MovieLabs: Hollywood Builds Lab to Fight File Sharing

By Jon Newton 9/20/05

Six of the seven major Hollywood studios will jointly finance a multimillion-dollar research laboratory to speed the development of new ways to foil movie pirates.

Nonprofit (ahem) Motion Picture Laboratories will begin operation later this year, continues the New York Times. According to Hollywood executives involved in its establishment, MovieLabs will have a budget of more than $30 million for its first two years. The idea arose out of Hollywood's contention that the consumer electronics and information technology industries are not investing heavily or quickly enough in piracy-fighting technology.

Jon Newton
MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) boss Dan "Jedi" Glickman is quoted as saying the new Wonder Organization will focus mainly on piracy prevention, though it will be given some flexibility to expand its mission later.

The idea isn't to research how to make certain types of movies; that's not what we're talking about here," he says. Rather, ways to jam camcorders being used inside movie theaters, or to project movies with flickering images that are invisible to the eye but will appear on unauthorized video recordings, he says, according to the NYT.

The report doesn't say which of the Not-So-Magificent-Seven (Walt Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios and Warner Bros Entertainment) isn;t involved. But presumably, Sony is in and in that case, it'll be able to provide invaluable input because it makes many of the products, easy-to-conceal handy camcorders, the studios are so upset about.

The story says other subjects of interest will include:

In a quote worthy of his predecessor, Jack Valenti, Glickman says consumer-electronics and information technology companies may not see "an immediate commercialization" because "We have different objectives here. That's why the Pentagon set up Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) knowing that the companies wouldn't do it on their own."

Speaking of DARPA, John Poindexter isn't doing much these days. Maybe the studios will be able to snag him to work under Glickman?

Definitely stay tuned.


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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