Tech and Content

By Chris Nolan  |  Posted 2005-05-04 Print this article Print

Having said that, Larry Lessig has put forth his Creative Commons licensing idea. Former MPAA head Jack Valenti didnt quite endorse it but seemed receptive. Have you changed course on that? My position—at this stage—would be roughly the same as Jacks. The one thing I am trying to do is—the tech world and the, I hate to use the word content, world, because were all kind of in this together—these two worlds are worlds that have to work together. What Ive noticed in Washington over the past 10 or 15 years is that every issue thats worked on becomes Armageddon here, and I want to try and keep these issues as much as possible from becoming another Armageddon type of thing.
The only thing you can really do is keep talking, keep the lines of communication open. The other night, I was at a dinner for Bill Gates. Microsoft invited me to come. Theres all sorts of opportunities where we can work together and talk. Are you talking to any companies besides Microsoft? Yes. We as an organization are talking to all the companies. Including TiVo? Yes. As a matter of fact, at the Consumer Electronics Show, I met with the TiVo people. Theres no reason not to meet with them. I dont think a lot of people understand the television aspect of the motion picture business [Most TV shows are produced by the studios]. Its like the old Pogo thing: We have met the enemy and it is us, so to speak. Who would have thought that them would become us? Television—and its not just television, its all sorts of delivery systems to the individual—are all now part of our world, and they werent years and years ago. Thats an interesting point. When you talk about MPAA, youre talking about people who are used to selling large packages of content to people. Were moving into a one-to-one world, and TiVo allows me to record a program, not necessarily watch a channel. The concept of time shifting generally, thats obviously an enormous change, particularly for the television and broadcast part of this business. Modern technology, digital technology will allow the consumer to do an awful lot of things that are inconsistent with the historic mode of how broadcast television was created. Its just an enormous challenge for people in this business. Thats why so many of them have gone into multiple businesses. What kind of time frame do you see for Grokster? The decision will come out sometime near the end of June [the Supreme Court adjourns at the end of June and issues its opinions before that date]. And then well see. No body knows exactly what the decision is. Obviously, were getting ready to anticipate that, both offensively and defensively, as Im sure some in the tech community are doing as well. Were waiting to see what it is and then to see what, if any, remedies are needed or desirable, either in the legislative context—more than likely there will be a strong look at that—but I think the marketplace will be the main place where a lot of this stuff is decided. technology and politics columnist Chris Nolan spent years chronicling the excesses of the dot-com era with incisive analysis leavened with a dash of humor. Before that, she covered politics and technology in D.C. You can read her musings on politics and technology every day in her Politics from Left to Right Weblog. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.

Standalone journalist Chris Nolan runs 'Politics from Left to Right,' a political Web site at that focuses on the intersection of politics, technology and business issues in San Francisco, in California and on the national scene.

Nolan's work is well-known to tech-savvy readers. Her weekly syndicated column, 'Talk is Cheap,' appeared in The New York Post, Upside, and other publications. Debuting in 1997 at the beginnings of the Internet stock boom, it covered a wide variety of topics and was well regarded for its humor, insight and news value.

Nolan has led her peers in breaking important stories. Her reporting on Silicon Valley banker Frank Quattrone was the first to uncover the now infamous 'friend of Frank' accounts and led, eventually, to Quattrone's conviction on obstruction of justice charges.

In addition to columns and Weblogging, Nolan's work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, Fortune, Business 2.0 and Condé, Nast Traveler, and she has spoken frequently on the impact of Weblogging on politics and journalism.

Before moving to San Francisco, Nolan, who has more than 20 years of reporting experience, wrote about politics and technology in Washington, D.C., for a series of television trade magazines. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.


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