Only two American industries have ever had the clout in Washington to force Congress to ban Wall Street from trading futures on their products. The first is onions—futures trading in no one’s favorite root vegetable was banned in the 1950s after farmers protested that Chicago speculators were manipulating prices. The other ban is more recent: In 2010, at the urging of the Motion Picture Association of America, one of Capitol Hill’s most powerful lobbies, Congress banned movie futures as part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill.
The big studios took on Wall Street—which isn’t known for losing lobbying fights—and won. So this month, when all the big entertainment companies joined forces with Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and the US Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s foremost big business lobby, to fight for sweeping anti-piracy legislation, it was almost a foregone conclusion that they would get what they wanted.
Instead, Big Hollywood lost. Here’s how it happened."