Without copyright term extensions, old films wouldn’t get distributed, argues the entertainment industry. ‘Indiscriminate exploitation’ by public domain copyists would reduce the flow of cash to Big Media and hence the motivation Big Media needs to ‘publish’ films.
CS Monitor

Intellectual property academics Lawrence Lessig and Jason Schultz say that’s so much baloney. Digging around the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Schultz finds that out of the 37,000 or so movies released between 1927 and 1946, only 2,480, 6.8%, are commercially available.
Lessig Blog

So, advice to Hollywood: why not place the whole lot in the public domain and see what happens?