Real Stupid Reporting

April 25, 2009 at 5:25 AM (Uncategorized)

Updates at the bottom. 4/28/09

Well, alright. Technically it was a blog, not a newspaper article. Still, it was a blog hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

The authors were writing about the Real Networks v MPAA lawsuit where they are trying to kill Real’s DVD copying software.

I don’t know if they are so gullible that they swallow Hollywood’s talking points memos at face value, if they are actively shilling for Hollywood or if they are just plain ignorant. Either way, the entire post was the worst sort of biased, falsified reporting.

I tried to post this in the comment section, but either the post was eaten or it’ll appear after a moderator approves it, or… I dunno. Anyway, I haven’t seen it appear there yet. This is what I posted.

I’m sorry, but either you have not done any fact checking or you are just shilling for the movie studios here. This post is written with a bias favorable to the studio and parrots a number of false “facts” which the studios also have used.

* First, they understand consumers want backup copies of the movies they buy, and they don’t want consumers to get in the mindset that those copies should be free with a regular DVD.

Well that sucks for them doesn’t it. Under US law, people have a legal right to make a backup copy of movies and music after they purchase a copy of it.

*The studios made about $13.45 billion from DVD sales last year, estimates Adams Media Research, down from about $14.4 billion the year before.

Widely understood to be because of the transition to blu-ray, which is going slower than expected and because the US economy has tanked. Even the movie studios themselves acknowledge this, so what are you doing? Did you just google it and not actually read what you found?

* The ease of copying and distributing music has been a key contributor to the 45% plunge in album sales since 2000.

Well now you’re just blatantly trying to deceive your readers. ALBUM sales are down because nobody wants to buy entire albums. They want to buy individual songs from iTunes. Why don’t you write about ALL music sales, which have grown tremendously since 2000, instead of album sales? Oh, right. The truth doesn’t fit the message you’re trying to shill here.

Fact: 2008 music sales were up 10.5% over 2007
Fact: 2007 music sales were up 10.5% over 2006

*The movie studios have been somewhat insulated from such problems because copying DVDs has typically required more expertise.

No they have not. Copy protection does not work. It is broken the same day the CD/DVD/video game is released – sometimes, even earlier than that – and it makes its way to bittorrent. Copy protection does not stop, slow or otherwise hinder piracy in any way. The only people inconvenienced by it are legitimate purchasers.

*The studios counter that under the law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, nobody can make copies of a movie without the permission of the copyright holder — in this case, the studios.

The DMCA says no such thing. The DMCA makes it illegal to break copy protection encryption, except under certain circumstances. It does not effect your legal right to make an archival copy of something you purchase.

/edit:
I just noticed the headlines of the “related articles” thing at the bottom of that blog post. Maybe someone there at WSJ agrees that the post was rubbish?

Paid to Pitch: Product Reviews By Bloggers Draw Scrutiny
APR 23. 2009

True/Slant Tests Web Journalism Model
APR 09. 2009

Update:

Well, my comment posted after all. I’ve posted another one in reply to someone else:

Sophlady wrote:

People still do not understand the issue in this lawsuit. It is: Should RealNetworks be allowed to produce software that overrides the studios’ copyrights without their permission? As I said before, the end user is not part of this case.

*************
Rooker wrote:

@ Sophlady

It very much is about the end user. Real’s software does not interfere with anyone’s legal rights. It allows people to exercise their legal right to make a backup copy of something they have purchased.

This is not about piracy. Pirates don’t need this software. People who download free movies don’t need it either. This is about the movie studios misusing the courts to muscle competition out of their way.

People – most especially people with small children – want backups of those $20.00 CDs and DVDs before the kids smear grape jelly all over them. The studios, realizing they can no longer prevent people from making those copies, are now trying to sell it as an extra service. It is now a market and they want everybody else out of that market.

That is the issue in this lawsuit.

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