Supporters of stronger intellectual property enforcement — such as those behind the proposed new Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills in Congress — argue that online piracy is a huge problem, one which costs the U.S. economy between $200 and $250 billion per year, and is responsible for the loss of 750,000 American jobs.
These numbers seem truly dire: a $250 billion per year loss would be almost $800 for every man, woman, and child in America. And 750,000 jobs – that’s twice the number of those employed in the entire motion picture industry in 2010.
The good news is that the numbers are wrong. Read More »
Does media concentration lead to biased coverage? A new paper from two Berkeley economists, Stefano Delavigna and Alec Kennedy, studies News Corp. and Time Warner, and approaches the big question through a small window: movie reviews. Here’s the abstract: Read More »
Stephen Dubner’s first book, Turbulent Souls, has been optioned by The Group Entertainment (Variety‘s report here), with writer Larry Gross (48 Hours, True Crime, We Don’t Live Here Anymore) to adapt the memoir for the big screen. Not that we have a say in this, but just for fun we’d like to find out which actor Freakonomics readers think should play the Dubner in the film. Read More »
Two years ago, I asked for suggestions for the most memorable movie lines of recent years, to help with the next edition of The Yale Book of Quotations. Let me repeat my “bleg” from that time, and ask again for suggestions Read More »
From a new CDC report: “To monitor the extent to which tobacco use is shown in popular movies, Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! (TUTD), a project of Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, counted the occurrences of tobacco use (termed “incidents”) shown in U.S. top-grossing movies during 1991-2009. This report summarizes the results of that study, which found that the number of tobacco incidents depicted in the movies during this period peaked in 2005 and then progressively declined.” Read More »
Imagine a world where Hollywood producers could predict, with scientific precision, the box office revenue a movie will generate just by reading the screenplay. A new forecasting model devised by a trio of marketing professors from Wharton and NYU promises to deliver something like that. Read More »
Using the prediction markets to become an insta-expert in just about anything. Read More »
Sunday’s Oscar night will be different. First, there are now ten nominees for best picture. But perhaps more importantly, the voting system has changed. Read More »