Any guesses who wrote the script for Vice President Joe Biden’s meeting later today on the threat of “piracy” to intellectual property?
Take a look at the guest list and try to figure out how the meeting came about. Let’s be honest, here. For an Administration, and a President, who believes in an open Internet, this little confab is a great big embarrassment.
We know that Big Media is a source of Big Money for Democrats. We know that Biden, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was favorably disposed to the “creative community,” as many legislators are. Even so, to have three cabinet officers, agency heads, studio heads, Big Media lobbyists representing companies which think fair use is theft and companies which want the Internet Service Providers to spy on you – all in one room? Not to mention NBC’s chief lobbyists and the Attorney General, who might have to review a little deal NBC has cooking with Comcast.
That gives one some pause, particularly when you consider who is not there. Public Knowledge, speaking for digital consumers. Not there. Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumers Union. Not invited. Consumer Electronics Association. Any tech companies. (So much for the myth of Google control.) Any tech trade groups like Computer and Communications Industry Association. Any Internet Service Providers. None of the above got the coveted invite.
Why is this meeting being held? The movie industry is completing its best year ever. Repeat after me. Best. Year. Ever. The recording industry continues to whine, but as music journalist Steve Knopper, chronicled , their wounds are largely self-inflicted. The title is instructive – “Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age.”
We anxiously await the crowing of triumph later this afternoon from Moguldom. From the White House, there should be only shame at this travesty.