February 19, 2003
"It's not Hollywood Verses Technology, it's the Incumbents Verses the Innovators" ~ Hank Barry at the Digital Rights Summit

Today at the Digital Rights Summit held at Intel but organized by Digital Consumer.org, Joe Kraus, one of the founders, introduced the Summit saying that the ability to freely innovate is endangered with protected systems, and SV is under threat with something unable to be seen: over-applied copyright. The first unintended consequence of the DMCA and copyright is that we no longer ask the question, is something fair use? We ask, is it anti-circumvention? The second unintended consequence is the use of copyright to stop innovation and consumer fair use.

Panel 1:

Hank Berry at Hummer Winblad, as well as Senator Ron Wyden, Bill Aho of ClearPlay, Greg Ballard of SONICblue, Skip London of Static Control, David Djavaherian who represents Skylink, Congressman Howard Berman, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren sat on a panel discussing the unintended consequences for business of the current digital rights/IP situation.

Key points: New ventures don't get funded because of IP problems. ~ Berry

Defending SONICblue costs $3 million a quarter, which could be spent hiring 120 people to innovate. ~Ballard

None of this is as important as health insurance or the economy. ~Berman (Continued key points here.)

Complete notes are located here as a doc or here as html.

Updated: Coverage by others is here: Wired, CNET , SF Gate.com, SV.com, slashdot.

Panel 1 continued:

The courts will do a better job defining fair use than Congress. There will be no investment without certainty in the law. ~Lofgren

We're just letting people access their garages -- truly. ~Djavaherian

In response, Berman mumbled "that's illegal."

You have the right to have any experience you want (with your entertainment). ~Aho (see previous post on Clearplay)

Larry Lessig gave his poetry slam on copyright. Key points:

We are legislating using yesterday's technologies as a model. Technologies are in transition. We don't know where the innovations will come. Industries get Napsterized so they fight back. Ease of reuse is key to innovation. Compulsory licensing will solve this. There is a tiny sliver of fair use that does function sometimes. There should be a limit to wrapping up content. Pam Samuelson is right that there should be a way to circumvent for fair use under the DMCA.

We say "we want balance" and they say "that's because you're a communist."


Panel 2:

Van Baker of Gartner Research, Michael Maia of PortalPlayer, Michael Petricone VP of Tech Policy at the CEA, and Fred von Lohmann of EFF talked about what's at stake for consumers.

Key points: Consumers view media as a household purchase. ~Baker

We are never going to match Hollywood for lobbyists and campaign contributions, but there are many more consumers out there than lobbyists. ~Petricone

Answers may lie in the tensions between creators and media companies: offer a positive message for supporting creators verses media companies to gain artist support. ~von Lohmann

Posted by Mary Hodder at February 19, 2003 06:36 PM
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