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Letter to 60 Minutes

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    Posted: 16 Apr 2008 at 11:22pm
On August 13th, 60 Minutes ran a story about how piracy affects the movie industry. This was my letter in response:

To whom it may concern:

I have been watching 60 Minutes for over ten years and have never written to you before, but watching your story "Pirates of the Internet," [link] I was struck by some inaccuracies and felt compelled to write.

The motion picture industry has been circulating anti-piracy advertisements featuring rank-and-file movie employees talking about how piracy affects their livelihood. I work in the movie industry, and the fact is that while piracy may impact box-office numbers and DVD sales, these are factors that don't affect freelance crew members, like the set painter featured in the anti-piracy ads, and like the carpenters I saw on 60 Minutes. These people are paid the same rate whether the film makes $100 or $100 million. The same is true of video and DVD sales. Only "above-the-line" crew members (i.e. Director, Producer) and very high-profile actors can profit from a percentage of a movie's box-office or home video sales. I was surprised to see this misconception perpetuated on 60 Minutes.

The second misconception I saw perpetuated on 60 Minutes is that the studios created Movielink, the on-line video-on-demand service. Movielink was not created by and is not run by the studios. It operates like a pay-per-view cable outlet, licensing films to be exhibited over a negotiated period of time. Far from being controlled by the studios, Movielink is often the subject of litigation by the studios, when it fails to remove a movie from its web site after its licensing period has expired.

As for piracy destroying the music and film industries, it's my opinion that these industries are too eager to focus externally instead of getting to the root of consumer dissatisfaction. Movie tickets have doubled in price over the last five years for no apparent reason, coupled with increasingly inane and underwhelming product. This year, reports published indicated that while box-office numbers have risen, ticket sales have decreased. The price of a new music CD today exceeds that of a movie on DVD, while offering significantly less content for the consumer. Of course the music industry is experiencing consumer backlash. Only Universal Music Group has taken the initiative by lowering wholesale prices of new CDs. The other record labels and the movie studios should follow their example if they want to reconnect with their audience, and their audience's wallets.
Sincerely,

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Commercials I Hate .com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FaithSF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2008 at 3:35am
Movie tickets now cost $10.50 in San Francisco.  And we still have to sit through about 10 preview ads and several TV commercials!

The only theatres here that don't make you sit through all that crap is Landmark Theatres, owned by Mark Cuban. Yay, him!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jppuertorico85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2008 at 12:38am
you know what i don't get...why do they still rank movies by the amount of money they make???  If the ticket prices are not stablilzed, how can you compare a $200 million dollar blockbuster today to a $100 million dollar blockbuster 15 years ago say?  Why don't they go by the # of tickets sold?  The way cd sales are tracked by numbers sold, not dollars brought in!  This never made sense to me!!!
Is visa really the only card accepted at [INSERT ANY SPORTING EVENT]???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Last Brain Left Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2009 at 6:44pm

Originally posted by ForumAdmin ForumAdmin wrote:

On August 13th, 60 Minutes ran a story about how piracy affects the movie industry. This was my letter in response:

To whom it may concern:

I have been watching 60 Minutes for over ten years and have never written to you before, but watching your story "Pirates of the Internet," [link] I was struck by some inaccuracies and felt compelled to write.

The motion picture industry has been circulating anti-piracy advertisements featuring rank-and-file movie employees talking about how piracy affects their livelihood. I work in the movie industry, and the fact is that while piracy may impact box-office numbers and DVD sales, these are factors that don't affect freelance crew members, like the set painter featured in the anti-piracy ads, and like the carpenters I saw on 60 Minutes. These people are paid the same rate whether the film makes $100 or $100 million. The same is true of video and DVD sales. Only "above-the-line" crew members (i.e. Director, Producer) and very high-profile actors can profit from a percentage of a movie's box-office or home video sales. I was surprised to see this misconception perpetuated on 60 Minutes.

The second misconception I saw perpetuated on 60 Minutes is that the studios created Movielink, the on-line video-on-demand service. Movielink was not created by and is not run by the studios. It operates like a pay-per-view cable outlet, licensing films to be exhibited over a negotiated period of time. Far from being controlled by the studios, Movielink is often the subject of litigation by the studios, when it fails to remove a movie from its web site after its licensing period has expired.

As for piracy destroying the music and film industries, it's my opinion that these industries are too eager to focus externally instead of getting to the root of consumer dissatisfaction. Movie tickets have doubled in price over the last five years for no apparent reason, coupled with increasingly inane and underwhelming product. This year, reports published indicated that while box-office numbers have risen, ticket sales have decreased. The price of a new music CD today exceeds that of a movie on DVD, while offering significantly less content for the consumer. Of course the music industry is experiencing consumer backlash. Only Universal Music Group has taken the initiative by lowering wholesale prices of new CDs. The other record labels and the movie studios should follow their example if they want to reconnect with their audience, and their audience's wallets.
Sincerely,

Webmaster
Commercials I Hate .com
Interesting that this is what would make you take issue with this show. Did not the entire fake Bush TANG memo scandal bother you? How about the subsequent cover up?I stopped watching 60 Minutes from then on. Media bias is one thing, fabricating a story is another.
"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForumAdmin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2009 at 7:46pm
Really the Bush memo piece was a Dan Rather report that they happened to air on 60 Minutes.
It didn't affect my opinion of 60 Minutes, only of CBS news as a whole.
I thought they handled the situation well in the aftermath.
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