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MPAA's new deregulatory zeal

Mpaa_logo The speech MPAA chief Dan Glickman gave last week at ShoWest is like the gift that keeps on giving. In case you missed my two earlier posts on this topic, Glickman declared the MPAA's unambiguous opposition to Net neutrality regulations. Among other things, he warned that such rules would "impede our ability to respond to consumers in innovative ways" and interfere with ISPs' anti-piracy efforts. Today the Digital Freedom CampaignDigital_freedom_campaign_player_log -- a lobbying group backed by the Consumer Electronics Assn., several consumer advocates and other groups that often oppose Hollywood on copyright issues -- issued a statement inviting Glickman to take the same deregulatory approach to the rest of the MPAA's policy agenda in Washington. The studios, after all, have a history of pressing Congress and the FCC for regulations that would impede hardware and software makers' ability to respond to consumers in innovative ways, particularly when copyrighted programming was involved. For example, the "broadcast flag" rules sought by Hollywood would require home networks to include government-approved content-protection technology, and its approach to closing the "analog hole" would dictate how long a TiVo could store some of the programs it recorded. Here's the money graf from Digital Freedom spokeswoman Maura Corbett:

We suspect the big studios are rolling the Trojan Horse of “copyright enforcement” to Congress to protect their business models from openness offered by the Internet. But for now, let’s take them at their word – given MPAA’s newfound aversion “government regulation”, we eagerly look forward to them standing down on broadcast flag legislation, the analog hole bill, and other initiatives to restrict consumers and limit new technologies.

Don't hold your breath, Maura!

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Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

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