Back to IndieWire

Watch: Thomas Edison Invented Film Piracy?!?

Watch: Thomas Edison Invented Film Piracy?!?

READ MORE: Guest Post: Here’s How Piracy Hurts Indie Film

In just ten minutes, Cinefix’s Film School’D runs through a brief history of film piracy and the humorous personas who have tried to monopolize on film’s duplication production. When “millions of dollars, thousands of jobs and some of humanity’s most profound artistic achievements” are at stake, this video is not only entertaining to watch, but also important to film lovers.

In addition to the lightbulb, did you know that Thomas Edison developed the first motion picture camera? Forget the Lumiere Brothers- it was Thomas Edison who tried to be the father of the film industry. In fact, he was involved in every pivotal film piracy/copyright case until 1912, since he was the only manufacturer and dealer of films during that time. 

Hollywood giants like Samuel Goldwn, who co-created MGM Studios in 1924, and Cecil B. DeMille, legendary director of “The Ten Commandments,” were two of Edison’s biggest piracy offenders. Thankfully for the future of the film industry, these titans won out with the creation of new cameras and eventually moved business out west to Hollywood. That still didn’t subdue their fear of Edison… Cecil B. DeMille reportedly kept guns and even a wolf in his home for protection.

Who knew that Thomas Edison was such a bully? We sure didn’t.

READ MORE: How Do You Make a Career in Indie Film in the Age of Piracy?

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox