The DMCA, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, was signed into law in 1998. It’s scope is to criminalize the copying and dissemination of material that does not financially compensate the creator of that material. This is known as pirating and can include films, albums, video games and computer software.
Pirating is a problem for a couple reasons. Movie studios and video game companies don’t make products using volunteers. They hire scores of talented, skilled people who need to be compensated for the hundreds of thousands of man hours spent working.
Pirating therefore is responsible for the banal and trite quality of films. This is self evident in just about every film released in the last ten years. Dialog is terrible. Plots are recycle. They make films about cartoons that were about childrens toys. Perpetual remakes, reboots, and sequels, ad naseum. Now films have to literally have the broadest possible appeal to a global audience so studios can make a profit in the initial screenings. It’s changing the content of movies.
Look at that last Fantastic Four movie. It’s starts with the wedding in New York, goes on to London, the Black Forest in Germany, then their in a Siberian prison, they fight the villan in Shanghai, and finish their wedding somewhere in Japan. How much fuel could that stupid flying Dodge hold?
A planned remake of “Red Dawn“, a film about a Soviet invasion of the Sates in the 80’s, would be reset today as an invasion by China. Chinese audiences wouldn’t pay to see a film casting them as aggressive villains. The studio then changed the antagonist to North Korea. Either way the premise is unrealistic and unlikely, but North Korea is small and poor. Not a very convincing idea.
GI Joe had a bunch of Europeans in it, cause other wise Europeans wouldn’t go see it. Studios cram all this in so foreign nationals won’t be put off by American jigoism. American studios need those overseas revenues to make a profit nowadays. I like my Spiderman webslinging around a giant American flag, got it?
An arguement can be made that not all Hollywood films are terrible. But decent films are currently produced by established, respected directors. New, talented, quirky and nontraditional directors and film creators are going to rot on the vine in this kind of piracy environment.
Japanese animation studios are shutting down their US distribution and marketing divisions because too many Americans are downloading the shows instead of paying. Bandai doesn’t see the point in trying to sell a product there people are getting for free. This will certainly result in a further loss of revenue which, as we have seen, affects product content and quality.
Studios have to fold or expand. There’s no middle ground anymore, no room for error. This is detrimental to films and it is the audience that will suffer most.
Piracy is stealing. The government is responsible for the protection of property rights. DMCA is their attempt at doing this. People have no right to acquire material they neither made nor paid for. That being said, there is a huge volume of content being generate by web users that may rival what comes out of Hollywood.