Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein recently sat down with Deadline’s Mike Fleming for a lengthy Q&A to talk everything from this year’s Oscar nominated films to campaigning for President Obama.But one of the most interesting points in the conversation the two shared over lunch during the Sundance Film Festival was Weinstein’s belief that the web should pay for borrowed content.
“The thing I’m the most concerned about is how the internet shortchanges writers, directors and producers in our industry,” explained Weinstein. “Their work … gets shown all the time and they never get any money.”
Weinstein argues that “If BMI and ASCAP can monitor the music business, we need a BMI and an ASCAP to monitor these businesses … We need for writers, producers, studios, and journalists to be protected.”
Read Weinstein’s full argument below:
DEADLINE: In this intersection between Hollywood and D.C., is there an issue you hope to press that can help your industry?
WEINSTEIN: There is one. The thing I’m the most concerned about is how the internet shortchanges writers, directors and producers in our industry. Their work–10 minute clips, 15 minute clips, whatever–gets shown all the time and they never get any money.
The Director’s Guild doesn’t get any money, the Writer’s Guild. Journalists don’t benefit when their stories are taken, and given a link. It would be like me launching a newspaper–call it Link—where I can have the greatest journalists in the world working for me without paying them. It’s inconceivable.
If BMI and ASCAP can monitor the music business, we need a BMI and an ASCAP to monitor these businesses. This will be the one legislation for our industry that I’ll press. We need for writers, producers, studios, and journalists to be protected. That is my agenda. What kind of companies are we talking about? No disrespect to my friends who run them, but these are $5 billion dollar companies! I’m not going to feel bad if Apple has to write a check for $1 billion and now they’re a $499 billion company. They need to give it to the writers, not the studios. Just the way they give it to the guy who wrote the song, they need to give it to the producer, the director, the writer.
DEADLINE: You think this is achievable?
WEINSTEIN: I do. I will be tough and I think they’ll fight like hell and they’re influential, but I think we can get there.
To read the rest of the interesting Q&A on Deadline, click here >
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