When Taylor Hackford (pictured), the elected leader of the Directors Guild of America, points the video piracy finger at Google, it should be a bigger story than the dribble that came out of Wednesday’s Entertainment Content Protection Summit at the Universal Hilton. Part of the reason for the muted coverage, ironically, is that the event was co-presented by Variety, which threw up several articles about the event behind its new pay wall.
Per this throwaway mention in the LA Times, the media imprint of Hackford’s keynote is virtually non-existent. This despite the fact that Hackford pegged the annual aggregate cost of piracy at $25 billion.
Said Hackford during his speech:
“Google is making money through [its] search engine with these [download] sites. We’ve got to be able to say [to Google], ‘You are facilitating illegal activity’… No business model we create can compete with free.”
Separately, Hackford told Variety reporter Ted Johnson that people within the industry, from directors all the way down to craft service, do not understand “just how serious” the current threat of video piracy is. This week’s media coverage likely did little to change that.