Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley on the latter’s home turf:
- Lawrence Lessig, pointed out Wednesday that millions of consumers are downloading music and other materials onto their computers because slow dial-up connections make it tough to stream content quickly to a variety of devices.
That’s bound to change within a few years as connections get faster, he said, making today’s debate irrelevant.
“In the future, it will be easier to pay for subscription services than to be an amateur database administrator who moves content from device to device,” Lessig said. “We’re legislating against a background of the Internet’s current architecture of content distribution, and this is a fundamental mistake.”
….Entrepreneurs here say Hollywood’s insistence on embedding anti-copying technology in devices would crimp product innovation in the flagging technology sector. Executives at startups say they have lost manufacturing contracts and venture capital funding because of the mere threat of litigation from the entertainment industry. [AP]
So once again we are back to the importance of broadband which will make delivery of content much more convenient and simple, and for which people will gladly pay a reasonable fee.
Meanwhile, in CNET, John Borland focuses on other aspects of the summit:
- Opponents of Hollywood’s drive to strengthen copyright law are mounting a new strategy: Require anything that has antipiracy technology built in to be clearly labeled and let consumers decide at the cash register.
Speaking at the Intel-sponsored Digital Rights Summit in Silicon Valley, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said he was close to introducing a bill that would likely require consumer-electronics devices or media such as music CDs to be clearly labeled with explanations of any anticopying restrictions. Several other legislators are preparing, or have already introduced, bills that contain labeling provisions that apply to specific devices or media such as digital televisions or audio CDs.
The nascent focus on labeling already has won the backing of key companies such as Intel. Supporters hope that as consumers avoid the most restrictive technologies, the broader points about the undesirability of limiting digital media use will be made.
“I want people to walk into every store in America and see that the product they’re about to buy has restrictions,” Wyden said. “Let’s take this to the marketplace.”
The new strategy marks a potentially realistic middle ground between competing legislative visions for how to control or unfetter the chaotic world of digital media and distribution.
….The Intel event, co-sponsored by consumer rights organization DigitalConsumer.org, proved largely a rallying of voices opposed to the strictest interpretations of copyright law supported by Hollywood, record labels and other copyright holders. Several companies that are being sued under broad interpretations of the DMCA, including a printer cartridge maker and a manufacturer of garage door openers, explained their lawsuits.