cyberspacial musings
bits about the real and virtual worlds

04 Jun

The $1 Movie Returns

It seems like the Movie88 guys have new life in the form of Film88 (www.film88.com). I received the following note in my e-mail this morning from them:


Hi,

We, Film88.com, are pleased to announce that we are reviving the concept and technology of the 1-buck-movie on the net, the online movie rental of US$1-00. For a start, we are offering about 1,500 online movies streamed (without downloading) at 100k, 300k and 500k. As a soft launch, we are now giving away FREE US$5-00 for any user who registers with us (no email or credit card particulars required and no geographical limitation)) - for a limited time only. Even without registering, users can watch online FREE full lenght movies daily.

Film88 is attempting to provide the broadband users with a revolutionary broadband product. This will surely help to promote broadband usage worldwide.

For more info of our site, please visit our FAQ section and feel free to contact us. We also have a special journalist section to enable journalist to submit their questions/interviews to us of which we will try to reply promptly.

Please support this innovation ...

Best Regards,

Film88

And now for some really fascinating information. I did a traceroute on the website to see where they had moved the service, but no reverse name records existed, making the task of finding them difficult. However, the WHOIS record is as follows:


Registrant:
Hami, Hali (QSFENHTSUD)
216 Ostad Nejatollahi Ave.
Tehran, Iran 1598751314
IR

Domain Name: FILM88.COM

Administrative Contact:
Hami, Hali (ZARYJOHMEI) film88@hongkong.com
Hami,Hali
216 Ostad Nejatollahi Ave.
Tehran, Iran 1598751314
IR
98218903252 123 123 1234
Technical Contact:
VeriSign, Inc. (HOST-ORG) namehost@WORLDNIC.NET
VeriSign, Inc.
21355 Ridgetop Circle
Dulles, VA 20166
US
1-888-642-9675 fax: - namehost@worldnic.net

Record expires on 18-Apr-2005.
Record created on 18-Apr-2002.
Database last updated on 4-Jun-2002 08:48:36 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

NSIR1.FILM88.COM 213.29.62.33
NSIR2.FILM88.COM 213.29.62.36

So it looks like the services has moved from Taiwan to Iran, a country that (obviously) doesn’t respect US copyrights. Frankly I’m not that pleased about this development and I think that the US Government and the MPAA ought to rethink this pretty quickly. Do you really want US dollars heading out to Iran? If I were the US government, I’d pressure the MPAA to do a license deal with someone quickly and move the service. Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire. The MPAA braintrust has actually made the situation worse for the world and has left themselves virtually no recourse. There is very little pressure that the US government can put on Iran to cause the service to shut down — the only real option is to try to make a deal with the individuals running the service — give them their due and let them operate legally.

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