Without Copyright, Hollywood Would Never Be Incented To... Make A Bunch Of Remakes?

from the nothing-new-under-the-sun dept

We keep hearing about how the entertainment industry needs strong copyright in order to create incentives for the creation of new and original content, saying that without such things, there would be no new creative works at all. And, at the same time, we have the very same people mocking any cultural attempts to build new content by remixing and mashing up old works into something new. So I'm curious to see how those same people explain the fact that Hollywood's entire focus these days seems to be on taking old works and redoing them, rather than creating new and "unique" stories:
In fact, over the next 12 months, audiences can expect to see a new episode or version of "Planet of the Apes," “The Avengers,” “Spider-Man,” “Fright Night,” “The Great Gatsby,” “When Worlds Collide,” “RoboCop,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” “The Thing,” “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” “The Raven,” “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Red Dawn” and “Footloose.”

Add those to recent updated versions of “Winnie the Pooh,” “Clash of the Titans,” “Karate Kid,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “War of the Worlds,” “Arthur,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Tourist” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

And deja vu happens when you turn the television on too.

This fall ABC are bringing back the 1970s series “Charlie’s Angels,” FOX is awakening “The Flintstones,” MTV has its hands on “Teen Wolf,” and we’ve already been slapped with Aaron Spelling’s “90210” and “Melrose Place” on the CW, while NBC re-imagined “The Bionic Woman” and “Knight Rider.”
But Hollywood is producing all these wonderful "new" and creative works, right? And remixing old works isn't creative at all?

Filed Under: hollywood, movies, remakes, tv shows


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  1. identicon
    Jose_X, 4 Aug 2011 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So in other words...

    >> The point is that it's venture capital; if the risk is higher that you won't make money, you don't take the risk because you no longer have a cushion to be risky with. You go with the safe bet. That's just smart business. But of course innovation suffers because of it.

    What I see is that they make money despite the piracy. You didn't answer why that is. What you are saying is that the industry wants to get highest revenues at minimum risk. What I see is that if they couldn't get the same returns, then this would drive the cost of the staff (eg, the actors, producers, writers, etc) down, perhaps even sending some of the actors towards independents doing more interesting and challenging work. Studies and common sense indicate that if you get paid less than a yearly salary of millions, you will likely still be willing to work just as hard and creatively if not more.

    Here are some more questions.

    If the remixes are not very original (don't "promote the progress") and if these are low risk ventures with an increased chance of being reworked and pulling money away from efforts at more original material, then copyright is failing by encouraging this lack of progress.

    If the remixes are original, but copyright is giving monopoly control to a single entity, then how can this be promoting the progress since we have just thrown obstacles in the path of creativity?

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