Pardon the bluntness of that statement but I’m home right now because this pissed me off so much. So my tone is less measured. Have you even contemplated all the things the industry you’re trying to “kill” does?
Make note of something: Hollywood is one of the most unionized workforces in the United States. This isn’t a story of rich studio heads taking advantage of people. Actors, Writers, Stage Hands, Directors, and just about everyone else in Hollywood is in a union of some kind and there’s a reason for that.
Creativity is random and creative people can’t count on steady work. So they need equitable pay to survive.
There’s an organization called Chanel 101 in LA. It’s basically a bunch of creative people showing their work (they put the stuff online if you want to google it). What the great majority of these people have in common is they work in the industry. Not as actors or writers but as stagehands, clerks and other low level positions. They are the people fighting their way up through the system and the system is designed to support them while they do.
The system you’re trying to kill is what keeps those people alive. What puts food on their table so they can keep working towards their dreams. Because they aren’t programmers. They can’t go out and get an $85,000 a year day job that allows them to live comfortably while they tinker on a startup in their spare time.
The studio system, as obnoxious as it is, exists for a reason. It’s an equilibrium that’s developed over decades of creating media. Every few years you’ll see a famous actor form their own studio yet those studios always end up playing by the same rules as the existing studios. Because it’s still roughly the most equitable system available (and if you don’t believe that you should feel free to try and start your own studio)
Yes, the media industry can help to create stupid laws. I don’t deny that. But it isn’t because they’re evil or mean. For the most part it’s because these companies are run by 60 year old men who don’t understand the nuances of technology. But their intentions are good. Their intention is to keep money on the table of all those creative people. To keep paying residuals to actors who might not find work for years at a time. To keep funding movies where there’s no guarantee of profit and keep all those stagehands, clerks, and so on employed.
It is quite frankly unconscionable for a millionaire to lead a bunch of people who can make over $100,000 a year in an effort to kill off the industry that’s paying all the folks who make less than $30,000.
(Let the down votes commence)
The most egregious to me is that you say most of these companies are run by 60 year old men (not that it matters, but are they?) with good intentions (and this matters, do they?). Have you really interviewed a representative sample of them and determined this? I'm more than willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but these are the same people that make sure movies don't actually earn a profit, so profit-sharing clauses of contracts don't kick in, right?
OK, so maybe they do have good intentions, but only for the people that work for them. Regardless of their intentions, they do not have the right to continue trying to abridge the rights of every American.
Also, have you thought that there might be a better system out there, that creates more value, with less waste, and better compensates those involves? Does a better job of finding and rewarding talent? Have you thought that maybe it's impossible to get to that system through gradual changes, maintaining equilibrium? Maybe disruption is needed?
 To me, channel101.com and the Dr Horrible Sing-Along Blog are examples of how we don't need Hollywood as it exists today
Second, plenty of people are wrong every day. That doesn't mean they and their industry deserve to be destroyed. it means you TALK TO THEM. Try to convince them of the error or their ways. That's why Steve Jobs formed a friendship with Rupert Murdoch. Not because they're such kindred spirits.
AND IT WORKED. Look at what Steve Jobs accomplished by NOT trying to destroy the industry.
* "Be civil. Don't say things you wouldn't say in a face to face conversation." (at least I hope you wouldn't call me "Mr 278" to my face. I am not my HN Karma)
* "When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. E.g. "That is an idiotic thing to say; 1 + 1 is 2, not 3" can be shortened to "1 + 1 is 2, not 3."" (You didn't have to bring up my karma at all)
* "Please don't use uppercase for emphasis. If you want to emphasize a word or phrase, put asterisks around it and it will get italicized." (Twice in parent comment)
Not that I agree with everyone posting on 'my side' of this issue, but as we can see here, karma is not a perfect system. Just because I haven't spent as much time commenting here, you think you can simply ignore my arguments, put forward independently of my own credentials. The guidelines exist so that they can be followed, and we can always have meaningful, productive discussions. Not so that certain people can flagrantly break them. But, if you won't listen to other arguments against breaking the guidelines, will you listen to your own? If I may,
> Second, plenty of people are wrong every day. That doesn't mean they need to be called an ass. it means you talk to them civilly. Try to convince them of the error or their ways. That's why Steve Jobs formed a friendship with Rupert Murdoch. Not because they're such kindred spirits.
I kinda wish you had responded to the OT portions of my comment, but I feel like that would have been equally fruitless.
Guidelines are to prevent people who don't contribute valuable ideas (e.g. trolls) from bringing the conversation down.
So, if someone has proven them self not to be a troll, I think they're entitled to lose their temper every once in a while provided they don't cause too much damage
> The vested contributor is someone who believes they are entitled to a degree of indulgence or bending of the rules because of the duration and extent of their past contributions. In some cases, this view may be shared by other community members. The indulgence of vested contributors undermines FairProcess and the WikiNow. It is demoralizing to those who have made less widely recognized contributions, and to recent arrivals. An inside club or "cabal" can arise where there are a number of vested contributors who mutually reinforce.
Second I don't think calling someone out is disrespecting them. Disrespecting them is letting them be an ass and not saying anything. Because calling them out means you care enough about them as a person to care about their behavior and try to get them to correct it
(though for the record I do wish I'd said "you're being an ass" rather than "you're an ass" since he's not an ass in everything)
I thought you were calling on people to cut the chain of hatred a bit further up, but I do recognize that it's easier said than done.
Ironically you did both of those things in this comment.
But for the record I did not, in any way, mean to suggest that natep was lesser in any way. But I do think there's an arrogance to him schooling me on how things work on HN given our relative positions.
My karma rating means I've been around. I've read A LOT of comment threads and I've seen how names that are familiar to me react to things. So I have some idea of the norm and what is and is not acceptable (though in fairness I was so pissed when I made the original post that I didn't really care and I'll admit to that)
In that experience I've seen many people who have been around longer than I have lose their tempers and violate the guidelines in the occasional, rare post. My behavior was in line with that.
(That isn't to say I'm proud of said behavior just for the record)
Your first line to pg: You’re an ass. I would say that's an attack on his character.
You continue: My point is you're acting out of hate. Seems to me like an attack on his motives.
Then, you attack olozano instead of his points: For God's sakes if you're going to use a phrase at least know what it means.
Ad hominem translates to "to the person". You can split hairs over the correct modern usage of the phrase, but your posts are still littered with attacks on people, rather than their arguments.
Calling someone an ass is not itself an ad-hominem argument -- unless he was being literal, as in "pg is a donkey; as we all know, donkeys are dumb, so pg's arguments are dumb".
In this context, the name-calling was a simple insult, and provides more information about the name-caller than the name-callee.
But for the record I did not, in any way, mean to suggest that natep was lesser in any way. But I do think there's an arrogance to him schooling me on how things work on HN given our relative positions.
I think it's pretty clear to everyone reading this thread who's being arrogant.
And also, it's really childish to even bring up karma like that. You were better off citing your 4 years on HN if you needed to validate yourself.
As far as Hollywood killing themselves that's not what he was doing. I quote from his post...
"The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down"
That's calling them names and assigning motive. Not observing their behavior and pointing out what the probably consequences will be.
The attack wasn't on your friends, it was on a personification of Hollywood. And as a whole it indeed is very old and seemingly dying.
It's not me downvoting you by the way.
As for the downvote I have to say when you go into a topic like this where you know most people are going to be against you the downvotes become a point of pride. Whether people want to admit it here or not Karma is of some value (otherwise why would it be there). Being willing to lose something of value to stand up for what you feel is right actually feels kind of good.
Ideas should stand on their own merit and karma, money, or any other arbitrary metric doesn't give you the right to devolve into name-calling when you disagree with someone (but I only have 580+ Karma, so what do I know?).
First, in 2007 the CEO of Warner Bros., among others, called for an end to residuals . Second, studios are notorious for creative accounting which results in people with residuals on "net" profit being paid nothing; for instance, one of the Harry Potter movies grossed $938 million worldwide but "lost" $167 million ,  The latter link cites a court saying the way Hollywood determines pay for authors was "unconscionable" (I wish its citation was to a source that's online). And third, I don't have a reference at hand for this one because I heard this on NPR years ago, but there was a trial where a studio accountant was questioned about the accuracy of movie profit statements, and he said that in his entire career he'd never seen a single movie where the accounting was accurate.
Oh, okay. Well, as long as their intentions are good, then it's fiiiine that they keep trying to ram bills through Congress that would destroy jobs in my industry and severely cripple our ability to innovate. It's just because they're old, now I get it!
Give me a break.
Whether well intentioned or not, they've kicked the hornet's nest one time too many, and I'm sick of it. Whether they're naive, assholes, or savvy players that think they have a real shot at taking us down, their actions are clearly hostile to me, and I consider our industries at war. That brings with it a lot of hatred, yes, because I don't consider my industry safe until they stop fighting their fight. Internet entertainment, after all, is the real threat against the movie industry, not piracy, and I don't believe for one moment they'll ever stop trying to kill it off through legislation.
Those $30k creative types whose jobs we're evilly plotting to destroy can thank their well-meaning executives that charted the current course when and if we succeed. Quite frankly, anyone educated enough to write for Hollywood could provide far more than $30k of value almost anywhere else, so I'm not sure that pointing out how undervalued talent is in the industry was really the best way to get my sympathy...
Someone like pg could just as easily go to media companies and say "what you're doing here is stupid. Allow our startups access to your catalog for a reasonable price and let us try to create startups that will give people what they want and still ensure you make a profit"
I know he could do this because...that's exactly what Steve Jobs did. And now I've cancelled my cable, I buy shows off my TV and I can re-download them to any device I want as many times as I want.
Because Collaboration works, War just destroys
It ended with the economic decline and political collapse of the Soviet Union.
If Hollywood wants to talk during its economic decline, have at it. I don't think anybody was actually suggesting killing it off by bombing it, but rather through economic and market pressure.
That's important. Because the Wealth of Nations was an alternate philosophy. It was a way that everyone's life got better.
You're looking to tear down something without suggesting something else to take its place. In fact if you succeed what you'll have done is to shift more wealth to people who are already wealthy (by societies standards). You will have destroyed a system paying thousands of people $30,000 in favor of a startup that pays hundreds of people $150,000 a year.
But all of that isn't my point. My point is you're acting out of hate. My point is you shouldn't encourage people to create things in order to destroy other things because it's unnecessary. If what you're creating is better the bad thing will go away all on its own. There's no point to add more hate to the world.
I know record executives. I know executives at movie studios. And guess what, they're good guys. Not everyone in that profession is a good guy. But many are and for you to group them all into a "mean people who need to be destroyed" is wrong (and, if I may again say so, ass-like)
That's why he's asking for people to give him ideas to fund.
> There's no point to add more hate to the world.
On that I can agree, but I would note that I believe that pg is acting out of self preservation rather than hate.
> I know record executives. I know executives at movie studios. And guess what, they're good guys.
Well, then they should be running honest businesses that won't be disrupted by some startup trying to give artists a good deal, rather than the raw deals they so frequently get, and they will therefore have nothing to fear.
But see that's the difference between "kill the industry" and "lets beat these guys". Kill the industry empowers people to do other things like pirate media because "this is war". But if people do that then even the honest media execs can't keep their business afloat.
On a larger note the issue is with our society becoming so hateful.
This is a little off topic but in 1918 Manfred Von Rechtoven , also known as the Red Baron, was shot down and killed behind enemy lines. At the time his record stood at around 80 kills (more than anyone else by far). And here (from Wikipedia) is what the Allied forces did...
In common with most Allied air officers, Major Blake, who was responsible for Richthofen's remains, regarded the Red Baron with great respect, and he organised a full military funeral, to be conducted by the personnel of No. 3 Squadron AFC.
Richthofen was buried in the cemetery at the village of Bertangles, near Amiens, on 22 April 1918. Six airmen with the rank of Captain—the same rank as Richthofen—served as pallbearers, and a guard of honour from the squadron's other ranks fired a salute. Allied squadrons stationed nearby presented memorial wreaths, one of which was inscribed with the words, "To Our Gallant and Worthy Foe".
Look at that in comparison with all the hatred and anger around here directed at the record companies and you can see why I find it so disturbing.
As for your earlier point that disrupting Hollywood would mean replacing thousands of people with $30K jobs with hundreds with $150K jobs, that may very well be what happens. But the same argument could be made of any industry that gets infused technology or new ideas. Instead of taking such a reactionary approach and fighting to keep a seemingly dying industry alive just for the sake of the status quo, why not have a more productive discussion and think of real ways that the sometimes corrupt and, more importantly, no longer effective Hollywood model can be improved? Whether or not it comes from a trendy new YC-funded startup, it certainly seems like it's coming.
Personally, I find the idea of technological growth to the point of a "singularity" in the coming decades pretty compelling, and I think one of the biggest challenges we as a society will face is maintaining employment rates as technology continues to make things more and more efficient. Protecting those on the lower rungs in Hollywood and the music industry is certainly an important part of this.
I wonder how much of that is from media influencing society, which in turn influences media, looping it back around. Compare US media where almost all bad guys suffer and die painfully to those of some other countries, where few people are wholly evil and decent people are able to come to an understanding in the end, after fighting out their differences.
Feudalism died because people joined debate societies, talked about enlightenment ideas, fought hard and took over the government to fight the oppressive nature of the monarchy and the Catholic Church. Honorable people started this endeavor and then radicals took it over. But the French Revolution wasn't an easy or pretty process.
You don't have to centrally plan the creative destruction of Hollywood. This is like arguing we can't cut overseas military spending because think of the jobs we will lose.
What would you replace slavery with? What about internal combustion engines? Replacing these things aren't easy, more people will suffer in the short-term. But guess what? People are suffering now, and society as a whole rots because we squander the opportunity to use TV and film to enliven people's minds, instead we just want to empty their pocketbooks by any means possible.
I worked as an executive in Hollywood. The culture and cartel-like nature encourages people to be mean and unethical. It's not about creating art or entertaining people, it's about controlling a market and creating profit regardless of who you destroy.
You are confused by nice people and their charm. Show me a list of GOOD people in Hollywood. Do you even know the history or mechanics of film finance?
Do you think the euphemism "Hollywood accounting" is justified? The entire system is a scam and deserves to be creatively destroyed. And they do need to be destroyed, especially after threatening to cut off funding for Obama just because the White House won't blindly support the predatory and foolish laws the industry puts out.
It's over. The industry's model is dying.
Tom, I'm sorry that this has just become apparent to you, but this has been the very purpose of a startup since the term was coined. Best case scenario for a startup is to spark a totally new niche and find a totally new audience, but this is rare. Most startups just end up replacing brick and mortar businesses of old and eating their paying customer base. This is economics at its finest, and most definitely leads to a poor outcome for the businesses which are cannibalized.
Labeling people as "good" and "bad" is a futile exercise. Capitalism is a mad scramble to extract wealth from everyone else as fast as possible, with whatever means necessary. To do this lawfully, you usually need to provide some value to paying customers. However, many businesses do it by simply convincing customers that they are receiving value, and do very well (e.g. Zynga).
From the tone of your article, it appears you have just understood that this system will lead to severe wealth inequality spanning orders of magnitude. This is again, a perfectly well understood outcome of the system. The societal and moral ramifications have been largely ignored due to the imbalance of power between owners of capital and those without. Thus, to have a say in the game, one must play it, and become very successful (i.e. a billionaire). In the process of becoming a billionaire, you will find that your views on this matter will change very rapidly in tandem with your net worth. Before you know it, you are advocating for less capital gains tax, more free trade and reduced government. You will see those Occupy Wall St. protesters as pathetic hooligans and low lives, who simply lack the motivation and willpower to make something of themselves. You will petition congress to protect your business interests, and pay handsomely to do so. You will support politicians who maintain order and those who crack down fiercely on all forms of business which are in direct competition to your own. If you are a film industry exec, you will lobby very hard (with SOPA and PIPA, perhaps) against new distribution channels such as Megavideo, Piratebay, etc. which give content away without due royalties. You will be apathetic to anyone who does not understand how this world works, particularly those with low or no net worth who have no say in these important decisions.
Welcome to the game of life. There are very few winners, and most people are losers. The only salvation for the losers is ignorance; to understand the game is to hate it. There is only one other way...play, and win.
Ideally, it would make art an industry where more people make $100k instead of $30k.
Seed the scripts and the initial team, and then get other investors to invest a few hundred thousand or a few millions in the movie.
Also think about how to best distribute those movies - maybe a special site that shows all these movies, or a partnership with ThePirateBay to promote the movies.
A news/information site about these new upcoming movies and about the teams - kind of like TechCruch, would help, too.
If someone can think up a better system I'm all for it. There's no shortage of startups creating media for online dissemination. But as of right now none of them manage to support artists like the traditional system.
So I don't disagree with you. If there's a better system then let it take hold and let the current media companies burn. But pg should be encouraging people to build a better system not focusing them on tearing down the current one.
No need to get pissed about it, you should get on the right side of it.
The most effective solution to problems with the media industry has always been the same: Collaboration.
Look at allthestepisodes.com. This is a site that allowed people to watch every Star Trek episode for free and I personally know an actor who lost residuals because of it. But that problem is gone now. Their traffic has been in a freefall (http://siteanalytics.compete.com/allstepisodes.com/)
Because Netflix offers all those episodes now. Neflix, a company that engaged the industry rather than trying to kill it, solved that problem and everyone's happy. No one's killed or arrested or anything of the sort.
First by restricting just how early it could get videos, then by making them pay for streaming on every user, not just those who stream. I understood that to be the whole point of the ill-fated attempt at splitting the company, in fact.
The truth is they aren't trying to kill Netflix they're trying to maximize profit which is what every company does. They are delaying movies to Netflix because they've found people will buy the movies from iTunes during that time period.
If that will kill Netflix it's their job to say "hey, we're a revenue stream for you and we're going to go away if you delay these movies" and then a negotiation will ensue. This is how capitalism works with each company trying to make as much money as they can and companies negotiating with each other to do so.
Having said that I've always believed media should be treated as a monopoly and regulated accordingly. The current law treats media like just any other product where the free market can decide the price. This works with most products because there isn't that much of a difference between one brand of Vanilla Ice Cream and Another. But there is a big difference between different bands and since labels sign bands exclusively they should be regulated like monopolies
I believe there are compulsory licenses for sound recordings. It could be interesting to make all copyrighted works subject to something like that, but I can't imagine the details required to make it workable. Larry Ellison would probably have a heart attack...
It appears as though you let the title of the piece distract you from the content of it.
"Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise."
I have no problem with healthy contributions from startups. I do have a problem with demonizing people especially when I know some of those people are working towards the same goals as technology enthusiasts.
I'm an artist, a musician to be precise. I've done ok for myself without Hollywood. I've known many artists that have been wrecked by Hollywood's promises of wealth and fame, far more than have benefited from it.
Hollywood needs to die and let the next model(s) of the marriage of art and business thrive. I actually envy the younger generation of musicians that have been raised to think of producing and distributing their own work rather than depend on a larger, centralized entity for their livelihoods.
As for them finding new jobs I have no problem with YCombinator funding a startup that tries to distribute content more equitably (or anything like that). But saying "lets kill that industry" implies tearing down something and that has proven disastrous throughout history.
Look at all the countries the western world has invaded only to make things worse. Iran is probably the biggest problem the world faces right now and that regime was born out of the western world installing the Shah (which in turn made the declining extreme religious community into an oppressed minority who eventually retook power)
1: give it a rest, you've made yr point and been voted appropriately.
2: do not compare killing hollywood akin to invading another country. You're pushing the point off on to a tangent that does nothing to serve the conversation.
That said, I'm 100% for 'killing hollywood'. Their arguments are bullshit and their lobbying efforts just go to show how corrupt the system has become. How does the mpaa/riaa/copyright cartels equate to "we the people" at all? These cartels hide behind the shield of "jobs will be lost" when in reality, we all know this is just a line of bullshit and translates into 'we need to maintain our dying industry'.
I agree wholeheartedly with the 'pirates', non-pirates, normal folks, etc, when they say kill the dying beast. The world will not end if Spielberg or Lucas can't make another movie again or Metallica can't put out another cd. These are incumbents who have nothing to contribute to society anymore and are living off their legacy.
These industries cripple innovative progress for the common good of all people. They are beyond corrupt in their tactics, government inflict, and like Marco says, they really do hate us. The system has been unfairly been tipped to their favor by money. Because of this, and as an artist myself, I have no problem with people downloading and distributing whatever they want. I'd much rather have an Internet that still works and a thriving society than a society in the iron grip of a few select groups and milked for every cent they have.
Besides taking action like we've done against sopa, we also need to remember to vote with our wallets when needed.
Please, kill hollywood and the music industries as they exist now.
The motivation for an attack is irrelevant. Threats are things that need to be planned for appropriately in a business plan. Pretending the entertainment industry is not as ridiculously overpowered relative to the revenue it generates only works with the hyperbole you have injected. Well done, but I am not falling for it.
I doubt your friends are as naive as you. So if it is any solace, you should find great comfort in the fact that the industry is sophisticated enough to survive for a few more paltry tablescraps for the next 20 years or so.
Why don't they get some currently useful job instead of wasting society's resources? Even giving them all unemployment benefits might be cheaper than keeping up costly dying industry.
I have no problem with YCombinator funding entertainment startups. More power to them. But you can do that without spreading hatred.
Also embedded in pg's rhetoric is the social malignancy that is coming out of the dying Hollywood. That's why it should be priorities to be "killed".
And when we say "kill", we mean make more efficient. À la Schumpeter. The rent-seeking middle men will be eliminated; theoretically, the creatives will have more take on their contributions.
It's not okay to set off on an industry on a level playing field. But the MPAA and RIAA with SOPA/PIPA created a toxic playing field. I will still play by the rules. But in creating something that does their job better and thus destroying them, I will know I have helped society one more turn.
Technology drastically lowers the cost of making movies. Instead making a movie for tens of millions of dollars now they let it be made by some else for less than million of dollars 10 years later.
Big budgets also cause lack of creativity in Hollywood. If tens of millions of dollars are at stake you try to minimize the risk. So you have to pick least risky script, least risky cast and so on and so on.
That they even have to work their way up the system in low level jobs is perverted.
To quote Public Enemy, burn Hollywood burn!
If production and distribution was disrupted then there is some reasonable possibility that more money would end up in the hands of the creative people instead of the middlemen.