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Excellent analysis, Rick.

Contrary to what albaby said, I don't know a huge amount about the music industry except what I get from the media, although I am very familiar with the intellectual property law. As bandwidth increases, the next target for p2p file sharing will naturally be major feature films.

These have far higher marketing budgets, outweighing anything the record industry has come up with, and thus are going to be in much greater demand.

Not that film piracy is anything new, just that the scale (and quality) will increase. Prints shipped to foreign distributors have been duped with illegal/uncontractual internegatives and lower grade pirate prints since overseas distribution began. Ironically, it's now sometimes only those pirate prints which survive for some older films.

As far as I can see, the film industry's best hopes for avoiding the kind of trap record labels have fallen into is to carry on with their existing business model. That means staggering release dates for theater before television and then DVD, with streaming pay per view somewhere in between.

Offering plenty of extras on the DVD to make a pirated copy pale by comparison makes sense and I also suspect merchandising rights and product placement will become increasingly important revenue streams.

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