by Mike Masnick

Movie Industry Bans Screener DVDs

from the go-see-the-move-in-the-theater dept

This story started floating around last week, but now it's official, that the various movie studios, at the urging of Jack Valenti, have agreed not to send out "screeners" to voters for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. These are tapes or DVDs of the movies up for the awards, so that the voters can watch them at home. Evidently, Valenti and his pals believe in what they read in the NY Times a couple of weeks ago: the real cause of movies getting online are insiders, and they seem to have the incredibly misguided notion that by annoying the voters, somehow the movies won't still end up online. Of course, we all know that the movies will still end up online, and yet (amazingly) people will still go see the movies as well. Valenti says that this is part of "a determined commitment to combat digital piracy and to save movie jobs in the future." Except that it won't save any movie jobs at all. It's actually making life tougher on smaller, independent filmmakers who are pissed off that they won't get equal footing with the major studios in Oscar voting - since their releases get much smaller distribution, it may be more difficult for screeners to see them. What confuses me, though, is why the independents need to go along with this backwards MPAA edict? Why not keep sending their screeners, knowing that it makes it even more likely voters will watch their flicks (and, also realizing that if their films do get online and do get good reviews, they're even more likely to make extra money at the box office)?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Keith, Oct 1st, 2003 @ 8:05am

    No Subject Given

    The problem with smaller distributors sending out screeners anyway is that they often have ties to the big studios. Those ties bind them to the MPAA regulations. Flout the regulations, get whacked on the peepee by Universal/Fox/whoever.

    There are some, however, that have no ties and will be sending out screeners with impunity. Lions Gate and IFC Films are two that are totally independent, and are not bound by the rules of the MPAA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2003 @ 9:52am

    Mike thinks everything should be free

    Get real man, there are some things in life and our economic system that simply cannot be free for anyone to take, and movies are one of those things. As much as you believe that it's ok to steal music and movies, it's not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    AMetamorphosis, Oct 1st, 2003 @ 10:19am

    Re: Mike thinks everything should be free

    Please don't ever read any book from a public library because you are ( according to your definition ) stealing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 1st, 2003 @ 10:26am

    Re: Mike thinks everything should be free

    I have never said that everything should be free. I don't believe that everything should be free. In fact, I believe the opposite. I just think that many things will be free, because of their economic nature. If that's the case, and competitive forces drive the prices to free, isn't it better to figure out a way to embrace that, and figure out how to use that to charge for other things?

    It's actually a way to make more money.

    I've also made it very clear that I don't support downloading of copyrighted material. I don't use any file sharing software. I don't think it's ok. I think it's illegal.

    My point, though, is that it's in the businesses best interest to get around that and to make these things free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    armando, Oct 1st, 2003 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Mike thinks everything should be free

    "I don't use any file sharing software. I don't think it's ok. I think it's illegal."

    really? you think the software itself is illegal? are you sure you meant to type this? you often write that it is not the tool, but the way it is used that causes problems. this seem to go against that viewpoint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 1st, 2003 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Mike thinks everything should be free

    You're right. I didn't write that carefully enough. I didn't mean that the tools are illegal. I meant the downloading songs that the copyright owners do not want you to download is, under current interpretation of the law, illegal.

    I don't think it should be illegal, but that doesn't mean that it is currently legal.

    In the meantime, because I don't want to break the law, I do not use such programs. I know that there are plenty of legal reasons why I could use them as well - but since there seems to be some "guilt by association" if you use these tools, I find it better to avoid them for the time being.

    I should also note, by the way, that I've been buying much less music in the past couple of years. I don't hear anything on the radio that I like. The only time I buy music is when a few friends, whose taste I trust, tell me about certain bands or let me listen to CDs that they own. Based on this, I believe that if I did use file sharing tools, I'd be buying a lot more music.

    Oh well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Rook, Jan 17th, 2004 @ 10:55am

    Re: Mike thinks everything should be free

    There are a few people I dont feel sorry for when it comes to money. Brittney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Metalica, Universal Studios, Fox, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt. I could go on but wont. Get real people these singers might have to go on tour to make money instead of with albums boo hoo. Very few people are willing to spend the time downloading movies it takes to long and besides the quality is not there and even if it is not many people have a system comparable to that of a theater. I have bought movies and music and downloaded it and if I really like it I want the quality so I buy it. There are alot of ways these people and corperations can make money. Remember Micheal Jordan? most of his money was not made from the NBA. These People and Corperations are just bent because their sales have gone down a little. And they might have to think a little to find a different way to milk a liitle more out of the little guy. They have had to it good for to long, the free market that has served them well for so many years is starting to turn around on them. Poor little rich people. Give me a break!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    David Lemoyre, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 12:40pm

    no screeners

    This is yet another case of the movie industry whining over losing money. They aren't losing money because of screeners. They are losing money because no one wants to pay to see the Hollywood crap that's stinking up the theatres. Hollywood, Lose the market research and let some ART happen. Stop following the same formula over and over and let people make films without all the studio control. We don't care what you think we want. Let me tell you what we really want. We want you to allow artistic freedom. That's the only way good movies can be made.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Benjamin Cruickshank, Dec 18th, 2006 @ 8:24pm

    Re: no screeners

    Is this the David Lemoyre from Cornwall?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    David Lemoyre, Apr 12th, 2007 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: no screeners

    Of course it is... Don't tell people I'm from Cornwall. lol... I wasn't born here. There's a reason Ryan Gosling says he's from London Ontario. He's not, though. I used to play "The Legend of Zelda" with him... In Cornwall... Where I wasn't born.

    PS. I mean no offense to the people of Cornwall in England... Cornwall, England is cool.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anon, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 2:59pm

    Im all for Downloading

    Put it this way, pay upto £30 for a night at the movies or spend 1 hr downloading same film free. mmmmmm. Well f u c k all those rich f u c k s who get ALL yes thats right ALL their stuff free, I'll get their films for free!!!!

    You might not agree but, i work my ass off for peanuts, these fu ck er s act, thats right act and get $50 mill get real!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.