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The end of owning movies

When movies were invented, nearly 100 years ago, you paid each time you went to see them. They were shown only in theaters, and you had to buy a ticket each time you wanted to watch one. This tradition goes back even further, to live theater, which of course, preceded movies, and you paid to watch each performance.

With the invention of the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) in the 1970s, movies became things that ordinary people could own. You could purchase a movie and watch it as many times as you wanted. And no matter how expensive that purchase was, it was still much, much, cheaper than going back to a theater each time, over and over. Eventually this concept evolved into the DVD and the Blu-Ray movies that many of us own today. But that day is coming to an end.

Don't worry, the end is only in sight, not just around the corner. You will still be able to own, buy, and play movies for the immediate future. But in the future, instead of owning a movie, you will go back to paying per view, which is what movie theaters were all about. Of course, there will be discounts for quantity, that sort of thing, but the movie industry will once and for all stop losing so much money because of the ownership of movies by ordinary individuals.

The real question is, how much would be appropriate for a ticket price to let someone watch a movie? When I was a kid, you could get into a movie for a couple of bucks. But would people pay two dollars to watch a movie on their computer, or at home, or on their cell phone today? In theaters today, the average price for a ticket is about ten dollars. But of course that includes the luxury of trying to find a parking spot, paying almost as much for popcorn, and walking on sticky floors.

As long as digital copies are available, pirates will hack them. The solution to movie piracy, unfortunately, is to make those physical copies unavailable, and instead stream them, like an UltraViolet movie, the same way that theater owners controlled the viewing of their movies by using a projector. That will be the end of piracy, and the end of movie ownership. It was a good time.