Dear Hollywood: Giving Identical Scripts To Congress Reveals That You're Feeding Them Talking Points

from the gotta-keep-track-of-which-congress-person-is-shilling-for-hollywood-today... dept

So we already covered last week's Congressional hearings concerning technology and copyright. As we noted, there was some really great testimony from a variety of individuals who are really working hard to provide great products and services that are enabling much greater creativity (often relying on fair use) and doing so without having to worry about strict intellectual property (in fact, often thriving by ignoring their own intellectual property entirely). Unfortunately, as was expected, some in Congress attacked the speakers using copyright maximalist talking points. At times you could just tell that the Representatives were reading points fed to them by entertainment industry lobbyists. It happens. But usually, they don't make it quite this obvious.

That's because whoever fed the "Friends of Hollywood" Congressional Reps their questions last week forgot to make careful notes of who they gave which questions to... leading to a repeat. Congresswomen Judy Chu and Karen Bass both represent different parts of Los Angeles, so it's no surprise that they'd be there to carry water for the legacy entertainment industry. But,having both of them ask identical questions, word-for-word, one right after the other? That kinda reveals that they were fed that question, doesn't it? You can watch the full video here, or to make it easier, I've made a short YouTube video that shows the two questions back to back:
In case you can't watch it, at 1:11:40, Chu asks:
"You express concern about these erroneous takedown notices generated by computers rather than humans, and this is no doubt frustrating to receive. What advice can you offer to small content owners, photographers or songwriters, whose works are infringed hundreds or thousands of times on the Internet but who lack the resources to monitor those infringements, let alone prepare and send DMCA takedown notices to address them?"
There's a discussion that goes on for a bit including a really good response from IndieGogo's Danae Ringelmann. Then, the baton is handed to Bass, at 1:24:29 on the full video, who kicks it off by asking:
"You express concerns about takedown notices erroneously generated by computers rather than humans, but I wanted to know what advice you could offer to small content owners, photographers or songwriters, for example, whose work are infringed hundreds or thousands of times?"
That is almost word for word the same question. Note to whichever lobbyist was in charge of feeding the Friends of Hollywood on the Committee their questions last week: keep track of whom you gave which questions to. Otherwise, you might just look silly.

As for the question itself, it's a bogus Hollywood talking point question anyway. The reason it's being asked is because Hollywood wants -- desperately -- to pin liability onto third party tech companies, forcing them into being "copyright cops." They're annoyed that they have to send DMCA notices, even though they are the only ones who can accurately determine (and even then, not so accurately) what content is actually infringing. So, one of Hollywood's favorite bogus talking points is that the "small content owners, photographers and songwriters" are now too busy issuing DMCA takedowns. Of course, when we've tried to find out more details about some of these "small" copyright holders to understand why they're spending so much effort on something so useless, rather than looking into alternatives that are proven to be much more effective, suddenly they clam up. Because the details would reveal what they don't want to admit.

Either way, it was a fairly bogus question to ask this particular panel, but the reasonable answer is clear: you tell them to focus on other business models -- like many of those represented by others on that panel. That is, you focus on the positive things you can do: connecting with fans, giving them reasons to support you, rather than on trying to stop things that won't stop and which have no likelihood of increasing your revenue.


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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:12am

    Typo:

    'rather than looking into alternatives that are proven to be much more effective, suddenly they claim up.'

    I imagine that's supposed to be 'clam' up.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: Typo:

    Fixed. Thanks!

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:01am

    This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    Haven't seen them 'cause don't do Youtube". But doesn't matter! This is just Mike distracting from VALID question.

    SO, MIKE: I'm sure we're ALL interested in your answer:

    What advice can you offer to small content owners, photographers or songwriters, whose works are infringed hundreds or thousands of times on the Internet but who lack the resources to monitor those infringements, let alone prepare and send DMCA takedown notices to address them?

    Even if Mike is absolutely right about problems, he has no solutions to even suggest.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    Cite case studies.

    Your imaginary friends don't count.

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:08am

    The Lone Stranger

    BBC and others are reporting that "Hollywood" or Disney if you will, will lose $180 to $190 million on the summer blockbuster The Lone Ranger.

    First question is, how will they know given Hollywood accounting?

    Second question is, has anybody here seen the movie? Why not?

    Third question is, how long will it take to blame infringing downloads?

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    Even if Mike is absolutely right about problems, he has no solutions to even suggest.

    You mean other than the solutions he suggested in this VERY POST which you obviously DIDN'T EVEN READ?

    ...the reasonable answer is clear: you tell them to focus on other business models -- like many of those represented by others on that panel. That is, you focus on the positive things you can do: connecting with fans, giving them reasons to support you, rather than on trying to stop things that won't stop and which have no likelihood of increasing your revenue.

    Thank you for proving that you're nothing but a troll for the 800th time. Fuggin' moron.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    "Our business model isn't working, give us a solution."
    "Explore other business options and provide a better service that is more valuable."
    "Don't tell us what to do. If you don't like it, start your own business."
    "Fine, I will."
    "No, your not allowed to do that, it will disrupt our business model."
    "Fine."
    "Our business model isn't working, give us a solution!"

     

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    jackn, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    You can lead ootb to reason, but you can make him reason.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Re: The Lone Stranger

    Second question is, has anybody here seen the movie? Why not?

    I have not. It looked interesting, then pretty much everyone was slamming it when it came out, so I passed on seeing it.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    Re: The Lone Stranger

    The problem with those 'Hollywood is going to lose X on movie Y' statements though is that those reporting them are taking hollywood at their word, and not taking into account the magic that is hollywood accounting. One article I read for example kept bringing up the massive costs of promotion, which would be valid, if the studios weren't paying that money to themselves, while artificially inflating it.

     

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    jackn, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    Re: The Lone Stranger

    I never saw it, and didn't even know it was a movie. As a rule, my family and I stay away from disney offerings.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    in answer to ypour question, put up a payp[al button,. and encourage people to link to the page when distributing the content.
    However... A much more important question, how does an unknown creator sell works if nobody knows about them, or has seen their work?
    (Far an answer see my first point).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    hahaha you can literally see the the hollywood dollars bursting out of these two. Try to hide it better pls its revolting enough knowing that your bought and paid for but its painful to actually see people WHO ARE ACTUALLY BAD AT BEING CORRUPT.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    Oops, this is a reply to OOTB.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    if any of you wondered this is why people don't respect the law. Its not created in a way that considers anyone but the people writing it and the people paying congress for it.

    Totally corrupt process producing corrupt laws in this particular area and many others.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    you should also expect to do your own work of determining ACCURATELY what content is yours and whether it is being infringed. it should not, under any circumstances, be down to ANYONE ELSE to do this task, particularly at their expense, and also particularly when, on the extremely odd occasion, any monies were recovered, went to the industries, not to those that paid out to identify anywhere that money may be recovered. you should also be expected to pay compensation to any and all who are intentionally or unintentionally caught up in the DMCA take downs. but, as usual, you want everything, done by everyone else at their expense, to protect your items, to benefit your business without having the decency of compensating those that are harmed by you! greed and selfishness as always!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Hollywood is so creatively and morally bankrupt, it can't even shill without rehashing.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    You know Mike, I am a truck driver from some obscurely named countryside town and I can tell you that if Google doesn't police the internet my job as a truck driver will be in jeopardy. Because it seems the entirety of the country depends on Hollywood to earn money. And because PIRATES!

    Yours sincerely,

    Old McDonnald (posted from 69.172.201.20*)

    *http://ip-lookup.net/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:38am

    Re: The Lone Stranger

    Why didn't I see it?

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_lone_ranger/

    At a rating of 28% rotten, why would I go?

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    The line from "WarGames" seems appropriate here, "The only way to win, is not to play."

    Clearly the correct response from the tech companies is to ban all content from big media, and show them that obscurity is far worse than piracy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    Easier to mock a questioner than to answer the question. One response to the question is that Congress should take a look at the "red flag" provision of the DMCA and put back the teeth in the provision that the courts have removed down to the gum line. Of course, such a response would never emanate here since it would require service providers to assume some measure of responsibility.

    There are also possible approaches by incorporating third party beneficiary provision, procedures and remedies in service provider TOS contracts with its users.

    I am certain that with a bit of effort others can rather quickly come up with other possible approaches.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:41am

    " even though they are the only ones who can accurately determine (and even then, not so accurately) what content is actually infringing"

    I think this is why the "master list" idea has been proffered; to provide a list of works that are not in the public domain and should not be available on a website for free. Similar to the 'Do No Call' list, users opt in to protect themselves, and must regularly keep the database updated themselves in order to receive protection.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    As an addendum, this has worked in Europe with the newspapers, so the precedent has been set, and shown to work.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    Easier to mock a questioner than to answer the question.

    Um. We did answer the question. Why is it every time you comment here you seem to make blatantly false statements designed to attack me? Are you that desperate?

    One response to the question is that Congress should take a look at the "red flag" provision of the DMCA and put back the teeth in the provision that the courts have removed down to the gum line.

    Red flag knowledge has not been defanged at all. The courts have just been clear that -- as makes perfect sense -- it needs to be red flags about *specific* infringement, because "general knowledge" of infringement doesn't make any sense, because there's no indication over what needs to be taken down.

    Furthermore if you bulk up red flag knowledge standard you're almost guaranteeing two bad outcomes: one much greater censorship as companies takedown all sorts of legitimate content "just in case" and a massive slowdown in innovation in important communications services, as only companies who can afford to proactive monitor will be in the business. It may help Google keep out competition, but it's bad for innovation and the public.

    What a terrible idea.

    Of course, such a response would never emanate here since it would require service providers to assume some measure of responsibility.

    No, it wouldn't be suggested here because we know it's a really really stupid idea destined to cause a lot more harm than good.

     

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    Beta (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    you won't be small much longer

    "What advice can you offer to small content owners, photographers or songwriters, for example, whose works are appearing all over the internet?"

    "Umm... rejoice?"

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:58am

    Re: you won't be small much longer

    Epic comment dear sir. Have the first word.

     

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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:59am

    won't work

    Given their inability to accurately describe what is infringing in DMCA notices, why would you possibly think they could produce an accurate 'master list'?

    Worse the 'master list' would need to somehow handle 15 people having permission to post something and nobody else having permission. What if I change my domain name? How does it now become 'approved' when it no longer matches the 'master list'?

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: won't work

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re:

    Couple of problems with that idea:

    1. What's to stop someone from claiming the rights to something that isn't theirs? If you can have a company believing that they own the rights to birdsong, you can bet that plenty of companies will be claiming rights to things that they never owned as well, and a master list just makes that problem net-wide, rather than individual cases.

    2. Depending on how it's used, and who it's used by, something can be definitely infringing, possibly infringing, or not infringing, subtly that a master list would be useless for.

    3. Using a master list to check what is and is not allowed to be posted on a site might work for very small sites, with only a handful of users, but for a site like youtube, that gets massive amounts of content posted every second and every minute, it would essentially destroy it or bring it to a grinding halt.

    Checking such massive amounts of submissions against a list would be flat out impossible without thousands of people working around the clock, and even then it would still be insanely slow due to how much there is, and how much gets posted. Couldn't be handled by computer either, as #2 points out above something could be legal to post, or illegal, entirely due to how it's being used/presented, something computers cannot catch.

    4. And finally, a 'master list' idea once more shifts the burden onto everyone but the sole party that should be responsible: the copyright holders. Why should it be a website owner's responsibility to preemptively check to make sure something isn't violating copyright? There's already a system in place where they can handle violations once informed of them, and it's not their job to defend someone else' business or product, so why should they be forced to act as the copyright cops for the content owners?

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    'Well if we're just 'parasitic grifters', then I guess you won't have any problem with your content simply not showing up on our services/devices, that sound okay to you?'

    Oh yes, the screams and panic would be delightful...

     

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    [citation needed or GTFO], Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Re: The Lone Stranger

    Second question is, has anybody here seen the movie? Why not?

    I saw it via free screening through the week before it officially came out.

    Considering the pacing was bad, nothing really happened until the third act, and the fact that the movie focused more on Johnny Depp than the actual main character, I'm not surprised it flopped.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    Under Red Flag Knowledge and censorship you forgot, the removal of entire websites.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    Not me. I am completely uninterested in that movie.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:24am

    Re: The Lone Stranger

    The reasons it didn't do well was, it sucked, and when was the last time anyone watched a cowboy movie that didn't include aliens?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    In other words, copyright should work like it used to: you must register your work to get copyright protection, and you can search the list of registrations.

    I agree. That copyright was changed to automatic without the registration requirement is one of the major reasons why copyright is unmanageable by anybody, including the copyright holders.

     

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  36.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    What is it about pro-IP boosterism that draws so many truck drivers?

    http://blog.creativeamerica.org/2012/content-theft-the-big-picture/#comment-13

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re:

    Imagine the screams, if the tech companies followed up with, we will be doing this until copyright law is reverted to its pre 1970's state ...

     

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    Atkray (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    I agree. Until Hollywood stops trying to destroy the internet via copyright abuse I am not interested in anything they produce.

     

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    Dan S (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    Every negative review read is a lost sale.

     

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    mortal (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Kathy Wolfe - Followup

    Is there any new information from Kathy Wolfe and Wolfe Video's claims about how much they are spending fighting "infringement". I wish there was some more open dialog with the small production companies about these issues and how they can more effectively build their business models.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    You're making that mistaken assumption that that is a bug. It is not.

     

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    Karl (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    to provide a list of works that are not in the public domain and should not be available on a website for free.

    In addition to the problems That One Guy gave, there are even more fundamental problems with this idea.

    1. That same content can have multiple filenames, MD5 hashes, or file formats. Even if that content is found and taken down, it is trivial for users to create another form of the same content that won't be spotted.

    2. Content that seems like it should be on that list, might not be. For example, the comments above discussed "The Lone Ranger." Even if the filename matches, how is a content provider supposed to know what version of The Lone Ranger is on their servers?

    3. The above problems rear their head even with wholesale duplication of entire pieces of content. It doesn't even address content that is only part of an infringing work (a scene from a movie, say).

    4. Even if that content is found to unequivocally be on the list, that still doesn't make it infringing. It could still be fair use, or covered under any of the other legal exemptions to copyright infringement.

    Only the copyright holder can tell if it is her work being infringed upon; only the copyright holder can tell if the work is not authorized; and even the copyright holder herself cannot tell if unauthorized reproduction is actually copyright infringement.

    Taking these decisions out of the copyright holder's hands, and putting them into the hands of service providers, is a horrible idea.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    For a master list to work, it must have a full copy of the work so that files can be compared against it. For obvious reason the list cannot be open for download, and therefore has to be associated with enough computing power to keep up with posts to the net. Also, once the majority of the works are placed on the list, it would be hacked giving pirates access to almost all human culture.
    PS. This latter may not be a bad outcome as it would also preserve a record of that culture, something which the publishers are loath to do.

     

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    Aerilus, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    I would like to answer your question with a question. Do you think you should be responsible when someone breaks into your email account because you set a ridiculously easy password and uses it to spam the eastern seaboard?

     

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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Perfect Example

    Representative Chu obviously needs to start automating her DMCA take-down notices, how else will she be able to stay ahead of dirty infringers like Representative Bass?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:37pm

    I have no interest in spending a minor fortune in these times to go see a movie everyone rates as a dud. So no I didn't go see that one nor any of the other supposed blockbusters put out this summer.

    I've gotten to where I hate the big screen experience. Highway robbery over ticket prices, concessions, poor house keeping, volume turned up way to high, idiots going through the isles while the movie is showing looking for hidden cameras, people talking, cell phones going off, commercials on my dime; the whole experience is dwarfed by the fact if I ever do want to watch one of these duds I can do it at home where I have the controls, and can even pause it while I go to the bathroom and pick right back up where I left off.

    They're not even worth the band width it takes to pirate it.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    "Even if Mike is absolutely right about problems, he has no solutions to even suggest."

    That's logically false. No one is obligated to provide an alternative solution when pointing out a problem. A factual statement stands on its own regardless of who says it or how they respond to it. Like others have said, he did offer a solution, but you pretended he didn't so you can make ad hominem by way of tu quoque and no perfect solutions.

    People have stated many ways one could change their business model to suit the current state of technology as it pertains to content. The fact that your obsession with absolute control through imaginary property rights causes you to reject them doesn't render them invalid.

    The age of content as a discreet product is over, the age of content as a service is on the horizon. Make your choice. Do you want to adapt to reality or dig in your heels and be left behind?

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re:

    In other words, copyright should work like it used to: you must register your work to get copyright protection, and you can search the list of registrations.

    Along with a periodic (yearly) property tax/tax on sales to help manage the system, I'm good with this. The property/sales tax would prevent copyright works with little or no commercial value from being locked up indefinitely because the owner is too much of a moron to properly sell the work. We can even offer them a reasonable amount of time, tax free, like say 17 years, before they have to start paying. Considering the average work disappears from the market in less than 17 years, that seems pretty reasonable.

     

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    Simple Mind (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 2:36pm

    Re:

    For illegally copying a line from WarGames you now owe someone $114,238.43

     

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    Simple Mind (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 2:41pm

    sleeping on the job

    This shows how much attention these bought and paid for representatives are paying in the hearing. Just read the talking points on the page. A monkey could do it.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    Re:

    What does that have to do with anything mentioned here in the article?

     

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    artp (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 5:20pm

    Having to issue your own DMCA takedown notices is so unfair

    I am waiting for some sympathy for having to monitor my own farm boundaries for trespassers. I am almost surrounded by corporate farms, some of whom sell "trespasser's permits" for access to their land, with no posting notifying people when they are LEAVING their land.

    South - 30,000 acres
    NE - 5-10,000 acres
    NW 10-20,000 acres

    Yeah, I need some DMCA relief! But I'm not in the Big Leagues and don't expect that anyone will be interested in keeping MY costs down.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    tanj, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    Negative reviews are stealing!

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Pay no attention to the stoner

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Because obviously if Hollywood doesn't need people to transport huge amounts of stuff around, then nobody needs to transport huge amounts of stuff around. /sarc

     

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

  56.  
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    PaulT (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:30am

    Re: Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    That's what I've been reading as an excuse. It's those damn critics doing their jobs and telling people when they don't like something!

    But, if that's what they're going with, I wonder how they explain films like Grown Ups 2, which got far worse reviews (7% on Rotten Tomatoes vs. 28%) but was very successful, or Pacific Rim, which had largely positive reviews (71%) but got disappointing domestic box office (though it looks like a great success internationally and via word of mouth, so hopefully good DVD sales and a sequel).

    It's almost as if they have an overpriced white elephant in the room that's put people off with bad marketing (Depp has a bird on his head? Depp is a native American?) in a genre that's not known to make ridiculous amounts of money, and are trying to palm blame off onto somebody else... Oh well, at least we're not hearing wailing about "pirates" this time.

     

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  57.  
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    PaulT (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    More to the point - why would you go to watch it instead of Despicable Me 2, Pacific Rim, The Wolverine, 2 Guns, The Heat, World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man Of Steel, or any of the other much better looking/reviewed movies out there...

    Some studios seem to delude themselves into thinking their product is the only one that matter or is so compelling that they have no real competition. Reality states that there's a lot of movies out there, a trip to the cinema is more expensive than it's ever been - especially for families - and most people will make careful decisions about what to see on the big screen.

    Of course, if they'd have spent $100 million instead of $225 million on their movie, it would still be a moderate success on worldwide gross. They might need to start addressing their costs rather than whining that people don't want the end product.

     

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  58.  
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    PaulT (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    2010, when True Grit made $171 million domestically on a $38 million budget, or 2012's Django Unchained if you count that as western, $162 million on a $100 million budget (and over $400 million worldwide). By comparison, Cowboys vs. Aliens made $100 million domestically on a $163 million budget.

    Maybe they should just stop trying to crowbar pointless CGI crap trying to make their westerns into "blockbusters" and work on making real films that people want to see?

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re: Re: This quibble lets you dodge discussing the answers!

    ..You can lead a troll to reason but you can't make him think..

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Re: The Lone Stranger

    The Lone Ranger is a flop, that's why it's losing.

     

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

  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    Yes, and maybe authors should stop writing certain types of books and start writing real books that people want to read, musicians should stop writing certain types of music and start writing real music that people want to hear. Taken in another, but closely related direction, inventors, entrepreneurs, etc. should stop pursuing their activities and focus solely on those they know people really, really want.

    Experience teaches me it is virtually impossible to know in advance what "sells" and what doesn't, so criticism such as here misses the mark.

     

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

  62.  
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    PaulT (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Lone Stranger

    You seem to have completely misconstrued what I said. As an AC, I presume that's deliberate so you can avoid the real points, but just in case you're honest:

    Nowhere did I say "don't make westerns". Nowhere did I say "don't make westerns with sci-fi elements". If I did, your comment would make some sort of sense. In fact, your comment is rather silly, since I was merely pointing out that westerns DO make money without blowing a small country's GDP on special effects - and that most that have done so have failed.

    It's becoming increasingly obvious that just throwing effects at the screen isn't a guaranteed moneymaker in this day and age. There has to be something else to get the audience into theatres. True Grit and Django Unchained offered that something else. Apparently, Johnny Depp recreating a 60 year old TV show with a bird on his head for $225 million isn't it.

    Let's work on the script next time, hmmm, or maybe keep the budget under control so that a film has a change of recouping it? Or, keep attacking that strawman and pretend I'm saying something I'm not, whichever makes you feel better.

    "Experience teaches me it is virtually impossible to know in advance what "sells" and what doesn't"

    There's ways to tell. Even if you miss those, stop whining because your $225 million gamble didn't pay off, while your competitors are raking in the cash, often with a fraction of the outlay. The fact is that the project was risky, and looking through a list of crossover westerns in recent years (Cowboys vs. Aliens, Jonah Hex, The Warrior's Way) shows you a string of flops. Audience reaction to this project's initial announcement seemed to range from "why are they making this" to "why the hell is Depp playing Tonto?", while the outlay required it to outgross every western ever made to recoup its budget. The film's release date was surrounded by much better, much more saleable movies. True, you can't always gauge things accurately this way, but it seemed pretty obvious that this wasn't going to be a success.

    The Lone Ranger failed, for reasons that will probably be discussed constantly for the next year. Try listening this time before the next costly white elephant.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Alex Cardo, Feb 11th, 2014 @ 8:54am

    Hollywood also steals ideas

    Much more interesting problem is that Hollywood also steals other people's ideas. Take, for example, the movie "The Matrix" and the anime "Ghost in the Shell." I very much doubt that the creator of the anime was received any cent for the idea.

     

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


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