Openness? Transparency? Not When Biden Gets To Hang With Entertainment Industry Lobbyists: Press Kicked Out

from the gotta-keep-that-on-the-down-low dept

Well, this is just lovely. I added it as an update to the original post about Biden's highly questionable, one-sided "piracy summit," but it's an issue that deserves an additional post. Reporter Ryan Reilly was attending the summit, and was Twittering what was going on, so we got to hear Biden say that piracy is "flat unadulterated theft" (apparently the Vice President of the US is unfamiliar with US law and the difference between infringement and theft, which is... um... scary). Then we heard that Attorney General Eric Holder was reinvigorating the Justice Department's "task force" on copyright. Why? There's still no indication of any actual harm (both the movie and music industries are growing). Then, Commerce Secretary Locke noted that anti-camcording efforts are an important part of the anti-piracy effort. Funny timing, given the recent fiasco over a young woman arrested for incidental capturing of snippets of New Moon.

So it started out just great. And then? Well, then the press got kicked out. Seriously. Isn't this the Obama administration that's supposed to be all about openness and transparency and not giving in to industry lobbyists? So it gathers up a bunch of the highest ranking government officials, (and doesn't invite any consumer advocates or tech industry representatives) puts those politicians in a room with industry bosses and lobbyists, claims that "all stakeholders" are present (seriously, that's what Biden's press release said), has those government officials make a few blatantly false or misleading claims, and then kicks out the press. Yikes. Update: Reilly has now published his article on the event, which includes a list of attendees.

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  1. identicon
    Lobo Santo's Ugly Ferret, 15 Dec 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Mike, today you sound like you are about to burst a blood vessel in your head or something. You are on an angry anti-government rant, that is for sure.

    Here's the scoop:

    You only get to come to the table if you are in the business in question. When they have a summit about oil prices, they don't invite Bob from the local barber shop to come prattle on for hours. Bob is a consumer, and he isn't really a stakeholder in the game. If Bob doesn't like the end result, Bob gets to vote the bums out of office next time.

    Honestly, can you imagine yourself in a room full of industry and government people trying to do your silly whiteboard "supply and demand" thing for them? They would look at you like you are cracked. They don't have a whole lot of time to spend on ideas that start with "give your product to the pirates, go out of business, and let's end copyright and patents too while I am here". It would be a fail beyond the understanding of man.

    So you can be all upset, and all uppity about it, but in the end, the people who actually run the vast majority of the music and entertainment industry are the stakeholders, and they are all in that room.

    It also points out another reason why the DIY music industry isn't the best way to do much of the time: You don't get the power by being a widely distributed group of unrelated people with no real leadership or financial clout.

    It's one of those things you trade away when you go it alone.

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