Richard Metzger was the co-founder and creative director of Disinfo. He’s now the online editor at the LA Times’ alt weekly Brand X and the host of his own online talk show Dangerous Minds. He talked to me by phone on May 24th from his home in LA about the end of Hollywood as we know it, the future of advertising, and the circus that is the right-wing media.
You co-wrote a book treatment, which was originally called Hollywood Ending and then you renamed it Free for All, on the subject of digital piracy. Could you tell us about the research you did and the conclusions you came to?
This was written in the beginning of 2007 and I co-wrote this extended treatment, which ended up reading like a mini-book, with my old friend Steven Daly, who is a long-time contributing editor at Vanity Fair*. It was taken from what I had seen as someone who was working in the DVD distribution business and also as someone who was downloading quite a number of things myself , true for Steven as well and so seeing it from that insider’s perspective and as someone who was also doing a lot of downloading. We looked around and that story wasn’t really being told. Parts of the story were being told in a lot of different places, but it had never been told in one place with a narrative arc. Since the time we wrote that treatment, a number of books have come out on the topic, but nothing exactly like what we wrote about.