Losing Independence

While big budget movies continue to be hurt by Internet theft, it's low- and mid-range films that are being damaged the most. With stolen revenue eating into returns, legislation and education are necessary so the next generation of independent directors will be able to survive.

     One of the Internet's greatest fallacies, its fishiest tale, is the idea of the "Long Tail." Popularized by Wired magazine editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, first in a 2004 magazine article and then in the bestselling 2006 book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, it argues that the Internet is an ideal distribution platform for independent filmmakers, musicians, and writers struggling to compete against the financial might of mass media conglomerates. By providing online stores with infinite shelf space, Anderson, among others, contend that the Internet balances the playing field between the large movie studios and the independent filmmaker and guarantees that a rich and deep catalogue of indie artists is always available to consumers.