Who Sets Up An 'Innovation Forum' Hosted By A Guy Who Insists That Nothing Good Has Come From The Internet?
from the really-now? dept
A few days ago, I received a surprise invitation to an “innovation forum” in Los Angeles to be held at the beginning of February. I have other commitments, and on such short notice, I couldn’t attend, but in looking over the program, I was a bit surprised to see who’s behind it:
Universal Music’s Lucian Grainge is the guy who, upon taking over that company, announced that CDs were a big part of its future. He’s also the guy who has lobbied politicians directly for ISPs to spy on users and report to the labels if they thought someone was infringing.
Then there’s Ari Emanuel, Hollywood’s super agent, who (among other things) claims that Google engineers just need to invent a magic stop piracy button (he’s sure they can do it). He also insists that cord cutting is a “myth.” He’s also clinging to the past, claiming that the movie business is all about DVDs (ignoring, of course, that the movie business once tried to kill the home movie business). Oh, and he was directly pressuring President Obama to put a three strikes plan in place.
And then there’s Michael Lynton, the head of Sony Pictures. You may remember him from this lovely statement: “I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the internet. Period.” Given a chance to provide a more nuanced explanation, he doubled down, insisting that fewer people will create content because of infringement (even as the data shows an explosion in new content). He’s also claimed that piracy is killing the movie business, even as the box office continues to set new records every year.
Basically, if you had to pick three “innovators,” I’d put these guys pretty close to the end of the line. All three of them have a history of not innovating, but pushing protectionist policies to hold back innovation and to promote legacy business models at the expense of innovators and innovation.