Barry Diller Tries To Explain To Ari Emanuel That He's Wrong About 'Piracy' Being A Problem For Movies
from the get-past-it dept
Ari Emanuel — famous for being either the Hollywood agent that Jeremy Piven’s Entourage character is based on or being the brother of former White House chief of staff, now Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel — has been banging the drum about the “evils” of file sharing in movies for a few years now. Multiple times he’s made it clear that he was using his connections in DC to tell the federal government it needed to pass strict new anti-piracy laws that would make everyone else responsible.
So, it’s little surprise that he trotted out the same tired, uninformed line at a recent conference. What was a bit surprising was to see Barry Diller push back on this. Diller — the same guy who insisted that “free content is a myth” — apparently told Emanuel that file sharing was no big deal, and that it wasn’t a “threat” to the industry. Diller seemed more “concerned” about Netflix, which seems pretty silly (yet another example of the entertainment industry hating on those who actually innovate).
However, the two of them had a little debate with Emanuel insisting “the government has to get involved”:
Piracy ?is going to happen,? said Diller. ?They?re making films available for streaming. As we go, you will see more distribution digitally. Piracy is a risk, but it?s small.?
The chairman of WME countered with Hollywood’s party line:
?You can?t say piracy is not an issue,? he said. ?I don?t believe it?s going away, it?s a big issue. The government has to get involved.?
Of course, that ignores that the government has been involved. And it’s been involved in a big bad way… and it’s had almost no impact. Even more amusing is that Emanuel mocked a new Hollywood Reporter person who was on the panel saying:
?I don?t want to give you a lesson here, but the business of the movie business is DVDs.?
That’s amusing, because if Emanuel had his way a few decades back, when the movie industry insisted that VCRs were simply pirate devices, there would be no DVD market. It was out of an “infringement device” that a massive new opportunity was created, which Hollywood fought tooth and nail until it finally realized it could profit (and profit massively) from it. Yet, now, with absolutely no basis, Emanuel wants to repeat the same claims all over again.. and even more ridiculously use the DVD to support his position? Ari may be able to negotiate great deals for his clients, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about on this subject.