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James Cameron, Peter Jackson, and 21 Other Directors Issue Open Letter Against Video on Demand

James Cameron and Peter Jackson are among the 23 directors expressing their dismay at DirecTV's controversial (in the film industry, at least) deal with several major studios to make films available on Video on Demand just 60 days after their theatrical release. For $29.99, the VOD policy will allow DirecTV subscribers to "rent" recent film offerings for 48 hours while they are still playing in theaters. According to an open letter issued today from the legion of directors, this move—which has been agreed to by studios including Sony, Universal, and Fox Searchlight—will hurt "the financial model of our film industry":

As leaders in the creative community, we ask for a seat at the table. We want to hear the studios' plans for how this new distribution model will affect the future of the industry that we love. And until that happens, we ask that our studio partners do not rashly undermine the current - and successful - system of releasing films in a sequential distribution window that encourages movie lovers to see films in the optimum, and most profitable, exhibition arena: the movie theaters of America.

DirecTV's Video on Demand endeavor launches today with the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It, which has been in theaters for 70 days. Among the names signing the open letter: Michael Bay, Robert Zemeckis, Kathryn Bigelow, and Michael Mann.

Read the full story at EW.com and The LA Times.

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Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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