History and Function of the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) Essay

History and Function of the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) Essay

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American film began with Thomas Edison who “envisioned a kind of ‘coin-operated/entertainment machine’ in which motion pictures made by the Kinetograph would illustrate the sound from the phonograph.”(Cook 8) He owned a studio called “Black Maria” in New Jersey. In 1894, Edison named his company the Edison Manufacturing Company. When WKL Dickson started his company, the Biograph, he started the patents war simultaneously. Before the Biograph was formed, Edison and his company were successfully dominated the motion picture field. Even the Lumiere brothers came to the U.S. with their cinematograph, Edison found it easy to keep his dominance power. Domestic competitions were happened very soon after the success of Edison. The first competitor was Biograph Company. This was a special case with Dickson because he had worked with Edison to create the Kinetograph, a 35mm camera, and he knew how to challenge Edison. Moreover, he created a different camera called Mutoscope which could shot 70 mm film. Besides, as the demand of the market was exceeded the supply, this also induced the competition. Nevertheless, with the set up of Vitagraph by Stauart Blackson, competition between these three major studios became more serious. Even Edison filed over twenty lawsuits to confront these challenges, he was failed to bring an end to these new companies. It was dramatically hard for Edison to file lawsuit on Biograph, for Dickson was his former employer and remained a great threat to his company. After that, many smaller companies emerged to the market, increasing the competition. By then, Edison strongly felt the need to remain the dominated power, so he introduced the MPPC. Subsequently, Edison and Biograph companies formed The Motion Picture Pat...


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...ory of Narrative Film. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004. Print.

"Before the Nickelodeon." UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004. Web. 17 June 2011. http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft3q2nb2gw.

"Edison Film Production - Litigation and Licensees." Inventors. Web. 17 June 2011.
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl_Edison_Motion_Pictures4.htm.

"Independence in Early and Silent American Cinema - Independent Film - Movie, Show, Name, Scene, Role, Documentary." Film Reference. Web. 17 June 2011. http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Independent-Film-Road-Movies/Independent-Film-INDEPENDENCE-IN-EARLY-AND-SILENT-AMERICAN-CINEMA.html.

"Film History: The Motion Picture Patent Wars « The Cinephile Fix." The Cinephile Fix. Web. 17 June 2011. .

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