Copyright, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

Graham Burke – A Puppet To The MPAA

In Australia, Channel 10 (one of our free to air channels) is bleeding money and it needs an investor to pay off its debt, otherwise it will cease to operate.

The first problem with channel 10 is that it doesn’t have a large sporting code on its books like Channel 9 and 7.

The second problem is it shows its news at 5pm. Seriously who is home by 5pm to watch. Most people are still at work and don’t get home by 6pm at the earliest. And if some people do finish earlier and they have kids, there is a very high chance they are with their kids at some sport and get home after 6pm. Even singles and couples will be doing something at 5pm.

The third problem is the majority of people don’t really care about its hit show “The Project” but the station believes people do as it’s got no idea how to really track its reach. Data is king these days and Channel 10 has none of its own.

The fourth problem is its own content. You cannot operate a business without your own content as it’s drawcard. Ask Netflix or even HBO.

The last problem and one that all free to air stations have is they all operate under old business models that used to work before.

There are many other problems and according to Village Roadshow boss Graham Burke, a puppet to the MPAA lobby group, piracy is the reason why Channel 10 is going under.

But wait, it gets better.

Burke links the piracy of movies his organization was responsible for back to Channel 10.

So let me get this straight. Movies that leaked on the internet many years before the movies got licensed to Channel 10 is the reason why the station is losing money.

Seriously what the….

Burke believes that an audience exists many years later for movies to be seen on free to air TV with ads.

Umm, no it doesn’t exist.

Did it ever occur to Burke that people have already seen these movies legally or maybe own a copy of the DVD or BluRay?

And Burke is meant to lead the movie business into the new age. By denying the new age exists and trying to get back the old age.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Customers And Creators. Fans And Artists. They are the ones that matter.

Village Roadshow is grasping at straws in their fight against piracy. Still failing to understand why it is a phenomenon and how it can be competed against. And the spokesperson for all of the propaganda and misinformation is Village Roadshow senior executive Graham Burke.

He has gone after Google because he believes that Google is deliberately misinforming the public in their arguments on copyright breaches and on-line piracy.

You see Mr Burke reckons that Australia needs stronger anti-piracy legislation in conjunction with expensive legally available products because he has reports that this kind of approach works in other countries. He also believes that a three-strikes policy will stop people from stealing. Yep, the CEO of Village Roadshow still refers to copyright infringement as THEFT. If copyright infringement is theft, then prosecute the thieves under theft laws.

Why go after them under Copyright laws?

Mr Burke points to the music business to debunk the theory that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem.

Yes, Spotify and streaming services are all over the world and music piracy still exists. There is no doubt about that.

That is because people still want to download music for free, so where is the legal service that allows users to download mp3’s for free. Of course there isn’t a proper licensed one, so people turn to illegal downloading.

A free ad-supported service that allows users to download or trade in mp3’s will bring billions of dollars into the recording industry. Hell, the recording industry and the movie industry claim that pirated sites make millions upon millions from advertisements. So why don’t they along with iTunes, Spotify or a new player like Arena offer the same service.

Instead, we get Governments introducing new policies to “CRACKDOWN” on Copyright Infringement. And of course, these laws are all being collaborated in secret between certain interest groups.

As misleading as Graham Burke is, he has found an ally in Attorney-General George Brandis who benefited greatly from Village Roadshow in campaign contributions. In Australia, we pay the second highest honesty tax.

Yep, the powerful Retail Lobby groups pushed for a tax around $290 per household to offset the $AU1.86 billion in losses they incur from customer “deviant behaviour”. Let’s look at the deviant behaviour of Australians;

– Creating a fake US iTunes account to access and pay for content not available in Australia

– Using an IP Address to access content at a fairer price due to GeoBlocking.

– Illegally downloading TV shows, music and books from the internet for free, for personal consumption.

– Online shopping from other parts of the world because it is cheaper.

But the above behaviours are deemed “acceptable” by the people because hey, every news outlet reports that Australia has the highest rate of piracy. However, large organisations with a lot of cash, disagree with this. Instead of focusing on their models they focus on legislation. They need a tailored approach to their problem. If you have movie piracy, then it is your fault. If you have music piracy, then it is your fault.

Make your movie available as soon as it hits the cinema’s to download. Hell, most houses now have a home cinema.

But as long as people like Graham Burke exist and there are many of them, the industries will moan and complain. Once he finished with Google, he moved on to iiNet and accused them of “scaremongering”.

iiNet says that a graduated response is the wrong path to take in the piracy debate.

Village Roadshow wants to be judge, jury and executioner. There is no due process here whatsoever.

As we have seen with all of the takedown requests sent to Google, the Rights Holders are the main entities that are censoring the internet.

George Brandis has also labelled Australia the worst offender in the world when it comes to piracy.

So what we have here is a company called Foxtel (owned by News Corp) who has Game of Thrones locked up behind a paywall, claiming that over 500,000 Australians “legally watched each episode of the fourth and most recent season of Game of Thrones, but as many watched it illegally through online file-sharing.”

Then you have Choice, a consumer rights group that puts the blame at Foxtel’s ‘‘outdated business model’’ for the spike in GoT piracy.

So who is to blame.

500,000 illegally downloaded each episode according to Foxtel.

So why don’t Foxtel monetise those people by offering a service that benefits all. $10 to watch 10 episodes of Game Of Thrones, whenever you want. That is a cool $5 million.

Because in the end, all of these organisations in the middle, make their money from two groups.

CUSTOMERS and CREATORS.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Price, Piracy And “The Stealing vs Copyright Infringement” Argument Again

Australia (where I reside) is always mentioned as a leading country that specialises in copyright infringement.

So it comes as no surprise that the latest Attorney General, George Brandis flush with lobbying dollars from Village Roadshow (Village was part of a failed court case two years ago against iiNet, in which the High Court ruled that iiNet as an ISP had not authorised copyright infringements) is pledging to do something about these “pirates”.

You see, Brandis and Village Roadshow are two such entities that have grown up with the notion that because they have made a profit out of the public for a number of years, that it is the duty of the government and the courts to guarantee that such profit remains the same in the future even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest.

If Australia does have a massive problem with piracy, one way to solve it would be to provide a legal alternative that is like “The Pirate Bay”. The evidence is right there in front of the content industries. People like to download content. So why don’t they run ads and allow people to download content for free.

Instead Village Roadshow chief Graham Burke just keeps on lashing out against Google for not doing enough to curb piracy. He lashes out at Google for not doing enough to protect his profits. He keeps on emailing the Attorney General for a graduated response scheme funded by the ISP’s even though evidence from all over the world clearly show that these schemes do not work.

On the point of prices, there is a war going on in Australia right now in relation to the prices that Australian audiences need to pay for movies, software, mp3’s, ebooks and devices. Our consumer watchdog even took the drastic step to tell Australian consumers to use a VPN so that they could alter their IP address.

The main talking point doing the rounds the last few weeks is the price of a movie ticket. In Australia, the main cinemas charge $16 to $20 a ticket while Independent cinemas are charging between the $8 to $12 price range.

Graham Burke (yep that same person mentioned above from Village Roadshow) is on fire. Check out some of his quotes;

“In Australia we pay approximately $23 an hour for our people; in America, where we operate cinemas, it’s $8 an hour.”

Umm, the last time I was at the cinema I was served by 16-year-old workers, who are earning nowhere near the $23 an hour figure. More like $15 an hour.

“It’s like going into a bookshop through the back door, and taking all the books out. It’s something that needs to be addressed and is being addressed in democracies throughout the world.”

No, copyright infringement is nowhere near the same as taking all the books out of a book store. Once the book is taken out of the book store, it is gone forever and no one can use it again. When music is infringed, the copy is still there for others to download and share. No one has taken anything away. All they have done is made a copy.

To put Burke’s argument misleading quote in context, Copyright Infringement is going into a bookstore, copying the book you want and then walking out, leaving the original book still there for others to use, share and copy.

The problem with recorded music is the supply vs demand argument.

Let’s use 30 Seconds To Mars as an example.

Their music is available for downloading, both legally and illegally. Their music is available on YouTube, on official channels and unofficial channels. Their music is available on streaming sites like Pandora, Spotify, Beats, iTunes Radio, Rdio and many others. Their music is available on vinyl and CD.

There is a large supply chain there and the demand is not centered in the one place anymore.

Streaming is the future because consumers want music to be free. This is the cold reality and artists need to accept that.

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