Miramax CEO Finally Admits: Control Over Distribution Channel Is A Much Bigger Issue Than 'Piracy'

from the but-of-course dept

As a ton of folks have been submitting, Miramax’s CEO, Mike Lang, recently admitted that control over the distribution channel is a much bigger issue than “piracy.” Of course, that’s what some of us have been arguing for ages. The “fight” over “piracy” has always been a fight about control of the distribution channel.

“Piracy really is not the bigger issue for our company or for our library,” Lang said. “It’s been a lack of exploitation, just not getting it out there.”

Nice to see someone in the industry actually willing to step up and say it. He also notes that he wants his movies to be available in as many places as possible, because actual competition will be better for everyone. Interesting to see him willing to say this out loud. Wonder if he’ll get a “talking to” from the MPAA folks about undermining their whole argument by admitting the truth.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: miramax

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Miramax CEO Finally Admits: Control Over Distribution Channel Is A Much Bigger Issue Than 'Piracy'”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Jay (profile) says:

Wonder if he’ll get a “talking to” from the MPAA folks about undermining their whole argument by admitting the truth.

Somewhere in the brief, I could swear the MPAA is supposed to be working for Mike Lang to make movie distribution easier, *NOT* to make the CEOs of the companies involved with MPAA realize they are losing money, not to piracy, but to their own inability to recognize how to distribute their goods and form new services.

Natanael L (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Context + history?

When you make a reference to one story, there’s no rule that says you can’t make references to others as well.

When they are pushing for DRM it’s not *actually* about piracy in most cases, they simply just want control. Instead of you being able to transfer music from an LP to the computer, burn it to CD:s, copy it to your music player and phone, etc, they want you to buy an LP, a CD, a downloaded file on the computer, higher price for a copy on the music player, pay another time for a copy on the phone, etc…
All for the same song.

They want to cash in on you as much as possible with as little effort as possible.

Me disapproves.

DannyB (profile) says:

A study on monopolies

Read the book:

Big Blue: IBM’s Use and Abuse of Power

The book describes the rise of IBM. How it builds a monopoly. How it holds on to the monopoly. How it destroyed competition on all sorts of levels. Until the rise of the inexpensive microcomputer changed everything.

In the 1990’s I thought the book was a play by play description of what Microsoft was doing.

One of the lessons of the book is that nothing is more important than maintaining the monopoly. Nothing. Not profits. Not even following the law.

Example from ancient stone age history. Xerox develops copier. IBM steals copier technology. IBM markets the IBM Office Copier. Xerox sues. IBM continues to use its existing sales force connections to market their copier. After years of fighting in court, Xerox wins $100 million. Meanwhile offices all have IBM copiers.

When you have a monopoly, you can charge whatever you want. You can pretty much do whatever you want.

Another lesson from the book: segment your market. That way if a competitor arises in one area, you can price your product in that market segment *below* the cost of production to eliminate the competitor. Make it up by charging more on the other market segments that are not under threat. Segmenting the market is why we have Windows 7 Home Basic. Windows 7 Home Premium. Windows 7 Tartar Control. Windows 7 Extra Whitening with Peroxide. Windows 7 with Baking Soda. Etc, etc.

What? Low cost Linux servers a threat? Introduce Windows Home Server at a price nobody can refuse, but rig it to be useless for any other task.

Short of breaking up Microsoft, it wouldn’t have mattered how much the DoJ would have fined Microsoft. They would just pass it on to their customers. After all, they had a monopoly.

In the end, the advance of technology and rise of open source is negatively affecting Microsoft.

Now, consider that copyright is nothing but government granted monopoly. And these dinosaurs have built their past empires on monopoly control of distribution. It’s not difficult to see the picture. The rise of information technology threatens it.

Its hard to believe now, but once there were people threatened by the rise of the printing press. Imagine that. Threatened by the fact that it was now easy and cheap to produce lots of printed paper in bulk and distribute it. The spread of information.

The Internet similarly upsets people because it can spread information instantly and cheaply to all parts of the planet. You should distrust anyone who is threatened by that and wants to put a chokehold on it.

PaulT (profile) says:


Miramax? Wouldn’t that be the same company that hoarded Asian releases, buying the rights then refusing to release them in the West simply so that nobody else could capitalise on the stars/remakes they planned to release? The company that re-edited Asian movies so that only the butchered versions were available in English speaking countries? Who refused to release most of those movies in their original languages? Leaving the only options to either import DVDs from the East (in violation of the DMCA) or simply pirate them?

You know, I think it is. Funny how power rather than intelligent business dealings is their forte…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...