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Music & Tech Sectors Reach Landmark Deal
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2003-01-23
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Few relationships are as thorny as that between the music and technology industries. From the SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) debacle, to contentious legal challenges (Verizon, Internet backbone providers) and enticing 'free music' ads by computer makers and DSL providers, they've clashed on most issues emerging from digital revolution & Net. And of course, that relationship has been reflected in the legislative proposals being considered by Congress, with the music industry supporting Sen. Fritz Hollings bill to mandate copy-protection technology while the tech sector lobbies for Rep. Rick Boucher's amendment to DMCA to strengthen fair usage rights.

In a major defection from the entertainment camp (primarily Hollywood), the RIAA has joined the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP) in a landmark agreement to set a core of principles "to guide public policy activities in the new Congress regarding the distribution of digital content." On a practical level, it will mean that both sides will drop support for their respective 'pet' legislation, effectively killing the Hollywood-supported Hollings bill, as well as increased cooperation in tackling piracy and meeting consumer needs. Both sides would also work together in proposing any legislative initiatives.

The agreement represent a bold move for the recording industry, which is trying to clean its house and increasingly focused on creating a viable business strategy beyond litigation. It's not clear, though, that it will represent any real change on the daily battlefield. Computer and device manufacturers will continue to push functionalities that help sell PCs & iPods, including the CD burner, which Miles Copeland denounced at Noorderslag as the real piracy threat (over the Net). But that might not be so bad since this is also what will most convince consumers to pony-up for that digital media. What the agreement clearly lays out, however, is a most constructive environment than both sides have had for years to figure out how the music industry can keep its IP cake while letting consumers eat it too!

Related News from Mi2N:
» Recording, Technology Industries Reach Groundbreaking Agreement On Approach To Digital Content Issues
» Berman Lauds Agreement Between Recording Industry And Technology Companies
» CEA Responds To RIAA/Trade Group Digital Content Agreement


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