I'm a member of the Producers Guild of America; and our leadership *COMPLETELY* has their heads... er... in the sand on this too.
It drives me insane that some of our dues goes to lobby right in line with the MPAA; and that none of it goes to do things like put together pro-active conference days where we can take a look at creating new business models. (Yes, I have proposed this, no they won't allocate any money for it).
And yes, I could quit the Guild, but having earned membership does give me some legitimacy in my career path, and that's helpful.
At any rate, the long and short of it is, they (the MPAA and PGA leadership) want to see the OLD BUSINESS thrive, not the new one. The new one includes too many competitors for movies to be "special' anymore.
I don't expect the new business to completely supplant the old business, but I do expect the old business to shrink in overall dollars and relevancy over the next 10-15 years.
No different than the thousands of people who work "deferred" each year on a indie films hoping to get paid on the "next" gig or to have this one make money later.
Myself included. And I've actually made AND sold two independent feature films, spending cumulatively about 6 years of my life on them, and while they did return the investors $$$, I never made a cent off them - including never recouping my own deferred salary as a producer.
Worth it? Not really.
I would have far rather have made a $3-5K feature than $100k - at least the odds (if all my clearances are in order) on making an actual profit are far better at that cost level.
I want to see, whatever movie I want to see, with my friends, at my local theater.
Old movie, new movie, indie flick, studio flick.
Movies long-term success is driven by fans - give the fans a way to organize and share their favorite movie experiences IN theaters. :)
There only TWO ways to make any real money in the reality television business.
1. You happen to win the lottery of right cast, right director, right exec producers, right network and time slot and right advertising backing and you create a hit that makes it into it's 3rd season or beyond (first two seasons are generally money losers for prodco's)
2. You build a global network of production companies in different territories so that you can continue to lose money on the US production of a show (often), but because the show "format" is licensable in other territories, the global parent company of the US production company will rake in money by making 15 versions of "Big Brother" in 15 countries, and each of those will have pay a percentage fee back to the originating production subsidiary. This is the Endemol, Freemantle, RDF, Granada, etc, model.
#2 is frightening, because show FORMATS (ideas), are the primary currency of these companies.
The idea/expression dichotomy being clarified (towards expression) is definitely *not* in best interest of these multi-billion dollar companies; but as an independent producer, boy do I hope for some more clarity advocating "expression" of idea as the rule of law.
Can you please explain how isolating a naturally occurring piece of matter is patentable?
Your argument in my mind sounds like, "well, if one takes water, and removes the oxygen from it, the oxygen should be patentable."
A gene sequence, as the name implies, is still made up of naturally occurring genetic material; e.g. NOT material created by the patent filer. (again, to state the obvious, isolating part of substance is NOT equal to creating the substance).
The process of isolation may be patentable, but not the material.
The more they stay the same. The Producers Guild and MPAA both to this day revere Mary Pickford; and as a whole are incredibly focused on the continued exclusivity of their clubs and protectionism of their business models.
What's sad, to me, is that now is a golden opportunity to recognize there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new media makers; new producers, as it were. Why not reach out to them and provide them with meaningful support and infrastructure; and in the collaboration maybe come up with some new ways of doing business?
Add to that, Studios are NOT IN THE FILM BUSINESS. They are in the STAR business.
The don't line up hundreds of millions of dollars in financing based and pre-sales based on the quality of the product, but on the "guaranteed" audience sizes the studios project based on the stars that are in the films.
Indie's are a totally different (and arguably, more adaptable) business. But most indie filmmakers are pretty terrible entrepreneurs/business people.
I actually think this will HELP producers who wish to either distribute, derive from, or use public domain art/media in their own projects.
As noted in the post about CBC stopping use of CC licensed music from their programs; large distributors have one over-arching concern as driven by their Errors & Omissions insurance policy providers (and their legal teams):
Where's The Binder?
And Does Said Binder include clear documentation that will protect us when we get sued?
That's it. If you're doing music cue sheets, or materials logs for professional media, you have to provide a copy of the license with your deliverables for the network; and a clear piece of paper with a mark that says "hey, this IS properly cleared" can actually be a benefit.
Case in point. I put over $40,000 in materials, and 50K in labor into something I produced. It was all donated, granted, but it was my work that got it all donated. And the content I wanted created, I wanted to be free.
Another producer has taken that work, and is now trying to sell it online.
I put the time and energy into it because it was important to me that people got access to a part of my business they don't usually get to see. Now it's tied up in legal limbo and even I can't release it myself at the moment.
I'd be happy for people to have it for free. But stealing what I want to be free, for commercial purpose... well...
I've spent over $50,000 just doing a "digital cleaning" of dirt on old negatives for transfer (and by old, we're only talking about less than 2 decades).
I suppose if you had pristine negative you're perfectly happy with, and all you're doing is striking a single new transfer IP, and a crappy one pass scan to digibeta (NTSC), maybe $3k. More common, a decent transfer on a 4k telecine to HDCAM SR (standard digital deliverable today) runs between $10k and 25k, that's if you're not doing any color changes or corrections in the telecine process.
Haha! You just described 99% of network and cable produced content out there - and 99.999% of indie content.
Too many "creative" folks don't care about execution, they care about "their vision" and never the two shall meet.
We run into bad execution constraints every single day of production when we have not been properly funded, or cash flowed, or people add loads of new ideas, or change original ideas, at the last minute. This kind of decision making always has financial impacts, and in many cases, long term legal impacts as well (as in Conan).
The only way around it A) to do everything by yourself and obsess on execution, or B) quit working with humans. ;)