, author of “The Pirates Dilemma,” have pointed out and that’s that movie theaters, which the MPAA is supposed to be an advocate for, can always beat piracy by offering a viewing experience and picture quality that file-sharing won’t EVER match.
He has over 1 billion USD invested in the entertainment industry and so knows what it’s like “to see our content distributed online.”
“I get a daily report of all the torrents and other files available online,” he writes. “You know what I think about that ? So what. That’s what I think. Its collateral damage.”
Rather than target people, many of which may never have gone to see a given movie otherwise and may refuse to ever go if they are sued for illegal file-sharing, is merely following in the well worn footsteps of the RIAA. We all know how “successful” that fight’s been.
“People with more time than money will steal content,” Cuban adds. “They weren’t going to pay for it otherwise.”
How many movies have you illegally downloaded that there was no way in hell you would’ve gone to go seen in the theater? Now were you the one of millions of who went to go see “The Dark Knight?” I was.
The recent success of “The Dark Knight” proves that movie fans will pay to see a movie that’s worth watching, especially one which is so patently fit for the big screen.
Cuban seizes this data and pleads for the MPAA to take, continuing:
The theatrical exhibition industry just experienced a phenomenal several weeks with The Dark Knight setting record after record. People by the 10s of millions went to the theater, many multiple time to enjoy the unique experience of going to a movie. Could you please, please, please use the money you are going to spend fighting the unfightable and instead spend it on promoting the fun of going to the movies ? More people going to the movies is more people getting excited about movies. More people getting excited about movies means more people watching movies on TV, which is good for revenues, and more people buying DVDs or legal downloads of the movies. Again, good for revenues.
Exactly. If the MPAA finds itself overcome by a reflexive negative stance towards potential customers and emerging technology then it will simply make everyone unhappy with the moviegoing experience. This will undoubtedly further erode peoples’ desire to patronize theaters since it means putting money in the pockets of the very people whom have made life so difficult for them.
Do yourself a favor MPAA and take heed. The RIAA’s spent almost a decade and countless billions of dollars in legal fees and enforcement strategies to little if any avail. All it’s managed to do with these expenditures is cause millions more in losses from irate fans who’ve sworn off patronizing major music labels ever again.
Technology can never be prevented, and that’s why digital piracy will be marked by a neverending arms race of illegal file-sharing which the MPAA will never, ever be able to win.