Friday, June 5, 2009

Mickey Mouse hates FireWire, Part Three

"In 2003, Roy E. Disney, the son of Disney co-founder Roy O. Disney and nephew of Walt Disney, resigned from his positions as Disney vice chairman and chairman of Walt Disney Feature Animation, accusing Eisner of … turning the Walt Disney Company into a "rapacious, soul-less" company…"

Eisner’s approach to protecting his movies was just short of rapacious. Using a gifted and aggressive legal team at the MPAA and exerting enormous influence with members of congress such as Senator Hollings and Congressman Tauzin, it appeared that consumer rights would take a backseat to Hollywood profits.

As an aside, Tauzin of Louisiana was offered Jack Valenti’s job when Valenti retired as President of the MPAA and as the most influential pro-copyright lobbyist in the world. …I am not really seeing a Louisiana-Hollywood connection… Tauzin turned down the job which then went to Congressman Glickman… Oh, I see! It is a Washington-Hollywood connection. Anyone besides me feeling a little nervous?

The MPAA is paid by the studios and they never forget who their client is. Their job is not to be reasonable. Their job it to protect the ability of Hollywood to make lots of money. As far as they are concerned, no one should ever be permitted to view a movie they have not paid for. If you want to watch a movie, buy the DVD. If you want to watch the same movie in your car, bring the DVD from home or buy a second DVD. If you want to watch it on your computer while you travel…bring the DVD from home or buy another DVD. Copy a movie you bought for your personal use…Never!

Evidently the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was not as effective as the MPAA since consumers can legally copy a recording for their own personal use. It is easy to rip a CD onto a computer then burn it on an MP3 player. Not so easy to do that with a DVD.

The problem with 1394/FireWire is that it was developed by the Audio/Video industry with an interest in selling consumer A/V equipment. Following the RIAA model (which also applies to VCRs), it was assumed that consumers would be permitted to make recordings for their own personal use. We were about to run into a brick wall and it would take 12 years of negotiation to open a door in that wall.

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