In March, an unfinished copy of 20th Century Fox’s film X-Men Origins: Wolverine was stolen from a film lab and uploaded to the Internet, more than a month before its theatrical release. The studio investigated the crime, and efforts were made to limit its availability online. Still, it was illegally downloaded more than four million times.
That kind of wide scale theft was very much on my mind when I was on a panel the other day which opened with a question about the impact of the Internet on the entertainment business, and I responded, “I’m a guy who sees nothing good having come from the Internet. Period.”
Now, the blogosphere does not take so kindly to provocations like that, and it didn’t take long for online critics to compare my words with those of one of my Hollywood predecessors, H.W. Warner, who famously said, “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
But, I actually welcome the Sturm und Drang I’ve stirred, because it gives me an opportunity to make a larger point (one which I also made during that panel discussion, though it was not nearly as viral as the sentence above). And my point is this: the major content businesses of the world and the most talented creators of that content — music, newspapers, movies and books — have all been seriously harmed by the Internet. Read more…
via Boing Boing
As part of their commitment to transparent and open government, the Obama Transition Team is posting the lobbying agendas of the groups it meets with for public review and comment. One of the more interesting documents to be found there is the Motion Picture Association of America’s “international trade” agenda.
Some of the MPAA’s agenda is reasonable, such as cracking down on commercial optical disc piracy. But much of it, if adopted, would result in a substantially less free and safe internet, at little or no actual benefit to the artists and workers the MPAA claims to represent.
Of course, this may not be immediately clear when reading the document, since it’s all couched in DC lobbyist-speak. Here, then, is a guide to understanding what’s really being talked about.
“Achieving inter-industry cooperation in the fight against online piracy, including through automated detection and removal of infringing content is imperative to curb the theft of online content…
This kind of automated-detection technology has long been a favorite fantasy of the MPAA and affiliates. They’ve pushed for it on US campuses, in US states, in US trade law [PDF], and in Europe, so it’s hardly surprising to see them pushing for country-wide requirements at the federal level. Read more…
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – A new technology that essentially allows content owners to profit from piracy will get a high-profile test this month from MySpace and MTV Networks.
Instead of triggering the usual take-down notices, copyright-infringing footage of select MTV Networks programing uploaded by MySpace subscribers would be automatically redistributed with advertisements that would generate revenue for the companies. MTV Networks is the parent company of such channels as MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Spike and Nickelodeon.
MySpace is turning to third-party tech firm Auditude to deliver the technology through a combination of patented assets: a sophisticated ad-serving platform with a video-fingerprinting system that cross indexes billions of seconds of TV and online footage in seconds.
“This is a game-changer,” said Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing at MySpace. “We’re going from a world of no to a world of yes while protecting the rights of the copyright holder.” Read more…