Shujen Wang, the author of this aritcle, analyzes the complexity of protecting property in a technologically advancing society. By recognizing the film industry's universal impact, she aims to situate ideas of piracy and copyright in "the larger contexts of power, technology, and the networking logic of globalization. The reader is provided with a history of important legislation that has led the industry to its current situation, noting the DMCA as important national legislation and TRIPS as a global one. Acknowledging that the copyright industries continue to be a leading force in the U.S. economy, she summarizes reports from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which break down where copyright markets receive revenue and what percentages are lost to piracy. The article highlights the importance of overseas markets and how the MPAA has adjusted to accommodate these markets.
Another section emphasizes that technology and piracy are inextricably linked to power and control. Each country has devised its own standards for copyright protection, but in a world based on global information economy, nations must work together to protect property. While it is up to each country to enforce copyright laws, members of the World Trade Organization must accommodate broader terms of agreement. The WTO agreement states that that "all state laws of its member countries must conform to the TRIPS agreement by 2006." Such agreements are deemed necessary because of the digital advancements that have complicated anti-piracy efforts. The next section of the article provides a background of film piracy dating back to the 1970s. Back then, finding pirates was simpler when such copies were tangible, but in this digitally advanced realm, "information is stored digitally, content is liberated form the medium and all that flows to the recipient is the information." Furthermore, the speed at which information is transferred increases while the cost to reproduce it decreases--ultimately giving pirates an advantage. She argues that copyright protection is the only way to preserve our global information economy.
Contextualizing copyright and piracy in a global context reveals the immense significance digital technologies have in global trade. This article outlines the history of the film industry and the ways in which it has had to alter to sustain economically.
The Internet is forcing the movie industry to adapt its current business model in order to keep up with the online trend. With the growing popularity of online movie download sites, Hollywood will have to figure out a way to compete. This article featured in The Economist argues that if the film industry embraces the Internet they will profit considerably more than if they were to fight it. One of the most advanced Internet distribution sites is ZML.com, which offers over a thousand films for download to various devices at low costs and good quality. Unfortunately for Hollywood, this website is a pirate site. Piracy and the increased accessibility pirates have to online material discourages the film industry from making titles accessible on the web. While film industry has always been slow to accept new technologies, failure to do so with the Internet could result in damaging effects. The article points out that studios such as Paramount and Disney were opposed to the DVD at its inception, primarily because they would rather keep their stringent business model than adapt to a new one. Still, some studios are embracing the Internet and its potential to spur new revenue.
While some studios have helped to create legal online rental services, they have reaped little success. The author suggests that download-to-buy options would be more profitable and could show the movie industry the capabilities of the Internet. In addition, the current sites are not particularly enticing for users because the movies offered are second-rate--with very few blockbusters or major hits available. The article goes on to explain the reasons for Hollywood's reluctance to go online. Most notably, the DVD industry is so popular that they fear risking such a large source of revenue. In reality, the industry could profit by increasing the amount of titles available through an infinite online database rather than through limited shelf space in DVD rental stores. Regardless, there exists technological obstacles that are difficult to combat. For example, download times can reach up to an hour and most people would rather watch movies on their televisions than on their computers. Lastly, the "lack of common standards" prevents a uniform system for online distributors. Despite these challenges, the article points out the potential remedies and the various ways the industry is currently taking steps towards overcoming these difficulties.
Although wary of what the Internet may bring, the industry recognizes its potential to reach the masses. Studios spend a significant percentage on online marketing because it is so successful and provides beneficial feedback. By targeting substantial groups interested in specific subjects, the industry can use this response to shape their films. The most promising invention described is the flash-memory enabled kiosk, which "overcomes many of the weaknesses of the present model and the current deficencies of the Internet," says Mr. Lieberfarb, who is on the board of MOD Systems.This article directly aids my paper through its summarization of the multitude of adaptations and inventions that film industry has had to make in such a digital world. It is apparent that the movie industry must adapt if it does not want to falter in this digitally advancing society.