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


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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

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