Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the MPAA and its purpose to protect creativity

If you go to the website for the Motion Picture Association of America, you will see some wonderful words on "protecting creativity":

The MPAA believes in protecting creative works and the people who make them. Whether you’re making a film, writing a book or recording a song, the amount of time, effort, and investment is more than a passion – it’s also someone’s livelihood. For America’s creative sector to thrive, intellectual property laws must protect the hard work of creators and makers while ensuring an Internet that works for everyone.

This desire to "protect creativity" has led the MPAA to endorse SOPA (remember SOPA?) and take other actions that some see as restricting creativity, not protecting it.

Fast-forward to the present day, and it seems that the movie theater chains and studios aren't all that eager to protect creativity.

And Hollywood caves, again.

Following Sony’s announcement to pull the plug on “The Interview,” Paramount Pictures is ordering theaters across the country not to screen “Team America: World Police” in its place.

Both movies poke at the country of North Korea, and both Sony and Paramount fear that showing these films may anger North Koreans and may result in virtual or physical damage to their companies. Sony, which has already suffered virtual damage, pulled the plug on "The Interview" after the major theater chains refused to show it. One independent theater, the Alamo Drafthouse (see this post), decided creativity by showing "Team America: World Police" instead. Paramount shot that idea down.

Now Sony and Paramount, as the owners of the media in question, have the legal right to do these things.

But the next time the MPAA wants us to pass a new law to "protect creativity," we can certainly ask when MPAA members are going to "protect creativity" themselves.
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