Jul 24, 2007

Argh Matey, it's a business model!

I just finished reading a great Vanity Fair article on Internet piracy and how Hollywood just isn't getting it. If you get through the first part where author Steve Daly amusingly chronicles his piracy - including some handy tips - you get the low-down on the raiding of the Pirate Bay offices in May of 2006 and the Hollywood puppet-masters behind what has turned out to be a Swedish political nightmare.

Apparently Anne Sweeney, President of Disney-ABC, in her 2006 MIPCON address, hits the nail on the head by calling piracy a business model and that it "exists to serve a need in the market". Right-on! Now there's someone in this town who gets it. While I'm not endorsing piracy, it certainly is a model for easily acquiring content that may be harder to access using traditional media distribution models.

Daly wraps up the article with the following query:

So, the question remains: Will Hollywood adapt and survive, or will it continue to escalate its apparently futile battle against the collective intelligence of a million resourceful and highly motivated computer geeks worldwide? (The kind of people who recently unlocked the supposedly resilient copy protection on Hollywood's new HD DVD format.) Once again, the situation was adroitly summed up in the words of Anne Sweeney, no matter how unpalatable they may have been to the lunchtime crowd at the Ivy. In her 2006 MIPCOM speech, Sweeney plaintively stated, "We want to go wherever our viewers are. Viewers have control and show no sign of giving it back.''

It's article like these that encourage me to renew my VF subscription, even after I angrily swore it off when they published the TomKatSuri photo-sploitation. But hey, I don't need the print publication, I can avoid the nauseating perfume ads and just get the good content on-line! Arrrrggghhh!

Pirates of the Multiplex: On The Web: vanityfair.com

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