I missed some of the beginning statements due to the difficulties in connecting to the conference call, but here are my notes on the RIAA/MPAA press conference. I didn’t catch the names or affiliations of those providing the opening statements or answering the questions. No exact quotes, just the gist:
Parents will come home and say there is a right way and a wrong way. That is what this is all about. Today is not a panacea. It represents a new day, it is a pivot point. Those who encourage and profit from infringement will be held liable. This means the legitmate market has the ability to take off. Fans and musicians won. We want to work with P2P, embrace technology, start filtering we can enter a better digital age together.
I can’t stress enough that a unanimous Supreme Court issued a victory for the rule of law. The other parties in this case created systems that were made for the purpose of facilitating copyright infringment, the taking of music and movies. Taking from the people who put their sweat into making things we enjoy. The constitution protects this, It is in the constitution because they knew we needed this incentive to create something that we might all enjoy. This is a ruling that everyone who creates music, books are entitled to protection under the Constitution. When people create a product to help people take this content, they will be liable for it. All nine justices agree with this principle.
Three fundamental points taken to the court. First, the underlying activities, the downloading of copyrighted works is simply unlawful, plain and simple. Court called it “Garden variety theft.” The unanimous decision speaks to the culture. Second, it can’t be right under law to build a business on the basis of taking someone’s property. You can’t build a business that the point is to take other people’s property. Unanimously vindicated. Third, it was all about balance. In Sony, the Court sought balance between copyright and technological innovation. Court rejected that Sony was a free pass for technology. Terrific result.
Q: What does it mean for millions of American who use iPod?
A: They’re doing it the right way, they’re ahead of their peers. There will be more of them.
Q: It is not the technology that the Court was targeting but the business model?
A: Precisely. There is technology out there (Audible Magic, Shawn Fanning) that will make P2P part of this market.
A: If you look at the last paragraph of opinion. Court ought to look at summary judgement in favor of Hollywood.
I think the same principles that lead to Grokster and StreamCast will lead to similar decisions against other providers.
Q: If you prevail in lower court, what happens?
A: We’re still entitled to full range of equitable relief as well as damages. The point is to migrate this technology to a place where it works with legitimate providers. The infringing has to stop. Audible Magic, Shawn Fanning provide such technology.
A: This is a story that evolved over six years. The last couple of years we’ve seen the emergence of a legitimate market and clarity about what the law is. We’re going to see a transition in the market place. Two years ago there was no legitimate source, today 4% of households use legitimate. That will increase.
Q: What about illegal tech dragging industry into legitimate market?
A: That is exactly backwards. Legitimate alternatives were thwarted by illegitimate options. This decision will change that climate and help legitimate thrive.
Hassle-free, reasonable cost access to content is where we’re going. We can be leaders, provided it isn’t for free. We can provide these options in the future.
Q: Have you addressed whether you’re going to take this back to Congress and what you might do?
A: This decision was rendered today. This was a 9-0 decision, they don’t agree what to have for lunch. They’ve agreed that our content is worthy of protection. I think it is doubtful that this will be rushed back to Congress. There will be hearings, there might be bills proposed, but unlikely anything will happen.
A: In a corporate world, folks will respond to this decision and turn to legitimate avenues.
A: I’m not sure I know the answer to the question, exactly what the scope of the damages will be?
Q: What about off-shore companies? Do you expect filesharing to go away?
A: No. We have a goal that is reasonable, the legitimate market place will outpace illegitimate marketplace. There will be offshore companies, but our laws have strong international enforcement. And there will be other reasons (spyware, viruses) people will want to switch.
Q: What about designing anti-piracy features up front.
A: What the court is doing is setting a commonsense standard. If you’re Apple, you’re fine. If you’re Grokster and Streamcast, it is clear from any number of things that they are inducing, you’re not going to be fine. We don’t think it will be difficult to determine what is an illegitimate or legitimate business.
Q: How will you go about going about the process of the message integrated in the culture? How do you speak to the parents or their kids?
A: We are doing this right now, you report on this decision. This is an obligation that we all have. The industry, parents, teachers, Congress, AGs everyone has to do this. We need to band together, work together. We’ll go wherever folks want.
Clarity is important. This ruling is about as clear as can be. The ubiquity of the internet has confused people about what is property to be protected and what is not. This decision is so precise that it should have a very powerful impact and disincentive on illegal behavior.
Q: Will there be any difficulty in establishing in district court that Grokster/StreamCast met inducement standard?
A: The opinion speaking for all nine, makes this clear. The district court should reconsider whether summary judgement should be revised. The Court’s view of the evidence is that this is a powerful case.
Q: Will this have a chilling effect on new technology or innovation?
A: This will inspire new technology because it is clear about what is right and wrong. This will be a foundation for new creativity on the artists side. They can make music, write screenplays because they know they won’t be stolen on the internet.
Some of our friends on the other side like to engage in fear. This is fear-mongering. To say this is a threat to innovation is a gross hyperbole.
Q: The whole Grokster/Napster mentality was payback for ripping off consumers?
A: If you think about buying single tracks, that is an improvement. The fundamental point is that you paid for the thing.