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The Online Surge.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn February 20, 2009 at 4:41AM

The Online Surge.

"Already, I've seen anecdotal evidence that mainstream America is catching on to movie-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay," writes Greg Sandoval in a piece for CNET about Hulu's decision to remove its content from Boxee and on the same day. "In the past week, a friend and a family member told me that they download films illegally. These are guys who aren't criminals or even necessarily tech-savvy. They can afford to buy DVDs. Both said they do it because it's easy."

Sandoval is picking up on a general tendency for culture to feel a sense of control over its media. That's why digital rights management ticks people off. It's why Robert Adler made so much money off his invention of the remote control, and it's why filmmakers have successfully discovered new ways of interacting with their audiences online. And it's this general tendency that will force the industry to either adapt, or grow increasingly isolated.