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July 26 at 4:00pm

Infographic: Film Biz Has MASSIVE Financial Impact

In 2011 the US FilmBiz supported 1.9M Jobs, $1.4B in wages, & 108K businesses. This infographic the MPAA prepared shows the MASSIVE financial impact film creates.  You’d think we’d want to incentivize even more of it!


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December 16 at 8:15am

Piracy: (Some Of) The Short & The Long Of It

Thankfully, Taylor Hackford recognizes that the film industry needs to wise up and educate itself on piracy. He and I agree on that. And I think we agree on the goal of it all, but I suspect we have completely different approaches to solving the problem.  And that is where I am really concerned.  To solve it, Hackford seems willing to sacrifice greater principles in the service of business, and that is a shame.  I hope I am wrong.

Mr. Hackford, president of the DGA, was recently speaking at the Content Protection Summit and Variety reported on it. Reading the article I remain unclear as to what Hackford’s point is about piracy beyond that it is bad and we need to make it a real concern of the industry. He seems to be saying that if we want to protect our content, we have to be willing to give up on a free and open internet. He claims groups like Public Knowledge and Free Press as enemies. Shutting down a free and open internet is not the path to solving the piracy problem; it is the path to a closed society that favors a class or capital over access and opportunity — and that is the antithesis of what we need to do.

We can not create a system that favors the powerful, the connected, or the well capitalized. [...]


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October 1 at 11:28am

MPAA Spokeslawyers Insist They Not Be Identified

BoingBoing reveals how in suing RealNetworks, the MPAA has tried to keep their efforts hush, hush — and journalists complied!  The report was first published on the Wired blog which outlines the whole case.

If you hadn’t heard, RealNetworks released RealDVD, which allows consumers to copy the DVDs they own using their computers.  The Studios are demanding that a judge block the sale on grounds that copying is akin to theft.  RealNetworks says that they are stifling technological developments.

“We are disappointed that the movie industry is following in the footsteps of the music industry and trying to shut down advances in technology, rather than embracing changes that provide consumers with more value and flexibility for their purchases,” RealNetworks said.

This is such a tricky situation.  I think with all the hysteria to prevent the film business from falling into the crapper like the music industry, the efforts are coming close to making it inevitable.  It’s not a war against the consumer and advancement that the Studios seem to think is the case.
Wired boils this case (and another one) down at the end of the article:

The lawsuits beg the question of whether it is legal to copy an encrypted DVD for personal use. The courts have not squarely decided the issue as applied to CDs or DVDs, although the music and movie industry oppose copying.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which the MPAA claims RealDVD and Kaleidescape are breaking, says descrambling or circumventing encryption is a violation carrying a penalty of up to $2,500 per DVD.
RealDVD and Kaleidescape allow users to copy DVDs in their original encrypted form. Those companies, and other similar services, say their wares prevent the movies from being uploaded to torrent trackers.
Lawyers for the MPAA, in a teleconference with reporters, said Kaleidesape and RealDVD are circumventing “technology designed to prevent copying.”


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August 5 at 1:03pm

Dear MPAA: Don’t Alienate The Consumer!

I am worried that the film industry is poised to follow the music biz right down the tubes.  

The MPAA has asked the FCC for permission to engage in “selective output control”.  You can read about at Public Knowledge here.  It’s a new issue to me, but it sounds very short sighted.  I understand the desire to end piracy — although I am a believer in bootlegging as a means of audience access — but we should never do it in such a way that forces the consumer to throw out their entire home entertainment set up!
Mark Cuban has just jumped into the fray, urging the MPAA to spend the money where it will do good: promoting films, and not in ways that will alienate the consumer.  Check out what he has to say on Blogmaverick.


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