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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It 131

beltsbear sends a story about the struggles of visual effects artists against the Motion Picture Association of America. The VFX industry in the U.S. has been slowly dying because movie studios increasingly outsource the work to save money. The visual effects industry protested and fought where they could, but had little success — until the MPAA filed a seemingly innocuous legal document to the International Trade Commission two weeks ago. In it, the MPAA argues that international trade of intellectual property is just like international trade of manufactured goods, and should be afforded the same protections. This would naturally apply to visual effects work, as well. Thus: "[E]mboldened by the MPAA’s filing, the visual effects workers are now in a position to use the big studios’ own arguments to compel the government to slap trade tariffs on those studios’ own productions in high-subsidy countries. Those arguments will be especially powerful because the MPAA made them to the very same governmental agencies that will process the visual-effects workers’ case. Additionally, the workers can now take matters into their own hands. ... If visual effects workers can show the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission that an import is benefiting from foreign subsidies and therefore illegally undercutting a domestic industry, the federal government is obligated to automatically slap a punitive tax on that import. Such a tax would in practice erase the extra profit margins the studios are gleaning from the foreign subsidies, thereby leveling the competitive playing field for American workers and eliminating the purely economic incentive for the studios to engage in mass offshoring."
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Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It

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  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:35PM (#46350779) Homepage Journal

    Correction for topic:

    People point out hypocrisy of major corporations, major corporations ignore the criticism and keep on trucking.

  • by Em Adespoton (792954) <> on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:36PM (#46350787) Homepage Journal

    That's what you get MPAA

    All it means is that they'll increase their lawsuit damage claims by the adjusted amount. After all, the member companies have never made a profit on a movie.

  • Dream on! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:38PM (#46350821)

    If visual effects workers can show the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission....

    No, they won't be able to because the MPAA with all their money will put a kibosh on anything the workers want. They may even pull the bullshit that tech companies pull and say that they can't get qualified Americans or some such lie.

    The little people have no chance in America. The middle class is disappearing. Upward mobility has disappeared and we're in a downward spiral to the bottom while the spoils go to the very top.

    We're no longer told the lie that if we work hard enough, we can get to the top too. Now we're told that we should be grateful that we're not in India. Well, we're on our way to have lifestyles like theirs.

  • Fools!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IonOtter (629215) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @04:46PM (#46350933) Homepage

    The law does not apply to the lowly masses, except when it is useful to suppress them or steal from them!

    This is not TV Tropes [], and you cannot turn the law against the ones who created it! []

  • by thoth (7907) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @05:05PM (#46351159) Journal

    Please, this is hardly about politics, as far as Democrats vs Republicans - as if the GOP would have done things differently. And if libertarians were in charge, same thing.

    Everything in U.S. politics is about protecting corporate profits. The outsourcing in this story is about profits, the MPAA exists to help protect profits, the administration not doing anything about it is likely due to private lobbying (to protect profits).

  • by netsavior (627338) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:11PM (#46351881)
    And Bush before him, and Clinton before him and Bush before him, etc etc. Lets get real, corporate ownership of government is a wholly bi-partisan endeavor.
  • by Xeno man (1614779) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @06:35PM (#46352227)
    The MPAA doesn't care about right or wrong or looking stupid. They will stand in front of the exact same judge and argue the exact opposite of what they argued last time and do it with a straight face. There are no beliefs or moral guidance. No mission statement describing good things they want to do. The bottom line is making more money. They will campaign for laws that hurt competition or reduce their own taxes. They will destroy lives and anything that stands in their way to make more money.

In the future, you're going to get computers as prizes in breakfast cereals. You'll throw them out because your house will be littered with them.