Why Is The Hollywood Tail Wagging The Dog Of Academia?

from the that-seems-backwards dept

Hollywood’s admission last week that its campus piracy stats were bogus raises an interesting question: why have colleges been so quick to roll over and accede to Hollywood’s demands? Greg Sandoval points out that universities could have done their own studies a long time ago and had hard numbers to dispute the industry’s accusations. If, as now appears to be the case, colleges are only responsible for a fairly small fraction of illegal file sharing, it makes the industry’s demands that academia bend over backwards to help Hollywood in its anti-piracy fight a little unreasonable. The really screwy thing about this is that the movie industry is a relatively small part of the American economy. The industry’s revenues in 2006 were just $42 billion. For comparison, Harvard alone has an endowment of $35 billion, and altogether the higher education sector has assets in the hundreds of billions of dollars. If they chose to stand up to Hollywood’s bullying techniques, they would have little trouble mounting an effective legal defense. And given that Hollywood seems determined to paint students?academia’s customers?in the worst possible light, it seems only appropriate that colleges be more proactive about countering unfair negative stereotypes of college campuses.

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Comments on “Why Is The Hollywood Tail Wagging The Dog Of Academia?”

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Michael Long (user link) says:

They could...

While it’s true that universities could have done their own studies a long time ago, the downside is that if they’d done so and if the study confirmed that there was a serious problem then they’d be that much more on the hook to do something about it.

One has only to ask a the head of information services on a college campus how much bandwidth P2P sucks down.

I’d say it’s another case of don’t ask, don’t tell.

Anonymous Coward says:

works for me

Both universities I have attended automatically block IPs attempting to use p2p software. The reason is simple, come september when freshman come into the dorms and discover the magic of p2p, the network becomes prohibitive to use. Since they’ve implemented blocking IPs, it has been wonderful.

So, sorry if this infringes on your happy, information-sharing eutopia, Mike. But, it works out better for most of us trying to work on the network.

Debunked says:

Tim not implying

Tim quote:
“If, as now appears to be the case, colleges are only responsible for a fairly small fraction of illegal file sharing, …”

It seems that Tim is being unclear or being evasive to impute music downloading as well when this article is about strictly movie downloads. He should correct “illegal file sharing” to “illegal movie file sharing” to make his intent clearer.

ohnopiratespirates says:

Lol'ing at representations of second tier academia

Go to Harvard.
Go to U of C.
Go anywhere that isn’t a second tier, struggling for students and endowment university.

They *do* tell hollywood to go take a flying leap.

It’s about power, universities have no real reason to “band together,” those that can afford to tell people to piss off do, those that can’t, well just another reason for the best students not to go there.

Iron Chef says:

Re: Lol'ing at representations of second tier acad

I wouldn’t use such callous words as the previous poster, but have to agree that this is what is being taught today. On another note, I would add Stanford, and MIT to the list. Unsure of Wharton… So if your interested, consider a subscription to the Harvard Business Review.

There’s an interesting culture being grown in tomorrow’s leaders thru MBA and even some undergrad Business courses. Much of it is brought on by information sharing successes of companies like WalMart’s RetailLink, courses that discuss Don Tapscott’s book Wikinomics, and other successes.

Hindsight being 20/20, the lineage of this new economy could possibly have started from a single ad campaign thrusted forward by IBM in a commercial titled “Prodigy”.

Eric (profile) says:

The simple answer...

Having worked in the IT departments of two Universities, at very different ends of the academic system, its quite easy to understand why schools block p2p and don’t fight the system.

It’s just simpler to block the traffic than handle all the complications. Higher ed IT departments are stretched pretty thin and have more pressing issues to deal with. They know that students trade in copyright material and do what they can to limit pirating and follow the law, but unless pressed by the RiAA and MPAA, IT really doesn’t care.

Its hard enough keeping everything running…


Anonymous Coward says:

Endowment might as well = income at this level of

“Harvard University’s endowment earned a 23.0 percent return during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007. With FY07 being one of the best performance years since the inception of Harvard Management Company in 1974, the overall value of the University’s endowment grew to $34.9 billion.”
Source: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/08.23/99-endowment.html

Also, to the A/C for this sub-thread. Hiding the fact that you are a sock puppet for the RIAA… poor. buah ha ha ha

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