– May 15, 2009:

The panel was about the future of filmmaking, but that didn’t mean anyone had to like what they saw. “I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the Internet,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive officer Michael Lynton. “Period.”

At a breakfast cohosted by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and The New Yorker Thursday, Lynton wasn’t just trying for a laugh: He complained the Internet has “created this notion that anyone can have whatever they want at any given time. It’s as if the stores on Madison Avenue were open 24 hours a day. They feel entitled. They say, ‘Give it to me now,’ and if you don’t give it to them for free, they’ll steal it.”

Co-panelist Nora Ephron, who started her career in print, said the Internet has had a greater effect on “our beloved print than it’s had on the movie business.” But, she conceded, “We’re in the last days of copyright, if you want to be grim about it….Stop it. I dare you.”

  1. yankinwaoz says:

    I’d love to have a peek at this asshat’s browser cache and history. I’d bet he has had 24/7 access to porn, news, etc.

  2. Sam says:

    A media mogul complaining about entitlement? That’s rich.

  3. Zybch says:

    What a whiny little bitch!
    If your business model is failing/failed then you get out there and damn well devise a new one that can take advantage of what it was that made your current one obsolete, just like the media companies did with the advent of pre-recorded music on piano rolls, then gramaphone records, then tapes, CDs and DVDs. They complained bitterly against ALL of those things and yet swiftly changed how they operated and made billions and billions off them.
    Today is no different from previous changes they had to make, except that they thought the draconian copyright laws they got their pet congress critters to pass would make them completely immune for ever under their current business model.
    When EVERYONE breaks some copyright laws every single day like occurs now, there is something very wrong with the laws, and the NEED changing.

  4. qb says:

    Sony first loss in 14 years and even bigger losses forecast for this year. It’s this kind of bold leadership and crystal clear vision that got them to this point.

    Sony TV’s designed and manufactured in China. They screw over purchasers with root kit installations for music. They charge $50 to remove bloatware and crapware from their computers. It took them more than 6 months to respond to their laptop battery fiasco.

    They’ve done brilliant products in the past and they still have a pretty decent brand, but I can’t think of anything they’ve done in the last 10 years (PSP, maybe) that makes me go “Wow”.

  5. Joe M says:

    What a supreme ass. Ironically, it may point to what a poor job media companies like Sony have done in the Internet age. Its as if when they created the VCR, and no one produced commercially recorded videos, so they blame their own customers for recording video tapes. The real problem is dimwits like this guy who have no understanding of the needs of their customers, and who are stupid enough to make sweeping statements like this tool.

  6. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    Zybch: When EVERYONE breaks some copyright laws every single day like occurs now, there is something very wrong with the laws, and the NEED changing.

    Apply your logic to traffic laws and see how that works.

  7. Sam says:

    Something is very wrong with traffic laws and they need changing.

  8. SN says:

    6 “Apply your logic to traffic laws and see how that works.

    God, what a retarded analogy. First, traffic laws protect lives while copyright is a government granted monopoly, which is another way of saying copyright is like welfare for Disney and Viacom.

    Second, despite the fact that traffic laws protect the actual lives of people and copyright protects flawed business models, the fines associated with copyright infringement are much higher, exponentially higher. Like hundreds of thousands of dollars for having a few songs in a share folder.

    The first rule of making an analogy is making sure the concepts you’re comparing are analogous!

  9. soundwash says:


    this comment and thoughtline is based on the lie the MPAA told congress on the piracy numbers the industry provided congress back in the early 2005’s to make the case for sweeping piracy laws.

    -they stated 44% loses due to piracy ,
    then came out with new figures 2 years later stating “oops, our numbers were off, it was really only 10-15% loses.

    we are supposed to ignore the huge conflict in interest in the fact that the people crying foul were allowed to sight their own internal study to support their case.

    -not to mention the huge logistics problem presented in trying to quantify (translate) dubious piracy numbers into actual sales lost.

    (not to mention how easy it is to create “piracy traffic” with dummy accounts and servers to further support *any* study
    produced via anonymous traffic.

    google “2005 piracy study mistake” to see the multitude of articles from 2008 sighting the “mistake” the MPAA admitted to finding in it’s own study. -which of course, was grossly under reported for obvious reasons.

    Add to that (surprise!) -the AP/Newsweek story that reported story

    -The ARStechnica article on the facts provides the best “viewpoint with integrity” on the matter.

    (due to a corrupt registry, i cannot copy& paste links at this time. -the ARS story should show up on the 5th or 6th link on a Google search.)

    By and large people, especially “honest people” will still be honest and will
    maintain that integrity regardless of any “free copyrighted content” that may be available to them.

    this guy is implying that the as soon as copyrighted material is (illegally) found available for free, every upstanding citizen in the country will chuck their moral fiber to the wind and start downloading it like mad hamsters.

    -such is the current, global mentality of authority.


  10. soundwash says:

    …seems to me that the blatantly dishonest people are the ones pointing the finger.

    how that saying go?

    “one finger pointing forward has three fingers pointing back”


  11. gquaglia says:

    Can this guy be even more out of touch.

  12. GF says:

    Considering the original copyright was for 14 years I can hardly shed a tear for these guys. They want perpetual copyright. They have paid off the lawmakers to make their dream a reality. And when it comes to raping orphaned works these same people have no remorse about screwing the original copyright holder. They also have no problem taking from the public domain: Macbeth, War of The Worlds, The Brothers Grim, etc.

    Screw em if they can’t keep up 😉

  13. amodedoma says:

    They haven’t even tried to take their business to the internet. Adapt or die, looks like the folks at Sony still haven’t figured it out.

  14. Jägermeister says:

    Sony can go fuck themselves. They’re one of the most anti-consumer corporations out there.

  15. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    The first rule of making an analogy is making sure the concepts you’re comparing are analogous!

    Nobody drives the speed limit, so raise it until they do? WTF?

    People steal copyrighted material, so let them? WTF?

    The problem is that the analogy IS valid, and you guys who grew up getting all that content free expect the laws to change so you don’t have to ever pay for it.

  16. Special Ed says:

    This guy looks like a douche bag and opened his mouth and removed all doubt.

  17. brm says:

    Getcher popcorn. Sony running itself into the ground is the best show in town.

    Thrills! Spills! Big laffs!

  18. SN says:

    17 “The problem is that the analogy IS valid

    No, I already explained how copyright and traffic offenses are two entirely different sets of laws, they serve two entirely different purposes, and that they have two entirely different systems of punishments. Merely saying they’re analogous does not make them analogous.

    And second of all, exactly who is making either of these statements? “People steal copyrighted material, so let them?” or “People steal copyrighted material, so let them?”

    What you’re doing is called a straw man argument. Instead of arguing against your opponent’s actual position, you create a weak position and then easily knock it down.

    God, did you even finish first grade?

  19. brm says:


    THANK YOU for sticking it to one of these I-can’t-argue-your-point-so-I’m-going-to-apply-a-shitty-analogy-to-it DU readers.

    *bleating* It’s it’s it’s like, uh, TRAFFIC LAWS!


    Copyright laws were created so that publishers have a reasonable length of time to make their money. 2 centuries ago they needed years to print and distribute their copies.

    These days they can make their millions in a single summer so *logically*, the length of copyright should be REDUCED.

    Copyright should be reduced as the distribution tech gets better. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

  20. qb says:

    Actually I like the road rules analogy. I broke the law many times yesterday (speeding on major roads, rolled a stop sign at ~5 km/hr since no one was nearby, etc). Does that make a criminal? I don’t think so.

    Why? Because I didn’t endanger anyone. I slowed down to a crawl when there were children near the road. I came to a full stop at stop signs since there was traffic nearby. I slow down and follow at a safe distance in heavy traffic, etc.

    I download TV shows occasionally since I can’t buy them online or see them on TV (e.g. Dr Who Easter Special). I occasionally download music and listen to it for a while. If I like it, I buy it. If I don’t like it I toss it. I buy all my music online since record stores are stupid. I lend DVD’s to friends and they lend them to me since I generally don’t watch them more than once.

    I break the law when I drive but I’m a very safe driver based on my record and insurance rates. I occasionally download music and TV shows but ~98% of everything on my iPod or computer is legit (I did a quick check). I think I’m normal and generally responsible.

    However, Sony wants to prosecute me for that 2%. They have a French “guilty until proven innocent” attitude towards me. They raise the barriers to make it easier for them, and harder for me. Water goes downhill and so do I – I go where it’s easier.

    Apple, Amazon, and AudioBooks get my business because they offer me terrific product, a pleasant customer experience, and generally a fair price. All three companies are working hard to remove barriers imposed on them by Sony and others. They make it easier to buy products. They’ll win, and Sony will lose. So sad, too bad.

  21. SN says:

    17 “The problem is that the analogy IS valid

    Even though others get it, I’ll give one more try as to why traffic laws are not analogous with copyright laws.

    Let’s assume we eliminate all traffic laws. What would be the result? People would die.

    Let’s assume we eliminate all copyright laws. What would be the result? Some profits would drop and other profits would increase.

    See? There would be different results because the underlying laws are completely different.

  22. brm says:


    Give it up on this guy.

    If he can’t see that traffic laws and copyright laws are different because, er, you know, they’re just not the same thing – he’ll never get it.

    Leave him to flounder in his sea of analogies, drowning in his childlike world view…

    hey, was that an analogy?

  23. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    SN, read the quote I responded to. I’m interested in your take on the concept of making things legal because nobody obeys that law.

    Copyright laws are very unlikely to change in your favor, so get with the program and quit whining.

  24. RSweeney says:

    Dinosaurs never see it coming.

  25. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    brm…if they are the same thing then they’re not analogous, they’re the same thing.

    Supposing some of you didn’t do particularly well on that section of the SAT. 🙂

  26. amodedoma says:

    The truth is these big media producing companies haven’t beeen producing anything but crap for years. I’ve got a largish collection. But 98% of the stuff worth collecting is the old stuff. They hire some tithead with a college degree to decide what we’re going to see and hear. Top it off, if we don’t wan’t to pay for it we’re pirates. That and the attitude that since they own everything they should never have falling sales, and if they do it’s because of the internet.

    PLEASE everybody! Let’s get this overwith as fast as possible. Boycott them! Download from the net what you want or need and save your pennies. Sooner or later somebody will figure it out and we’ll be able to pay a reasonable price for a quality service with a quality product.

  27. Just ED says:

    This guy must not realize that one of his companies most successful products was a device thats main purpose was to copy copywrited material. They even took it to court and proved it was legal. I still have about 400 hours of betamax tapes in the attic.

  28. Thomas says:

    There is a very simple solution to Sony’s problem: cut the copyright to 5-10 years. If they did that, their “losses” will vaporize.

    There are some significant differences between traffic laws and the internet. For one thing, traffic laws relate to something that is tangible and isolated to a specific set of laws. The Internet is global and spans all governments. Second, if people regularly exceed the speed limit, they either post more cops or raise the limit.

  29. brm says:


    Piss off. You *know* what I meant.

    When I say ‘they’re not the same thing’ I also mean ‘they’re not analogous.’ This is normal everyday usage that everyone understands.

    Sorry that unlike you I’m not in dictionary-definition hair-splitting mode when I post on DU.

  30. Nimby says:

    Is this the same guy who rewarded me for buying legitimate music from his company by putting a root kit on my computer?


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