Contents 1 Creation 1.1 The addition of Biograph 2 Policies 2.1 Content 3 Backlash and decline 4 See also 5 References 6 External links


Creation[edit] The MPPC was preceded by the Edison licensing system, in effect in 1907–1908, on which the MPPC was modeled. During the 1890s, Thomas Edison owned most of the major American patents relating to motion picture cameras. The Edison Manufacturing Company's patent lawsuits against each of its domestic competitors crippled the American film industry, reducing American production mainly to two companies: Edison and Biograph, which used a different camera design. This left Edison's other rivals with little recourse but to import French and British films. Since 1902, Edison had also been notifying distributors and exhibitors that if they did not use Edison machines and films exclusively, they would be subject to litigation for supporting filmmaking that infringed Edison's patents. Exhausted by the lawsuits, Edison's competitors — Essanay, Kalem, Pathé Frères, Selig, and Vitagraph — approached him in 1907 to negotiate a licensing agreement, which Lubin was also invited to join. The one notable filmmaker excluded from the licensing agreement was Biograph, which Edison hoped to squeeze out of the market. No further applicants could become licensees. The purpose of the licensing agreement, according to an Edison lawyer, was to "preserve the business of present manufacturers and not to throw the field open to all competitors." The addition of Biograph[edit] Biograph retaliated for being frozen out of the Trust agreement by purchasing the patent to the Latham film loop, a key feature of virtually all motion picture cameras then in use. Edison sued to gain control of the patent; however, after a federal court upheld the validity of the patent in 1907,[1] Edison began negotiation with Biograph in May 1908 to reorganize the Edison licensing system. The resulting trust pooled 16 motion picture patents. Ten were considered of minor importance; the remaining key six pertained one each to films, cameras, and the Latham loop, and three to projectors.[2]


Policies[edit] Several films in production circa 1907 The MPPC eliminated the outright sale of films to distributors and exhibitors, replacing it with rentals, which allowed quality control over prints that had formerly been exhibited long past their prime. The Patents Company also established a uniform rental rate for all licensed films, thereby removing price as a factor for the exhibitor in film selection, in favor of selection made on quality, which in turn encouraged the upgrading of production values. However, the MPPC also established a monopoly on all aspects of filmmaking. Eastman Kodak, which owned the patent on raw film stock, was a member of the Trust and thus agreed to sell stock only to other members. Likewise, the Trust's control of patents on motion picture cameras ensured that only MPPC studios were able to film, and the projector patents allowed the Trust to make licensing agreements with distributors and theaters – and thus determine who screened their films and where. The patents owned by the MPPC allowed them to use federal law enforcement officials to enforce their licensing agreements and to prevent unauthorized use of their cameras, films, projectors, and other equipment. In some cases, however, the MPPC made use of hired thugs and mob connections to violently disrupt productions that were not licensed by the Trust.[3] Content[edit] The MPPC also strictly regulated the production content of their films, primarily as a means of cost control. Films were initially limited to one reel in length (13–17 minutes),[4] although competition by independent and foreign producers by 1912 led to the introduction of two-reelers, and by 1913, three- and four-reelers.[5]


Backlash and decline[edit] Nestor Studio, Hollywood's first movie studio, 1912 Many independent filmmakers, who controlled from one-quarter to one-third of the domestic marketplace, responded to the creation of the MPPC by moving their operations to Hollywood, whose distance from Edison's home base of New Jersey made it more difficult for the MPPC to enforce its patents.[6] The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and covers the area, was averse to enforcing patent claims.[7] Southern California was also chosen because of its beautiful year-round weather and varied countryside; its topography, semi-arid climate and widespread irrigation gave its landscapes the ability to offer motion picture shooting scenes set in deserts, jungles and great mountains. Hollywood had one additional advantage: if a non-licensed studio was sued, it was only a hundred miles to "run for the border" and get out of the US to Mexico, where the trust's patents were not in effect and thus equipment could not be seized.[citation needed] The reasons for The MPPC's decline are manifold. The first blow came in 1911, when Eastman Kodak modified its exclusive contract with the MPPC, to allow Kodak, which led the industry in quality and price, to sell its raw film stock to unlicensed independents. The number of theaters exhibiting independent films grew by 33 percent within twelve months, to half of all houses. Another reason was the MPPC's overestimation of the efficiency of controlling the motion picture industry through patent litigation and the exclusion of independents from licensing. The slow process of using detectives to investigate patent infringements, and of obtaining injunctions against the infringers, was outpaced by the dynamic rise of new companies in diverse locations. Despite the rise in popularity of feature films in 1912–1913 from independent producers and foreign imports, the MPPC was very reluctant to make the changes necessary to distribute such longer films. Edison, Biograph, Essanay, and Vitagraph did not release their first features until 1914, after dozens, if not hundreds, of feature films had been released by independents.[8] Patent royalties to the MPPC ended in September 1913 with the expiration of the last of the patents filed in the mid-1890s at the dawn of commercial film production and exhibition. Thus the MPPC lost the ability to control the American film industry through patent licensing, and had to rely instead on its subsidiary, the General Film Company, formed in 1910, which monopolized film distribution in America. The outbreak of World War I in 1914 cut off most of the European market, which played a much more significant part of the revenue and profit for MPPC members than for the independents, which concentrated on Westerns produced for a primarily American market. The end came with a federal court decision in United States v. Motion Picture Patents Co. on October 1, 1915,[9] which ruled that the MPPC's acts went "far beyond what was necessary to protect the use of patents or the monopoly which went with them" and was therefore an illegal restraint of trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act.[2] An appellate court dismissed the Patent Company's appeal, and officially terminated the MPPC in 1918.


See also[edit] History of cinema


References[edit] ^ Edison v. American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 151 F. 767 (2d. Cir. 1907). ^ a b U.S. v. Motion Picture Patents Co., 225 F. 800 (E.D. Pa. 1915). ^ Bach, Steven (1999). Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film that Sank United Artists. New York: Newmarket Press. p. 30. ISBN 1-55-704374-4.  ^ Projection speeds ranged from 16 to 20 frames per second. ^ For example, the four-reelers From the Manger to the Cross (Kalem, 1913), The Battle of Shiloh (Lubin, 1913), and The Third Degree (Lubin, 1913). ^ Edidin, Peter (August 21, 2005). "La-La Land: The Origins". The New York Times. p. 4.2. Los Angeles's distance from New York was also comforting to independent film producers, making it easier for them to avoid being harassed or sued by the Motion Picture Patents Company, AKA the Trust, which Thomas Edison helped create in 1909.  ^ e.g., Zan v. Mackenzie, 80 F. 732 (9th Cir. 1897). , Germain v. Wilgus, 67 F. 597 (9th Cir. 1895). and Johnson Co. v. Pac. Rolling Mills Co., 51 F. 762 (9th Cir. 1892). . ^ Per the American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures, 8 American features were released in 1912, 61 in 1913, and 354 in 1914. ^ "Orders Movie Trust to be Broken Up". New York Times. October 2, 1915. 


External links[edit] Before the Nickelodeon: Motion Picture Patents Company Agreements History of Edison Motion Pictures: Litigation and Licensees Independence In Early And Silent American Cinema Armando Franco (May 11, 2004). "The Motion Picture Patents Company vs. The Independent Outlaws" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-02.  v t e Thomas Edison Discoveries and inventions List of Edison patents Carbon microphone Edison's Phonograph Doll Edison screw Etheric force Kinetoscope Phonograph Phonomotor Quadruplex telegraph Tasimeter Advancements Consolidated Edison Edison–Lalande cell Fluoroscopy Incandescent light bulb Movie camera Nickel–iron battery Thermionic emission Ticker tape Ventures Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Edison and Swan Electric Light Company Edison Gower-Bell Telephone Company of Europe, Ltd. Edison Illuminating Company Edison Machine Works Edison Manufacturing Company Edison Ore-Milling Company Edison Portland Cement Company Edison Records Edison Storage Battery Company Edison Studios General Electric Motion Picture Patents Company Mine Safety Appliances Oriental Telephone Company Monuments Birthplace Black Maria Depot Museum Memorial Tower and Museum National Historical Park State Park Storage Battery Company Building General Electric Research Laboratory Winter Estates Family Charles Edison (son) Theodore Miller Edison (son) Films Young Tom Edison (1940) Edison, the Man (1940) "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" (1998) Literature The Future Eve (1886) Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898) Tales from the Bully Pulpit (2004) Productions The Execution of Mary Stuart (1895) The Kiss (1896) A Night of Terror (1911) Terms Edisonade Edisonian approach Related Thomas Edison in popular culture War of Currents Pearl Street Station Edison Museum Thomas Edison House Edison Hotel Telephonoscope "Topsy" Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Motion_Picture_Patents_Company&oldid=810376803" Categories: History of filmThomas EdisonMedia companies disestablished in 1918Monopoly (economics)American companies established in 1908Media companies established in 19081918 disestablishments in the United StatesHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from January 2017


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Trust (19th Century)Edison StudiosBiograph StudiosVitagraph StudiosEssanay StudiosSelig Polyscope CompanyLubin Manufacturing CompanyKalem CompanyStar Film CompanyPathé FrèresFilm DistributorGeorge KleineFilm StockEastman KodakFilm ProductionThomas EdisonPatentLatham LoopLatham LoopEnlargeThugsEnlargeNestor StudiosHollywood, CaliforniaNew JerseyNinth Circuit Court Of AppealsSan FranciscoCaliforniaSouthern CaliforniaTopographySemi-aridIrrigationWikipedia:Citation NeededFeature FilmGeneral Film CompanyMonopolyWorld War IWestern (genre)United States V. Motion Picture Patents Co.Sherman Antitrust ActHistory Of CinemaInternational Standard Book NumberSpecial:BookSources/1-55-704374-4From The Manger To The CrossKalem CompanyLubin Manufacturing CompanyThe New York TimesNew York TimesTemplate:Thomas EdisonTemplate Talk:Thomas EdisonThomas EdisonList Of Edison PatentsCarbon MicrophoneEdison's Phonograph DollEdison ScrewEtheric ForceKinetoscopePhonographPhonomotorQuadruplex TelegraphTasimeterConsolidated EdisonEdison–Lalande CellFluoroscopyIncandescent Light BulbMovie CameraNickel–iron BatteryThermionic EmissionTicker TapeThomas A. Edison, Inc.Edison And Swan Electric Light CompanyEdison Gower-Bell Telephone Company Of Europe, Ltd.Edison Illuminating CompanyEdison Machine WorksEdison Manufacturing CompanyEdison Ore-Milling CompanyEdison Portland Cement CompanyEdison RecordsEdison Storage Battery CompanyEdison StudiosGeneral ElectricMine Safety AppliancesOriental Telephone CompanyThomas Alva Edison BirthplaceEdison's Black MariaThomas Edison Depot MuseumThomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower And MuseumThomas Edison National Historical ParkEdison State ParkEdison Storage Battery Company BuildingGeneral Electric Research LaboratoryEdison And Ford Winter EstatesCharles EdisonTheodore Miller EdisonYoung Tom EdisonEdison, The ManThe Wizard Of Evergreen TerraceThe Future EveEdison's Conquest Of MarsTales From The Bully PulpitThe Execution Of Mary StuartThe Kiss (1896 Film)A Night Of Terror (1911 Film)EdisonadeEdisonian ApproachThomas Edison In Popular CultureWar Of CurrentsPearl Street StationEdison MuseumThomas Edison HouseEdison Hotel (Sunbury, Pennsylvania)TelephonoscopeTopsy (Bob's Burgers)Help:CategoryCategory:History Of FilmCategory:Thomas EdisonCategory:Media Companies Disestablished In 1918Category:Monopoly (economics)Category:American Companies Established In 1908Category:Media Companies Established In 1908Category:1918 Disestablishments In The United StatesCategory:All Articles With Unsourced StatementsCategory:Articles With Unsourced Statements From January 2017Discussion About Edits From This IP Address [n]A List Of Edits Made From This IP Address [y]View The Content Page [c]Discussion About The Content Page [t]Edit This Page [e]Visit The Main Page [z]Guides To Browsing WikipediaFeatured Content – The Best Of WikipediaFind Background Information On Current EventsLoad A Random Article [x]Guidance On How To Use And Edit WikipediaFind Out About WikipediaAbout The Project, What You Can Do, Where To Find ThingsA List Of Recent Changes In The Wiki [r]List Of All English Wikipedia Pages Containing Links To This Page [j]Recent Changes In Pages Linked From This Page [k]Upload Files [u]A List Of All Special Pages [q]Wikipedia:AboutWikipedia:General Disclaimer



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