A ton of folks have been sending over Steve Blank’s absolutely awesome detailed analysis of why Hollywood can’t innovate… and the result is SOPA. It touches on many points we’ve raised separately, but puts it all together in such a fantastic and comprehensive package. Seriously: just go read it.
It kicks off by noting a key point that we’ve raised in the past, but which often gets underplayed: the vast majority of movie industry revenue these days comes from pay-per-view TV, cable, satellite, video rentals, DVD sales and online subscriptions/digital downloads. In fact, this is the part of Hollywood’s business that it insists is most under threat from infringement. But, here’s the thing: if the MPAA had had its way over the last century, none of those things would have existed. It fought tooth and nail against every innovation that resulted in those new and lucrative markets. Blank puts together a great historical list:
The historical list is right on but does not real start soon enough. 1920 is almost 20 years after it all started.
John Philip Sousa worked to stop the sale of music for player pianos in 1906 trying to get legislation passed giving copyright holders control over ALL machines capable of creating sound. He felt they were pirating his music and needed to be stopped.
Think of that – if he had succeeded the copyright holders would have monopoly control over almost every technical device in our homes and businesses.
If they had actually ever allowed them to be created in the first place. Most likely we would all be listening to player pianos made by Sousa’s heirs.
The business is generally run by people who are not very innovative, to whom 3D is the biggest disruptive technology of the century, not because it actually provides a generally unique experience but because they can charge more.
ANd what happens when the truly creative, those who actually create the innovative works discover they have a route to their audience that does not require these media companies.
Look at Joss Whedon whose revenues for Dr. Horrible were substantially greater than expenses or Louis CK – a million in 12 days.
That is innovation. I imagine the studios will try and shut that down. And fail, as they always have.