Veteran Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein has called for the introduction of tougher measures to counter the threat of Internet piracy, saying that any Internet company that “steals content” should be shut down.
During a speech at the BFI London Film Festival last night, Weinstein claimed that filmmakers were being done “a massive disservice” by Internet companies, and lambasted Apple and Google for “getting paid, not the actors.”
He called on the creative industries to rally together and fight back against the creeping normalisation of piracy.
“I think after the [US Presidential] election we need to rally filmmakers, content providers and musicians around the world as long as these companies [continue to make content available] under the guise of free Internet,” said the Miramax founder.
“I love it when these Internet dudes say to me, hey man; we just want to be ‘content neutral.’ Next time, I’ll say sure, I’ll get my tie dye shirt and come and sit in your billion dollar mansion in San Francisco or Silicon Valley for a while, soak it up.”
The producer also shared his enthusiasm for France’s harsh three-strikes anti-piracy law introduced by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, which deprives persistant pirates of their Internet access. He said that a similar law would be something of a panacea for the US film industry if introduced in the States.
“If an Internet company steals content, they shut it down,” he said. “And let me tell you, Apple France, Yahoo France or Google France, none of them have gone out of business,”
“Whether you like [Sarkozy’s] politics or not, this law was good because people are disincentivized to steal.”
Weinstein has been a major player in Hollywood since acting as producer on films like Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and the Scream series. Earlier this year, he was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.