Archive for December 6th, 2007

Content piracy: What’s the MPAA doing about it?

It’s clear there’s a battle brewing over whether service providers can legally filter content, whether it is to prevent piracy, protect applications such as voice and video or keep peer-to-peer traffic from swamping the network. There are multiple approaches to doing this today and more on the way.

Dan Glickman, chairman and CEO of the Motion Pictures Association of America told UBS’s 35th annual Global Media and Communications Conference that his organization is working directly with ISPs and with its own technical arm, Movie Labs, to develop and deploy technology that can detect illegal usage of copyright-protected material. Glickman singled out AT&T as one company with whom the MPAA is working, but also said other ISPs are on the list.

“My prediction is the ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this – they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing that content is being properly protected,” Glickman said.

Understandably, this has some folks’ shorts in a twist. You can read what Broadband Reports and Ars Technia said.

What most of the reports of Glickman’s speech failed to pick up on, however, were the other ways in which the MPAA is working to stop piracy of copyrighted content. One of those is education, he said – working with schools to explain to a tech-savvy generation why stealing content is a bad idea.

And another is working with its members to “find new ways to deliver content at reasonable prices,” Glickman said. That is especially important for younger viewers, he added, who are looking to get content in new forms other than at the movie theater or on traditional TV.

To the extent the MPAA and content distributors develop a good business model for achieving that latter goal, they could go a long way to address casual piracy by otherwise law-abiding citizens. And that’s something to which no one can object.


December 2007
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