Friday, April 1, 2011

B-Movie, Ishtar producers love illegal downloaders

What is a studio to do when they have a dog in the can and no hope of raking in bundle$ from the normal venues of theatrical release, DVD, syndication, and merchandising?

Let the dog run wild.
Not to worry: with nearly 2 billion people riding the Internet, the odds are that at least a few thousand rubes around the world will download your embarrassing intellectual property without your permission.  In the past, the Motion Picture Association of America has taken a hard stand against those who used file-sharing services to bypass the box office.

But, times, they are a'changing: studios are discovering that if you can't persuade viewers to burn a sawbuck to see their movies, they can instead take their cars, homes, and college savings by suing the daylights out of them when they pilfer a copy from the Intertubes.  The economics are interesting: the contents of the average wallet are small 'taters compared to the value of a downloader's entire net worth.

Hey boy, did you pay for that?
Old conventional wisdom: Make a movie that people will pay to see, and ask them to respect your intellectual property.  Sue the snot out of them if they don't.

How does a girl get a little justice around here?

New conventional wisdom:  Make a movie that even your mother would hate, and pray that someone will steal it.  Sue the snot out of them them if they do.

Nobody ever accused the makers of B-Movies, or Ishtar, of being the sharpest knives in the back, so it isn't surprising that they haven't learned from the Recording Industry Association of America's lessons when they tried to profit from music downloaders.  In an industry known for its cynicism, this new tactic represents a new low.

In the end, the only ones making money from this are lawyers.

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