Warner Bros., Right After Announcing Record Profits, Pleads Poverty In Asking People To Support 'Grassroots' Campaign For E-PARASITE Act

from the that's-chutzpah dept

It appears that the big Hollywood studios/MPAA have absolutely no shame. Thankfully, employees at some of those companies recognize just how ridiculous their employers look and have been passing along some details. On Wednesday, Warner Bros. announced third quarter profits (not revenue) of $822 million, representing a 57% increase on last year. Revenues were $7.07 billion, 11% higher than last year. The company sent out an email to employees talking about how it was “another record” quarter for the company. Then, very soon after that email went out, another email went out, telling employees about how difficult life was at Warner Bros. these days due to the scourge of “content theft,” and urging people to support the astroturfing group CreativeAmerica.

In July, we informed you about the creation of and Warner Bros.? involvement with Creative America, a grassroots coalition uniting the entertainment community and others against one of the biggest threats we face as an industry: content theft. Thank you to those of you who have already joined and supported Creative America. This is an important first step, but there?s still more we can do.

Thieves in the U.S. and abroad continue to make millions of dollars off our work, talents and creativity. For instance, ?The Big Bang Theory? is one of the most popular targets of digital content thieves, with more than 600,000 illegal digital downloads thus far in 2011. Meanwhile, ?The Hangover Part II? was illegally downloaded some 700,000 times in the first five months since its theatrical release.

Content theft doesn?t just affect a single show or film or even studio. It affects residual benefits, pension funds and health plans as well as jobs that our industry supports?whether directly or in ancillary markets and businesses. Therefore, it?s in all of our interests to stand behind Creative America.

I dunno. WB, if you’ve just made $822 million in profits alone, perhaps you could donate some of that to residuals? Ha Ha, who am I kidding? Movie studios never pay residuals. Remember, this is Warner Bros. And part of the reason it was so profitable this quarter was the latest Harry Potter movie. But last year, we got to analyze the accounting on an earlier Harry Potter movie, showing how Warner Bros. played with the numbers to take a movie that brought in $938 million and still let Warner Bros. claim a $167 million “loss,” through highly questionable accounting, designed almost entirely to avoid paying royalties. The trick, of course, is to set up each movie as its own “corporation” that has to pay the parent studio “fees” for certain “services.” You keep ratcheting up those fees, and the studio makes a ton, but the “company” that is the movie can always claim a loss to avoid paying royalties.

Honestly, if you know anything about the numbers, you’d know that Warner Bros. is a much larger threat to residuals and other things like health plans and jobs, than any file sharing by some kids who’d never pay to see the movie anyway. SOPA/E-PARASITE isn’t going to help people in the business get paid. Execs, sure. But not everyone else. Not by a long shot.

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Companies: warner bros.

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Comments on “Warner Bros., Right After Announcing Record Profits, Pleads Poverty In Asking People To Support 'Grassroots' Campaign For E-PARASITE Act”

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rubberpants says:

An Important Notice

The official Troll Topic of the Week? is “Mike is a lobbyist.” Any trolls not discussing that topic will be deemed “rogue commentators” by a commitee of severely impaired box turtles and will have their posts removed immediately and without notice. Removals may be challenged in writing. (Please allow 10-12 weeks for a reinstatement petition rejection.)

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Dear Sir,

We need to discuss your moniker. I believe it may cause confusion to the customers of my brand of nonsense and may very well not only violate hithertoo the mark I have made for myself, but may also cause the simultaneous combustion of countless morons hurrying off to their moronic undertakings. As such, I request that you relinquish this moniker at the point of a gun from my friends at ICE. It is clear that you are attempting to use this mark from a computer in the fabled lands of “Offshore” and hiding behind your anonymous third party status or something.

Therefore, I now own not only your name, but also you personally. Please send me five dollars and a pumpkin spiced latte from my local Starbucks. If you cannot comply with this, you are ordered to shoot yourself in the head.

Your friend,

Dark Helmet

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Therefore, I now own not only your name, but also you personally.”

well…okay I guess. I never really had much of a personality anyway. Maybe you can develop it more.
And I don’t have any money. Will you accept my expired gift certificate to arbys? It’s a family heirloom…

P.S.: oh, and where should I e-mail you the latte?

Devils Advocate says:

Re: Re:

Actually, I _have_ a boss like that. He had a record breaking year, so I went and asked for a raise. He said the company wasn’t profitable… so I pointed out all the new office furniture he’d bought, esp the desk he sat at… and he suddenly buried his nose in papers and ignored me. After a moment or two, I gave up and walked out.

Anonymous Coward says:

Another point is how Warner can say with a straight face that they want criminals to be punished by supporting laws that increase liability to third parties forcing others to do their jobs for them when they finance drug use, drunk driving, finance thieves(i.e. Winona and Lindsay) shouldn’t they be the ones cleaning up their act first?

I wonder what would happen if studios and labels were made responsible for what actors and musicians do if they would be happy or what they would claim against it.

rubberpants says:

Re: Re:

If a studio has a reasonable suspicion that the money they pay a movie star might be used to buy cocaine or support prostitution, then they are just as responsible as the movie star is. It’s time for the studios, who profit directly from celebrities’ extravagant life styles, to stop hiding behind due process and take responsibility. No more free rides.

In fact, the studios are in a far better position to police the actions of movie stars than the justice system is because they interact with them directly. Some studios may claim that’s it’s too difficult or impossible for them to monitor every action of their employees, but is that really an excuse? Figure it out. You want to have big names in your movies, but when they misbehave – it’s all their fault, is that right?

Is it too much to ask that the movie studios and publishers take responsibility for the actions they fund, and some say even induce?

Anonymous Coward says:

SOPA/E-PARASITE is such a piece of krap it will go down in History as one of the worst pieces of Government Interference in this Century.We will need to write nasty letters to anyone who votes to support this.It is totally unconstitutional and against the laws of this Country.It will be sued and re-sued and investigated.If it passes I hope there will be much unrest as this government is getting meaner and meaner and colder and more dysfunctional every day.Soon the people will have had enough and then it will not be a good story for anyone.for the government though it could be a tarring & feathering which may not be as bad a thing as it sounds.
These guys in charge have proven to the people they can no longer function as a working government.Blaming each other is now a stale excuse.Revolution is in the air.You had better listen and not try to take our freedom away or you might not like the answer the public gives you.Remember there are wacko violent people out there and they are getting more angry every day.

Max Waller (profile) says:

Warner Brothers turn around about the financial solvency

We all commit public and private mistakes – to minimize regrets I suggest that before admiring people and organizations to look beyond approved and sanctioned images to know their deeds. How people and organizations attain wealth, power, and authority especially how they keep them can reveal their personality and character.

Warner Brothers boasted a profit of 822 billion US Dollars to then claim they are poor reminds me of how other companies prove their loyalties are to few people, some investors – rarely to their employees and their country of origin or any country. They also rarely respect and find ways not to keep employees or employees of business who dare to dissent and express credible facts that exposes hypocrisy and corruption. Businesses are proving to be like a sword – in a way they provide great services and products but also behave as parasites. People can Google my name: Sam’s Club 6625+Max Rafael Waller. I have worked for Walmart Stores Inc and I ended being frustrated with the deeds of Rob Walton and other people in the world like him.

AJ (profile) says:

It really does make it hard to take their “pirate” argument seriously when they refuse to be honest about it’s impact. Combine that with their obvious attempts to “steal” money from their artists, and I really don’t have any sympathy for them.
David Praus doesn’t receive royalties from Return of the Jedi, yet it was the 38th highest grossing movie in the U.S. of All-Time. How do they point fingers with a straight face?



Anonymous Coward says:

Warner doesn’t care about the welfare of the children, because if they did, they wouldn’t support laws that make Judges beat their daughters for filesharing.

Judge William Adams beats daughter for using the internet


The 2004 beating occurred when her father was punishing her for using the Internet “to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time,” Hillary Adams wrote on the Internet posting. She said she released the video after being harassed by her father.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/02/justice/texas-video-beating/index.html

How many children took a beating for sharing?
Those children should not fallow the example of Jesus and share anything it is lying, cheating and stealing according to a US Judge LoL

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

C’mon, I will never get a chance like this again.

A US judge beating his daughter because she fileshared.

It may not be Warner Bros responsibility alone, but every children being beaten right now because of copyright crazy laws Warner have a part in it, every musician that is losing his job at the local bars because they can’t afford to pay ASCAP/BMI Warner is in part responsible, every mother being jailed or bankrupt because of filesharing Warner is in part responsible, they may not be directly responsible for it, but they are one of the principal forces behind those ridiculous laws proposed and approved, it is not just Disney you know.

To be fare if it was not for filesharing that Judge probably would have found another thing to beat his daughter, but that is the nature of abuse it only needs excuses any excuse and who suffers are the defenceless, those who pay for the abuses are the little people, companies don’t have to worry about what their laws do, working musicians, actors do, the people who live on the less than 30K a year are the ones who will have to live with those laws and that man there just show to everyone what it is like in real life to see what happens, when abusive people get the excuses they need to beat others, he is no different from Righthaven extorting people, or anybody in a position of authority jailing a mother or students because they dared to share something.

I just can’t put it in words, that guy there is how I see copyright, an abusive father who puts his entire family through hell just to uphold his crazy vision of right and wrong.

That is the kind of thing that SOPA/PROTECT IP/E-PARASITES will enable, it takes out all safeguards and expose others to this kind of thing.

Aside from that on a minor note, I hope not many children get spanked because they share anything. Although some defenders of abusive laws like copyright may disagree I will bookmark this one link and show it to them every chance I get.

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

… you have seen the video, correct?

2 points:

1: Corporal punishment is legal, and popularly accepted in Texas.
2: As a spanked kid myself, that was little more than a slap on the wrist.

Well, that and the fact that, having set up a camera in her living room, I think she was setting her dad up for CPS.

And since it took her 7 years to get any attention for this, CPS must have laughed at her.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I hate to threadjack, but she didn’t put up the video till recently, because she was afraid of what would happen if she did post the video.

Legal or not, doesn’t make it right. She wasn’t just spanked on her butt, she was smacked on her legs and thighs, which is beyond modern acceptable corporal punishment. People don’t even beat their dogs like that without getting in trouble.

Yes, I got beat too. Still doesn’t make it right what happened to either of us.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Nice to see your mania has gotten near the true problem: MONEY.

and in most of your posts during the week, you put slashes in words like /this/…
So what? At least in Mike’s case, its a grammatically acceptable way to put emphasis on certain words.

So…are you now so out of ideas that the only way you can criticize Mike is through grammar? I bet even you must get sick of constantly repeating yourself over and over again.

Anonymous Coward says:

So it seems that content creators like WB are always at odds with the new business models that the tech giants introduce. And the tech giants are always getting starved out of content and are lobbied against in DC.

So if they want to reverse this trend why don’t Google and Apple etc start buying the content companies like WB? It’s the same strategy that the cable co’s are employing.
Vertical integration is a fantastic way to accumulate wealth and power.

Coward (Anon) says:


Could one of you copyright trolls take a couple of minutes and explain to me exactly how my downloading an episode of “The Big Bang Theory” costs Warner’s anything? Warners already got paid by the network for the broadcast rights (which is not connected to actual veiwership numbers otherwise Warners should be asking for a law madating people to watch their TV programs). I’m never going to buy the DVD box set (The show is sporadically funny, but not to the point that I’d want to watch an episode more than once). So were is the “loss” from my download? I can maybe understand the argument for “The Hangover II”. But there is no way I would have paid $28 (2 tickets) to see it in a theatre so instead I watched it on NetFlix where Warners gets nothing for it.

Overcast (profile) says:

Radio (free) brought the music industry more profits than it had ever realized in history. It’s free for the consumers.

Broadcast TV (free) was pivotal in increasing people’s interest in watching hollywood’s product; again it was ‘free’ to consumers.

Those two little ‘free’ items, probably have more to do with the profits of media companies than anything else.

Why is media on the internet so much different?

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