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Re: [dvd-discuss] New EFF staff attorney

Wendy Seltzer wrote:

> My first EFF appearance will be at the Consumer Electronics Show later
> this week, supporting electronics manufacturers who develop
> consumer-friendly media devices.  Let me know if I'll see some of you
> there.

You should see if you can hook up with Gary Shapiro or Gary Klein from
the Consumer Electronics Association.  The next front to fight on is to
show the CE companies that Hollywood is "picking their pockets" and
"margin hogging".  Right now the CEA's ranks are divided between rage
against the machine (SonicBlue), accommodation with occasional complaint
(Philips), and collaboration (Sony, Intel).  As such the CEA hasn't been
able to take a strong stance against the encroachment of DRM and TPM on
fair use and consumer's rights.  I've spoken with Gary S. and he sees
the risk, but he must represent his divided constituents.  If we can
help him sow FUD regarding "consumer backlash", "lack of new product
acceptance" (like the broadcast flag argument to the FCC re: HDTV),
"difficulties in product differentiation", and "margin hogging" (the
fear to sow is that if Hollywood gets their way, the margin distribution
will be like it is in PC 95% to MS, 5% to mfgs, or DVD's where it is
wafer thin with little room to differentiate.

Right now only Hollywood sees (wrongly) their lifeblood at stake.  The
CE companies need to get to realize this is the case.  Bring up the
ghost of DivX, bring up the history of copy protected software, bring up
the prisoner's dilemma that Hollywood faces (they can't withhold
content, (a) it's all they have and (b) they can't guarantee others
won't), bring up Hollywood's opposition to the VCR, and haunt them with
the bleak future of CE without innovation.  Sow fear about how consumers
will reject restrictions if those restrictions are law, and bring up the
power the "winners" will have if the restrictions are law.

Litigation will only go so far, and bets that the USSC will eventually
to the right thing -- but we must be haunted by the ghost of Dredd-Scott
and not bet everything on that hope.  Somehow the sleeping CE, tech, and
telecom industry must awaken to the risk.  Right now they are all
scrambling to be the head peasant in the MPAA, RIAA ruled kingdom.  They
need to see that life as a corporate serf is not in the best interests
of the shareholders (or all those options they are hoping become worth

Sorry for the longish stream of consciousness.  I guess I'm suffering
from a little job envy.