This is the lead from today's WSJ's story [subscription required] on the pre-release piracy and posting of the "Expendables 3" movie:
"At least 2.2 million people have already watched "The Expendables 3." The problem for the movie's distributor, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., is that its big-budget action movie doesn't open until Friday.
Just over two weeks ago, a complete and nearly pristine copy of "The Expendables 3," which features more than a dozen stars including Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford, leaked online. It is Hollywood's highest profile piracy leak since 2009, when an incomplete version of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" found its way online before the superhero movie came out."
You don't need to have an economics degree from Harvard to appreciate that intellectual property piracy of this magnitude necessarily will impact the decision-making surrounding incentives to invest in future films and other creative endeavors. There are various dimensions to the problem of piracy as it relates to movies, sound recordings, and other intellectual property. But one important dimension that cannot be overlooked, or excused, is the public's all-too-often failure to understand that securing and protecting IP rights is a foundational constitutional principle.
There continues to be a real need to educate the public concerning the importance of respecting this constitutional principle no less than others. That's why at the Free State Foundation we're engaged in an ongoing effort to educate the public, especially including those who otherwise think of themselves as constitutionalists, concerning intellectual property rights.
Here are the first five papers in our ongoing series and there is another posted on our website:
Randolph J. May and Seth L. Cooper, "The Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property," Perspectives from FSF Scholars, Vol. 8, No. 13 (2013).
Randolph J. May and Seth L. Cooper, "Reasserting the Property Rights Source of IP," Perspectives from FSF Scholars, Vol. 8, No. 17 (2013).
Randolph J. May and Seth L. Cooper, "Literary Property: Copyright's Constitutional History and Its Meaning for Today," Perspectives from FSF Scholars, Vol. 8, No. 19 (2013).
Randolph J. May and Seth L. Cooper, "The Constitution's Approach to Copyright: Anti-Monopoly, Pro-Intellectual Property Rights," Perspectives from FSF Scholars, Vol. 8, No. 20 (2013).
Randolph J. May and Seth L. Cooper, "The 'Reason and Nature' of Intellectual Property: Copyright and Patent in The Federalist Papers," Perspectives from FSF Scholars, Vol. 9, No. 4 (2014).