Sunday, August 6, 2017

For the sake of jobs and culture, copyright law must be protected; The Hill, August 2, 2017

John Singleton, The Hill; For the sake of jobs and culture, copyright law must be protected

"The American film and television industries sit at the intersection of art and commerce. Although we often like to think we are simply making art, we also need to make back the investors’ money. And, like in any business, investors want to see a potential path to that profitable return before signing a check. That was as true in 1991 as it is today. The difference is that the emergence of online piracy has had a measureable effect on the health of our industry, threatening the financial success of every single television show, indie film and summer blockbuster.

It’s easy to look at piracy in a vacuum and chalk the illegal streaming of a movie up to a mere $5 or $10 loss for Hollywood investors. Yet the aggregate cost of piracy goes far beyond that. It makes film and television companies far more risk-averse, narrowing their output to that which seems the most bankable, thereby creating a climate in which no one would be willing to take a chance on a 24-year-old with a script about inner city life.

And if they’re not taking those chances, then who is? Where does the next Kenneth Lonergan come from? Sofia Coppola? James Gunn? Paul Greengrass? John Singleton?"

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