Andy Vuong reports from telecom confab:
- The debate over the legalities and impact of file-swapping services pioneered by the now-defunct Napster took center stage Tuesday at the annual Progress & Freedom Foundation’s Aspen Summit.
The gathering of more than 200 telecom executives and government officials, which began in Aspen on Sunday at the St. Regis Hotel, ends today.
Peter Chernin, chief operating officer of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., argued during a keynote address that such services are a threat to the national economy.
“Every one of our promising digital technologies, all the emerging business opportunities and every consumer-driven media service in the world will fail if the unchecked stealing of content is allowed to continue the way it’s being allowed right now,” Chernin said.
“Without adequate security to protect fair trade by digital means, and given the rampant hijacking of content we currently face, the development of viable digital businesses in the next few years will be severely impeded.”
Though Napster collapsed this year after attracting 70 million users in just a few years of existence, other services that allow people to freely share music, movies and other files through the Internet, such as Gnutella and WinMX, still exist.
“We can’t compete against free,” Chernin said.
But others said that the media industry would have to…..