From the very beginning, the monopolistic MPPC was fought by the unlicensed independents (dubbed "pirates" or "outlaws"), led by IMP's founder Carl Laemmle (see below), a Jewish immigrant from Germany. Others who fought the MPPC included Harry E. Aitken ( Majestic Films ), William Fox (founder of the Fox Film Corporation ), and Adolph Zukor ( Famous Players , the precursor to Paramount ). The flexible, stealthy, and adventurous independents avoided coercive MPPC restrictions (the requirement to use only Trust film stock and projectors, for example) by using unlicensed equipment, obtaining their own film materials, and making films on the sly. Soon, they moved to California and opened up a rival film-making industry, where they could be comparatively safe, and there was abundant sunshine for film-making.
After that interview I was confined to deadlock maximum security in a subterranean dungeon, with ground-level chicken-wired windows painted gray. Twenty-three hours a day I was in that cell. Then, just before Christmas, I received a letter from Harry, a charity house Samaritan who doled out hot soup to the homeless in Phoenix. He had picked my name from a list of cons who had no one write to them. I wrote back asking for a grammar book, and a week later received one of Mary Baker Eddy’s treatises on salvation and redemption, with Spanish and English on opposing pages. Pacing my cell all day and most of each night, I grappled with grammar until I was able to write a long true-romance confession for a con to send to his pen pal. He paid me with a pack of smokes. Soon I had a thriving barter business, exchanging my poems and letters for novels, commissary pencils, and writing tablets.