Most Hollywood Producers Believe Copyrights Can be Protected Online

Posted on August 3, 2000

Almost three out of four film and television producers believe that copyrights can be protected on the Internet despite the major concern about online piracy, according to the Red Herring/Hollywood Reporter Report on Convergence in Hollywood. Copyright protection has emerged as a major issue for the entertainment industry, as demonstrated in court battles against providers of file-sharing technology, including Napster.

The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that piracy costs the industry $250 million annually, and that figure could rise dramatically if file sharing of video content becomes more widespread. Despite the possibility that file sharing could hurt the revenues of film and television producers, 70 percent of producers think that copyrights can be protected online, ensuring they are properly compensated for their creative efforts.

That optimistic opinion is found in a new study conducted by busingg and technology publication, Red Herring magazine, and The Hollywood Reporter, an entertainment industry news magazine. The survey results were presented at Red Herring Events' ``Herring on Hollywood'' industry conference.

The Red Herring/Hollywood Reporter study also found that producers who are involved to some degree in online production (20 percent of respondents) are even more optimistic about copyright protection, with 82 percent of them expressing the opinion that online copyrights can be protected.

``This study demonstrates that Hollywood's creative community is mostly optimistic about the Internet's effect on the entertainment industry,'' said Robert LaFranco, bureau chief of Red Herring magazine. ``They realize that revolutionary Internet technologies not only create great upheaval, but also present new opportunities for their creative efforts.''

``Hollywood's creative elite remain upbeat about the changes the Internet could bring,'' said Robert J. Dowling, editor-in-chief and publisher of The Hollywood Reporter. ``On the subject of copyright protection, while the results show that the creative elite feel copyrights will be protected online, the underlying message was that they simply must be, in order for the industry to further embrace digital media.''

The Red Herring/Hollywood Reporter survey of 70 high-ranking members of the Hollywood creative community found that while the creative community is optimistic about copyright protection, the study also revealed several other major findings: