tagged w/ MPAA
This podcast features Ethan Noble, of Motion Picture Consulting. He helps guide filmmakers and studios through the ratings process. He gives an overview of the MPAA’s rating system.
This year eight films have already appealed their MPAA ratings and it’s not even April. Has the MPAA lost touch with modern culture or are filmmakers beginning to push the boundaries with edgier content?This podcast features Ethan Noble, of Motion Picture Consulting. He helps guide... more
With at least nine different streaming services competing for our attention and media dollars, some have argued that there is too much competition in a market that is primed for a major consolidation. Which services will survive and why?With at least nine different streaming services competing for our attention and media... more
The online petition to reverse the MPAA's R-rating for "Bully" is amassing widespread support, a battle over words that has brought even more attention to a true national crisis.The online petition to reverse the MPAA's R-rating for "Bully" is... more
By Josh Sternberg current.com contributor
UPDATE, 11:15 p.m. ET: There’s a little less than an hour to go until the sites protesting SOPA and PIPA come back to us here’s what’s happened since our last update.
A whole bunch of senators and representatives changed their positions and came out opposing the current iteration of the SOPA and PIPA legislation. The Daily Beast reports:
Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mark Rubio (R-FL), and Jerry Moran (R-KS), also cosponsors of PIPA, posted their withdrawals to either Facebook or Twitter today as well. Additionally Senators Jeff Markey (D-OR) and Allen West (R-FL) condemned the bill on Twitter. Not to be outdone, Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Mike Honda (D-CA) blacked out their websites in support.
Buzzfeed culled together “the 50 best statements by members of Congress against SOPA/PIPA.”By Josh Sternberg current.com contributor UPDATE, 11:15 p.m. ET:... more
Good video reviewing how SOPA/PIPA came to be and what the power of the peoples' voices can accomplish.
Time to stop lobbying for the 1% and start respecting the rights of all Americans.
STOP PIPA/KEEP SOPA DEAD.Good video reviewing how SOPA/PIPA came to be and what the power of the peoples'... more
Too little, too late, we're afraid. For the past decade or so, the RIAA (amongst others) have spent every waking hour figuring out how to best sue and frighten every internet-connected human that even dares think about an illegal download. Now that said practice has failed miserably, it's finally resorting to something sensible. The entity announced today that AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision have teamed up with the RIAA and MPAA in order to agree upon a six-stage notification system that'll electronically alert internet users whenever their account is used for wrongful downloading. It's actually not all that much different than the systems that have been in place at Suddenlink for what feels like eons, but at least this creates a standard protocol that the whole lot can adhere to.
Oh, and before you ask -- under no circumstances will any of these notices result in termination of your broadband connection. There's no way an ISP would agree to such a thing, and indeed, they haven't here. The full run-down can be delved into below, but it's worth noting that no extra "watching" procedures are being put into place; your ISP will only drop you a line if a content overlord asks 'em to. Good times, no?
http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/08/isps-agree-on-copyright-alert-system-plan-to-notify-you-to-dea/Too little, too late, we're afraid. For the past decade or so, the RIAA (amongst... more
Over the last few months, Google has received more than 100 copyright infringement warnings from MPAA-affiliated movies studios: most are directed at users of Google's public Wi-Fi service but others are meant for Google employees. The MPAA is thus warning the search giant that it might get disconnected from the Internet.
"Copyright infringement also violates your ISP's terms of service and could lead to limitation or suspension of your Internet service. You should take immediate action to prevent your Internet account from being used for illegal activities," the movie companies write in various letters, according to TorrentFreak. Although the copyright holders use strong language, these notices are nothing simply warnings, and typically do not lead to legal action.
Every year, the major movie studios and record labels send out tens of thousands of warnings to Internet users suspected of sharing their content using P2P software, in order to persuade them to never download anything again. The copyright holders hire third parties to track down people who share certain their content. These companies then in turn request the files from others, log IP addresses of those who share files with them, look up the corresponding IP addresses, and automatically send out infringement notices.
ISPs are then asked to forward these notices to the customers in question, but in this case, Google has also been contacted. A few of the ones sent to Google are on behalf of Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures for sharing The Fighter and The Green Hornet, respectively.
http://www.techspot.com/news/42321-mpaa-threatens-to-disconnect-google-from-the-internet.htmlOver the last few months, Google has received more than 100 copyright infringement... more
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), with the cooperation of Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, has quietly shuttered 12 torrent websites in the U.S. and at least 39 sites abroad by filing copyright violation complaints with the sites’ hosting providers.
The names of the sites themselves remain unknown; so far, however, the major players seem to be unaffected.
The specific URLs are not being released because frequently the affected sites will spring up elsewhere online under a different TLD (e.g., TorrentMovies.com becomes TorrentMovies.info). Releasing the names of the sites would make it much easier for users to find their new URLs in the future.
This news, while interesting and concerning, is a far cry from the 70-plus sites shut down by the Department of Homeland Security last November, the culmination of a brewing crackdown effort.
Some torrent and file-sharing sites, including RapidShare, have even taken to hiring lobbyists of their own. A company spokesperson told Mashable recently, “Given the fact that the U.S. government is currently undertaking great efforts to fight copyright infringements on the Internet, our having a voice in Washington could be beneficial for us as well as for the U.S. government.”
According to TorrentFreak, BREIN “has (temporarily) disabled more than 1,000 torrent sites in The Netherlands, and they are now helping the MPAA towards doing the same in the U.S.”
In a BREIN release, the organization stated that it helped the MPAA take down around 29 sites last year; and earlier this month, it shut down 39 sites in the Netherlands for the MPAA, as well.
BREIN also conducts these anti-piracy “stings” in 11 other countries, including Germany, France, Britain and Canada. Its director, Tim Kuik, said in the statement (via Google Translate), “There will be new sites, but we take them down fast so they cannot grow.”
http://mashable.com/2011/01/27/mpaa-shuts-down-50-torrent-sites-in-global-sting/The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), with the cooperation of Dutch... more
Blue Valentine got a shocking NC-17 rating and Harvey Weinstein ain't gonna take it sources tell best movies ever.Blue Valentine got a shocking NC-17 rating and Harvey Weinstein ain't gonna take... more
The MPAA strikes again on Ryan Gosling's Blue Valentine for best movies ever.
In a rare interview session two of the MPAA’s top executives gave an interesting insight into the movie industry’s view on copyright in the digital age and the anti-piracy hunt that accompanies it. The pair say that their organization will continue to fight against copyright infringements, but admit that piracy will never be completely defeated.In a rare interview session two of the MPAA’s top executives gave an interesting... more
With the Senate trying to rush through COICA(http://bit.ly/9VfrsA), the online censorship bill that ignores history(http://bit.ly/drBRPg) and appears to violate both the principles of the First Amendment and due process, a bunch of concerned citizens have been speaking out(http://bit.ly/cJfMXx) against the bill, and asking the Senate not to rush it through without at least holding hearings about the massive problems with the bill.
Considering the serious concerns raised by the bill, you would think that everyone would be fine with holding such hearings. But, of course, when you know damn well that the bill almost certainly isn't Consitutional and its sole purpose is to censor upstart competitors and technologies that threaten your business model, you probably are less thrilled about hearings. And, so, it should come as no surprise that, at the end of this National Journal article about the request for hearings, the RIAA makes one of its more ridiculous statements in a while(http://bit.ly/drb3Cp) (and that takes some doing):
> "The answer from these self-styled public interest groups can't always be 'no.'
> Congressional and administration leaders have made it clear that doing nothing is
> no longer an option. If these groups have a better idea than the meaningful,
> bipartisan approach like the one put forward by Chairman Leahy, we welcome their
> ideas on how to insure that the Internet is a civilized medium instead of a lawless one
> where foreign sites that put Americans at risk are allowed to flourish."
Of course, the answer isn't always "no," but the answer absolutely can and should be "no," when the proposal involves censoring websites, removing due process, and favoring certain legacy industries over new technologies.
But the really ridiculous part is the claim that, without this law, "foreign sites that put Americans at risk are allowed to flourish." Just what are these sites, and which Americans are "at risk" from them? So, let's see if the RIAA can tell us which Americans are put at risk by which site -- and I'm sorry, but your inability to adapt your business model to a changing market does not put you "at risk." So, once again, it's time for the RIAA to answer a straight question: which sites are putting Americans at risk, and how will this law protect them?http://www.techdirt.com/images/topic_copyright.gif With the Senate trying to rush... more
In “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. http://www.moviesreviews2010.com/the-twilight-saga-eclipse-2010-review/In “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Bella once again finds herself surrounded... more
While they may never be able to truly defeat piracy and drive it from the lurking depths of the internet, copyright protection attack-dog organizations like the RIAA and MPAA have long dreamed of the day when they would no longer have to pay for their own copyright enforcement. Now that dream is on the verge of coming true, thanks to the Obama administration.
After countless lobbyist dollars from the music and film industry and a brief "public review", the administration rolled out its vision to fight piracy yesterday afternoon. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden -- whose blunt speech has sometime left him in trouble -- did not mince words.
He states, "This is theft, clear and simple. It's smash and grab, no different than a guy walking down Fifth Avenue and smashing the window at Tiffany's and reaching in and grabbing what's in the window."
The sound-byte comparing downloads to stealing jewels from New York City's finest jeweler quickly lit up the web. Bob Pisano, interim chief executive officer at the Motion Picture Association of America praised the VP, "It is especially critical that the United States has an effective framework for protecting creative content online and enforcing intellectual property rights in the digital environment."
According to the Obama administration, the RIAA, and MPAA, the world economy is pretty much doomed if we don't start prosecuting pirates at home and abroad. Without such a crackdown, businesses will go bankrupt the coalition argues. Biden states, "Piracy hurts, it hurts our economy."
Interestingly, the statements seem to fly in the face of a recent Government Accountability Office study released to U.S. Congress earlier this year, which concluded that there is virtually no evidence for the claimed million dollar losses by the entertainment industry. That study suggested that piracy could even benefit the economy.
Another noteworthy study from three years back notes that virtually every citizen violates intellectual property laws in some way on a daily basis.
The White House press release was full of buzz phrases, but short on details. It did however indicate that the U.S. government may increasingly monitor filesharing networks and BitTorrent sites and assist media groups in their prosecution/threat letter efforts. It speaks of improved "law enforcement efforts at the Federal, state and local level."
The biggest effort, though, will be devoted to cracking down on piracy websites in the U.S. and overseas. The administration was short on details of how exactly it would convince piracy-loving nations like China to change their ways, but it did say it would try to do so by "being as public as we possibly can" about infringement.
The press release states, "As we shine the spotlight on foreign governments that have rogue actors doing illicit business within their borders, it's the government's responsibility to respond."
Such efforts have shown mild success. After lots of threats against the Swedish government by the U.S., the European Union nation finally tried admins with the nation's largest torrent site The Pirate Bay last year and found them guilty. The trial was later exposed to be a perversion of the justice system, with the judge who gave the verdict have multiple ties to copyright protection organizations. The verdict -- $3M USD in damages and a year of hard prison time for the admins -- is currently being appealed.
The White House's vision is perhaps a prelude to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which will go before Congress later this year. The bill would make P2P or BitTorrent client development a criminal offense if the distributed software was used for infringement. It also implements an interesting provision called "imminent infringement", which allows the government to charge people who they think might be about to infringe with a civil offense (for example if you searched "torrent daft punk"). This is among the first official "thought crime" provisions to be proposed by the U.S. government. The bill also makes it a criminal offense to bypass DRM.
Ultimately, it should be interesting to see how American taxpayers react to President Obama's decision to spend their money on efforts to prosecute them and try to choke out piracy at home and abroad, particularly when the current evidence is inconclusive of its effects. One thing's for sure, though. Top politicians on both sides of the aisle are firmly behind the music and movie industry anti-piracy and money-collection efforts
Guess were starting a war on media piracy next?While they may never be able to truly defeat piracy and drive it from the lurking... more
While U.S. men and women put their lives at risk in Iraq, the MPAA has queried the military about the pirating habits of the soldiers stationed there. A declassified document from United States Central Command confirms that the MPAA is fighting a war of its own in the Middle East, one against copyright infringing soldiers.
http://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-worries-about-pirating-u-s-soldiers-in-iraq-100515/While U.S. men and women put their lives at risk in Iraq, the MPAA has queried the... more
We've all seen the studies trumpeting massive losses to the US economy from piracy. One famous figure, used literally for decades by rightsholders and the government, said that 750,000 jobs and up to $250 billion a year could be lost in the US economy thanks to IP infringement.
A couple years ago, we thoroughly debunked that figure. For years, Business Software Alliance reports on software piracy assumed that each illicit copy was a lost sale. And the MPAA's own commissioned study on movie piracy turned out to overstate collegiate downloading by a factor of three.
Can we trust ANY of these claims about piracy?
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/us-government-finally-admits-most-piracy-estimates-are-bogus.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rssWe've all seen the studies trumpeting massive losses to the US economy from... more
It's Sunday! The last day to turn in your webcam reviews for Where The Wild Things Are, Paranormal Activity and Law Abiding Citizen for this week's Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current. Now for some news:
-In lieu of Antichrist, Shock Cinema is dead? Sure, why not. I love a good bit of RAMPANT SPECULATION. [Current]
-If it's October, it must mean a new Saw film is around the corner. Now for a spoof video. [Current]
-The MPAA has fired three of its' anti-piracy bosses. [Current]
-It's Sunday. Go see a movie or go outside. Or join me tonight at Screamfest LA at 8:30 for The Human Centipede!
-John Lichman It's Sunday! The last day to turn in your webcam reviews for Where The Wild... more
LOS ANGELES — The romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” arrived at the multiplex on Friday complete with an R rating, ranking it in the same category as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Basic Instinct” in the eyes of the Motion Picture Association of America.
But there is no violence in “It’s Complicated,” and the bedroom scenes are decidedly tame by contemporary standards. Instead, the R rating — which experts say could limit the box-office potential of the Universal Pictures film — comes largely from a sequence in which Steve Martin and Meryl Streep smoke marijuana.
The rating has kicked up dust in Hollywood, with movie bloggers starting blistering attacks on the M.P.A.A. for being out of touch. The marijuana lobby is equally miffed. “This is an absurd ruling rooted in old cultural thinking,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Universal and Mr. Martin unsuccessfully appealed, seeking a PG-13 rating.
Conservative groups, meanwhile, find themselves in the rare position of cheering the ratings system instead of condemning it. Dan Isett, director of public policy for the Parents Television Council, which also monitors movies, said “It’s Complicated” was a “rare instance” of the board getting a rating correct.
“The last I checked, smoking pot was still illegal, illicit behavior,” he said. “Too often material gets rated lower than it should be.”
Figuring prominently in the brouhaha are other depictions of marijuana in cinema, particularly the scene in the 1980 comedy “9 to 5” showing Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin getting high and raiding the refrigerator. Its rating was PG.
“This demonstrates a real hilarity and inconsistency, especially given how far the medical marijuana movement has come,” said Martin Kaplan, the director of the Norman Lear Center for the study of entertainment and society at the University of Southern California.
The rumpus comes amid informal discussion about tweaking the ratings formula, particularly where R is involved. The M.P.A.A., a trade organization financed by the major studios, has ruminated about dividing the R rating into new categories. Already, the industry refers informally to movies that are “soft R” or “hard R.”
Nancy Meyers, who directed the film, declined to comment, as did Universal and the film’s producers.
But financial forces are at work against any changes. If the difference between a PG-13 and an R rating can be tens of millions of dollars at the box office, the last thing studios want is to slice the pie thinner. “In general, the more child-friendly the rating is — even for movies that might not be aimed at teenagers — the more tickets you sell,” said S. Abraham Ravid, a business professor at Rutgers University who has published many studies on movie economics.
Joan Graves, the chairwoman of the film industry’s Classification and Rating Administration, declined to comment on “It’s Complicated,” citing internal policy barring the public discussion of a specific picture. But she dismissed criticism of her board members.
“They react the way that most people react,” she said. “America is not just two coasts.”
Some in the industry see something deeper at work, arguing that the trade organization is on its best behavior because it has a lame-duck leader in Dan Glickman (who is to step down as chief executive in September) and because Congressional elections will take place next year. The Federal Trade Commission harshly criticized the movie industry this month for inappropriately advertising movies with PG-13 and R ratings to children.
It was not specifically the actual drug use that got “It’s Complicated,” about a divorced woman who has an affair with her remarried ex-husband, into this pickle, according to people with knowledge of how the decision was reached. Instead, the ratings board was concerned about what the movie did not have: a negative consequence for the behavior. (Ms. Graves said that “no scrutiny or outside influence impacts the rating of any film — period.”)
The board, according to these people, thought the scene was uproariously funny and could leave children with a strong message that smoking marijuana is fun. The opposite, of course, could be argued: One way to make young people think that marijuana is uncool is to show the white-haired Mr. Martin, 64, smoking it.
This emphasis on consequences has long been part of how Hollywood has navigated taboo subjects, dating back to the Hays Code era, said Robert Sklar, an emeritus professor of cinema studies at New York University and the author of “Movie-Made America.” “If somebody transgressed — infidelity, alcoholism — they had to pay for it,” he said.
The M.P.A.A. is often accused by conservative groups of “ratings creep,” a loosening of standards as the years go on, and of pandering to the studios, which resist R ratings because it could limit the audience. But “It’s Complicated” may be an example of the reverse.
Ms. Graves said the board has grown more strict about drug use over the last two decades. “In the ’60s and ’70s, drugs were considered fun and recreational, but then parents started to wise up and standards shifted the other way,” she said.
In other words, “9 to 5” was born of a different cultural time.
It is hard to argue, however, that cannabis has become anything but more routine over the years. There are now about 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area alone, according to city estimates; as a point of reference, there are fewer than 300 Starbucks outposts.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/25/business/media/25ratings.html?_r=1&hpwLOS ANGELES — The romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” arrived... more