Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ICE ICE Baby? Immigrations & Customs Enforcement

The U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement or the warm title of ICE, is a relatively new strong arm of the F.B.I. (thanks to Homeland Security).

Today they busted a file-sharing source where one could download fairly crappy versions of movies like the latest Star Wars and Are We There Yet?, the availability of which allegedly costs the movie industry "billions of dollars" in lost revenue and "hurts the economy."

I wish they'd crack down on the Iraq War instead.

How do they measure lost sales anyway? Are they counting me? I certainly don't give the movie industry my fare share and I'm IN the movie industry. That's without even downloading a single movie. That's just because a) MOST MOVIES SUCK! b) I can rent the few I want to see from Netflix so that I get the commentaries and extras. And of those downloaders... do any of them end up paying to see the movie in some form anyway? If there magic number of "billions" comes from the number of downloads, they are WAY off. If they think there's a one-to-one correlation between a download and a lost sale (either DVD purchase or movie ticket), they're flat wrong. That would be like saying my watching a movie at a friend's house is a lost sale, therefore I'm a thief. If they think this recent movie-revenue slump that even Revenge of the Sith couldn't stop is due to piracy, they surely can't be right either. Otherwise the totals would be far lower.

Sure, there are counterfeit products like DVDs to round up, and that's a little more forgiveable a target. Although I suspect you'll find much of those are not available for sale anyway (i.e. not lost revenue).

Meanwhile, there was a report today about how insecure our coastal ports are from terrorist attacks. I.C.E. sure has its priorities straight.
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posted by Brian at 2:56 PM


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