Why the MPAA Cares

In the February 5 New Yorker, Louis Menand crystallizes the essence of the film industry:

The history of Hollywood is a comic routine of bad guesses, unintended outcomes, and pure luck. Half of the failures were well-intentioned, and half of the successes were, by ordinary standards of fairness and decency, undeserved. People do get rich making movies; more often than not, they’re the wrong people. That’s why moviemaking is so much fun to read about. Unless, of course, it’s your money.

This explains completely why it’s so important to stop digital piracy. File sharing exposes filmmakers for the recidivist gamblers they really are:

The people who make the popcorn basically know what they’re doing. The people who make the movies basically don’t, at least not until the product is out there, and then it’s too late. Moviemaking is a business almost in spite of itself.

The complete piece is online here, at least as long as the magazine leaves it up.