Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #416: Not Clever/Clever

Welcome to the show folks...


When I have those dark tea-times of the soul where I wonder if the movie industry is the worst run industry in the world, I just step back, look at the music industry and realize that movies are only the second worst run industry in the world.

The same industry that brought us the eternally wonderful format of the 8-track, has fallen to its default position when it comes to running their business, the pointless lawsuit.

The latest exercise in lame litigation is over this video and others like it:

Apparently Capitol Records considers people making videos "lip-dubbing" to songs copyright infringement, and are suing the user-created video site Vimeo, because they blame the site and its parent company for starting the fad.

I have my personal beefs with the music industry* but I think I can put my bitterness aside and offer an objective, nay clinical, view of the whole thing and boil it down to its essence.


It really is. They failed to capitalize on just about every advance in audio/video technology since Edison unveiled his first wax cylinder recording of
Shine On Harvest Moon, and they sued him because they thought it would hamper sales of sheet music. They literally had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, and they still don't know what to do with it.

Now the record industry will tell you that the videos they are enriching lawyers over are the cusp of the slippery slope of music piracy.

Guess what music industry, there is no slippery slope, it's a cliff, and you fell over it about ten years ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure the impact has driven the industry's collective head up its collective ass. They still fail to see the fact that the main motive behind music piracy is the notion that it's a victimless crime, because they believe they're stealing from some big faceless corporation that artificially inflates the price of music while screwing and suing the artists out of their royalties, and stunts like this don't do much to dissuade this image.

The "screw and sue" image also blinds the music industry to opportunities.

I have to agree with the article's author, Dylan Stableford, and say that these "lip dub" videos are not piracy.

They are

Millions will see these videos online, and if 10% actually go out and buy the song, that means hundreds of thousands of extra sales that may not have happened because folks sure aren't going to see one of the official music videos on MTV.

What the record companies should have done was team up with a TV channel and hold a "lip dub" reality show contest, where teams can win money, concerts by the bands in question, or some other lame ass prizes. I'm sure Paula Abdul could use the work as a celebrity judge. Slant the finalists to the back-list, and you can unload a lot of product that's just sitting and gathering digital dust.

Goddamn it music industry, opportunity knocks, and you go and sue the knocker.

And that internet company's owned by Barry Diller, who has some sharp elbows and will make any fight cost them big time.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Anyway.... here's me saying something nice about someone.


Yep he really is, and the big clue is this story at Deadline Hollywood Daily.

For those to lazy to click the link it says that the Wall Street Journal, which is the biggest newspaper in the country right now, has switched over their representation from Creative Artists Agency, over to United Talent Agency. (Possibly because UTA still validates parking)

Now you're probably wondering why a newspaper needs a Hollywood agent, well it's simple. Newspapers carry stories, stories can be made into movies, and agents negotiate a price for those stories.

Now you're probably wondering why a newspaper owned by a man who already owns a movie studio, a TV network, and numerous cable outlets would want one of their newspapers to have a talent agency to negotiate prices with other studios.

That's because Rupert Murdoch has a cunning plan.

Think about it, media conglomerate synergy is all about taking material from one outlet and using it cheaply through other outlets. But sometimes another company will pay more money for the same material, then the original company gets to put the financial screws to their rivals, and then get those same rivals to pay them all over again for advertising space with those same newspapers and TV channels.

Rupert Murdoch, you are a magnificent bastard, and for that I salute you.

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