John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Is He Strong? Listen Bud, Dan Glickman's Got Radioactive Blood.

224940366_0a37accbf7.jpg“Spider-Man 3” grossed more than $151 million its opening weekend, thanks in no small part to the movie industry’s efforts to crack down on cam piracy. This according to Dan Glickman, chairman and CEO of the MPAA, who said in a joint MPAA/NATO (National Association of Theatre Owners) press release that anticamming efforts “helped give ‘Spider-Man 3’ a fair shot at its record-setting opening.” According to Glickman, vigilant theater employees prevented 31 would-be movie thieves from illegally recording “Spider-Man 3.”

“Sometimes even superheroes need a little help fighting the bad guys,” said Glickman. “We are taking all necessary steps to catch film thieves in the act and we are grateful to the theater managers, security guards, projectionists and even movie patrons themselves, who alerted law enforcement.”

Thing is, pirates still managed to cam the film and circulate it online as it arrived in theaters. So what good did the movie industry’s efforts really do? “Cases like this make it hard to divine the precise relationship between online piracy and Hollywood’s revenue,” Jon Healey writes in the Los Angeles Times. “These days, the first wave of online piracy is sustained by only one or two cams; once a release group has beaten the rest of the pack to a movie, the competition shifts to the next title (and, later, to be the first to release a bootleg of the DVD). So a single decent cam of Spidey 3 getting onto the Net was enough to feed the movie piracy scene. Nevertheless, the movie is well on its way to shattering box-office records.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work