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Spacey: “You’re Stealing It” (Because We’re Not Selling It)

One might conclude Kevin Spacey has a finger on the pulse of the culture market: he bet heavily on the dark political series House of Cards when pundits scoffed at all-at-once Internet-only distribution [1, 2, 3] — now a smashing success.  Spacey will also soon feature as the arch-villain in the next installment of the best-selling Call of Duty video game (trailer), at a time when A-list actors are not often associated with gaming.  The Call of Duty franchise, however, is expected to generate at least $1B in revenue later this fall — an annual figure that the Hollywood box office can only dream of.

On top of his forward-thinking choices in roles, he has also spoken publicly about fighting piracy through alternative distribution models.  Spacey has previously said on at least two occasions, in May 2013 and in August 2013, that piracy can be reduced by giving the people what they want, when they want it, at a reasonable price.

This week, Spacey made a comment at the amusingly pirate-themed International Indian Film Academy awards about House of Cards being popular in India, adding that since Netflix doesn’t exist in India, they’re “stealing” it.  While reports differed on whether Spacey’s comment was serious or in jest (or, even, whether House of Cards is not available in India) the remark is consistent with his understanding that piracy is reduced when consumers have lawful convenient affordable options to watch what they want to watch.

Intellectual Property

The Internet enables the free exchange of ideas and content that, in turn, promote creativity, commerce, and innovation. However, a balanced approach to copyright, trademarks, and patents is critical to this creative and entrepreneurial spirit the Internet has fostered. Consequently, it is our belief that the intellectual property system should encourage innovation, while not impeding new business models and open-source developments.