IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

As blockchain projects diversify into sales marketplaces for creative works, many find themselves dealing with copyright problems due to uncertainty as to how existing law applies to things like NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). For instance, while purchase of an NFT confers certain rights, copyright isn’t one of them, unless the buyer applies for a standard copyright license. Spice DAO spent $3 million to purchase director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1970s illustrated pitch for an unfilmed version of “Dune,” only to have the “Dune” copyright holder block the ability to turn the storyboards into an animated film. Continue reading IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

Miramax’s Tarantino Lawsuit Forges a Path for Industry NFTs

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital assets stored on the blockchain, hit $10.7 billion in trading volume during the third quarter. It’s a serious pot of money and Hollywood wants a piece. Quentin Tarantino’s efforts to sell NFTs associated with his 1994 feature “Pulp Fiction” and Miramax’s lawsuit to prevent him from doing so without its own financial participation could prove seminal. While studios have undoubtedly begun adding “NFT” to contracts in express terms, the rulings as this first-in-class lawsuit wends its way through the courts will impact NFT rights for all previously made films. Continue reading Miramax’s Tarantino Lawsuit Forges a Path for Industry NFTs

ViacomCBS Reportedly Developing a New Streaming Service

The newly integrated ViacomCBS is combining its assets to fuel a streaming service based on CBS All Access, say sources. Executives are reportedly considering an ad-supported service that will integrate Viacom’s Pluto TV, Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures with CBS All Access. Also on the drawing board is an ad-free version and a premium version including Showtime. No name or price point have been set, although sources stated the basic services will probably be less than $10/month. Continue reading ViacomCBS Reportedly Developing a New Streaming Service

ETC@USC to Host 3-Day Virtual NAB Cloud Conference in LA

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC will host a 3-day Virtual NAB Cloud Conference, featuring more than 35 speakers, panelists and keynotes, on March 2, 3 & 4 at the YouTube Space LA. A very limited number of seats are still available. The conference is an extension of the Media Management in the Cloud track that ETC leads at the NAB Show and provides a forum for a deeper discussion of Media & Entertainment and the Cloud. The entire program will be recorded and videos will be posted on the ETC YouTube channel in advance of NAB to provide a lasting repository of perspectives and experiences in this rapidly evolving sector. Continue reading ETC@USC to Host 3-Day Virtual NAB Cloud Conference in LA

AOL Launching Ad-Supported Streaming Video with Miramax

AOL announced it will launch a free streaming movie service through a new agreement with Miramax that will make Miramax’s library of films available to stream online and on mobile devices. Film selections will be refreshed each month. AOL’s new homepage video portal features clips from Moviefone, Huffpost Live, ESPN, Conde Nast and others. Through the new deal, AOL users will also have the ability to add Miramax titles to their rotation of news and entertainment video. Continue reading AOL Launching Ad-Supported Streaming Video with Miramax

Dolby Vision Used for New “Chicago: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray

Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter forwarded us news that the Best Picture Oscar winner “Chicago” has been remastered in Dolby Vision to create a “Chicago: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray that will go on sale next week. The Blu-ray audio for Rob Marshall’s 2002 film also features a new Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix. Unveiled at CES, Dolby Vision is the company’s tech specification for high luminance, wide color gamut and high dynamic range intended for HD or 4K resolution images. Continue reading Dolby Vision Used for New “Chicago: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray

ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

I recently spent an hour with Richard Raddon, co-founder of ZEFR (formerly MovieClips), a Venice, California company that is “connecting fans and franchises for the good of all.” MovieClips was co-founded by Raddon and Zach James about three years ago. The company developed proprietary technology that allowed them to identify content on YouTube. When MovieClips became ZEFR, it shifted its focus to help studios, sports, TV and music videos collect and monetize postings on YouTube. Continue reading ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

Miramax CEO Believes Hollywood Needs Effective Strategy for UltraViolet

  • According to Miramax CEO Mike Lang, the future of the home entertainment industry and movie production rests in cloud-based digital locker UltraViolet.
  • Warner Home Video and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are among the studios rolling out sellthrough titles this fall, which are capable of being stored on UltraViolet and then played on various compatible devices.
  • “As an industry, we really have to believe it,” Lang said in a Q&A session at MIPCOM in Cannes. “We really don’t have choice. If the home entertainment business as we know today, in terms of the transaction business, goes away, that’s not good for anyone in this room.”
  • “Lang said failure to reinvigorate the sellthrough model could adversely affect studios’ ability to finance movies going forward,” explains The Hollywood Reporter. “Sales of DVD/Blu-ray Disc/electronic sellthrough movies have historically affected whether a title was profitable or not.”
  • Lang suggests the digital transaction model has not always been clear to consumers, especially in terms of compatibility with all the available devices and different ecosystems. He points out that Netflix has been so successful due to its ease of streaming on multiple devices such as Blu-ray players and game consoles.
  • The Miramax exec believes the studios need to partner with tech companies and retailers moving forward to develop a cohesive strategy. “I don’t know how many people use photo sharing software, but that is 90 percent cloud-based,” he said. “Ninety-five percent of the software industry in the world is now through cloud-based transactions. I’m hopeful that the movie business gets there.”

Miramax is the Latest to Offer Facebook Movie Rental App

  • Miramax is following in the footsteps of Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal by making its films available on Facebook.
  • The Miramax eXperience will initially offer 20 titles in the U.S. and 10 each in Great Britain and Turkey (available films include “Good Will Hunting,” “Spy Kids,” “Chicago” and “Cold Mountain”).
  • Movies will be made available for 30 Facebook credits (equivalent to $3) and can be viewed on Facebook, the iPad and Google TV.
  • Miramax hopes to build its reach to 150 million+ Facebook friends in the next 18 months.
  • “The iTunes-like nature of Miramax’s Facebook movie rentals (i.e. per-movie charge, rather than a subscription fee) could prove very effective,” reports Social Times. “A lot of online movie watchers aren’t ready to commit to a subscription service like Netflix or Hulu Plus. Renting a single movie from Facebook may be more their style, and a $3 movie rental sounds like a pretty good deal, if you ask me.”