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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

December 20, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

Sony, Universal, Fox, RIAA, MPAA, and the Department of Homeland Security, we’re looking at you.

Armed with Russian-based tool YouHaveDownloaded, TorrentFreak tracked down the IP blocks of these groups and discovered they were all guilty of pirating software, music, and video content. Not too surprising, considering the size of these lobbying behemoths, however, it does put a flaming pile of irony atop the online piracy war.

Will these organizations investigate and prosecute their employees? Probably not, but with Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) still in limbo, this fine piece of investigative journalism could help sway our decision makers responsible for the fate of the internet.

YouHaveDownloaded, released just last week, aims to invigorate the general public into covering their online footsteps. Tracking more than 55 million users and 2 million files of publicly accessible BitTorrent information, their mission is emphasized by the site’s privacy policy:

“Baby, this is the Internet. There is no such thing as privacy around here. You are sitting in the privacy of your own house, clicking links, reading stuff, watching movies. It may seem like you are pretty much alone, but smart nerds are watching you. They watch your every move. You are not human to them. You are a target — a consumer.”

So, do they have anything on you?

Netflix Original Content

Netflix has confirmed that they will be licensing “House of Cards,” a political thriller set to release in 2012, produced by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. Like most of my fellow cable cutters out there, I am always ecstatic to hear new content is landing on Netflix. “House of Cards,” however, may become more than just another Netflix original similar to Zach Galafanakis’ own: “Live at the Purple Onion,” it may mark a shift for them into the first viewing window (or the the first public viewing opportunity). This deviates from their current strategy of obtaining titles later, sometimes much later, in their lifecycles, as is the case with shows like NBCs “Saturday Night Live” that have already been aired on TV and other outlets.

Time will tell if this is a trend that will help Netflix tighten its chokehold on traditional television and movie outlets, but it should be an especially promising move for smaller producers. In the face of Hollywood spending bloated budgets on atrocities, I cannot help but hope that this will open the doors to indie producers willing to approach Netflix with similar deals, effectively bypassing the the heavily bureaucratic industry and perhaps eventually even the MPAA (fingers crossed).

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