March 17, 2008
The good folks at Torrent Freak caught my attention this morning with news of the possible resurrection of Demonoid, of one my favorite BitTorrent trackers, for stats. They have been tracking the fate of Demonoid since it was taken offline last year. The site seems to have gained a new host in the Ukraine and its torrents are working again. Ernesto of Torrent Freak speculates that it could come back online in the next few weeks. In other BitTorrent news the fall of Torernt.is, an Icelandic BitTorrent tracker which accounted for 50% of Icelands internet traffic seems to be nearly complete. I really do love that 10% of the population and 50% of the Internet traffic on the island nation was accounted for on one site.
February 18, 2008
It started back in June of ’07 with “I Got a Crush on Obama” and culminated in “Yes We Can“, people from all walks of life have taken Barak Obama’s message, reimagined it and then shared it with millions of their closest friends via the internet. That trend shows no signs of letting up as we get closer to election day. The latest in this trend is a short-film called Barackula. Made by first-time filmmaker Mike Lawson it promises to be an interesting indie media look at the early years of the future president. I’m hoping that its as interesting as their blog makes it sound, the movie was supposed to be released online yesterday but still isnt up and I cant wait to see it.
Barackula is a short political horror rock musical about young Barack Obama having to stave off a secret society of vampires at Harvard when he was inducted into presidency at the Harvard Law Review in 1990. Obama (Justin Sherman) finds that he must convince the vampire society that opposing political philosophies can coexist or else the society may transform Obama to the dark side. Reminiscent to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and a slight infusion of Jesus Christ Superstar, the film solely depicts Obama’s strengths, merits and genuineness while being quietly respectful towards the other presidential candidates.
October 10, 2007
“Stealing movies is a felony. It’s just like robbing the elderly. Or murder!”
I took a break from my busy schedule of fretting, reading and lounging, to watch the Boondocks premier on Monday and it was a bit of a disappointment. The much delayed season opener didnt have the same venom of last year. There were no gay rappers cavorting on screen, no re-animated martyrs using the N-word and no pedophiliac crooners peeing on underaged and overdeveloped fans.
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March 2, 2007
Better Title: Blockbuster (the also-ran) Contemplates Buying Movielink (the never-was)
The good folks at Ars Technica have an interesting post on Blockbuster’s desire to save its dying business by buying a failed business, Movielink. Movielink is a DRM crippled, online movie service foisted on an uninterested public by the five major movie studios. According to reports in the SJMN and the WSJ the price is less then $50 million and that includes a DNA test to see if you’re Anna Nicole Smiths baby-daddy. The move is your text book MBA, “buy a lemon to save the dinosaur” strategy. To a failing Luddite business this strategy makes a great deal of sense. The rest of the world just yawns.
February 14, 2007
Do you still go to the movies? Then your one of an ever dwindling number of Americans that still do. A factoid released by the good folks at Kagan Research puts a sunny face on the industries declining fourtunes. In it Kagan helpfully points out that movie theaters making money despite sinking sales by gouging anyone still not using Netflicks, GooTube or Bittorent for the movie needs.
Kagan points out that although sales have declined for the last four years theaters still managed to eek out a profit though higher price and advertising. Since 1997 ticket prices have grown by more then 4% a year which more then makes up for the decline in ticket sales. In Kagans view this news is a reason for the major studios smile. Think of it as an “honesty tax”. . .
Now, I dont have a raft of MBA’s running models for me or hordes of baby-faced analyst like Wade Holden crunching data but I dont think fewer people coming to my business and higher prices for my remaining customers is any reason to smile.
February 12, 2007
“Were winning” they say! I’d have to agree.
Our favorite swashbuckling buccaneers over at the Pirate Bay have done it again. These guys have all the swagger, ambition and balls that their name implies. Its not enough that they want to buy an island to freely distribute the digital goodness we all crave, or that they continually embarrass and poke fun at the luddite content industries, now the merry bandits have started a new site dedicated to the Oscars. Aptly named the OscarTorrents the site has helpfully organized torrents of movies that have been nominated for Oscars in all 24 Oscars categories.
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January 31, 2007
Like everyone I often mark news items and blog post that I want to follow-up on but unless I do it within 12 hours its unlikely I’ll ever get to it. Since the exception proves the rule, I offer two exceptions.
The first is a report put out by our Cannuck friends at Solutions Research tantalizingly entitled Movie File-Sharing Booming. The report is based on phone and online surveys of some 2600 Americans and offers some interesting findings. For example they estimate that some 20 million Americans are regular downloaders of full-length movies, more then 80% of which is from P2P services. There is lots of interesting tidbits in the report but the essence is that people are both interested in and willing to watch full-length movies online. Like the music industry before them most cablers and studios have deluded themselves into thinking that people are not willing to watch full-length movies online. According to this report thats a self-serving delusion that will be increasingly hard for content producers to maintain.
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May 10, 2006
Yesterday's NYT carried this story about "the frog" doing a deal with BitTorrent to distribute hundreds of movies and TV shows via its software. My favorite quote form the whole article is by Kevin Tsujihara, a WB prexy, he said, "If we can convert 5, 10 or 15 percent of the illegal down-loaders into consumers of our product, that is significant."
Awesome. This is what I've been saying (here and here). Someone on the left coast is finally getting it. Now if they would only mention it to their brethren in the music biz we might actually see some innovation in payment options, distribution models and devices.
The service wont be available until the summer and no information was offered in terms of pricing or DRM but its safe to assume they are both going to be part of the deal. Big questions not addressed in the article or press release include users response to paying for music they help distribute. Read the press release here although the article is a tad more insightful.
Crosbie Fitch and Andy Green's discussions on the pho list introduce a number of great questions and some possible answers.