It happens to be one of the ticking time bombs threatening the long-term viability of MovieLand:
"I think at the moment it's a strange time to be a filmmaker, because there's a sense of depression in the industry," [director Peter] Jackson said Friday ...
"Studios feel DVDs are down and piracy is up, and the entire industry is being as defensive as they possibly can, which leads to movies not being as exciting as they possibly can be ..."
Excitement won't count for much if motion pictures get downloaded digitally and sold as pirated DVDs. TAG's mother international (the IATSE) has been pounding home the message that directors, actors, writers and below-the-line filmmakers will be screwed, blued and searching for alternate employment if the DVD market goes the way of recorded CDs (which even now are halfway to the dark oblivion of vinyl records. CD sales are down 20% over the last year alone.) IA President Matt Loeb said:
"Pirated DVDs are being sold by the trainload, costing the film industry hundreds of millions of dollars, costing film workers thousands of jobs. It would be a disaster if entertainment conglomerates end up like record companies, suing twelve-year-olds for downloading songs. Studios, unions and guilds have to work together to stop the theft now occurring around the world ..."
A couple of things to keep in mind: broadband is moving to more areas of the country and globe, making feature motion pictures as easy to swipe as music MP3 files. And counterfeit DVDs are easy to churn out and sell. This isn't a problem that's diminishing anytime soon, or going away.
Ultimately the solution regarding purloined films could be to tax the delivery systems -- internet and blank disks -- to collect royalties due to companies and workers. Since we live in a corporatist state, it seems like a simple and natural solution.