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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Two new books

May is the pub date for two new books about digits and Hollywood, at least one of which I'll be adding to my Amazon "wish list."

- First is "Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation." The author, JD Lasica, also has a blog where he's posting passages from the book, along with other entries. The opening chapter recounts the story of three teenage best friends from Mississippi who, over the course of seven years, produced a shot-for-shot camcorder remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." But the film hasn't been seen widely, and can't be sold on DVD, because of those pesky copyright laws.

I'm not sure there really is a "war against the digital generation" going on. Rather, Hollywood is now and has always been concerned about protecting its product, the same way a convenience store owner is concerned with protecting his inventory from shoplifters. Yes, that limits the flexibility of those who want to remix and remake movies...and it'd be great to see more studios adopt more flexible, lower-cost licensing strategies. But does playing good legal defense constitute war? I'm eager to read the book to form a more informed opinion.

- Second is a more hands-on book from McGraw-Hill, Digital Cinema: The Revolution in Cinematography, Postproduction and Distribution", by Brian McKernan.