No Surprise: UK Film And TV Execs Insist They Need Gov't Help Or They'll Disappear

from the sigh dept

Pretty much any industry is going to use any opportunity to ask for more help from the government, so it should come as little surprise that film and TV execs in the UK are claiming that they need more help from the government in fighting piracy or they will "fade into insignificance in five years." Of course, if you look back at the history of the entertainment industry, they've basically been claiming this as far back as you can look and there's zero evidence to support this. Yes, it may be true that if they do not adjust their own business models, these laggard companies may disappear, but it hardly means the end of video entertainment production. Others will step into the void, embracing newer and better business models. But, of course, you won't hear that. Instead, the government will rush in to help and protect, and the end result will be that it actually harms the newer more innovative and efficient producers of content in favor of the inefficient legacy companies. It harms overall society, but politicians never seem to take that into account.
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Filed Under: copyright, film, protectionism, tv, uk


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  • identicon
    Ronald Hobbs, 29 Apr 2009 @ 2:33am

    Rather the Govt than DRM

    The main difference with these guys is that they're almost a public fund for film-makers in the UK, so anyone with a film idea can go and ask for money. which, in general, is a good thing.

    You've got to remember that most original production in the UK is mostly non-commercial. e.g. the BBC has no adverts, and is completely publicly funded. The UK film council gets most of its money from the Govt currently too, tickets/dvds cover only a portion, UK films just don't have the boxoffice impact that hollywood movies do the revenues are much smaller.

    I'd rather have more public funding for original content, which can be defined as a public service, than restrictive DRM any day. just divert funds from any one of a dozen other hairbrained schemes (internet tracking, id cards, nhs database, name your pick)

    at the very least their new You make the Movies campaign is starting to recognise that you should not treat your paying customers like criminals. A thank you is always appreciated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2009 @ 6:25am

      Re: Rather the Govt than DRM

      I'd rather have more public funding for original content, which can be defined as a public service, than restrictive DRM any day. just divert funds from any one of a dozen other hairbrained schemes (internet tracking, id cards, nhs database, name your pick)

      Or you could just stop being a tight wad and actually pay for a subscription to your "original" content instead of thinking the rest of the tax paying public should foot your TV viewing habit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Ronald Hobbs, 29 Apr 2009 @ 9:02am

        Re: Re: Rather the Govt than DRM

        Everyone in Brittain with a TV pays for it, or is supposed to... most people don't like it (cos it's forced).

        I agree that letting the consumer vote with their wallets works, but unfortunately it'll probably mean more reality tv or other rubbish, and complete sidelining of small interest groups, minorities, etc.

        Nice thing about public funding is that you get a bunch of people trying to act in "the public's best interest". rather pandering to the masses.

        whether they get it right or not is up for discussion, I reckon they do allright. "Tthe Office" for example probably wouldn't have made it past the pilot on commercial grounds, nor Monty Python.

        just because stuff is popular now doesn't mean it was originally.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SteveD, 29 Apr 2009 @ 3:32am

    "The government's interim Digital Britain report has laid out proposals for improving broadband speeds across the UK, which will make it possible to download entire films in a few minutes."

    By rolling out universal 2Meg broadband? Solid reporting there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Steve (profile), 29 Apr 2009 @ 5:05am

    It's that they can't compete

    The concern is not that there'll be nothing on TV, it's that there'll be nothing BRITISH on TV. There's a big difference there. This is more like farm subsidies in the US.

    I don't really agree with farm subsidies, but I didn't say I agreed with this either.

    The key point is that TV programming has a huge impact on the nature of society - kids get their role models from it, that kind of thing. If the Brits want their kids to grow up British, they need to be watching British television.

    The argument is that they provide an essential service, but can't compete effectively.

    Innit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    chris (profile), 29 Apr 2009 @ 7:03am

    why not just put british TV on other places?

    i watch a lot of british tv (well a lot for an american living in the states anyway) but because it's not on here in the states i end up downloading most of it from the internet.

    the brits make some great TV shows, like "the IT crowd", "being human", and "spaced". there has to be a market for these shows outside of britain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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