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517 Comments:
LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

No worries, I'll just use the torrent sharers. I bet those will give me a constant 4K quality on all my devices, no ridiculous DRM, get to keep them once I terminate my "subscription", etc. Oh and it's free, not 10-15$ USD for each service.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

I may (or may not) have built my own Netflix competitor. It had more content than all of the major providers combined.

Legal buffer: I will not say what the content was. It may have all been non-copyrighted cat videos ;)

The service was available cross region. Stored videos in multiple resolutions for streamability in low-bandwidth situations. No DRM bs. It cost me under $400/month to run the whole service, and I could access it from any device, anywhere I had internet.

I gave access to a few friends and family and they all chipped in to help cover expenses (it was never profitable). I ran it for a few months before I started to lose interest in maintaining it - it was mostly just a proof-of-concept, and fell back to Netflix/HBO/other subs for convenience.

I applaud Netflix, HBO, etc for offering competitive solutions to monopolistic cable companies and other restrictive media outlets, but this will always remain a problem.

Once you create a piece of art and put it out for the world to see, you cannot control how/when/where it will be shown. Stop trying... Just make it more convenient for people to pay to view it.

Going after people for low-level copyright violation, like sharing a password, is childish.

magduf said 3 days ago:

>Legal buffer: I will not say what the content was. It may have all been non-copyrighted cat videos ;)

Cat videos are far more enjoyable to watch than the dreck that Hollywood is putting out these days.

seph-reed said 3 days ago:

I don't know how pervasive the act of trying to fit into rules for a Chinese audience is, but the fact that all of cape-movies are made to fit in gave me some tangible reason to say why I find them so empty and lame (and you should to!).

It's also really strange given how much the opposite web content is becoming. With patreon, we're starting to get some seriously fringe content, and the streaming services don't seem to be too afraid of having an opinion either.

lukifer said 3 days ago:

I don't think it's just the "rules" for a Chinese audience (though that doesn't help); I think it's the economics of making movies primarily for a global audience, rather than a particular language, culture, or even sub-culture. This was an "aha" moment in realizing why so many movies over the last decade contain seemingly lazy, blunt dialogue, lacking subtlety or subtext: the meaning needs to come across clearly in subtitles and dubs, divorced from English idioms, cultural context, and intonation.

catalogia said 3 days ago:

It's quite simple: mass market content is made for the lowest common denominator. See also, Jack of all trades, master of none.

It's not a phenomena unique to movies, or the modern international economy, it's a pattern that pops up all over the place. Look at multi-tool pocket knives: capable of doing many things, but mediocre at everything.

aptwebapps said 3 days ago:

And as you expand to a global audience, the lowest common denominator gets lower.

ghemsley said 2 days ago:

That doesn't necessarily follow.

aptwebapps said 2 days ago:

I mean, mathematically it certainly does, but maybe the metaphor is getting a bit strained.

comeondude said 3 days ago:

Dude ...

This comes off as incredibly self-entitled and arrogant.

That piece of art? It takes years and tremendous amount of people hours to bring these films into existence your enjoyment. I grew up in Hollywood, in family of filmmakers. My friends are actors, producers, and well anybody else who is involved in the business - and we all dedicate unbelievable hours of love and labor into the “non copyrighted cat videos”

Yes. The system isn’t perfect, but ... what you’re doing is quite frankly, stealing. It’s offensive. We’re entitled to our livelihoods as much as you are.

Show some gratitude please.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

I can concede that I am certainly self-entitled and arrogant in many ways, but I fail to see how I am being so here.

This project was built as a fun proof-of-concept. Less than a dozen people used it, and none of them cancelled their other paid services to use it. Also, like I mentioned, it was never profitable and I never made any money off of it.

Also this is coming from a fellow content creator, of many types (music, short videos, random pieces of art). Never once have I thought that anyone owes me anything for it. Unless I'm hired to shoot a video, or design something, I can't think of a more self-entitled and arrogant state of mind to be in, than to expect someone to give me gratitude because I spent time doing something I love. Doing what you love isn't enough self-gratitude for time well spent?

The only real argument that will get people to give money for dedication to an art is the appeal to pity. It's "I am pursuing my dreams and dedicating time to building something I love, I would really appreciate financial support for it so that I can continue to do so". The second the tone switches to, "I am owed gratitude in the form of money for this masterpiece I have created", is the second I will pirate that shit into oblivion.

Imagining that people loved my content so much that some would even go to illegal means to enjoy it, is a compliment to me.

Also, this appeal, is the reason that I pay for most all of the media I consume - music, movies/TV, games, concerts, etc. It is my way of showing appreciation because I can afford to, and choose to.

Having some appreciation that people actually give enough of a shit about the art you create that they'll try to get to it illegally, that's a mindset to strive for. If they pay for it, damn... you're doing good.

comeondude said 3 days ago:

You’re bragging about stealing the movies and distributing them.

That’s not cool. Simple.

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

No, OP is bragging about building a content delivery service, what was being distributed is completely irrelevant. For all we know it was legally purchased physical media that was ripped into a digital format to facilitate sharing the media without having to mail it back and forth.

The point is, it's not that hard to build Netflix, it's hard to get the rights to the content itself. I, and many others, just want an easier way to get access to the content. Streaming services are frustrating because the selection is limited and varies, buying digital copies is frustrating because you are still beholden to the company you bought it from to support whatever devices you want to use it on.

I have absolutely no problem with paying for content, I have a problem with being locked into a specific DRM-scheme, especially when the price is essentially the same as physical media that I could rip myself to do whatever I want with. Just let me buy/rent DRM-free content and I won't be tempted to pirate. The problem is that piracy is often easier than the legal method, and when that happens, people will prefer to pirate.

For example, Netflix didn't work on Linux for quite a while. When it finally did, I was locked in to using a specific binary blob on my machine, so I have no idea if it's actually secure. If I choose to use another platform (let's say I experiment with RISCV or POWER9 devices), I'm again out of luck with most streaming services.

Why can't I just buy an MP4 of a movie and use whatever software I want to watch it? If that was an option, I'd buy a lot more movies, but since it's not, I suffer through the crappy selection on Amazon Prime and Netflix, not wanting to build too much of a library on Amazon or any other digital video platform.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

The project sounds pretty cool.

o-__-o said a day ago:

If you are paying for a Netflix subscription and a movie comes on over the air you are legally allowed to timeshift and record the OTA show for later consumption. So what’s stopping the other direction, timeshifting (or pirating) and not watching until it’s available on a service you paid for?

You are allowed to backup a movie for your records, which means you can record Netflix shows for later consumption. Those backed up shows watched later are not counted by Netflix’s algorithm, so that production company is not paid.

I’m not supporting one side or the other, I’m raising awareness that IP theft is not so simple when the production companies are still getting paid even with loopholes in the regulation

Daishiman said 2 days ago:

You come off as self-entitled for believing that everyone should adhere to your system of values which includes the particular expectations for compensation of your work.

I grew up around musicians. Musicians steal and pirate themselves all the time. Nobody will bat an eye if you pirate their music. Being poor themselves most know that affording a concert or paying for legal music can be a hassle so they don't bust people's balls.

I've pirated tons of music myself. I've also spent thousands of dollars in vinyl, potentially tens of thousands in festivals with their associated costs and merch, and have spend more money in building a sound system for parties that I have no possibility of ever recovering.

Art doesn't entitle you to a livelihood. If you don't like the level of compensation, get a day job and do it for kicks like the vast majority of people do.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

It's not that you can't make money. It's that this particular business model doesn't jibe with reality. There's a reason iTunes switched to DRM-free formats early on. For video games, piracy can actually increase profits, because people really like a try-before-you-buy model. (Piracy is not as helpful for movies.) It's possible, actually not super difficult, to make money for "bringing films into existence" without trying to keep 100% control over distribution. Check out all the Patreon accounts that put out freely-available YouTube videos for a trivial example.

manigandham said 3 days ago:

Paying for content to consume is a perfectly valid business model and has done extremely well for music and video streaming.

It seems that you specifically do not like the deal, which is fine of course, but that doesn't excuse stealing and copying content that you didn't pay for.

LanceH said 3 days ago:

Or, you could just not watch what you haven't paid for.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

That's one option among several. For example, don't take money for content the user hasn't experienced yet.

bitwize said 3 days ago:

It's also the only legal option for the audience to take. The companies who own the copyright make the content available under certain terms. Don't like the terms? DON'T WATCH THE FUCKING CONTENT. If you do somehow contrive to watch the content despite not accepting the terms, then you are stealing and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Capisce?

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

How rich that you speak about law, yet insist calling it “stealing”, when the law is very clear that copyright infringement or breaking a civil agreement is not stealing.

Mindwipe said 3 days ago:

> There's a reason iTunes switched to DRM-free formats early on.

iTunes has spent the last five years very aggressively moving away from that to subscription revenue because it makes no money.

fouric said 3 days ago:

That's like saying that "trying to prevent kids from doing hard drugs doesn't jibe with reality". Piracy of entertainment content is straight-up immoral, and the only reason it's not viable as a business model is because certain groups of people actively work to prevent it from being such.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

You can deal with people in good faith. You don't have to be so cynical as to think that piracy is going to kill your business or livelihood. Game of Thrones was HBO's most-pirated show and also one of the most profitable shows of all time. There are whole stores like GOG that are DRM-free because piracy is not the biggest barrier to making a profit. Getting your content to people and letting them give you money are the important parts.

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

There isn't anyway of knowing it was the most profitable unless you can prove that the number of people who signed up for HBO because of GOT was enough of an increase to make up for the cost.

Maybe? But I haven't seen any surveys.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

HBO knows how many people watched, yeah. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-television-gameofthrones/... Here's an estimate of the costs and revenues. https://decider.com/2019/05/21/game-of-thrones-hbo-profits/ ThinkMoney had a somewhat lower estimate but they don't say how they got those numbers. https://www.finance-monthly.com/2019/05/how-much-money-has-h...

comeondude said 3 days ago:

Still stealing.

The dude above is freely admitting to grabbing movies wholesale and distributing them in a glib manner. And I’m addressing him, because it’s wrong. I’m the guy on the other end of the economic equation.

End of the day it’s a choice to do the right thing and respect the artists behind the work you enjoy regardless what the “reality” is.

ripdog said 3 days ago:

Not even remotely close to stealing. Stealing causes an actual loss to the victim - they owned an item which is worth money, and now they don't. Copyright infringement, OTOH, causes a potential loss to the 'victim'.

The copyright industry's propaganda about 'piracy = theft' is based on the frankly absurd concept that anyone who pirates media would have paid for it had piracy not been an option. This claim doesn't hold up to the slighted shred of scrutiny.

>End of the day it’s a choice to do the right thing and respect the artists behind the work you enjoy regardless what the “reality” is.

Except when you pay money for TV, movies or video games, your money either doesn't go to the artists behind it, or very little of it does. Rather, the money goes to the investors who funded the work, or the publisher contracted with the musician. The real people lacking respect for artists are the publishers/record labels whose entire contribution to the process is making the initial investment, paying artists the bare minimum - and moaning about internet pirates, it seems.

jmastrangelo said 3 days ago:

> Except when you pay money for TV, movies or video games, your money either doesn't go to the artists behind it, or very little of it does. Rather, the money goes to the investors who funded the work, or the publisher contracted with the musician.

This is the reality with any industry that has lots of "losers" for every winner. What you don't see is the massive amount of money lost by these same investors on media that doesn't hit. Returns on the winners have to be high enough to justify continued investment in the space. Media isn't created for free.

manigandham said 3 days ago:

It's not stealing but it is illegal copying. You're gaining the same experience as someone who did pay for it.

washadjeffmad said 3 days ago:

It's unauthorized distribution.

You don't get in trouble for copying a licensed work, you get in trouble for making it available to others without permission from the current rights holder (or more likely, their hired thugs or your ISP).

How would Fair Use and libraries work if copying alone were illegal?

Mindwipe said 3 days ago:

> How would Fair Use and libraries work if copying alone were illegal?

Libraries pay content owners in virtually every country in the world.

manigandham said 3 days ago:

Well Fair Use is specifically about copying limited parts. Public libraries? How are they copying things?

washadjeffmad said 2 days ago:

Libraries provide both a system and the materials for facilitating the reproduction of copyrighted works.

They also don't pay publishers or content creators every time a material is consumed, and they don't employ DRM to ensure that people aren't violating the licences of works that are being checked out. In fact, they don't keep records of people while inside the library, so a content creator can't control how their products are being used and by whom. There are surely some DMCA violations happening at any given moment.

Copyright is an exception to natural behavior.

manigandham said 2 days ago:

Libraries do not reproduce anything. They buy original copies and lend them out. Renting is a perfectly valid business model, and in this case it's paid by taxes.

But just because it's easy to copy does not make it legal.

gdhbcc said 3 days ago:

>Dude ...

>This comes off as incredibly self-entitled and arrogant.

>That ~~piece of art~~ bag of Rice? It takes years and tremendous amount of people hours to bring these ~~films~~ grains of rice into existence your enjoyment. I grew up in ~~Hollywood~~ a farm, in family of ~~filmmakers~~ farmers. My friends are ~~actors, producers~~ farmer, harvesters, and well anybody else who is involved in the business - and we all dedicate unbelievable hours of love and labor into the ~~“non copyrighted cat videos”~~ bags of rice

>Yes. The system isn’t perfect, but ... what you’re doing is quite frankly, stealing. It’s offensive. We’re entitled to our livelihoods as much as you are.

>Show some gratitude please.

Now that I have changed the object that is "being protected", do you see how unreasonable and senseless your argument is?

Those arguments you used could be used exactly as they are to argue for any monopoly whatsoever, and then we would all be worse off.

Of course you're entitled to try to make a living, but if you making a living requires the state to subsidize and enforce your business model, then maybe you should change your business model.

There have been artists, writers and inventors for millenia, and for the vast majority of time they haven't needed an intellectual monopoly l, so why do you ?

jmastrangelo said 3 days ago:

I don't see how changing the commodity from media to rice improves your argument, if anything it weakens it. Of course people who grow your food need to be compensated for it! Otherwise they'll stop growing your food. You're not entitled to steal rice from food manufacturers.

Secondly media is far more complex than the art we've had for millenia. The sheer amount of resources to create a modern movie dwarfs what artists have created in the past, its comparing apples to oranges.

achenatx said 2 days ago:

and the state enforces and subsidizes every business model.

The laws against theft, contract law, corporate law, tax law, equities laws, real estate law are there to allow business to be done in a secure trustable way.

Subsidies exist for all businesses like roads, electricity, farm subsidies, tariffs, protect business models, and allow businesses to transport goods for a low cost or protect them from competition.

bosie said 3 days ago:

> There have been artists, writers and inventors for millenia, and for the vast majority of time they haven't needed an intellectual monopoly l, so why do you ?

Isn't this argument completely wrong/pointless considering reproduction was close to impossible until the last ~20 years? If nobody can access/copy my product, i don't need to protect it much...

kerng said 3 days ago:

I think the poster is upset about DRM, not paying money. It should be easy to pay and own the content, but nowadays it's not easy.

In past I paid for some content multiple times for instance, because one company decides to shut down their DRM servers, and then I had to buy it again from elsewhere. Yeah, just like that - I was frankly very upset.

Also, piracy is different to stealing. Both are wrong in my opinion, but still very, very different things!

Mindwipe said 3 days ago:

No, they just like stealing, and we're not really going to solve this issue until people like them are imprisoned.

zaphirplane said 3 days ago:

I think the bragging here is “I beat the man”

At a complete guess i would say most people (with ok paying jobs) that pirate do so because they think the charges are so high they amount to theft + the whole stealing from a thief is ok

Look at how much Tom cruise or the rock have made from movies or the upper layer of studio cucumber water,egg white omelette employee. There is a massive amount of profiteering on movies. Of course indie and a whole lot of roles are done by people getting normal wages. If the rock took a 50,000,000 pay cut and the studio cut their extravagance the steaming cost will come down, but they choose to profiteer because they can pushing up streaming costs

fouric said 3 days ago:

It's especially obnoxious because, unlike educational materials or programming tools, you can't make an ethical argument that the content impacts the quality of life of people who receive it. It's entertainment, and so nobody is entitled to access it, ever - you must pay for the right, and the price and terms are entirely up to the owner to set however they like.

mkl said 3 days ago:

> It's entertainment, and so nobody is entitled to access it, ever

You seem to have been indoctrinated by the big media companies, to believe their profit-maximising false narrative. Copyright was designed to terminate, at which point everyone is entitled to the material. Media companies have repeatedly pushed law changes that are purely in their own interest, to extend the original fairly reasonable short terms to what they are today, "forever" for most purposes.

javagram said 3 days ago:

Pirates watch plenty of movies and TV newer than the original 14 year copyright term.

People aren’t getting too worried about people pirating Gunsmoke or whatever.

mkl said 3 days ago:

Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the belief that it is fair and just for all this media to be controlled by a few companies forever. The person I replied to said "nobody is entitled to access it, ever", and I think it's very unfortunate for anyone to believe that.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

First-sale doctrine means that, generally, creators don't have any control of their product after they have sold it to someone else. Intellectual property is not an inherent right in the US constitution. In fact the only purpose is to promote artists and inventors - a kind of subsidy. The legal exclusivity is a gift from society, not something that is owed to the creator.

black_puppydog said 3 days ago:

I see your point, but look at all the accounts of "this [movie|book|album] changed my life." There's a reason why well-read people and cineasts are respected (by some)

WhiskeyJack55 said 3 days ago:

I use the free version of plex. Only pain in the ass is having to pay the ~$5 to authorize for a new android device to use the app.

It does everything I need to watch my...personal home videos.

I'm sure I could use a completely FOSS setup, but plex is convenient especially paired with...other services.

Hitton said 3 days ago:

If you want completely FOSS setup, check out Jellyfin [0], it keeps steadily improving.

[0]: https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin

emptysongglass said 2 days ago:

Not ready yet. Buffer interruptions are constant and the metadata scraper often tells you you have 7 seasons of the same Star Trek: TNG (for example) episode.

stock_toaster said 3 days ago:

Is jellyfin any good yet?

Last time I looked they didn't really have much for client apps yet.

awill said 3 days ago:

It is not ready yet. I hope it one day can compete with Plex, but I wonder if a community OSS project like this will take off and create high quality native apps per platform.

basch said a day ago:

isnt that sort of Plex? It came from a political fork of XBMC for OS X. Some of plex is still open source, despite it having no XBMC/Kodi code anymore.

stock_toaster said 2 days ago:

Thanks for the update. I'll keep my eye on it though -- maybe it will get there eventually.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Interesting, thanks for sharing!

michaelmrose said 3 days ago:

It's not even a copyright violation it's at best a violation of tos.

loeg said 3 days ago:

Are ToS violations still considered a CFAA violation?

michaelmrose said 3 days ago:

In theory but this would be a great way to see how many customers you can lose in a quarter.

quineoa said 3 days ago:

I am curious to know about the infra / tech stack, if you're comfortable with sharing any information.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

Sure.

As @diminoten mentions, legality is questionable here, so I do not recommend. If you do dabble, restrict access, and encrypt everything so that if you lose your keys, they only option is to destroy the stack and start over.

Cloud provider of your choice

Plex media server running on a high-throughput instance, with cloud storage mounted locally for reading. (Redundantly created in multiple regions depending on where the service is being accessed from)

A separate master instance responsible for downloading content from a private torrent site, with cloud storage mounted locally for writing.

Multiple on-demand background workers that are spun up when new content is available to be reformatted in various resolutions. They pull the original video from cloud storage, create various versions, and re-upload it to the cloud storage.

The largest cost is in data usage, and storage.

@diminoten Not sure what I did to "oversell" it. I used off-the-shelf tech components, and some cloud-enginuity from experience, to build a proof-of-concept competitor. I didn't build the entire interface from scratch, or write my own OS, if that's what it sounded like.

K0SM0S said 3 days ago:

Interesting, thanks for sharing!

Do you think it would be viable using a pool of 'a few' residential connections (think fiber >500 Mbps upload) in each region, with some x86 server behind each to transcode / store?

The idea being to self-host the whole infra between users themselves, those willing to plug a desktop/server somewhere.

I figure you'd only need a basic load balancer in an actual cloud (always on) which redirects to whichever server is available enough.

Any thought about any of this?

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

How many users were trying to support simultaneously? I can stream maybe four or five streams at various levels of real time transcoding on my Core I3. But I do have about 900Mbps up.

sorenjan said 3 days ago:

$400/month and multiple cloud instances sounds like overkill though. The same could probably be achieved with a Raspberry Pi or Intel NUC on your home network. Maybe an RPi wouldn't be great for multiple reencodings, but I don't think that's really needed. How often do you really want to watch low resolution TV-series on your mobile data connection?

One feature I haven't seen on any commercial service is the ability to integrate with your IMDb watchlist, and automatically download "Linux ISOs" when they become available.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

Transcoding video won't work on a Raspi (in any realistic sense), and video streaming is pretty I/O intensive if you have multiple clients.

You can certainly get a similar thing working on a Raspi, but you'll likely notice buffering issues. Especially if you try to stream different content to different clients.

mantoto said 3 days ago:

Keep the hot stuff on a nvme.

Your archive on bigger drives next to it. Problem solved.

If that's not enough use zfs with a nvme cache and add a few more sticks of ram I to it.

tstrimple said 3 days ago:

Mine has been happily running on a Synology 1019+ NAS. It has hardware encoding and can support multiple 4k streams.

jorvi said 3 days ago:

You can rent a Hetzner server for ~€25 bucks (has local storage and a good Intel CPU for live transcoding streams if needed), get infinite cloud storage for ~€10 and Plex Pass for ~€5 bucks. Add in a private domain for ~€5 per year and you're done.

Total cost ~€40.50 per month. Hetzner gives you infinite ingress and a few TB egress bandwidth per month. As long as you only give access to your box to family/close friends you'll never hit that cap. And all they need is a Plex account. Then you just invite them and the setup is done, zero technical finnicking for them.

diminoten said 3 days ago:

You could run it off of a laptop sitting in your closet and be able to support 3-5 simultaneous users no problem. It'd be a benefit if you had 1GBPS symmetric fiber, though.

But yeah, RPi is rough because you do need legit CPU to transcode on the fly, which is what Plex does, and the more users the more transcoding power you need.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

It's possible to cache Plex encodes, I think.

But Plex is very limited in its encoding capabilities. H265 with HDR is just not supported properly. On top of that, there is just no way to encode H265 in real time (a high quality reencode of a Bluray can take days on top of the line Xeon CPUs). One would be better off downloading a few versions of the same movie; plex supports choosing which version to play.

diminoten said 2 days ago:

Why should I care about any of that? I just want to watch 30 Rock, not run an A/V store.

rovr138 said 3 days ago:

Flexget, flexget.com, can help with the ability to download your IMDB watchlist.

diminoten said 3 days ago:

He's (possibly) overselling his accomplishment here a little bit. You can achieve what he's describing using a combination of Plex, Sonarr, Jackett, and a private torrent site. You also need a torrent client that can work with Sonarr (Synology's torrent client works great in "watch this directory" mode).

It's a truly self-running system. Other than the upgrades, you're able to select whatever shows you want to follow, and that's it. They automatically get downloaded, sorted into the right directory structure, picked up by Plex, and on-demand streaming around the world is yours, with all kinds of cool features like bandwidth optimization, offline show downloads, etc. More or less feature parity with Netflix, without any of the restrictions.

Of course it's 100% illegal, though honestly I've never heard of a prosecuted case in the US.

nannal said 3 days ago:

Anyone want a docker compose file?

Would take about 30 minutes to actually get everything up if you have most of an idea of what to do and a sloppily written guide.

rovr138 said 3 days ago:

Sure, post a GitHub/Gitlab link.

kerng said 3 days ago:

Sounds like you ran a plex server - amazing tech, always makes me wonder what companies like Netflix, HBO, and now Disney spend all their money on...

Users would probably be better of, if these systems would be distributed rather then centralized. Like a plex server per household or something, where family owns all the stuff they bought and can freely watch it.

What I'm looking for is a future proof stack. DRM has failed many times to deliver that.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

Would you pay for a service that physically stores your DVDs, but rips them and makes the content available via Plex? It would be less of a copyright violation since the copy is made for personal use. You'd have your library available anywhere in the world and it wouldn't take up space in your house. the content would be available permanently and not subject to contract disputes with publishers. What do you think?

awad said 3 days ago:

Not quite relevant to OP but apropos of the concept introduced above...apparently, quite a few people do pay for such a service as VidAngel (https://www.vidangel.com) is still running.

I have not kept up with their developments but it was created by Mormons to help families stream movies while filtering out content deemed not appropriate. IIRC at one point and possibly to this day the tech included a massive farm of physical disks being spun and streamed to end consumers with skip points programmed in.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

They used to stream DVDs kinda like my description, but there were several kinds of copyright complaints which is why they stopped doing DVD-based content. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VidAngel

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

Yup, and now they only support filtering as an add-on to other streaming services, which is a completely different business.

I was interested because they had a way to rent movies for $1, which I think is a fair price for older titles (I'd actually pay $2 for older titles). I feel like their business was essentially Redbox, but with a more efficient way of transferring product from one person to another, with a layer of customizable filtering on top. That seemed completely legit to me, but apparently copyright law doesn't agree.

maxerickson said 3 days ago:

So let's rephrase that.

"Expecting people to pay for your service is childish."

They aren't going after people, they are just resetting passwords.

rosybox said 3 days ago:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NinjaVideo

It did not end well for NinjaVideo for what it's worth so maybe it was good you lost interest.

manigandham said 3 days ago:

> "Just make it more convenient for people to pay to view it"

> "I... fell back to Netflix/HBO/other subs for convenience"

Seems like they're doing a fine job then.

mantoto said 3 days ago:

You did something wrong if that cost you 400$ a month

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

We don't know how much content OP had stored. Do you know how much public domain, 4k cat videos exist on the internet? I'm sure with enough storage, a proof-of-concept VPS with cloud storage could run that much per month.

kempbellt said 2 days ago:

I had about 15TB of content stored in readily available cloud storage. This was the largest cost.

friedman23 said 3 days ago:

I don't understand the moral indignation. Getting angry at netflix et al. for trying to improve their bottom line is like getting angry at water being wet.

If you want to pirate, fine, pirate. I just don't understand why people are so insistent on coming up with moral justifications for their actions. If it's moral or immoral fine, who cares? It's simply a sign of weak character when someone needs to come up with a justification for every little thing they do.

nomel said 3 days ago:

> for trying to improve their bottom line

Put in a more relatable phrasing, they're angry that they're not being compensated for the substantial expense they put into creating that content (e.g. $8M/episode for season 2).

Not paying for something you value is a good way to reduce its quality.

dobleboble said 3 days ago:

Convenience does not justify theft. You don't have an entitlement to consume specific content.

tenebrisalietum said 3 days ago:

I mean most of this in a devil's-advocate sense:

The proper economic arrangement for those who wish to make a living with creative works is patronage. Someone asks you to make something, you make it for them, then you get paid. You then don't get paid until you make another work.

Thus content creators shouldn't have an automatic entitlement to get paid each time someone reads/listens to/watches a work.

If you work once, it's only fair for you to get paid once. The idea of royalties that pay beyond the initial act of creation is unfair because you should not get paid to do nothing.

Copyright is meant to be temporary scheme to encourage creative works. It is not meant to establish ownership over non-physical goods like music, art, etc. though it is definitely currently abused to be that way.

I guess at some point in history we needed copyright to encourage more creativity, but honestly look around you - we are saturated with so much intellectual property. So many movies, software UIs, rehashes of rehashes. Does society really need/benefit from the incentive of copyright/royalty any longer? It seems only entrenched legacies are significantly benefiting currently.

tashi said 3 days ago:

Similarly, the proper economic arrangement for those who wish to consume art is patronage. If you want to view someone's creative work, you must hire them, come to an agreement about the subject to be depicted and materials to be used, and commit to paying the full amount upon delivery.

The idea of reproduction of artistic works from all over the world and from any time in the past? It makes everything too complicated to analyze in terms of what's fair!

tomnipotent said 3 days ago:

> who wish to consume art is patronage

You mean like paying a monthly subscription fee to access content on demand? That's still patronage.

AVTizzle said 3 days ago:

This doesn't make economic sense.

If I create a piece of art that many people can enjoy, why shouldn't I get compensated for adding that value to their lives?

Same is true for software.

tenebrisalietum said 3 days ago:

Expecting endless (or effectively endless) compensation, or any compensation you demand unilaterally, for adding value once, seems abusive.

lotsofpulp said 3 days ago:

The correct solution is to fix copyright terms to 10 or 20 years, and the problems fix themselves.

tomnipotent said 3 days ago:

> The proper economic arrangement for those who wish to make a living with creative works is patronage

We have this in the 21st century, it's called paying for content. If you pay Netflix, you're their patron.

bobbylarrybobby said 2 days ago:

> it’s only fair you get paid once

It’s fair you get paid an amount commensurate with the quality of the work you produced. The quality is determined by the number of people who view it, so while in effect it’s payment per view, it’s not practically different than having an oracle who can perfectly assess quality of work pay the artist once up front.

briandear said 3 days ago:

> Thus content creators shouldn't have an automatic entitlement to get paid each time someone reads/listens to/watches a work.

If those are the conditions for which the work was created, then they absolutely do. Regardless, downloading a work and distributing it, that’s theft. If the creator/financer made it available, then that’s their prerogative. At some point in the chain, that content left someone’s server under a license agreement that then was broken when the downloader shared it.

The breaking of the license agreement is the issue here. People don’t have a right to break a valid contract unless a court says they do. Regardless if your feelings, it’s still theft.

And yes, we do benefit from copyright. It protects your work from thieves who played no part in the financing or creation of the work.

tenebrisalietum said 3 days ago:

If a work is truly useful, it's better for more members of a society to have it at a low cost. The other way around benefits one person at the expense of society.

jmastrangelo said 3 days ago:

Not true if the cost is too low to justify creators continuing to invest in such works.

tenebrisalietum said 2 days ago:

Creators should get or have additional sources of funding that don't depend on restricting access.

paxys said 3 days ago:

There are valid arguments for whether it is right nor wrong, but it is most certainly not "theft". Call it copyright infringement or piracy or whatever else.

steveeq1 said 3 days ago:
LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

You should post the full image:

https://i.imgur.com/FPoJnH3.png

;-) Arr matey

BTW—I never thought that I would still find use of these things from early 2000s. Going into the 2010s, it looked so promising. But they couldn't have a good thing going.

nannal said 3 days ago:

>it looked so promising. But they couldn't have a good thing going.

The shareholders demand constant growth.

kevin_thibedeau said 3 days ago:

Copyright infringement doesn't change whether you charge for the copies or not. No authorization === infringement. Fair use privileges never let you reproduce and distribute an entire work for casual consumption.

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

But torrents don't distribute the entire work, they distribute fragments of a work with instructions on how to reassemble them. ;)

That being said, the point here isn't to argue that file sharing is ok, the point is that making something harder to consume legally than illegally is a recipe for failure. Media companies try to maintain maximum control over their content and are surprised when people innovate ways to distribute it more simply?

I just want to have a file (preferably legal) on my computer that I can watch whenever I want with whatever software that I want. I would probably cancel my Netflix subscription and spend more total buying content if that purchase option was available. I would rent far more movies and TV shows if they were more reasonably priced ($1-2 per movie, $0.50 per TV episode or something), probably spending more in total if they were available DRM-free (as in, just an MP4 stream from some CDN). I don't want to steal stuff, I just want to consume media in a convenient, DRM-free way.

I don't want to steal stuff, but I absolutely don't want to be locked in to a content provider.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

The only difference is there are stricter rules for gross copyright infringement.

remotecool said 3 days ago:

It's worse than theft. When you steal a car, only that car is lost. When you infringe copyright on a massive scale, it dilutes the value of the original work and reduces the value of all future copies.

This can be seen with music today. Rampant sharing made it so you can't really sell albums anymore. If you want to make a living, you almost have to go with a big label.

It's also why most software companies have now have SAAS and we now are renting software by the month instead of being able to buy a copy.

All of those people I remember a decade ago who claimed they were sharing music to help the indy artist are nowhere to be found and their actions have only hurt any chances of an Indy artist to make a living.

wolco said 3 days ago:

If I remember it increases the value of the most popular work. The content viewer creates a viral effect and shares feeling/opinions about the content.

I remember one video game ceo saying. We don't want you to pirate oir game but if you do choose to pirate we hope you choose our game over the other guy. Makes sense if everyone is playing WoW and talking about it you are more likely to buy said game.

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

I know Paradox Games specifically doesn't block piracy, and AFAIK they do pretty well. I bought all of the DLC for a game I enjoy because I enjoyed the game so much. Yes, I could have easily pirated the game and all of the DLC, but buying the DLC wasn't that expensive (when on sale), was super convenient (I can still play the game just fine without internet access), and I want to support the developers (especially since they maintain a Linux port of my favorite games).

Hollywood should take a page from the iTunes/Steam world. Make purchases easy and you don't need DRM. Yes, Steam games use DRM, but it's much less invasive than movie DRM and also is usually optional (I can run most games without starting Steam directly on my Linux box without internet access).

I've actually reduced how many movies I watch and increased how many games I buy because the experience is so much better.

tstrimple said 3 days ago:
LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Of course, this is so logical. Well, to everyone but the suits. With video games, there is also the risk that you might buy a game, and it's a buggy and/or unopimized mess. They used to release demos where you could try the game and see how it runs. Today, they push preorder nonsense and ship broken garbage. I would never buy a game without testing it first, which usually means I pirate first, then buy if all is well.

remotecool said 3 days ago:

Yes, a viral effect. If the effect is to download it for free, people will be unwilling to pay for it in the future and the value has started creeping toward $0.

If you are going to infringe on someone's copyright, at least be honest about its effects.

ripdog said 3 days ago:

Absolute rubbish - and quite sadly I note that you're just parroting industry talking points.

>This can be seen with music today. Rampant sharing made it so you can't really sell albums anymore. If you want to make a living, you almost have to go with a big label.

This didn't happen due to piracy. Music piracy is dramatically down compared to the lofty heights of the late 00's. The culprit is music streaming platforms, who used their official licenses from the music labels to dramatically dilute the perceived value of music.

Music piracy was popular, yes, but everyone knew it was illegal. That combined with the relative lack of convenience (compared to streaming) meant that it never had the effect of dilution that streaming has caused.

Now that consumers can get a near-complete music collection for $10 a month, and the entire thing is legal and endorsed by record labels, there is a general perception that music has no value.

As always, the big companies cause the damage, take the profits, and pass off the blame on the little guys. It's a story as old as time, and people keep falling for it. Compare this to 'jaywalking' or 'litterbug's.

>It's also why most software companies have now have SAAS and we now are renting software by the month instead of being able to buy a copy.

How on earth you connect SAAS to piracy, I'll never know. In reality, that's being caused by companies realising that they can make a hell of a lot more money, and more consistent money, by moving to the SAAS model.

>All of those people I remember a decade ago who claimed they were sharing music to help the indy artist are nowhere to be found and their actions have only hurt any chances of an Indy artist to make a living.

Except numerous indie artists did make their break though internet piracy. A number would even put their own music on the pirate bay as a marketing ploy.

This isn't really a thing now, because gasp music piracy is dying, and now the Spotify's and Apple Music's of the world are the sole gatekeepers to music - for most people, at least.

--

In general, when major harm is happening in the world, it is always being caused by those with major power - and that means corporations and governments. Those with power will always try to misdirect the anger of those wronged upon each other - look at the way the 'debate' over immigration in US politics has overtaken real issues like healthcare, taxing the rich/corporations, or tackling climate change.

Immigration is being pushed as a social issue by corporate media and politicians as a wedge issue which doesn't matter to the average person, but gets them really riled up so they don't get too upset about anything which actually matters.

Try not to fall into that trap.

pergadad said 3 days ago:

You really and honestly believe that the 'exposure' artists get from piracy is balancing/used to balance out the lost revenue from sales?

Yes sure a few made it. But for the vast majority of small artists there's just no venue to sell their music anymore because no one buys music anymore. Streaming definitely helped accelerate this process but to believe that piracy only helps creators and did not already erode the market for anyone but those with big names and marketing budgets is really just self-delusion.

remotecool said 2 days ago:

You have this backwards.

Streaming services are only popular and accepted by big companies now because piracy reduced CD/album sales so much, they had no choice.

A sliver of the Indy artists got popular and signed with a big label after getting pirated so much (which was my point about requiring a label).

The rest make nothing on streaming sales (fractions of pennies) and forget about trying to sell an album. I suppose begging for donations on patreon might work, but it's not a very good way to make a living.

The culture acceptance of music piracy pushed all music in the hands of big corporations. To not admit this is not accepting the truth about your actions. It seems you want to justify your own piracy and ignore all of the negative effects it had on companies...which most likely led to the loss of many jobs.

I connect SAAS to software piracy because I've been in countless meetings over the past 5 years with business owners of software companies saying exactly what I told you.

If software can be turned into a service, it will be..because companies don't want to deal with lost sales, people that somehow think they can get free support with a pirated copy, and the spreading of misinformation when a pirated copy filled with viruses and malware is attributed to them.

Not to mention organic google keywords that lead to the pirated copies rather than the original..causing confusion, more lost sales, and harm to the company reputation.

As for the Immigration issue, blame the Democrats. When you have politicians pushing for open borders, it's difficult not to pay attention.

city41 said 3 days ago:

I suspect software moved to SAAS because it just plain makes more money. Preventing piracy is probably just a bonus in the company's eyes.

btw, I upvoted you as a small counter to the inappropriate downvotes you are receiving.

zaksoup said 3 days ago:

I really think we need new language around digital content. I'm not a lawyer but it seems intuitive to say "the reason theft is bad is because you're taking something from somebody else that they, then, no longer have" or "you did not compensate somebody for services that, had they provided those services to somebody else, they would otherwise be compensated for."

With digital content this is just not the case. The original file still exists. You not paying for a movie you download does not deprive the license-holder of an opportunity to offer that download to somebody else. Only the opportunity to sell it to you, one they wouldn't have had in the first place because of [your stance on draconian DRM, high prices for streaming, needing multiple different services instead of a single stop, etc]. What did they lose?

sjy said 3 days ago:

It’s a big assumption that you wouldn’t have purchased the product anyway. Sure, it’s often true, but there are clearly many people who dislike DRM and subscription fees who would nonetheless accept them if the alternative was to forego copyrighted entertainment altogether. The loss of the opportunity to sell to ‘you’ is not negligible.

kelnos said 3 days ago:

Not sure why you're being downvoted. It's certainly true that while there are many people who would not pay for the content at any price, there are also many people who would stop pirating and instead pay, if they got the right price, format, terms, etc.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

But that's not what the parent is saying. They are saying that if piracy stopped dead cold, almost all pirates would just go and buy the content they were pirating. That's categorically not true, or at least not 100% true. People would probably buy stuff, but at a rate so low, the industry would be hard-pressed to notice the difference.

acdha said 3 days ago:

They didn’t say “almost all”, only that there were many people who would. That seems highly plausible given how many millions of people have pirated content: no, it wouldn’t be everyone buying everything they’ve downloaded but even a modest percentage would be a noticeable increase in sales.

There’s a widely accepted claim that Netflix entering a market correlated with piracy going down because many people are looking for something to watch at a reasonable price. The person who is looking for, say, the latest release or determined not to support certain large media companies is probably still going to hoist the Jolly Roger but that’s far from everyone.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Yes, there are always people on the edges of the spectrum. But most people who can afford it, will prefer to pay some price for the most amount of content. For a time, that service was Netflix, but it is no longer the case (not necessarily Netflix' fault).

AYBABTME said 3 days ago:

If I pay for streaming service Z but don't like their streaming tech or the geofraphical restrictions they put on show Y that I was watching while traveling, I feel that there's no ethical harm happening if I obtain a copy of Y for private storage. It might not be legal or might be in violation of ToS, but personally I wouldn't call this theft. Would you agree?

tomnipotent said 3 days ago:

> no ethical harm

According to whom? If region enforcement is in place, it's because of legal obligations. So yes, there's ethical harm involved when you do something like this because you're intentionally circumventing a business's legal obligations to their partners.

spookthesunset said 3 days ago:

One thing in ethics you might ask is “if everybody did it, what would happen”?

If everybody pirated their videos, maybe media companies would get a clue and make a better product. Nobody pirates music anymore—it is much easier to just pay a small amount to Spotify and the like and get access to almost any song you’d want on basically all your devices.

If anything, perhaps it is more ethical to hard pirate video than it is to let media companies shoot them selves in the foot...

tomnipotent said 3 days ago:

> “if everybody did it, what would happen”?

People would stop producing content because there's no money in it. So yeah, it's harmful.

AYBABTME said 3 days ago:

People wouldn't stop producing content because regional restrictions became something that customers don't want to pay for anymore. Any entity that refuses to change those restrictions would leave the market open for another entity who's willing to do business without imposing these terms.

The demand for the fundamental content would remain and if some suppliers are unwilling to provide for the demand, other suppliers would arise.

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

Did people stop producing music when Spotify hit the market? No, so why would Hollywood stop producing movies?

Music piracy was a huge problem in the 90s, and from what I can tell, that's essentially disappeared with iTunes and Spotify. It should be easy to buy exactly what you want for a reasonable price.

From what I can tell, movie and TV show piracy went way down in areas where Netflix was available, so what does Hollywood do? They lock down their content even more and reduce the content available at any given service.

That's backwards. They have a winning service, they should double down on it and make more content available. Maybe distribute new releases to Netflix customers that have a premium account or something, and have a payment tier with nearly complete access to old content with a single subscription. That's essentially what Spotify does, and it works.

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

That's a bridge too far. If I have Netflix and I'm in the US and then I travel overseas on vacation and I can't watch the same content, I would have no problem pirating it.

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

Absolutely. It's illegal, but ethical, provided you remove the content when it disappears from US Netflix and you don't share it with anyone who isn't a US Netflix customer. Also, make sure it's the same quality or worse than your service agreement is.

pergadad said 3 days ago:

Ethics and contract law are different things though. Is regional licensing ethical?I don't have opinion one way or the other but violation of a contract is not automatically unethical.

AYBABTME said 3 days ago:

I do but in modern society as a party to an exchange with a faceless entity, I have very little opportunity to change terms in a way that I feel is more fair to my circumstances. If I believe in good faith that my detraction from the terms is not unfair, detrimental or damaging to the counterparties, considering the imbalance in power at play, then I feel that I'm well within the bounds of ethical behaviour.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

>You don't have an entitlement to consume specific content.

If it's on the internet and you can access it, yes you do.

It's like arguing that if you watch a concert through the fence, rather than paying to get in, you're stealing from the musicians.

This "theft" argument is old.

bdowling said 3 days ago:

IP infringement isn’t like theft because it doesn’t deprive owners of their property, but it is a lot like trespassing (e.g., sneaking into a concert, movie, or amusement park without paying).

Your “watching a concert through the fence” analogy doesn’t hold up because the experience of illegally copied content is identical to the paid experience.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

That is actually a really good rebuttal to my analogy. Touché.

Also, I very much like the idea of trespassing being more analogous to IP infringement than theft.

diminoten said 3 days ago:

You couldn't be more wrong. You do not have an entitlement to intellectual property, our entire society is built on top of that concept.

It's more like you're saying you get to use any logos you want because you can download the images for them on their website.

The only reason you can listen to a concert outside of the venue is because there's no way to stop you that's also in any way proportionate to the crime.

Edit: I'm rate limited so here's a clarification.

My point is that just because it's available doesn't mean you ought to have access to it. You do, no arguments there, but should you? No. You are not entitled to that media by virtue of the fact that it is available to you, much like you are not entitled to the contents of someone's home just because their door is unlocked.

You're not satan if you download a TV show, but I hate it when people try to rationalize that behavior with a moral argument.

baddox said 3 days ago:

You seem to be confusing the idea of entitlement with simply having the ability to do something. It's perfectly possible to download copyrighted content while also not feeling entitled to that content. If I look for a torrent for some movie, and I can't find a torrent, I don't throw a fit, because I don't feel entitled to that movie. If I do find the torrent and download it, cool, that still doesn't mean that I feel entitled to it. People seem to label any actions they don't like as being an indicator of "entitlement," when that word actually has a pretty clear specific meaning.

And yes, you're completely correct about the reason you can listen to a concert from outside, and that is also true of online copyright infringement. Remember the whole "suing grandmothers because their grandkids used Napster" thing? It wasn't even remotely proportionate, and it didn't go over well.

jmastrangelo said 3 days ago:

He's not saying you're acting entitled towards the content, (ie you'll throw a fit if you can't pirate it). He's saying you're acting entitled towards being morally justified in downloading the content for free from a torrent site.

It's perfectly possible to have an ability to do something and not be justified in doing it.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

> The only reason you can listen to a concert outside of the venue is because there's no way to stop you that's also in any way proportionate to the crime.

As is stopping people from pirating. Where there is will, there is a way. The promise of Netflix was that virtually all content (or at least a very large percentage of it) would be there, under one subscription, at optimal quality. And convenience.

As years have gone by, that promise is nothing but a husk (not necessarily by Netflix' wrong doing).

diminoten said 3 days ago:

I agree, I don't think the individual pirates are ever going to be in any real trouble. HOWEVER, while it's impossible to find every person who improperly listened to a concert without paying for a ticket, it is not impossible to find every person who improperly obtained a video file for content they haven't paid for.

Just something to keep in mind as we talk about this; you can actually find the people who did it, and there's actual (digital) evidence, if the government ever decides to change its mind on the issue.

Let me be clear; I don't give a shit if someone pirates digital media. But I do think it's a personal failing of mine that I don't care.

I do, in principle, believe in the concept of intellectual property, and I do, in principle, believe someone who owns an idea can decide to only give it to people who have paid. However, on a purely practical level, I cast no judgement towards anyone who violates that belief, even though I do understand that it does cause real, tangible harm.

sjy said 3 days ago:

It’s not just enforcement challenges. There is no law that gives you the right to prevent someone from ‘improperly’ listening to your concert, because restricting that freedom is not seen as a necessary condition for the continued existence of concerts.

LinuxBender said 3 days ago:

Out of curiosity, do people only torrent, or is usenet still a thing? For the longest time, usenet providers would not log read access, only writes.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Usenet is still around, and there is content, but for archival purposes, torrents are still a lot more convenient. Years back, publishers started issuing take downs to Usenet provides on specific binary posts. So, as all cat&mouse games go, there were private NZB forums/sites which posted encrypted content and provided the key to members.

tstrimple said 3 days ago:

I'm actually much happier with my usenet setup than I ever was with torrents. I use tools like Sonarr and Radarr to subscribe to and automatically download content from usenet. Since it's automatic, it's easier to pick up content before DMCA take down notices. Especially because usenet will allow me to use my full bandwidth instead of relying on a trickle from peers.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

It depends on the torrent tracker. I've settled down on several private ones, which normally max my 200mbps connection right away. The reason I prefer torrents is the back catalog. With Usenet, it was very difficult to find older content. Also, the content that is uploaded there is scene stuff, which for 15 years now, isn't the most quality stuff (technically). With torrents, the library is always there, and plenty of versions to choose from.

LinuxBender said 3 days ago:

Nice to hear it's still around. I suppose more folks would then use burner cards with VPS providers + torrent and just sftp down their loot. I can't imagine torrenting from home is safe.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

I do also believe that a comprehensive intellectual property is necessary (not necessarily abolishing it), so I sleep soundly.

monocasa said 3 days ago:

> You do not have an entitlement to intellectual property, our entire society is built on top of that concept.

Our society is based on the idea that the public in fact does have an entitlement to all IP except trademarks. The Constitution is pretty clear that it's a limited monopoly that was originally 14 years for copyright. When that's been perverted so that "forever minus a day" is a limited copyright, then I don't feel the need to respect their property.

diminoten said 2 days ago:

No it's not and no it doesn't. You are 100% wrong.

monocasa said 2 days ago:

[citation needed]

diminoten said 2 days ago:

> Our society is based on the idea that the public in fact does have an entitlement to all IP except trademarks.

You need a citation to demonstrate that you aren't entitled, legally, to all IP? That's sad.

monocasa said 2 days ago:

The constitution literally describes IP as "for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." with "for limited times" clause in many, many court cases being taken to mean that everything eventually enters the public domain. That's why the CPEA couldn't extend copyright indefinitely like originally planned as constitutionally it all must enter the public domain eventually. The "forever minus a day" thing is their dubious legal hack that's blatantly at odds with the constitution.

None of this is really in question.

diminoten said 2 days ago:

You're right, none of this is in question, because copyright laws exist.

Are you from the moon?

monocasa said 2 days ago:

What part of what I said isn't true?

diminoten said 2 days ago:

> Our society is based on the idea that the public in fact does have an entitlement to all IP except trademarks.

It is not, see copyright laws.

monocasa said 2 days ago:

I literally cited the root of all copyright laws which very clearly states that all copyrights and patents are to eventually be public domain.

diminoten said a day ago:

The key word is eventually, which makes what you're saying irrelevant to the conversation we're having here.

No one is talking about downloading media outside of copyright and you know that, but insist on derailing the conversation by continuing to talk about it anyway.

monocasa said a day ago:

Except, as I've said multiple times already, that part has been perverted to where now "forever minus a day" somehow suffices. When they pull that crap to hold on to property that should be in the public domain, I don't feel a need to respect even the concept that they own that IP.

diminoten said a day ago:

Right, but in so doing you're presenting an inconsistent and selectively favorable-for-you viewpoint, which in reality is nothing more than a smokescreen for your greed.

monocasa said 10 hours ago:

Point out the specific inconsistentcy.

diminoten said 8 hours ago:

I have elsewhere. If you want to discuss this further, email me. HN isn't good for any kind of protracted conversation such as what you're trying to have now.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

Eh, we're in legalese grey area here. "Entitlement" is a loaded word.

Personally, I believe that if I am walking down the street and someone is playing The Avengers on a screen, I'm very much entitled to stick around and watch the movie. The internet, to me, is the same thing as walking down that street - public space. Feel free to disagree though - the CCP does. Not to get into politics, but it's fundamentally similar.

If I torrented a movie and then went to resell it in the public market, feel free to pursue legal charges.

If I click a link and the movie downloads onto my computer, look for the person who uploaded it if you want someone to charge. Don't come at me for using the internet.

The internet is a free market, or at least ought to be, if we're discussing what ought to be.

diminoten said 3 days ago:

The internet is a free space, but so is reality; there's nothing actually physically preventing you from walking into a store, grabbing whatever you want, and walking out. You're not violating the laws of physics if you do that, in other words. However, laws apply, and on top of reality we've created a set of rules that are enforced, ultimately, by big burly people with guns.

Nothing, to me, makes the Internet any different from that. There are a set of immutable properties of the Internet, akin to its "laws of physics" (ultimately they still are the laws of physics but I digress), and in that sense yes, the Internet is a truly free space, just like physical reality is. However, just like reality, we've also laid on top of those rules a second set of rules that are enforced, ultimately, by big burly people with guns.

Not to say that laws are a perfect mirror of morality, but why would a rule (moral or legal) that exists in physical reality not also exist on the internet? If you believe in intellectual property in physical space, why wouldn't that belief hold over onto the Internet?

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

You are using hyperbole to straw man what is being said. If you go into a store and take a laptop, this is completely different from downloading a movie. If I could, I would download that laptop, and that, too, would be completely different from physically taking the laptop from the store, which robs the store owner from compensation. To use your argument, if I go into a store, look at a laptop but don't buy it, that's theft, because if I did buy it, the owner would have profited.

jmastrangelo said 3 days ago:

Its not a straw-man its a very real comparison if you think about a physical copy of content vs a digital copy. When you bought a dvd in stores you paid more than the $5 it cost to manufacture, ship and store the physical medium. You payed mostly for access to the content therein, and gave that compensation to the creators of the movie.

diminoten said 3 days ago:

Sorry, I'm not, and there simply is no moral argument for pirating content, because no, if you believe in intellectual property, the is nothing whatsoever different about stealing a laptop and downloading a movie.

If you believe in intellectual property, piracy is amoral. It's not pure evil incarnate, but harms more than it helps.

And yeah, of course I would download that laptop. Doesn't mean I should!

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

I find it difficult to have any remorse, given that this industry is one of the most morally bankrupt and predatory. Sorry, agree to disagree.

> Sorry, I'm not

Indeed you are. Even US law disagrees with you, and that is some of the most ridiculous.

diminoten said 2 days ago:

Yep there it is; I don't feel bad because I'm hurting bad people. Thank you for saying it, but it's no excuse.

newnothing said 2 days ago:

There absolutely is a difference. The cost of reproducing a laptop for the owner exists and the cost of reproducing something in the digital world does not, or is negligible.

diminoten said a day ago:

That's just an argument against intellectual property, which I've already said is a non-starter. If you don't believe in intellectual property at all, then of course it's fine to pirate, but if you believe in intellectual property, then you are violating your own beliefs when you pirate.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Here’s the logical continuation of your analogy:

If the movie is showing in the park for free, you can stick around and stand to watch it, but if there was a better service at a reasonable cost, you could go home and watch it there more comfortably.

diminoten said 3 days ago:

That's the rub; it's not showing in the park, because that's only possible if the park got permission. It's being shown in an alley

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Works even better. You can stand in the dirty alley (with piss smell and dog poo) and watch it, or go home and watch it comfortable, if the price and service is right. Sure, some people will never go home (maybe they don't even have one), but most people will, given the right incentive.

diminoten said 3 days ago:

Works great, until you realize the "alley" is a metaphor for doing something that harms the content creators...

nomel said 3 days ago:

> The internet, to me, is the same

That's not the same scenario. The content was taken from a private place (bootleg, studio leak, paywall/subscription, etc) and put into a public place.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Sort your legal definitions. Copyright infringement is not theft.

my_usernam3 said 3 days ago:

"You wouldn't download a car"

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Would if I could. Still not theft. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

archi42 said 3 days ago:

What a glorious world that would be... I'd absolutely upload you a car, if you upload me a good drink. Or maybe we can put a FOSS car on GitHub?

LeoNatan25 said 2 days ago:

I'm sure once such a project becomes technologically feasible, FOSS designs will happen.

OJFord said 3 days ago:

I would if you uploaded the .stl

friedman23 said 3 days ago:

Why do you think this matters?

buzzerbetrayed said 3 days ago:

Why does using the proper definition of words matter? I think that should be fairly obvious.

"Downloading copyrighted music is murder."

Ok, then downloading copyrighted music should be punished like murder.

Oh, it isn't Murder?

Well, it also isn't theft. So it shouldn't be punished like it is theft or treated like it is theft in conversation. It should be punished like and treated as copyright infringement, which it is.

jammygit said 3 days ago:

I don’t think theft is a legitimate term to use. We need a new one for “used without permission”

beatgammit said 2 days ago:

Well, we have trespassing and copyright infringement. Neither of those have the emotional baggage as theft, so the movie industry uses the term for maximum effect.

wolco said 3 days ago:

If I buy the theft term.

Is all theft wrong? Is theft wrong in this case?

shmerl said 3 days ago:

Same as pushing DRMed exclusives for rent doesn't help reducing it.

Fakira said 3 days ago:

They might be shooting themselves in foot here. Part of the reason why Microsoft is so big and why there is a PC n every home is because many of us could pirate Windows and Office in early days. That reduced barrier to entry and enabled poor folks in India and elsewhere use computers and be familiar with all other MS technologies.

PretzelFisch said 3 days ago:

But then there is apple and ios where you can't really pirate the software effectively.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Eh. Most software can be pirated on iOS. Obtain an IPA (easy), resign it with Cydia Impactor and most apps will work no problem. There is now a "hack store" software that uses your Apple credentials to resign all the IPAs you give it and push them to your (non-jailbroken) phone.

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

There is really no benefit to "pirating" most iOS apps. Almost all of the apps that I spend money on, I'm actually paying for a service.

tomdell said 3 days ago:

You're a senior software engineer and yet somehow you can't pay for content?

Matthias247 said 3 days ago:

These things also suprise me, since my opinion is exactly the opposite: Content is so cheap nowadays, that it doesn't make any sense to look for illegal options anymore. If I pay 10$ for Netflix I get already more content than I can consume. And 10$ is not even that much for a non silicon valley non software engineering salary. I think even paying for multiple services shouldn't be an issue for people who actually have the time and interest in consuming the services.

And to why I think things actually are getting cheaper:

In germany you pay already mandatory 25€ for public broadcasting, which you might never watch. Pay TV back in the days was like 50€, and tons of people where willing to pay for it. You can get a lot of the new streaming services for that.

inapis said 3 days ago:

I am in the same boat. Content is so affordable and accessible these days that I don’t understand why people get pissed about it. Part of the reason, I feel, is that there’s so much abundance of content and stuff that choosing becomes impossible. We feel FOMO and slighted if there’s content which is not already included in the service we are paying for.

As consumers we have come to expect everything under the sun to be accessible right here, right now, according to my expectations and preferably for free. That’s honestly irrational on our (consumers) part. Internet and forums just amplify this part.

LeoNatan25 said 2 days ago:

I am not looking for free content. I am looking for content that is available conveniently, at a reasonable price, at high quality, available anywhere I want it to after purchase. I would gladly pay for

Ten different 10-15$ DRM-filled streaming services, that only allow me to watch 4K if the sun is 5 degrees above the equator and require being online always, is not that, and thus, I refuse to pay.

megablast said 3 days ago:

They are coming for them too. Don't think that they have forgotten about them.

philth_ said 3 days ago:

They've been coming for torrentors for 15+ years. How's that fight going?

loeg said 3 days ago:

And somehow against all odds, the scene still seems to be hanging on despite tons of FBI arrests in the 2000's and zero profit motive.

shmerl said 3 days ago:

They could for years do something about it. I.e. start offering DRM-free video for sale. They never cared, so the conclusion is that they don't want to do anything proper about it, they will only spread the DRM paranoia.

thephyber said 3 days ago:

To be fair, iTunes and Amazon do/did offer DRM-free for some music selections.

I think blaming the distributors is misplacing the blame. The problem is that the distributors don't have the legal right to do that without contractual buy-in from content owners who fear that their golden goose will dry up if content is offered without DRM or if digital content can be kept and used in perpetuity by consumers.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Indeed, greedy and out of touch Hollywood execs are to blame. But as a consumer, we shouldn't really care.

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

Amazon has never sold DRM'd digital music and Apple has sold all of its music DRM free for over a decade.

thephyber said 3 days ago:

Thanks for the correction. Even as I was typing it, I doubted my own memory.

shmerl said 2 days ago:

Music yes, and you can still buy it DRM-free today. I'm talking about video specifically.

BubRoss said 3 days ago:

HBO has been monitoring torrents for a long time and sending letters to ISPs. VPNs and seed boxes get around this.

walrus01 said 3 days ago:

Not everybody is in DMCA jurisdiction. Maximum liability in Canada is something like $5000, which makes it uneconomical for a copyright owner to actually send a lawyer to court to litigate against a person who wants to defend themselves.

BubRoss said 3 days ago:

I'm not sure what you are saying, no one implied everyone was in the reach of HBO. The parent was saying HBO was going to go after torrenters in the future, but they have been doing it for years.

walrus01 said 3 days ago:

I guess what I'm saying is that inevitably in these sorts of discussions, about legal repercussions, the assumption is that the torrenters are physically located in the US 50 states.

BubRoss said 3 days ago:

No one assumed that here, the parent said HBO would go after torrenters in the future and they have been for a long time already.

paulmd said 3 days ago:

In fact, HBO is perhaps the most aggressive monitoring/enforcement of all content-creators. They are very, very proactive.

bestnameever said 2 days ago:

I think thats the point? From what it sounds like, you are not paying for the services now but yet they are incurring costs every time you use it. This change is not going to force paying subscribers off their services.

freeflight said 3 days ago:

Careful with that, in some countries, anti-piracy outfits are monitoring torrent releases and sending out c&d letters in bulk to people who they catch downloading/uploading with a domestic IP.

Particularly a problem in Germany, that's why it's best to use a torrent-friendly VPN in countries like that.

wolco said 3 days ago:

What are good provider choices? Or even what countries are open and have enough connectivity?

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

I would recommend looking at seedboxes /servers where you run your torrent client/. You can then download the files from the server. 10-15 years ago, it was pretty cheap, so I can't imagine it hasn't gotten dirt cheap by now.

hyperbovine said 3 days ago:

Ah yes, this comment. Whenever a story pops up here about a media company having the temerity to try and get people to pay for their product, I count the seconds until someone's inb4 with some pithy response invoking BitTorrent, the immorality of paywalls and DRM, and the supposed right that we all enjoy to freely consume content that costs billions of dollars to create. Love it.

Came here expecting to find it, was not disappointed. In some sense, anyways.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

As are the comments from the people claiming "entitlement". ;-)

techslave said 3 days ago:

no worries, i just won’t illegally share my account.

option said 3 days ago:

plus I don’t have to sign up on yet another service for just one film/show.

I am 100% in for paying for the films/shows. Just give me a convenient cross-platform option to do so without any BS

khc said 3 days ago:

Don't Google/Apple all have pay per view for movies and shows? You don't have to have a subscription.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Because of politics and DRM, Apple doesn't offer Disney movies in 4K, for example. I really don't give a rats behind about Hollywood politics. I would have purchased if I could get DRM free movies. Alas, this is not an option. So I go the "remux" way, where everything is free, quality is better than all streaming services and there is no DRM. It's up to Hollywood to make change.

friedman23 said 3 days ago:

> I would have purchased if I could get DRM free movies.

I have a feeling this isn't true. I'm sure if they released DRM free movies you would simply balk at the cost and then use that as justification for not purchasing it.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Your feeling is wrong. I used to collect optical media for many years, until I got rid of all my optical drives. At which point, my only choice was to torrent movies. Optical wasn't DRM free, but at least I could rip those, which is what I usually ended up doing for ease of use.

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

You should be able to buy and watch 4K Movies on the Vudu app, tie your iTunes account to the Movies Anywhere apps and your movie purchases will transfer to your iTunes library (but not in 4K). You can also link your Amazon Prime and Google Play accounts.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

I live in Israel. None of these options is available to me. But the torrents work.

option said 3 days ago:

they don’t have everything (and I regulary buy things from them). Try watching “Spirited Away” there or upcoming “Mandolorian”. Also, what you can watch on Netflix depends on where you are.

mrtksn said 3 days ago:

can't you just subscribe to all of them and use Apple TV or some Smart TV for the seamless experience?

bscphil said 3 days ago:

No, I literally can't. I keep track of all the movies I'm interesting in watching in a list on IMDB. Checking right now (IMDB has this feature built in), it seems only about ~5% of them are on Amazon Prime. Assume I'm lucky enough that there's no overlap in the catalogues and subscribing to Netflix will get me another 5%, Disney+ another 5%, and let's say subscribing to the other services will get me 10% on top of that (they're smaller, but there are more of them ... this is just a guess). That means ... 75% of the movies I might want to watch any given night are simply not available through my streaming subscriptions. That's pretty bad, given how much money I'd be spending on all these.

You might claim I could still do this legally, by renting the other films I want to watch at $3-4 a pop on the same apps (e.g. Amazon video). But no, that won't work either. IMDB tells me that less than half of the movies I want to watch are available to rent from Amazon at all, even if I could afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to rent them all. And since catalogue overlap for rentals is nearly 100%, I have little hope that I'll be able to find any significant portion of the remainder somewhere else.

Even if e.g. Netflix somehow magically had every film I want to watch, it would still be a miserable experience, because since they don't like my browser / OS / hardware combination, I'm limited to 720p streams at 3000 kbps. That's noticeably bad compared to a Bluray.

Not everyone's film interests can be satisfied with the top five Disney films from each of the last 10 years. What piracy means is the ability to watch anything you want near-instantly for free in the highest quality it was ever released in, if not higher (pirates not-infrequently correct mistakes made on commercially mastered Blurays). And even some popular stuff (like the original non-special-edition Star Wars trilogy) isn't available at all, you'd have to pirate it.

perennate said 3 days ago:

Yes, for $200/mo, and you cannot watch when you're on the go with just laptop and no Apple TV device, and when Amazon and Netflix go bankrupt you won't be able to go back and watch all that content.

At least nowadays we can still get most content on DVD. It just feels like a waste with the physical media.

option said 3 days ago:

Surprisingly, even that won’t be enough! Like I commented above - try watching “Spirited Away” via that method .... and you can’t, unless you buy a disk! (and this isn’t the only example)

nickthegreek said 3 days ago:

AppleTV doesnt have a deep integration into all of the streaming services available on the device. But they are at least trying to resolve the fragmentation issues.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

For the streaming companies, fragmentation has become a feature. They have absolutely no interest in resolving it.

joshstrange said 3 days ago:

> If none of those tactics work, pay-TV subscribers could someday be required to sign into their accounts using their thumbprints.

This feels like an idea from some idiot corporate suit who said "Well there are fingerprint readers on phones, let's use that to lock down accounts" without understanding that your app just gets as "Yes" or a "No" when you ask the phone to scan a fingerprint. The apps themselves don't get to the see the scan.

> The pay-TV industry is projected to lose $6.6 billion in revenue from password sharing and piracy this year, according to Parks Associates. By 2024, the number could grow to $9 billion, the research firm said.

BULLSHIT, we heard this SAME argument about piracy. Piracy/Account sharing DO NOT equal a 100% loss in sales. I'm willing to concede there are some people stealing who would pay but I can promise you it's nowhere near 100%.

DuskStar said 3 days ago:

> I'm willing to concede there are some people stealing who would pay but I can promise you it's nowhere near 100%.

Hell, if the situation with games is any indication there are people who will pirate the game after paying for it to get rid of always-on requirements or other intrusive DRM.

joshstrange said 3 days ago:

I can tell you I know a number of people who pay for Netflix/Amazon Prime/Apple TV+/Hulu/HBO/etc and then turn around and pirate the same content because watching it though Plex/other is simply a better experience.

And frankly, I 100% understand where they are coming from:

1. What platform was I watching show X on?

2. Oh Platform X removed show Y? Well it's also on Platform Z but now I can't remember where I was in that show.

3. Oh, every Platform has a different UI/UX? Great...

4. Internet slow today? DDOS against Platform? Guess I'm not watching anything

5. Oh that's right, Platform X only work on Set Top Box A or B but not C... Guess I'll just watch this on my Phone since I can't get it on the TV

6. Going on a flight? Going to be without internet? Don't want to stream it on cellular? I hope Show X is on a Platform that supports offline watching.

7. Paid service != No Ads, you've got to deal with Hulu's BS and/or pre-roll or self-promotion crap

I know Apple TV is trying to address some of these issues and so is Amazon Prime Channels but it's all a Russian nesting doll of terrible.

All of this stands in rather stark comparison to using Plex/Emby/Jellyfin/etc:

1. All my content in 1 place

2. Content never removed except by owner, track show progress across all clients easily

3. Constant UI/UX even across platforms

4. If you are local there is no lag, remote will depend on your own internet

5. Apps for almost every platform (Phone, Web, TV, Tablet, Gaming Console, Roku/Chromecast/Fire stick, etc)

6. Offline sync options

7. No ads, no pre-roll (unless you set a custom one yourself)

perennate said 3 days ago:

Another issue: they all want you to have proprietary non-free DRM software in your web browser that is a big pain to install. None of these services "just work" like you'd expect, and users have to spend a lot of time configuring their browser for services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. And in the end all that configuration work just ends up making your browser much less secure with code from untrusted sources like Google Widevine (a company whose objective is to serve you ads that are personalized as much as possible by tracking your every movement and click).

Firefox tries to sandbox Widevine but this code is from a dirty company and you can bet it's trying to break out of that sandbox.

awinder said 3 days ago:

This is like, one of my top reasons for thinking there's undisputed superiority (FOR THIS USECASE) in Apple's platform. They own the full stack, so there's nothing to install and it does work exactly like you'd expect it to. Yes yes you have to then own their devices and I know not everyone is in love with that but if you want to consume content, that you pay for, and not fight against the tech you're paying for, it's either Apple or buying blu-rays

sjy said 3 days ago:

I suppose that addresses the grandparent’s concerns about ease of use, but it makes the problem of running opaque proprietary software controlled by the platform operator even worse.

__david__ said 3 days ago:

It's not just the browser—my Apple TV will sometimes refuse to play a Neflix video because it claims I'm not connected to an HDCP TV. Of course I am, but some negotiation on the HDMI port failed and I have to switch away from the Apple TV and then back to it to force a renegotiation.

Surprise, surprise—I never have that problem with the Plex app.

stinky613 said 3 days ago:

8. If you watch using (most) web browsers you'll be limited to 720p

E.g. Netflix: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23931

antjanus said 3 days ago:

I really cannot understand how I pay for a service and still get ads. It's ridiculous.

I'm talking about Hulu and Prime. Hulu, I kind of get. It's cheap. I pay $1/month using some special I bought into last year.

Prime though? Every time someone tells me how Prime is comparable to Netflix, it's not. Netflix may autoplay stupid crap while you're looking for a movie (a UX issue) but they don't show me a video ad when I turn on the app, nor do they show me an ad between episodes.

x86_64Ubuntu said 3 days ago:

The media industry is doing it's best to try to refragment itself as it had done during the heyday of cable. Whereby you had to have this package, that package and this addon, that addon to get the content library that you truly wanted. When the main competitors were only Hulu and Netflix, it was simple to sign u an dmove on with your life.

Now, the content makers want to have their own streaming services (Disney), pushing the consumer back to that $160/month+ territory for access to media. It's kind of sad to see really.

greggyb said 3 days ago:

Sad, yes, but unsurprising. In the heyday of cable, consumers in aggregate proved that they are more than willing to stomach complexity and fragmentation to have access to a wide range of video content.

Sure, many people complain about it, and nearly everyone wants the same thing for less money. But it's been proven that despite the complaints and cost, people are willing to pay.

magduf said 3 days ago:

>> The pay-TV industry is projected to lose $6.6 billion in revenue from password sharing and piracy this year, according to Parks Associates. By 2024, the number could grow to $9 billion, the research firm said.

>BULLSHIT, we heard this SAME argument about piracy. Piracy/Account sharing DO NOT equal a 100% loss in sales.

The software, music, and video industries have been posting enormous "losses" in the billions like this for a few decades now. If they were really losing that much money, they would have all been out of business by now. Instead, last I checked, most of them are more profitable than ever.

thephyber said 3 days ago:

I think I know the point you are making, but...

They use that number to put political pressure on the DoJ, FBI, and DHS to enforce their IP ownership claims. I get that 100% of their claimed loss would never be 100% of a potential revenue, but AFAIK there is no standard alternative way to calculate those "losses". From what I know, all companies use the same method when describing losses/damages due to hack/cyberattack.

magduf said 3 days ago:

>but AFAIK there is no standard alternative way to calculate those "losses"

This isn't the problem at all. The problem is that they're calling them "losses", when they aren't losses at all. "Lose" is a plain English word with a very specific meaning: it means you no longer have something that you used to have. These companies never, ever "lost" anything at all due to "piracy". You can't use the word to describe "something you don't have, and never had at all, but which you should have"; it doesn't work that way.

If they used a different term, such as "unrealized revenue", then we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

tomnipotent said 3 days ago:

> it means you no longer have something that you used to have

No it doesn't. It means you lost out on potential revenues because someone decided not to pay for it. That's a loss. If people are consuming your content and not paying you for it, you're losing something in the transaction.

ratacat said 3 days ago:

Or... Someone would have just watched something else that was free. It seems to me that actually they're getting free publicity

tomnipotent said 3 days ago:

> It seems to me that actually they're getting free publicity

This is ridiculous. There's a subreddit choosingbeggars that's FILLED with people asking for free art for "publicity". It's insulting to content creators to hear this silly shtick.

kempbellt said 3 days ago:

Follow up on your analogy:

The cost to read this comment is $1 million. If you do not pay me, I am losing out on $1 million. AKA: $1 million in lost revenue (lolling to myself right now...)

Did you read this comment and not pay me? Who do I go after to get the money owed to me??! HackerNews, for not enforcing my price? You, for reading it? Your ISP, for allowing you to read it? Or myself, for being a moron?

papln said 3 days ago:

Right now, you can only use a fingerprint to authenticate to the device. It's not so far-fetched to one day have the OS offer to link fingerprints to an app, and to let an app limit how many registered fingerprints is accepts (unified count across all devices using the account), or for the app to scan your fingerprint using the webcam. The OSes are DRM-friendly, so they'd play ball.

megablast said 3 days ago:

> This feels like an idea from some idiot corporate suit who said "Well there are fingerprint readers on phones, let's use that to lock down accounts" without understanding that your app just gets as "Yes" or a "No" when you ask the phone to scan a fingerprint. The apps themselves don't get to the see the scan.

I don't know what your point is, but that would work just as well for them too.

joshstrange said 3 days ago:

How would that work for them?

All I have to do is login once on my friend's device then from then on even if the app asks for biometrics it will work since it will be THEIR biometrics.

Also I can add 5 different people's fingerprints to my device (if that even what the companies are trying to prevent, which it's not).

xsmasher said 3 days ago:

The app just gets a "Yes, this is the owner of this device" or a "No, this is not the owner of this device."

What can Netflix do with that? It's not tied to an account.

magashna said 3 days ago:

> “I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall,” Tom Rutledge, the chief executive officer of Charter Communications Inc., said during an earnings call last month. “It’s just too easy to get the product without paying for it.”

Boo hoo. All these companies thinking they can split all their content up and get people to pay for every single service are in for a (totally expected) surprise.

I'll share my plex server with friends and family long before I pay for more than 1-2 services.

basch said 3 days ago:

I think the bigger issue than paying for multiple services is duplicate licensing. If I sign up for DirecTV, Amazon Prime, and CBS how many shows am I triple licensing? If all these companies want me to sign up for multiple services, there needs to be a way for them to pass "already licensed" information to each other, and pro-rate their bills accordingly.

ATT, Comcast, Disney, CBS already own almost all the historical content. Id rather pay a small licensing fee to those 4 and then be able to watch their content on any platform, rather than deal with multiple middlemen that have CBS, Comcast, Disney, ATT licensing costs built into their product price. IF I select DirecTV/ATT as my "licensing manager" then any time I sign up for Disney+, Peacock+, CBS All Access, I want a discount off one of the two ends (would make more sense to give all my subscription info to DirecTV and get a DirecTV discount. Then DirecTV can go to Disney and say "17% of our customers dont need to pay Disney licensing costs, weve adjusted our payment to you accordingly.)

SketchySeaBeast said 3 days ago:

While I see your point, that's never been how media is served up - you're not given license to shows, you're gaining access to what they want you to have from their license. Your cable bill was never reduced because the same show was playing on two channels at once.

basch said 3 days ago:

A cable bill is a bit like insurance. They dont expect 100% of customers to watch ESPN, 100% of customers pay Disney for access to ESPN, but they pay less than the full cost each. People not watching cover the costs of people watching.

Theres two models of TV. Live and On Demand. In the On Demand world its much more "am I licensed to start this stream" vs "can I tune into this broadcast in progress." Especially if the broadcast is adding any value, like tv hosts interjecting fun making of movie facts at commercial breaks.

sjy said 3 days ago:

Shouldn’t it be the way that media is served up though? The status quo serves the interests of copyright conglomerates, not consumers. Surely there must be a more efficient way to channel money from consumers to producers, without forcing them to pay, sometimes more than once, for shit they don’t want. Why hasn’t the market achieved that outcome?

braindeath said 3 days ago:

Idiotic. A few years ago you could say that on demand streaming over the internet was also “never been how media is served up”... engravings on wax cylinders was “never been how media is served up” was also true.

Obviously things are different in this era then they were 30 years ago during peak cable.

What’s your point that meaningfully responds to the gp?

fouric said 3 days ago:

This is actually really important. While it's immoral to take the results of someone else's work without compensating them, it's also immoral to charge your customers multiple times for the same product.

criley2 said 3 days ago:

The entitlement people feel to steal is always surprising. Especially on this board. I understand a lot of reddit is younger and irresponsible so piracy-as-the-norm is a popular trope, but among the engineers whose livelihoods depend on subscription models, we still promote service theft without so much as a hint of shame?

If the economics of a service don't make sense to you, then do not subscribe. But to turn around and steal from the engineers and artists who work to create these experiences is just indefensible. You are not entitled to television shows.

maxsilver said 3 days ago:

> The entitlement people feel to steal is always surprising.

It's not stealing when you already paid in full.

Sharing my Netflix password with my wife and/or child is not stealing, I paid in full for that account, and have now for many many years.

My Plex server is full of DVDs and BluRays I paid full retail price for (that's $20 to $30 USD each), it's not stealing to use it, and it's not stealing to let some friends occasionally borrow films from it.

The entitlement companies feel to micromanage the lives of their paid-in-full customers is ridiculous. If you don't want people to have your product, stop selling them the product. And if you sell someone a product, don't act all surprised that they now have the product and are free to use it accordingly.

reaperducer said 3 days ago:

Wife and child is one thing. But the problem the problem is that people are sharing with people who aren't relatives. Old college roommates from 15 years ago who live on the other side of the country. Coworkers. People they meet in bars. None of these are legitimate.

I get the attraction of getting content for free. I used to pirate software when I was young and broke. But I'm an adult now and I do adult things, meaning I pay for what I consume.

Amazingly, people can survive without consuming other people's content. You don't have to watch a streaming service. There are other things in life to do.

Much like I think people who don't vote forfeit the right to complain about politicians, I think people who steal content don't get to complain about the quality of the available content.

close04 said 3 days ago:

I have a premium plan with Netflix which allows me to watch content on 4 screens concurrently, on "laptop, TV, phone and tablet" [0]. It is shared with family members and each one is probably logged into several devices used wherever we may be in the world. Everything is completely within the rules [1]. That's what we pay for and that's how we want to use it.

Any limitation like annoying password resets, strict geofencing, or any move a company makes to tell me how to use the service I pay for and use entirely legally inconvenience me, the paying customer. It will not inconvenience Pirate Joe. Of course none of these inconveniences and limitations would ever come attached to a hefty price drop to make it worth the effort for me.

The entitlement companies feel to inconvenience paying customers for profit is never surprising. Also those "lost revenue" calculations are so massively and intentionally misleading by presuming that every non-paying viewer would turn to a paying one. If your point is based on misdirection it's not much of a point.

[0] https://www.netflix.com/signup/planform

[1] https://help.netflix.com/legal/termsofuse

basch said 3 days ago:

>Old college roommates from 15 years ago who live on the other side of the country. Coworkers. People they meet in bars. None of these are legitimate.

But you can lend those people a Blu-Ray, which only deprives you of watching it while they have it.

reaperducer said 3 days ago:

Which is perfectly fine. Just as it's perfectly fine for you to purchase a Netflix subscription for someone else.

criddell said 3 days ago:

Wouldn't the analogy be that you lend them your service credentials and don't use it until they are done with it?

basch said 3 days ago:

Rehosting and serving that file is costing the streaming company electricity, bandwidth, cpu etc. Your agreement with them is that you can press pay an unlimited number of times in a month, but they didnt agree to serve that file to other people in other households. It's not quite the same as lending someone a disc, because in this case you agreed to terms of service that specifically address sharing.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Going by that logic, if I watch a movie twice or more, I should be charged more? What is the difference, “electricity” and “bandwidth” wise if I watch twice, or me and my coworker watch once?

basch said 3 days ago:

You signed an agreement for your own use, not to allow your friends to use their servers. Its about the agreement you made.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

But that's moving the goalpost. You said that sharing an account has a cost. I ask you, if I watch once and my wife watches another time, how is that different from me watching once and my coworker watching at another time?

kranner said 3 days ago:

Netflix's terms of use support sharing within the same household. It even has profiles for separate users within the same household.

I don't even know what 'paid in full' means here. It's a specific service with specific terms of use that include not sharing passwords outside one's household. You are free to reject the terms of use and not subscribe to the service. It doesn't make sense to justify breaking some terms just because you don't like them but keep the rest of the service because it's convenient. Would you sign a contract and then break specific clauses just because you didn't like those clauses? The contract is the contract. You choose to give your word to abide.

kevin_thibedeau said 3 days ago:

If you're in the US, those DVD rips aren't actually legal. You can only format shift audio recordings. You also had to use a circumvention device to make those rips so they're DMCA violations.

Marsymars said 3 days ago:

Solution: Get a virtual assistant in a low CoL country without DMCA applicability to purchase, rip and upload Blu Ray movies to your server on demand.

IANAL

zelly said 3 days ago:

> Sharing my Netflix password with my wife and/or child is not stealing, I paid in full for that account, and have now for many many years.

I am inclined to agree with HBO, Netflix, et al. that this is stealing. You are using their computing resources against the terms you agreed to.

However torrenting is good and not stealing. You are using your own bandwidth.

jandrese said 3 days ago:

Netflix specifically allows you to stream to multiple family members. There are no terms being violated.

  4.2. The Netflix service and any content viewed through 
  our service are for your personal and non-commercial use 
  only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your 
  household. During your Netflix membership, we grant you a 
  limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access 
  the Netflix service and view Netflix content through the 
  service. Except for the foregoing, no right, title or 
  interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use 
  the service for public performances. 
Note it says "household" not "individual".

And frankly this is a good thing. It would be completely ridiculous for Netflix to demand a separate account for my wife and each child. The children aren't even allowed to make accounts, they would be left high and dry.

This is one area where I have a constantly annoyance with Steam. You can create multiple accounts on Steam and share the library, but you can't play more than one game at once, even if it's not the same game. It's horrible. I can understand locking you out of a specific game because someone else is playing, but locking you out of your entire library because someone else is playing is so dumb.

iimblack said 3 days ago:

No, Netflix actually encourages this behavior; this is not stealing.

DanBC said 3 days ago:

You're ignoring the history.

Disney for years resisted selling films on videos because they had no way of controlling how many people would be in the room watching the content. And they investigated single-use tapes (these had a latch that prevented rewinding, you'd have to send the tape back to the factory to be re-wound) and 24 hour DVDs (these would be sealed in an oxygen free case and would start oxidising on contact with air).

This short time we've had of "owning content" has been an anomaly and it's something they've wanted to stop as soon as possible.

> My Plex server is full of DVDs and BluRays I paid full retail price for (that's $20 to $30 USD each), it's not stealing to use it,

Format-shifting is not legal in all places. It's currently not legal in the UK. And if it requires circumvention of technical measures (which ripping DVDs and BluRays does) it's probably not legal because of DMCA.

If you want to change the law you're going to need a better argument than "I bought it", because you haven't bought it, you've licensed it, and they control the licences.

dmitrygr said 3 days ago:

googling around i cannot find any info on this single-use tape story. do you have a link?

I did find the dvd one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexplay

DanBC said 2 days ago:

Cartrivision: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartrivision

> Cassettes of major movies such as The Bridge on the River Kwai, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Dr. Strangelove, High Noon, It Happened One Night, Divorce Italian Style, The Quiet Man, The Belles of St Trinian's, Two Rode Together and Brother Rat[4] were ordered via the initial 200-movie catalog at a retailer, delivered by parcel mail, and then returned to the retailer after viewing. These rental cassettes were red, approximately 7 inches (180 mm) high by 6.5 inches (170 mm) wide by 1.5 inches (38 mm) deep (however used the same videotape used today) and could not be rewound by a home Cartrivision recorder. Rather, they were rewound by a special machine upon their return to the retailer.[5] Other cassettes on sports, travel, art, and how-to topics were available for purchase. These cassettes were black, and could be rewound on a Cartrivision recorder. An optional monochrome camera manufactured for Cartrivision by Eumig could be bought to make home videos. A color camera was in the works but never materialized before CTI's demise.

soledades said 2 days ago:

> This short time we’ve had of “owning content” has been an anomaly

Have you ever heard of books?

jasonlotito said 3 days ago:

> Sharing my Netflix password with my wife and/or child is not stealing

You're right, it's not. And Netflix is fine with this. However, should you be able to share your Netflix username and password with everyone on the block?

magduf said 3 days ago:

>However, should you be able to share your Netflix username and password with everyone on the block?

Presumably, your Netflix subscription has limitations on how many people can simultaneously watch it. So, yes, you should be able to share it with everyone on the block. Why not? By doing so, you're potentially preventing yourself from using it during that time, for instance if it has a maximum of 4 simultaneous streams. Why should you not be able to use the maximum number? It's no different than having 4 copies of a book or Blu-Ray and lending them out to your neighbors: if they haven't all borrowed them, you still have at least one to view, but if they're all borrowed, you're unable to view them.

fma said 3 days ago:

The terms of service someone posted above says you "may not share with individuals beyond your household". Your neighbor is not within your household.

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

Interesting. My mother in law is on our family account with T-mobile. She doesn't live with us. T-mobile offers a Netflix Family Plan as part of our package. Does that mean my MIL shouldn't have access to our Netflix account?

s1artibartfast said 3 days ago:

If your mother in law is on the account and everyone on your account gets the family plan, it would make sense that each household has access.

ajna91 said 3 days ago:

"Glib talk of ‘intellectual property rights’, then, concedes polemical ground to the monopoly rent-extractor by granting a certain perceived virtue to those who hold licences and rights. The rest of us are merely greedy and grasping grubbers for someone else’s property. But in so conceiving the domain of ‘intellectual property rights’, the notions of borrowing, reuse, reworking, remixing and constructive enhancement – all of which are needed for culture and science and art to grow – are lost in the semantic mire created by ‘property’. Things that are owned in the exclusionary way that the indiscriminate use of ‘intellectual property’ suggests cannot sustain art and science and culture."

- https://aeon.co/essays/the-idea-of-intellectual-property-is-...

robcohen said 3 days ago:

I think the issue here is that culture should on some level be free. This is why libraries are free.

Personally, I want to financially support media creators, but every time I get a forced prereel commercial, or Hulu inserts ads in a service I pay for, I make a mental note to care a little less. Every time I’m region restricted, I make a mental note. Every time my browser widevine plugin breaks and I can’t watch something, I make a mental note.

Essentially every time I witness a dark pattern, I realize this is about control. Not fairness.

Fuck them. If they wanna play games, I’ll play games. And I’ll win, because I’m better at it than they are.

I would be happy to pay some cryptocurrency directly to an artist for the production of media. I could care less about the distributors though.

bryanlarsen said 3 days ago:

Be careful of what you wish for. Disney is a creator, and soon many people will be paying them money directly, cutting out existing distribution middlemen, letting a single company control a very large portion of American media.

danaris said 3 days ago:

"Disney" is not the artist. Artists are human beings. Disney is a megacorporation that hires many individual artists.

Now, it's true that it takes many individual artists working together to make a major motion picture of any kind, but that doesn't change the fact that there are so many layers of middlemen between your money and the actual artists that saying that "giving Disney your money" is giving your money to the artists is....at best a gross oversimplification, and at worst outright false.

kranner said 3 days ago:

> I think the issue here is that culture should on some level be free. This is why libraries are free.

Should software be free as well then? It seems to me it should fit the definition of culture, and the economics of e.g. a game seem similar to the economics of making a movie.

papln said 3 days ago:

Everything should be free but I should still get my salary.

fyfy18 said 3 days ago:

This isn't a bad idea. If the production of the show has already been funded, then theoretically Disney can charge less for the distribution rights.

The problem is they won't do that though, they'll just pocket the extra. Bit of a tangent, but this is one of the major failings of our current economic model IMO - it is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged (because shareholders need profits), for companies to milk consumers for all they can.

basch said 3 days ago:

I agree with you except for the feedback loop of "make content, sell content, use money from content to buy an extension to copyright law, rinse, repeat."

There is a level of assault ON the public's rights happening. They arent completely innocent content creators being robbed, having done nothing wrong.

It smells less of entitlement, and more of intentional comeuppance.

rayiner said 3 days ago:

Are people downloading things that they believe the copyright should have already expired on? (Under the original copyright act it was 14+14. So stuff older than 1991). Or are they downloading the latest Avengers movie?

wmorgan said 3 days ago:

That's a timely question with the holidays coming up. A lot of people will be wanting to watch movies from the 1940's and 50's. Many of them don't realize those works are still under copyright.

It's not just hypothetical. In our family we subscribe to 3 or 4 streaming services, but last year we still had to pay $5 to watch It's a Wonderful Life (1946), a movie that was literally in the public domain for 20 years. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) wasn't available at any price, except with ads that stretched its 25-minute runtime to nearly an hour. We pirated that one. I don't think most people would think there was anything wrong with that.

tptacek said 3 days ago:

You think an ordinary person's expectation is that It's A Wonderful Life is public domain? I think the opposite thing is true, and that most Americans generally assume that any major motion picture or television show is copyrighted no matter when it was produced.

wmorgan said 3 days ago:

Why not? Lots of ordinary people were watching it in 1980's, when it actually was in the public domain. I don't think they realize it gets the same level of legal protection as new releases.

My point is there's plenty of good content people want that's 30-70 years old & they don't feel bad about pirating it. My dad by his principles would never download a new movie; nevertheless he's looking up the songs from his childhood on YouTube. He feels entitled to listen to them whenever and however he wants. I think that's a pretty common attitude toward the older stuff.

pcwalton said 3 days ago:

> I think the opposite thing is true, and that most Americans generally assume that any major motion picture or television show is copyrighted no matter when it was produced.

You're probably right for everything produced since the second World War, but I doubt people think that e.g. Triumph of the Will is under copyright. I think people have a vague notion of "historical" vs. "contemporary" that starts right around the end of WWII.

ImprovedSilence said 3 days ago:

Nobody downloads anything anymore, this isn’t 2006. They stream it for free using someone else’s pw, or some sketchy site. OR, bob pays for Netflix, Alice pays for Hulu, and they share with eachother. THAT is the actual use case these companies are complaining about, as if Bob and Alice would buy both accounts themselves. Likey not gonna happen, but some executive calculation says they are losing money in this deal.

joshstrange said 3 days ago:

As much as corporate America likes to whine, bitch, and moan about piracy I'm willing to bet no engineer has LEGITIMATELY lost their job due to too much of the content on the service they support being pirated. Stop painting this as if people who pirate/account-share are reaching into the "poor" engineer's pockets, it's disingenuous and simply untrue. This is the rich wanting to get richer and trying to create a false dichotomy of either "Steal content" or "Pay for content" is an effective way to do it, too bad it's not based in reality/truth when there is a 3rd option "Don't watch it".

me_me_me said 3 days ago:

But think of the poor, malnourished engineered! The execs are going to trickle down the money to them only if you pay for merely 10 subscriptions.

zelly said 3 days ago:

It's not stealing because it's not zero-sum. Nothing is exfiltrated from anyone else's possession. It would be another thing if people were abusing a hack on Netflix directly, impersonating strangers' accounts, using customer service, and increasing their CDN bill. No money is being lost with piracy, only potential money. And not all lost potential money is the same. A coffee shop loses potential money if you barricade the entry, but that's very obviously ethically worse than using the coffee shop's recipe at home 2 cities away and maaybe losing them potential money. Someone losing potential money does not always mean theft occurred. Doubly so for potential money from rent-seeking.

iovrthoughtthis said 3 days ago:

A key property of theft and stealing is "permanently depriving" another of something. If someone downloads a binary representation of some information, the downloaded bits have been exactly duplicated many times (barring errors). When one consumes or views that copy of the information no other individual is deprived of anything as a direct result.

I'm actually a fan of the notion of copyright, trademarks and intellectual property in a sense but not to power it currently holds. Infringement on your sole or licensed right to copy is not as significant an issue as permanently depriving someone of something.

You might argue that someone who copies another's information is depriving them of money that would have been paid for that information. This is flawed though as you would need to be able to prove that the infringer of the copyright would have paid for the information in the first place.

alexfromapex said 3 days ago:

Corporate America has been stealing from us for decades, especially Comcast/Charter.

criley2 said 3 days ago:

I forgot that two wrongs make a right, my bad.

alexfromapex said 3 days ago:

What they’re doing isn’t just a “wrong” it’s horrible. These are the people lobbying Congress to ruin the country for their personal gain. Their business model has always been “you have no choice” because it’s either choose them or AT&T which is equally bad so Americans can’t vote with their wallets to get rid of them. They are the ones paying Ajit Pai to ruin net neutrality. They are not just wrong they are pure evil.

DataWorker said 3 days ago:

You don’t care when huge mega corps steal from your people, but you seem outraged that people might do things like share a video with a friend or spouse. What’s wrong with you?

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

> If the economics of a service don't make sense to you, then do not subscribe.

That’s exactly what I’m doing. What does it matter exactly if I pirate or not? The money would not reach “engineers” and “artists” either way.

javagram said 3 days ago:

If you weren’t pirating, you’d have to find some other way to spend your time. Presumably you find watching pirated content superior to the free, legal alternatives (e.g. DVDs from the library) available or you wouldn’t be doing it.

If piracy wasn’t available , you might find yourself paying for some content even if not everything you pirate.

cvhashim said 3 days ago:

Not sure why you're been downvoted. But agreed.

blondin said 3 days ago:

> Especially on this board.

you are probably talking about paywalls. my 2 cents is that all that pay-to-read content is somehow going against what the internet stood for: a network where information could be freely shared. this will always find some resistance.

what about having a separate network where they can take all their pay-to-read blogging platforms, newspapers & magazines, etc?

the other thing is that it's impossible to pay for all these digital services. and more and more are being created. something is wrong with that model and it won't last long.

tsukurimashou said 3 days ago:

making a copy of something is not the same as stealing

RmDen said 3 days ago:

How about copying a $100 bill?

croon said 3 days ago:

That's forgery, or fraud. So also not stealing.

mikestew said 3 days ago:

There's nothing wrong with copying a $100 bill. It's when you try to exchange it for goods that have value that it becomes an issue.

Merrill said 3 days ago:

>Making photocopies of paper currency of the United States violates another section of the code, Title 18, Section 474 of the U.S. Code. Also forbidden under the statute: printed reproductions of checks, bonds, postage stamps, revenue stamps and securities of the United States and foreign governments. Those who violate this law can be fined up to $5,000 and/or be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

https://legalbeagle.com/7612138-illegal-copy-currency.html

xfer said 3 days ago:

By your logic wouldn't you say that the content providers are doing the same thing?

criley2 said 3 days ago:

The only people who can copy a $100 bill have "the license" to do so.

The only people who can copy a show to show it to you have "the license" to do so.

When you disregard the license put in play to govern the content, you're stealing from the people who protect their property with licenses.

Even in the open source world, respecting the terms of a license is important.

SketchySeaBeast said 3 days ago:

You're right - it's not stealing, but it's not right either. Do you think there should be no intellectual rights? Are you OK with everyone copying whatever side-project revenue stream you may have without paying you?

henrikschroder said 3 days ago:

That's not the point. The point is that copyright infringement is a very well-defined crime, and the activities we are talking about here are copyright infringement.

It's not theft. It's not fraud. It's not vandalism.

And yet, people in these discussion use those wrong terms to describe the activity. But the only reason they do that, is because they want to attach the greater stigma of those crimes, onto the less stigmatized crime of copyright infringement.

And that's a dishonest argument.

criddell said 3 days ago:

You're right, of course. But this isn't a court of law and so we use terms like piracy and theft when we are talking about copyright infringement and nobody is really confused.

criley2 said 3 days ago:

Yes it is. You can pedantically argue the American legal systems definition of stealing means that you have to charge thieves using different laws depending on what was stolen, but this is an unintellectual argument hiding behind legalese to abuse colloquial words.

It still baffles me that people try to justify their objectively immoral theft of someone else's hard work and their right to profit on that work as they see fit with pedantry like this.

GoblinSlayer said 3 days ago:

Business is inherently competitive, you can't ask others to be nice, capitalism simply doesn't work that way.

SilasX said 3 days ago:

>Boo hoo. All these companies thinking they can split all their content up and get people to pay for every single service are in for a (totally expected) surprise.

But people complained just as loud when cable TV "made them pay for everything even though they only watch three channels".

papln said 3 days ago:

All people want is everything for a tiny price. They are morally entitled to that, no?

lovehashbrowns said 3 days ago:

Why are you presenting a straw man and making people seem entitled based on that straw man? That's not at all the issue and has never been. In the channel subscription days, people wanted to be able to select certain channels, like let's say Discovery Channel and History Channel, without having to pay $X base + $Y for the package that has both of those channels. In that case, you're also paying for channels you'll never watch, whereas you want to pay for select channels only. But cable companies never offered that option because they're using bundles to subsidize less popular channels.

Now we're back to the same issue. Previously, Netflix and maybe Hulu were the options. Still sorta bundling, but at least if you like X show and Y show, they might both be on Netflix and you can stay in one subscription. Now with every company making their own subscription, and forcing shows to be exclusive, you're having to subscribe to multiple services just to watch X and Y shows. Same problem as before.

Don't make it seem like people are entitled just because they want simplicity and choice.

wilg said 3 days ago:

It's fine to want those things, but I think the "entitlement" idea comes from people who believe it is okay to have those things without paying for them.

It is analogous (or maybe identical) to stealing something you don't need because you think the price is too high. The appropriate response is not to steal it and also not to buy it.

sjy said 3 days ago:

The entitlement idea comes from the fact that bundling undermines market mechanisms and is sometimes illegal. Consumers are not entitled to free products, but nor are vendors entitled to unlimited discretion in the way they sell their products. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce)

wilg said 3 days ago:

I'd be happy to hear a legal argument about this type of bundling, but the issue I was talking about was what to do when you're faced with a bundle you don't want. I don't think you should steal (or "steal" if you prefer) unless it's a crucial need, like food or shelter.

zamadatix said 3 days ago:

I think there is a world of difference between stealing a bicycle and making a copy of it without paying for the design. The same holds true in content. Taking a blu ray off the shelf is theft, downloading the movie via torrent is software piracy.

Personally I have 4 streaming subscriptions but I watch none of them, I pirate it all anyways. Nobody is at a great loss because I didn't walk over to my TV to watch Netflix in 4k. Netflix is actually saving money by having me torrent it to watch in 4k on my PC. There are extremely large groups of people that feel "entitled" to a usable product in this sense, whether it be on the go watching, quality on their devices, the rampant "bundling" issues getting worse with fragmentation, or other reasons.

People don't feel entitled to content for free it's just becoming harder to pay for it via streaming the same as it was after a while on cable. Either way people aren't stealing content, at worst a fraction of the people copying it aren't paying when they would have otherwise.

bscphil said 3 days ago:

This is genuinely a great comment. I'd never thought about this issue in this way before, and I don't think most other people have either. It seems to be commonly accepted that streaming services are a move in the direction of pay-for-what-you-what anti-fragmentation.

As you've pointed out, it's just a different form of fragmentation. Streaming services aren't like channels that you can pick and choose from (they're much bigger and more expensive than individual channels), they're effectively "packages" that include a couple channels / shows you want, and a ton you don't.

It's as if people back in the day were saying about cable packages "you can pick and choose the ones you want, it's totally up to you, there's no fragmentation!"

ghaff said 3 days ago:

I thought everyone wanted content to be split up when it was bundled as a cable package.

danaris said 3 days ago:

I think there's a significant difference between content packaged as "channels" and content packaged as individual shows. It's the difference between knowing that your Netflix subscription comes with* 10,000 different shows, and you will probably only ever care about 1000 or so, and knowing that your cable subscription comes with 250 channels, and you will probably only ever care about 20, and definitely never care about 100 of them.

It's also the difference between the, what, $20/month? that Netflix subscription costs and the $80/month or whatever that the TV portion of a cable subscription costs nowadays.

* No actual numbers were harmed in the making of this post. All numbers presented are purely imaginary.

ghaff said 3 days ago:

>It's also the difference between the, what, $20/month? that Netflix subscription costs and the $80/month or whatever that the TV portion of a cable subscription costs nowadays.

Those numbers seem pretty close. I think the cost bit is probably the big thing. Yes, it's a bit annoying when I spend 10 minutes trying to find a show on Amazon which is, in fact, on Netflix.

But the main thing is that a lot of people have cut their $80-$100/month cable cord and their new normal is maybe a couple of [possibly shared] subscriptions plus maybe Prime--not their prior $100 monthly content bill.

magashna said 3 days ago:

Netflix showed how much content you could get for a cheap cost relative to cable. Now everyone company wants to charge the same for their meager library.

basch said 3 days ago:

Netflix pricing was always temporary. Content owners werent ready to destroy their old business models, they temporarily rented licensing rights to Netflix while they figured out how they were going to handle shifts in consumption.

It's almost the same thing as Uber prices being VC subsidized. And now Disney is following the same playbook, sell Disney+ at or below cost for a while until they can inflate MAU enough that people just accept the subscription as a cost of life.

Theres also a bit of Rose Colored glasses going on here, Netflix catalog was pretty bad in the beginning, and people are misremembering it as better than it was. Netflix only exists at all because they could get their DVD business off the ground without paying per view licensing fees.

>charge the same for their meager library

We are also talking about a generation who is saying "I wont pay $7-$15 four times, thats too expensive" but while growing up, who's parents were paying $150/m to Comcast or DirecTV.

moate said 3 days ago:

>>We are also talking about a generation who is saying "I wont pay $7-$15 four times, thats too expensive" but while growing up, who's parents were paying $150/m to Comcast or DirecTV.

Yea I'm part of the group of millenials killing everything. Here's my honest to god thoughts: I don't care if piracy is killing the industry, or if these people aren't able to keep operating. Let the whole thing burn to the ground. We'll figure it out. It would be painful (the jobs! The lives disrupted! The profits!!!) and I'm aware of that. I just don't care.

The industry has opened Pandora's box. And I'm not going to feel bad when Disney or Verizon or whatever megacorp the other 5% of the industry those two don't has their business disrupted. The entertainment industry has gotten gross and stagnant and continues to progress towards a monopoly.

This current era is going to shift, and likely very fast. There's too many services, and piracy is still an easy option. You can slow roll price increases, but only so far and only if there's a very small (2-5?) number of services people feel they're getting value from.

basch said 3 days ago:

No comment on responsibility or culpability. But, "I want everything for $9 that used to cost $99" is an unreasonable expectation. People paying for cable and satellite are paying way more than the cost of even 5 of these unbundled services. And pay for tv still has commercials. These direct from content producer unbundled apps are still significantly cheaper than the old world. People's expectation of what content should cost seems to be shaped by "I want everything cable does but for the price of netflix." Thats not a delivery volume or price point that ever existed, anywhere.

sjy said 3 days ago:

“I want everything for $9 that used to cost $99” is perfectly reasonable in markets where technology has dramatically lowered costs. It’s certainly what I expect when buying computer hardware, but it should also apply to the market for distributing films that have already been made. If the service you want is the ability to watch one movie a week from a huge catalogue, streaming technology has brought the cost of delivering the service way down, but the cost to the consumer has gone up compared to DVD rental!

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Is it really? The amount of people willing (and able) to pay today 10-20 is likely ten times the people who paid 100-200 in previous generation. You see the same in gaming and film, where you have many many more consumers today than you had 30 years ago, and still they complain about “piracy is killing industry”, while their profits are through the roof.

fyfy18 said 3 days ago:

It's also worth mentioning that these services are very big outside the US. Premium (cable) TV was never such a big thing in other countries, and those where it was somewhat popular never charged as much as the US.

s1artibartfast said 3 days ago:

I can understand but disagree with folks who don't believe in creative rights, but don't really understand your argument.

If the entertainment industry has gotten gross and stagnant, it seems like the solution is to not consume it, not pirate it.

This just seems like a thin excuse to steal.

moate said 11 hours ago:

You say "tomato" I say "eat the rich".

Again: I get it's not the best look. I strongly support artists rights and the need for creatives to make money off their labor. However, the system sucks, and doesn't actually benefit the creatives anyway. Maybe creative/artist jobs shouldn't be "jobs" anymore, and people MBI or something needs to step in. Maybe the public need to subsidize the arts through state sponsored programs.

IDK what the answer is. But I know it isn't "more streaming services with no ability to share passwords".

ghaff said 3 days ago:

I see (heh) the rose-colored glasses with Netflix a lot. Their streaming catalog for licensed content, especially movies, was always pretty sucky. People may remember specific things they used to have that they don't now, but it was always hard to find specific shows and, especially, films if you went searching for them.

I remember mentioning this to a senior Netflix tech guy at the time and his response was basically that people come for the movies and stay for the TV. (This was a bit before the real explosion in premium TV content.)

megablast said 3 days ago:

> Content owners werent ready to destroy their old business models, they temporarily rented licensing rights to Netflix while they figured out how they were going to handle shifts in consumption.

No, they saw a new revenue stream, and jumped on it. Then they saw where things were heading, and they would have less control if Netflix took over, so they all pulled back and started up their own streaming services.

jimbokun said 3 days ago:

You are saying the same thing.

LeoNatan25 said 3 days ago:

Cat’s out of the bag now. How many people will be willing to go to the old model or old prices? I certainly my won’t be.

mrkstu said 3 days ago:

If they all follow Disney's pricing model, that would work, but everyone wants too big a slice of the pie.

bryanlarsen said 3 days ago:

Disney has admitted that they will lose money at their current price level. Which implies strongly that they'll be increasing prices substantially in the future.

megablast said 3 days ago:

They admitted they will lose money for the first few years, not forever. Like almost every single product. Do you think the iPhone or Xbox made a profit in the first few years, when you count the money spent on research and factories?

yodon said 3 days ago:

Disney has lots of ways to monetize. A slight increase in the odds your family books a Disney Cruise is a significant real monetization channel that doesn't show up in subscription pricing. Matthew Ball has a good analysis of these models[0].

[0]https://redef.com/original/nine-reasons-why-disney-will-succ...

kevin_thibedeau said 3 days ago:

How do you lose money on content you already own? This is just Hollywood accounting in effect.

arthens said 2 days ago:

Disney is currently making bank by licensing their catalogue to various streaming/cable services. This stream of revenue will dry up as they take back their IP. It might take them a long time to have enough users on Disney+ to cover the lost licensing revenue.

Netflix has ~150M paying subscriptions. Let's say that $0.20 of your Netflix subscription go to Disney (you can adjust it to whatever you think it might be). That's 30M a month. At $10/m, Disney+ would need 3 million users just to break even with what they used to make from Netflix.

How many active users (or what price point) will Disney need to justify the investment?

https://redef.com/original/nine-reasons-why-disney-will-succ... Towards the end of the article it talks about the challenges they will face.

TulliusCicero said 3 days ago:

There's a cost to providing the service in terms terms of bandwidth, servers, and development staff.

There's also a cost to the new, original content they're putting on there, like the Mandalorian.

ghaff said 3 days ago:

I'm not sure I buy that. It depends on both the cable TV/satellite bundle and bundles with cable TV and other services like Internet, but $100/month is probably a pretty reasonable ballpark for the cost of a traditional channel bundle. It's pretty easy to undercut that with streaming subscriptions including something like YouTube TV.

rayiner said 3 days ago:

Why do you feel entitled to get the product of other peoples work for free?

me_me_me said 3 days ago:

The moment I needed a bloody table with different companies/packages/subscription in order to figure-out how to watch that show I heard from a friend, I just go to a place where i can get it right now and watch it with my food still warm.

Its not customer's fault that the only option for that is now piracy. You want my business earn it, I've yet to see people jumping hurdles and run 10km to get McD burger. Then moment McD does it they are out of business.

harryh said 3 days ago:

I remember 10 years ago that the answer to rayiner's question was always "I don't want to pay a ton of money for a whole bundle of crap I don't want when all I want to watch is one specific thing." I saw it all the time.

Now people complain about the complexities of unbundling.

It's fairly clear to me that these complaints, while real, aren't the core issue which is: people would rather get content for free than pay for it. So a lot of the time they will.

The rhetoric about bundling vs unbundling is just the justification.

Thriptic said 3 days ago:

> It's fairly clear to me that these complaints, while real, aren't the core issue which is: people would rather get content for free than pay for it. So a lot of the time they will.

That's not a fair framing. It's not that people want everything for free, it's that they aren't willing to pay an arm and a leg to get everything. I'm happy to pay for 2-3 networks (and do) for 30-50 or so a month but in return I want EVERYTHING meaning live sports and all the shows with no region blocking. I am not willing to pay 150 per month for that and I am not willing to pay 50 for a small subset of content which comes and goes. Sorry, the product was overpriced as a bundle and is still overpriced as an a la carte offering. I don't currently torrent but I understand why other people do as the current setup is highly irritating. You can say I'm being unreasonable and maybe I am, but it is how I feel.

harryh said 3 days ago:

"I want something for cheaper than you are willing to sell it to me so therefore I will steal it" is....not a great answer.

We don't accept that answer for other products.

Thriptic said 3 days ago:

In my comment I explicitly note that I am not stealing content and am in fact probably paying for more content than most users. I am expressing my annoyance at the current business model, not advocating or admitting to piracy.

megablast said 3 days ago:

> I remember 10 years ago that the answer to rayiner's question was always "I don't want to pay a ton of money for a whole bundle of crap I don't want when all I want to watch is one specific thing." I saw it all the time.

> Now people complain about the complexities of unbundling.

Why do you treat people like they are one amorphous blob? People want different things. There will always be people unhappy with the way things are. Are you trying to discount their complaints?

me_me_me said 3 days ago:

There will be people who cannot afford entertainment and will pirate no matter what. That a red hearing and it doesn't matter.

I don't care about bundles/deal/special arrangement all I care about is convenience. Netflix used to be more convenient to watch quality series and I was using it exclusively.

I paid fair price for convenience. Starting show where you left of skipping intros etc, all of those things made me pick netfilx over torrents.

But now the scales are tipping other way as EVERYONE wants a piece of pie, making exclusive deals with a single platform (plus amount of crappy show on netfilx making it time consuming to find new stuff to watch there, and their terrible recommendation algorithm, if you can call it an algorithm).

I still use netflix, but I can see myself dropping it in the future and stick to one place that have all.

ryandrake said 3 days ago:

So far no solution besides “pirating” has met this one simple requirement:

“On-demand access to any movie or TV show I can think of that has ever been digitized, from one service.”

That’s it. If you can provide that, take my money. In the, say 20 years since broadband existed, literally no legit company has offered this yet, for any price.

shantly said 3 days ago:

> That’s it. If you can provide that, take my money. In the, say 20 years since broadband existed, literally no legit company has offered this yet, for any price.

That's because they insist on (and we permit) keeping control of both licensing and distribution. If content companies couldn't distribute themselves, or make exclusive deals for distribution, and just had to say "here's the price sheet, anyone who wants our stuff and can pay our rates can distribute it" there'd probably be such a pay-one-bill-and-watch-anything service—but it'd own no content itself. There'd also probably be a few cheaper ones licensing a wide variety of cheaper content—a single, cheapish streaming service with damn near every B-movie and failed or obscure TV show ever made, as an example. The services would have to compete on price and UX, not primarily by which content they can prevent other services from accessing—so, better for the viewer than the current situation.

Given that entertainment media aren't like other goods (you can't just go find someone else to make you a satisfactory replacement for Casablanca, say) and we grant legal monopolies on copyright, it seems anti-consumer and anti-competitive to allow same entities to also own & control distribution.

Infernal said 3 days ago:

I find it interesting that Spotify, Apple, Pandora and others can do this for (95%+ of) music, but no one can do it for movies or TV.

selectodude said 3 days ago:

People listen to the same songs a couple dozen times. Maybe more. They watch the same show once, maybe twice. So the opportunity to monetize is far lower and the cost to produce is far higher. It never takes $1m to make a song, now we have television shows with million dollar per episode production budgets.

lazerpants said 3 days ago:

Amazon on demand (yes you have to pay for all content) is pretty damn close to this.

papln said 3 days ago:

Maybe it's not such a "simple" requirement.

bena said 3 days ago:

I think people aren't articulating what they want.

People hate the cable companies because you're paying high prices for a bunch of bullshit.

People hate the plethora of streaming services because now they have to pay 50 different places. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, etc.

What people want to do is choose what "channels" or shows they want and pay one entity.

Basically Amazon Prime's model of adding on CBS All Access or HBO Go (Now? Max?) to the base. But Amazon's UI is probably the worst.

megablast said 3 days ago:

> People hate the cable companies because you're paying high prices for a bunch of bullshit.

People also love cable companies because of all the content, always have and always will. That is why they pay them billions a year. I am not sure what your point is?

bena said 3 days ago:

Yes, but the guy I responded to was mentioning the common complaint against cable. That you were paying for all the stuff you didn't want to get the things you want.

So I don't see your point. Yes, cable has a lot of stuff. But not everyone wants all of it.

That's the issue. No one wants to feel as if they're paying for stuff they aren't using.

x86_64Ubuntu said 3 days ago:

The issue is that we are headed back to the "unnecessary package but I want that one thing" territory. In the olden days, there were only a few streaming services (legit ones). Now they are all splitting out with rights being given and revoked on dates that appear arbitrary to the consumer.

lidHanteyk said 3 days ago:

No, I'm gonna use the same answer that I'd have used 10 years ago: The cable-company upper management isn't entitled either. They appropriate the art from the artists and call it "fair compensation", but it isn't.

Keep in mind that these are the same cable companies that charge for basic broadcast channels, too. There's charging for stuff that people might not watch, and then there's charging for stuff that is freely available in the air for anybody to tune into.

harryh said 3 days ago:

Over the air broadcast signals don't work in a lot of places so you need to send the bits over a cable. Putting that cable in the ground and sticking the right equipment on the end costs money. That's a totally reasonable thing to pay for even if the bits are free.

eximius said 3 days ago:

Eh, it's price + complexity.

People don't want to pay full price for 100% of a service's catalog when they only consume 10%.

People don't want to pay the complexity of switching between more than 2-3 services when they only consume 10% of each catalog.

Both of those are true.

People want ONE portal where they pay a 'fair'[1] price.

I want one service (low complexity) that has all the content I want and charges me fairly (low(er) price due to lack of absurd bundles).

[1] - fair is nebulous. People don't always like a la cart pricing, but they also don't want bundles of things they don't want.

arthens said 2 days ago:

I think you might be underestimating how much the market has changed.

The group of people who used to complain about bundling, is largely not the same as the people who are now complaining about unbundling.

What happening is basically reverse price anchoring. Most young people have never paid for cable, and their idea how much this service is worth is based on the price of Netflix.

I'm one of them. I'm already not sure if I get enough out of my Netflix subscription, paying for 2+ subscriptions would be unthinkable for me right now. I couldn't care less that people used to pay $160+ so even with 5-6 subscriptions I would still be better off than cable. It just doesn't match my idea of how much this content is worth.

I think it will take the industry a long time to significantly raise how much people think these services are worth. I can't see it getting it back to a similar price point as it was in the past.

dublinben said 3 days ago:

I've yet to see a single studio offer to sell me a DRM-free copy of a movie or TV show, at any price. Until they do, their offering is strictly worse than what 'piracy' is offering.

magashna said 3 days ago:

It's also because every company wants their walled garden à la Apple. It's unbundled, but still bundled. Sell a movie or a season of episodes for $1-5 and no one will be able to complain about this anymore.

WarDores said 3 days ago:

Sell the movie AND give me download options that don't amount to just a license you can revoke at any time, and then we're talking.

taurath said 3 days ago:

> The moment I needed a bloody table with different companies/packages/subscription in order to figure-out how to watch that show I heard from a friend, I just go to a place where i can get it right now and watch it with my food still warm.

I mean... before the internet, there was the TV-Guide. If you google a show there's plenty of services that will show you where it streams. Content has gotten easier to access (with a few exceptions) compared to cable, especially with the transition from linear to VOD. People just got used to Netflix, where 30% of the content that exists out there looked like "everything" because it was the only streaming game in town. The new services are putting out a ton more content and making them more accessible.

The pirates were definitely right about one thing - $30 for 1 season of a show on DVD or through iTunes is highway robbery. I don't consider the outcome to be in any way worse though. Finding where to get the content isn't the problem.

megablast said 3 days ago:

> The moment I needed a bloody table with different companies/packages/subscription in order to figure-out how to watch that show I heard from a friend, I just go to a place where i can get it right now and watch it with my food still warm.

Not true, there are many ways to search multiple companies offerings. Apple has one, Roku have one on their devices. Others do too I am sure.

papln said 3 days ago:

Are you entitled to get anything not sold on Amazon for free, because it's inconvenient ot go to more than one store?

Can I dine and dash from Ruth Chris Steakhouse becuse they charge more than McDonald's? Can I at least grab the broccoli for free since McDonald's doesn't offer that?

NoodleIncident said 3 days ago:

Doesn't it get exhausting to constantly make the same false equivalence for 15 years with slightly different physical products?

s1artibartfast said 3 days ago:

If people don't believe in digital copyrights, why don't they just say that instead of going on about pricing and bundles.

tracker1 said 3 days ago:

Who says we want it free... There's only so many $8-15 services you can get before it's just too painful to use.

I have Hulu+live, Prime, Netflix mainly. I've tried CBS all access and DCU. The later two are the same company.

CBS is a pain in a few ways and not worth it in others. Most of it is on Hulu live TV. The fact that DCU is missing so much content it isn't worth it either.

Disney+ is in for a shock too. Unless they have all of their back catalog and their new content is really compelling, I probably won't choose it over Netflix.

In the end, I'm left feeling like CBS is trying to sell be several of what should be a single service. And the rest are getting to be too split.

Netflix was the first good option... Hulu was the media industry's response. That was plenty. HBO and others wanted in, and now it's just too segmented.

As for comments in not wanting bundles. If the pricing were competitive and you could as a la carte in the interface of your choice, sure. Even then, offer bundle options.

As it is, having content strewn across a dozen apps, and finding a media device that supports then is downright painful in practice.

My advice to Disney is to also offer their content as a Hulu and Prime addon like HBO and Starz.

Hulu and Prime aren't going anywhere, but the rest, I'd rather just pirate at this point.

basch said 3 days ago:

DCU is ATT WarnerMedia.

CBSViacom owns Philo and Pluto. Strategically, as CBS and Viacom merge, I see CBS All Access, Philo, Pluto, Paramount, Nickelodeon merging into a family of more related apps, similar to Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+. But itll be a bit for that ship to right its course, Viacom Consumer Products and CBS Interactive wont merge efforts overnight.

tracker1 said 3 days ago:

Sorry thought CBS and WB were related, since CW is CBS+Warner...

toomuchtodo said 3 days ago:

It’s easy to shirk copyright law without moral consideration when it’s become so draconian against citizens.

Is denying a faceless corporation profit from finding some bits elsewhere theft? It seems the public consensus is no. This is the digital content market seeking equilibrium. Competing against free is hard, but possible! Don’t whine as a CEO that your job is hard, it’s supposed to be hard.

rayiner said 3 days ago:

I feel like that’s a cop-out. I agree that draconian criminal enforcement of what is a civil tort is unwarranted. But do people really see it as a form of civil disobedience, or do they just feel entitled to stuff for free? And if it’s civil disobedience, why not do it in a principled way? Download and share but don’t watch it.

I’d liken it more to the looting and vandalism in response to police brutality. More opportunism than civil disobedience.

toomuchtodo said 3 days ago:

I think comparing it to looting and vandalism is a bit hyperbole. It’s closer to copying a book at the library and taking the copy home. No one is deprived of an object or the content when duplicated, they only miss out on whatever revenue they were attempting to capture.

rayiner said 3 days ago:

I dislike the book analogy because it puts on the cloak of “sharing learning.” The kinda of things people are pirating are consumer goods—created solely for the purpose of being sold for entertainment. It’s stealing candy, not stealing bread.

toomuchtodo said 3 days ago:

Let's split the difference. It'd be like parking outside the drive-in theater and watching the movie from the top of your car without having bought a ticket. Still not good, but of limited harm caused.

rayiner said 3 days ago:

Sure. I don’t think that should result in a SWAT team, but should people feel entitled to do it?

toomuchtodo said 3 days ago:

Humans are tricky creatures.

papln said 3 days ago:

It's OK if I steal a copy because someone else is willing to pay for it.

Ask Immanuel Kant how he feels about that.

vijayr02 said 2 days ago:

Sincerely, I can't

Marsymars said 3 days ago:

It's a bit of a convoluted analogy, but if you want to extend it to cars, it's like stealing a car off the end of the assembly line, and leaving behind a briefcase full of cash to cover the marginal cost of production.

tracker1 said 3 days ago:

Even then, imagine not being able to buy any given book at a few different stores. I can get just about any of them on Amazon, B&N and others. Imagine having to go to 6 different stores, with a membership club fee, to check out 6 different books. Vs a single store or library.

rayiner said 3 days ago:

You mean like how I can’t buy a Surface at an Apple Store and vice versa?

tracker1 said 3 days ago:

More like, I can buy an apple or surface at BestBuy, Amazon and a number of other places. Neither is exclusive to where you can only get it at the one place.

givinguflac said 3 days ago:

Now you’re just being silly.

paganel said 3 days ago:

It's not a product, it's a service. A table is a product, a chair is a product, an actor doing his job is a service and has been a service ever since people were filling up the Epidaurus theater ~2,300 years ago.

crikli said 3 days ago:

> “If you ask any cohort of young people if they will ever pay for Netflix or video services, the answer is unequivocally no,” said Mike McCormack, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities.

Good grief what a stupid quote to use as a pretext for tacitly supporting these measures.

When I was “young”, whatever that undefined number means, I swore there were lots of things I’d never pay for. Streaming music services, are a germane example. Then I got older, developed a bit of discretionary income, my time got more valuable, and the services become the best option. The once “no way ever” is now an unthought monthly cost.

chadlavi said 3 days ago:

also -- if a demographic says they don't want to pay for your product, why would you think cutting off their free access to it would change their mind? There's a lot of competition in the streaming video space.

x2f10 said 3 days ago:

Corporate ego. Executives think their media is in-demand and without substitute. Most young people have already replaced traditional media with YouTube & Twitch.

floatingatoll said 3 days ago:

Imagine how all these comments glorifying "let's steal paid content and share it for free because content should be free" must read to a YCombinator founder who is misled into thinking that it's okay to sell content for money.

What is even the point of starting a startup that offers content of any kind if people are going to do everything in their power to rip you off, share your value everyone they know for free, and claim that they have the moral high ground while doing so?

Do those glorifying torrents here also use ad-blockers, to ensure that absolutely no revenue whatsoever reaches a content creator, no matter how much you enjoy that content? Is the goal of revenue starvation here to simply bring an end to content creation altogether?

It's hard to see what other possible outcome exists given the overlap amongst HN readers between "I torrent" and "I adblock". I've never hoped more strongly that y'all are not representative of reality than I have reading these comments today.

nordsieck said 3 days ago:

> Is the goal of revenue starvation here to simply bring an end to content creation altogether?

Most people don't think of the future, only the present.

Most people only think of themselves, not others.

People aren't trying to hurt creators or prevent new film from being made, they're just trying to watch the awesome stuff their friends are talking about for free.

BLKNSLVR said 3 days ago:

"Blocking ads and Torrenting" shouldn't be conflated, in the same way that "Torrenting and Containers" shouldn't be conflated, into a single argument. HN is a technical crowd and that's really the only connector between the two things you've mentioned; the technical knowledge of how to actually do it.

I adblock because of the cesspool digital advertising has become, and my conscience is clear in this decision.

Those who don't block ads probably would if it was easy. Ability is the barrier to entry that must be cleared in order to earn the 'reward' of a safer, less intrusive, less privacy-invading, bandwidth-wasting, and potentially harmful Internet browsing experience - which is a sad indictment on the current state of the Internet.

Ad-blocking isn't illegal; isn't intellectual property theft, which is another reason it shouldn't be mixed up with the discussion of torrenting.

Torrenting of copyrighted content is a different beast. There's, of course, the technical ability barrier to entry, but there's also the knowledge that it IS illegal and it is intellectual property infringement, and there's a specific value of the item to purchase legitimately. Where it gets all kinds of blurry is pretty much all ideological arguments that surround 'the products of creativity':

  Who the money actually goes to
  Availability / Geo-fencing
  Restrictions of format
  Restrictions of devices
  Restrictions of platforms
  The concept of 'ownership' versus 'licensing'
  The cost vs. value of the item
  The history of the Hollywood's inception
  Payola
  Cultural participation
  Terms of copyright
  Open source complications (related to devices and platforms)
Each of the above points could have a thesis written about them, and each and every consumer has individually varying levels of emotional response to each of them. None of that, however, changes the fact that it's illegal (copyright infringement) to download the 'product' without paying for it. But, for those whose emotional response to the arguments is extreme enough, and has cleared the barrier to entry, has the opportunity to feel that they're squaring the ledger to some extent, and therefore feel justified in their actions.

It's not a black and white argument by any means whatsoever.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

iTunes sells DRM-free music. They seem to be doing just fine. Trying to keep 100% control over distribution is not at all necessary to make a profit.

stevenjohns said 3 days ago:

I'm happy to pay for everything insofar that my rights are respected and the prices are fair. Which is what I do now. I pay for Spotify - the family plan - for my entire family. It's extremely well priced and I'm happy to pay for it indefinitely. My Netflix account is shared with a friend in a different state. It costs twice as much as what it was five years ago and the library is a lot worse. But it's acceptable... as it stands.

The reason why we accepted Netflix' DRM model is because they started off with "we encourage you to share your account!" which everyone jumped on. Now that we have all the b/s associated with digital content, they're pulling back. Which is okay... because we can pull back too.

A good example is when HBO decided to partner-up in an exclusive deal with a horrible price-gouging cable media provider, many Australians decided to pirate Game of Thrones instead. I don't know of a single person who paid for it. I know of professional suit-wearing offices that hosted watch parties for episodes that were pirated. And everyone knew... and nobody cared. I think the final numbers were that about 8% of the entire Australian population pirated the show. If only HBO had decided to not screw over an entire country then perhaps they would have made a lot more money.

The issue is that they will never have their fill. They will always be hungry, and if Netflix could charge you 10% of your annual income and get away with it, then they will. And a great example of this is with college textbooks.

I don't think I'm entitled to media, but I don't think the creators are entitled to my dollars either for digital content. I just don't care about content creators in this regard. This might come across as terrible, but I couldn't care less if it leads to their bankruptcy. If they want to produce something at a reasonable price, then great. If they won't, then it won't be paid for. That's the playing field they're choosing to enter. If they don't like it, they are free to exit.

There's no morality in it either way -- paying for content doesn't make a person any more or less immoral than someone who doesn't.

Adblocking is in a similar boat, insofar that if you think that stripping me of any privacy without my consent is okay, then you're going to be quickly disappointed with how well my pi-hole setup works.

I'd encourage you to take a step back and look at it as if you're dealing with software patents, cause that's all copyright law for digital media really is. And choosing to have a patent called "PROVIDING AN INTERNET THIRD PARTY DATA CHANNEL"[0] doesn't mean people are immoral if they don't pay. It also doesn't mean they're moral if they do.

[0] https://blog.cloudflare.com/the-project-jengo-saga-how-cloud...

russdpale said 3 days ago:

If you product doesn't make money because of piracy, then perhaps your product sucks. GoT was the most pirated show ever, and also the most popular show ever. Piracy isn't that big of a deal if you make a good product, it actually helps.

briandear said 3 days ago:

So people are pirating out of altruism or because they want to steal content. You didn’t pay for the right to the content — it isn’t yours. It’s stealing no matter how you justify it. The creator and financer of the content isn’t getting paid when you steal. And GoT was popular which is why it was pirated, not the other way around.

sp332 said 3 days ago:

"Our experience is, it all leads to more penetration, more paying subs, more health for HBO, less reliance on having to do paid advertising… If you go around the world, I think you’re right, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Well, you know, that’s better than an Emmy." - Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/04/15/game-of-t...

Multiple studies in various countries have shown that pirates tend to spend much more on content than non-pirates. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/evkmz7/study-again-shows-...

floatingatoll said 3 days ago:

Would Netflix users pay an extra $5/user/month to give valid legal credentials to their friends? Your reasoning, that pirates pay extra versus non-pirates, implies yes - but upthread given the attempt to justify pirating one or another service based on cost of service and value perceived for that cost, I seem correct to think otherwise.

I would buy a Netflix sub for a year for someone with a gift card before I would share my credentials, because I want Netflix to continue existing, and if everyone gave away credentials instead of buying gift subs, that’s much less likely to happen.

(ps. “Sharing Netflix credentials isn’t pirating”: Incorrect. It’s not torrenting. Historical usage of “pirating” as in “pirating cable TV pay channels through splices and illegal decoders” had nothing to do with recording it and sharing recordings. I see no case made that Netflix credentials sharing is any different than buying an illegal Showtime decoder box, nor its impact on revenue.)

sp332 said 10 hours ago:

It's definitely getting into a gray area. If I own a DVD, I can loan it to a friend legally. I can also invite a bunch of friends over and show it to them. I can even make a copy for my own use, like a backup or format-shifting. Sharing credentials doesn't violate copyright as far as I can tell, it's just a ToS thing.

jumelles said 3 days ago:

Copyright infringement isn't theft. All of the creators have already been paid. Arguing that piracy will "bring an end to content creation altogether" is pure hyperbole.

usrusr said 3 days ago:

Tolerating a small group of users on a single account is a soft power to keep subscription hopping in check. Rotating subscriptions is so much easier when you don't have to create consensus amongst loved ones. It's a magic brand loyalty machine.

tonyjstark said 3 days ago:

I couldn't agree more. There is always one friend still using the service while you're already saturated and because of that the subscription is kept instead of cancelled. Once cancelled, a service can have a hard time to win a user back.

But it seems the industry does not want to learn: don't make it harder to use your service for the honest users. They're worth it to keep happy!

tracker1 said 3 days ago:

I've cancelled Netflix a couple of times. What actually got me back is the fact that they didn't inundate my inbox like some services and stores do. I mean like one email every couple months. There are some stores I get at least half a dozen a week.

They also didn't pull what XM/Serious do and make it nearly impossible to cancel. 4x 40m phone calls, then all I wanted to do was drop one of 3 radios when I sold a car. After the third call drop after a 40min hold time I cancelled the entire service. If I ever use them again, it will be a disposable single use cc #.

In the end, 2-3 streaming services is all I'm willing to pay for. More than that and if rather pirate just for the usability aspect, let alone the costs.

devicetray0 said 3 days ago:

I guess instead of email, they [Netflix] have been spamming my phone about every new original show they created, usually something I'm not interested in. It got annoying enough one week to actually go turn notifications off.

golover721 said 3 days ago:

These threads are always interesting on HN. I'm not going to pass judgement on folks who think they its ok or not ok to pirate media based on cost or sometimes how difficult it is to obtain "legitimately".

What I do think is interesting is that folks seem to solely place the blame on the large media distributors and seem to place no blame on the content creators. Creators have a huge influence on the industry, from the writers, to directors to the actors etc. Big names in the industry could easily choose to pressure to change things. But they don't, so they are just as much to blame as the distributors themselves.

Sebguer said 3 days ago:

Do you blame individual engineers for the business decisions that their companies make?

golover721 said 2 days ago:

That’s somewhat different. Individual engineers are more analogous to the crew working on a particular production. They for the most part are not in a position to use their authority to sway the production. Unlike say a famous writer, actor or director would be.

dfxm12 said 3 days ago:

“If you ask any cohort of young people if they will ever pay for Netflix or video services, the answer is unequivocally no,” said Mike McCormack, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities.

Ah, yes, "young people" are the problem here. No one born before the 90s has ever stolen cable...

Growing up, tons of families had chipped cable boxes in my neighborhood (including cops & judges). My dad calls me once a week to ask how to stream this or that for free.

What a joke.

koolba said 3 days ago:

> But taking more aggressive measures poses risks. The people using services for free — especially younger consumers — may never agree to sign up for a subscription, no matter how many hassles they endure. That means companies would mostly just be alienating paying customers, who could get frustrated and stop using an app or cancel their service. In other words, there’s plenty of downside and possibly little upside.

They should offer a lowball “add a user” price because Johnny Millenial might get his parents to tack on a few bucks but he’s not going to sign up for the $150+/mo package.

I’m also surprised they haven’t cracked down on the source IP addresses. It’d be trivial to look at the net bandwidth and see that the usage is at a totally different physical address (and not just a mobile phone).

ghaff said 3 days ago:

>I’m also surprised they haven’t cracked down on the source IP addresses. It’d be trivial to look at the net bandwidth and see that the usage is at a totally different physical address (and not just a mobile phone).

I regularly use these services when I'm traveling. If any of them start restricting me to my home IP (which isn't static anyway) or otherwise start making it harder for me to use their service, I'll be dropping them in a hurry. There's a lot of content out there and not really any that I must have.

koolba said 3 days ago:

I’m referring to massive consistent usage from the same IP. Most residential IP addresses are dynamic but remain fixed for weeks or months at a time. It’d be easy to see that the same IP not associated with the actual customer account has streamed every day for the past month.

Hell I bet they could go a step further and identify the exact person as well! There’s so little competition that it’s likely the account holder and sharer are on the same ISP (ex: you both have Comcast). They would know the name and account on the sharer’s source IP and, more importantly, that it’s not the original account owner.

ghaff said 3 days ago:

Yes. I'm sure it's very "easy" and wouldn't end up making mistakes and generating lots of customer support calls and subscription cancelations.

papln said 3 days ago:

As long as they are careful and work their way down from the most egregious offendors, it wouldn't be such a big deal.

They could also do techniques like gentle shaming "Your account has been used from 46 locations in 7 states today. We might start charging for this level of account-sharing in the future"

reaperducer said 3 days ago:

I’m also surprised they haven’t cracked down on the source IP addresses. It’d be trivial to look at the net bandwidth and see that the usage is at a totally different physical address (and not just a mobile phone).

If a steaming company has 70 million customers, how many of those customers move house in a given day? How many change ISP's? How many get new devices? How many take trips?

Suddenly your call center budget doubles and cancellations skyrocket.

tracker1 said 3 days ago:

Well... A family of four with mobile devices and not already at home could see a dozen different IP addresses during a single day. With IP rotation, a few dozen in a month.

Slippery_John said 2 days ago:

Well Netflix does have such plans, which is why this article confuses me. The additional concurrent streams is a huge selling point of the premium plans.

mark_l_watson said 3 days ago:

re checking request IP address block: is this what NetFlix does, they don’t work through VPNs, even when I set VPN server to USA location. I always turn off my VPN before trying to watch Netflix.

ghaff said 3 days ago:

Netflix seems to work through a VPN for me. I sometimes use it when content is geo-restricted.

mark_l_watson said 3 days ago:

Thanks, I will experiment with leaving my VPN on.

purple_ducks said 2 days ago:

I use PIA vpn. netflix blocks that for every region/connection pair i've tried. i just leave it turned off and switch to torrent. netflix europe offerings are generally subpar.

scruple said 3 days ago:

It blocks mine, as well.

AllegedAlec said 3 days ago:

> The pay-TV industry is projected to lose $6.6 billion in revenue from password sharing and piracy this year

Implying that EVERYONE using it 'illegally' would keep watching if they couldn't access it for free.

close04 said 3 days ago:

Yeah, it's the same "logic" as when calculating losses to torrenting by equating the number of pirated copies with the number of lost sales. Of course they ignore the fact that the vast majority of those pirates would never consider paying even if pirating was absolutely impossible.

croon said 3 days ago:

I'll venture a guess that a good portion of those downloaders aren't even watching everything they download to begin with.

I have bought 10s if not 100s of DVDs and Blurays that to this day are still in plastic wrap, as well as books with uncracked spines. I don't think I'm that weird, and that "tsundoku" [0] is likely a thing with downloaders as well.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsundoku

hiccuphippo said 3 days ago:

And gamers with dozens of unplayed games.

me_me_me said 3 days ago:

Hey, hey! I am going to play them when I am in a mood for it.

Thats the reason I put to_finish label on them in my steam catalogue xD

croon said 3 days ago:

Indeed, I have 300 games on Steam, and I've only booted up 60 of them at all.

filmgirlcw said 3 days ago:

Lol. Good luck.

I’m the weirdo millennial who pays for cable and Netflix and Hulu and Criterion Channel and Amazon and Disney+ and Apple TV+ (well, that’s free for the first year) and basically every video service offered, but I still share passwords with people.

Like, my cable provider (who gives me access to HBO, Showtime, Starz, cable and networks on-demand and live stuff) offers me 6 or 7 user accounts. I have one. My husband has one. And then I create logins for my friends.

Like, I firmly believe in paying for content (as evidenced by the fact that I pay hundreds of dollars a month for it), but I’m also not blind to the reality of the current world, which is that people like me are what prop the business up. Plus, I pay Netflix like $18 a month or whatever for 4K and however many simultaneous steams. Netflix shouldn’t care what cities those streams are taking place in — especially since for half the year I’m out of town in a foreign country for half the month.

But what these companies risk, whether they know it or not, is risking making paying for content such a pain in the ass that the few of us keeping this industry afloat will just bail and torrent or use newsgroups or whatever.

I pay because it’s generally easier and is convenient and b/c I want to support creative work. But if it’s hard to use what I pay for and less convenient, I have no problem putting those several hundred dollars a month into seedboxes, adding redundancy to my NAS, and in spinning up VPS’ located around the globe.

techsupporter said 3 days ago:

I do the same thing. I pay for cable TV including HBO--through Comcast, no less--because I want to pay for the content I am watching. However, my friend who lives in Ireland has a subaccount on my cable account and uses a VPN to watch sports. And I run my cable TV through my Plex server to both DVR content and to be able to watch whatever is coming through the coax to my house without being told "you can't stream outside the United States" or whatever.

I will absolutely pay for the content but I have no shame in reformatting it into something that then makes sense for me. I happen to disagree with people who could pay for it and don't, but that's on their conscience and shoulders.

II2II said 3 days ago:

A slightly different perspective:

I have zero interest in copyright infringement for video content. I am okay with streaming and have no desire to archive what I watch. I am okay with the 10 to 15 USD per month subscription model as long as it is easy to subscribe and unsubscribe.

If my claims make it sound like video content is unimportant to me, it is true. Part of the reason why it it not significant in my life is that it is difficult to access. If I have something in particular in mind and have to figure out where it is available, they have probably lost me. If I know where something is available and have to subscribe to a service to access that singular title, they have lost me. Whenever I look for something and discover that it is not available in my region, I have even less incentive to put in the effort in the future. Whenever I look for something that I have already viewed and discover that it is no longer available, the frustration simply grows. Simply put, so much effort has been put into placing barriers to access that have lost interest in even making an attempt to use these services. Given that some people place a higher priority on video content, I can understand why they share passwords or find other means.

What is the solution? In this highly biased to the point of near disinterest opinion: make it easier to legally access content. Exclusive and time limited contracts with service providers may offer short term gains, but they encourage piracy among consumers or even turn off consumers completely.

excalibur said 3 days ago:

> “I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall,” Tom Rutledge, the chief executive officer of Charter Communications Inc., said during an earnings call last month.

I feel like you're screwing your customers, so ain't we both content.

Dobbs said 3 days ago:

For the love of all that is holy let us split our netflix account out! My user is on my brothers account from when we lived together a long time ago. Every year I check to see if there is a way to split the user out. Every year I remain disappointed and continue on using the same account.

daedalus_j said 3 days ago:

Agree. I'm in the same situation. A huge part of the value of Netflix to me is that it remembers what I've watched before, even when I haven't. "Oh hey, new season of that show I liked several years ago? I'll watch that!"

If they bust my best friend and I for sharing an account now that we no longer live together that's fine, but I simply won't re-subscribe unless they can move my profile over.

I think this illustrates a massive flaw in the current streaming wars. The content is only half the value. Remembering which shows you liked and want to see more of, and which shows you've watched and decided you hated, etc, is a huge value in the increasingly large sea of available content. (And recommendations too, if they're good. I subscribe to Spotify almost exclusively for the recommendations it provides and discovery of new things I like.)

SketchySeaBeast said 3 days ago:

Is there some sort of data you require from your user? I guess there's a preferences algorithm you may have cultivated, but that's really it. Unless you really care about having handcrafted the Netflix algorithm, it kind of feels like that's just an excuse.

croon said 3 days ago:

I have the premium Netflix subscription level (4 streams), and Netflix accounts are personal. Obviously I share this with my wife and daughter.

I want to split out my accounts too, for both the above reason, and that I don't like sending them a password so they can log in on their devices.

Why can't we have our own accounts and manage them into a family account?

But since accounts are personal, do Netflix expect me to watch 4 streams simultaneously on my 4 different devices, using my 4 eyes with my 4 brain halves?

I recognize that I'm probably not classified under "password cheat", but their still current solution feels really dirty.

SketchySeaBeast said 3 days ago:

Yeah, that's a different use case than above - I'm fairly certain that's exactly what the family plan is meant to be used for - multiple users in the same household.

Even then it's not great that you have to share the master account password which contains the billing information (maybe they need a read-only and admin password, but now we're complicating it past the "password123" crowd), but really that seems to inadvertently encourage good password discipline - if you don't trust the people using your account, they probably don't qualify as a user on your account.

ghaff said 3 days ago:

Some of us who have at least some involvement with security do have to cringe a bit at this. Yeah, I have a unique password for Netflix and there's only so much harm someone with access to the account could do. But don't share passwords even with people you trust is still ingrained enough that it just feels wrong and certainly isn't a good practice in general.

Who knows who a kid, for example, is going to share the password with?

Though, as you say, requiring the password to be shared to share the account probably helps limit how casually people will give others access.

croon said 16 hours ago:

This is exactly my problem. I can't imagine any less than at least 75% of all engineers at Netflix cringing at the current solution regarding shared passwords.

A further gripe is them not having a netflix.com/link system in place for settop boxes, so I need to enter a randomized 30+ character/multi-word phrase or whatever scheme password using a directional remote on my Nvidia Shield. Not often, but when I do it's with seething rage.

SketchySeaBeast said 3 days ago:

Yup, and as they are in your household, there's little reason for them to actually know the password - if you're physically in the household with them, you could easily log them on yourself without ever telling them.

kranner said 3 days ago:

> But since accounts are personal, do Netflix expect me to watch 4 streams simultaneously on my 4 different devices, using my 4 eyes with my 4 brain halves?

Netflix accounts are not personal. Their terms of use fully support shared use within the same household. That's why they support multiple user profiles per account.

Dobbs said 3 days ago:

Things that you have watched, things you want to watch. Movie ratings (although these seem to be going away more and more). Lots of data.

xg15 said 3 days ago:

I predict the following article in two years:

"Netflix, HBO and Cable Giants Are Coming for Co-Watchers"

"A coalition that includes Netflix Inc., HBO, cable-industry titans and Smart TV manufacturers is stepping up efforts to crack down on people sitting on a couch and watching a movie together, discussing new measures to close a loophole that could be costing companies billions of dollars in lost revenue each year."

stevenjohns said 3 days ago:

Perhaps Neflix, HBO and Cable Giants don't realise that in 2019 the internet is super fast, storage is super cheap and piracy is easier than ever.

If they want to take an inch, I'm prepared to revert to hosting a media server for all of my friends and family with all sorts of wonderful cat videos.

notatoad said 3 days ago:

Yeah, i'm a somewhat reformed pirate, and the only reason i've switched from piracy to netflix and prime is because netflix is easier. If it stops being easier, i'll be back to piracy pretty quickly

jplayer01 said 3 days ago:

I was subscribed to Netflix for years until recently. I’ve given up. It’s the high seas for me. And anybody who argues I just want stuff for free is twisting the narrative. I was and still am more than happy to reward content creators as long as they make some effort towards ensuring my convenience. All I see now is maximum rent-seeking, so I’m out.

missosoup said 3 days ago:

I still pay for netflix+spotify but at this point I'm spending more per month on my piracy setup and associated fees. Because it's more convenient, more centralised, more timely, and more portable.

The USA entertainment industry doesn't want my money.

It's funny to think back on the original MPAA ads about hooded thieves robbing poor creators of their hard-earned cash, in light of how the last decade turned out with the golden age of streaming followed by MPAA gutting it again in their never-ending greed.

Shivetya said 3 days ago:

they should simply have published numbers for how many simultaneous stream they permit and just drop the oldest connection active when a new one would exceed the limit. that is a soft way to clamp down, eventually those sharing will tire of it if they have too many friends borrowing it.

now the idea of having to put in a number texted to me to continue watching is annoying enough to drop a service.

not sure how much room the other streaming services will have for raising fees to compensate for sharing with the pricing on D+

Cthulhu_ said 3 days ago:

Well, from experience I know Netflix's accounts only have 1, 2 or 4 simultaneous streams (for family sharing), so there's already restrictions in place for amount of content consumed per paid account. I'd say that's already a pretty fair deal / limitation, and if anything it's helped family members / people who you share an account with get used to watching Netflix.

What I'm saying is that they allowed it on purpose, to make Netflix more prolific with consumers. If they crack down on it now, it probably won't suddenly cause a big increase in subscribers though.

cdcox said 3 days ago:

Also seems to ignore that social pressure keeps people from account hoping.

Personally, I'd be much more likely to a la carte services on a month by month basis if I didn't have the subtle social pressure that 'well I'm not using this but my friends X, Y, and Z all are'. Even lacking the pressure element it seems like a small 'gift' to my family and friends who are on it and that it's not 'going to waste'. There is even the element of watching tings your friends are watching that keeps you watching. If they eliminated that I'd probably never keep more than one active at a time and likely not even that. Also once I've dropped a service for nonuse I'm much less likely to go back.

squarefoot said 2 days ago:

This is a lost battle. There are devices out there with a HDMI port in and Ethernet out that can remove any protection then stream everything on a broadband line. Make them upload to a decentralized service and just one user can cover an entire continent and beyond without sharing any credentials, and the traffic is encrypted so no way to bust the originating account unless either they get someone inside the circle, or hide different data among the streams so that they can be identified and shut down. Looks like some services are already doing this, but apparently the identification data is found and polluted/deleted.

Paying for use doesn't scale. It did when there were 2 good TV series, 3 good movies and a dozen interesting sports events per year, but today a normal user cannot pay for access to a fraction of a fraction of what is being produced, and paying for the single event is more costly than a yearly subscription. It simply doesn't scale anymore and should be rethought differently. Make the access to media arranged as flat rate for everything in categories, that is, Sports, Movies, TV series, News, Concerts etc. at a very convenient rate, say €5 per category, all included, per year. That would scale as hell, probably increasing the user base by two orders of magnitude. Fair advertising would do the rest. Of course this scenario doesn't go well with the principle of maximizing profits no matter what, and that old say "the best seller isn't the one whose customers are the most happy, but the one whose customers although angry would continue to buy anyway".

temporallobe said 3 days ago:

The CEO of Charter is banging his head against the wall? How about legitimate, paying consumers (such as myself) who happily pay for these services yet endure pure bullshit like unskippable ads on DVR recordings or disabling accounts because of IP address changes? These chumps are making money hand-over-fist yet feel like they’re “losing billions” to password sharers. If these streaming services move to the tactics the article mentions, consumers will drop them like a hot potato. I can tell you that the day Hulu (for example) starts using crap like 2FA to allow me to continue watching a stream is the day I would cancel my account without hesitation.

scarface74 said 3 days ago:

I bought my dad a 49" Roku TV. When I set it up for him, I used his cable credentials to log in to all of the apps that could use his credentials. Within a week, they all wanted him to revalidate. He's not going to go on a computer, go to an activation link, choose his cable provider, login with his credentials, and put in a code.

I finally gave up. I deleted all of the apps that required a cable login and signed him into my Amazon Prime Video and Netflix Account, I also installed the Roku channel (a few free movies), Crackle (free with commercials), and my Plex server. That was more than enough for him.

manojlds said 3 days ago:

Piracy will come for Netflix, HBO and Cable Giants

Endy said 3 days ago:

Piracy already came for them. Netflix digital video content is on a tracker usually within a few hours of release.

steve19 said 3 days ago:

I think he means for the users. A lot of people who gave up piracy are going to return when 6 different services are required to watch the four shows they like in any given month.

throwaway5752 said 3 days ago:

I consider myself obnoxiously sanctimonious on this matter. I will not steal video. The furthest I will go is to rip dvds to play on my own Plex, and I won't share access to it. I do not and would not share passwords. I pay to stream content I don't buy. This is a matter of personal honor.

That said, there is a maximum inconvenience I will bear. I can live without movies or tv. Honestly, I'd probably live better.

This feels a lot like 20 years ago with Napster and Limewire. I hope the content industry has learned something in the interim.

chadlavi said 3 days ago:

This is a great way to encourage me to go back to torrenting their content, but I know that I represent a tiny minority of their users. I'm sure this will work with non-technical folks.

siffland said 3 days ago:

I have netflix, hulu, sling and amazon (mostly for prime delivery). The family asked me if i would get Disney, i said no. Kind of wanted to watch the Picard series, but not going to get CBS access (or whatever it is on) for 1 show. I will wait to see if it survives a few seasons and get the dvd's or something. Just tired of the streaming fragmentation, and the cable is no better because it is missing all the content and way to expensive.

The entire scene is frustrating, perhaps it is just me. I now watch a lot less than i use to, it is pretty much just put on "Family Guy" or "Rick and Morty" in the background and do other things (i have all those on DVD's so i just set the plex player to keep playing, although now plex is going to stream to....sighhhh)

hiccuphippo said 3 days ago:

Looks like this is going to become another case of piracy turning easier to use than the legitimate product.

eutropia said 3 days ago:

I think one trend not to be ignored is the democratization of media piracy. It used to be that only the motivated and tech savvy had access to vast troves of content at their disposal; but recently sharing the spoils has become easier and easier thanks to Plex and the general improvement in software dedicated to piracy.

Now, and I suspect, increasingly, the "technology adoption curve" comes into effect: almost everyone knows someone that has access to a Plex server. As the adoption curve progresses, it will put pressure on price and convenience for access to media. The companies that dont piss poeple off will last the longest.

sys_64738 said 3 days ago:

TV execs need to stop seeing consumers as thieves. This mentality that viewers are the enemy hasn’t historically worked yet they keep repeating it. One exec even accused consumers of being thieves for not watching network ads.

If execs actually listened to consumers then most of these problems would go away. E.g. no DRM in music. But it took Steve Jobs to convince music execs of that.

Execs are only greedily into chasing the money as they are not generally technically savvy. They also don’t understand economics as they always trot out bogus lost revenue numbers where such revenue was never possible as those people wouldn’t watch if they had to pay money.

crazygringo said 3 days ago:

Huh? You don't need password resets or thumb prints... that sounds ridiculous.

Just limit playing to one device at a time. Spotify does this and it works great, and the instant sync/control actually makes it seem like a feature rather than a limitation. Most people watch in the evening at around the same time, so problem solved real quick.

Or pay an additional fee for a family plan to allow a set number of multiple users to stream simultaneously, if Mom and Dad want to watch something in the living room and the kids want to watch something upstairs.

aianus said 3 days ago:

Netflix already limit the number of simultaneous devices playing and you can already pay more for more devices.

edgartaor said 3 days ago:

Then I don't know what they are talking about. People is already paying for those extra users.

me_me_me said 3 days ago:

All I hear them say is:

"Hey customers, it's time to dust off your pirate hats!".

brentonator said 3 days ago:

Meanwhile, AT&T and Comcast made it so difficult to sign-in and stay signed in let alone all the false positive "this is only available at your house" nitpicking that I rarely was able to use my TV service except when I was ass-in-seat in the living room.

I do not plan on ever getting cable again. If NetFlix wants to work with them to start being anal about how I use the service too I know who's on the chopping block next.

thewhitetulip said 3 days ago:

> The possible measures include requiring customers to change their passwords periodically or texting codes to subscribers’ phones that they would need to enter to keep watching, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hahaha and what makes them so sure that people won't share the new password/ the one time code?

These execs re seriously disconnected with reality.

fma said 3 days ago:

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang was asked if his platform of $1000 a month Universal Basic Income was passed, how much would be spent locally. He said the majority of it would...but not all, and joked because people would spend it on their own Netflix account.

Based on the comments here, I doubt that'd even get people to buy their own subscription.

wolco said 3 days ago:

The remedies seem foolish.

Require them to enter a text-code. If the person who is sharing wants the other person to have the code they would just forward the text. All one is doing is making it more difficult for everyone in the hopes of making it more difficult for one group of people.

You buy 4 streams you should get 4. Trying to determine who is watching is fruitless.

Grue3 said 3 days ago:

Just allow account users to charge the owner's credit card (via in-app purchases etc.). That'll stop password sharing real quick.

Gustomaximus said 3 days ago:

And cancellation of said account for many with young kids.

m-p-3 said 2 days ago:

They need to accept that collateral and put clear limitations (ie: x simultaneous users for x/month), or they'll end up alienating their userbase and we'll be back to square one with more users going back to illegitimate providers.

siproprio said 3 days ago:

Well, I used to pay for a Netflix subscription but I canceled it out of spite because they started forcing me to have animated video previews and trailers, with audio.

I did not share passwords, but I would also totally cancel purely out of spite and find something else to do.

I also starting to feel like they're scheming me out of my money.

mantoto said 3 days ago:

I'm right now notperfectly happy about the streaming situation but it is much better then ever before.

I don't cancel Netflix because I don't mind anymore. There have and still are a few really good shows which would have cost me much more money what Netflix costs me.

gwbas1c said 3 days ago:

At least with Netflix, where I pay for a given number of screens, I don't see how this will work in their favor.

papln said 3 days ago:

Netflix uses password sharing as a marketing tactic. They've announced that. At some point, passowrd sharing gets too efficient, and Netflix would have to switch to something like an Xhr for $Y plan, like cell phone minutes and GBs. IMO that plan makes more sense anyway.

kevinh said 3 days ago:

I'm not sure you want to create a subscription plan where you're punished for using it in a situation that's not a monopoly.

someexgamedev said 3 days ago:

I would happily pay per show or movie I watch if I knew the people involved got the cash. As long as there's money men in the middle, wringing their hands over how to extract their middleman tax, I'll work to subvert them.

Delivering content is not a valuable service. Making content is.

Debugreality said 3 days ago:

This article keeps describing how much password sharing and piracy cost but is only proposing a solution for password sharing without talking about which issue is bigger. For all we know piracy might be 99% of the problem.

freeflight said 3 days ago:

Password sharing is also used by semi-legal outfits to offer content across services with only one "meta subscription".

The websites for these services look very slick and "proper", so for the consumer, there's pretty good plausible deniability involved.

arthurcolle said 3 days ago:

Totally off-topic, so sorry, but the juxtaposition of "established networks" and "Netflix" made me think to ask the following: Does anyone know the story of how Netflix bootstrapped itself and came into its own?

revlolz said 3 days ago:

>By Gerry Smith

I'm really suppressing the urge to crack a Rick and Morty joke because this article is fear mongering. The quote from Reed Hastings even demonstrates Netflix acknowledges this issue is one they are likely not going to tackle.

wdb said 3 days ago:

Next step is that you aren’t allowed to Netflix/HBO with friends and family

throwaway122378 said 3 days ago:

Password share is today’s version of lending DVDs to friends and families.

PostOnce said 3 days ago:

Greed has a ceiling, eventually the customer will unsubscribe entirely.

Maybe we could also measure by wifi how many phones are present and refuse to play video until the # of viewers in the room has dropped to the contracted level.

Maybe we should ban book and DVD sharing. If I finished reading my book, should I be allowed to just give it to someone who didn't pay the publisher ? No, I should be thrown in jail in fact! Along with the presumptive reader!

Calm the hell down and go take a swim in your Scrooge silo.

(remember, these are paid accounts! Paid "unlimited viewing" accounts that can only be watched by X logins at a time, they're making plenty, and the sharing has a limit on it already by virtue of how many devices can be simultaneously viewing)

baq said 3 days ago:

i don't think netflix is worth the full asking price to be completely honest. hbo go would be worth it if the stream quality wasn't down there in the dumpster (final GOT season night scenes made me cringe - a great example of how encoding can ruin some otherwise good parts). haven't used amazon yet and eagerly waiting for disney's platform to be able to tell how things settle down.

i can tell right now that i won't ever have more than two subscriptions active at the same time because it's ridiculous to even have more than one, but i'm making some concessions.

rogerkirkness said 2 days ago:

The amount of lifetime wasted avoiding paying $10/month is hilarious. I would never start a consumer facing tech company.

loeg said 3 days ago:

> But taking more aggressive measures poses risks. The people using services for free — especially younger consumers — may never agree to sign up for a subscription, no matter how many hassles they endure. That means companies would mostly just be alienating paying customers, who could get frustrated and stop using an app or cancel their service. In other words, there’s plenty of downside and possibly little upside.

Yeah, they never learn, do they?

sqldba said 3 days ago:

Same article gets regurgitated a few times a year ever since Netflix started.

richardARPANET said 3 days ago:

A sea of greed..

Happy I cancelled my Netflix last month. Hypothetically, Plex is a great superior alternative.

dzgoldman said 3 days ago:

Guess I better send a heads-up text to 3 ex-girlfriends

reaperducer said 3 days ago:

Or maybe don't. Let a Netflix deactivation serve as a passive-aggressive way to get them to call you.

onedr0p said 3 days ago:

Might be a bad idea to Netflix and chill with 3 past girlfriends, unless it was all at once.

Bud said 3 days ago:

Can anyone post a paywall-free link to this article? I don't want to pay for Bloomberg. ;)