Video: brief history of Hollywood and the movie industry


This is what always amuses me about discussions about pirating movies. Hollywood exists because they wanted to pirate Edison’s technology. Edison, who was the biggest pirate of inventordom!

It’s like they say, you only assume that they’re going to do only what you would do to them.

It was NOT ‘Edison’s technology’ - the courts said so - and they weren’t ‘pirating’ the technology, they were (mostly) using it legally.

They came west to escape Edison’s hired thugs (it was the Age of the Pinkertons, when all the big boys hired their own private enforcers) who would ‘confiscate’ perfectly legal equipment for ‘investigation,’ beat up anyone who resisted, and often return the equipment - no longer in working condition - months later.

Please read some actual history and quit repeating Internet ‘just so’ stories.

Look up the history of the Motion Picture Patents Co, aka the Edison Trust, and its genesis - and don’t trust any of today’s Internet balladeers who love to repeat all the popular folk tales that they find emotionally satisfying. Read some real historians.

Thomas Edison was an asshole.

His patent on the sprocket system of the Kinetiscope allowed his patents to control any device with sprockets designed to pull film through a camera. Since Eastman Kodak was making all the film per Edison’s 4-holes-per-frame standards and Edison later controlled the MPPC, they were using Edison’s technology.

You should take your own advice and actually read where I call Edison the biggest pirate of them all.

I’m perfectly well aware of what Edison’s patents did - and did NOT - control.

And in which countries, and when.

It’s not nearly as simple as you suggest.

Thomas Edison’s persistent belief that he and he alone (toward the end, via the Trust), owned and could dictate the use of all existing motion picture camera and/or projection equipment (even equipment manufactured and sold before he owned the patents, and even equipment manufactured overseas where his patents did not apply and other patents predated his) was a delusion that was gradually disassembled by the courts, ending with the unusual ‘corporate death sentence’ that finally took the MPPC out of the picture entirely.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.