Biden Takes Part In MPAA Board Meeting; Suggests Studios Tell Paying Customers They're Thieves
from the that'll-teach-them dept
For all their talk about piracy and yearly losses measured in billions, the big movie studios sure do seem to enjoy smacking their paying customers around with anti-piracy warnings and ads. Consider the poor sucker who actually went out and paid cash money for the latest shiny disc and now has to watch a multitude of eagle-laden logos and horrible analogies parade unskippably across his or her screen before finally being allowed to watch the unskippable trailers before finally being allowed to watch 15 seconds of unskippable animation before they can actually watch the movie they’re now regretting having shelled out actual retail price for.
Now, 20th Century Fox has found a new way to pack up paying viewers for another guilt trip, all expenses paid (by the viewer.) If the viewers failed to pick up on any of the front-loaded anti-piracy “education,” they’re now being graced with a reminder of the “true cost of piracy” right as they exit the theater.
It’s hard for Hollywood to explain to consumers about the losses to the movie industry caused by piracy. Especially when talking heads like studio moguls and government officials try and fail. So kudos to Ted Gagliano, president of 20th Century Fox feature post-production, who began putting end cards on the studio’s movies like this one.
I agree. It is hard to explain to consumers about these losses, especially when so many highly successful movies have failed to turn a profit. It’s also hard to explain things using imaginative interpretations of severely extrapolated data that turns the kid bagging your groceries into the equivalent of an executive producer.
This bit of information could conceivably deter a few people from rushing right home and onto the internetz for the “home version.” When they see that many people worked many hours, the few not shouting “Citation, needed!” will sleep the sleep of angels, knowing their full retail price ticket purchases will keep the grocery bagger off the street at least one day longer. Their sleep will be even more angelic when they realize who’s behind this new idea.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos tells me that the end card anti-piracy project was suggested by the Obama administration. “It was actually an idea of Vice President Biden’s when we visited him during a MPAA Board meeting earlier this year. We thought it was an excellent suggestion and adopted the idea and will continue for all movies going forward.”
Yes. An elected official in the second most powerful position in the world took time out of his busy schedule to help out some buddies of his who looked like they could use a hand: the always-right-on-death’s-doorstep movie industry. And the fact that Joe Biden sits in on MPAA board meetings should concern no one in the slightest, especially when it comes time to discuss things that affect the movie industry — like free trade agreements that value draconian IP protection over all else.
There’s not much real estate left for anti-piracy infotainment. The front end has had it for years. This takes care of the back. Maybe they’ll start popping up factoids and warnings at the bottom of the screen during the actual running time, making the movie-going experience indistinguishable from a night in front of broadcast television. Or maybe they’re just waiting for the President himself to suggest that one. Perhaps at the next MPAA board meeting.