Rush of New Online Content Worldwide

by Howard Gantman 05/24/2013 09:35 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Last week, we launched a new website, www.wheretowatch.org to help guide consumers to the vast array of movies and TV shows that they can easily and legally access online today. We also sought to draw attention to the tremendous growth in the availability of this online content and the wide range of sites that are out there.

Viewers will easily recognize some of the major services like iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But were you aware of all the other services?  Services like search sites where you can put in the name of a movie or TV show and find exactly where it is available for viewing, rental or purchase online legally? Check out Matcha or Flixster or one of the other search sites to give it a try. Or services like direct content access sites being offered by the major motion picture studios? Check out Disney Video, Paramount Movies, TheWB.Com, Fox.Com, NBC Video, and Sony Entertainment Network/Unlimited Video. Or sites that specialize in independent and hard-to-find films?  Give Fandor a whirl, where their self-described “fanatical curators” have organized their library to make it easy to discover a movie you’ll love, be it a dysfunctional family comedy or an international film from Sudan (or over 80 other countries). As Fandor says: “you just might find a Japanese zombie sci-fi musical, even if you didn't know you were looking for one.”

These are a sampling of only a few of the options available.  Nearly seventy of these services are available in the U.S.and listed on www.wheretowatch.org. Not only are the number of sites growing rapidly in the United States, but the growth is happening worldwide spurred on by a significant expansion by multi-territorial services during the first quarter of 2013, including HBO Go, iTunes, and Google Play. Altogether, our researchers have found over 360 unique online services around the world offering legitimate full-length films and TV shows to consumers, including more than 50 multi-country services like iTunes and Netflix.

Click here for a list of some of the more interesting new developments worldwide in the first quarter of this year. We plan to highlight new developments like these on an ongoing basis.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Makes the Case for IP Rights

by MPAA 05/21/2013 14:41 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

In an article posted this week on Free Enterprise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue highlights the often-overlooked “positive side” of the intellectual property rights debate and the economic benefits of enforcing IP rules.

Donohue writes, in part:

There are millions of good actors who contribute to America’s economic strength and competitiveness when they abide by IP rules   as they invent and innovate – or when they fight to protect IP through enforcement.

The good guys can be found all across the country in startups, studios, and labs, where they are turning their ideas into real products and services.  Honest and law-abiding innovators are helping raise our quality of life, improve choices and safety for consumers, enrich our culture, drive our economy, and create opportunity for others.

Donohue goes on to note that IP-based industries such as the beloved film, TV and music trades account for $5.8 trillion in gross domestic product and nearly 56 million jobs in the U.S.  The motion picture and TV industry alone supports 2.1 million jobs across the country including 91,000 in New York, 8,600 in Louisiana, and 191,000 in California. 

But proper enforcement of IP rules, Donohue argues, is critical to giving artists and inventors the assurance they need to continue creating.  “Without a strong system of IP rights, such assurance is threatened – along with economic growth and job creation,” he writes.

We couldn’t agree more.  If we expect the nation’s talented and diverse crop of innovators to continue making movies, writing songs or inventing the next piece of technology that changes the way we live, we have to encourage policies that allow these innovators to benefit off their work so they can invest in making more of it.  

MPAA and Capitol File Welcome Kevin Spacey

by TJ Ducklo 05/13/2013 09:24 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Fresh off of his now viral cameo appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, two-time Academy Award®-winning actor Kevin Spacey was back in Washington and at the MPAA last week for a special evening honoring his career and philanthropic work. Together with Capitol File magazine, who featured Spacey on their most recent Power Issue, the MPAA played host to the real life Verbal Kint, Lester Burnham, Jack Vincennes, and of course, Congressman Frank Underwood for a lively discussion moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer were also in attendance.
 
Spacey’s illustrious film career includes winning the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for The Usual Suspects and Best Actor for American Beauty, as well memorable performances in Casino Jack, Swimming with Sharks, Se7en, LA Confidential, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Negotiator, The Shipping News, Superman Returns, Beyond the Sea, 21, Horrible Bosses, and Margin Call. For the past decade, Spacey has been the Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company in London, overseeing all productions on the main stage and appearing in many as well. And most recently, he served as executive producer and star of the Netflix political drama House of Cards, playing the smooth-talking, ethically challenged House Majority Whip Frank Underwood.
 
MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd opened up the evening, drawing an interesting comparison between his and the guest of honor’s professional origins:

“My political career had a fairly typical beginning. I graduated college, joined the Peace Corps, served in the army, practiced law for a while, and then was elected to the House of Representatives. Kevin, on the other hand, started off as a subway thief at age 27 in Heartburn, in his thirties became the most feared criminal mind in the world in The Usual Suspects, then in his forties sat on death row in The Life of David Gale, and now he is serving as the House Majority Whip from South Carolina.”
 
Capitol File President and Editor-in-Chief Sarah Schaffer, the event’s co-host, commented that “our readers are just obsessed with House of Cards," a major reason the publication featured Spacey on their most recent cover. She added she believes the show’s popularity is “a testament to Kevin’s keen ability to pull back the curtain and expose a character’s true humanity.”
 
Spacey and Matthews discussed a variety of topics, from how he reads a script to the evolution of television as a storytelling medium to his passion for theater and the importance of arts to our youth. For this Washington DC audience, however, his latest work in House of Cards dominated the conversation: “Politics is always ripe for drama,” said Spacey.
 
Spacey also spoke on one of the most unique aspects of his new show, his character routinely breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly into the camera: “I first did it during a play, and I remember the glee, the naughtiness of it. It’s such an interesting area to be with an audience, to see what they are willing to accept.” 
 
Finally, in a time when audiences have more ways to watch their favorite movies and TV shows than ever before, Spacey offered his own take on House of Cards as the first original series to use Netflix as a delivery mechanism: “Give the people what they want, when they want it, at a reasonable price, and they'll watch it, and they won't steal it.”

From Left to Right: Sarah Schaffer, Senator Chris Dodd, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer asks a question to Kevin Spacey

Photo Credit: Alfredo Flores

Mighty Times: The Children's March

by Melanie Gilarsky 05/02/2013 13:51 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Fifty years ago today was the first of the four days of what is now known as the “Children’s Crusade” when hundreds of students in Birmingham, Alabama took the streets to challenge the prevailing segregation laws. Last night the MPAA and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) co-hosted a panel discussion and screening of the Academy Award®-winning documentary short Mighty Times: The Children’s March about this pivotal event of the Civil Rights movement. The Children’s March is a joint production of the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program and HBO. Special guests included Julian Bond (Former Board Chair of the NAACP and SPLC’s first President), Richard Cohen (current SPLC President), Rev. Gwendolyn C. Webb (Founder, Foot Soldiers International), Ebony Howard (SPLC Attorney), and Lecia Brooks (SPLC Outreach Director).

MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd shared with the audience that the MPAA theater exists “not only to screen movies; we use this room and this building to educate, and to motivate, and to stimulate.” Through this documentary and the panel discussion that followed, the MPAA and the SPLC transported the audience back to a time of extreme uncertainty, upheaval, and violence in America; a time when heroic school children braved fire hoses, police dogs, and repeated arrested for their equality.

The SPLC has sent this award-winning documentary and corresponding teaching materials to over 100,000 schools across the country through its Teaching Tolerance program – free of charge - showing once again the power of film to educate and to inspire. Richard Cohen, with his Oscar® in hand explained, “There is something else that we receive in connection with this film every day, and that is envelopes with letters and cards from teachers all over the country, talking about how the film is making a difference in their classrooms." A teacher is North Carolina wrote, “The film opened the eyes of their students to how much power they really had.”

 

From Left to Right: Lecia Brooks, Julian Bond, Rev. Gwendolyn C. Webb, and Ebony Howard

 

Photo Credit: Jon Black


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