Hollywood and Silicon Valley talk piracy, DRM, DMCA and distribution

Content Creators MIA from discussions on Entertainment in the Internet Age

Heavyweights from Hollywood and Silicon Valley gathered at Stanford this week for a 2-day event called  Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age (ETIA).  Co-sponsored by SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) and Stanford’s SCIEN (Stanford Center for Image Engineering) the was billed as an opportunity to “…explore the tech, creative, and biz requirements for delivering a compelling, high quality, monetizable entertainment experience over the web.”   From the event schedule comes this summary:

Entertainment technology development and content deployment has historically been the purview of Hollywood and traditional broadcast media. However, rapid convergence of technology improvements in connectivity, bandwidth, and media-processing coupled with consumer interest has caused a surge in media distribution over the web.

Day one program sessions included Making Content for the Internet, Distributing Content via the Internet, and an evening event “Legal and Illegal Distribution over the Internet: Can We Find Common Solution(s)?   Panelists for this event included:

Mitch Singer/CTO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Steve Weinstein/CTO, Deluxe Entertainment Service Group
Chris Odgers/VP Technology, Warner Bros.
Stephen Balogh/Technology Policy Specialist, Intel
Fred von Lohmann/Legal Director, Copyright, Google
Eric Klinker/CEO, BitTorrent

David Cardinal covered the event for extremetech.com and summarized the event this way:

Instead of threats from both sides, opening statements from Sony and Warner Brothers sounded a conciliatory note, agreeing in principal with the message from fellow panelists representing Google and BitTorrent that market-based solutions were the best way to solve the piracy problem. As the evening wore on, though, gloves started to come off, with the studios falling back on pleas for greater legal tools and the tech companies urging more of a free market approach for content distribution.

Day 2 of the event feature more on panels including the  Distributing Content via the Internet (continued), Paying for Content via the Web, and Enjoying the Content (Users Experience).  If you review the panelists they include, not surprisingly  a who’s who of software engineers, executives from the tech and entertainment industries, and attorneys.

Given the event’s sponsors this isn’t particularly surprising.  However, if we are to make any substantive progress on finding a path forward in this debate, wouldn’t it make sense to include at least some of those who actually create the content?  Just a thought…

For Cardinal’s full account of the evening’s piracy discussions it’s worth reading his full story here.