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Studios Band Together to Combat Piracy

The New York Times reports today that the six major Hollywood studios are banding together to create an R&D farm to combat piracy. The team is modeled on a similar venture that achieved result in the cable industry and (or all things) DARPA. The $30 million a year project will be called Motion Picture Laboratories Inc. or "Movie Labs" for short. While piracy prevention is it's founding concern, it is free to innovate in different directions if it can.

The cooperation of these groups can turn out to be a very good thing. Despite the fact that many benefit from piracy, the studios have a right to make a profit. By joining forces and coming up with joint solutions, the studio make things easier on the consumer (who doesn't have to buy and manage DRM solutions for 6 separate studios.) Additionally, by trying to strangle the supply of pirated materials by preventing and interfering with recording, they again shift the burden away from the consumer. However the one source of piracy that it doesn't combat is value judgement. Many people consume pirated materials because they don't value the product the same as the studios do. ("I'm not paying $10 to see another over-hyped summer blockbuster." ) This is also present in the music world, ("I don't want to buy a whole album when I only like two songs") and services like ITunes address this problem. Hopefully the studios will add this to their list of issues they are seeking to solve. --Terrence Ryan

Posted by on September 19, 2005 3:22 PM
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