Funny How Sensitive Hollywood Gets When You Threaten To Mess With Its 'Fundamental' Structure
from the but-the-internet?-bah... dept
One of the key points in the SOPA/PIPA debate involved Hollywood — and the MPAA’s Chris Dodd and Michael O’Leary in particular — dismissing the worries of folks in the tech industry about the rather fundamental changes that these laws would make to both the technological and legal frameworks of the internet. Anytime such a thing was brought up, it was dismissed out of hand. This was most noticeable during the original SOPA hearings in November, where a number of experts were pointing out their concerns with how SOPA would undermine basic internet security principles… and O’Leary dismissed them with a simple statement about how he just didn’t believe those concerns to be true.
What shocked many folks in the tech community was just how easily the MPAA sought to dismiss some pretty massive fundamental changes to both the internet and the legal framework around the internet. However, apparently if you dare touch the “fundamental” parts of Hollywood’s business, the same MPAA throws a hissy fit. The EU recently had a public consultation on a variety of copyright-related topics, some of which were more interesting than others. One of the topics was on the question of movie release windows, and whether or not they made sense any more. As we’ve noted there have been many, many studies that suggest that these release windows are actually a big part of the problem for Hollywood, and they’re leaving a ton of money on the table by not making movies available in as many convenient ways as possible.
In fact, many of the (non-Hollywood) respondents to the consultation made this point. There’s BEUC (a consumers’ group) that sees (pdf) “both platform and territorial release windows as outdated.” GSMA called for (pdf) support for “flexible and shorter release windows.” And EuroISPA was the most stringent (pdf), pointing out that:
the current windowing system is obsolete and seriously damaging the objective of the Digital Agenda, because it hampers the circulation of digital works and discriminate amongst platforms, to the detriment of more innovative technologies and business models
But you get a totally different story when you hear the MPAA’s international arm, the MPA, tell its story (pdf). You see, to Hollywood, release windows are a “fundamental” part of its business model, and how dare anyone think of touching it.
The MPA submits that the freedom to set the exact timing for the release of films in various media and various countries is a fundamental feature of the film industry’s business model
Perhaps Hollywood is right, even if so many studies disagree. But, really, if it thinks it can just claim a certain feature is a “fundamental feature of the industry’s business model,” why does it then feel that there’s absolutely no problem to leap into a totally different industry, and muck around with the “fundamental features” of that “industry’s business model”? What an incredible sense of entitlement. The MPAA wants the law to keep its business model in place permanently… but if anyone else even dares to ask why Hollywood is trying to muck with their own business model, everyone gets attacked as being misinformed shills.