Warner Bros., Right After Announcing Record Profits, Pleads Poverty In Asking People To Support 'Grassroots' Campaign For E-PARASITE Act

from the that's-chutzpah dept

It appears that the big Hollywood studios/MPAA have absolutely no shame. Thankfully, employees at some of those companies recognize just how ridiculous their employers look and have been passing along some details. On Wednesday, Warner Bros. announced third quarter profits (not revenue) of $822 million, representing a 57% increase on last year. Revenues were $7.07 billion, 11% higher than last year. The company sent out an email to employees talking about how it was "another record" quarter for the company. Then, very soon after that email went out, another email went out, telling employees about how difficult life was at Warner Bros. these days due to the scourge of "content theft," and urging people to support the astroturfing group CreativeAmerica.
In July, we informed you about the creation of and Warner Bros.’ involvement with Creative America, a grassroots coalition uniting the entertainment community and others against one of the biggest threats we face as an industry: content theft. Thank you to those of you who have already joined and supported Creative America. This is an important first step, but there’s still more we can do.

Thieves in the U.S. and abroad continue to make millions of dollars off our work, talents and creativity. For instance, “The Big Bang Theory” is one of the most popular targets of digital content thieves, with more than 600,000 illegal digital downloads thus far in 2011. Meanwhile, “The Hangover Part II” was illegally downloaded some 700,000 times in the first five months since its theatrical release.

Content theft doesn’t just affect a single show or film or even studio. It affects residual benefits, pension funds and health plans as well as jobs that our industry supports—whether directly or in ancillary markets and businesses. Therefore, it’s in all of our interests to stand behind Creative America.
I dunno. WB, if you've just made $822 million in profits alone, perhaps you could donate some of that to residuals? Ha Ha, who am I kidding? Movie studios never pay residuals. Remember, this is Warner Bros. And part of the reason it was so profitable this quarter was the latest Harry Potter movie. But last year, we got to analyze the accounting on an earlier Harry Potter movie, showing how Warner Bros. played with the numbers to take a movie that brought in $938 million and still let Warner Bros. claim a $167 million "loss," through highly questionable accounting, designed almost entirely to avoid paying royalties. The trick, of course, is to set up each movie as its own "corporation" that has to pay the parent studio "fees" for certain "services." You keep ratcheting up those fees, and the studio makes a ton, but the "company" that is the movie can always claim a loss to avoid paying royalties.

Honestly, if you know anything about the numbers, you'd know that Warner Bros. is a much larger threat to residuals and other things like health plans and jobs, than any file sharing by some kids who'd never pay to see the movie anyway. SOPA/E-PARASITE isn't going to help people in the business get paid. Execs, sure. But not everyone else. Not by a long shot.

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  • identicon
    rubberpants, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:04am

    An Important Notice

    The official Troll Topic of the Week™ is "Mike is a lobbyist." Any trolls not discussing that topic will be deemed "rogue commentators" by a commitee of severely impaired box turtles and will have their posts removed immediately and without notice. Removals may be challenged in writing. (Please allow 10-12 weeks for a reinstatement petition rejection.)

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

  • identicon
    TheStupidOne, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:15am

    But if it wasn't for the pirates WB would have posted profit of 11.56 trillion dollars! Won't you please think of the shareholders children? They could all be driving solid gold sports cars if it wasn't for the thieving pirates.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:35pm

      Re:

      You're right- Warners shouldn't be allowed to make a profit. That's just for all the other companies in the world.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:47pm

        Re: Re:

        What a stupid response. I know DH wants us to be nicer to the trolls but ... no. Asshat comments like this just prove that "the other side" doesn't have the mental faculties to provide a real, meaningful debate.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2011 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      But Disney has grossed $3.7 billion worldwide on the Pirates franchise!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:18am

    Heh, reminds me of an old Dilbert strip: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-10-02/

    Never thought I'd see a company actually try that though. Impressive.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      When life imitates art. Fabulous.

      Now Mr Adams, sue life for copyright infringement. And WB with it for double the profits on your lost sales.

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

    • identicon
      Darth Vader, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:58am

      Re:

      ...most impressive.

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

      • icon
        Dark Helmet (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:09pm

        Re: Re:

        Dear Sir,

        We need to discuss your moniker. I believe it may cause confusion to the customers of my brand of nonsense and may very well not only violate hithertoo the mark I have made for myself, but may also cause the simultaneous combustion of countless morons hurrying off to their moronic undertakings. As such, I request that you relinquish this moniker at the point of a gun from my friends at ICE. It is clear that you are attempting to use this mark from a computer in the fabled lands of "Offshore" and hiding behind your anonymous third party status or something.

        Therefore, I now own not only your name, but also you personally. Please send me five dollars and a pumpkin spiced latte from my local Starbucks. If you cannot comply with this, you are ordered to shoot yourself in the head.

        Your friend,

        Dark Helmet

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 3 Nov 2011 @ 3:00pm

      Re:

      You can tell how inane things have gotten since then if you're surprised that the PHB actually /understands/ the cognitive dissidence of those two items so close together and insists on some charity distraction between.

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

      • identicon
        athe, 3 Nov 2011 @ 7:09pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh god! Is /this/ catching on now or something?

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

      • identicon
        David Muir, 4 Nov 2011 @ 6:26am

        Re: Re:

        I was about to point out that the common phrase is "cognitive dissonance" but since dissidence also means disagreement (usually with the government)... I think you've got a cool new word coupling here.

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

    • identicon
      Devils Advocate, 23 Aug 2012 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      Actually, I _have_ a boss like that. He had a record breaking year, so I went and asked for a raise. He said the company wasn't profitable... so I pointed out all the new office furniture he'd bought, esp the desk he sat at... and he suddenly buried his nose in papers and ignored me. After a moment or two, I gave up and walked out.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:26am

    Another point is how Warner can say with a straight face that they want criminals to be punished by supporting laws that increase liability to third parties forcing others to do their jobs for them when they finance drug use, drunk driving, finance thieves(i.e. Winona and Lindsay) shouldn't they be the ones cleaning up their act first?

    I wonder what would happen if studios and labels were made responsible for what actors and musicians do if they would be happy or what they would claim against it.

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

    • identicon
      rubberpants, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      If a studio has a reasonable suspicion that the money they pay a movie star might be used to buy cocaine or support prostitution, then they are just as responsible as the movie star is. It's time for the studios, who profit directly from celebrities' extravagant life styles, to stop hiding behind due process and take responsibility. No more free rides.

      In fact, the studios are in a far better position to police the actions of movie stars than the justice system is because they interact with them directly. Some studios may claim that's it's too difficult or impossible for them to monitor every action of their employees, but is that really an excuse? Figure it out. You want to have big names in your movies, but when they misbehave - it's all their fault, is that right?

      Is it too much to ask that the movie studios and publishers take responsibility for the actions they fund, and some say even induce?

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

      • icon
        MonkeyFracasJr (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:40pm

        Re: then they are just as responsible

        And it is clearly obvious that the money studios pay a movie star will be used to buy cocaine or support prostitution.

        ergo ....

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

        • icon
          The Devil's Coachman (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 1:48pm

          Re: Re: then they are just as responsible

          .....the studios fund prostitution and drug dealing. Then there's the matter of kiddie porn, yet to be investigated, but I think I see a connection forthcoming........

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

        • icon
          The eejit (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:20pm

          Re: Re: then they are just as responsible

          Also, crackpot religious cults/criminal organisations, such as the Church of Scientology (not to be confused with actual Scientology).

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

        • icon
          The eejit (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:22pm

          Re: Re: then they are just as responsible

          And who can forget those bastions of freetardiness, Congresscritters and Senators, who get paid to freeload off of the hardworking taxpayers in order to fund their lavish lifestyle of corruption, callousness and sarcasm?

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

    • icon
      The Incoherent One (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      I see what you did there......

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

    • identicon
      Trencher, 4 Nov 2011 @ 1:42pm

      Re:

      Ok, you're kinda grasping at straws on that statement. Studios don't own actors and what actors do in their own time is up to them. Any more then if I went home and smoked some weed after getting paid by employer, they paid me the money that i used to buy the weed doesn't make them fiancing a drug addict.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:29am

    SOPA/E-PARASITE is such a piece of krap it will go down in History as one of the worst pieces of Government Interference in this Century.We will need to write nasty letters to anyone who votes to support this.It is totally unconstitutional and against the laws of this Country.It will be sued and re-sued and investigated.If it passes I hope there will be much unrest as this government is getting meaner and meaner and colder and more dysfunctional every day.Soon the people will have had enough and then it will not be a good story for anyone.for the government though it could be a tarring & feathering which may not be as bad a thing as it sounds.
    These guys in charge have proven to the people they can no longer function as a working government.Blaming each other is now a stale excuse.Revolution is in the air.You had better listen and not try to take our freedom away or you might not like the answer the public gives you.Remember there are wacko violent people out there and they are getting more angry every day.

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

  • icon
    Max Waller (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:34am

    Warner Brothers turn around about the financial solvency

    We all commit public and private mistakes - to minimize regrets I suggest that before admiring people and organizations to look beyond approved and sanctioned images to know their deeds. How people and organizations attain wealth, power, and authority especially how they keep them can reveal their personality and character.

    Warner Brothers boasted a profit of 822 billion US Dollars to then claim they are poor reminds me of how other companies prove their loyalties are to few people, some investors - rarely to their employees and their country of origin or any country. They also rarely respect and find ways not to keep employees or employees of business who dare to dissent and express credible facts that exposes hypocrisy and corruption. Businesses are proving to be like a sword - in a way they provide great services and products but also behave as parasites. People can Google my name: Sam's Club 6625+Max Rafael Waller. I have worked for Walmart Stores Inc and I ended being frustrated with the deeds of Rob Walton and other people in the world like him.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:31pm

      Re: Warner Brothers turn around about the financial solvency

      I think I lost brain cells reading one of those links....

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2011 @ 9:44am

      Re: Warner Brothers turn around about the financial solvency

      Just... lemme sneak in here and change that Billion to Million....

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:41am

    Am I the only one who is not one bit surprised they actually did this?

    This is regular accountability practices. Nothing to see here, now move along.

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

    • icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:20pm

      Re:

      I think you meant accounting.

      Warner Bros. doesn't have the first idea of what accountability is.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 4 Nov 2011 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:

        Oh yeah, accounting. My bad, the other languages I speak sometimes run over English like a truck and I end up saying weird things. But in the end my mistake made the comment funny if u think about it ;)

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

  • icon
    AJ (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:49am

    It really does make it hard to take their "pirate" argument seriously when they refuse to be honest about it's impact. Combine that with their obvious attempts to "steal" money from their artists, and I really don't have any sympathy for them.
    David Praus doesn't receive royalties from Return of the Jedi, yet it was the 38th highest grossing movie in the U.S. of All-Time. How do they point fingers with a straight face?

    http://filmunlim.com/index.php?o=3111

    http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/alltimegross

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 11:53am

    Warner doesn't care about the welfare of the children, because if they did, they wouldn't support laws that make Judges beat their daughters for filesharing.

    Judge William Adams beats daughter for using the internet

    Quote:
    The 2004 beating occurred when her father was punishing her for using the Internet "to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time," Hillary Adams wrote on the Internet posting. She said she released the video after being harassed by her father.

    Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/02/justice/texas-video-beating/index.html

    How many children took a beating for sharing?
    Those children should not fallow the example of Jesus and share anything it is lying, cheating and stealing according to a US Judge LoL

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

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

      I'm as down with Warner Brother as anyone, but you can't blame them for that. Let's stick to the subject.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re:

        C'mon, I will never get a chance like this again.

        A US judge beating his daughter because she fileshared.

        It may not be Warner Bros responsibility alone, but every children being beaten right now because of copyright crazy laws Warner have a part in it, every musician that is losing his job at the local bars because they can't afford to pay ASCAP/BMI Warner is in part responsible, every mother being jailed or bankrupt because of filesharing Warner is in part responsible, they may not be directly responsible for it, but they are one of the principal forces behind those ridiculous laws proposed and approved, it is not just Disney you know.

        To be fare if it was not for filesharing that Judge probably would have found another thing to beat his daughter, but that is the nature of abuse it only needs excuses any excuse and who suffers are the defenceless, those who pay for the abuses are the little people, companies don't have to worry about what their laws do, working musicians, actors do, the people who live on the less than 30K a year are the ones who will have to live with those laws and that man there just show to everyone what it is like in real life to see what happens, when abusive people get the excuses they need to beat others, he is no different from Righthaven extorting people, or anybody in a position of authority jailing a mother or students because they dared to share something.

        I just can't put it in words, that guy there is how I see copyright, an abusive father who puts his entire family through hell just to uphold his crazy vision of right and wrong.

        That is the kind of thing that SOPA/PROTECT IP/E-PARASITES will enable, it takes out all safeguards and expose others to this kind of thing.

        Aside from that on a minor note, I hope not many children get spanked because they share anything. Although some defenders of abusive laws like copyright may disagree I will bookmark this one link and show it to them every chance I get.

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

        • icon
          Killercool (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ... you have seen the video, correct?

          2 points:

          1: Corporal punishment is legal, and popularly accepted in Texas.
          2: As a spanked kid myself, that was little more than a slap on the wrist.

          Well, that and the fact that, having set up a camera in her living room, I think she was setting her dad up for CPS.

          And since it took her 7 years to get any attention for this, CPS must have laughed at her.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I hate to threadjack, but she didn't put up the video till recently, because she was afraid of what would happen if she did post the video.

            Legal or not, doesn't make it right. She wasn't just spanked on her butt, she was smacked on her legs and thighs, which is beyond modern acceptable corporal punishment. People don't even beat their dogs like that without getting in trouble.

            Yes, I got beat too. Still doesn't make it right what happened to either of us.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 5:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Do you believe violence solves anything?
            If not why use it to educate anyone?

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

            • icon
              btr1701 (profile), 4 Nov 2011 @ 1:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > Do you believe violence solves anything?

              Sometimes it does.

              When my sister was attacked in her home by someone who turned out to be a serial rapist and murderer, and she was able to get to her gun, that violence saved her life.

              So yes, sometimes violence is exactly the solution that's needed.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Of course Warner Brothers are poor from all the content theft Mike! Haven't you heard of that poor congressman who complained that he wouldn't be able to afford to feed his family (consisting of just himself and his wife) on $200,000 dollars a year if congress raised this poor man's taxes?

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

  • icon
    TheBigH (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:15pm

    I assume "corporartion" is like a corporation, but more piratey.

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

  • identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Nice to see your mania has gotten near the true problem: MONEY.

    You've italicized profits twice in this piece.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:26pm

      Re: Nice to see your mania has gotten near the true problem: MONEY.

      To quote Friedrich Nietzsche:

      "Only sick music makes money today."

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

      • icon
        The Devil's Coachman (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 1:53pm

        Re: Re: Nice to see your mania has gotten near the true problem: MONEY.

        Hey, wasn't Freddy the guy who gave the Nazis most of their ideas?

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

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:27pm

      Re: Nice to see your mania has gotten near the true problem: MONEY.

      Personally, I think you're finally getting through to him. It's about time you started inspiring him to actually GET it, you know? Keep up the good work, sir!

      /killmeplease

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

    • icon
      Rikuo (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Nice to see your mania has gotten near the true problem: MONEY.

      and in most of your posts during the week, you put slashes in words like /this/...
      So what? At least in Mike's case, its a grammatically acceptable way to put emphasis on certain words.

      So...are you now so out of ideas that the only way you can criticize Mike is through grammar? I bet even you must get sick of constantly repeating yourself over and over again.

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

    • icon
      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 1:29pm

      Re: Nice to see your mania has gotten near the true problem: MONEY.

      /profits/...is that better?

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

  • identicon
    Warner Bros., 3 Nov 2011 @ 12:46pm

    LOOK. Just because we made boat loads of money, doesn't mean we made boat loads of money. Geees.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2011 @ 1:52pm

    So it seems that content creators like WB are always at odds with the new business models that the tech giants introduce. And the tech giants are always getting starved out of content and are lobbied against in DC.

    So if they want to reverse this trend why don't Google and Apple etc start buying the content companies like WB? It's the same strategy that the cable co's are employing.
    Vertical integration is a fantastic way to accumulate wealth and power.

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

  • icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), 3 Nov 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Warner Brothers movies suck mightily!

    And they will continue to suck, and suck, and suck, until the entire universe is drawn into the Warner Brothers Black Hole, thus rendering all cases moot. They really need to die in a fire!

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

  • identicon
    ScytheNoire, 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:42pm

    A tech giant should purchase one of these piss-ant movie studios and then use their own lawyers and lobbyists against them. Warner Bros is nothing compared to most of the giant tech companies.

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

  • identicon
    Rosco, 3 Nov 2011 @ 2:45pm

    How?

    How are they hiding $700+ million profit in their report? I can't even hide $150 of property tax without getting harassed by the government. Seems like corporations exist in their own country which lies on top of us peasants' country.

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

  • identicon
    Coward (Anon), 3 Nov 2011 @ 3:39pm

    WTF

    Could one of you copyright trolls take a couple of minutes and explain to me exactly how my downloading an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" costs Warner's anything? Warners already got paid by the network for the broadcast rights (which is not connected to actual veiwership numbers otherwise Warners should be asking for a law madating people to watch their TV programs). I'm never going to buy the DVD box set (The show is sporadically funny, but not to the point that I'd want to watch an episode more than once). So were is the "loss" from my download? I can maybe understand the argument for "The Hangover II". But there is no way I would have paid $28 (2 tickets) to see it in a theatre so instead I watched it on NetFlix where Warners gets nothing for it.

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

  • icon
    Overcast (profile), 4 Nov 2011 @ 9:25am

    Radio (free) brought the music industry more profits than it had ever realized in history. It's free for the consumers.

    Broadcast TV (free) was pivotal in increasing people's interest in watching hollywood's product; again it was 'free' to consumers.

    Those two little 'free' items, probably have more to do with the profits of media companies than anything else.

    Why is media on the internet so much different?

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


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