Originally posted on Variety:
When some 900 authors last week delivered a call to arms against Internet giant Amazon, the subtext of their message went beyond a dispute about rights and numbers. It also signaled a growing discomfort over control of intellectual property in the hands of fewer and fewer people.
I am old enough to remember a time when books were published by publishers and movies were made by studios (that’s all they did) and here’s the dirty little secret: The product was better, and so were the margins.
Today, the corporate giants that own these industries complain that the movie business is too volatile, books and magazines too cyclical, TV series too risky and newspapers too depressed — indeed the whole damn creative community is too demanding and difficult to deal with.
All of which raises this question: What are these multinationals doing in these businesses to begin with? Why should the…
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