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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.

Garland says Hollywood’s grade has improved from a C- to a B- in terms of how it is dealing with the wild new frontier of digital viewing and downloading, and that some new developments he cannot yet talk about may soon push that mark to a B+. One thing on the film industry’s side, he suggests, is that they have much better leverage in Washington than the music business ever did.

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