BT Forced to block newzbin

July 28, 2011

It appears UK PLC has made a brilliantly ill informed decision.

Let’s force the biggest ISP in the country (BT) to block access to Newzbin, a site that lists content on News feeds.

I’m not condoning the action of Newzbin or the downloading of illegal material. What I do not like is the stupid decision to block the symptoms of the issue rather than the cause.

Now what’s really, really daft is for the MPA to get BT to block internet access. If they had the slightest idea of what was going on they’d know this was futile. The music industry went through a similar issue. They closed Napster down and did the music download problem stop? No!

Necessity has always been the mother of invention. People, and technology, will find a way. Just like life did in Jurassic Park.

So what is the real problem?

Well for me, and many others, it boils down to the stupidity of the Motion Picture Association.  If I buy a DVD I now have a tangible asset. I own, or perceive to own, a media that I can play when I want or how I want. I can watch the DVD in the lounge with my family. I can watch it round a friend’s house or I can watch it on the train. Easy.

But the problem that has crept up on the MPA is how many of us now consume streaming digital media. We don’t want the hassle of DVDs. We don’t want physical media. We want transportable media.

And this issue has grown bigger in recent years with the introduction of full digital streaming services in conjunction with consumption-only devices, such as the iPad.  iPad users can’t put a DVD into the iPad.

Personally speaking, I digitised my DVD collection for one simple reason. I was sick and tired of DVDs everywhere. Kids putting discs back into the wrong case; or getting jammy fingers all over them so they no longer play. The obvious solution for me was a media centre.

What’s the proper solution?

Take a grown up approach to content delivery.

Ask yourself, what is a reasonable price for something you may not like? May sound like a dumb question but would you pay for a meal BEFORE you’d eaten it?

Movies differ from music because with music you can normally listen to the content for free, on the radio, promotions on YouTube, etc and then you opt to buy. With a film, you’re asked to pay first and then, and only then, do you get access to the content. Now unless the film is a dead cert (like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) going to the movies can be a gamble. I know trailers are suppose to give an indication but, to be frank, I’ve watched too many films where the trailer is better than the full length feature!

It’s about value. And I mean value NOT cost.

Ideally, the MPA need to offer the content at a reasonable cost. It’s about value. And I mean value NOT cost.  If people could download a movie that provied the same functionality as existing DVDs – namely portability – we’d jump at the chance. Why would anyone, at present, buy a digital download. Typically you limited by the format but more importantly, where’s the value? Why would I pay £6.99 for a digital download. There’s no tangible asset. I’ve not got a physical product. There’s no warehouse costs. There’s no distribution chain. There’s no volume production issues? And in fairness, I’ve got to use my bandwidth to download the media so it reality it costs me.


This is what the MPA need to wake up to.

Give the customer value and they will purchase.