Online Content Production: the law of silence


While pushing forward the endeavour of gathering information from all sources to follow the series of articles relating to State provided subsidies, I have tumbled against a wall made out of tough steel and concrete: silence. If was my purpose to question policy makers, directors of audiovisual institutions, institutes of cinematography as well as filmmakers, directors, producers, distributors, actors, etc .etc.

The task would not be easy to start; I suspected that already, but with rare exceptions I was rebuffed as if I were a thief or at least a poisonous threat to the status quo of their jobs and life earnings. Without going further naming names, Cultural Authorities of different European States and Latin American countries, after reading (or not) this small blog, simply denied flatly to give any sort of interview by email, phone or whatever means offered. The position is that the law is the law and questioning these laws is unlawful. Waving the flag of the law as if those had no relation whatsoever to the reality and fairness to the people. I have to remind these ladies and gentlemen that once upon a time, slavery was also lawful and it was unlawful to question it. Would anyone dare to do it now?

Few producers came forward (some of them bravely offering to make their names and positions public) but yet, the absolutely majority simply would not discuss the issues of digital distribution, subsidies for online production and the new reality of content production for the Internet (broadband) era. No interest for pretty obvious reasons.

But why all the fear and self imposed law of silence? What evil can be brought upon humanity to talk about what is already reality, a given fact?

In order to clarify the situation, to open a call for all the interested parts to answer questions the society itself is posing and the public authorities and the others refusing to answer, I’ve decided to make public the questions I sent to them. Four simple questions that remain without answers:

1) Considering that the numbers of online viewers of audiovisual contents multiply, at least, ten times the number of movie theatres audiences in each and every country, is it fair to have the State (which should represent the interests of the people) subsidise film productions with a non-negotiable condition that the films shall be presented and released in movie theatres?

2) Why do you insist to impose criteria that are not up-to-date with the public’s interests ignoring their own culture consumption habits?

3) While audiovisual works available for free to all users are ignored by the public authorities and denied subsidies while audiovisual works intended for theatre or TV releases which constitute under all lights the construction of private propriety (copyright and commercial exploitation) with public funds- continues to be hailed by the state cultural authorities as the only valid option. Don’t you plan to revaluate this unfair situation and leverage to the real world situation of the cultural consumers of your respective countries introducing a fair system of public subsidies?

4) The public has the right to decide when, how and which cultural product wish to use. And in fact, they have done it already. Don’t you consider that the public funds spent in cultural production must reflect the public demand? And given that situation, leverage the social players in fairness, namely the creators/authors/producers of online content?

It is absolutely comprehensible that people will ignore reality as far as they see it possible in order to keep their own status and privileges. My question is: until when will possible to remain in denial?

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