Monday, October 19, 2009
Jon Garon, Hamline University School of Law, has published "Content, Control and the Socially Networked Film." Here is the abstract.
The influences of digital distribution of content have begun to redefine the music industry in a highly-visible battle between record producers and consumers which has left musicians standing at the sidelines. Given the high cost of production and relatively limited number of theatrically distributed feature films each year, motion picture producers are exposed to much greater risk from digital piracy than other media. At the same time, changing technology has created new opportunities for film producers, filmmakers and audiences to interact. These same trends may grow to subsume the traditional notion of prime-time television entertainment as well.
All the parties involved in filmmaking must reinvent the production and distribution methodology under the pressure from digital piracy, smart phones and personal video players, YouTube, and social networks. This article reviews the technological influences that have transformed the motion picture and television industry. Based on these influences, it recommends approaches to the business and contractual arrangements to allow filmmakers and producers to succeed in the modern, digital environment. In particular, the article outlines new contractual arrangements to allow filmmakers to directly interact with curatorial audience — technologically savvy viewers who collect, blog, share and influence opinion using the modern social-networking tools.
Download the abstract from SSRN here.