When Some Films Are Banned, Only Outlaws Will Have Banned Films

 

The prerecorded disc market is about to disappear. At some point in the near future, UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and standard DVDs will no longer be sold by Amazon and other retailers because most content will be available for streaming in very high definition. As Jerry Del Colliano explains in his article “Netflix and Amazon are Killing Ultra HD Blu-ray and I Feel Fine” at Home Theater Review, Netflix and Amazon are leading the transition to eliminate the disc market because the economics of streaming content are so much more profitable than shipping a physical disc, even as it undercuts the traditional studio industry.

Long term, the silver disc is going the way of the dodo bird. That is going to piss off some people in the enthusiast home theater world, but the advantages that streaming bring to the table likely outweigh the downside of losing UHD Blu-ray someday. Yes, HD streaming kinda sucked as recently as a few years ago, but today it is so very close in performance to UHD Blu-ray that most people will want to just dial up a cover flow list of movie titles and shop that way versus having discs sent via USPS. Netflix could have kept the silver disc game going a little longer, but it was going to go away sooner or later, and they’ve got a horse in the race when it comes to the end of the silver disc.

The good news is that unlike the rise of MP3 audio, which was far inferior to Compact Disc, home theater enthusiasts are going to gain the convenience that Apple has taught us sells over all else while not having to sacrifice much quality (if any at all after another codec revolution or two). A strong argument can be made that streaming has the ability to innovate better quality audio and video for music and movies faster than any silver disc format could, thus the long-term outlook for performance-oriented home theater enthusiast is a bright one.

As his headline indicates, Del Colliano seems to be just fine with this eventual paradigm shift. I’m less euphoric and see some rocky shoals ahead.

When the day comes that only a handful of major streaming services – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and soon Disney and Apple and others that fund the creation of content and control the content that you are able to view — then some films and television series that are now or in the future considered politically incorrect will begin to disappear.

As the Home Theater Review article also points out (and something I mentioned a few months ago on Ricochet as well), about a year ago, Oppo, arguably the manufacturer of the finest UHD and Blu-ray disc players, exited the market which was essentially the canary-in-the-coalmine signal for what was to come. It remains to be seen whether the more mainstream brands will follow suit – Sony and Samsung in particular. Sony seems to be increasing its market share in the UHD TV market but on the content front, challenged by Netflix, Amazon, and others. If Sony (which owns Columbia Pictures, Tri-Star, and Screen Gems) can continue to compete on producing movies that consumers find compelling, then their studio production and distribution efforts may survive for a time … or Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and Disney may start to chip away at them.

It should be apparent that the number of movies on discs are already beginning to disappear from brick-and-mortar retailers (Costco, Best Buy, Walmart) even as some brick-and-mortars themselves are beginning to disappear. If you accept the idea that the prerecorded disc market will disappear then you should have the same concerns about censorship that you already have about social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (Google) because streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and soon Disney and Apple have already established their social justice/politically correct wokeness.

Depending on the continued rise and prevalence of SJW-tinged groupthink by those who run some of the largest media and tech companies, it seems highly likely, for example, that content that runs counter to a Left-leaning political agenda will eventually begin to fade away and be impossible to find in streaming libraries. As with the social media giants, their CEOs and ministers of information will talk a good game about how even-handed and fair they are to all content creators even as they quietly blacklist and censor filmmakers and keep their work from being seen. Amazon has recently curtailed its relationship with Woody Allen in its #MeToo wokeness and will no longer fund or release his new films. Just as others in the academic and social media domains (Brett and Eric Weinstein, Dave Rubin) have found, the authoritarian inclinations of their “liberal” brethren can be quite disturbing, Woody perhaps at some point will admit that he and William F. Buckley may have had more in common than he realized.

There are several older Disney films that already run afoul of today’s SJW zeitgeist. Song of the South will likely never make it to Disney’s soon-to-be-available streaming service. Four years ago, a very woke writer for VH1 listed other Disney films she felt were racist including Peter Pan, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and even The Princess and the Frog.

The film lauded for bringing diversity to the world of the Disney princess, with the first black princess, Tiana, is still racist. Critics of The Princess and the Frog have pointed to Tiana’s love interest, Prince Naveen, as the movie’s biggest problem. While Tiana is “obviously” black — in skin tone, voice, and facial features — Naveen is ethnically ambiguous. Naveen’s home country, Maldonia, is left as a question mark, so the audience never really knows where he comes from, and likewise his accent is confusing and difficult to place. It’s been suggested that these are all devices used by Disney so that they didn’t have to have an identifiably black male playing a king i.e. in a position of power.

J.J. Abrams, who has specialized in sci-fi films and has helped breathe life into both the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, recently stated he and director Jordan Peele plan to donate the proceeds from their new show Lovecraft Country to fight against the pro-life law, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. So, ironically, his success in breathing life into tired franchises, which led to other profitable projects, now enables him to support the continued butchering and dismemberment of children in the womb. Mr. Abrams will be no doubt be welcome on both Disney and Apple’s streaming sites because his politics and his social justice street cred aligns quite nicely with these two corporate behemoths. What about films like Gosnell and Unplanned? Will you be able to stream them in five or ten years? Will attempting to even fund projects like these even be possible if crowd-funding sites also prohibit these counter-revolutionary efforts?

We can all admit that there are dozens of films from Hollywood’s golden age that make somewhat demeaning or sometimes more overtly bigoted references or treatments of black or Native American characters. If books like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are already considered offensive by many of the socialists in academia who have been indoctrinating young, impressionable American minds, then films like Jezebel, Gone with the Wind, and numerous westerns like John Ford’s My Darling Clementine (wherein Henry Fonda’s Wyatt Earp demands to know who had been plying an Indian with liquor) may become hard to find in a streaming service’s library or banned outright.

In the movie Swing Time, Fred Astaire emulates Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and wears blackface in one dance sequence. Even though the late critic Roger Ebert once wrote that this was Astaire’s “obvious tribute” to Robinson, it’s become more fashionable by the more woke intelligentsia to suggest that Astaire was really making a caricature of the great tap dancer. Swing Time may soon be hard to find on streaming sites. In the film, Rhapsody In Blue, the biopic of George Gershwin, Al Jolson reprises his performance of Gershwin’s hit song, Swanee, in blackface. It’s not farfetched to suggest that this film would also be marked for extinction by the SJW streaming overlords.

And what of films that poke fun of homosexuals and others in the trans community? Will this scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian be marked as hateful and poisonous and harmful to that community? Will the elderly and remaining Pythons become pariahs even after they’ve left us for the great beyond?

The best-case scenario would be that the streaming services see that there may still be potential revenue to continue to cater to the more traditional religious or politically right-of-center markets by offering content to stream knowing that it will still offend SJWs who find certain movies and TV shows abhorrent, bigoted and hateful. A worse-case scenario would be that those with right-of-center political viewpoints or those more traditionally religious people may just have to settle with streaming libraries that have been expunged of movies and shows of politically- and religiously-offensive content.

Of course, an even worse-case scenario might play out like the book people in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and those hiding libraries of unapproved and unauthorized UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD discs of movies and TV shows deemed to be oppressive, bigoted, racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, or climate denying — may find that they are being monitored, might be ratted out to authorities and even have their libraries confiscated. Maybe even François Truffaut’s film of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 will someday be banned. No, no … that’s just too over the top. Bradbury wasn’t really warning us. He was just writing some fanciful fiction.

In the meantime, I’m sure the streaming services will be fair and not limit what can be seen and follow the stellar example already set by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The future is so bright.

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There are 63 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    Get what you can now. 

     

    • #1
    • May 16, 2019, at 9:45 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Member

    Minor correction: The last thing J.J. Abrams did for either Star Trek or Star Wars was breathe life into them. 

    • #2
    • May 16, 2019, at 10:07 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Moderator

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Minor correction: The last thing J.J. Abrams did for either Star Trek or Star Wars was breathe life into them.

    Indeed.

    • #3
    • May 16, 2019, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Member

    You’ll still be able to get all of these. They’ll just be coming from Russia or Ukraine.

    • #4
    • May 16, 2019, at 10:25 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Member

    (Copied from the Ricochet Film Society group.)

    I’m slightly more optimistic about the survival of unPC films because of how many videos removed from YouTube have a way of popping up again; the videos having been downloaded by savvy users in defiant violation of terms. Occasionally, a movie trailer or video game preview footage will leak before its intended date, promptly be taken down at request of the publisher, and pop back up in various places because a few rebels had the foresight to prepare for the removal.

    I learned recently that all copies of the first vampire film, Nosferatu, were ordered destroyed for its violation of the Stoker family’s copyright on Dracula. So the only reason it can be viewed today is because of some movie fan who said to heck with that nonsense.

    Disney doesn’t sell Song of the South in the USA anymore. But I managed to buy a VHS copy from Britain and have it converted to DVD for my mom years ago. So there is at least one remaining copy of that.

    Even though I have long been in the habit of buying all games and movies digitally, I have experienced the removal of a couple games from my digital library and do worry that the same will happen to movies or TV shows eventually. Discs are more vulnerable to theft and damage, but less vulnerable to censorship.

    As more people choose all-digital libraries and file sizes continue to grow, it’s also questionable whether or not ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will be able to keep up with sufficient, affordable, and reliable bandwidth.

    • #5
    • May 16, 2019, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Member

    I recently bought a copy of “Zorro, the Gay Blade,” figuring it would be pulled from circulation before too long. If you haven’t seen it, it’s really funny–George Hamilton as Zorro and his “fabulous” twin brother, need I say more? Fortunately, we already have all of the Monty Python. I don’t like the move to streaming only services because I neither want to be hooked to them nor to be tracked by them. Recently, I started receiving messages from Amazon telling me that I wasn’t reading enough and recommending some (really crappy!) books. I told them to leave me the hell alone or I’d completely sever my relationship with them. Kindle is a handy way to carry around a large number of books and I’d been occasionally using it on one of their devices and on my phone in travel and in waiting rooms. Amazon seemed to think that was the only time I was reading. Apart from it being none of their damned business what and how often I read, I don’t care to be tracked by them. Yes, it’s convenient, but at what cost? There may well come a time when I switch to a cash only existence. I do not like this brave new world at all. If that’s the way TV and movies go, fine. I’ll cut them all out before I buy in to one more service that tracks my every move and interest. Extremely creepy. Besides, the inconvenience of a cash only existence will probably save me a great deal of money!

    • #6
    • May 16, 2019, at 10:51 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Member

    The danger of digital censorship is that access through official service providers can be severed from all owners at the flip of a switch. I have an example, though of a game rather than movie. 

    Years ago, I owned RISK: Factions via Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade service. EA developed and published it, but they were licensing the RISK IP from Hasbro. EA continues to sell video games based on board games owned by Hasbro. 

    My Xbox 360 hardware failed, as happened to many. After replacing it and re-downloading games I had installed on the previous console, I found out the game had been removed from both the Xbox Live online store and from my digital library. This was done without any individual notification or general press release. The disappearance was mentioned on a few game news sites or blogs, however.

    Microsoft has been helpful in other customer support issues I’ve had over the years. But I was never able to get an explanation of why the game was removed. I don’t recall fighting for a refund ($15), though I certainly should have received one. 

    There might be fine print that makes it difficult. EULAs (End User License Agreements) for digital services have led to a few court battles over the limits of ownership for both parties (customer and producer). 

    Strangely, I found RISK: Factions later available for PC via Steam. So why is the PC version available but not the Xbox 360 version?

    • #7
    • May 16, 2019, at 10:51 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Podcaster

    Simple solution that will never see the light of day: Tie copyright to marketing. If the owner of a copyrighted work fails to offer it for sale it should fall into the public domain.

    • #8
    • May 16, 2019, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  9. Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    The danger of digital censorship is that access through official service providers can be severed from all owners at the flip of a switch. I have an example, though of a game rather than movie.

    Years ago, I owned RISK: Factions via Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade service. EA developed and published it, but they were licensing the RISK IP from Hasbro. EA continues to sell video games based on board games owned by Hasbro.

    My Xbox 360 hardware failed, as happened to many. After replacing it and re-downloading games I had installed on the previous console, I found out the game had been removed from both the Xbox Live online store and from my digital library. This was done without any individual notification or general press release. The disappearance was mentioned on a few game news sites or blogs, however.

    Microsoft has been helpful in other customer support issues I’ve had over the years. But I was never able to get an explanation of why the game was removed. I don’t recall fighting for a refund ($15), though I certainly should have received one.

    There might be fine print that makes it difficult. EULAs (End User License Agreements) for digital services have led to a few court battles over the limits of ownership for both parties (customer and producer).

    Strangely, I found RISK: Factions later available for PC via Steam. So why is the PC version available but not the Xbox 360 version?

    My Xbox 360 has a copy of the Scott Pilgrim vs the World video game on it. It was a download-only game and supposedly there was an unusual arrangement with the license where the rights were split between the movie studio, the original comic artist, and I think possibly even the soundtrack composer. The short story is the license expired and the couldn’t get all the parties back to the table to renew it, so it was pulled from the shop. 

    • #9
    • May 16, 2019, at 11:29 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Simple solution that will never see the light of day: Tie copyright to marketing. If the owner of a copyrighted work fails to offer it for sale it should fall into the public domain.

    The owner of the copyrighted work could claim that they have been trying to offer their work for sale but the retailers and streaming sites refuse to carry the work. Should the owner then lose his rights to profit from the work?

    • #10
    • May 16, 2019, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    (Copied from the Ricochet Film Society group.)

    I’m slightly more optimistic about the survival of unPC films because of how many videos removed from YouTube have a way of popping up again; the videos having been downloaded by savvy users in defiant violation of terms. Occasionally, a movie trailer or video game preview footage will leak before its intended date, promptly be taken down at request of the publisher, and pop back up in various places because a few rebels had the foresight to prepare for the removal.

    I learned recently that all copies of the first vampire film, Nosferatu, were ordered destroyed for its violation of the Stoker family’s copyright on Dracula. So the only reason it can be viewed today is because of some movie fan who said to heck with that nonsense.

    Disney doesn’t sell Song of the South in the USA anymore. But I managed to buy a VHS copy from Britain and have it converted to DVD for my mom years ago. So there is at least one remaining copy of that.

    Even though I have long been in the habit of buying all games and movies digitally, I have experienced the removal of a couple games from my digital library and do worry that the same will happen to movies or TV shows eventually. Discs are more vulnerable to theft and damage, but less vulnerable to censorship.

    As more people choose all-digital libraries and file sizes continue to grow, it’s also questionable whether or not ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will be able to keep up with sufficient, affordable, and reliable bandwidth.

    You can’t hide all the films all the time.But if you can limit their circulation that may be good enough to control the population. 

    • #11
    • May 16, 2019, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Podcaster

    Brian Watt : The owner of the copyrighted work could claim that they have been trying to offer their work for sale but the retailers and streaming sites refuse to carry the work. Should the owner then lose his rights to profit from the work?

    How can you lose your right to profit if you’re not making a good faith effort to sell? Disney will soon own not one but two streaming sources. (They own 67% of Hulu after the Fox Studios purchase.)

    And all of the other major copyright holders are in the distribution business in some form or orther. Using the “third party won’t distribute my works” is a hard sell.

    • #12
    • May 16, 2019, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Contributor

    Great post. 

    I think the biggest threat to old movies is indifference, coupled with a cultural disdain for the “problematic” past. 

    • #13
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:00 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  14. Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Brian Watt : The owner of the copyrighted work could claim that they have been trying to offer their work for sale but the retailers and streaming sites refuse to carry the work. Should the owner then lose his rights to profit from the work?

    How can you lose your right to profit if you’re not making a good faith effort to sell? Disney will soon own not one but two streaming sources. (They own 67% of Hulu after the Fox Studios purchase.)

    And all of the other major copyright holders are in the distribution business in some form or orther. Using the third party won’t distribute my works is hard sell.

    I think we might be talking past each other. I have no problem forcing Disney and other studios to release content through the threat of their loss of copyright if they have no intention of bringing the vaulted film market – “Dr. Syn – Alias, The Scarecrow” (1963) with Patrick McGoohan would be a perfect case in point. My only concern is the independent (or somewhat independent) filmmaker or production company that makes a film and then can’t get any of the streaming services to pick it up because it runs afoul of the streaming company’s SJW agenda. I think it would be unfair to strip those filmmakers of their copyright protection if they are indeed making a good faith effort to get the film seen and distributed. I can easily imagine a time where films like Gosnell and Unplanned will never see the light of day because of that scenario…and other avenues to distribute like YouTube may also be closed for the same reasons.

    • #14
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:16 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Member

    Purveyors of public domain media like gutenberg.org and archive.org don’t (yet) censor out “problematic” works. As long as such non-profit sites are able to keep the lights on, I wager that such works will always be available for those who take the time to seek them out.

    As Mr. Lileks mentioned, the bigger issue is consumer apathy. People need to want to see these movies and/or read these books.

    An even bigger issue, at least for Americans, is the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, which increased copyright terms in the USA to an astounding 95 years for corporate-created works.

    For example, under the Berne Convention the board game RISK would have entered the public domain in 2007, but under current US law it won’t enter the public domain until 2052.

    In this area, however, the Internet is your friend. It’s not very difficult to download a work from a site hosted in a country with less stringent copyright terms than those of the USA.

    • #15
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Podcaster

    Brian Watt: My only concern is the independent (or somewhat independent) filmmaker or production company that makes a film and then can’t get any of the streaming services to pick it up because it runs afoul of the streaming company’s SJW agenda.

    Totally unfounded. One does not need a streaming service. All one needs to is set up a website and offer digital downloads. Or simply take out an ad that offers digital copies on thumb drives for sale. No one is beholden to anyone for distribution.

    • #16
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Member

    There is also the problem of publishers having the ability to edit content after selling it. George Lucas famously spoiled the cantina scene in Star Wars by editing it post-launch so that Greedo shot before Hans. All copies of the film sold since that decision have included the revision. The original film version survives on discs. But a digital version could be revised by the publisher to eliminate any copies of the original design.

    • #17
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Member

    Happy to hear the optimists in the comments. I am a pessimist. The woke party will love the enforcement of PC dogma and the other party has enough “The free market can do whatever it wishes” folks to swing the balance their way. The conservatives will not be able to conserve the culture.

    Still, I just watched Ben-Hur on Netflix (on a disk to be sure) and that has an actor with dark makeup.

    • #18
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    In this area, however, the Internet is your friend. It’s not very difficult to download a work from a site hosted in a country with less stringent copyright terms than those of the USA.

    you mean like https://www.fadedpage.com/?

    • #19
    • May 16, 2019, at 12:58 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Coolidge

    Thankful that we already own The Quiet Man on DVD.

    “ sir, here’s a stick to beat the pretty lady”.

    • #20
    • May 16, 2019, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    In this area, however, the Internet is your friend. It’s not very difficult to download a work from a site hosted in a country with less stringent copyright terms than those of the USA.

    you mean like https://www.fadedpage.com/?

    Yup, that’s another one I use not-infrequently.

    Also, https://www.wikilivres.org, which is hosted in New Zealand.

    • #21
    • May 16, 2019, at 1:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Thatcher

    Brian Watt: There are several older Disney films that already run afoul of today’s SJW zeitgeist. Song of the South will likely never make it to Disney’s soon-to-be available streaming service.

    I managed to snag an English language VHS copy of Song of the South with Japanese subtitles. The story is heartwarming, the songs memorable, the animated sequences brilliant – but we can’t show the little son of a rich, white plantation owner hanging out with Uncle Remus, one of the slaves. We also can’t show the ending, where the little boy, a little slave boy friend, and a poor white trash little girl go skipping along with Uncle Remus singing “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Da” . . .

    • #22
    • May 16, 2019, at 1:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Simple solution that will never see the light of day: Tie copyright to marketing. If the owner of a copyrighted work fails to offer it for sale it should fall into the public domain.

    I am 100% for this.

    If I cannot buy it, then it should go public

    • #23
    • May 16, 2019, at 1:19 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Simple solution that will never see the light of day: Tie copyright to marketing. If the owner of a copyrighted work fails to offer it for sale it should fall into the public domain.

    I could hypothetically imagine a judge ruling that American fair use law already takes this into account.

    Say that someone distributes, for free, copies of a copyrighted work that is no longer being distributed by the copyright holder for political reasons, arguing that they’re doing so for educational/archival purposes.

    According to the “four-factor test” of fair use, the onus is on the copyright holder to demonstrate that the infringement has a negative effect on the holder’s ability to exploit the work financially. If the copyright holder refuses to distribute the work for political reasons, does that not suggest that making archival copies wouldn’t have a negative financial effect on the copyright holder?

    It’s not a slam-dunk of an argument, but I could hypothetically imagine someone slipping it past at least one judge.

    • #24
    • May 16, 2019, at 1:33 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  25. Member

    This is certainly a problem that can exist, though I think there are people and organizations dedicated to the preservation of films at least as a purely academic and historical practice. So while copies of movies will exist they will not be generally available to the public, but they won’t be gone, just obscure. This process though happens not just with movies that are deemed “problematic” but with any movie deemed to old to be of interest to modern audiences. Most films are lost through neglect rather than design. A solution to this issue I think would be to simply allow more movies to start going into the public domain. It is their existence as copyrighted material that gives a company the ability to doom a property to oblivion. Because a studio like Disney is making a calculation that preservation and distribution of this material may hurt its brand. It can do so because it has full control. Remove that control by ending their copyright. Many of these movies are old and should have gone into the public domain decades ago by the terms of copyright at their creation. Once in the public domain any one can seek to preserve and monetize them, and if a movie has real appeal it will find a market.

    • #25
    • May 16, 2019, at 2:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Coolidge

    If anybody asks, I lost my copy of Holiday Inn in a boating accident.

     

    • #26
    • May 16, 2019, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Simple solution that will never see the light of day: Tie copyright to marketing. If the owner of a copyrighted work fails to offer it for sale it should fall into the public domain.

    I am 100% for this.

    If I cannot buy it, then it should go public

    They will simply put out one copy of it every 10 years. No. Copyright needs to have an end. The public domain isn’t supposed to be the refuse of unprofitable culture. It is supposed to be the repository of its greatest art. I say have an exponentially increasing fee for copyright renewal every 10-15 years. 

    • #27
    • May 16, 2019, at 2:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Brian Watt: My only concern is the independent (or somewhat independent) filmmaker or production company that makes a film and then can’t get any of the streaming services to pick it up because it runs afoul of the streaming company’s SJW agenda.

    Totally unfounded. One does not need a streaming service. All one needs to is set up a website and offer digital downloads. Or simply take out an ad that offers digital copies on thumb drives for sale. No one is beholden to anyone for distribution.

    The overarching point of the OP is that some content may begin to disappear if the political climate tilts more heavily left in the next several years because content will be for the most part only available via a streaming service run by executives with a clear SJW agenda. The ad hoc method you’ve laid out for distribution may indeed be the only recourse that some filmmakers will have to get their work out when the more prevalent avenues may be closed off to them and all the heavy lifting to market the work will be on the filmmaker since a streaming service or distributor is out of the picture. This could have tremendous upside potential for a filmmaker who has millions to spend on guerrilla marketing to hold onto to the revenue that comes in…but from a market landscape perspective competing against Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Apple in this way would be quite the challenge. I’m all for more films becoming available in the public domain after a more limited copyright timeframe that I agree has been abused by Disney and other studios. Just so we’re clear on that point. Copyright reform has been floated before and didn’t seem to get any traction in Congress. In fact, it seems that rather than limiting copyright timeframes, every time the issue surfaces they seem to get lengthier. 

    • #28
    • May 16, 2019, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Member

    Brian Watt: As his headline indicates, Del Colliano seems to be just fine with this eventual paradigm shift.

    Which made me wonder if Amazon and Netflix greased his palms a bit.

    Which is to say, he’s way too enthusiastic about streaming. It’s almost a tell.

    • #29
    • May 16, 2019, at 4:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Thatcher
    She

    Brian Watt: At some point in the near future, UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and standard DVDs will no longer be sold by Amazon and other retailers because most content will be available for streaming in very high definition.

    Bring it on. Because it is, perhaps, the only thing that will shine a light upon the substantial pockets of the country that still have inadequate access to affordable high-speed Internet where streaming is virtually unusable, or so expensive it’s out of reach for most.

    Most reports, IMHO vastly underestimate the problem, and although they’re prone to drone on about how expensive it would be for the cable and phone companies to extend the service to people like me, very few address the householder expense, which can run upwards of $100 per month for 15-20GB of data, and perhaps $10 per gigabyte overage. In addition, the performance of “broadband like” services such as my provider (HughesNet) is substandard. Often, I have to wait two or three minutes before a standard-definition YouTube video of a couple of minutes duration starts to play, and then it hiccups all the way through.

    A high-def movie might use 3GB per hour of bandwidth. What this means to me, on a 20GB per month connection (what I have, and which costs me $80 per month) is that I could watch half-a-dozen normal-length movies a month, and I’d have no bandwidth left for browsing anything else, doing email, posting on Ricochet, or anything else. Or, were I a person who used most of my bandwidth for other stuff, once I hit my limit, streaming a 2-hour movie could cost me about $60. (There’s a five hour nightly window when everyone in the world is streaming our “bonus” 50GB of data, but that’s almost useless for anything other than minor updates, as I keep losing the connection.)

    Yay.

    No-one wants to tackle this. I think Bill Clinton was the first President, in 1992 sometime, to talk about universal, affordable, high-speed Internet access. I’m still waiting.

    Perhaps, if what you’re suggesting actually comes to pass, it will force the issue.

    UPDATE: One of the reasons I think the issue is vastly underestimated is exactly because of people who live in areas like mine. We’re within 40 miles of Pittsburgh, so are considered, for demographic purposes of this ilk, as part of Pittsburgh’s “metropolitan area.” So it’s assumed that we have all the access and all the options of Pittsburgh itself.

    But we do not. We might as well be in Timbuktu, for all the good our physical location does us. No cable. No DSL. No FIOS. Nothing but satellite, or cellular.

    • #30
    • May 16, 2019, at 4:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
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