Paramount Thinks That Louis CK Making $1 Million In 12 Days Means He's Not Monetizing

from the does-anyone-take-these-people-seriously? dept

One of the more annoying things about debates on copyright law, is that when we talk about alternative business models that do not rely on copyright, some people feel the need to insist that this means making less money -- or, even, making no money at all. There is just this assumption that an alternative business model means something along the lines of "give it away and pray," when nothing could be further from the truth. Yet this kind of thinking is so ingrained, that even in stories of artists making a ton of money, some maximalists simply assume that they're not making any money. We saw this recently in the comments to one of our recent posts about Jonathan Coulton which talks about how he made $500k last year -- at which point, someone said that such examples are useless since no one will pay.

It appears that Paramount's "Worldwide VP of Content Protection and Outreach" Al Perry also fits into the same unthinking mode. We've already discussed Perry's recent talk to Brooklyn Law School, but there was one section that caught my eye and deserves a separate post. It comes right at the beginning:
Perry opened by noting that one has to articulate a problem before seeking to solve it, and he refers to the problem as “content theft.” He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations, and that even if people like Louis C.K. decide not to do so, that’s a choice and not a requirement.
Now that seems bizarre and totally unsupportable. Remember, Louis CK made over $1 million in just a few days -- an amount that he admits was much higher than what he would have received just for a straight up performance. In what world does going direct-to-fans, building a good relationship, automatically mean no money made at all? Not the one we're based on.


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  1.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    See Mike, that's your problem...

    The real problem is that we're NOT in the same world as the maximalists. To wit, here are some salient norms from "their" world:
    - Everyone obeys every law that they are consciously aware of. The reason most people infringe is because they don't know copyright laws exist.
    - "Steal" means to take without paying the RIAA or MPAA their fair share (typically 75%-90%)
    - "Successful artist" is a creator who has signed a contract with a major media corporation.

    and finally, back to the article...

    - "Monetize" means "add crippling DRM so that the maximum amount of gross revenue can be extracted from each sale of a copy"

    See? Once you understand their "world", it just makes so much more sense...

    /the color of my sky is blue... how about yours?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:29am

    Typo

    "bizarre and totally unsupportabe"

     

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    BentFranklin (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:31am

    Re: See Mike, that's your problem...

    More succinctly, "monetize" means make money for the AAholes first and anyone else second, if at all.

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:34am

    Re: Typo

    fixed, thanks!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    Million Schmillion. C.K. TOTALLY bungled the merchandising rights.

     

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    Jeremy, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:38am

    Indeed, copyright leeches, embezzlement has a higher profit margin than a legitimate business. Also, legitimacy requires more hard work. The rest of the world already knows this. It's time for the art sectors to fall in line with every other industry and be forced to create or make no profit.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:38am

    "In what world does going direct-to-fans, building a good relationship, automatically mean no money made at all?"

    In the world of frightened copyright middlemen.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Wow, this literally makes no sense to me. Perhaps one of our usual suspects can educate me on how making a profit doesn't equal monetisation. Bearing in mind that as of Dec. 21st, CK had already announced that he was so far in profit he could afford to give $280K to charity after paying staff & costs.

    Quick story: I'd heard mention of Louis CK before this release, but I'd never heard any of his material. Looking through his filmography, that's no surprise since it's largely filled with writing gigs for TV shows I don't watch and some movies I had no interest in watching, and I don't tend to watch standup from complete unknowns (which CK essentially is where I'm coming from).

    However, as a direct result of this experiment I paid the $5 - for various reasons but largely due to it being virtually risk free on my part (no region restriction, no DRM, cheap price, instant delivery). I finally watched it last weekend. Pretty funny, and I'll probably check out his other standup soon.

    However, you know what I would *not* have done, ever? Bought a DVD, Blu Ray or DRM infected file. Not only would those have been inconvenient, but almost certainly overpriced and it could even be a crapshoot as to whether I was allowed to play the thing on my chosen devices. So, there would be no way in hell I'd blind buy those in the same way as I did the digital file, and so CK has absolutely received at least $5 that he wouldn't have had by going the traditional route.

    Oh, and because I did the above, guess what I didn't do with that money? Buy or rent product released by Paramount. I might continue that trend...

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:41am

    He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    how did you miss that line as well?

    "He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations"

    maybe he needs to learn what copyright law does and doesn't do? there's no "right" to monetize.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    Yup. After all, only thieves monetize correctly.

     

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    Mark Harrill (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    What he meant was...

    What he meant that was without copyright being assigned to Paramount, they and their lobbying groups weren't able to screw...er I mean monetize artists properly.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    There's Paramount's way of looking at the world and there's reality. The two don't seem to intersect anywhere along the line.

    One of the best ways of minimizing a threat to an individual's (or corporate) way of looking at the world is to deny that it's happening at all and if it is that it can't possibly be successful. Corporations get the additional "benefit" that they can propagandize their view to anyone that will listen or, even better, legislators.

    Al Perry won't go "off message" because that would upset all the lobbying the *AA's have done to convince Congress critters and other legislators around the world that the end of the "content" world is nigh even if there are examples like Coulton's and Louis CK's. Even if it works for those two it can't possibly for anyone less well known. Even worse, they're giving up the "protection" of copyright even if they aren't completely giving it up.

    Denial and propaganda can be powerful things, sometimes, even if the face of reality. For the "content" industry we've reached the point where it isn't working anymore on the citizenry and public so now they want to pick their audiences. Legislators and those likely to become legislators like lawyers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re:

    Again... you're missing the important point.

    In Louis CK's "experiment" you'll see the following:

    1. $0 - Paid to any of the MPAA members
    2. $0 - Paid to copyright lawyers for protecting trademark/copyright
    3. $0 - Paid to any company to trace and track unauthorized distribution
    4. $0 - Paid to any Legal representation for shaking down and prosecuting fans for sharing
    5. $0 - Paid for lobbying effort to protect the copyright industry

    See, every one of the paths to monetizing content was ignored. Basically, this freeloading SOB just bent the whole world over so that he could just steal other peoples money.

    I hope he's really, really proud of himself.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    It's correct - if you include one word. Exclusively.

    That's pretty much all copyright does and all it's intended to do. It's there to stop others from profiting from your work for a limited amount of time. For some people, this can be an incentive and so it benefits the public. Nobody has the right to be guaranteed a return, but copyright is supposed to ensure that only the original creator can do so to begin with.

    In the corporate world, this has become so skewed that not only is it assumed that money is the sole motivation for any creativity, but if something has no copyright then money can't be made. Both of these are utterly false, but these people have been living in their own echo chambers so long that they're not able to accept the contradictory evidence right in front of them.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    He could have sold Loooots of T-Shirts!

     

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  16.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    Louis C.K. the lunchbox! Louis C.K. the breakfast cereal! Louis C.K. the flamethrower!

     

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  17.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    I'm sure his conscience will be clear :)

     

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  18.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    Louis C.K. the dog phone!

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re:

    "1. $0 - Paid to any of the MPAA members
    2. $0 - Paid to copyright lawyers for protecting trademark/copyright
    3. $0 - Paid to any company to trace and track unauthorized distribution
    4. $0 - Paid to any Legal representation for shaking down and prosecuting fans for sharing
    5. $0 - Paid for lobbying effort to protect the copyright industry"

    If only more people did the same.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    what the hell does Perry know anyway? i doubt if he even has a personal opinion so only spouts the bull shit he's told to spout!

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Al Perry means that because of the direct relationship that Louis C K created with the folks Paramount did not get a piece of that action. In other words the majority of the pie.

     

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  22.  
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    gorehound (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    6.Never buy any New MAFIAA Products
    7.Never go to a Theater
    8.Support and buy INDIE Material
    9.Death to the MAFIAA

    You forgot a few things

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:52am

    Full Headline Should Be:

    Paramount Thinks That Louis CK Making $1 Million In 12 Days Means He's Not Monetizing to the Benefit of Psychopathic Do-Nothing Scum-Sucking Money-Lenders and Leeches Who Are Evil Enemies of Mankind and of The Future and Who Do Their Impotent Utmost to Hold Back Progress of the Human Race In Order To Enrich Their Worthless Selves and Who Should Be Wiped From All Existence For All Time For the Sake of All Good People.

     

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  24.  
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    MrWilson, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Pirates do this all the time...

    /trollbait

     

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    jfruh, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:01am

    "not rely on copyright"

    On what planet did Louis CK's business strategy not rely on copyright? He was able to make a million bucks because he owned the copyright to the jokes and to the film (he didn't assign that copyright to another company), and then he sold it to his fans.

    He took a strategy to reduce unpaid viewing that consisted of making it as easy as possible to pay him for his material, and I imagine he's not going after people with lawyers for uploading the files to Torrent sites or whatever. But if someone else set up a website selling an AVI of that same film for $4.50, I'm pretty sure he'd take legal steps to shut them down -- and he'd be 100% right to do so.

    Please don't mix up the current broken system of content distribution with core rights granted by copyright law.

     

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    It's there to stop others from profiting from your work for a limited amount of time.

    It's there to stop other from COPYING your work for a limited time.

    Nobody has the right to be guaranteed a return, but copyright is supposed to ensure that only the original creator can do so to begin with.

    No. Copyright lies with the copyright holder, which isn't always the original creator. There is nothing in copyright law that states the copyright holder is the only person that can make money from content.

     

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  27.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "8.Support and buy INDIE Material"

    Quite, these are the people who truly deserve our support and our money.

     

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  28.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Re: "not rely on copyright"

    He was able to make a million bucks because he owned the copyright to the jokes and to the film (he didn't assign that copyright to another company), and then he sold it to his fans.


    This is conflating two different things.

    If copyright didn't exist at all, he would still have been able to sell his work to his fans. In that sense, he is not relying on copyright.

    Being able to prevent others from selling his work for a limited period of time is valuable, and may well have increased his profit, but he doesn't need copyright to make a profit in an absolute sense.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    DOG PHONES?! You're not looking at the big picture.

    Banana phones are the future.

     

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  30.  
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    Indy musician, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:


    7.Never go to a Theater



    This suggests an interesting question: If a movie theatre plays an indy movie under a contract directly with the maker, does the theatre have to pay "royalties" to the MPAA?

     

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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes. They might sneak in a movie the MPAA does represent in there. So, to be on the safe side, they better pay the MPAA to prove they aren't trying to show an MPAA movie.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    Guys, he only made 1 million, so that doesn't count!

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:45am

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

    The better solution is to create and support less formal "movie theaters" and community film houses...

    See, 50 years ago we made a lot of movies. Total crap, to run in small town theaters for weekday matinees... now, a film's not worth making if you don't throw $200million at it and prepackage a total lifestyle franchise to go with it, and if you set up a weekday matinee nobody could see it, because the theaters are all huge big-box suburban outlets and the few kids left who are allowed to go outside alone can't drive there... grrr....

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    Didn't you hear? $1,000,000 is just a "bullshit prize."

     

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    Re: "not rely on copyright"

    He was able to make a million bucks because he offered people a product they wanted to pay him for. The entire point of the experiment was to get people to choose between getting it for free (which he admitted they could probably do quite easily) and supporting the creator. Each route presented distinct advantages and disadvantages to the consumer, but what on earth would have enticed someone to give money (the disadvantage of the paid option) to get the product from someone other than the creator (the disadvantage of the free option)? You're using a hypothetical harm that [a] never actually manifested and [b] wouldn't make sense to have manifested anyway to justify the necessity of rights that, ultimately, had nothing to do with the experiment's success. And I say this as a supporter of the general notion of copyright.

     

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    Justin, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    There is nothing in copyright law that states the copyright holder is the only person that can make money from content.

    Except it does. If you have exclusive distribution rights (i.e. copyright) to a work then you have the exclusive right to monetize it. That's different from saying no one else can make money on it, but the copyright holder has the exclusive right to set the terms of monetization i.e. how it's going to be sold (digital-only, physical media, etc.) and who is going to sell it (iTunes, Amazon, etc.). You can even sell the copyright to monetize it, but then you lose the right to monetize it further.

     

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    I love how movie studios state that copyright is about giving "creators the right to monetize their creations". Meanwhile, using Hollywood accounting, movie studios will do everything in their power to not pay creators.

    Then again, this is the same industry that moved to the west coast to make it difficult for Edison to collect royalties on his new fangled inventions.

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    I was thinking about this when it suddenly hit me what this argument was about... When I went back to the Golan v Holder case and saw the dissenting view of Breyer and Alito, I had to remember what copyright was about and the difference of the utilitarian concept of our Founding Fathers and the "moral" concept given to us by the Berne Convention. In essence, the Berne Convention turns this issue on its head and people are missing that moral concept that the Berne Convention gives us. We take away some of these laws and I'm sure you'll see a ton of the problems with copyright go away.

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:13am

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

    The capital for smaller theater houses isn't there. I doubt you'll get a lot of crowdsourcing to make something like that available all over the US.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    What they meant is: No money at all for the industry. Remember even though "hollywood" are evil douches, many other people are employed through secondary means: production, distribution, music, dubbing, techs, etc...

    So those people aren't getting the money, Louis is. Good for you Louis!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    "make money from it": define it. if you can figure out a way to make money from it without copying it, then youre free to do so. you might, for instance, sell a strategy guide about a video game, run a website where you review the movie, or sell an album covering your favorite songs (if you pay licenses for that, note that "it" is `copying the compositions`; "it" is not `copying the recordings`.)

     

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    Dustin, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: See Mike, that's your problem...

    I find your definition for monetize to be right on the money (maybe that was a subconscious pun). But that does seem to be the point of DRM, which is the most net profit per unit.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    What a difference a few words make...

    In what world does going direct-to-fans, building a good relationship, automatically mean no money made for the established distributors at all?

    Add those few simple words and suddenly you see why they are claiming that his actions don't count as 'monetizing', because from that perspective they're completely right, they didn't get a cut of the profits at all.

     

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  44.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    Your saying that Louis CK didn't hire any of those people to do work on his film? He single-handedly starred, directed, produced, wrote script, wrote/performed music, dubbed, edited, etc. all by himself?

    Oh wait! He did hire people to do that for him and paid them for their work. Nice try!

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    What does Hollywood know about monitization anyway?

    Movies that Hollywood has claimed a loss for:
    - Forrest Gump (as a result, the author refused to sell the studio the rights to the sequel)
    - Spiderman (Stan Lee successfully sued over this one)
    - My Big Fat Greek Wedding (most of the cast then sued the studio for a share of the profits)
    - Babylon 5 ("Basically", says Straczynski, "by the terms of my contract, if a set on a WB movie burns down in Botswana, they can charge it against B5's profits.")
    - Lord of the Rings (resulted in Peter Jackson not directing The Hobbit, also - 15 actors suing the studio for not receiving their cut of the profits)
    - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (reported a $167 million loss... which is roughly equal to the film's budget.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    The guys from studios and labels will deny the existence of new ways to make money, that is just natural, they fear that these other ways will cut them out of the picture and thus they get no money at all, it is a competing business that threatens their power and they don't like it.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    Oddly enough, you can waive that right.

     

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  48.  
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    dwg, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    Boy, this is some dumbness. You need to be a copyright holder to monetize something? How about the owners of movie theatres? Think they hold copyrights on the movies they show? Well, then, if not, they must be forced to show them for free, right? And why "exclusive?" A non-exclusive licensee can't monetize a copyrighted work? Then why ever get a non-exclusive license?

    DAMN, dude: if I thought you were serious, I'd think you were seriously misguided.

     

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  49.  
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    dwg, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Here's the real problem:

    Louis C.K. is actually talented and funny. So the model he employs can't really be applied to "Transformers VI."

     

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  50.  
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    Benjo (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Re: "not rely on copyright"

    Pretty sure the 4.50$ special would have 0 impact on his sales. After all, the people that wouldn't pay 50 cents more for the special from Louis are the same people that would easily pirate it for free, because either a) they can't afford it, b) the "risk" at 5$ is too high, c) they don't want to support the artist.

     

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  51.  
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    skyboy, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Re: See Mike, that's your problem...

    blue

     

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  52.  
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    Anon, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re:

    I thought the U.S.gov payed for a propaganda movie..."Transformers VI."

    Should that not be free anyway !

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "There's always money in the banana stand!"

     

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  54.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    "It's there to stop other from COPYING your work for a limited time."

    Which, at least under the original environment in which it was conceived, means for profit. Nobody freaked out about lending a book to a friend after you finished reading it. Copying a PDF, however, seems to be punishable by death according to some maximalists.

    "Copyright lies with the copyright holder, which isn't always the original creator."

    Hence why I said "intended". Copyright has been corrupted far beyond its original intentions, but those intentions are still sound.

    "There is nothing in copyright law that states the copyright holder is the only person that can make money from content."

    Only because the system has been corrupted enough so that copyrights are transferrable to a corporation that had nothing to do with the original artwork, and they still profit for decades after the original holder's death. That's not the original intention.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Louis CK is monetizing an undeserved group: those who wish to spite the big copyright holders. Well, if others begin to imitate him, or God forbid, such a business plan becomes the norm, will that now over-served group have enough money to go around?

     

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  56.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re: What does Hollywood know about monitization anyway?

    Just to put those in perspective, here's the international grosses for some of those films (and yes, I know that the studios don't get to keep all of these grosses and there's unreported advertising costs, but these figures also don't include home sales, licencing, etc.):

    Forrest Gump: $677,387,716 ($55 million production budget)
    Spiderman: $821,708,551 (production budget $139 million)
    My Big Fat Greek Wedding: $368,744,044 (production budget $5 million)
    HP/Phoenix: $939,885,929 (production budget $150 million)

    But yeah, it's those evil pirates causing these "losses", of course...

     

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  57.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re: will that now over-served group have enough money to go around?

    According to the MAFIAA’s own figures, yes.

     

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  58.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh wait! He did hire people to do that for him and paid them for their work. Nice try!

    He even said so in his letter that accompanied the site that Anonymous Coward apparently didn't read. He specifically said that the video cost him $170,000 to make, which meant that he paid someone (many people) that money. Of course, he also said that the original $170,000 spent to make the video came from the cost of the tickets he sold for the live performances. But he still paid a bunch of people for the help.

    He also handed out bonuses from the million plus to those who helped. Just wish I had a chance to help...could have used the bonus.

    Just Anonymous Coward not paying attention, as usual.

     

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  59.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    What's even more amusing is that everyone actually got paid for their work. You don't see that in Hollywood.

     

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  60.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    To quote from his site:

    "The second 250k is going back to my staff and the people who work for me on the special and on my show. I'm giving them a big fat bonus."

    That's *after* he states that the first $250k has paid back the production budget and advertising/distribution costs, which presumably includes the original wage packet.

    But no, none of these people got paid. This is the fantasy the ACs have to maintain to spout their lies, they can't deal with facts.

     

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  61.  
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    Philip Storry (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    What we have here is a failure to communicate...

    I think that we're seeing two worlds fail to understand each other.

    Louis CK made money, yes. But he failed to MONETIZE.

    By which it's meant that he failed to make the most out of the process.

    Not the product, mind you - the process.

    Louis had a very simple proposition: Pay me money, I give you something funny.

    Louis CK viewed DRM as a cost that wasn't worth it, and that alone is a threat to the MPAA's reality. It's also what most people here have focused on, because of this guy's job title.

    But we need to ignore the job title, and remember that this guy is steeped in an industry. Language shapes how you think, and I believe we can see more than just DRM being referred to here.

    Louis CK didn't sell plushies, action figures, and clothing. Or re-release earlier goods with a little sticker on them that advertised the new product whilst pretending to be a reference of quality ("From the man who brought you...")
    Louis CK didn't do that not only because he didn't have the rights to previous works, but because that would be a waste of time and money. He could - nay, should - be writing material or working on the new product.

    He also didn't choose to get paid for holding a particular brand of soft drink whilst he did his act.
    A smart move, because even if $sponsor were to pay for him to be using their product during the filming, the costs of lawyers to land the deal would leave him with little money.
    And the sponsor would no doubt want some "creative control", to ensure he didn't say anything that they don't want their brand associated with...
    Which is effectively self-censorship for the project. And when you realise that the deal will probably land him no more than minimum wage (given how long it will take to do the project), suddenly he needs more sponsors, which means a death spiral of more censorship...

    Basically, Louis CK is smart. He saw what people wanted, he budgeted it out, he delivered JUST WHAT THEY WANTED, and didn't waste time doing much else.

    But that's not what Hollywood does. Hollywood doesn't just sell films to customers, it sells advertising space in those films too. It doesn't just sell a film, it sells merchandising - or at least the rights to it. It doesn't just sell a medium with the film on it, it sells the rights to distribute those films.

    THAT'S monetization.

    That's how the MPAA thinks. Total control for maximum profit. Don't take risks, and do whatever it takes to get the most money from every stage of the process.

    Who cares if the film is sanitised by sponsorship requirements? Who cares if the distribution chain creates artificial delays that encourage piracy? Who cares if merchandising is shoddy? Who cares if DRM means buyers are annoyed by unskippable adverts?

    Not one of those is a concern to this man.

    The business he lives and breathes in a "monetized" world. He may not quite understand how the new generation of Connecting-With-Fans and Reason-To-Buy artists can make money without doing this.

    Subconsciously, he's almost certainly wondering why Louis CK didn't "monetize" as I've described. Because such monetization is all he sees, every day.

    Which is slightly frightening.

    But what's also slightly sad is that he probably hasn't even considered the downsides I've listed. He's not even capable of seeing them as serious downsides, because everyone around him sees only the upsides - the bottom line from the deals.

    I've always wondered if Hollywood execs are just unscrupulous salesmen. They often seem to share one key quality - they only care about the money that they, individually, bring in. If the sale hurts business reputations, or damages future sales, then they don't care. "Just look at this quarter's bottom line! I'M ON FIRE!"

    That's monetization. The pursuit of many individual bottom lines, with no care for the effect on the final product.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

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

    This is actually dependent upon the community said theater house is located in. We do have a small theater that was recently renovated and is once more open. They show 2 'Hollywood' pictures a week, plus plays and the occasional independent title just because the owner liked it. And at $3/seat on Wednesdays? Yeah...

     

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  63.  
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    Scott Larson, Apr 16th, 2012 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And on that note put your money where your mouth is. Sign the petition make the pledge. Click on my name to get to the petition. 1million signatures should be enough to convince most people that the entertainment industries are full of shit.

     

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

  64.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: What does Hollywood know about monitization anyway?

    You know those two sets of numbers suggest what could be a rather... entertaining stab at the MPAA. Have both of those listed(with source citations of course), then below them a skull and crossbones(with an eyepatch naturally) with the message 'We'll start paying you, when you start paying the actors'.

    Though I doubt it would do much, it would be kinda funny to see them try and wiggle out/justify their actions in the face of that sort of info, given they're always going on and on about how 'people deserve to be paid for the work they do!'

     

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  65.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 9:31pm

    Re: What we have here is a failure to communicate...

    Think you totally nailed it there, very well said.

     

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  66.  
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    Eponymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2012 @ 12:04am

    Re: What we have here is a failure to communicate...

    TL;DR Louis simply created a product and sold it. While Hollywood doesn't, they create micro-empires to rule over like tyrants and charge us all admission to their displays a fascism...

     

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  67.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 17th, 2012 @ 1:08am

    Re: Re: Re: What does Hollywood know about monitization anyway?

    The figures come from boxofficemojo.com. However, when even the author of the original Forrest Gump novel and the cast & crew of MBFGW have problems getting the studios to stop ripping them off with "creative accounting", I doubt I'll have much luck on behalf of the consumer...

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2012 @ 3:12am

    Re:

    Wow, this is a stupid comment even by TAM standards.

     

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  69.  
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    Drew (profile), Apr 17th, 2012 @ 3:36am

    Hey I'm sure Paramount would change their view if CK would just hand over 90% of all profits to them. That's all that their interested in anyways and CK threatened that. Maybe not a lot but enough to be noticed since a lot of people love CK.

    I stopped buying,watching,playing, ect anything that was enabling morons to chip away at my freedom. I respect what CK is doing a lot. I will buy myself a copy for sure!

    FUS RO DAH
    God I love saying that now. Not because I love skyrim I hate it. It just gives me pleasure because I know how anal their trying to be over a word. Also I know if I get into some scuffle with a skyrim player I can just shout FUS RO DAH and send them flying. Who says you need a stun gun?

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    Re: Full Headline Should Be:

    Don't hold back, man! Tell us how you really feel!

     

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

  71.  
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    Stig Rudeholm (profile), Apr 18th, 2012 @ 3:46am

    It's all philosophy

    It all comes down to that question that philosophers have struggled with for ages:

    If a comedian makes a million bucks in a forest and no MPAA executive is there to profit from it, did he actually make any money at all?

     

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

  72.  
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    Samuel Abram (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: He pointed out that copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations

    I think that's the best post you ever made. The Berne Convention needs to be renegotiated.

     

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


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