Today, the Obama Administration recommended making “illegal” streaming of content a felony in the US.
I’m sure that many of my colleagues in the Producers Guild of America applaud this step.
I see it as a huge missed opportunity, and one that will only hasten our demise as a creative industry.
To my fellow producers; don’t you fight with your studio and network execs every single day about costs? Don’t they ask why you can’t do it for less? After all, there’s this kid on YouTube who did this *amazing* thing for no money…
Every day, our distributors ask us to do more, for less money. And it’s not because piracy is destroying our business; it’s because there’s MORE COMPETITION in the content marketplace. Vastly more.
And the more audience we drive away from our product via these campaigns of criminalizing our underserved audience; the more we drive distributors and networks to either acquire content that was produced by that YouTube kid, for a lot less money than funding your project; or they go out of business. Or sell off a channel to someone else (OWN, anyone?).
Instead of finding new ways to band together, and create new business models; ones that include production financing, we’re shooting ourselves in the other foot. We’re going to go from a hobble, to sitting in a wheelchair.
Instead of finding ways to support those young producers coming up who CAN do a lot of things better, faster and cheaper than we can; we shut them out by saying “here’s what we believe about our Intellectual Property, it’s WORTH MORE than yours is,” and you know what? When a Charlie Sheen auto-tune music video gets 10m views in a week and half; we’re wrong.