In yesterday’s Internet law class, culminating a month of readings and discussion on copyright law and digital technology, we discussed whether and how the entertainment industries might change their business models to move beyond their largely defensive, enforcement-centric response to file sharing. Today I saw a report that Clickstar, Morgan Freeman’s production company, will release his new film “10 items or Less” on the Internet on December 15, two weeks after its theatrical release today. The film, about an actor (played by Freeman) spending a day with a grocery checkout clerk to prepare for a role in an indie film, will not play in multiplexes or large commercial theaters, a factor that may have contributed to Freeman’s decision to release it online. Of his residence in Mississippi Freeman said “[w]here I live, in my town, there’s no movie house . . . There are many, many, many, many people who don’t have access.” The film’s download will be protected by digital rights management coding of a type not described in the article.
Morgan Freeman to release new film online two weeks after theater opening, SiliconValley.com, 30-Nov-06