Disney CEO: I Can't Figure Out Ways To Adapt My Business, So I Need Government Protection

from the well,-that's-compelling dept

We had high hopes for Robert Iger when he took over Disney from Michael Eisner (whose views on intellectual property were positively wacky). Iger surprised a lot of people by taking a very progressive view towards digital and online content, as well as recognizing the need for new business models, rather than attacking your fans and customers. In 2006, he noted that the recording industry had screwed up and he intended to respond differently:
"The bottom line is they were not in tune with what their customers wanted and what the world was demanding of them and I think it hurt them significantly."
So we were disappointed last year when Iger came out strongly in support of rules to force ISPs to kick customers off the internet based on a "three strikes" plan, where accusations, not convictions, are all that matter.

It seems that he's not giving up. Chris points out that, at President Obama's recent "Jobs Summit" Iger gave a speech where much of it was focused on the need for stronger intellectual property protection from the government, and no talk about all of the innovative business models that others are creating without relying on governments to prop up their business model. In discussing his talk, he noted:
So when you hear about "stealing intellectual property," a term that may have little meaning to you, think about it as a means of contributing to unemployment and harming our economy.
Of course, there's no indication that this is actually true. Even if people are saving money by not spending on Disney content, they are spending that money elsewhere, contributing to jobs in those sectors. If you want to use Iger's logic, you could just as easily claim that copyright laws allow them to charge monopoly rents on products, thus depriving many other industries of money and jobs. Thus -- again, using Iger's own logic -- copyright contributes to unemployment and the harming of our economy. Not sure he really wants to go there.

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  1. icon
    Hulser (profile), 8 Dec 2009 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The same old excuse. I laugh every time I read this, it's such a freaking cop out as to be beyond understanding.

    You appear to be misinterpreting the people who make the distinction between theft and copyright infringement. Almost all of the people who make the distinction don't do so to justify copyright infringement. For example, you react as if Mike has said that copyright infringement is OK because it's not theft, but you won't find this statement in any of his posts. The reason that people make a distinciton between theft and copyright infringment is that they are fundamentally different and should be treated differently under the law. Are copyright infringment and theft illegal? Yes. Are copyright infringment and theft immoral? Yes. Is copyright infringment like theft? Yes, but that doesn't mean that we should treat a copyright infringer the same as a thief or, as we're doing now in same cases, worse.

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