Thursday, May 26, 2016

Techdirt on the MPAA v. the Writers Guild of America West on set-top boxes

Mike Masnick has the story, and I'm just going to quote him (and WGAW):

Meanwhile, in what might seem like a surprising source, another group calling bullshit on the MPAA is the local Hollywood writer's guild, the Writers Guild of America, West. Their full filing is totally worth reading. They basically make the exact point we've made for years: every time the MPAA fears some new innovation, it's not just wrong, but it often misses how that new innovation actually helps Hollywood in addition to the public:
It is often the case that when new technology emerges incumbent providers make alarmist predictions about guaranteed harms resulting from these innovations. While some concerns may be reasonable, the overwhelming majority of outlined harms are never realized. As CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves said in 2015, “All these technology initiatives that supposedly were going to hurt us have actually helped us. SVOD has helped us. DVR has helped us. The ability to go online with our own content,, and the trailing episodes – all have helped us.” With the entertainment industry currently dominated by a handful of companies that have never been more profitable, it is clear that new technology and forms of content distribution have helped, not hurt the industry. 

While new technology can create some business uncertainty, there is strong evidence that pro-consumer developments that make legal content more accessible to viewers benefits both consumers and content creators.

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