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TOPIC: MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA

MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA 05 Nov 2009 00:11 #32719

  • slapintheface
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MPAA BETRAYS THEATERS: Asks FCC To Let Studios Transmit First-Run Films Directly To Consumers
By NIKKI FINKE | Category: Uncategorized | Wednesday November 4, 2009 @ 3:59pm
Once again, Big Media shows that it doesn't want to share its profits with anyone else. Today's action by the MPAA representing the major movie studios undercuts the entire process of theatrical release. It would put the struggling theater chains virtually out of business.

Washington, D.C. – In a filing today with the Federal Communications Commission, the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) reinforced the benefits of allowing studios the option of sending movies fresh from the box office to tens of millions of American households.

“Many of us love movies, but we just can’t make it to the theater as often as we’d like. That is especially true for parents of young children, rural Americans who live far from the multiplex and people with disabilities that keep them close to home,” MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said. “Having the added option to enjoy movies in a more timely fashion at home would be a liberating new choice.”

In its filing, which was in response to letters of opposition filed by the group Public Knowledge, the MPAA said: “grant of the waiver would for the first time allow millions of consumers to view high-value, high-definition theatrical films during an early release window that is not available today. MPAA has explained that release of this high-value content as part of an earlier window, especially with respect to movies released for home viewing close to or even during their initial theatrical run, necessarily requires the highest level of protection possible through use of SOC.”

SOC, or selectable output control technology, would allow televisions with digitally secure interfaces to receive first-run, high-definition content from a cable or satellite provider. Using SOC protects content because it essentially disables non-secure, analog outputs to avoid illegal circumvention and distribution of copyrighted material. These outputs would be disabled ONLY with respect to the proposed new content, and this technology would NOT have any impact whatsoever on the ability of existing devices to receive all of the content that they get today. Consumers will continue to have access to everything they have today, including DVDs, Netflix, etc.

The MPAA filing noted: “By Public Knowledge’s odd reckoning, however, no consumer-oriented technological breakthrough ever could be introduced to American homes unless and until every single American home had access to the same opportunity at the same moment in time. That is a recipe for holding every innovation hostage until the last

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Last Edit: 05 Nov 2009 11:57 by Mike.
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Re:MUST READ ! 05 Nov 2009 01:01 #32720

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Cant wait to see what NATO has to say!
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Re:MUST READ ! 05 Nov 2009 11:15 #32721

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Besides theatrical digital (reducing costs). Now they have or maybe had planned all along. Using the newly developed secure digital technology. To build a new revenue (increasing income) stream.
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Re:MUST READ ! 05 Nov 2009 12:22 #32722

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This issue has been on NATO's radar for almost 2 years, and was first discussed (to my knowledge) at the 2008 NATO General Membership meeting in Austin, Texas. Being a public forum, as well as a highly sensitive issue, I am not going to comment other than to say NATO is well aware of the situation, and has been for some time.

If you are a theatre owner who does not appreciate the importance of belonging to a strong trade association, you might want to reevaluate the value of NATO to your industry.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA 05 Nov 2009 13:54 #32723

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On there radar for 2 years and no action......Let me send my money in asap.
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA 05 Nov 2009 14:22 #32724

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Dear Mr. Slapintheface,

With all due respect, I'm not sure what you mean by "action," but there have been ongoing high-level discussions between NATO and the FCC, and NATO and the studios. Short of assassinating studio executives or bribing government officials, I'm not sure what other type of "action" you might expect. Not being a NATO member or attending their meetings, you would be blissfully unaware of any actions taken, anyway. Without NATO representing our industry, theatre owners would have no meaningful high-level representation on volatile industry issues such as release windows, ADA requirements, ratings compliance, the evolution of digital cinema, and a host of other invaluable contributions to the prosperity of exhibition.

As for the public, this is a highly sensitive issue which could easily be misinterpreted to make theatre owners look like the bad guys for denying the public a new technology and home entertainment option for new movies.

Anyone who does not believe NATO is invaluable to the prosperity of exhibition as an industry has a very narrow-minded view of the business world, and is woefully out of touch.

It must be irresistibly satisfying to discredit an association which does so much for so many in this industry, yet somehow falls short of your unrealistic, impractical expectations.

Rick Cohen
Transit Drive-in
Lockport, NY
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA 05 Nov 2009 14:44 #32725

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slapintheface wrote:
On there radar for 2 years and no action......Let me send my money in asap.

NATO represents all of the top exhibitors in the country, as well as the vast majority of regional and independent theatre owners.

There should probably be a separate trade association for petty, disgruntled theatre owners who feel they don't need to work together as an industry on essential, mutually beneficial issues. Instead of collaborating as professionals to further our similar business interests, this new association will sit back and do nothing; unless you consider constant whining, complaining, and belittling the same as making a contribution. Where can I sign up?

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 06 Nov 2009 01:58 #32727

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I just dont have the energy for you. To busy working.
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 06 Nov 2009 08:31 #32728

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Come on guys take the gloves off and go back to your corners then come back when you have calmed down and hug!
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 06 Nov 2009 13:08 #32729

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I must say that after attending the last CBG meeting at Showeast I am much more impressed at how NATO is looking out for the little guy. Even though I am a member I too have felt that the big chains run NATO and they pay very little attention to the smaller guys. Yes they tackle the big issues that certainly help the little guys which we are not even that aware of.

After this meeting I must say I felt very different. NATO reps many times kept telling us of the negotiations they have almost completed. The topics that were being negotiated would mostly benefit the smaller guys and not the big chains so much. I even stopped them later in the hall to tell them how happy I was with what I heard.
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 07 Nov 2009 08:16 #32736

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NATO as an organization has to walk a fine between satisfying members with all sorts of differing priorities and values, from the little guys (like most of us here) to the big guys (the ones who pay the most in dues, which helps pay the bills.)

NATO needs all exhibitors to work together, by putting their differences aside for the good of the industry as a whole. What's good for the industry at the end of the day will benefit me as well. The big chains need help from the little guys (us) when it comes to lobbying local and regional politicians on sensitive political issues, while the little guys are going to benefit in the long run from the strength and leverage which a larger chain can apply. By working together through a professional business association such as NATO, we are exponentially stronger as an industry.

The bottom line is that we can, and should, all work together on the many important challenges within our industry which are beneficial to exhibitors of any size.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
Last Edit: 07 Nov 2009 08:19 by Transit Drive in. Reason: typos
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 07 Nov 2009 16:51 #32738

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I read the article om NATO and its new set-up in the November Boxoffice TWICE and came away not understanding how NATO represents the small town and rural single screen operator.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 07 Nov 2009 20:02 #32739

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I was extremely disappointed after reading this month's Box Office magazine.

For starters, I think Kendrick Macdowell should take some time to think about what big business will do to people if given free reign to do so. Also, I wish he would do some thinking, and perhaps writing, about issues that affect small businesses not just Regal and Cinemark. NATO is supposed to represent us, too.

Second, I think NATO should leave at least one seat on their advisory board open to a theater operator with less than 10 screens. Then maybe they would actually have realistic representation of exhibition.
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPAA 08 Nov 2009 16:37 #32744

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In this instance, the four big chains (Regal/AMC/Cinemark/Carmike) lets call them RACC; have more than enough clout representing 45% of screens (probably 65% or grosses) to persuade the studios to not put movies on demand at the sametime as theatrically. Magnolia/Mark Cuban anyone?

So I will be glad to sit on the sidelines and let them to the heavy lifting.

My first interaction with NATO was when I was lokking at re-opening a theater with lets say a less than stellar track record. Unfortunately you can not become a member unless you are already in the business. IMHO, a trade association needs to be a source for those who are contemplating getting into the business.

My second interaction was when looking at the CBG. My thought was if there was a way to belong to a group that would save me money, then certainly it would be a no-brainer to belong. But.....they would not provide me with any concrete example of saving money, just feel-good theory.

Now if an issue pops up here in Missouri that needs lobbying of our state elected leaders, I will be there. I have done it before and actually enjoy it.

The single most important thing that NATO/CBG can do is completion of a digital deal that helps the small exhibitors. This is an extremely hard project to accomplish as it would require the studios to "help" us small folks with out much rea$on to do so. But, excuse me if I need to see the actual results before I fall in line. Been burnt too many times before.

If that makes me a disgruntled theater owner than so be it.

dsschoenborn: care to share a couple of examples of how you feel better about NATO's efforts?
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Re:MUST READ ! Direct to home movies: NATO VS. MPA 08 Nov 2009 19:40 #32747

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I have met some of the people who work for Nato over the last few years at the shows. They have all been very nice and i mean that. There is no way these folks could stand up to the studio bosses in any situation.
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