Rated "I" for Idiots

I'm not going to say that downloading movies is right or that it should be tolerated. I'm just going to say that some people do it. Others of us have moved beyond that and appreciate our DVD collections. I'm pretty sure that all of you have seen one of the many commercials that the Motion Picture Asssociation of America has put out, ranging from "look who you are hurting" to "we know where you sleep at night." I'm fine with this. That's their right to produce these things, I'll even put up with seeing them before the previews to the movie I'm about to watch at the theater. But I'll be damned if I'm going to have to put up with this crap in my own home! I recently purchased a copy of Spaceballs on DVD. Read that line again. I purchased a copy of the DVD. When I got home, I popped the DVD into the player and sat down, prepared to laugh myself silly. What I got before I could get to the menu screen, was some insipid commercial from the M.P.A.A. trying to use Fisher Price psychology to explain that "downloading movies = stealing movies." I think that this is entirely the wrong place to have these commercials. I bought the DVD. I shouldn't have to even put up with this.

I decided to do a little looking around on the MPAA website when I started writing this article. As it turns out, the MPAA is not the great guardian of cinema everywhere that they purport themselves to be. They aren't looking out for the little guy. It says right in the about section of their website that they describe themselves as:

"...leader and advocate for major producers and distributors of entertainment programming for television, cable, home video and future delivery systems not yet imagined."
Who is on their board of directors?
the Chairmen and Presidents of the seven major producers and distributors of motion picture and television programs in the United States. These members include:

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution;(The Walt Disney Company)
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.;
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.;
Paramount Pictures Corporation;
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;
Universal City Studios LLLP; and
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
These aren't your avaerge independent filmmakers. Even the initial goal of the organization was to "...stem the waves of criticism of American movies..." The MPA is the international arm of the MPAA. According to the same section of the website, their goal is to basically protect American movie interests abroad.
The MPA was formed in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II to reestablish Americanfilms in the world market, and to respond to the rising tide of protectionism resulting in barriers aimed at restricting the importation of American films.
This doesn't really sound like an organization that is interested helping to foster film making in general. Whatever their motivations are, I want them to stop putting the commercials in my DVD's. I bought the movie, now leave me alone!

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:51 PM  


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