When a bull enters the ring, the matador pulls out a red
cape and waves it in front of his eyes. Predictably the bull goes mad and charges toward the cape. He leaves all his better instincts behind.
We all know how the bullfight ends. Not well for the bull.
Replace “bull” with “major movie studios” and replace “red
cape” with “piracy” and you have in a nutshell the bind within which the movie
studios have placed themselves.
All they can see is the red cape.
When they need an explanation for any of their myriad
woes — bring on the red cape. When they try to think about the opportunities that
the Internet might bring them — bring on the red cape. This obsession with the red cape blinds them
to anything new, anything innovative, any thing that might help them invigorate
The red cape was on display recently on the Cannes Panel:
Studios Fight Piracy While Indies Embrace Digital Future, reported on by Anne
Thompson. The panel featured a lot of back and forth between Ruth Vitale, the
executive director of CreativeFuture and Tim League of Alamo Drafthouse about
distribution and piracy. One exchange is particularly illuminating.
“Vitale, warming to her subject, said that people who
download illegally are putting money in the pockets of criminals, the Russian
mafia, and felons… That money ”could have gone back into making more movies and
TV shows,” she said. “They’re in drugs, child prostitution.”
Read the rest of this article at Digital Dorr.