The voices are getting louder on both sides of the copyright wars.
Michael Greene, the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, delivered a lecture during the Grammys, hysterically ranting about the upcoming death of the music industry caused by criminal freeloading swine. The New York Times published an article today debunking part of his speech – turns out he lied about the “students” propped up on stage as set dressing. The speech was obnoxious and condescending. ‘Nuff said.
Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA, published an editorial a couple of weeks ago in the Washington Post (reprinted everywhere) about the upcoming death of the movie industry caused by criminal freeloading swine. Today he reported that domestic theater revenues in 2001 were the highest in human history, production costs per movie are falling, and basically the industry is swimming in cash. The Register rakes him over the coals here.
There’s an analysis on Fox News about Senator Hollings (the “Senator from Disney”) and his unholy alliance with the entertainment industries. He’s the one championing the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act, which would mandate the inclusion of copy-protection in every digital device and every computer operating system.
Surprisingly, Democrats are siding with the entertainment industry and against consumers on many of these issues. It makes sense when you look at the numbers – namely, $24.2 million in campaign contributions by the entertainment industry to Democrats in the 2000 election cycle, versus only $13.3 million to Republicans.
Two noteworthy things about the article: one, it explains many of the issues in plain English; and two, it’s a sign that the copyright wars may be making their way into the mainstream press.
One analyst reacted to Greene’s Grammy speech with good common sense. He said, the recording industry has forgotten a basic principle of business: assume your customer is always right, and tempt him or her to buy your product by enticing them with exciting products at reasonable prices. Instead, Greene lectured the audience at home on their wicked, wicked ways – an approach that seems so obviously wrongheaded that it’s hard to imagine what their thinking is.