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MPAA Fights Piracy By Offering Search Site to Help Audiences Find Movies and TV Shows They Love Online

MPAA Fights Piracy By Offering Search Site to Help Audiences Find Movies and TV Shows They Love Online

In yet another move in its ongoing crusade against piracy, on Wednesday the lobbying organization the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which reps six major studios, launched the new website WhereToWatch.Org, in order to give audiences a “one-stop site to find legal, seamless viewing options.”

I have to admit that looking at the site, I was gobsmacked by the plethora of online viewing choices. No wonder theater owners are worried. Now if the site was really putting their money into something useful, rather than just offering links to sites where you can search for titles, they’d do what Reid Rosefelt’s short-lived but brilliant site SpeedCine did: allow you to search for a title and all the places it was available would come up, with links. Now that would be a resource. This way you have to hunt and peck around. But it’s a step in the right direction.

The idea was for the site “to serve as a resource for audiences to access movies and TV shows seamlessly and legally,” according to the press release. “Today’s media landscape offers audiences the opportunity to watch movies and television shows in more ways than ever before, an environment created in part through a copyright system that empowers creativity and promotes innovation.”

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA, emphasized the importance of delivering content in new, creative ways:

“Audiences want seamless access to film and TV shows. Our industry has listened, and we are now delivering more choices that ever before. There have never been more ways to access movies and television legitimately online, and those platforms continue to grow and develop thanks in large part to a copyright system that encourages innovation, risk and growth. The companies I represent are committed to continuing to create and develop the best ways for audiences to enjoy the entertainment they love.”

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Reid Rosefelt

Wouldn't it have been nice if the MPAA had helped me with SpeedCine, Anne? : ) Almost two years building that technology. Maybe I'd still be in business. I directed people to paid sites like the ones above, but I also indexed sites like the National Film Board of Canada, so you could get access to a lot of free, fully legal movies. Also, it was geo-tagged so you could find out what was available in your country. Online video is an international business and SpeedCine was designed from the first day to accommodate that. Even a single site like Mubi is incredibly complicated about what films are available in various countries SpeedCine also sorted by language. The guy who created GoWatchit offered to buy me out…for nothing. Actually the deal he had in mind had me paying him. Then he went to my programmer behind my back to see if he could steal it. It took him years to create something a fraction as good as the technology and massive database I was willing to give him for a small price. One of the great laughs of my life was reading in the NY Times how original the idea for GoWatchit was. Good luck to him, though. Nothing would make me happier than to see some version of my idea work in the marketplace.

Jim Emerson

The dream site you mention exists — probably at several different URLs, but Watch It is here:

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