Viacom's General Counsel Lecture On Copyright Leaves Out Certain Facts

from the well,-that's-something dept

Someone once told me that Viacom's top lawyer, Michael Fricklas, has been known to read Techdirt on occasion. I have no idea if this is true, but it still is interesting to watch him give a lecture to some Yale law students where he offers a somewhat nuanced position on copyright issues (thanks to JJ for being the first of many to forward the video to us), but which repeatedly seems to leave out certain pertinent facts:
He starts out by saying that he's a strong supporter of fair use, and doesn't like the idea of having to get licenses for creating new works -- but is concerned about the "exact copy" problem. So, basically he's in favor of fair use for creating new works, but not direct distribution.

He discusses copyright vs. free speech -- and insists that there's no "tension" between the two (despite many recent studies suggesting the exact opposite). Of course, he does a bit of a twist there, by saying that copyright is pro-free speech because it creates incentive for speech. The problem with this statement is that while that's the theory, the evidence for it is somewhat lacking. However, there is tremendous evidence of cases where copyright is used to stifle speech -- and of all the massive extensions and changes in copyright laws over the past 200 years, almost all have served to stifle more speech than they have encouraged.

He then trots out the industry's own numbers claiming how much copyright contributes to the economy, even though those numbers are based on a variety of questionable assumptions, including the idea that all content covered by copyright is only created because of copyright. Along those lines, he also credits copyright for things like the iPod and the Kindle, saying that no one's buying those devices just to look at them. This is correct -- but note the trick. He did not say that it was content that drove the iPod and the Kindle, but copyright. He's wrong. It's content. Not copyright.

He notes that some say that "unlicensed IP" might drive this innovation, but he favors "sustainable innovation" (as if anyone doesn't). And then he makes this odd statement:
"A more sustainable innovation is one where, if you make an investment, you have the opportunity to make a return."
Now, that's a great (by which we mean, useless) statement, because it's obviously true. Who would ever deny that? But it's a sneaky and disingenuous statement, because it implies something that's simply not true: that without copyright or without restrictive licensing, the investors do not have an opportunity to make a return. As we've shown over and over again, plenty of content creators who "free" their IP have not only made a return, but have made a better return than they did under older models that relied on copyright. But it's a sneaky trick that's often used by folks in this debate. You set up this strawman argument and then knock it down, despite the fact that no one ever made the argument, and you argue that something is fact (that you can't make a return) when it's empirically false. It's frustrating that this argument still gets made and people should really start calling the folks who make it out whenever they state such falsehoods.

Later, he talks about the "losses" from piracy, insisting that the findings come from a "sophisticated" analysis, not just from counting all downloads as lost sales. Of course, these numbers came from the same study process that led to some results that even the MPAA (of which Viacom is a major member) had to later admit were bogus. This is also the same "sophisticated analysis" that includes ripple effects in one direction only, so it's actually double, triple, quadruple, quintuple counting some numbers, while totally ignoring how those numbers actually help the industry in other ways. So, sorry if I don't take those loss numbers seriously, no matter how "sophisticated" he thinks they are. They're not. They're only "sophisticated" in how misleading they are.

He does have a short discussion on RealNetworks' RealDVD offering, which he implies enables piracy -- even as he admits he wants the functionality, where he could move a copy of a legally purchased DVD to his hard drive for backup or other viewing, but says his "concern" is that people would do this with Netflix DVDs. He believes that the problem with this is that RealNetworks had to break the encryption put in place by the studios. Notice, again, what Fricklas conveniently leaves out. First, he leaves out the fact that it is already legal for people to make backup copies of content they legally own -- but, thanks in part to Hollywood lobbying, Hollywood itself can block that right, simply by putting encryption on something and then saying that you can't circumvent it without breaking the law (thank you, DMCA anti-circumvention clause). He also leaves out (conveniently) the fact that RealDVD doesn't actually "break" the encryption and that the resulting copy still includes DRM that prevents copies. The fact that he's "concerned" about the Netflix model is of no consequence whatsoever. McDonalds is "concerned" about Burger King, but that doesn't give them a legal right to block them from being in business.

Then he pulls out the ever popular "$200 million movie" myth, which I thought was a favorite of NBC Universal, but I guess Viacom is going with it now as well. It's not a myth that there are movies that cost $200 million. The myth is that people want movies that cost that much. No one watching a movie cares how much it costs. They want good movies, no matter how much they cost. I'm sure people would like some $1 billion or $100 billion movies as well, but that doesn't mean we need to grant Viacom extra special legal privileges to make sure it can make a $1 billion or $100 billion movie profitably. People like good movies. Viacom wants to make profitable movies. We agree. But the $200 million number is meaningless. There are ways to make good movies for both less and more than $200 million and there are ways to make profitable movies even in the face of piracy. The claim that piracy undermines the $200 million movie, which is some sort of "necessity," is simply not supported.

On top of that, he tosses out the debunked claim that if something is "free" it means it's devalued. That's simply not true, no matter how many times people repeat it. If it were true, and the content had no value, no one would want it. Value and price are two separate things.

Then, he discusses the "Kanye West" MTV Video Awards "Imma let you finish..." example, by talking about how Viacom used various filtering tools to pull that clip off of various "unlicensed" user uploaded video sites. But he also talks about how they drove people to use the official Viacom clip, which allowed them to "participate in the benefit" of the video. Now, that's interesting, and it's great that they put their own clips up and made them embeddable. But, again, it's important to note what he left out. In forcing everyone to view the content through Viacom directly, it also increased Viacom's own cost in terms of bandwidth. The advantage of letting others help host and distribute the content is that it actually eases that cost.

His discussion on kicking people off the internet via a "three strikes" mechanism is getting much of the attention on other sites, because he mentions, totally in passing, that suing users "feels like bullying." This may sound like a big deal -- and certainly some other sites (and industry lawyers) are making it out like a big revelation, but it's not. The movie industry has never sued individuals for such things -- only the recording industry has. And even way back in the Jack Valenti days, he talked about why he didn't like the idea of suing individuals. So, this isn't a shift in positioning at all. Rather, it's a repeat of the new silly strategy of some in the industry to try to pretend that kicking people off the internet is "consumer relief." Not quite. Shooting someone in the leg instead of the head is certainly "better," but I doubt that the person shot in the leg considers it "relief."

Oh yes, he also fails to explain how any of that will make more people buy.

Towards the end of that discussion, though, he makes another interesting statement, saying that: "there's no way to deal with this problem other than to move viewing into licensed contexts." Except, that's not true. There are other ways. It's called setting up a business model where people actually do have a reason to buy things, whether they view the content in a licensed or unlicensed manner. I recognize he's on the legal side, rather than the business side, but the idea that the "only" way to deal with piracy is to attack it, rather than embrace it, is a position that the industry long ago should have learned was a mistake.

His final point is discussing how DRM "enables new business models," and he more or less dismisses criticism of DRM as really just being criticism of "bad" DRM (of which there is plenty). However, what struck me, was how none of the "new business models" he described actually required DRM at all. You could do them all in some way entirely without DRM. All the DRM does is add restrictions. Of course, rather than adding restrictions, why doesn't the industry focus on employing new business models that give users more and make them want to buy, rather than trying to enforce artificial limitations?

On the whole, it is an interesting video, and well worth watching, but it conveniently misstates or leaves out important facts throughout. Unfortunately, the Q&A session that follows the presentation wasn't included, so I have no idea if any of the students challenged some of his assertions or pointed out some of the points that he left out. Anyway, maybe we can hope that Fricklas is, in fact, an occasional reader here and can stop by to address those questions and omissions.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Didn't Paranormal Activity just make over $100,000,000 at the Box Office?

    Didn't it cost $15,000 to make? That's a little shy of a $200,000,000 budget.

    It was also made back in 2007. Two years ago. I think it's been online since. Being pirated. Yet it's still going strong in the theatres.

    I'm so confused?!? I know! Let's kick people off of the internet baseed on an accusation. Then Paranormal Activity 2 can rake in $200,000,000. I love thinking like a lawyer!

     

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  2.  
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    Brendan (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:31am

    Q&A's would be fantastic.

    That email discussion with the newspaper guy was pretty interesting.

    I'd like to see more back-and-forth with people on the other side of the fence. While neither side is likely to "change their mind," it wold be worthwhile to see the responses to the questions/claims both sides continually present.

    So, Fricklas, if you're out there: how does any of what you suggest make more people want to pay you?

     

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  3.  
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    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    It's not a myth that there are movies that cost $200 million.The myth is that people want movies that cost that much.

    As usual, reality begs to differ:

    http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/

     

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  4.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    As usual, reality begs to differ:

    I think you may have misunderstood, or perhaps I didn't explain clearly: people don't care how much a movie costs to make. They want a good movie, regardless of its cost.

    That's the point. The industry keeps focusing on needing to be able to make $200 million movies, which is the wrong thing to focus on, and leads them to be inefficient and wasteful. They should just focus on making good, profitable movies, rather than worrying about trying to hit a specific cost number.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re:

    It's like gambling but for rich people.

    "I spent over $100,000,000 to make my movie and it made three times that! Did you hear about DeWino? He spent $50,000,000 on his movie and the public only spent half that amount to see it! Oh poor DeWino, when will you ever learn?"

     

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    notstephencolbert, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:11am

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    No one should be given a monopoly just to encourage them to exercise their free speech. Or perhaps we should just hand over money to anyone who exercises their free speech in the name of encouraging free speech. Where do I get my check? I have the freedom to drink water, should I be given money or a monopoly on something every time I drink water just to encourage me to drink water? Freedom to do something doesn't mean we owe you anything to do it and it doesn't mean we should give you something every time you exercise that freedom. We shouldn't give in to your every demand just because you would otherwise threaten not to exercise your free speech. If someone threatened to work fewer hours if they weren't given a million dollars should we simply give in to their every demand? No, no employer would do such a thing, why should society be so naive as to give in to the demands of every last person who threatens not to exercise their free speech if they're not given everything they want.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re:

    And those movies that didn't cost $200,000,000 to make? That the public went to go see anyway? That were still profitable?

    How does that reality figure into your mindset?

    Because the public happens to also see blockbuster means that only blockbusters should be made?

    Looks like someone wants to eliminate all that independant action!

     

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  9.  
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    RD, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:24am

    Scapegoat

    "It was also made back in 2007. Two years ago. I think it's been online since. Being pirated. Yet it's still going strong in the theatres."

    Thats because "piracy" figures are GREATLY OVERBLOWN. The amount of people who "pirate" compared to the people who dont is VERY VERY SMALL. These industries see "piracy" as a convenient scapegoat, for DECADES now (from reel-to-reel, then cassette, then computer floppies, etc) when the real truth is, VERY FEW PEOPLE COPY STUFF. Most dont know about it, or care, or have the time or knowledge to do it. These alarmist tales of the MAJORITY of people "pirating" is flat-out self-serving bullshit. They want the big fear-factor out there so they can pass legislation instead of doing any kind of innovation, improvement, or hard work.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Re:

    Basically just because someone or some group of people threaten not to do something doesn't mean we should give in to their every last demand (or any demand for that matter). Otherwise I can simply threaten the government "look, if I you don't hand me over a million dollars I will not type on techdirt" and I can argue how bad techdirt would be without me and how much society would lose and WALLA, I get a million dollars. No, society should not work that way, and we should not give in to someones every demand just because s/he would otherwise threaten not to write a song if we don't give him/her a monopoly. What next, should everyone jump through hoops just because you would otherwise threaten not to write a song?

     

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  11.  
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    william, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    all these talk of $200 million dollar movies just confirm one thing for me.

    Movie industry is getting lazy.

    Instead of focusing on acting and scripting to present a good story to the audience, they are focusing on secondary items.

    "We need to throw more money to get bigger sets! More special effects! Grander scenes!"
    "If a boat can get people to watch movie, a BIGGER boat will get even more people to watch it."

    Expensive stuff usually means better stuff, but not always. $ not equal to quality. This applies to everything, movies included.

    There is a reason why a lot of people watches old movies and goes pfffft on the newer movies. Back in the days, studios don't have that kind of money to throw at sets and special effects, so the movie tend to be of higher quality story/action wise.

    In another sense, all these new special effects and CGI and special sets are actually hindering the movies.

    I don't hate those eye candies, but I think ppl need to show restrain. Use only what's necessary to get the story across and no more.

    After all, people mostly watch movie for the story, not special effects.

    PS. yes I am aware of movies that have no story but only explosion after explosion. However, people would watch those to get a high and then forgot. Real good movie last years.

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    "200 hundred years"
    ??

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    sorry, end of second paragraph after video.

     

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    william (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re:

    weird, I am losing my sign in status a lot... :P

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    @freedom is freeloading...


    exactly what point are you failing to make? what you said and what you linked to have ...... well, lets see.... hrm..... yes NOTHING to do with eachother...

     

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  16.  
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    Mike, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Re:

    "200 hundred years"

    Oops! Ha! Fixed... thanks.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Shooting someone in the leg instead of the head is certainly "better," but I doubt that the person shot in the leg considers it "relief."


    He's probably relieved that he didn't get shot in the head!

     

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    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 4:19pm

    I think you may have misunderstood, or perhaps I didn't explain clearly: people don't care how much a movie costs to make. They want a good movie, regardless of its cost.

    Obviously, it takes more than a big budget to make a successful movie but big budget, Hollywood blockbusters comprise the VAST MAJORITY of of the top 100, highest grossing films of all time. Proclaiming budget had nothing to do with this fact, is absurd.

    Obviously people (all around the world) love these big budget, big spectacle Hollywood films.

    Obviously people DO WANT, big budget films...with good stories.

    And nothing you've ever written on this website explains how 99% of the most popular movies of all time could have been created WITHOUT the protections afforded by copyright.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    These movies would have made big, blockbuster money even if copyright didn't exist.

    You live in a strange world. The kind of world where people are looking to screw over anyone for anything.

    "Hey, I would go see that hot new blockbuster but Jimmy down the street is showing an exact copy on an even bigger screen! Fuck the people who created it! I'm going to give my money to Jimmy!"

    Copyright doesn't encourage the creation of content.

    It will happen whether copyright laws exist or they don't.

    "But everyone will steal everything all the time!"

    I'm willing to bet that the general public is better than that. Are you?

     

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  20.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    Re:

    Obviously, it takes more than a big budget to make a successful movie but big budget, Hollywood blockbusters comprise the VAST MAJORITY of of the top 100, highest grossing films of all time. Proclaiming budget had nothing to do with this fact, is absurd.

    You apparently are unaware of the difference between correlation and causation, which makes it difficult to take your position on this matter seriously -- though it is quite common among IP maximalists.

    Is a big budget film likely to gross more? Perhaps. Is it a better investment? That's not clear. Are they better movies? Again, not at all clear.

    Obviously people DO WANT, big budget films...with good stories.

    No one cares about the budget of the film. They want a good film.

    Besides, you have not explained why this point requires gov't protectionism. Even if we grant your unproven and unsubstantiated premise that $200 million movies are somehow required, why shouldn't the gov't protect $1 billion or $100 billion movies. Surely those would gross even more, according to your understanding of correlation. So why do we not set up a system to make sure a movie maker can get back an investment on such a film?

    And nothing you've ever written on this website explains how 99% of the most popular movies of all time could have been created WITHOUT the protections afforded by copyright.

    Sure we have. We've talked about it repeatedly: the movie business has never needed copyright. It's always been about selling scarcities, and it can still do that even in the absence of copyright. Remember Marcus Loews' famous statement: "we don't sell movies, we sell seats." Once you understand that, the rest should become clear.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re:

    I would pay to see a $100 billion movie.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Titanic 2: The Curse of the Leviathan

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Re:

    You may recall that at the time Loew purportedly made this remark he owned both movie theaters and MGM. He oversaw the creation of content and then sold access via movie tickets in his theaters.

    Of course, all of this changed in the 40's when an antitrust suit brought by the USG took studios out of the theater business.

     

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    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 8:36pm

    You apparently are unaware of the difference between correlation and causation, which makes it difficult to take your position on this matter seriously

    LOL

    So it's just a giant coincidence then? Seriously? This is your response?

    No one cares about the budget of the film. They want a good film.

    Not the budget, but the spectacle. Specifically the kind of spectacle that only a big budget can afford.

    Decades of real-life, factual numbers back me up whereas all you have is your half-baked, idealistic theories.

    why shouldn't the gov't protect $1 billion or $100 billion movies. Surely those would gross even more, according to your understanding of correlation. So why do we not set up a system to make sure a movie maker can get back an investment on such a film?

    Preposterous straw man.

    And yes, the most popular type of films should be granted governmental protectionism as per our constitution. The only people this protectionism hurts are parasites and counterfeiters.

    the movie business has never needed copyright.

    Horseshit. Secondary market licensing and home video sales are a combined larger market than theatrical. Take away copyright, both disappear, and oops, there goes 2/3's of your potential revenue and more than likely 2/3's of your budget.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 9:10pm

    Re:

    Meh. With the destruction of copyright the world would go through a renaissance of creativity.

    The only people harmed aren't really people at all. Middlemen and lawyers?

    Oh no! But without middlemen and lawyers nothing of value would ever be created!

    Hollywood is one giant sucking parasite on the ass end of culture.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 9:13pm

    Re:

    So the reason we have copyright last centuries is so Some Corporate Entity can make "2/3's of [their] potential revenue and more than likely 2/3's of [their] budget."

    Most of that goes to the lawyers, anyway? So without copyright a bunch of lawyers lose their jobs?

    I can live with that. So can most of the public.

    Because intellectual property lawyers aren't really lawyers, are they?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 9:14pm

    Re:

    Why isn't intellectual property taxed? If it's property?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 9:15pm

    Re:

    Just for the heck of it I used the Google search engine to try and find the lowest grossing film reported. Turns out the search identified Zyzzyx Road, filmed with a $2M budget in 2006 and earned a US gross of about $30 (6 patrons at $5/ea.). No clear number on what it made during foreign release since estimates vary from about $300K to $2M.

    Turns out it was apparently an idie film.

    At least a couple indie films have earned fairly decent money, but they seem to be the exception to the rule.

    Of course, big budget films by the major studios do not always hit it big. Some are just plain bad, but at least the studios seem to have a better handle on what sells and what does not.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 9:17pm

    Re:

    "And yes, the most popular type of films should be granted governmental protectionism as per our constitution. The only people this protectionism hurts are parasites and counterfeiters."

    And consumers. Poor consumers. Hey, remember this?

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." - The Greatest Shill of All Time

    Right. We're the parasites.

    Although, hey, you're right about counterfeiters. Fuck those assholes. They should rot in jail.

    It's a good thing there are already laws dealing with counterfeiters.

    Which has nothing to do with copyright.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 9:22pm

    Re:

    Are you going to feel bad for your bosses when Selectable Output Control crashes and burns?

    Will a little part inside of you die on that day?

     

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  31.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 9:57pm

    Re:


    So it's just a giant coincidence then? Seriously? This is your response?


    I didn't say it was a *coincidence* but just you making that statement highlights your cluelessness on correlation and causation. Correlation is still interesting, but there are many reasons why it might occur. Not just that it's a coincidence. Seriously, if you want to be taken seriously, at least understand basic stats. I didn't say it was a coincidence, I was just asking for proof of a causal relationship. For all you know it could be an independent factor.

    Not the budget, but the spectacle. Specifically the kind of spectacle that only a big budget can afford.

    Total strawman. Have you seen the sort of effects people are creating on the cheap these days? What's the biggest cost in movies? It's not the effects, it's paying for stars. And there was a study a few years back that showed how studios were overpaying for stars and there was no causal impact (again, you need to understand the difference between correlation and causation, of which you have already displayed profound ignorance twice) between having stars and having a hit film.

    In other words, a lot of the money is being wasted.

    And that's my point. You can create the same "spectacle" at much more affordable rates. But when you think in terms of "we need to spend $200 million for a blockbuster" then you don't think about ways to save money and be more efficient, you look for ways to waste money -- and the fact that the studios abuse copyright to help them do that is a shame.

    Decades of real-life, factual numbers back me up whereas all you have is your half-baked, idealistic theories.

    You have not presented any evidence at all. You presented some correlations without any causal evidence. I guess, seeing as you don't seem to understand the difference, that you think you've proved something. But you have not.

    Preposterous straw man.

    Hmm. Really? Ok. If it's a strawman to ask why the industry shouldn't get protection for its $100 billion movie, then it's also a strawman to say that the industry should get protection for a $200 million movie.

    Thanks for proving the point.

    Or, wait, are you actually going to say asking to protect the $200 million movie is legit, but the $100 billion is not? Really? Fascinating. How do you set the number, then?


    And yes, the most popular type of films should be granted governmental protectionism as per our constitution. The only people this protectionism hurts are parasites and counterfeiters.


    I would suggest a look into the history of copyright would be warranted, as the Constitution set it forth for a single reason: to protect the *sciences*. In fact, popular culture at the time, such as music, plays and operas were *NOT* protected. The idea that the Constitutional plan was to protect things like movies again simply proves your ignorance.

    As for it "only protecting parasties and counterfeiters" again that is not borne out by the evidence. The protectionism afforded through copyright distorts the movie industry and ends up diverting money from smart projects towards big money wasters. I don't think that's good for the economy.


    Horseshit. Secondary market licensing and home video sales are a combined larger market than theatrical. Take away copyright, both disappear, and oops, there goes 2/3's of your potential revenue and more than likely 2/3's of your budget.


    Ha! Man, you really need to bone up on your history before you wade into these waters. 25 years ago, the MPAA insisted that the "home video market" was going to kill the movie industry. Now it's vital to it? You make me laugh.

    I'm sorry, you can't use home video sales to defend your position as vital when the industry was so against it and had to be dragged kicking and screaming by the courts into allowing home video to even exist. That's the height of ridiculousness. The home video market did not exist 30 years ago. And yet, the movie industry has been around much longer. The licensing market is also a newer invention than the industry. So don't claim that these are somehow necessary, and don't be so ignorant as to claim that other ways to make money won't crop up in their place.

    And, if you believe that the home video or the licensing markets disappear in the absence of copyright you haven't been paying attention. CDs still sell just fine, even when musicians give away music for free, if they provide a good reason to buy. The same would be true of DVDs. And the movie industry still does licensing deals (such as on true story events) when copyright does not require it. There are all sorts of ways to make plenty of money in the absence of copyright. The fact that you appear so uncreative as to not be able to think of them does not change that. It just suggests yet another reason (beyond the ignorance of statistics, economics and history) why one hopes that you do not work in the movie business.

     

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  32.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You may recall that at the time Loew purportedly made this remark he owned both movie theaters and MGM. He oversaw the creation of content and then sold access via movie tickets in his theaters.

    Of course, all of this changed in the 40's when an antitrust suit brought by the USG took studios out of the theater business.


    Indeed. So part of the problem is the US gov't. But, you seem to assume that these sorts of business models are only possible when you own both. I'm sorry that you apparently lack the basic creativity to come up with business models that work in this manner, but that does not mean those who are more in tune with basic business principles cannot.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re:

    "Have you seen the sort of effects people are creating on the cheap these days? What's the biggest cost in movies? It's not the effects, it's paying for stars."

    Anyone who thinks the effects is a major cost is completely clueless. Anyone with some basic software these days can easily make just about any effect they want and it does not take very much time at all. With computers these days this is a non issue.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I thought the biggest cost was the cocaine? And the hookers.

    What did EMI call it? Oh right. "Fruits and flowers."

     

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    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 18th, 2009 @ 3:05am

    There is no such thing as good DRM

    His final point is discussing how DRM "enables new business models," and he more or less dismisses criticism of DRM as really just being criticism of "bad" DRM (of which there is plenty).

    He does not happen to mention any actual benefit "good DRM" offers consumers? That's what I thought.

     

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  36.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 18th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re:

    "In another sense, all these new special effects and CGI and special sets are actually hindering the movies."

    They are actually the future of the movies. These CGI effects will lead to cheaper movies and TV shows. When you dont need to build sets and can do all back grounds and locations as green or blue screen it substantially reduces cost.

    Google has a WareHouse of 3d models that is huge. As the technology improves you will see people creating great works without requiring large studio backing. With music it is easy and cheap now to build a professional studio for under $3,000 USD. You will see the same thing happening for video production over the next couple years.

     

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  37.  
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    Ian Channing (profile), Nov 18th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re:

    Give the discussion over correlation, you might as well graph Budget vs Takings - which I did: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20950575@N05/4114445119/sizes/o/. There is actually very little correlation and the variance increases as you spend more, so its riskier to have a bigger budget.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your assumption about what I "seem to assume" is off the mark. Workable business models are almost infinite in number. Thus, please stop patting yourself on the back. It is getting a bit tedious.

    Loew's comment, while made in a era when business interests in the movie industry were aligned quite differently than now, reflects in part the point you make repeatedly. Content is a means by which one can potentially profit from the sale of a scarcity.

    One final comment if I may. The constant "slamming" of business that rely on copyright in support of their business models may be buggy whip-like, but that is a choice they are free to make. Your constant demeaning of the choices they make in my view comes across in varying degrees are arrogant. Let them make their choices and then let the chips fall where they may. It seems to me that you far better promote your economic arguments when you utilize examples that do not rely on copyright to achieve business success.

     

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  39.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Sustainable business or Lottery?

    Fixating on blockbusters is a sort of "lottery" mindset. Sure there are a few movies that make it onto the blockbuster list but what about everything else that is made? Are STAR WARS and Harry Potter the only sorts of movies you can make? Are they even the only sorts you would want to see (even if you are a fan of both)?

    Hollywood seems to be hooked on expensive razzle-dazzle.

     

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  40.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 18th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re:

    Looks like someone wants to eliminate all that independant action!

    That is what most of the litigation from the major movie and music people against services is aimed at doing. They are just trying to ensure that they have no competition in their areas.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Your constant demeaning of the choices they make in my view comes across in varying degrees are arrogant."

    The content industry's choice of bullying individuals who attempt to exercise their fair use of content is beyond arrogant.

    They reap what they sow.

     

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  42.  
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    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re:

    I didn't say it was a *coincidence*

    No you really didn't say anything did you? A lot of keyboard pounding with nothing behind it. I would love to hear what "independent factor" could be responsible for the 98 percent of the 100 highest grossing films of all time being big budget epics.

    There is a point at which citing the "correlation/causation" principle just becomes obnoxious. Congratulations on reaching that point.

    Total strawman. Have you seen the sort of effects people are creating on the cheap these days?

    It's not a strawman at all and yes I am more familiar with the kinds of effects people are creating on the cheap than you are and yes while they are impressive for what they are, digital matte backdrops, rudimentary greenscreen and simple rotoscoping do not hold a candle to the effects in your average Hollywood blockbuster.

    Star Wreck, World Builder, Escape from City 17 etc, none of them are on the same level. And the thing they all have in common is extremely long production times for extremely short running times.

    It's getting there, but it's not there yet and it won't be for some time.

    What's the biggest cost in movies? It's not the effects, it's paying for stars.

    What a ridiculous statement. The biggest costs in a movie depends on the movie! In Spiderman 2, the effects budget was north of SIXTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS. The cast allotment was less than HALF of that. How is it that you're so comfortable talking about subjects you know nothing about? How can you be so confident in your ignorance?

    In other words, a lot of the money is being wasted.

    On stars...sometimes. But that's hardly revelatory. Quotas have been quietly eroding for the last five years. In the last two years, they've been decimated.

    Where money is NOT being wasted, is on effects. Blockbuster caliber effects are still VERY expensive despite whatever baseless bullshit you happen to believe sans any evidence what so ever.

    And that's my point. You can create the same "spectacle" at much more affordable rates.

    LOL

    They're already outsourcing the simple stuff to India. Apart from that, no. Just no. You do not know what you're talking about.

    If it's a strawman to ask why the industry shouldn't get protection for its $100 billion movie, then it's also a strawman to say that the industry should get protection for a $200 million movie.

    Thanks for proving the point.


    None of that makes any sense. You are a kitten playing with string.

    Or, wait, are you actually going to say asking to protect the $200 million movie is legit, but the $100 billion is not? Really? Fascinating. How do you set the number, then?

    There is no number and I never said there was. Any and all films should be legally protected under copyright regardless of their budget. Even your strawman 100 billion dollar movie that will never exist and has nothing to do with anything should be protected under copyright. What is your point here? Do you have one?

    The idea that the Constitutional plan was to protect things like movies again simply proves your ignorance.

    There is no difference between literary fiction (which was expressly protected) and filmed fiction. I think the founding fathers would have been just fine with it. The language was made vague for a reason. "Science" was an archaically broad term that did not mean what it does today. I notice you left out "the arts" from your quote and I find that hilarious although that term, as well, didn't mean what it does today.

    Additionally, I would love to see some examples of American plays initially being denied copyright.

    As for it "only protecting parasties and counterfeiters" again that is not borne out by the evidence.

    The word I used was "hurts" not "protects". A lack of copyright gives rise to a flood of hacks, parasites, and counterfeiters and that is most definitely borne out by evidence, past and present. Obviously, you are not well traveled.

    The protectionism afforded through copyright distorts the movie industry and ends up diverting money from smart projects towards big money wasters. I don't think that's good for the economy.

    According to you, the highest grossing films of all time were "big money wasters". Apart from that making absolutely no sense, they also happened to be very good for the economy.

    Ha! Man, you really need to bone up on your history before you wade into these waters. 25 years ago, the MPAA insisted that the "home video market" was going to kill the movie industry. Now it's vital to it? You make me laugh.

    Strawman. I never defended this point of view although I do see the analogy (yours, not his). Only time will tell if the internet is just the next step in a series of initially-resisted, eventually-embraced technologies that go on to open up new markets. My opinion is that it WILL open up new markets (beyond Itunes and the like) but unlike the VCR, they will be at the expense of older markets and won't be anywhere near as lucrative which will result in a vastly changed landscape and not necessarily for the better. Your McDonald's Happy Meal economics will never willingly replace the economics of selling copies. You are being met with such strong resistance (when not outright ignored) because people by their very nature will naturally try to serve their own best interests. Your doctrine is largely dismissed by the outside world as fanatical because contrary to your claims, it will not work for everyone. For many, it would prove counter-productive, like for example, the people who make the blockbuster movies that audiences the world over seem to prefer over anything else.

    The home video market did not exist 30 years ago. And yet, the movie industry has been around much longer. The licensing market is also a newer invention than the industry.

    Uh, more than 40 years actually. The home video market has existed with VHS and Betamax since 1968.

    And both home video and secondary licensing are currently what allow more movies with better production values to be made. There are many movies that would not have been made without these additional revenue streams, including (coincidentally of course) most of the top grossing films of all time which again, were apparently just "money wasters" whose funds could have better been allocated elsewhere...

    So don't claim that these are somehow necessary

    Why not? Anyone who works in this business will tell you they are VERY necessary. Literally anyone. Even a nineteen year old grip smoking a joint behind the studio dumpsters would tell you that. If you have a quote by someone actually in the industry (not a crackpot internet theorist) claiming otherwise, I would love to see it.

    and don't be so ignorant as to claim that other ways to make money won't crop up in their place.

    I hope you're right, but you have yet to elucidate any.

    And, if you believe that the home video or the licensing markets disappear in the absence of copyright you haven't been paying attention.

    I do believe that and I have been paying attention.

    There are all sorts of ways to make plenty of money in the absence of copyright.

    If people were squirrels and could live on peanuts, you would be right. Unfortunately we are not and you are wrong.

    It just suggests yet another reason (beyond the ignorance of statistics, economics and history) why one hopes that you do not work in the movie business.

    :)

     

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  43.  
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    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Anyone who thinks the effects is a major cost is completely clueless. Anyone with some basic software these days can easily make just about any effect they want and it does not take very much time at all.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL

     

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  44.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 18th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your assumption about what I "seem to assume" is off the mark. Workable business models are almost infinite in number. Thus, please stop patting yourself on the back. It is getting a bit tedious.

    You were the one who suggested Loews comments were irrelevant. I was pointing out why that was not so.

    As for tedious, I would suggest that your constant refrain of comments on this site, where you pedantically insult anyone who disagrees with you is much more tedious. Your tendancy to pretend you are not insulting people by saying "merely fyi" or "I am not aware" or some other pompous opening is the sort of obnoxiousness I merely seek to mimic in my responses to you. If you find it tedious or offensive, hold up a mirror. I am only responding as you do.

    Loew's comment, while made in a era when business interests in the movie industry were aligned quite differently than now, reflects in part the point you make repeatedly. Content is a means by which one can potentially profit from the sale of a scarcity.

    Exactly. Which was the point I was making. And yet you, as is your usual style, sought to attack it in pompous language implying that it no longer made sense. You were wrong, I called you on it, and your response is to now backtrack and call me arrogant and tedious.

    Merely FYI, I think you are wrong about that.

    One final comment if I may

    Pompous opening for an insult...

    The constant "slamming" of business that rely on copyright in support of their business models may be buggy whip-like, but that is a choice they are free to make.

    Indeed. And a choice I can make is to point out why they are making a mistake -- especially when their choices serve to limit free speech, free expression and basic user freedoms.

    I'm sorry if you don't like it, but merely FYI, last I checked, you had no right to tell me what I can and cannot say.

    Your constant demeaning of the choices they make in my view comes across in varying degrees are arrogant.

    I am not "demeaning" the choices they make. I am pointing out why they are bad choices. Again, I don't see what is wrong with that. Should I keep my mouth shut when I see someone doing something stupid? I believe it is my right to speak up and try to get them to see the light.

    Let them make their choices and then let the chips fall where they may.

    Heh. Ok, let me summarize your position: "I am going to criticize you for criticizing others. I am telling you that you are wrong to tell other people they are wrong."

    Yup. That makes sense.

    It seems to me that you far better promote your economic arguments when you utilize examples that do not rely on copyright to achieve business success.

    Perhaps. But thus I should ignore the abuses and the abusers? Sorry. It doesn't work that way.

    Merely FYI, of course.

     

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  45.  
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    CrushU, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I like that graph. Is there a possibility you could get the scaling on both axes equal? As it is it skews the way the graph looks... Also I found it interesting the tendencies of budgets to clump around certain amounts, reflecting they're looking at a price point, and then making the movie with that, rather than trying to just make a good movie... I understand the idea behind budgeting, but...

     

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  46.  
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    CrushU, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and don't be so ignorant as to claim that other ways to make money won't crop up in their place.

    I hope you're right, but you have yet to elucidate any.


    http://www.techdirt.com/blog.php?tag=business+models

    I tried to get it to limit it to just those marked with 'movies' too... No such luck.

    Stop feeding the Troll, Mike. :) He's really making no sense and grasping at straws. Honestly. Claiming that no, you can't make great effects? *laugh* Saying Star Wreck is an example of bad effects? *Maybe* by today's standards, but look back 5 years before it was made at the 'big budget' movies and it's equal.

    Saying causation doesn't matter? ... Yeah, please stop feeding. :) He'll just keep trying to bite that hand. :)

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." - The Greatest Shill of All Time

    You're on the wrong side of history. Good luck with all your future endeavours.

     

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  48.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 18th, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No you really didn't say anything did you?

    Actually I did. I pointed out that the point you were trying to prove was false. That you continue to ignore that... well... that says something about your own particular form of reasoning.

    I would love to hear what "independent factor" could be responsible for the 98 percent of the 100 highest grossing films of all time being big budget epics.

    Heh. You mean you can't figure it out? And you imply you work in the business? Yikes. Let's start with the first one: you're using the wrong numbers...

    There is a point at which citing the "correlation/causation" principle just becomes obnoxious. Congratulations on reaching that point.

    Ha! By which you mean "shit, he struck a nerve, actually called my bluff and I have no answer, so let's throw out an insult and hope he goes away."

    It's not a strawman at all and yes I am more familiar with the kinds of effects people are creating on the cheap than you are and yes while they are impressive for what they are, digital matte backdrops, rudimentary greenscreen and simple rotoscoping do not hold a candle to the effects in your average Hollywood blockbuster.


    Indeed. But we're not talking about absolute quality are we? We're talking about quality relative to profits.


    What a ridiculous statement. The biggest costs in a movie depends on the movie! In Spiderman 2, the effects budget was north of SIXTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS. The cast allotment was less than HALF of that.


    Heh. Yes, on one film. Single data point. Gee, that's useful. And the fact that some major studio threw away way too much money on special effects for a movie isn't really supporting your point. It just suggests that some folks tricked some clueless studio heads into overpaying.

    Where money is NOT being wasted, is on effects. Blockbuster caliber effects are still VERY expensive despite whatever baseless bullshit you happen to believe sans any evidence what so ever.

    Let me guess, you work in the effects biz? Of course none of it's wasted...

    They're already outsourcing the simple stuff to India. Apart from that, no. Just no. You do not know what you're talking about.

    Translation: "I can't prove you wrong so I'll stomp my feet and pretend I know stuff." Must have really touched a nerve, huh?

    There is no number and I never said there was. Any and all films should be legally protected under copyright regardless of their budget. Even your strawman 100 billion dollar movie that will never exist and has nothing to do with anything should be protected under copyright. What is your point here? Do you have one?

    Yes, you were insisting that it was important for the economy to protect the $200 million movie. I'm asking why $200 million is the key number. If we need to give incentives for a $200 million movie, why not a $1 billion or $100 billion one? Because the level of protection will, based on your thinking, encourage the incentive for greater and greater investment into movies. And your logic of correlation is that the more you spend, the more you make.

    So shouldn't you be making $100 billion movies? You said that the correlation proves your point. You say that we need such expensive movies to help the economy, so come on man, spend, spend, spend. You've got the proof. Why aren't you backing up your words?

    There is no difference between literary fiction (which was expressly protected) and filmed fiction. I think the founding fathers would have been just fine with it. The language was made vague for a reason. "Science" was an archaically broad term that did not mean what it does today. I notice you left out "the arts" from your quote and I find that hilarious although that term, as well, didn't mean what it does today.

    Copyright was to protect science. Patents were for "useful arts." That's why I left it out. It was irrelevant. But, yes, you are right that "science" covered different things: but not entertainment.

    The first copyright act was for "securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books." Not plays. Not music.

    Strawman. I never defended this point of view although I do see the analogy (yours, not his).

    Not a strawman at all. The movie industry for years tried to kill the video market. It's ridiculous to now insist that it's vital.

    Only time will tell if the internet is just the next step in a series of initially-resisted, eventually-embraced technologies that go on to open up new markets. My opinion is that it WILL open up new markets (beyond Itunes and the like) but unlike the VCR, they will be at the expense of older markets and won't be anywhere near as lucrative which will result in a vastly changed landscape and not necessarily for the better

    Out of curiosity, can you name a single technological progress that made the overall market for entertainment services and products worse? I'll be waiting.

    Your McDonald's Happy Meal economics will never willingly replace the economics of selling copies.

    Heh. I'll be sure to let my econ professors know of your disdain. Just so you know, just because you don't understand basic economics, it doesn't make them "McDonald's Happy Meal" economics. If you want to discuss economics, I'm more than willing to discuss them. But if you want to throw out insults on subjects of which you appear to be unaware, well, I guess if it makes you feel better...

    You are being met with such strong resistance (when not outright ignored) because people by their very nature will naturally try to serve their own best interests. Your doctrine is largely dismissed by the outside world as fanatical because contrary to your claims, it will not work for everyone. For many, it would prove counter-productive, like for example, the people who make the blockbuster movies that audiences the world over seem to prefer over anything else.

    Hmm. I'm not sure what this "strong resistance" is that you speak of. And again, I'm not sure what you mean when you say what I speak of is being dismissed. You are not privy to the conversations I have, but they suggest a rather different reality than you seem to think. Lots of people are figuring this out, and lots of them are talking to me for help. I mean, sure there are a few people who seem to think there's some way to hold back progress and hold onto some old way of doing business, but they'll eventually realize. But, for the most part, you'd be amazed at how open people in the entertainment industry have been to understanding what's going on. Sure, I poke a few ignorant folks along the way, but that's just to get them out of the way.

    And both home video and secondary licensing are currently what allow more movies with better production values to be made.

    Yes, and the internet is what will allow that to happen in the future. No thanks to folks like yourself. But certainly thanks to plenty of others who are figuring this out while you look backwards.

    Why not? Anyone who works in this business will tell you they are VERY necessary. Literally anyone. Even a nineteen year old grip smoking a joint behind the studio dumpsters would tell you that. If you have a quote by someone actually in the industry (not a crackpot internet theorist) claiming otherwise, I would love to see it.

    I talk to lots of people in the industry. And they don't seem to agree with you. Oh well. Can't hold back the tide, but I guess some people will always think they can.

    I hope you're right, but you have yet to elucidate any.

    You should try reading this great site on the internets called Techdirt, where I've pointed out plenty. Or, if you'd like, you can hire us to help you get through your specific troubles. Your competitors probably already have.

    I do believe that and I have been paying attention.

    Not enough, apparently.

    If people were squirrels and could live on peanuts, you would be right. Unfortunately we are not and you are wrong.

    Heh. I'll be sure to tell that to the folks who are making millions by ignoring copyright. Maybe they'll buy you some peanuts with their earnings.

    Seeing as I've seen the results of producing content while ignoring copyright, I can say, unequivocally that I am very, very right.

    :)

    Ha! And so you do work in the industry. Good luck to you. You need it. Or rather, you need some help from someone who's looking forward, not backwards. I assume it's not going to be me, since you obviously have some weird phobia of someone who actually knows something about economics of content, but you should at least look around for some help. Quickly.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I tip my hat to you, Mr. Masnick. Bravo.

    You have a stronger stomach than I do for this kind of thing.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dealing with shills, that is.

     

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  51.  
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    another ac, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 8:52pm

    Mike

    Looks like you have a phobia of people who actually work in the industry and who are likely to know more about how it functions.

    "I would love to hear what "independent factor" could be responsible for the 98 percent of the 100 highest grossing films of all time being big budget epics.

    Heh. You mean you can't figure it out? And you imply you work in the business? Yikes. Let's start with the first one: you're using the wrong numbers..."

    Actually, I'd love to know too. Come on Mike, enlighten us. You're the one with all the answers. It's a simple question: Would 98% of the top grossers of all time have been so successful if they hadn't been big budget?

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 9:04pm

    Re:

    I still don't understand why Hollywood refuses to make this trillion dollar movie I keep hearing about.

    I would pay to see that. Huge spectacle. Hollywood could probably make at least $10 trillion dollars back.

    Why haven't they done this?!? It's $10 trillion dollars? Are they crazy?

    Did you know that Hollywood wastes an unbelievable amount of money on their productions?

    All that cocaine doesn't buy itself! Am I right?

     

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  53.  
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    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually I did. I pointed out that the point you were trying to prove was false.

    No. You pointed out that it COULD be false and then failed to offer up anything more logical.

    Heh. You mean you can't figure it out? And you imply you work in the business? Yikes. Let's start with the first one: you're using the wrong numbers...

    You imply I should be looking at the marketing numbers instead? It's going to be hard to dissociate marketing budgets from production budgets since the two are so interrelated.

    If you are implying that Hollywood should be taking their blockbuster marketing budgets and apply them to their lower budget fair, I would be more than happy to see any examples or studies you might have on the subject.

    Yes, on one film. Single data point. Gee, that's useful.

    That's one more than you've provided. There's no shortage of data on the topic. CG budgets regularly match our exceed acting budgets. They are regularly one of the single largest expenditures in a production. Go look at The Hulk's effects budget. Go look at the effects budget of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Avatar, Titanic, the X-men films, or 2012 currently breaking records overseas where grandiose, high concept, easy-to-understand-even-if-you don't-speak-English, SPECTACLE is king.

    And the fact that some major studio threw away way too much money on special effects for a movie isn't really supporting your point.

    Yes it is. It shows that professional visual effects are nowhere near being cheap.

    Do you have any evidence to the contrary? A handful of semi-impressive 30 second short films that took YEARS to render isn't really proving YOUR point.

    It just suggests that some folks tricked some clueless studio heads into overpaying.

    LOL

    You say this based on what, exactly? Your vast experience in production budgeting?

    Translation: "I can't prove you wrong so I'll stomp my feet and pretend I know stuff." Must have really touched a nerve, huh?

    I don't have to "pretend to know stuff". Anyone with internet access can find out for themselves that professional visual effects are still very expensive.

    You, on the other hand, have provided exactly ZERO evidence to support your insistent and ignorant claim that these effects could be done for a lot less. Please cite your sources. I can't wait to see them!

    Yes, you were insisting that it was important for the economy to protect the $200 million movie. I'm asking why $200 million is the key number.

    No. I was insisting that it is important for copyright to protect all movies, including 200 million dollar ones. Copyright is currently what allows 200 million dollar creative risks to (sometimes) be worth taking.

    If we need to give incentives for a $200 million movie, why not a $1 billion or $100 billion one?

    I advocate no government granted incentive for any creative work beyond copyright. $1 movies should be protected just like your theoretically irrelevant $1,000,000,000 movie. Your attempts to desperately thrust this strawman into the conversation grows tiring.


    And your logic of correlation is that the more you spend, the more you make.

    No. My logic of correlation is that big budget Hollywood spectacles are obviously what is most popular with audiences the world over.

    Your contention that all of these movies could have been made for substantially less with no loss of quality is unsubstantiated bullshit based on exactly nothing...although I cordially invite you to rectify that by providing ANY evidence you might have to the contrary. Again, I can't wait to see it!

    Out of curiosity, can you name a single technological progress that made the overall market for entertainment services and products worse? I'll be waiting.

    As I said before, we'll see if the internet proves to be the next in a long line or something else entirely. I hope you're right but I fear you're wrong.

    You are not privy to the conversations I have, but they suggest a rather different reality than you seem to think.

    Perhaps you should be reporting on them, then?

    Unless of course, what you're talking about is your usual motley crew of has-beens and never-beens reaching for web 2.0 straws.

    But, yes, you are right that "science" covered different things: but not entertainment.

    Yes entertainment. Books of fiction are entertainment and it expressly protected the authors of books. Fiction books are essentially no different than any other creative work of fiction. Are you saying that original constitutional copyright law made a legal distinction between fiction and non-fiction books?

    The first copyright act was for "securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books." Not plays. Not music.

    Soon rectified. These early omissions were likely due to the fact that the abundance of playwrights and composers were still situated overseas and foreign authors were likewise unprotected.

    Yes, and the internet is what will allow that to happen in the future.

    That is your THEORY, I grant you that. Unfortunately, you're still a little light on actual evidence.

    I talk to lots of people in the industry. And they don't seem to agree with you. Oh well. Can't hold back the tide, but I guess some people will always think they can.

    In other words, you have literally NOTHING to back up your view. Not even a single quote from someone in the industry? Can't say I'm surprised!

    Or, if you'd like, you can hire us to help you get through your specific troubles.

    No thanks. According to you, we're already overpaying too many people that aren't worth their paychecks.

    Your competitors probably already have.

    I sincerely hope so! And I sincerely hope they take your advice.

    LOL

    I'll be sure to tell that to the folks who are making millions by ignoring copyright.

    The Pirate Bay? Google? Chinese piracy rings?

    Certainly not anyone actually making films.

    But again, if you have ANY evidence to the contrary, I invite you to show it. Please point me to the filmmakers making millions by ignoring copyright. I am ready and willing to admit I am completely wrong should you be able to do this.

    Good luck to you. You need it.

    I'm doing okay. Thanks for your concern.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 10:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are treading on very thin ice. It is generally not a good idea to allow longstanding experience and familiarity with the workings of an industry to get in the way of theoreticians having no such experience and supremely confident that they have all the answers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 18th, 2009 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:


    Stop feeding the Troll, Mike. :) He's really making no sense and grasping at straws. Honestly. Claiming that no, you can't make great effects? *laugh* Saying Star Wreck is an example of bad effects? *Maybe* by today's standards, but look back 5 years before it was made at the 'big budget' movies and it's equal.


    Sorry, can't resist. Sometimes they make it so easy. It's really a bit unfortunate. I know a bunch of folks working in the business who get this, and every so often they run up against someone like the guy commenting here. I had a conversation last week with someone saying he can't wait until folks like this commenter finally die off, so the next generation can stop having to fight this silly battle. The good news is that enough people understand this stuff, and they'll start to make the old guard look silly.

    But, just you wait and see. As the new dogs make it happen, the old guard will insist it was all their idea in the first place. I can't wait to see our "Freedom is Freeloading" friend in five years talk about how he knew all along how special effects were being revolutionized on the cheap side, and that embracing file sharing was so obviously the right thing to do. By then, he'll have forgotten he even posted the exact opposite here.

    Of course, that's why these guys never post under traceable names. They know they'll be called out on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright will be irrelevant in less than a decade.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Ian Channing (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 4:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Cheers, I've added an equally scaled version: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20950575@N05/4135175581/sizes/o/. There may be some errors / rounding by the people who collected the data on budgets causing the clumping.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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