FC: Replies to Calif's Feinstein cozies up to SSSCA, anti-copying laws

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Mar 19 2002 - 21:07:41 PST

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    Previous Politech message:
    "California's Sen. Feinstein cozies up to SSSCA, anti-copying laws"
    Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 11:56:37 +1100
    From: Nathan Cochrane <ncochraneat_private>
    Reply-To: ncochraneat_private
    Organization: The Age newspaper
    To: declanat_private
    Subject: Re: FC: California's Sen. Feinstein cozies up to SSSCA, 
    anti-copying laws
    Hi Declan
    I don't have too much sympathy for Hollywood.
    Back in 1996, while writing a story on digital distribution of music, I 
    called all the major US-based record labels in Australia and asked them 
    about MP3. None of them had heard of it. When I suggested it could kill 
    their businesses, they scoffed at me. With a lot of heat, some accused me 
    of fear mongering and being ill-informed.
    Two years ago, I got a similar response from some film distributors when I 
    asked about DivX;) Seems these guys, despite being vertically and 
    horizontally integrated, just don't learn the lessons from other divisions.
    The knee-jerk reaction of "Content Co.'s" after the horse has taken off 
    down the laneway, is to build a steel wall where the gate once stood. Only, 
    the old wooden fence is as ricketty as it ever was.
    The SSSCA is a bad law. But bad laws seem to be the order of the day in the 
    US at the moment. The rest of the world wouldn't likely care, except the US 
    uses its economic and political might to export bad laws on to the rest of us.
    Movie boss lets fly at PC pirates
    All Hollywood has to do is embrace the technology and do a better job than 
    the crackers and hackers. Give the people what they want and the problem 
    becomes an asset. But the myopia of people whose business is creative 
    vision is renowned.
    Maybe someone should make a movie about it?
    I'm reminded of a scene in the 1993 movie written by Ebbe Roe Smith and 
    starring Michael Douglas, Falling Down. Douglas' character, William 
    Foster/D-Fens, walks into a fast food outlet. He is told that because the 
    breakfast menu stopped a few minutes earlier, he can't have his order. He 
    asks if the server remembers when the customer was always right?
    "That's not our motto," the server tells him through gritted teeth, and 
    then loops the request to order from the lunch menu as if the previous 
    conversation never happened.
    Seems the content industries are stuck in a loop, and they are demanding we 
    pay. And if we don't, they have no scruples about bending representative 
    democracy and our elected public servants to service their shareholders.
    FYI from Tuesday 15 August 2000
    Mayhem at the movies
    Michael Saunders' popular website, Global DiVX, is a small but important 
    cog in a worldwide movement that threatens the movie industry's economic base.
    Smile, you're on ;-) camera
    DIVX ;-) is a rough and ready amalgam of two technologies - the MPEG4 video 
    CODEC hacked from a beta version of Microsoft's Windows Media Player (WMP) 
    and MP3 for the stereo sound track.
    See change in the video store
    HOLLYWOOD and its dependents have a narrow window of opportunity to avoid a 
    rerun of the MP3 traumas that have beset the music recording industry. They 
    can either embrace new technologies like DivX ;) or be swallowed by them.
    DivX;) Video
    Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 19:48:55 -0800
    To: declanat_private
    From: "A.Lizard" <alizardat_private>
    Subject: Re: FC: California's Sen. Feinstein cozies up to SSSCA,
       anti-copying laws
    At 10:36 AM 3/15/02 -0500, you wrote:
    >Politech SSSCA archive:
    >    Cal Senator: Hollywood Over Tech
    >    By Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
    >    2:00 a.m. March 15, 2002 PST
    >    WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein may come from Northern California,
    >    but she's siding with Hollywood instead of Silicon Valley.
    Here's why:
    campaign contributions - industry totals
    4       TV/Movies/Music                 $214,638
    8       Computer Equipment & Services   $103,016
    While incompetence might also play a role in this, I assume the money is 
    the main factor in deciding Feinstein's actions. I'd say that the 
    entertainment content sector is getting good value for money.
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