March 14, 2003page 13 of 26

Lawsuit editorial reveals ignorance of legal process

March 14, 2003

It is obvious to me that Tony Kluemper, author of the editorial "Movie lawsuit frivolous, ridiculous" in last week's issue of the Technique, has no real concept of law, commerce or art. As such, perhaps we should have been spared the embarrassment of his foolishly written article.

The argument put forth in the lawsuit is that if a patron is personally subsidizing the showing of a film by buying a ticket, that patron has the right to expect the film to begin at the printed and scheduled time. To say a film begins at 2:00 when it doesn't begin until 2:20 is called a false business practice.

To then use the audience as a source of commercial revenue for those 20 minutes is manipulative and unethical. The theater is then taking, from a packed theater, 6000 minutes of time. This is the argument put forth by the lawsuit.

It is valid and reasonable, unlike Mr. Kluemper's absurd comparison to a late teacher. Imagine if that teacher was not late but instead spent the first ten minutes of class time trying to sell his students Amway products before class started. That would be unethical. That would be a theft of time in the same manner of a movie theater showing commercials.

Finally, in response to the movie-ticket prices argument, ticket prices have gone up 30% in the last several years, generating more than enough revenue to keep the theaters afloat. Commercial revenue is simply icing on the cake to these complexes. Next time he writes, Mr. Kluemper should probably either do some research, some serious thinking, or at least write something about which he's qualified to write.

Matthias Shapiro gte944w@prism.gatech.edu
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