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Content review: international insights

Jean-Pierre Blais, Jane Wrightson and Jonathon Taplin at the Acma content conversation. (Photo: Acma)..

The Federal Government.s review into Australian and children.s content is now underway, with aims to create policies that will ensure a strong Aussie screen sector into the future.

However, our industry is not alone in grappling with how to sustainably produce local content in a digital era..

At the recent Acma content conversation conference, international regulators and funding agencies gave insight into how they had adapted to try to deal with changes in the global market.

Jane Wrightson, CEO of Nz On Air - the funding agency that supports public broadcast media in New Zealand - pointed out New Zealand differs to Australia in that it has virtually no media regulation. This includes no cross-ownership restrictions, quotas, licence fees or conditions. There's also no non-commercial mainstream broadcaster except Maori TV. Interventions in the
See full article at IF.com.au »

Why Trump Won’t Break Up Silicon Valley Monopolies…

The Trump administration will not try to break up Silicon Valley’s powerful monopolies — Google, Facebook and Amazon. “I have no hope whatsoever,” said USC dean emeritus Jonathan Taplin, author of the new book, “Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.” Taplin describes President Trump as “subservient to” the tech giants, but says President Obama was the same. “Politicians seem to be over-awed by real billionaires,” Taplin told TheWrap. “I don’t even know if Trump is a real billionaire. But I’m certain Peter Thiel, Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg are real billionaires.
See full article at The Wrap »

Gravitas Ventures Buys Documentary ‘Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web’

Gravitas Ventures Buys Documentary ‘Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web’
Gravitas Ventures has secured U.S. as well as the foreign sales rights to territories outside North America for the documentary “Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web,” which follows the notorious internet hacker, Variety has learned exclusively.

Gravitas announced the deal on Tuesday on the eve of the opening of the Cannes Film Festival, where it will be selling international rights.

Dotcom was born Kim Schmitz in Germany and moved to New Zealand with his family in 2012. Dotcom was raided and arrested by the New Zealand police that year and has been fighting extradition to the U.S. ever since. Charges against him include copyright infringement, racketeering, conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering as he and three co-defendants could face up to 80 years in prison.

Dotcom maintains that his Megaupload platform was merely providing a service, and under current copyright law, he is not responsible for the actions of its millions of users.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Feds Should Break Up Google, Facebook Monopolies, Nyt Op-Ed Argues

Feds Should Break Up Google, Facebook Monopolies, Nyt Op-Ed Argues
Author and academic Jonathan Taplin has issued a warning over the dangers tech giants Google, Facebook and the like pose to U.S. democracy in an op-ed in The New York Times. In it he argues that it’s high time to break up such tech “monoliths” because — among other things — their successes have “stymied innovation on a broad scale.” Taplin argues that the world’s five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed over the last decade except for Microsoft. “Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon.
See full article at The Wrap »

Insights: Are Google, Facebook, And Amazon Monopolies Too Big to Tackle?

It’s been a rough patch for the big tech companies that built their near-boundless riches on the content and conversations of billions of users. Now critics say they’ve accreted too much power at the expense of people, copyright, even democracy, and should be curbed, fined, even broken up. Those critics may be right.

Just since the election, we’ve had swirling controversies over the impact of fake news – fueled by Facebook and Google’s blackbox algorithms and ad revenues – that may have shifted the election results a few crucial points. The Trump Administration’s demonstrated tenuous relationship to actual facts since then has only intensified concerns.

Separate from all that, advertisers have been boycotting Google, and to a lesser extent Facebook. They’re unhappy that their brands keep ending up next to (and even paying for) extremists’ videos, posts and other objectionable material.

The European Union is reviewing
See full article at Tubefilter News »

Why the Band's 'The Last Waltz' Is the Greatest Concert Movie of All Time

Why the Band's 'The Last Waltz' Is the Greatest Concert Movie of All Time
"This film should be played loud!" It's a cliché now, a concert-movie disclaimer that's become the equivalent of that hippie-dippy tagline from those Freedom Rock compilation ads ("Well, turn it up, maaaaan.") But in the late Seventies, when it first flashed onscreen in all white font against a stark black background before the credits of The Last Waltz, you knew it meant business. Keep moving that volume knob clockwise, folks. Let the needle swing into the red.

And then we begin at the end, with the weary members of the
See full article at Rolling Stone »

When Muddy Waters met my Last Waltz | Letters

I was very happy to read Laura Barton’s lovely piece on the dual 40th anniversaries of The Last Waltz and Jim Szalapski’s Heartworn Highways (G2, 16 September). However, when I came to the paragraphs devoted to my old friend and producer Jonathan Taplin, I could feel my eyebrows furrowing: slightly, but furrowing nonetheless. I owe Jonathan a great deal: if it weren’t for him, I would never have been able to make either Mean Streets or The Last Waltz. Yet, it seems our recollections of the shoot on the latter film differ on one important point.

Related: The Last Waltz and Heartworn Highways: two 40-year-old films at the birth of Americana

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Daniela Taplin Lundberg Launches Stay Gold Features With Teddy Roosevelt Biopic (Exclusive)

Producer Daniela Taplin Lundberg is a product of a Hollywood upbringing. Her father Jonathan Taplin is a veteran producer (“Mean Streets”) and her mother Rosana DeSoto is a character actress. When Taplin Lundberg was doing the awards season push for her feature “Beasts of No Nation” last winter, she recalls her parents’ colleagues approaching her. “I’d love to have a meeting with you,” they’d say. “I can’t figure out the business model.”

That’s the problem she’ll be grappling with at her new company, Stay Gold Features. The kinds of films Taplin Lundberg makes — edgy, adult-oriented movies with nary a comic-book hero in sight — have become dinosaurs. Just ask Harvey Weinstein, who has been slowly gravitating away from producing films like “Pulp Fiction” and into television.

To navigate these choppy waters, Taplin Lundberg will rely on her reputation, honed at the New York-based Red Crown Prods.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Inside the Screening Room’s Bold Plan to Disrupt the Movie Business

Schedule a meeting with Sean Parker at, say, 10 a.m., and the tech guru will likely take hours to show up. People who work with the visionary entrepreneur, whose peripatetic career has taken him from Napster to Facebook to Spotify, refer to it as Sean Parker Time. It’s the cost of doing business with one of the boldest minds of the Internet Age.

“He has his finger on the Zeitgeist,” said Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and a friend. “He’s incredibly convincing about where the world is going.”

When it comes to movies, Parker believes that the future is a couch-based one, but that view has its detractors. Theaters have resisted efforts to shrink the time between a film’s debut on the big screen and its launch on home entertainment platforms. That resolve could crack, after news broke in Variety that Parker and partner Prem
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Facebook Exec Says Oculus Rift May Expand Into Movies

Facebook Exec Says Oculus Rift May Expand Into Movies
USC professor Jonathan Taplin and Cory Ondrejka, Facebook’s VP of mobile engineering, addressed the future of mobile technology, specifically with regard to Facebook, in the keynote presentation at Tuesday’s Hollywood It Summit, held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.

Ondrejka discussed a range of topics, from digital music distribution to Facebook’s pending relationship with virtual reality company Oculus Rift.

Speaking hypothetically because the deal hasn’t been officially consummated, Ondrejka said he believes Oculus Rift will focus not only on videogames but also expand into films.

“I actually both shudder and am thrilled to imagine what’s going to happen,” Ondrejka said. “I am completely excited about the intersection of Hollywood and virtual reality. I think what we’re going to see over the next coming year is going to be truly spectacular.”

Ondrejka said CGI-heavy and Imax movies have the most to gain because those
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Can USC’s Edison Project Turn The Light On In A Struggling Hollywood?

David Bloom is a Deadline contributor. USC will launch a three-year research effort called the Edison Project to figure out key issues of the emerging entertainment economy surrounding new creators of content, new platforms and distributors of that content, new business models to finance their work and new metrics to measure success. USC Annenberg professor Jonathan Taplin, who heads that school’s Innovation Lab, announced the project’s general outlines during a keynote speech Friday at the Digital Marketing & Analytics Summit in Los Angeles. Taplin told a ballroom of entertainment and tech executives that sector after sector of the entertainment business is showing signs of trouble, from the long-staggering music industry to a movie business that launched numerous bombs this past summer, to an ad business that’s consolidating and automating. These problems are happening even as the world’s entertainment-consuming middle class is booming, and creation of digital media has jumped nine times.
See full article at Deadline TV »

Study: Google No. 2 in Piracy Ad Placements

Study: Google No. 2 in Piracy Ad Placements
About six months ago, Google began releasing data on takedown requests it received as part of a "Transparency Report." The goal was to showcase how content holders were attempting to delete links to infringing content. Now, USC's Annenberg Innovation Lab has taken the data and used it in a way that Google probably didn't anticipate. Annenberg has come out with a ranking of the top 10 online ad networks that place the most ads to pirate websites. And guess what? Google is No. 2. Jonathan Taplin, director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, explained to us the methodology behind

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Read About the Reddit vs. Taplin Smackdown: Who's Right?

Read About the Reddit vs. Taplin Smackdown: Who's Right?
Last week, Fast Company hosted its Innovation Uncensored event in New York -- and also saw a major throwdown between Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and Jonathan Taplin, a producer ("Mean Streets," "To Die For"), tour manager for The Band, Sopa supporter and currently director of USC's Annenberg Innovation Lab. Bottom line, Ohanian believes the internet economy -- which includes a heavy dose of free content from sites like Pirate Bay -- can provide a fair deal to artists. Taplin thinks he's selfish, clueless and can shove it. Making the arguments even sharper the recent death of The Band drummer Levon Helm, who died of throat cancer the day after the debate. Taplin believes unprotected music rights helped drive Helm to ruin and forced him to contunie touring while mortally ill. We're presenting both arguments here, as well as the full videos of the debate. We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Outlaw Blues’ Uses iPad to Explore Rock’s Back Pages

‘Outlaw Blues’ Uses iPad to Explore Rock’s Back Pages
Everett Bob Dylan circa 1970

“Outlaw Blues,” Jonathan Taplin’s absorbing new book, is part-memoir and part history lesson. Taplin, a former cohort of Bob Dylan, The Band, George Harrison and Martin Scorsese, cleverly traces the modern history of American popular culture, going back as far as Louis Armstrong making music that would influence players for decades and Benny Goodman leading an integrated group.

In addition, Taplin, now 64 years old, also draws on his rich history of working as a tour
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

Hollywood weighs impact of election

Hollywood weighs impact of election
Jay Leno and David Letterman are rooting for the Republicans.

That's not a comment on their political beliefs, which late-night hosts play close to their vests. But if comic fodder is any factor, after-hours hosts will benefit from a John McCain administration: During a survey in September, the Center for Media and Public Affairs counted seven times as many jokes about the Republican ticket than the Democratic one.

The outcome of the battle for the White House will have consequences far beyond entertainment. But next week's election will also impact Hollywood, influencing culture and policy in crucial ways.

In redefining the pop cultural zeitgeist, it could indirectly affect which movies are made and how much media regulation conglomerates face as well as have an impact on digital development and cable-news ratings.

And it will vault some personalities to popularity and doom others to obscurity.

The principle: What's good for one
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Intertainer subpeonas MPAA's Valenti

Intertainer subpeonas MPAA's Valenti
WASHINGTON -- Intertainer, a pioneer in the video-on-demand business, filed civil subpoenas against MPAA president and CEO Jack Valenti and the MPAA's technology officer Thursday in their legal action against the industry-backed MovieLink online delivery service. Through the subpoenas, the company is seeking information on the involvement that Valenti and Jon Liebowitz had in the formation of MovieLink and contacts the pair of executives had with lawmakers, their aides and Justice Department officials. Intertainer CEO and producer Jonathan T. Taplin (Mean Streets) told The Hollywood Reporter the MPAA executives may have done nothing wrong, but the company wants to know how extensive the contacts were and if they were involved in the studios' decision to pull out of his company. "Clearly they were all together in the planning of MovieLink," he said. "I know it's (Valenti's) job to fix things for the industry, and it could be that he was just doing his job, but we don't know that."

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