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Lucas scared of piracy – can't blame him!

Lucas scared of piracy – can't blame him!

Jason Kottke makes fun of George Lucas for citing piracy as the main reason he released the Star Wars DVDs early, quoting lots of business stats. But Kottke’s not exactly telling the whole story, if you ask me.

Yes, DVD sales have gone up. But Lucas isn’t concerned with whether DVD sales have gone up generally – just his sales of Star Wars DVDs. Which will appeal to geeks, and computer-savvy people. Exactly the kind of people who would take the time and effort to rip a DVD, stick it online and patiently wait for it to spool itself around the Internet – plus the added bonus that there’s the general perception that Lucasfilm is exactly one of those money-making companies that doesn’t need all that extra revenue.

However, the people who’d buy, say, Shrek II or Wimbledon will not generally be computer-savvy nerds, but people who just want a good film to watch again and again on DVD. The kind of people who are not blind to the sheer inconvenience it takes to watch a film on a PC.

Plus, any self-respecting film fan is going to buy DVDs just for the extras, plus the hope that some of their mone goes to independent film-makers to fund future great films.

So, I can’t blame Lucas for being scared of pirates. Or other producers of mass-market action-orientated entertainment which specifically appeals to computer-savvy people. Like The Matrix…


  • OTOH, all the geeks who're downloading Star Wars now would surely also buy the DVD when it came out…

  • That American Chic

    Ah, but Lucus is all about the money anyway. I really don't care all that much if he loses a few dollars here and there. He's lost his passion for movie quality and now is all about the merchandise.

    I don't know if it works the same way on the other side of the pond but here in the US, a movie theatre receives none of the revenue from ticket sales. All of that cash goes to the movie makers. Theatres pay their rent, taxes and employees with the sales of concessions. That’s why the tiny bag of popcorn costs $3.50.

    Now…back to Lucas. He’s such a marketer that he was able to convince theatres that they should pay him for the honor of showing his recent Star Wars movies in theatres. The logic being that his movies would surely draw so many movie-goers that the theatres would make a bundle on popcorn and soda. Sadly, that was not the case and many theatres lost money showing Episode 2. Though, Lucus’ pocketbook didn’t feel it at all.

    The moral of the story is forget George Lucus; Joss Wheadon is the new kick-ass, nerdy movie maker in town.

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