The Closing of the Net  "original and valuable"  Times Higher Education

When petitioning politicians for tougher enforcement measures, Disney Corporation will assure them that the motion picture industry  is bleeding to death. Internet piracy, they will say,  must be stopped in order to  prevent the strangulation of the creative industries and protect the jobs of those who work in them. Hollywood is pretty good at foretelling its own death when there is a politician in the frame.

So it is curious that Hollywood’s greatest corporation can now find a whopping $4 billion to buy out one of its competitors. For Disney Corporation is indeed

  paying $4 billion to buy Lucasfilm. Included in the deal are the rights to 6 Star Wars films, as well as the technology of Industrial Light and Magic.

 Industrial Light and Magic  pioneered computer generated imaging for films, and  is owned by Lucasfilm.

According to the Financial Times, the 6 Star Wars films have themselves generated $4.4 billion in box office revenues.

 The Disney-Lucasfilm deal reveals  just how much cash may be sloshing around in the film industry, and how far from dying, the industry may be  keeping itself very healthy indeed.

Yet in every lobbying document and presentation, Hollywood’s representatives will present a picture of falling revenues and industrial collapse. The original ‘bleeding’ metaphor of couse, goes back some 30 years to the former chief of the Motion Picture Association, Jack Valenti, who famously told the US Congress that the film industry was haemorraging ( This quote is found in various sources, including in my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma   ) .

 If  Disney Corporation can pay $4 billion for a bunch of movies about  a space fantasy when  countries are struggling to fund essential infrastructure, such as broadband and rail, then quite frankly the industry is not in trouble.

 The Disney-Lucasfilm deal  should be a reminder to policy-makers worldwide that Hollywood does not just project an image of image of richness – it is rich.

In times of recession, policy-makers may do well to press the pause button when a lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association or any of its multi-cloaked associates, rings the bell.

  This is an original article from Iptegrity.com. If you refer to it or to its content,  you should cite my name as the  author, and provide a link back to iptegrity.com.  Media and Academics – please cite as Monica Horten,  ‘Bleeding’ Disney forks out $4 billion for Star Wars,   in www.iptegrity.com,  31 October   2012 . Commercial users - please contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Copyright Enforcement Enigma tells the story of the 2009 Telecoms Package and how the copyright industries tried to hijack it.

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten, European expert on Internet policy and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She is an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on Cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom (MSI-INT). She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy. Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

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