Print 33 comment(s) - last by PitViper007.. on Dec 31 at 12:11 PM

From adult films to movies to games, Hollywood employees appear to love to pirate content

BitTorrent monitoring company Scaneye and content rights outlet TorrentFreak have raised some pretty awkward questions for Hollywood's top studios.

In a new report, they show that static internet protocol addresses associated with Viacom Inc.'s (VIA) Paramount Studios, Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) Warner Bros., Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) Sony Pictures, News Corp.'s (NWS) Twentieth Century Fox, and The Walt Disney Comp. (DIS) have been actively downloading and sharing torrents.

Perhaps victims of the "bring your own device" trend, the members of the Motion Picture Association of America, are finding that their employees are file-sharers just like their counterparts in the general public.

Twentieth Century Fox reportedly shared the least content, while Warner Bros perhaps offered the most colorful list of stolen comment with their randy workforce downloading titles such as "A--holeFever - Ioana (The Summer is Magic)".  Overall a wide array of movies, video games, and TV episodes were being illegally shared.

Warner Bros
Some of Warner Bros. employees' downloads may give a new meaning to working "hard on the job". [Image Source: TorrentFreak]

The MPAA is known for its penchant for provocative statements and lawsuits.  In ads it proclaimed:

You wouldn’t steal a car
You wouldn’t steal a handbag
You wouldn’t steal a television
You wouldn’t steal a movie

Downloading pirated films is stealing,
stealing is against the law,

Well, one has to wonder whether some Hollywood folks are off stealing cars, because they certainly appear to be pirating movies.  Recall these are the same companies responsible for million dollar verdicts against working families and mass-lawsuit extortion schemes.

They're also the same ones pushing Congress to make laws to make piracy an imprisonable offense.  They and their big music allies (many of which share common ownership, e.g. Sony) filled nearly 10 percent of coffers of Senators in the last election cycle.

And while similar studies have shown Congressional offices to be active pirates themselves, the money has done a lot of talking as Congress has proposed a variety off efforts to stiffen piracy punishments and has condoned the lawsuits and legal threat campaigns by big media corporations.

Viacom lost a suit against Google Inc.'s (GOOG) YouTube video service, when server logs showed that Viacom employees had themselves uploaded many of the infringing video clips from Viacom properties such as MTV and Comedy Central.  It was unclear whether the uploads were a direct attempt to frame Google or simple hypocrisy, but either way the "billion dollar" case was quickly scuttled in the aftermath.

Large film and music corporations have at times been accused of "pirating" independent artists' work, selling it without permission and then looking to stifle the artists' ability to collect with a convoluted royalty system.  Music companies, including Sony have paid tens of millions of dollars to settle such accusations in Canada alone.

That said, illegal distribution -- while hypocritical and harmful to artists -- is not quite as hypocritically humorous as movies studio employees directly engaging in torrent piracy.  Thus the industry -- or its employees at least -- appear to have sunk to a new low.  As the popular idiom goes, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Source: TorrentFreak

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RE: Tom Cruise was paid 70mill for War of the Worlds
By tayb on 12/26/2012 8:18:33 PM , Rating: 0
Your "protest" is sending the exact opposite message you think it is.

What you see: I'm going to download movies instead of paying for them to show big media I don't like the way things are working.

What they see: Our movies are still high in demand but the problem is people are stealing them. Let's focus on the stealing issue.

Their response is a logical response. Your tactic is an illogical one. If you don't like the way things work in the media industry your ONLY valuable response is to ignore the industry. Don't imitate demand by pirating and don't buy the media. If people did this on a large scale it would be effective. Pirating, on any scale at all, is a completely worthless form of protest.

For as long as actors are being paid 250x my yearly salary per movie whilst (by their own admission) HAVING FUN

I feel sorry for you if the idea of having fun at work seems so outrageous. I love going to work every day. Also, do you boycott all sports?

By DBCooper71 on 12/26/2012 11:13:52 PM , Rating: 5
I don't quite agree. What the studios should see is that their movies are in high demand as long as people can get them for free . The demand isn't a fixed number, it's a function of price. Therefore, they shouldn't assume that the demand would be there if people had to pay what the the studios want to charge for them.

By deathwombat on 12/27/2012 8:20:52 AM , Rating: 5
And yet they do. They claim that every download is a lost sale. Sensible people understand why that claim is absurd, but politicians can be paid to believe whatever the studios want them to believe.

RE: Tom Cruise was paid 70mill for War of the Worlds
By tayb on 12/27/2012 8:26:15 AM , Rating: 1
It doesn't matter what you think they should see. The only thing that matters is what they actually see. I've already described what they actually see therefore this form of protest is completely worthless.

I'll add further that this form of protest is damaging to legitimate consumers by way of intrusive DRM. DRM was born in response to piracy, not to pre-empt it.

The desired effect and the actual effect are not remotely similar which leads me to the conclusion that this form of "protest" is just another bullshit excuse to download media for free. I don't care if you download, it doesn't directly hurt me, but please with the bullshit excuses.

By Plazmid19 on 12/27/2012 2:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with tayb.
The sad truth of the matter is that while we may not like what the movie industry is doing, the movie really is theirs to do what they like with it. They produced it, filmed it, paid the staff, and marketed it. It's theirs. I would be angry too, if someone took what I made and did what the wanted, contrary to my will. For good or for worse.
To add to the chorus, the only way to combat this is to write letters and support independents who make things you like. And don't fleece you while doing it.

My .002

By Florinator on 12/27/2012 3:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
My .002

Your two tenths of a cent? ;-)

By PitViper007 on 12/31/2012 12:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't you know? That's all opinions are worth now.

By StuckMojo on 12/28/2012 7:37:10 AM , Rating: 1
I don't care if you download, it doesn't directly hurt me, but please with the bullshit excuses.

I'm a downloader, and a buyer. I don't agree with most of your argument, but the very last of that sentence....screams with truth. If you truly have principles, don't watch. If you just disagree with the unrealistic business model and are pragmatic, please don't cloth yourself as a martyr

By erikstarcher on 12/27/2012 3:15:34 PM , Rating: 2
Where exactly did he say anything about downloading the movies he didn't want to buy? The way I read it was that he was not buying the movies. That doesn't automatically mean that he was pirating them now does it?

By TheJian on 12/27/2012 4:31:53 PM , Rating: 3
He didn't say he'd pirate anything. ONLY that he would pay for anything put out by Hollywood etc.

You're assuming that because one says they'll not pay for it, that also means they'll take it. Quit putting words in his mouth.

The problem is what YOU see, not what he said...LOL.

I won't pay for and haven't paid for a movie or album in years and refuse until they lower their own wages to, oh I don't know a few hundred K per movie for even the top actors. Lets face it all they do is talk and memorize lines. That isn't worth what their paid, and nothing is worth me paying more than $1-2 for less than 2hrs of entertainment. Reduce movies to that and maybe I'll show up to buy a ticket :)

Reduce games to $20 like Legends of Grimrock, Torchlight 1 & 2 (the creator said they make the same $14 on $20 digital download as he did on $60 retail), gog priced games etc, Baldur's Gate Enhanced (when it lands on gog...LOL) and I show up to buy. Charge me $60 for 10-15hrs of entertainment and again, I tell you where to stick it.

Am I a pirate now too?...LOL. Either way, their DRM stops dishonest people for 10 minutes if that. FWIW I don't give a damn what they see or think about me :)

If you're having lots of fun at work, you're likely not doing your job, and that's not what he meant anyway. He meant FUN as in they're downloading music/movies etc from WORK...While suing people for the same at home...ROFL...jeez.

Since when did NOT paying for a movie/music cd etc become illegal? I can decide not to pay for anything I don't want. It's only illegal if I TAKE it without paying which he didn't say he does. :) So I think he chose the correct protest, as he didn't say anything more than not paying. Go to work for the MPAA, you think like they do. You didn't pay, so you must have stolen it. Umm, nope, maybe I just think your pricing is crap, and so is your product ;)

Then again, I have Roku, netflix, hulu, antenna, and unlimited cable...ROFL. I have no need for anything more than that TV wise. Gog satisfies most of my gaming needs.

You're also forgetting piracy does not = money lost. Most would just not use the content if you took easy access away. They seem to think we all can afford their crap, but it's far from true. If MR. X stopped pirating, it doesn't automatically mean Mr X would start wasting his money on whatever he pirated. He may need other things like FOOD for his table instead. I'd venture to guess 80+% of the people who pirate couldn't afford 1/10 of what they do pirate, and a good portion couldn't afford any of it without changing something else in their life (that $300 car bill etc...LOL, downsize the house). I'm thinking they wouldn't pay up either if needing to change their life to do it. These people are NOT pirating in protest, they're doing it because they're dirt poor. Which you seem to not understand.

I'm thinking if all these people had no entertainment, and we could actually KILL piracy 100% in some way, there would be a crapload more crime...ROFL. They would all have nothing to do then. Pirate on people, so you don't decide to come pirate (rob) stuff from my house. Watch that pirated movie, instead of wandering the streets causing trouble kiddies...LOL.

Content is priced such that most can't afford it. They deserve what people are forced to do. I'd say piracy is their own fault. Most people would be honest if they could afford it (I did say most).

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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