The Innovative Movie Industry

I have been writing about the MPAA vs RealDVD case.
MPAA vs RealDVD goes to court April 24. This is the movie industry trying to keep a program off the market because it lets you copy your own DVDs onto your own computer. It doesn’t let you distribute copies, just put them on your computer. The MPAA is suing under the terms of the DCMA copyright law –one of those laws that was lobbied (money changed hands) through Congress giving certain kinds of already-big corporations all kinds of rights that prevented new inventions and businesses from coming along and disrupting their sweet cash flows.
At ContentAgenda they’re writing about a panel put on by the Electronic Frontier Foundation,

“That happens a lot in Congress,” Barr added. “You have an industry, where they basically draft the statute–which is what happened with the DMCA–and then they start using it for all kinds of things that weren’t part of the original deal. And I wish sometimes that Congress wasn’t such a patsy for it.”

Meanwhile the MPAA weighs in about the poll the other day, which found that people actually want to be able to copy their DVDs onto their computers. First, “The studios’ claim: The poll was bought and paid for by download advocates, calling into question the survey’s findings.” Right. People don’t want to be able to copy their DVDs onto their computers. We’re dealing with responsive, innovative companies here. (Sort of like how at exactly 25 minutes and 32 seconds into a movie we get a car chase scene with the special effects raised to exactly 102 decibels, and then at 82 minutes and 48 seconds we get an emotional reconciliation between the 58-year-old male star and the 22-year-old former model playing the female love interest. Right.)

Said Angela Belden Martinez, MPAA’s vice president for corporate communications, “We didn’t need RealNetworks—who is in the fight of its life to defend its illegal RealDVD product in federal court—to sponsor a poll telling us that consumers of entertainment want to enjoy content when, where, and how they want it. The creators of film and television shows are energized by the opportunities that new technologies offer to consumers and have been tirelessly working in collaboration with innovators to deliver them. This includes the streaming of entire popular programs on successful sites like Hulu, one-click downloadable movies on iTunes, and capabilities that enable customers to keep a free and legal digital copy of their DVDs. We will work with anyone who can continue to help creators use new technologies that exceed consumer expectations and ensure a sustainable model that supports even greater creativity in the future.”

Now, there is your hint. They aren’t trying to stop RealDVD, they’re trying to extort license fees from the company in exchange for dropping this expensive lawsuit.