Malaysian theatre chain, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), recently went on a little tirade over a message they received via social media.
GSC posted a screen capture of the message from the individual which read “I (watched “Wonder Woman 1984”) HD quality in my house” followed by an image of the movie playing on the individual’s television set.
GSC then lamented upon the various responses that the cinema chain had gotten from the public (presumably) with regard to the release of the latest DC outing.
“It’s not safe to go out.”
“Why pay when you can watch it for free?”
“Accept it. Piracy will always be there no matter how (much) you fight.”
No doubt, this sort of behaviour was intolerable for the cinema chain as they moved on to make their stances on such acts known, chowing down on the issue of piracy. The post also chided the perpetrator, stating that if someone were to commit a misdeed, would he go out of their way to gleefully inform the entire universe and life itself of his act?
Indeed, many netizens have stepped forward with their thoughts. The following details some of their responses.
Cinemas in Malaysia have had it tough since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented back in March. Of course, sales have been down due to them not being able to operate. Nevertheless, even when they are able to open their doors, there’s a scarcity of content for them to provide to the public.
This brings us to our next point: the ever-decreasing window between theatrical-VOD (video-on-demand) releases.
Disney’s “Mulan” was one such film that had a theatrical release where Disney+ was not available. On the flipside, in countries such as the United States, no theatrical release was given and as such, the movie played exclusively on the Mouse House’s streaming service. The same hybrid release model was also applied for “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Soul” which were released over the past two weeks.
The issue here is that content released on streaming tends to be pirated rather easily as there are no regulatory parties monitoring and barring such illicit activities when you are in the comfort of your own home. So, naturally, you would be able to find an illegal copy of the film on the web within a matter of hours after the film is released.
These illegal copies do impact our theatre chains as the emphasis on convenience continues to grow within societies. As these aforementioned copies can be watched for free via torrents or an illegal streaming website, more and more individuals would be discouraged from driving to the theatre to watch the same film legally. They would need to spend their time and money to do so.
Of course, if there are legal avenues to conduct an activity but an individual decides that he/she does not want to pursue such due to other factors, the affected party would not be able to stop them. Nevertheless, rubbing salt in the wound is a big no-no. Depriving someone of their bread and butter is one thing. But telling the affected party that you committed the act to their face is downright unacceptable.
In the end, cinemas do need our love and support during these trying times. The least we could do is to empathise with them. Indeed, we could do better, don’t you agree?