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Rich

That MPAA illegal movie campaign was a farce. Those set designers, gaffers and other odd jobs don't make money because Hollywood chooses not to pay them. It's such a far cry to think cause of some pirating these guys would lose there jobs over it which what the ads wanted you to think. Or that these low level crew men would somehow be penalized for it.

They will be needed, Ben Afflick will still get 20 million. I don't care how much file swapping is done.

Lastly - the quality of those movies are almost always a lesser quality than you would really ever want to own. I for one do not like them and will not waist my time with them. If someone is willing to downlaod a lesser quality movie and deal with it, by all means - but I do think this person is far and few. That person will ultimately either buy the full dvd or not.

If the industry is concerned with the selling and bootlegging of movies, I still feel this doesn't hurt the home movie industry. The quality again is always a lesser quality than dvd.

REN

Concerning quality, with services like Netflix, it is easier than ever to get your hands on high quality movies. I can get a movie from Netflix and make a direct copy and even remove things like region protection. How is this a lesser copy? (yes some would need recompressed to fit a typical DVD because DL media is expensive) The situation is similar to pirating CDs in that now the quality can be identical and the only thing going for legal versions is the packaging. DVDs typically have nothing interesting in the packacking, at least CDs have booklets.

J-Bird

REN,

I think the main focus here was the VCD's that are found all around Asia. Sure, people can make DVD copies, but the huge black market in Asia is more of the VCD nature - copies that are made before movies are available on DVD.

Personally, VCD movies are horrible. I had a buddy bring in a movie done by handycam once... He was totally impressed that he had "Finding Nemo" before anyone else could. Thing is, it sucked major ass. Crappy audio, cloudy video... UGH...

REN

Well, where are the source files coming from? Aren't they just taking things like DVDs that are released here first and then releasing them there before the release date for their region? Even bootlegging videos already available is profitable as you can undersell the legit versions. I think they are using VCD because that is the format their players use. It would be just as simple to release in DVD format at full quality if DVD becomes the most popular format.

Anyway, if they accept VCD quality then what does it matter? They are buying the bootleg version instead of the real version.

Even if we focus on movies bootlegged before they are available anywhere else, I have downloaded a lot of movies while they were in theaters and sometimes before they even hit theaters. The taped versions usually stink, but you can find a lot of leaked screeners that I assume are DVD quality. Of course when I downloaded them they were compressed quite a lot, but the person with the source could make high quality DVDs available for sale.

NetflixSucks

Netflix Gets Some Criticism From Its Subscribers
Feb. 3 (ABC7) — The nation's largest online movie rental service is getting criticism from some of its subscribers, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney talks about the complaints against Netflix.
Local Headlines

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More local news...

Even with increased competition from companies like Blockbuster and Walmart, Netflix is still the 900-pound gorilla in the online DVD rental industry. But some customers say bigger isn't always better when it comes to service.

Mark Hardwick has been a loyal customer of Netflix for years.

Mark Hardwick: "I thought it was a great idea. You don't have to go to the video store and you get unlimited videos for a flat price."

Under Netflix's standard plan, subscribers can have all the DVD's they want for a fixed monthly price of $17.99 plus tax. Users receive up to three DVD's at one time and the total number they receive each month depends on how quickly they can view and return those DVD's.

Mark would typically request and receive 33 movies a month. That's until recently when he discovered that Netflix's rental service has its limits.

Mark Hardwick: "All of a sudden I noticed I was getting half of the amount of DVD's I used to get and so they basically have cut my service. It's not unlimited even though they say it is."

Mark is not the only one who is unhappy with Netflix.

Bob has also seen a significant slowdown in the number of movies he receives from his request list. He saw his monthly average of 22 movies shrink down to only 16.

Bob: "That slowdown is costing me 6 to 8 DVD's a month or 75 or more a year and that's my main frustration."

They complained to the company. Last week, Mark received a response, saying...

"We give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service... By prioritizing in this way, we help assure a balanced experience for all our members."

Mark Hardwick: "Sort of making you feel guilty that you're getting more DVDs than someone else. I mean it was really insulting. The e-mail they sent me was really insulting."

The company responded to these complaints in an e-mail to 7 On Your Side, stating...

"Our goal is to provide a high level of customer service and operate a financially sound business. Depending on inventory and number of shipments to be processed, heavy users of our service might experience a slight delay in receiving movies."

Mark said that was not why he joined Netflix four years ago.

Mark Hardwick: "I just can't tolerate them cutting back their service and charging me the same amount of money. I think it's unfair."

Online retailer amazon.com is also said to be drawing up an online rental service, so there are plenty of choices out there. Michael Finney's advice? Shop around and check them all out to see which one works the hardest for your business.

J-Bird

@ Netflixsucks

Way to threadcrap, buddy... This was about MPAA complaints on overseas pirating...

REN

33 movies out on the 3 out plan... Is that even possible? I thought I was getting a great deal when I got 18 a month.

I love the indignation of people who are probably ripping the movies, costing NF money, and think they can do better somewhere else. I bet when he signed up 4 years ago for NF he wasn't getting 33 movies a month.

DW

Poster above me. You need to get off your high horse with your really mindless commment: "probably ripping movies."

Hey here is an outragious and novel theory. the guy has something called a "family." ever heard of one? It is this weird and strange social structure consisting of something called a "household" with people of -- can you beleive this -- of different ages and interests.

I know 99% of the world lives in a college dorm or alone, but their are these wierd enclaves (perhaps some anthropology journals have more on this) where people actually live perhaps with older persons called "grandparent" or "in-law", parents, and these small juvenile humans called "children." some of these children are different ages. And perhaps even differnt genders. How strange!

I understand these "family" social groups made up the bulk and core of large VHS and DVD consumers because they spend more time at home as grandma and the five year olds arent going to the theater on dates.

Hey, a thought just occured to me: These core customers of Blockbuster, who might transfer to Netflix and rent Bambi, Quills, and Gone with the Wind might not be ripping! Perhaps they are just legitimate customers doing what typical renters do! Perhaps you are being a bit JUGDEMENTAL and PROJECTING your own tiny worldview onto them.

hmmm food for thought.

Your defining their complaints as as "indignation" is funny when you see fit to project your own indgnation.

REN

That was a really long post to say just one thing. You made your point. Even if their are these so called "families" out there, and I'm not sure there are, they must be working really hard if they can get 33 movies a month on the 3-out plan. Maybe they should updgrade their plan to 8-out so everyone in the tribe gets their own choices and they can keep them for more than one night.

I don't even think I was being judgmental. I rip my movies and return them as soon as I can. My main point was that we should have a realistic view of the value we get for our money. If at one point NF gave you 33 it doesn't mean that the number is guaranteed. If NF is no longer giving you a good deal you can cancel.

J-Bird

@DW

I'm not picking sides on that one, but that was pretty damn funny no matter what side you're coming from...

dw

ren,

don't take it to personal, but I see many commennts where following legitimate observations about thottling (and netflix's recent revision of its terms of service admits what everyone is seeing), some people feel they must chime in with their own narrow and prejudiced opinion that high use customers are either "ripping and burning" or "must not have a life."

so I saw your point as judgemental and an unfair. it isn't about you it is about your point. The big film rental market is families. for a decade before netflix ever was dreamed up they were the meat and potatos of the market. a few bucks for a rental and some reddenbacker is what they do. singel peopel go to the movies. a family of five with popcorn and soda costs $60 bucks nowadays. so I am saying don't project your own small demographic onto the MUCH larger demograhic of rental customers.

do yourself a favor, look up the statistics on the number of hours the average American child watches television. If aparent were to rent 10 of netflix PBS or educational titels per month for each of two children that would only account for 5% of what he average kid watches. so parents who who only allow their kids 1/4 of the normal amount of TV, and decide to program 10% of that fraction with netlfix rentals they control are being lumped in as dvd pirates?


If netflix wants to change from unlimitd to "limited" (which it now no one is seriously denying it HAS) it should do so openly. It got caught with its pants down after being exposed on lashdot for giving new customers priority on new releases and revised its TOS after. it now is throttling people for even non demand titles and changed its TOS belatedly. they should simp;ly tell you they are no longer going to send more than one a week per unit of rental agreement instead of these bogus "shipping tuesday...shipping thursday" etc tactics that deny you weekend rentals even if you send back a dvd on monday!

REN

Isn't the average number of movies a user gets per month around 6 for Netflix?

I originally advocated limiting the service and offering plans with varying limits, even though it would probably hurt heavy renters like myself. I didn't like the idea of being toyed with behind the scenes and I wanted predictable behavior (i.e. If I return a movie I know the next one will ship as soon as they get it)

I'm still not sure Netflix is doing anything sneaky. If the guy who gets 6 movies a month because he only gets 4 day shipping gets priority over me, I can deal with that and hope NF works to increase inventory or staff so it doesn't happen too often. If that is the only kind of throttling going on I am willing to sacrifice some to balance things out, even if it annoys me. Again, as long as I am getting a good value for my money I will stick with the service.

I don't think anyone has even stated what the bottleneck is. Assuming NF just doesn't delay at their whim, I've come to the conclusion that there is a limit on the amount of discs they can process and ship out in a day. Whether this is some predetermined number, or is based on what the workers can actually handle, I have no idea. But, do you think NF should hire as much staff as possible to make sure all discs are processed that day to satisfy some people's idea of "unlimited"?

NO but they should notify customers who have been put on the "downgraded service" list. now that they have admitted they do classify the customers it is the only ethcial thing to do.

REN

Well, assuming they only do it as balancing, I'd think it would be more of a continuum and not a classification system of "Good renters" and "Bad renters". User's discs would be processed in order of their priority number.

Of course, this means someone gets to pick from the available movies before you, and NF might not even get to your discs if they are busy.

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