23 votes

We are at the mercy of streaming services. It's time to rekindle our relationship with the DVD

38 comments

  1. [27]
    Happy_Shredder
    Link
    Fuck it, I just torrent everything. DRM free, HD, doesn't take up several bookshelves, essentially permanent, no ads, doesn't support predatory market manipulation. Sounds perfect to me.

    Fuck it, I just torrent everything. DRM free, HD, doesn't take up several bookshelves, essentially permanent, no ads, doesn't support predatory market manipulation. Sounds perfect to me.

    12 votes
    1. [24]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      One minor question, if I may...? Those people who make the movies and shows that you torrent... how do they get paid? Who pays them, and where does that money come from?

      One minor question, if I may...?

      Those people who make the movies and shows that you torrent... how do they get paid? Who pays them, and where does that money come from?

      9 votes
      1. [13]
        Happy_Shredder
        Link Parent
        Whether or not I pay a few bucks to watch a movie is irrelevant. It's too small amount to significantly effect a movie's profits. Enough people are willing to pay for Netflix, cinema tickets,...

        Whether or not I pay a few bucks to watch a movie is irrelevant. It's too small amount to significantly effect a movie's profits. Enough people are willing to pay for Netflix, cinema tickets, merchandise etc that movies and series are tremendously profitable. And to be clear, no-one loses any money either; a lost potential sale is not lost profit.

        A more interesting question is: what happens when everyone drops out of the current mechanism? An optimistic scenario is that we transition to a state-free, class-free society in which free culture arises naturally. This is of course very speculative. A little less speculative is considering transitioning towards worker-owned industries, in which movies could be funded independently by the people who make them; via Kickstarter-like mechanisms; or with some state support. In this style movies don't need to be tremendously profitable (i.e. safe and generic) and could produce very creative results.

        More immediately, Bandcamp provides a model for DRM-free, ad-free, proprietary software--free etc music sharing. It's easy to imagine a similar service for movies and series; the technical details are very similar. The big barrier in this scenario is similar to what Bandcamp still faces: major studios (or labels) are at the moment unwilling to engage, yielding mostly indie results. I'm not sure how to convince Hollywood to work with such a scheme (the free culture--is--bad perspective seems entrenched). But it would be nice to see.

        7 votes
        1. Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          Basically, you're relying on everyone else to pay the content creators, and you're just riding on the back of everyone else's contributions: creators and payers alike. Well, yes. That's where I...

          Whether or not I pay a few bucks to watch a movie is irrelevant.

          Basically, you're relying on everyone else to pay the content creators, and you're just riding on the back of everyone else's contributions: creators and payers alike.

          A more interesting question is: what happens when everyone drops out of the current mechanism?

          Well, yes. That's where I was heading.

          An optimistic scenario is that we transition to a state-free, class-free society in which free culture arises naturally. This is of course very speculative.

          I'm all for optimism. What you're talking about is basically the off-screen implications of Star Trek's money-free society. However, their economy relies on effectively limitless energy running replicators which supply goods for free. Without such a mechanism, or an economic equivalent, people need to find a way to obtain the necessary goods for survival - which doesn't necessarily leave them with the time to create your hypothetical "free culture". "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Someone has to pay the piper. The piper can't blow her pipe if she's starving.

          A little less speculative is considering transitioning towards worker-owned industries, in which movies could be funded independently by the people who make them; via Kickstarter-like mechanisms; or with some state support.

          Would you contribute to a Kickstarter project for a movie? Or would you still torrent it?

          As for state support, are you okay with being taxed in order to pay for your movies?

          More immediately, Bandcamp provides a model for DRM-free, ad-free, proprietary software--free etc music sharing.

          Do you use Bandcamp and pay for music? Or do you torrent music for free?

          12 votes
        2. [11]
          JXM
          Link Parent
          The amount of entitlement in your comment is incredible. You seems to think that just because something exists, you're entitled to it. If you don't like the restrictions put on your viewing of a...

          The amount of entitlement in your comment is incredible. You seems to think that just because something exists, you're entitled to it. If you don't like the restrictions put on your viewing of a movie, there is a very simple solution: Don't watch it.

          How would you feel if you poured two years of your life into a piece of art and then someone said, "Fuck it, I'm not paying $3 for it. I'll just torrent it for free"?

          It's too small amount to significantly effect a movie's profits. Enough people are willing to pay for Netflix, cinema tickets, merchandise etc that movies and series are tremendously profitable.

          This is provably false. Piracy has had an impact on movie box office numbers for decades now. Back when someone had to buy a bootleg VHS or DVD, it might not have been significant but piracy is so easy now that it actually does impact the profitability of smaller movies.

          An optimistic scenario is that we transition to a state-free, class-free society in which free culture arises naturally. This is of course very speculative.

          You're right, it's pure speculation. If it happens, it won't happen for a very, very long time. Until then, pay for the damn movies you watch.

          9 votes
          1. [10]
            pseudolobster
            Link Parent
            So like, what if I'm at a friend's house and they're watching it, should I close my eyes? I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so they were never going to get a sale out of me in the first place. It...

            Don't watch it.

            So like, what if I'm at a friend's house and they're watching it, should I close my eyes? I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so they were never going to get a sale out of me in the first place.

            How would you feel if you poured two years of your life into a piece of art and then someone said, "Fuck it, I'm not paying $3 for it. I'll just torrent it for free"?

            It depends. Did I already get paid for this, some big company bought it, promised me 1% of residuals, then sold the rights to a clearing house, who sold the rights to a regional distributor, who sold the rights to a streaming service? Someone's going to spend $10/mo for the streaming service, the movie is 1/10000th of their catalog, $0.001 goes to the middlemen, who give $.00001 to you?

            These middlemen insist they're necessary, but if I could somehow give 1 cent to the actual creator, I'd have increased their revenue by orders of magnitude.

            This is provably false. Piracy has had an impact on movie box office numbers for decades now.

            The movie industry has grown every single year. The MPAA would like to put out all sorts of theoreticals about lost revenues, saying that if every pirated copy were paid for, they'd have octillions of dollars - more money than exists on earth. The truth is box office numbers are down because no one wants to pay $40 to sit in a dark room with strangers texting on their phones and coughing on you. Profits have continued to rise, but people consume media in a different way now. Everyone has a 50" TV with decent sound, and they'd rather be comfortable with their friends, pay $0.10 for popcorn instead of $10, and be able to pause if they need to use the bathroom.

            As Gabe Newell said, piracy is a service problem.

            14 votes
            1. [9]
              JXM
              Link Parent
              Again, the entitlement you seem to have is bizarre. Do what I did to you and tell your friend to pay for the stuff he's stealing. As for you not being willing to pay for it, that's the same as...

              Again, the entitlement you seem to have is bizarre.

              So like, what if I'm at a friend's house and they're watching it, should I close my eyes? I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so they were never going to get a sale out of me in the first place.

              Do what I did to you and tell your friend to pay for the stuff he's stealing. As for you not being willing to pay for it, that's the same as grabbing a sandwich off of the counter at a deli, eating it and then saying you don't want to pay for it because you would never have paid for that sandwich anyway. It makes no sense.

              Did I already get paid for this, some big company bought it, promised me 1% of residuals, then sold the rights to a clearing house, who sold the rights to a regional distributor, who sold the rights to a streaming service?

              Those people are still entitled to their .00001% of their residuals. They worked on a project and brought it to life. Those small numbers might not seem like much to you, but they are people's livelihoods. But by all means, convince yourself that you're not taking money out of artists pockets.

              Everyone has a 50" TV with decent sound, and they'd rather be comfortable with their friends, pay $0.10 for popcorn instead of $10, and be able to pause if they need to use the bathroom.

              Yeah, but guess what...those people should still have to pay for the content their watching at home.

              2 votes
              1. [8]
                pseudolobster
                Link Parent
                What I meant by that is if my friend has paid for it, and I'm over at his house watching it for free, I'm "stealing." Really I ought to close my eyes, since I'm costing them a sale.

                Do what I did to you and tell your friend to pay for the stuff he's stealing.

                What I meant by that is if my friend has paid for it, and I'm over at his house watching it for free, I'm "stealing." Really I ought to close my eyes, since I'm costing them a sale.

                6 votes
                1. [7]
                  JXM
                  Link Parent
                  Obviously that’s not a viable suggestion. If you care, you can tell them to go buy it. You could also just, you know...be an adult and leave. Again, a real world analogy: if you and your friends...

                  Obviously that’s not a viable suggestion. If you care, you can tell them to go buy it. You could also just, you know...be an adult and leave.

                  Again, a real world analogy: if you and your friends are hanging out and one of them robs a store and you just “go along for the ride”, you’re just as liable in some places. You wouldn’t do that, hopefully.

                  1 vote
                  1. [6]
                    pseudolobster
                    Link Parent
                    I think you're still not understanding me. If my friend has purchased a blu-ray or has a netflix account, and is legally watching a movie at his house. I'm over at his house, but I haven't bought...

                    I think you're still not understanding me. If my friend has purchased a blu-ray or has a netflix account, and is legally watching a movie at his house. I'm over at his house, but I haven't bought the movie, by me watching it, I'm not paying for it, therefore if I don't cover my eyes I'm stealing. I'm costing the studio a sale, because I'm watching the movie but not paying any money.

                    What I'm saying is every time a movie is watched without paying, doesn't mean someone is literally having money taken out of their wallet. This is a much more nuanced topic of discussion than "It's stealing."

                    8 votes
                    1. [5]
                      JXM
                      Link Parent
                      You didn’t make that clear at all in your previous posts. This is the first time you’ve mentioned them paying for it. But if that’s what you meant, then I feel like you’re being pedantic for that...

                      You didn’t make that clear at all in your previous posts. This is the first time you’ve mentioned them paying for it.

                      But if that’s what you meant, then I feel like you’re being pedantic for that sake of it. Obviously that’s fine. Not a single person in this thread has said otherwise.

                      I feel like you’re just trying to stir the pot at this point.

                      1 vote
                      1. [2]
                        pseudolobster
                        Link Parent
                        From my previous post: I'm not being pedantic for the sake of it. This is the whole cornerstone to my point. If I'm watching something for free, it doesn't necessarily mean that someone is...

                        From my previous post:

                        What I meant by that is if my friend has paid for it,

                        I'm not being pedantic for the sake of it. This is the whole cornerstone to my point. If I'm watching something for free, it doesn't necessarily mean that someone is literally losing money. I pirate a whole lot of stuff I've already bought in one form or another. The MPAA counts those pirated copies as "Lost sales" and say that the movie industry is losing quadrillions of dollars per year due to this.

                        Anyway, I think I've touched on more or less everything I wanted to try and convey. It's become apparent you're not reading it or trying to understand it though, so I'm going to dip out at this point. Happy holidays to you and yours.

                        9 votes
                        1. JXM
                          Link Parent
                          I never implied that and if you read that from my comments, then obviously something wasn’t conveyed properly. And they’re wrong to do that. That’s misleading and doesn’t truly convey the problem....

                          If I'm watching something for free, it doesn't necessarily mean that someone is literally losing money.

                          I never implied that and if you read that from my comments, then obviously something wasn’t conveyed properly.

                          The MPAA counts those pirated copies as "Lost sales" and say that the movie industry is losing quadrillions of dollars per year due to this.

                          And they’re wrong to do that. That’s misleading and doesn’t truly convey the problem.

                          And I was legitimately trying to have a conversation with you. If you feel otherwise, then I’m sorry. But (to me at least) your example was not clear at all in your original post so we were arguing past one another.

                          2 votes
                      2. [2]
                        Icarus
                        Link Parent
                        I think you are mistaking @pseudolobster as the original poster of this comment chain. You called that person entitled. @pseudolobster responded to that comment with a hypothetical.

                        I think you are mistaking @pseudolobster as the original poster of this comment chain. You called that person entitled. @pseudolobster responded to that comment with a hypothetical.

                        8 votes
                        1. JXM
                          Link Parent
                          You are correct. Thanks for the clarification, I appreciate it.

                          You are correct. Thanks for the clarification, I appreciate it.

                          4 votes
      2. [10]
        arp242
        Link Parent
        While "pirate everything" is clearly not a sustainable model, in general movie studios seem to be doing very well (although I can't find good numbers on this at a moment's notice). The idea that a...

        While "pirate everything" is clearly not a sustainable model, in general movie studios seem to be doing very well (although I can't find good numbers on this at a moment's notice).

        The idea that a studio "owns" a movie for 100+ years after it's been created makes about as much sense as a cobbler "owning" a street after they made it. Passive income from capital – rather than labour – is problematic in general; ownership of copyright is no exception. I wrote about this at some length a while ago, in case you're interested: https://www.arp242.net/copyright.html

        I certainly have no problems "pirating" everything that's more than 10 years old.

        5 votes
        1. [9]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          That doesn't actually answer the question I posed: who pays the content creators for their work? You say that "pirate everything" is not a sustainable model. How much piracy is okay? Who gets to...

          That doesn't actually answer the question I posed: who pays the content creators for their work?

          You say that "pirate everything" is not a sustainable model. How much piracy is okay? Who gets to pirate works, and who has to pay for those works (so that other people can pirate them)?

          1 vote
          1. [8]
            arp242
            Link Parent
            I don't think that paying for something that was created 50+ years ago is "paying content creators", a significant number of whom are now likely deceased. Most copyright payments are for older...

            I don't think that paying for something that was created 50+ years ago is "paying content creators", a significant number of whom are now likely deceased.

            Most copyright payments are for older content and isn't paying anyone doing anything useful. Is paying your landlord "creating" the land on which your house sits?

            If you're going to make a profit then you'll probably make it in the first decade or so. This is how copyright worked for a very long time and seemed to work well enough for the "Golden Age" of Hollywood. During the best eras of Blues and Jazz music everyone was copying everyone else. It seems that free copying encourages creation, instead of hampering it.

            Having a monopoly on the copyright for the first few years is more than enough to recoup your costs, although I'm not even sure that's strictly needed: in the past people most made money from performance (labour) rather than capital (monopoly on copyright).

            As I explained in my article, copyright isn't created in a vacuum. It is the product of our society/culture. We implicitly recognize this when talking about art and culture in history ("this art is typical of the such-and-such era"). Films are more modern, but no different: any film is the product not just of the people who worked on it, but also our culture and an untold number of people not listed in the credits. It seems to me that a monopoly on copyright is far from a logical or natural state of things.

            (In practical terms, however, I just have a Netflix account and use that >99% of the time).

            4 votes
            1. [7]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              You keep dodging my question. Or maybe I'm misinterpreting the fact that you keep replying to my comments about "who pays the creators". Maybe you're not even trying to address that question....

              You keep dodging my question.

              Or maybe I'm misinterpreting the fact that you keep replying to my comments about "who pays the creators". Maybe you're not even trying to address that question. Maybe you just want to talk about copyright instead of remuneration.

              In that case, I'll leave you be.

              3 votes
              1. [6]
                arp242
                Link Parent
                It's not dodging, it's answered: So, more plainly, a fixed copyright term that's significantly shorter than "author(s) life plus 70 years" as it is now. The exact duration is comparatively...

                It's not dodging, it's answered:

                If you're going to make a profit then you'll probably make it in the first decade or so. This is how copyright worked for a very long time [..] Having a monopoly on the copyright for the first few years is more than enough to recoup your costs

                So, more plainly, a fixed copyright term that's significantly shorter than "author(s) life plus 70 years" as it is now. The exact duration is comparatively unimportant compared to the grander discussion, but I would imagine somewhere between 5 to 20 years. After that it's the public domain.

                There are other ways, too, such as rethinking the rights that copyright grants the owners. Either way, the current system is massively skewed, and the idea that all "pirating" is unfair to creators doesn't match reality. The current copyright system is unfair to almost everyone.

                3 votes
                1. [5]
                  Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  You're assuming that content makers will get paid. I'm asking how that will happen: how do they get paid, and by whom? And if some people are allowed to pirate it, who are they? Also, who has to...

                  If you're going to make a profit then you'll probably make it in the first decade or so.

                  You're assuming that content makers will get paid. I'm asking how that will happen: how do they get paid, and by whom? And if some people are allowed to pirate it, who are they? Also, who has to pay so that other people don't have to?

                  You're zooming out to the big picture. I'm drilling down to details.

                  2 votes
                  1. [4]
                    arp242
                    Link Parent
                    You can't give a meaningful answer without context (or "bigger picture"). As I explained in the article I linked before, piracy in the current (unfair) system could be seen as an act of civil...

                    You can't give a meaningful answer without context (or "bigger picture"). As I explained in the article I linked before, piracy in the current (unfair) system could be seen as an act of civil disobedience. Hence the last sentence in that comment: "I certainly have no problems 'pirating' everything that's more than 10 years old"

                    In the current system, there is no problem with "how do they get paid" because media companies are making loads of money. It's a non-issue especially since the advent of streaming services.

                    If the system would be revamped, then you're asking a different question.

                    3 votes
                    1. [3]
                      Algernon_Asimov
                      Link Parent
                      Yes: from patsies like me. I pay for my movies so other people can get their movies for free. That's my point: some people pay for movies, so other people can get their movies for free. Well, what...

                      there is no problem with "how do they get paid" because media companies are making loads of money.

                      Yes: from patsies like me. I pay for my movies so other people can get their movies for free. That's my point: some people pay for movies, so other people can get their movies for free.

                      Well, what if I decide I don't want to be a patsy any more? What if I decide I should get my movies for free as well? What if all us patsies decide we don't want to subsidise the pirates any more? What if we all stop paying? Then what?

                      Then your "system" falls apart. Then noone gets nothing, free or paid.

                      And that's my point. The current system relies on some people to pay, so other people don't have to. Well, that's not fair. It's not fair on the payers, and it's not fair on the creators. Everyone should pay.

                      Because even if the copyright system you hate so much is changed, that won't magically put money in the pockets of people who make movies. That money still has to come from somewhere, copyright or not.

                      2 votes
                      1. [2]
                        arp242
                        (edited )
                        Link Parent
                        You seem to be ignoring most of what I'm saying and focusing only on the part you don't like, but by throwing away all the context like that you're arguing against something rather different from...

                        You seem to be ignoring most of what I'm saying and focusing only on the part you don't like, but by throwing away all the context like that you're arguing against something rather different from what I said.

                        I certainly never stated the position that everyone should just pirate everything.

                        3 votes
                        1. Algernon_Asimov
                          Link Parent
                          I'm not really sure what you are saying - or, to be more precise, I'm not sure why you're saying it. I asked a question of someone else, and you jumped in with your opinion about copyright. I...

                          I'm not really sure what you are saying - or, to be more precise, I'm not sure why you're saying it.

                          I asked a question of someone else, and you jumped in with your opinion about copyright. I mistakenly assumed that you were trying to answer my question, so I've been addressing you on that basis, and trying to figure out your answer to my question.

                          But, like I said before, I've been on the wrong track this whole time. You were never trying to answer my question, and I was wrong to assume that you were trying. You want to talk about changes to copyright law, not how content creators get paid. And that's fine! It just wasn't what I wanted to talk about. We've been at cross-purposes, and that's mostly my fault.

                          I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

                          2 votes
    2. HanakoIsBestGirl
      Link Parent
      Its similar with me. If I can buy a DVD / Bluray and rip that, then I will, but otherwise its yarr harr fiddle dee dee for me. I dont want to pay to run proprietary software like Netflix that...

      Its similar with me. If I can buy a DVD / Bluray and rip that, then I will, but otherwise its yarr harr fiddle dee dee for me.

      I dont want to pay to run proprietary software like Netflix that spies on what I do and restricts me. Torrents are much more private, cost nothing and dont make me run proprietary code.

      And I dont watch enough movies to justify a subscription anyway. DVDs are cheaper for me.

      5 votes
    3. tomf
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I pay a few streaming services and still download everything. Streaming can’t compete with automation.

      I pay a few streaming services and still download everything.

      Streaming can’t compete with automation.

      5 votes
  2. [5]
    joplin
    Link
    I'm not sure I really care about this issues. (Disclosure - I do work for a company that has a streaming service, though I don't work on it, and we don't "put things in the vault".) I rarely want...

    I'm not sure I really care about this issues. (Disclosure - I do work for a company that has a streaming service, though I don't work on it, and we don't "put things in the vault".) I rarely want to own a movie. I usually watch them once, and then never again. I have owned DVDs of both movies and TV shows I've watched and liked, and I never watch the DVDs again after the initial viewing. (Which is why I stopped buying them after a while.)

    I do agree that it sucks that you can have a service which has something you want to watch, and then their license for it expires and it moves off of that service. But this isn't new. In the 70s and 80s we had HBO and your favorite movie would be on for a month, and then go away. You could always rent the VHS tape of it from your local video store. These days, you can rent most stuff from iTunes, Amazon Prime, etc. if it's not on Netflix or whatever. The "Disney Vault" is nothing new and not related to their streaming service really. They'll be adding newly acquired content to it which is a bummer, but I doubt I'll miss it. I'm certainly not signing up for Disney anything because I have little interest in it, so I'll just spend my dollars elsewhere.

    Of course, I'm not in Australia, and I know that international licensing by media companies is often bizarre, arcane, and can change on a whim. I'm definitely sympathetic about that. But again, that doesn't really have anything to do with Disney's 40+ years of "putting films in the vault."

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      No, you can't. There are thousands of movies which just aren't available on any streaming service here in Australia. At least half the sci-fi movies and shows on my shelves aren't available on any...

      These days, you can rent most stuff from ...

      No, you can't.

      There are thousands of movies which just aren't available on any streaming service here in Australia. At least half the sci-fi movies and shows on my shelves aren't available on any Australian streaming service. Buying the discs is the only way I get to see a lot of my favourite movies and shows.

      And, as the writer says, older movies are extremely difficult to find on any streaming service. The available fare is strongly weighted towards modern productions. Older people and other fans of older movies simply can't find what they want online.

      I do agree that it sucks that you can have a service which has something you want to watch, and then their license for it expires and it moves off of that service.

      I was in the middle of watching a TV show when it dropped off the streaming service I was using. That's a bit annoying.

      But this isn't new. In the 70s and 80s we had HBO and your favorite movie would be on for a month, and then go away.

      Yes, but since the 1980s, we have been able to purchase and own physical copies of our favourite movies. This is like saying "we used to cook in gas ovens, so not having access to a microwave oven isn't new". Just because something used to happen a certain way, that doesn't mean that certain way was good, or that we should be happy if we have to revert to that certain way.

      11 votes
      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        You also used to be able to video-tape things that aired. It wasn’t perfect, but streaming services go through extreme lengths to keep you from being able to save or download anything.

        Yes, but since the 1980s, we have been able to purchase and own physical copies of our favourite movies.

        You also used to be able to video-tape things that aired. It wasn’t perfect, but streaming services go through extreme lengths to keep you from being able to save or download anything.

        9 votes
    2. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      I maintain a collection of DVDs (mostly blu rays now) of movies I like a lot and hope to keep around. It’s not unlike my collection of physical books. I rarely rewatch or reread them, but it’s...

      I rarely want to own a movie. I usually watch them once, and then never again. I have owned DVDs of both movies and TV shows I've watched and liked, and I never watch the DVDs again after the initial viewing.

      I maintain a collection of DVDs (mostly blu rays now) of movies I like a lot and hope to keep around. It’s not unlike my collection of physical books. I rarely rewatch or reread them, but it’s nice to know it’s always there if I ever want to watch it.

      These are almost always things that I would recommend to others, and I’m happy to lend them out to people if they haven’t seen them.

      9 votes
      1. Grawlix
        Link Parent
        Same here for pretty much any form of media. I'll get a hard copy of a book/album/movie/etc. if it's particularly important to me, otherwise I stick to digital formats to save money and space. I...

        Same here for pretty much any form of media. I'll get a hard copy of a book/album/movie/etc. if it's particularly important to me, otherwise I stick to digital formats to save money and space.

        I do it a LOT with RPGs. I buy a ton of PDFs to read, but if I had all the hard copies, they'd take over my house. :p

        4 votes
  3. [5]
    Akir
    Link
    This opinion is a bit too extreme, IMHO. I understand the appeal of ownership; I make it a point to own my own music library. But movies are a much more ephemeral thing to enjoy. My boyfriend's...

    This opinion is a bit too extreme, IMHO.

    I understand the appeal of ownership; I make it a point to own my own music library. But movies are a much more ephemeral thing to enjoy. My boyfriend's movie library is full of movies he has only watched once if at all. And while my personal library is much better in terms of rewatching, I don't rewatch things nearly as much now that I have so much access to streaming video.

    Beyond that, the claims of streaming being more expensive is demonstrably false. A new DVD release is going to be about $20, and to get the same quality as streaming you have to buy the more expensive blu-ray release. And niche content like anime is dramatically more expensive! For the same price as Amazon is currently selling Paranoia Agent, I can get about half a year of Netflix.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      If movies are a one-time experience for you, then owning is not the right model for you. Absolutely. However, some of us like watching our movies & shows again (and sometimes again - I have some...

      But movies are a much more ephemeral thing to enjoy.

      If movies are a one-time experience for you, then owning is not the right model for you. Absolutely.

      However, some of us like watching our movies & shows again (and sometimes again - I have some movies I've watched 5 or 6 times). We have to consider whether streaming is the right model for us, when movies we like might drop off a service and not be available any more.


      Beyond that, the claims of streaming being more expensive is demonstrably false.

      The writer doesn't actually claim that streaming is more expensive than purchasing physical media. His only statement on this is:

      Keep in mind, if you want them all you must combine their subscription fee, too — and it's costly.

      Not "more costly", just "costly".

      A lot of people look at the cost of a single streaming service, and decide that it's cheap. However, a single streaming service isn't sufficient in order to be able to see all their preferred shows. They have to subscribe to multiple services. We have three streaming services in my household, at a total cost of over AUD40 (USD27, EUR25) per month. That's AUD480 (USD320, EUR300) per year. And those three services don't have everything we want to see. (My housemate keeps asking if we can sign up for a fourth service!). It all adds up.

      Buying physical media is still more expensive than even the whole collection of streaming services but, collectively, streaming services are still costly.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        Eylrid
        Link Parent
        I like the relationship that owning a movie creates. Having a movie on your shelf that you go back to from time to time is like having an old friend. There's a sense of commitment there. "This is...

        If movies are a one-time experience for you, then owning is not the right model for you. Absolutely.

        However, some of us like watching our movies & shows again (and sometimes again - I have some movies I've watched 5 or 6 times). We have to consider whether streaming is the right model for us, when movies we like might drop off a service and not be available any more.

        I like the relationship that owning a movie creates. Having a movie on your shelf that you go back to from time to time is like having an old friend. There's a sense of commitment there. "This is a thing I like and enjoy on a regular basis." The ephemeralness of streaming isn't the same. It's the difference between looking at a piece of art in a gallery for a little while and buying to hang on your own wall.

        4 votes
    2. drawkcab
      Link Parent
      I have a fairly large movie library that I I've bought/collected over the years and I appreciate the conflict of buying/owning the physical copy and only watching it once vs. renting/streaming...

      I have a fairly large movie library that I I've bought/collected over the years and I appreciate the conflict of buying/owning the physical copy and only watching it once vs. renting/streaming from a service. The difference for me is that most streaming options do not offer the visual quality and audio quality I want for my environment. The bitrate is often low and I feel lucky if I can get basic Dolby Digital out of the streaming content in most cases (although there are exceptions). Even though I am conflicted in buying a Blu-ray (or UHD Blu-ray) because I may only watch the movie once, I internalize it that I would have spent roughly the same to see in in the actual theater (likely once) and at home I can often times get a better experience than at a theater.

      5 votes
  4. Kuromantis
    Link
    I think this article is complaining about shitty business practices done regardless of platform, which are made easier because of streaming, not possible because of them and have certainly existed...

    I think this article is complaining about shitty business practices done regardless of platform, which are made easier because of streaming, not possible because of them and have certainly existed for far longer than them.

    He said this happened in the 80s with VHSs when Disney released a movie and then took it away to drive demand. This is not a problem with Netflix or streaming having the film removed from it's catalogue, it's a problem with Disney taking it away for the sake of profit.

    I must 'prepare for a game of musical chairs' because Disney or some company decided so, which is agnostic how those movies are stored.

    'Films are at the mercy of a company's brand' because of Disney.

    'Old films might be edited to remove anything regarded as offensive' because Disney said so.

    None of this is done because of streaming, but because the companies who own the content you're streaming made it so, long before streaming. Owning physical copies is a great remedy to this and we should keep this stuff around but it's not a solution to the problem, which is regulating Disney and the many art and movie companies who follow on their footsteps.

    3 votes