1. Piracy Helps Small Films?: A controversial new study suggests that some small films might actually benefit from internet piracy. The study, by economists at the Munich School of Management and Copehagen Business School, compared box office revenues before and after Megaupload.com was shut down. The authors found that profits for big films like "Harry Potter" and "Ice Age" jumped after the site was shutdown, but small and medium-sized films didn't benefit -- and some even saw box office revenues fall. "We find that box office revenues of a majority of movies did not increase. While for a mid-range of movies the effect of the shutdown is even negative, only large blockbusters could benefit from the absence of Megaupload. We argue that this is due to social network effects, where online piracy acts as a mechanism to spread information about a good from consumers with low willingness to pay to consumers with high willingness to pay. This information-spreading effect of illegal downloads seems to be especially important for movies with smaller audiences," the authors of the study wrote.
2. Worst YouTube Video: Want to know how to make the worst YouTube video? JacksFilms posted an instructional video, "A Message to All YouTubers" on how to make your own annoying video. Check it out below:
3. "The Act of Killing:" Joshua Oppenheimer's harrowing documentary "The Act of Killing" which sheds a troubling light on the Indonesian genocide of 1965-66, where an estimated one million people lost their lives, is now available for all of Indonesia to watch as a free digital download via the film's website, thanks to the joint efforts of Drafthouse Films, VICE, digital platform VHX, Danish film production company Final Cut for Real ApS and the filmmakers. Read the full story here.
4. Kickstarter Down Under: Kickstarter will open for Australia and New Zealand projects soon. The crowdfunding service will be hosting Kickstarter Schools with Australia-based creators interested in Kickstarter, beginning next month.
5. Hulu Goes Supernatural: On the hunt for a breakout original series, Hulu announced yesterday that it has ordered 10 episodes of "Deadbeat," a supernatural comedy from "Wilfred" writers Cody Heller and Brett Konner. Read the full story here.