Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

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.

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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States v the 'Net? 

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

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