Intellectual property and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s

An unusual entry perhaps if you allow me, on the nature of intellectual property, piracy, marketing and rendering unto film companies what is theirs.

I found myself on Saturday night trying frantically to have the kids watch a motion picture online. Being a lawyer and all that, and generally firmly believing that one ought to be renumerated for one’s intellectual property, I tried to do it the right way. I wanted to pay for online entertainment just as we used to do when popping out to the video store.

An hour (!) and tens of search engine strings later, after having visited the official webpages of all companies involved, researched all possible reliable legitimate media providers and having gotten increasingly frustrated, I gave up. The only place which seemed to have a legitimate offer was Apple I Tunes or I store of something of the kind – however I am neither an Apple customer nor in possession of any of their hardware. Where is the E equivalent of all those video stores?

In the process, I declined numerous offers to watch said film ‘free’ – i.e. illegally. This has made me wonder: in trying to teach my children the virtues of law enforcement, respect for intellectual property, and generally doing the right thing, I was not exactly helped by the holders of said property.

Is there some distribution reality complication which makes it impossible for the creators of intellectual property to make it just as easy to pay for their services as it is not to pay? Have I bumped into the limits of my search engine talents, in which case, please if one of you could send me a relevant link?


4 Replies to “Intellectual property and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”

  1. Dear Geert,

    One of the many issues in trying to talk people into paying for online entertainment!
    There are legit websites, but they are usually geographically limited (i.e. Netflix, which, within Europe, works in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland only. Within the US, Amazon offers a similar service, too (Amazon Instant Video).
    I’m not aware of any of such websites that works in the EU.

    But, digital television providers (i.e. Telenet, Belgacom) usually have a pay per view type of service where you can “rent”/stream a movie.


    1. I suspected I needed someone from the digital generation to assist.
      Telenet etc were among the providers which we attempted – however they did not have the coveted film (children’s idee fixes are very fixed indeed). Whence I thought ging via the company producing the film would have been obvious. Quod non.

  2. Hello Geert,
    I think content providers prefer pay-per-view distribution to online download for a very simple question of control of the distribution. Download on your pc – and even streaming – can be easily captured, unprotected and redistributed through the net even to the average user, as opposed to pay-per-view on digital TV. In simple, layman’s words, if it is not accessible, it can’t be copied, can it?

    1. Thank you Alec and great to hear from you. I guess therefore it’s the rock and the hard stone: don’t offer it and even people like me might be tempted (quod non) to download illegally. Do offer it and people not like me copy it illegally.
      Best, Geert.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: