Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

How to Steal Any Movie You Want on the Web: Wall Street Gets a How-To Guide

It’s easier than ever to download any movie or TV show you want on the Web, for free. Just ask Rich Greenfield. Or better yet, let the Wall Street analyst show you, via a helpful four-minute video embedded at the bottom of this post.

And if you don’t want to invest that much time, here’s the super-short version: Head to a pirate review site like Scenesource, look for any movie you want and then look in the comments for links to cloud-based storage lockers where you can grab a copy of the movie, for free.

You may have to try a couple of links, because they eventually get shut down, but it should still be very easy–and more comfortable for mainstream users than dealing with BitTorrent software, which has been the preferred piracy method for some time.

Greenfield’s larger point (registration required) is that the rise of Internet-connected TVs–look around this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and you’ll realize that the next set you buy will almost certainly have a Web connection, whether you want it or not–and cheap bandwidth is going to create a giant headache for big media.

Big media and technology companies can try to fight it with legal and mechanical tactics, or half-steps like UltraViolet, the “everybody but Apple” coalition. But the best long-term answer is to make media consumption incredibly cheap, and incredibly easy, so that it’s more convenient for mainstream users to get it legally than to go through the pirate sites.

That’s an incredibly hard thing to do, because it involves trading big, existing revenue streams for smaller ones down the line. But not doing it can be even more costly: Ask the music labels.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus