Darknet Panel Discussion
SXSW 2006 Panel discussion on 'DarkNet'
John Lebowsky: "Derek Powazek and Cory Doctorow post about the Darknet panel I asked J.D. Lasica to put together for the Digital Convergence Initiative's track at SXSW Interactive this year, and they seem to imply that the session was an angry shouting match between audience members and the MPAA's PR person Kori Bernards, who gamely fielded questions and complaints about the MPAA's technology-breaking restrictions. In fact everyone was civil. It's worthwhile to listen to the mp3 that SXSW posted – the session went very well though it was more about piracy, copyright and new technologies than about darknets per se. Kori said that the MPAA's antipiracy work is threefold... 1) working with law enforcement and governments around the world to stop Internet piracy, 2) attempting to educate consumers about copyright, and what you can and can't do, and 3) working to harness new technologies in ways that consumers will dig. She says they're trying to protect artists and prevent the abuse of new technology to steal copyright material. I.e. she said what you would expect, the MPAA party line, without reference to constraints that break technology and prevent fair use.
Kevin Smokler mentioned Paco Underhill's theory that, if retail spaces are used in unintended ways by consumers, it could be there's a problem in the way the public space is presented. He extends that to say that, if large numbers of people are downloading movies and infringing copyrights, that may not suggest that the public is looking to stick it to the man and break the law. Rather, the way we currently distribute content is not working. If the MPAA and its members can't do it fast enough, that's not necessarily the moviegoers' problem. Instead of saying those who download movies are criminals who want to violate copyright, perhaps the MPAA should provide a way to download movies and do so quickly, and legally. Kori: "I think that Hollywood hears your point. I think it's clear that you're the consumer of the future... everybody gets that people want what they want when they want. We also have to protect copyrights..." then she goes on to note that it's an exciting time in Hollywood ("may you live in exciting times"), that Hollywood wants to be accommodating. Hmmm.
Then David Thomas brought up mashups ("an entire industry to be made from people who want to do mashups"). People will pay for the right to create new works from samples. Ian Clarke: how do you determine who gets what revenue from a mashup?
Polycot's Maida Barbour noted that the MPAA (and RIAA) are not necessarily protecting artists. The very basis of representation has to change. Artists have to understand that their rights are not necessarily being protected in the way the machine is working right now. They have to understand what the ramifications are when they sell their works to the status quo vs having control over where their rights and permissions go. How can we better present the reality to artists, disseminate that information so that they will understand just what their rights are..." (http://www.weblogsky.com/archives/000829.html)