The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts



SOPA/PROTECT IP must die to protect the MPAA/RIAA from themselves!

I’ve been trying to find a way to write about his appalling piece of legislation for some time, and I realized why it must be opposed.  It must be opposed to protect the film, television and music production businesses. To protect the future existence of the MPAA, RIAA and Record Labels.

But, you say, aren’t these the people buying off the politicians and forcing this Internet-destroying legislation through?

They are, but they have such an appalling track record of adapting to technology and knowing how that technology will benefit them, that they must be protected from themselves (and we need to be protected from the damage these bills would inflict on the Internet). I mean it quite seriously.  If Thomas Edison would have had his way, there would be no movie projectors as his business was in Kinescope booths.Scott Kirsner does a great job of pointing out “Hollywood’s” track record of missing technology and opposing what ultimately was good for their business, in Inventing the Movies.

But most egregiously where would the Movie business be today if  MPAA boss Jack Valenti prevailed:

I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

Turns out that was not only completely wrong, but Home Entertainment – the business that grew out of the VCR and then DVD – is now significantly more than revenue from movie theaters/cinemas.  If the MPAA had had their way, the biggest part of their business would not exist today.

Based on their track record, the MPAA and RIAA (and associates) are so wrong, so often that they should be protected from themselves.

Take a moment, and consider where the movie business would be today, if the VCR never existed. And think about just how wrong the MPAA was then to freak out about a technology that later saved it. And consider that perhaps we should wait before changing the law to allow the MPAA to kill off the next “VCR” in the digital age. (

Opposing SOPA/PROTECT IP also has the advantage of not breaking the Internet, not putting Justin Beiber in Jail (as would be the case if this law was already in place), and not preventing new startups (like Dropbox) from getting established.

Here’s some reading or viewing:

How Protect IP / SOPA Act Breaks the Internet

The folks behind Fight For the Future have teamed up with Kirby Ferguson, who created the excellent everything is a remix series, have teamed up to put together a video about the problems with PROTECT IP/E-PARASITES.

Content Industry Insists E-PARASITE Won’t Rewrite DMCA, But Co-Author Of The Bill Admits That’s The Plan

But, in this case, why don’t we go to the source: Rep. Bob Goodlatte, supposed co-author of the bill, and the chair of the IP subcommittee in the House. When asked about criticism of the bill by Gautham Nagesh at The Hill, Goodlatte flat out admitted that the intention is to take away the DMCA’s safe harbors:

“I think it is unrealistic to think we’re going to continue to rely on the DMCA notice-and-takedown provision,” Goodlatte said.

“Anybody who is involved in providing services on the Internet would be expected to do some things.”

Why All Filmmakers Should Speak Out Against SOPA by Ross Pruden (Showrunner. Moderator of #infdist, The Infinite Distribution Panel on Twitter for discussing the future of film in the digital age.  Mastermind behind

There are many reasons why SOPA and other legislation like it should never be passed, e.g., it fundamentally changes how the internet functions, but here are just two things that should get you thinking:

  1. In 1999, I was vehemently against media piracy. It was wrong, I felt, to “rip off” artists without their permission.
  2. In 2011, I can say with absolute conviction that I was the one who was flat out wrong.

I’ve worked in the film industry for two decades as a screenwriter, director, assistant director, script supervisor, production assistant… I’ve seen a lot of change in the film industry in the last decade and realized at some point that I was witnessing a transition arising from the internet; the same transition that happened to the music industry in the 90s.

Stop SOPA, Save the Internet by Cory Doctorow

Google knows it. Viacom knows it. The Chamber of Commerce knows it. Internet democracy groups know it. BoingBoing knows it. But, the Internet hasn’t been told yet — we’re going to get blown away by the end of the year. The worst bill in Internet history is about to become law. Law is very real here in the United States and legal language is often different than stated intentions — this law would give government and corporations the power to block sites like BoingBoing over infringing links on at least one webpage posted by their users. Believe the EFF, Public Knowledge, Google when they say this bill is about much more than copyright, it’s about the Internet and free speech everywhere.

The Copy Culture Survey: Infringement and Enforcement in the US – Just one of a number of excellent points and observations:

Solid majorities of American Internet users oppose copyright enforcement when it is perceived to intrude on personal rights and freedoms.   69% oppose monitoring of their Internet activity for the purposes of enforcement.   57% oppose blocking or filtering if those measures also block some legal content or activity.

If it’s so unpopular, why is it even in play?  House Judiciary Committee SOPA Hearings Stacked 5 To 1 In Favor Of Censoring The Internet

The five “pro” speakers are the Register of Copryights, someone from the MPAA, someone from Pfizer, someone from MasterCard, and someone from the AFL-CIO. The choice of MasterCard is deliberate, since Visa is against the bill — because Visa recognizes that supporting a bill that requires them to cut off customers based on accusations of infringement is going to be a huge burden, and one that isn’t good for their own customers.

Furthermore, the “one” against SOPA is going to be Google. This is a strategic choice, because the pro-SOPA folks know that Google is easy to dismiss on this topic, because they’ll claim (not accurately) that Google just wants to profit from infringement.

Future Of Music Coalition “Coming Clean on SOPA

We at FMC want to see the growth of a legitimate digital music marketplace that rewards creators and fans. We support efforts to protect rightsholders online and encourage fans to participate in platforms where CNET’e creators get paid. We genuinely hope that if Congress gets involved that they find a way to support creativity without compromising free expression and innovation. In its current form, SOPA is not that bill.

The Association of Research Libraries and the Association of College & Research Libraries wrote to Congress opposing the Bill(s):

Two provisions of section 201—the definition of willfulness in section 201(c) and the expansion of criminal penalties to public performances in section 201(a)—are troubling. While each provision is problematic in its own right, the two together could threaten important library and educational activities.

Facebook, Twitter, eBay & Other Big Internet Companies Come Out Against SOPA

We are very concerned that the bills as written would seriously undermine the effective mechanism Congress enacted in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) to provide a safe harbor for Internet companies that act in good faith to remove infringing content from their sites. Since their enactment in 1998, the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions for online service providers have been a cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry’s growth and success. While we work together to find additional ways to target foreign “rogue” sites, we should not jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike and provides certainty to innovators with new ideas for how people create, find, discuss, and share information lawfully online. 

SOPA: Hollywood’s latest effort to turn back time CNET’s Larry Downes comments:

SOPA also includes its own version of another Senate bill, which would make it a felony to stream copyrighted works. The House version allows prosecution of anyone who “willfully” includes protected content without permission, including, for example, YouTube videos where copyrighted music is covered or even played in the background.

While supporters deny that such minimal infractions would meet the bill’s definition of “willfully,” the actual text suggests otherwise. Prosecutors need only demonstrate that the use had a total “retail value” of more than $1,000. To avoid a felony conviction, a defendant would have to prove they reasonably believed their conduct was lawful, as for example someone in a “bona fide commercial dispute” over the scope of a license to use the content.

Joe Biden on Internet Freedom = Anti-SOPA

In a stirring and commendable speech, Vice President Joe Biden makes a clear and convincing — if entirely unintended — case for why the massive expansion of copyright laws through SOPA or PROTECT IP would go against everything America stands for, would harm innovation and be bad for entrepreneurs.

Except just a few weeks earlier he was doing the industry’s bidding.

Congress’s Piracy Blacklist Plan: A Cure Worse than the Disease? Time magazine weighs in

There are many reasons to dislike these anti-piracy bills—from overly broad definitions of what counts as infringement, to how they may shift the burden of policing from content owners to the service providers—yet the proposed meddling with the Internet’s Domain Name System is the most alarming.

Study Shows How SOPA/PIPA Will Harm Investment In Key Innovations

This is quite important to think about in the context of SOPA/PIPA, where Hollywood and the US Chamber of Commerce are seeking to massively change the legal framework around cloud computing (effectively killing the Cablevision ruling and much, much more). The clear fear here should be that doing so will massively chill innovation, job creation and investment. This is why top venture capitalists are so worried about SOPA/PIPA. It’ll seriously chill investment in a key area of the innovation ecosystem. Even worse, this is the part of the industry that’s actually helping the entertainment industry move into the 21st century.

Stop Online Piracy Act would stop online innovation

A bipartisan bill introduced last week in the House of Representatives would mark a fundamental change in Internet law, shifting liability for copyright piracy from the infringer to the host website.

It would chip away at critical safeguards that have shaped the Internet as we know it today, and many worry it would make it far more difficult for the next YouTube, Facebook or Craigslist to emerge and succeed.

Rep. Darrell Issa Joins Rep. Lofgren In Saying That SOPA Is A Bad Idea

Ron Paul Comes Out Against SOPA; Joins Other Elected Officials Saying No To The Great Firewall Of America

SOPA Will Have Serious Implications For Sports Fans And Blogs

SOPA will target websites distributing pirated material and illegal online streaming by allowing copyright owners to shut down payments and ads to alleged infringers. Under current law, copyright owners (movie studios and record labels) must go to court to block such sites or demand copyrighted content be taken down. The new legislation allows copyright owners to effectively shut down websites simply by accusing them of having copyrighted materials without permission.

Note: The proposed bills do not require anything more than an “accusation”. No proof. No due process, just an accusation.

And now let’s consider some of the ways the industry really lives:

The Secret Behind SOPA Defense: Insist That It Doesn’t Say What It Actually Says

RIAA Explains Its Interpretation Of SOPA; Which Doesn’t Seem To Be Found In The Bill Itself

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


Viacom, ‘Decimated By Piracy,’ But Its CEO Got The Biggest Raise Of Any Exec Anywhere

 Viacom chief Philippe P. Dauman topped the charts for the exec with the biggest pay raise in 2010. His total pay was $84.5 million last year — a 148.6% raise on his previous year’s take home. Yes, that’s a $50 million raise.

A Glimpse Of The Future Under SOPA: Warner Bros. Admits It Filed Many False Takedown Notices

Hollywood Front Group Rounds Up 4,000 Letters Sent To Congress, Pretending It’s 100,000

Piracy problems? US copyright industries show terrific health Ars Technica tells us like it is:

Pity the poor people who work in the US “copyright industries.” Battered by a decade of digital piracy and facing even more of it thanks to cheap computers, fast Internet, P2P file-sharing, and online file lockers, the US creative industries teeter on the verge of collapse. You can tell because the industry:

  • Pays better than most American jobs
  • Has outperformed the US economy through a horrific recession
  • Sells record-setting amounts of product overseas, earning more foreign revenue than the entire US food sector or US pharmaceutical companies

Copyright Industries Massive Success Shows That They’re Dying And Need More Draconian Copyright Laws?

Rep. Blackburn, Co-Sponsor Of E-PARASITE, Explains Why Regulating The Internet Is Terrible

Before he was for it, he was against it just a few months back! Do they even now what the legislations says (I vote no, they do not.)

Do The Authors Of The Felony Streaming Bills Even Know What The Details Of Their Own Bills Mean?

All in all, a mixture of incompetence and outright lying. By the way these are only about half the links I have on the subject!










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