Hollywood get's axed out of Stimulus Plan

Posted: Feb 05, 2009 3:16 PM
Having a good weekend at the box office may have just hurt Hollywood in Washington D.C. "The motion picture industry's record-setting month at the box office may have cost it $246 million in tax breaks, as the Senate on Tuesday stripped a provision from the economic stimulus bill that critics derided as an unnecessary Hollywood bailout," writes the LA Times.

While things are strong at the box office, dvd sales are plummeting.

To be sure, some of this is a rejection of the junk and smut they churn out (did we really need a Dukes of Hazard movie???), but the real issue is that Hollywood is experiencing industry transformation pains similar to what the music industry experienced a decade ago (Remember Napster?)

One of the driving forces within the arena of fair use doctrine is Lawrence Lessig. In his new book, "Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy" Lessig argues that copyright laws cripple innovation and will criminalize an entire generation.

Lessig argues that digital manipulation should be embraced and celebrated as a "remix," which means the value added to an original product. Here's Lessig on Colbert.

Regardless of where one stands philosophically on the issue of fair use doctrine, the movie industry can learn from the failed attempts of the music industry to regulate digital goods through copyright laws and avoid futile battles by adapting to new market forces.

This is the world we live in – and it's an issue that websites and blogs must also confront.  Consider this:  If you are reading this on an RSS feed, Townhall isn't making any money from ads – yet few blogs would refuse to have an RSS feed.  The times are changing, and decisions are becoming more complex.  And how about my Twitter or Facebook page – shouldn't I get some money if lots of people visit it???

Kevin Holtsberry writes on the usefulness of RealDVD. Cord Blomquist has much more here. You can follow the debate here.