One small step for CGI, one giant leap against piracy


Whilst walking the exhibits at SIGGRAPH 2014, I noticed how CGI could cut media pirate profits. With CGI Cultural Dubbing.

SIGGRAPH 2014 is a five-day interdisciplinary computer generated imagery (CGI) research conference and trade fair showcasing the latest in digital art, technical collaboration, and emerging tech. This year, 175 companies from 18 countries; and 14,000 artists, software developers, research scientists, filmmakers, academics and students from 75 countries attended the fair.

Stopping Piracy Profitability

Right now, movie companies lose billions of dollars to international pre-release piracy. By one estimate,  a 7% lower return on 70% of revenue.

Here’s how:

Pre-release lag windows

Piracy takes advantage of the premiere lag window

Could we advance the gift of the actor with CGI . . . dealing piracy a body-blow? Here’s the idea – modify facial features, speech, and cultural nuances for each target audience.

The Cost-Benefit Question?

If you live in Dhaka or Lagos or Caracas, would you pay for a poorly dubbed copy if you could get the original?

  • . . . in your language
  • . . . with the hero looking and sounding
  • . . . like someone you’d pass by at the local market,
  • . . . or share a coffee with?


I’m an (on leave) member of AB/BC Cave Rescue, and got this idea by combining what I saw at Maxon’s booth (Cinema 4D™ 3D rendering software and Robert Hranitzky‘s cool helicopter and lighthouse image which led me to think about rescue practice) with what I saw from Dynamixyz (their Performer™ facial capture and analysis software) and 3DMD (ImageFusion™ craniofacial virtual reality medtech modeling).

I got to thinking Performer™ could be used for “mouth-shape mirroring” during speech therapy, and learned that it has been used this way: 1-4% of North Americans naturally stutter, and additional speech disabilities arise from the adult neurological effect of Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, etc. I could see speech therapy as a use case: someone looking at themselves stuttering, learning-by-seeing-how-to-change enunciation and mouth-shape to minimize the stuttering event, whilst working with the therapist to use the tool to practice voicing and mouth-shaping.

And then thought about the insignia emblazoned on Mr. Hranitzky’s Sea King helicopter image: imagining that image modified to display the insignia of each national market.

And then thought about new disciplines coming over from the medtech side to the CGI digital media industry side:

  • – CGI Ethnographers
  • – CGI Anthropologists
  • – CGI Linguists & Translators
  • – CGI Speech Pathologists & Audiologists

siggraph-01-graphics-page4modified-004siggraph-01-graphics-page4modified-005Could CGI grow the industry by changing the cost structure of pre-release piracy?

  • – Using artistic wizardry to globally grow local markets, without changing the internal technical practices of the industry?
  • – Cutting into the margins of media pirates, using technical advances to modify legacy release date cycles?
  • – Extending the professional ranks of colour and detail specialists by adding networks of specialized skills to build local markets?
  • – Using demand, economies of scale, and a global network of specialty skills to make a big chunk of piracy unprofitable?

If we could cut piracy losses to 1% or less, would there be sufficient net balance sheet, economic, trade, and stock price materiality ROI to justify the change?

Moon boot imprint – US Public Domain via NASA

Helicopter & Lighthouse: © Copyright Maxon Computer, Artwork by Robert Hranitzky. Used with permission. Cropped for blog post.  Original is here.

Images in notes – citations here [huer-image-links-siggraph01]

Harvesting Invasive Species – a business growth opportunity?

Can the Carp Rendering business model be used for Burmese Pythons?

It works if States pay a bounty


Pythons have killed as much as 99% of mammal species in the Florida Everglades

I’ve been looking at scaled skin products for a friend, and noticed an opportunity to harvest Burmese Pythons. Being a US issue, US citizens would have to run the venture. Attached here is a quick opportunity spreadsheet.

New! visual business model

Source Idea – Invasive Carp Rendering:

American Heartland Fish Products (AHFP) is turning invasive carp into dehydrated meal and fish oil. “The government wants this fish removed in large volumes, and this is the way to do it” (Gray Magee, CEO):

  • Article 01, Article 02
  • AHFP’s Rendering Tech partner is Auburn University: Link 01, Link 02, Link 03, Link 04


Question: Can we do the same with invasive Burmese Pythons?

The BBC reports: “The snake-skin business is extremely lucrative according to this report, which estimates that half a million python skins are exported annually from South East Asia in a trade worth $1bn (£625m) a year. The nature of the trade is such that there is a strong financial incentive all along the supply chain to use illegal snakes. A skin that a villager in Indonesia might sell for $30 (£19) will end up as a bag in fashion boutiques in France or Italy selling for $15,000 (£9,300). The highest demand is for skins between three and four metres long.”

Can we reduce the harm of their spread?

Pythons in America

US climate regions that could support invasive Burmese Pythons: “By 2100 the yellow “maybe” area is expected to extend north substantially, due to projected climate change” (Science Daily).

US Market Opportunity:

  • * Invasive species NOT protected
  • * Skins sold into high value luxury market
  • * Entrails sold for rendering
  • * Components used for Chinese traditional medicine market

Python Pits (Farms) & State Govt Bounty is probably the way to go:

  • * Enclosed holding pits at factories
  • * Wild Pythons delivered at Bounty Rate
  • * Wild Pythons = zero breeding cost to factory
  • * Factory assumes processing costs

Markets & Local Industry Incentive:

  • * Protects human lives and property
  • * Acts to protect loss of biodiversity across Southern USA
  • * Increases competitive pressure on illegal trade of native Asian species
  • * Cuts into illegal trade because of Asian demand for high-quality US goods
  • * Uses ban on illegal wildlife imports to NAFTA market to develop US industry
  • * Basic product line and a Premium (mystique-laden) Wild product line
  • * Develops sewn goods industry in southern US states
  • * Entrails rendered for other uses

Note for Spreadsheet Model:

  • * Government Bounty Rate = per Pound
  • * Retail Trade Rate = per Metre

Background Data:

  • * Article 01 BBC article on Invasive Species
  • * Article 02 Illegal Python trade value
  • * Article 03 International Trade Centre report on SE Asian Python Skins

Product Needs Estimate:

  • * Estimated size for handbag: 4 handbags from 1 x 4 metre skin
  • * Fabric for 1 large handbag: 3/4 yard = for ease of calculation, 1 metre wide:
  • * Estimated girth of python in image in BBC article = 20 inches 
  • * Data Source:

Author: Dave Huer

Should Patent Terms be Auctioned like Electromagnetic Spectrum?

AFVPR is a public resource conservation framework: calculating the AFVPR of a limited resource, so that we can plan for recovery and return of the value of those resources back to their original value, the intrinsic state we all enjoy.


Electromagnetic Spectrum

I wonder, could we apply the framework to patent rights?

Since (Quoting USPTO) “the term of a patent for utility/patent patent(s) is no longer based upon a term fixed at grant, the number of factors that must be considered increase the difficulty in calculating the term of a patent. A patent owner or the public must consider the following factors in calculating the expiration date of a patent for utility and plant applications. The factors include the following:

  • – type of application(utility, design, plant);
  • – filing date of the application;
  • – the grant date of the patent;
  • – benefit claims under 35 U.S.C. § 120, 121 or 365(c);
  • – patent term adjustments and extensions under 35 U.S.C. § 154;
  • – patent term extensions under 35 U.S.C. § 156;
  • – terminal disclaimer(s); and
  • – timely payment of maintenance fees.

Electromagnetic Spectrum is periodically auctioned off.

Governments reserve spectra for small players to prevent anti-competitive private cartel dominance of the public resource; and encourage full and frank ownership disclosure to get the license.

In the Age of Patent Aggregators, do we not have the same need?

  • – Are patent “barons” discouraging innovation outside University-Aggregator partnerships?
  • – Will more entrepreneurs leave jurisdictions that think that control of the patent sector in partnership with Aggregators mean that entrepreneurs will simply buckle?
  • – Will more entrepreneurs simply take their minds and wallets elsewhere, or simply expose patents, or simply sit back to watch patent portfolios drop in value if markets slowly decide that portfolios (and all the threatened “Pay Us or Else” lawsuits) have become a millstone around the necks of investors, and financiers, and insurers?

Since term duration is now malleable, should we manage patent rights differently?

  • – Should Patent Rights be treated as electromagnetic spectrum?
  • – With a segment reserved for small players;
  • – With full and frank ownership disclosure (including shell and associate companies):
  • – Periodically shuffled to encourage maximum competition?
  • – Foreign government-owned companies and entities required to adhere to the same transparent rules that domestic companies face?
  • – Foreign government-owned Aggregator partners made to face the same rules, or be excluded from the domestic marketplace?


Spectrum Image by: Sharayanan (Creative Commons license via Wikipedia)