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Does “House of Cards” Emmys Win Suggest More Innovation in Hollywood?

· September 24, 2013

On Sunday, Netflix’s “House of Cards” won an Emmy for Best Directing, the first non-TV network to be awarded that honor.  This is an important milestone for both industries, and is a good thing for their consumers.  As “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey notably said in May, and repeated again in August, giving consumers what they want, when they want it, for a reasonable price goes a long way toward fighting piracy.  Netflix’s success with its innovative distribution models demonstrates that, and provides rights-holders with a new licensing opportunity that understands how to serve consumers, as opposed to artificial “release windows”.

The Emmys’ awarding a new model of distributing content may be evidence of a broader trend in the content industry, where some are now recognizing the need to embrace technology stakeholders to better meet consumer demands.  Last week, Variety reported on several movie studios’ new executives, who have unique business experience and an understanding of complicated new models in the digital age.  More evidence that studios are recognizing the need to embrace new technology can be found in the MPAA’s announcement of two new hires Friday: a senior vice president for internet technology, who will actually be based in Silicon Valley, and a chief technology officer.

All of this news is an encouraging change from complaints that piracy is the technology industry’s fault, and continuing attempts to shift the careful balance found in the notice and takedown procedures of the DMCA through ‘voluntary’ initiatives rather than working on competing in the marketplace along the lines of Spacey’s advice above.  As Rob concluded last week when reviewing one study on piracy, rather than focus on enforcement, “[i]t’s better to get in the market with a reasonable offer”.


New technologies are constantly emerging that promise to change our lives for the better. These disruptive technologies give us an increase in choice, make technologies more accessible, make things more affordable, and give consumers a voice. And the pace of innovation has only quickened in recent years, as the Internet has enabled a wave of new, inter-connected devices that have benefited consumers around the world, seemingly in all aspects of their lives. Preserving an innovation-friendly market is, therefore, tantamount not only to businesses but society at large.

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.