Multiple Hollywood Studios Making Movies About Julian Assange; How Many Will Pay Him For His Story?
from the just-wondering... dept
We’ve all heard the refrain from the MPAA a million times: profiting off of someone else’s work is “theft” and we need new laws to stop that kind of thing. So, it struck me as interesting to see an article in the Wall Street Journal, claiming that multiple Hollywood studios are planning movies about Julian Assange and Wikileaks:
Among the studios with WikiLeaks movies in development are Time Warner Inc.’s HBO Films, DreamWorks Studios, Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures and Annapurna Pictures, the company run by Megan Ellison, daughter of Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison.
Most of the article talks about the difficulty of creating a movie based on a true story that’s still very much in progress. However, they just barely touch on the question of paying for the story. After all, the story of Assange is based on “his work,” right? There had been one project that sought to buy an option on Assange’s own memoirs, which were due to be published by Random House, but apparently Assange failed to deliver and the deal fell through. Other projects did option different versions of the Assange story — but not from Assange himself. One optioned the book from former WikiLeaks spokesman, turned Wikileaks critic, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Another optioned a profile of Assange that was done in the New Yorker.
However, all of the actual stories focus on Assange and his work in building up Wikileaks. If Hollywood really believes so strongly in not “profiting off the works of others” without fairly compensating them, why aren’t they lining up to pay Assange?