This NYTimes article seems to celebrate the fact that the content and technology communities are cooperating, but there’s still the question of what that means for the rest of us: Technology and Show Business Kiss and Make Up
It was just two years ago, that Michael D. Eisner, chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, and a top executive at the Intel Corporation screamed at each other across a packed Senate hearing room. Mr. Eisner accused the technology industry of encouraging the theft of music and movies over the Internet and of enabling Napster and its file-swapping clones to flourish. The Intel executive, Leslie L. Vadasz, fired back that Mr. Eisner needed to “deal with the new digital world.”
The fight was bigger than Intel and Disney. Each industry thought it was battling for survival.
Things had not gotten that ugly since Jack Valenti, the longtime chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, famously said the VCR was “to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to a woman home alone.”
But a funny thing has happened since those Senate hearings. The combatants went home. The rhetoric died down. And lately they have started working together. Why?
[..] But “happily ever after” is no guarantee for this new romance, still fueled equally by optimism and results. Apple’s iPod is the only digital media player that has really caught fire with consumers, and many new partnerships are predicated on technology that has yet to be created, especially for antipiracy. No one has figured out how to plug the “analog hole” (when digitized content is played on analog devices, it loses its protection, and can be copied if converted back to digital form).
And the new partners are only beginning to talk money. “This will be a defining issue between the businesses,” said Peter Chernin, chief executive of the News Corporation, owner of 20th Century Fox Studios and the Fox Television operations. “How does someone get paid for creating software that moves content around?”
Whether the money issue results in a fairy tale ending or a grumpy, long-term marriage, nobody expects open war again. The only certainty is that no one can pay for a divorce.