I Agree with Mike Robinson

In response to the public squishing of nine movie-streaming sites, Mike Robinson (the chief of operations, content protection for the MPAA) declared it was time for the content-production industry to ” […] focus on continuing to offer more innovative and flexible legal options to consumers to enjoy the movies and TV shows that we all love.”

Ok, that’s a bit of a slimy quote. What he said was:

“We are committed to working with law enforcement to get the illegal choices out of the marketplace and instead focus on continuing to offer more innovative and flexible legal options to consumers to enjoy the movies and TV shows that we all love. The American motion picture and television industry is one of our nation’s most valuable cultural and economic resources. We are grateful to ICE, the Obama Administration, and the federal agencies that have made the protection of intellectual property a priority for the United States.”

But this notion, that content producers can effect the market for unauthorized streaming by providing consumers with what they so clearly want legally, is an intriguing one.

I believe black markets develop because of an unfulfilled want (my Economics teacher said there were no needs, only wants in markets). I also believe they disappear when the market forces which created that deficit disappear. There is a whole herd of articles on why so many law-abiding people choose to view content without authorization, but my Economics 101 whispers to me that ugly words and uglier raids can only thwart the market for so long.

Perhaps we, as consumers, need to hold Mike Robinson to his word. The time for innovative and flexible legal options for me to view Dr Who, or the True Blood I missed last night were needed a decade or more ago, but I will take them now.

Mr Robinson, where are they?

Inspirational Quote:

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”–Plato

1 Comment

  1. The new True Blood premieres next week. (I think they wanted to give us a week to recover from that sex scene. WHOA.)

    In reply to Mr. Robinson, I’d like to quote Phara, one of the moderators of the (now seized) Ninjavideo in the Ninjavideo manifesto, recorded when the site first went live:

    ‘When did the American pastime of going to the movies become a luxury? Honestly– when? When did family night at the movies start costing fifty dollars without popcorn? As a wise moderator of mine once said, “When did leisure get taken hostage?”

    Look around you… the world is in crisis, economic as well as social. Why was one of the few escapes available to us as a society taken out of the layman’s reach? I want to point something out. Your numbers– they’re so wrong. You break record numbers every season. $200 million opening weekends. Every year, those at the top of your business get richer and richer. And we, your loyal fans, pay more and more to view two hours of regurgitated plot. You say that piracy is killing you. But do you honestly think that the thousand people who watched a movie online would be the same thousand that would go to the theaters if that option were taken from them?

    […] There are those that refuse to cater to such condescending pandering. And at heart that’s what it is. It’s condescending. It’s patronizing. It’s insulting to us as a generation. Sites like NinjaVideo force innovation upon you. This entire community does. The record profits that you have been making prove that people still go to the movies. Ad spots starting a $250,000 for thirty seconds prove that people still watch TV.

    How will you keep your audience? Why should they pay you any longer when it is clear that you care nothing for them? Will you continue to repackage the same story lines? Will you continue to shun independence? Will you continue to force us to read publicist drivel on high school dropouts with the Mickey Mouse club on their resumes? Honestly, it’s time to stop.

    […] Please, please understand this anger. You must. It’s enough. You have become complacent through your success. You have taken an industry barely one hundred years old and destroyed its public integrity. You have made fools of us and forced a discontent that is exponentially swelling through the ranks of the computer literate.

    You and only you opened the door for NinjaVideo. Sites like mine are a direct manifestation of your apathy. You can’t hold entertainment hostage any more. You can’t hold news hostage.

    If Rupert Murdoch wants to play FOX news on five different channels, then I’ll build an Al Jazeera category and give it love on Ninja Main. If a documentary maker is saddened that his work will only be seen by a few thousand via a public broadcasting channel, then I’ll give him an audience millions strong.’

    That’s the unfulfilled want. It is articulate. It is young. And it is angry. Innovate now, Mr. Robinson. You need to innovate now or you are going to lose them forever.

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