I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Self Destruction?

Is Disney self destructing by destroying it's world wide corporate brand name? Joe Gandelman thinks so and I agree.
More than ever it appears that we are witnessing a rarity: apart from the controversial political aspects of this film, we are seeing the virtual destruction of corporate images that took literally years (people working overtime, people doing p.r., millions in advertising) to build. You almost have to feel overwhelming GRIEF for the since-departed people and legendary media figures who put their lives into building these companies and creating across-the-boards public support. This is now becoming even more of a PR STORY and it's hard to see how the corporate images or corporate bottom lines (more income from attracting MORE customers) are going to come out of this intact.

"The Story of Exactly What Happened?" This is the most damning ad we have seen so far.
I guess the only question is how long will it take the shareholders to notice? It will be interesting to watch DIS next week and for the next few months.

Matt Stoller also reminds us that Disney has a lot more to lose than their brand name if the Democrats regain control and they are none to happy with Disney.
One of them is the egregiously awful broadcast flag. Disney is leading the effort to give Hollywood control over how your TV and TiVo are built and what you can do with programs you watch. This is in the Stevens bill before the Senate. Democrats didn't really have any reason to deny Disney its political candy, since Disney was thought to be responsible with its content, or at least not overtly insane. Their credibility on this front is going quickly, and donations to Chuck Schumer aren't the palliative they once were.

Another is copyright extensions, which Disney has used to keep its perpetual license on characters like Mickey Mouse, who should by now have fallen into the public domain. Democrats didn't really have any reason to think that this was anything but a dispute over intellectual property, with corporations like Disney having motives that are only as pure as Snow White, versus pirates bent on stealing songs and movies by hardworking artists. Now that Disney's credibility is going, lobbyists for Disney are going to find it tougher on Capitol Hill, and lobbyists for the Creative Commons movement are going to find a much easier reception. Iger knows there's a movement bent on routing around his unreasonable and political control of free speech through copyright extremism. He's got a choice on whether he gives that movement a whole lot of real political power.

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