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Paramount COO: Three Strikes Won’t Stop Piracy

Paramount (s VIA) COO Frederick Huntsberry told the audience of the Cinema Expo in Amsterdam this week that P2P file sharing isn’t the biggest threat for Hollywood anymore. Instead of downloading movies via The Pirate Bay and other P2P sites, users simply go to one-click hoster sites (or cyberlockers, as Huntsberry likes to call them) like Megaupload to get their latest blockbuster fix. The Hollywood Reporter quoted Huntsberry with the following assessment: “Cyberlockers now represent the preferred method by which consumers are enjoying pirated content.”

Of course, such a shift of consumer behavior also has implications on the fight against piracy. The music industry used to focus a long time on suing individual file sharers, and Hollywood has been hunting down uploaders and movie release groups as well as fighting against P2P site administrators. Entertainment industry executives have in the past also pressed for so-called three strikes graduate response programs, which would force ISPs to disconnect file sharers from the Internet after three offenses, but Huntsberry seems to believe now that this won’t really stop movie piracy.

German movie industry magazine Blickpunkt Film reports (subscription required) that Huntsberry called such measures ineffective, pointing out that there’s simply no way to identify individual infringers who download movies from sites like Megaupload. He suggested ISPs should simply block these sites completely, and lawmakers should amend copyright laws to make such measures mandatory. There was simply no alternative to blocking websites to fight copyright infringement in light of the growing popularity of one-click-hosters, Huntsberry said.

The Paramount COO also blamed advertising agencies and major brands for supporting these types of sites, which sometimes show ads for companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken (s YUM) and Netflix (s NFLX). He estimated that Megaupload alone could make anywhere from €25 million to €215 million ($30 million to $260 million) through ads and subscription fees.

Image courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user richardmasoner.

Related content on GigaOm Pro: The Quest to Monetize File Sharing (subscription required)

9 Responses to “Paramount COO: Three Strikes Won’t Stop Piracy”

  1. Huntsberry does not really think this would really stop piracy and he his so correct and either is the government who is wasting tax payer money fighting a war larger than any war ever fought. just one torrent client alone reached 52 million unique users a month and there are dozens more out there.

    How do you fight that? not with tax payer money because tax payers will grow tired of hearing story’s on how these movie companies ignore people with inside information into the practices of piracy. Did you know if you wanted to offer help on this war you can not get a single executive through email because there emails are hidden, It is true there more worried about getting spam emails then making themselves available to people that could seriously make an impact on the loss of revenue these companies have.

    • Glad you’re enjoying it. It is more than seven years old now. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing an update of it and explore areas that the client didn’t want me to look into then. One of those “off limits” areas is porn. That and refine some of its predictions, update its history, introduce some new ideas for exploiting p2p, etc. as well as I’d really like to interview some of the major players today and include portions of those interviews in the book’s text.

      Unfortunately, the client who commissioned that white paper isn’t interested in hiring me to do the update. Without a paying client (or a publisher), it would be hard for me to justify doing all the hard work and incurring all the expenses such an update would require. Oh well.

      • Hey Scott,

        I figured it wasn’t up-to-date but it still has some interesting aspects ( I’m not done reading it yet ) to it . I agree with you regarding “porn” as this is still a huge driver of P2p. I’m interested in anything to do with P2p ( I’m addicted to it ) because I’m working on a project that is similar to P2p but has a different take on it. I think you might be interested in it as well.

        We’ve had early early beta tests in the past with it and have had pretty good success but recently pulled it off the shelf to “tweak” it and make it better. Just waiting again on doing some finishing touches to it then should have another public release. Like I said not fully P2p but something along those lines.

        Feel free to take this offline via my e-mail address: ( [email protected] )

        Thanks again for taking the time to write what you did on the subject!