Tech and Content
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 positionat this stagewould be roughly the same as Jacks. The one thing I am trying to do isthe tech world and the, I hate to use the word content, world, because were all kind of in this togetherthese 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.How?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? Televisionand its not just television, its all sorts of delivery systems to the individualare 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 contextmore than likely there will be a strong look at thatbut I think the marketplace will be the main place where a lot of this stuff is decided. eWEEK.com 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.