Disney Freaks Out Over Patents That May Mean It Can't Keep 3Ding Old Movies
from the live-by-the-monopoly,-die-by-the-monopoly dept
While lots of folks have been declaring the 3D movie obsession dead for a while now, the studios still love 3D movies. In this age where they’re looking for ways to create formulaic premium experiences that get people to go out to the theaters, they seem to have jumped on the 3D bandwagon full force. Of course, as with all things Hollywood embraces too strongly, that’s now leading to backlash, mainly because rather than do it well and where it makes sense, the big studios are basically just looking to add 3D to whatever they can and hope people will pay the premium. It’s a short term strategy, but Hollywood execs aren’t exactly known for their long term outlooks.
That said, Disney — the poster company for supporting extreme copyright monopolies — has apparently discovered a form of intellectual monopoly that it doesn’t like so much: patents. Last week it filed an emergency motion to try to insert itself into the sale of some patents that cover the 3Difying of old films, from a company, Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG), that went bankrupt. The patents were sold to a company called RealID, and that seems to scare Disney. The link above to The Hollywood Reporter has the details of the back and forth over the dispute, in which it appears that Disney had an option to get a full license to the patents, but for reasons that suggest someone was asleep at the wheel, the company did not officially exercise that option. Now it wants to block the sale unless it can get a guarantee that it won’t get sued.
There’s got to be some amount of irony to see copyright maximalist Disney suddenly running into issues over the possibility that patents might block it from doing something it wants to do.