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View Full Version : George Lucas at Comdex, "Stop Ripping Us Off!"



SirSteve
11-19-2002, 08:10 PM
Filmmaker George Lucas speaks as a guest during a keynote address by Peter Chernin, president and Chief Operating Officer of the News Corporation Fox Group at Comdex Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2002 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Lucas and Chernin asked for cooperation between media and technology companies to end piracy.

"Stop ripping us off" was the impassioned plea from News Corp. President Peter Chernin and "Star Wars" creator George Lucas at a Tuesday COMDEX Fall keynote presentation. "I am here to suggest that technology and media companies form a partnership so we can combat the rash of stealing that threatens us both," implored Chernin. "We have nothing more urgently in common than the escalating theft of our products."

Read the full article HERE (http://www.figures.com/databases/action.cgi?setup_file=ssnews2.setup&category=starwars&topic=13&show_article=2778).

QLD
11-19-2002, 08:17 PM
Maybe if he stopped ripping us off with the lousy excuse for prequels!

;)

Or if they stopped ripping us off with high prices to pay for their YoDA Man commercials.....

;)

vulcantouch
11-19-2002, 08:47 PM
unless you count the occassional mixtape i make for a fellow forumm (http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=11211)er, i spose i'm no pirate. even so, this issue, like george will's crusade against the "injustice" of the inheritance tax, hardly strikes me as the most pressing outrage to get one's drawers in a bunch over :p

"films, like 'Star Wars' or 'The Lord of the Rings' simply will not be made"
-wishful thinking (in the case of LOTR i'd shed few tears ;) ); if anything it often seems that flix like those are the Only kinds being made these days. they're also the only kinds whose stratospheric profits would be impacted by piracy anyway, cuz after all how many people would ever pirate a copy of Some Prefer Cake (http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=2216&pagenumber=1)? (ok, Besides me :p )
emperor jorge disingenuously wraps himself and this issue in the cloak of "creativity" as if his work was on a par with godard, almodovar or rose troche, when actually his flix are first & foremost moving catalogs for the cool toy designs we all hope to find in stores a few months from now :crazed:
vt

Wolfwood319
11-19-2002, 08:48 PM
Seriously, QLD is right, the coin falls both ways. Plus too, they create the technology, "we" just exploit it.

BTW, awesome avatar QLD!!! CT rules!!!

QLD
11-19-2002, 09:22 PM
Thanks Wolfwood :)

Jargo
11-20-2002, 06:12 AM
No matter what they come up with someone will find a way to get inside and open the door. Take the simple javascript code for stopping folk downloading pictures from a website. pointless since they end up in your temporary internet cache, just open the folder as soon as you download and save it to disk elsewhere. Infact Microsoft with internet explotrer 6 gave us a way to bypass the command. If you right click on an image and get a message telling you that you can't save the image then just go to file and click save as. Either it'll save the image or the webpage complete. Either way you get the image they didn't want you to have. There's ways round everything though. Browsing through software CD ROM's it's easy to just waltz in and gather up all the images you want. The software supported by Microsoft that allows you to take screen captures of copyrighted DVD's that mean you can publish images that aren't yours. Perhaps they should have thought about piracy when the twin VCR was produced that allowed you to tape from one to the other. Npow there's recordable DVD's on the domestic market so there's no change. If Lucas wants to get antsy then he should be taking it up with companies like SONY who produce the technologies for the domestic market that allow for piracy. Oh, but hang on - isn't Lucas in cahoots with SONY because of his super flipflopflyin' digital cameras?

Deoxyribonucleic
11-20-2002, 11:25 AM
And didn't DVD sales Sky Rocket for AOTC on the day it became available, even though thousands of people downloaded it off the internet before the dvd was available?!

If he wants to be so technologically advanced to make his movies, he's got to accept that others can use that technology too! There's a good side and a bad side to just about everything and we just have to live with it.

scruffziller
11-20-2002, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by Quite-Long Dong


Or if they stopped ripping us off with high prices to pay for their YoDA Man commercials.....

;)

That I can see.


Originally posted by Quite-Long Dong
Maybe if he stopped ripping us off with the lousy excuse for prequels!



soooooooooooo....................................
If that it is a condition, where is the motive for either buying or stealing it?:confused: :rolleyes:

SirSteve
11-20-2002, 02:48 PM
Here is another press-release:

Peter Chernin appealed to the hearts and wallets of technology professionals Tuesday in an effort to combat piracy.


And just to make sure he got their attention, the president and chief operating officer of News Corp. and chairman and CEO of Fox Group brought out George Lucas (news) to help bridge what Chernin said was a communication gap between their industry and the one they were addressing.


Chernin also used other filmmakers to bolster his point. He paused during his speech at the Comdex (news - web sites) technology conference to show a short film that included contributions from Steven Spielberg (news), Peter Jackson (news), Baz Luhrmann (news), M. Night Shyamalan (news), Ridley Scott (news), Forest Whitaker (news), Peter Farrelly (news), Chris Wedge and DGA president Martha Coolidge. All of them spoke about the importance of movies as an art form and as an inimitable method of communication. They were accompanied by clips from the internationally successful films for which they're known.


From the very beginning, Chernin acknowledged the conflicts being played out on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. "To stand up and represent the media industry before the biggest technology crowd in the world, while it's certainly a great honor, is also the kind of death-defying stunt that's featured in 'Jackass: The Movie,' " he said.


Yet they had a great deal of concerns in common, Chernin said, not least of which was escalating theft. Software piracy is responsible for annual global revenue losses of more than $4 billion, he said, and "the unauthorized downloading and illegal redistribution of copyrighted content has become a looting epidemic."


Even so, Chernin chided certain elements of the audience for their role in enabling piracy. "If hundreds of thousands of dresses were stolen from a Wal-Mart, the police would mount a task force that would make Winona Ryder (news) quake in her boots," Chernin said, whereas digital content theft is not only permitted, "it has been systematically encouraged by a generous supply of Internet services, products and tools."


He cited what he called serious misconceptions that need to be eradicated before progress against piracy can be made. One is the dinosaur theory: that media companies are fundamentally anti-technology through ignorance and fear. The truth is the opposite, Chernin said, and, in fact, these companies have always played a crucial role in the birth and success of new technologies.


Chernin similarly dismissed what he called the "big bully theory" -- that content owners are "seeking to scale back the fundamental freedoms of digital technology" and therefore must be defied.


He categorically denied that was the case, and instead voiced his commitment to time shifting, space shifting and transferring content between devices. "We have zero objection to anyone's ability to duplicate, to record, to play back and to save any copyable content whatsoever," Chernin said. "We're not against fair use; we're against the unfair practices of digital pirates."


The final misconception he addressed was the one he called "the theory of screw the suits" -- that piracy hurts only rich executives who care more about money than art.

People in the short Chernin showed rebuffed this idea. A makeup artist, a wardrobe coordinator, an animal trainer and other below-the-line employees explained that their jobs are at stake. Additionally, directors and producers warned that good movies would never get made if piracy endangered their ability to attract the necessary financial commitment.

Speaking in person, Lucas emphasized that piracy means less investment and less financial and artistic risk taking.

Lucas said the danger wasn't to the executives or the corporations. "Suits are like cockroaches, they're going to survive anything," he said. Instead, the real danger is that only "safe" movies will get made -- "the network television movies" -- to the detriment of event movies like his "Star Wars" titles and small independent art films.

Taking back the podium, Chernin began his appeal to the audience's wallets. "Turning rampant piracy into rewarding businesses may sound daunting, but it's been done before," he said.

The cable and satellite television industry and the DVD industry were almost decimated by piracy in their early years, he said, the former by signal theft and the latter by the reluctance of studios to license their content without protection.

Chernin listed several business sectors that stood to benefit from a partnership between media and technology, including broadband technology, the home networking industry and digital rights management.

"The power of content to fuel the uptake of digital services has been proven, for example, by Napster (news - web sites), which two years ago was responsible for an estimated 80% of all broadband traffic," he said.

People weren't going to spend money on new technologies just to get faster e-mail, he continued, and many technology sectors stood to benefit.

"All kinds of next-generation digital business will succeed or fail on the quality of their secure content or as a result of their lack thereof," Chernin said. "I propose we work together, starting now, to make them succeed."

He mentioned RealNetworks, particularly its SuperPass product, and Microsoft's Windows XP (news - web sites) Media Center Edition as examples of positive developments.

"Now is the time to forge a dynamic and durable partnership" between media and technology, Chernin concluded. "We will look back at the end of 2002 and call it the starting line for some of our most successful businesses, innovations and ideas, or we will look back with the cynicism born of missed opportunities, and call it our peak."

JON9000
11-20-2002, 06:41 PM
I see no need for technological innovation to be stymied just because the studios want to get paid. The MPAA has long crusaded against innovation. First the TV was going to kill the motion picture industry, then the VCR. The RIAA can kiss it too.

There must be a way to fight piracy without begging software and hardware makers to put all sorts of stupid anti-piracy features on their products which CONSUMERS ultimately pay for. Perhaps the MPAA could flood tradeing services with bogus files? I would pretty much give up trading if the downloads turned out to be lame.

"Now is the time to forge a dynamic and durable partnership" between media and technology.

Great, the two biggest industries in the world uniting to completely control the flow of information.

What these idiots don't understand is that people LIKE TO SEE MOVIES at the theater!!! The sound, the huge screen, the opportunity to do something with friends, the ubiquitous date option... I could have downloaded AOTC if I wanted to, but why? I wanted to see it in the theater (and I did, 5 times).

ugh, I'm ranting. Time to shut up.

JediTricks
11-20-2002, 08:55 PM
I find it a little more than ironic that part of the speech was about saving the jobs of those "little people" who help make these movies when George Lucas has consistantly from day 1 of Star Wars worked his hardest to keep his films' jobs out of the US and thus out of union hands.

Seems like NewsCorp/Fox and Lucas want to control everything, because the alternative would mean that they'd go from being multi-billionaires to only regular billionaires and who wants to run with that crowd?

Movies seem to be the only artistic medium where the artists can get truly paid up front. The studios jack up prices and pay stars more and more to entice them to projects, then pass those higher costs to the consumer and complain that theater revenues are down. Seems like in a year where Spider-Man made $400 million and Star Wars made $300 million in theatrical takes and tons more in home market sales, the piracy issue isn't something Fox or Sony or any higher-up suit in the movie biz should claim is really hurting them in that department.

stillakid
11-20-2002, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
I find it a little more than ironic that part of the speech was about saving the jobs of those "little people" who help make these movies when George Lucas has consistantly from day 1 of Star Wars worked his hardest to keep his films' jobs out of the US and thus out of union hands.



Thank you for mentioning that. As one of those "little people" it's not only "ironic," but verges on life-threatening for a lot of industry professionals when the millionaires and billionaires who control the product, feel the need to blame their loss of "profit" on the workers "high wages" and the consumers as well. Pitty party for them. :cry: The fact is, there is more than enough money to go around, especially in this business. So when they start whining that they're losing "millions," what they're really crying about is that fifth Ferrari that they won't be able to buy this year. Even with piracy (which ultimately is wrong) and the "high" :rolleyes: wages of film unions, the big-wigs of entertainment are still making amounts of money that borders on criminal. Don't let them fool you. Even if they stopped piracy and rescued those huge loses, it would only mean more for them to horde.

Exhaust Port
11-21-2002, 10:15 AM
I think the sat. that I saw recently was that CEO paychecks rose 400% with the average worker gaining 10-20% up til our recent economic slowdown. I've never been a big union person but that's slowly changing as we're seeing more and more work groups taking the hit to save sinking companies. I wish we didn't need unions but thanks to greedy CEO's and management types they must exist.

Deoxyribonucleic
11-21-2002, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Exhaust Port
I've never been a big union person but that's slowly changing as we're seeing more and more work groups taking the hit to save sinking companies.

case in point:

major airline companies who STILL haven't upgraded their safety measures to regulation!:mad: :frus:

Darth Cruel
11-21-2002, 10:29 PM
I am of the mind that this subject doesn't even rate a response.

That being said...I can't stop myself.


Who in the hell was it that decided that people who write a song or act in a movie deserved more money than the guy who sweats and bleeds to build our society.

Who in the hell was it that decided that these people deserve to continue to get paid just because the creativity continues to be used. Power plants continue to be used for decades but the people responsible for building them only get paid once. And those power plants contribute one hell of a lot more to our society than a Britney spears song EVER will. Maybe these money sucking @&^$#)*^% should be made to pay the people who built their house forever. Maybe they should be made to pay extra so that the guys who build the power plants get royalties forever. Those guys certainly deserve it more!

It eats at me that entertainers feel they deserve the unbelievable amount of money that they do for a service that the world would easily get along without if it ceased to exist tomorrow!

stillakid
11-22-2002, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by Darth Cruel
I am of the mind that this subject doesn't even rate a response.

That being said...I can't stop myself.


Who in the hell was it that decided that people who write a song or act in a movie deserved more money than the guy who sweats and bleeds to build our society.

Who in the hell was it that decided that these people deserve to continue to get paid just because the creativity continues to be used. Power plants continue to be used for decades but the people responsible for building them only get paid once. And those power plants contribute one hell of a lot more to our society than a Britney spears song EVER will. Maybe these money sucking @&^$#)*^% should be made to pay the people who built their house forever. Maybe they should be made to pay extra so that the guys who build the power plants get royalties forever. Those guys certainly deserve it more!

It eats at me that entertainers feel they deserve the unbelievable amount of money that they do for a service that the world would easily get along without if it ceased to exist tomorrow!

Well, nobody sat down and decided that. The Market decides that. Say, for example, that you want to sell something, say, a new candybar that you invented yesterday. Now it tastes great and all, but people won't know that until they buy it. This is where marketing comes in. You have the choice to use your next door neighbor, the girl who is attractive, but unknown to anyone outside your small town. Or you could use Julia Roberts. Now, if the general consumer was smart, testimony from either of them shouldn't make a difference, but it does. People "trust" celebrities for some reason more than your average Joe Six Pack. Because of that, celebrities know that you need what they provide to sell your product. Without them, your chocolate bars will melt in the warehouse. With them, you'll make a gazillion bucks. For that, they can ask for a ton of money and you will be willing to pay it in exchange for the near guarantee that you'll clear out your warehouse.

That's why most films that get made have to have a name actor attached in order to have a budget over $3 million dollars.

That's why sports stars get paid so much. Shaq is so good that he has become a brand name and attracts more consumers to attend the games and watch them on TV.

So, if anybody decided anything, it was us. And it will continue to be this way as long as we continue to pay for goods that utilize their services.

Exhaust Port
11-22-2002, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by Deoxyribonucleic


case in point:

major airline companies who STILL haven't upgraded their safety measures to regulation!:mad: :frus:

Just curious, which/what safety measure.

Deoxyribonucleic
11-23-2002, 11:38 PM
I know they had problems with background checks on ALL employees and getting rid of those that don't qualify, there's several new "restrictions" out on the tarmac and luggage checks that some major airlines have been lax about and honestly I can't remember them all but they had a whole news show dedicated to regulations that aren't being followed up on/issued by some of the major airlines, including American. They did that whole hidden camera thing and one of the people got on with some kind of weapon. Sorry I can't remember specifics but this show was an hour long and there was SO much that the airlines have not implemented since 9-11...I was pretty ticked off about it!

I wasn't just throwing out the comment before...there was a reason for it, I just don't remember specifics of all of it...sorry :)

However, I/we can't believe everything we see/hear/read so who really knows except the airline companies themselves????

Exhaust Port
11-24-2002, 09:33 AM
I was just curious DNA.

Yeah, the security really did suck but I have to admit that I'm impressed with the new Federal TSA agents running the screening. It's not a fool prove system but that's more the fault of the technology than the people running it. I can't believe that with all the problems the industry has had over the decades we're still using the same 30 year old technology to stop the threats. I know right after 9/11 some company came and showed a machine that took a body scan that easily showed where objects were hidden and what they looked like. Then all these stupid people who are more afraid of having a naked outline of themselves passing over a computer screen than insuring a safe flight cry saying it's invading their privacy. Well I'm sorry, if it stops 9/11 from ever happening again than we should use it and those nay sayers should grow a thicker skin.

The biggest problem is that many employees who don't have to be screened have access to the aircraft (cleaners, caterers). Not that I wouldn't trust the mechanics but a cleaner for example has invested no formal training (college or trade school) to get there. They have a high school education and the day after their background check clears they've got access to the aircraft. Stupid system.

After investing in 5 years of college, $80,000 in training, a 10-year Federal background check, and being fingerprinted that pilots still have to be thrown through the screening system. Name one US carrier that was hijacked by the flight crew? Not only that but after the TSA folks make sure we don't have tweezers with us we walk onto a flight deck that has a 2 foot axe stored in it. I dream of the day when we can bypass that crap.

derek
11-24-2002, 09:10 PM
Who in the hell was it that decided that people who write a song or act in a movie deserved more money than the guy who sweats and bleeds to build our society

along with what stillakid said, people who command high salaries, like actors or sports stars, provide a product that not just anyone can offer. michael jordan, or britney spears, for example, have abilities that the normal person does not have, and can charge a higher price for their skills.

sure, a day laborer may actually work harder than these two people, but almost anyone can perform unskilled labor, or learn a skill, but so can many others, therefore the "market" does not pay as much as someone who sells millions of tickets or CD's.:)

jedihunter25
11-24-2002, 11:39 PM
SHOOT, I wish I knew that Lucas was coming to Comdex- I turned down working at Comdex (too busy and crazy) and stayed at my house gig at Mandalay Bay. I would have finally gotten my ESB poster signed!!!!