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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Sandoval’

Tech Writer Corroborates Bleak Hollywood View

At the end of her chilling New York Times Op Ed, author and screenwriter Hilary De Vries wrote that she would be thinking of her departed residential neighbors while watching the Oscars Sunday night. In the piece, she recounted how a female writer-director and a pair of soap opera actors on her block have recently been separately foreclosed on by the Great Recession.

In response to De Vries, CNET media and entertainment columnist Greg Sandoval cautions that Hollywood’s DVD cash cow has been permanently put out to pasture. He also reminds that there is now a firmly entrenched public view about the digital media space, reflected by the recent defeats of the PIPA and SOPA bills:

I’m not trying to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. I grew up in Los Angeles. I have family and friends who make their living in the film sector. I’ve also covered tech for more than a decade, and what’s happening to the film industry now is something I’ve seen happen to media before.

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Hollywood Studios Monitor Megaupload.com Legal Battle

If the ongoing issue of video piracy was recast as a Bond film, say under the title Download Another Day, the perfect guy to play the villain would be obese German bad guy Kim Schmitz (pictured). He flaunts the power of his family of “Mega” storage websites, legally changes his name to Kim Dotcom (seriously), and cavorts in YouTube videos with bikinied babes.

In lieu of this, we must make do with adult website Perfect10.com. Per CNET media reporter Greg Sandoval, the company has filed a California copyright infringement complaint against Megaupload.com and quickly obtained a small prize:

Some in Hollywood have said in off-the-record conversations that they were surprised Megaupload responded to the complaint. Why? Mystery, it seems, was its best defense. Megaupload was believed to be based in Hong Kong and rumored to operate servers in obscure corners of the world. The company ignored past requests to remove pirated material from its service and seemed satisfied to thumb its nose at copyright laws as it operated in the shadows. Even Schmitz’ role at Megaupload, despite his personal flamboyance, was unclear.

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Digital Media Expert: ‘Netflix Deliberately Creating Customer Dissatisfaction’

CNET media columnist Greg Sandoval has a thought-provoking review of different theories being floated in the aftermath of Netflix’s highly contentious monthly subscription price hike.

Blogger Adam Knight points to a recent pull-back of Sony content from the service after online-view thresholds were breached. He says all those Netflix DVD renters who never make use of the streaming aspect of their membership are artificially inflating key measurement triggers, and need to be removed. But the best theory in Sandoval’s article comes from Big Champagne CEO Eric Garland:

Garland is convinced Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is trying to pressure the studios into licensing more streaming content… Forcing streaming fans to pay more will only ratchet up dissatisfaction while raising demand for better streaming content…

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CNET Columnist Ponders Hulu Headlines Stream

In the wake of rapid-fire news reports suggesting that Yahoo! is interested in buying streaming hub Hulu.com and that the TV show website has hired investment banks to broker a sale, CNET media columnist Greg Sandoval (pictured) asks the rhetorical question – “Is Hulu News Being Leaked to Jack Up the Sale Price?” Writes Sandoval:

All these stories hitting at one time (head scratch), what are the odds?

Well, the odds are long, maybe too long to be a coincidence. What is much more likely is that one of Hulu’s studio backers or some other interested party is orchestrating the news blitz to drive up interest in Hulu.

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Hollywood Execs More Scared Than Ever of Netflix

CNET media correspondent Greg Sandoval takes the current temperature of Hollywood vis-a-vis unstoppable behemoth Netflix, and shares some interesting tidbits.

Based on the reporter’s latest conversations, Tinseltown remains stunned by the rapid growth of Netflix Streaming, with former supporters now weary of what it means to the traditional bottom line. Per Sandoval, the instant-watch aspects of Netflix are chipping away at the media conglomerate empire in all sorts of different ways:

Netflix siphons off sales in other important areas, such as from the airlines. Since more airlines are offering in-flight Internet access, a Netflix account means fewer people may be tempted to purchase movies offered by the carrier.

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Trying to Avoid Another Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow‘s intense Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker may have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it also holds a less savory distinction. According to Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne Media Measurement, it stands as a nightmarish symbol of a lost battle with video piracy.

In an interview with CNET News media writer Greg Sandoval, Garland outlines how the potential value of The Hurt Locker was decimated by early availability online, and the knee-jerk reaction that initially followed:

I think it happened first with Hulu, when Fox got really unhappy and pulled [three seasons worth of episodes of the FX show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia] out of the Hulu pool. But thankfully for the industry, something else has won out in terms of the strategic thinking about this. That is the greater fear won out: if we don’t start to change the way we distribute our content and if we don’t start to meet the consumers’ needs it doesn’t mean that distribution doesn’t change or that consumers needs aren’t meant. It means that someone else will drive that revolution and that’s worse.

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A Pro Bono Video Piracy Defender

CNET News media reporter Greg Sandoval has an intriguing profile today of Robert Talbot, a University of San Francisco law professor and attorney working with individuals accused of video piracy. Thanks largely to free student labor, Talbot’s Internet Justice Clinic is able to offer its services at no charge to several dozen defendants.

Writes Sandoval:

Talbot said he doesn’t believe innocent people should have to pay a dime. He says some who have contacted him have open Wi-Fi connections and don’t know who in the neighborhood may have shared the movies. Others suspect the films were shared by a visiting relative or guest.

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