Friday, August 24, 2012

GVLN - Are Torrents Destroying Hollywood? Part 2

English: Underside of a DVD-R disc, modified t...
English: Underside of a DVD-R disc, modified to have transparent background. Fran├žais : Dessous d'un DVD (sur fond transparent) Frysk: DVD/d├╗belskiif (Unterkant) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Upload / Download
Upload / Download (Photo credit: johntrainor)
In our last article we looked at torrents and a site where nearly 2,000 videos are hosted for free downloads.  We discussed the quality of the files and the file types.  In this section we are going to go further into the quality of the video files themselves and once again you will be shocked at what we have found.  On testing the videos, we found the quality of the films to be outstanding.  So we wondered if the quality could be maintained if these files were transferred into DVD format to play on any DVD player.  In many cases, you end up losing a good amount of quality when transferring up.

Our first test on one of the films we downloaded didn't work to well.  The quality of the picture was fine, however, the sound did not transfer to the DVD.  There were also compatibility issues with some of the DVD players we tested the video on.  We switched to a different program that took longer but gave us much more control over.  On that end we had a tremendous amount of success.  We were able to make a great DVD copy from the torrent video.  We were able to put a new menu and scene selection as well as a play button.  On test, the new DVD passed as being excellent.

  What that means.  In our last section we talked about the lead time on the video, The Avengers.  This video is released one month before it's retail scheduled release and while it is still playing in some movie theaters.  This means an average person can take one of these downloaded torrent files and turn it into a viable copy.  Once the copy is made, it's not hard to press about 20 copies per day on the average desktop home computer.  Give a person 5 days and one can press about 100 copies by the weekend.

  As Saturday hits, those 100 copies can easily make their way to any flea market for sale.  If it costs about $3.00 per copy to produce, one can sell copies for about $8.00 each making $5.00 profit per copy.  That $8.00 price tag is much lower than the $18.00 new release price that the stores will be asking so if the flea market is a good location, one could easily sell all 100 copies over the weekend.  Profit to the pirate?  About $500.00 minus expenses for the space at the flea market plus travel and food.  On Monday, the process starts all over again.  So within a 4 week lead time period, it's very possible for a pirate to pocket about $2,000.00 just on one video.

  Think $2,000.00 isn't a big deal?  Let's look at that from a real perspective.  Once again, all one has to do is look at how many people a day are already downloading a copy of this one video.  Thousands of people a day.  If 100 people decide the pirate the video for profit, $2,000.00 become $200,000.00.  100 people making 400 copies and selling them over a 4 week period means 40,000 lost retail sales or  at a price of $18.00 each, $729,000.00.  That's nearly three quarters of a million dollars in lost sales from pirating.

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  That still does not account for the lost sales from the people who illegally downloaded a free copy who now will not be buying or renting this film.  So it's fair to say that the net loss just from this one torrent site alone is in the millions of dollars.  This is only one torrent site.  There are hundreds of sites hosting torrents all over the world.  Once it's on one, it;s easy to put it on others.  Now let's once again go back to all the other videos on this one site alone and you see the pirates have an entire industry to plunder.

  This now leads to our next question.  How did the people hosting the torrents get a hold of a copy of the film before it's release date?  The copy we downloaded was not shot in a movie theater.  It's as clean as they come.  Others on the site one would say is obviously hacked from disk.  Not that hard to do.  But this being a film not yet out on disk and not being a film copied to a video camera from a movie theater, it's not hacked.  This is were we will begin our next section of this story.

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