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Why the Movie Studios Wear Blinders on Piracy and the Digital Future

Thompson on Hollywood By Chris Dorr | Thompson on Hollywood May 21, 2014 at 2:44PM

When a bull enters the ring, the matador pulls out a red cape and waves it in front of his eyes. Predictably the bull goes mad and charges toward the cape. He leaves all his better instincts behind. We all know how the bullfight ends. Not well for the bull.
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Piracy and Digital Future panel at Cannes 2014
Sarah Tierney Piracy and Digital Future panel at Cannes 2014

When a bull enters the ring, the matador pulls out a red cape and waves it in front of his eyes. Predictably the bull goes mad and charges toward the cape.  He leaves all his better instincts behind.

We all know how the bullfight ends. Not well for the bull.

Replace “bull” with “major movie studios” and replace “red cape” with “piracy” and you have in a nutshell the bind within which the movie studios have placed themselves.

All they can see is the red cape.

When they need an explanation for any of their myriad woes -- bring on the red cape. When they try to think about the opportunities that the Internet might bring them -- bring on the red cape. This obsession with the red cape blinds them to anything new, anything innovative, any thing that might help them invigorate their business.

The red cape was on display recently on the Cannes Panel: Studios Fight Piracy While Indies Embrace Digital Future, reported on by Anne Thompson. The panel featured a lot of back and forth between Ruth Vitale, the executive director of CreativeFuture and Tim League of Alamo Drafthouse about distribution and piracy. One exchange is particularly illuminating.

“Vitale, warming to her subject, said that people who download illegally are putting money in the pockets of criminals, the Russian mafia, and felons… That money ”could have gone back into making more movies and TV shows,” she said. “They’re in drugs, child prostitution.”

Read the rest of this article at Digital Dorr.

This article is related to: Features, Digital Future


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