Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Why Viacom, YouTube, Universal and MySpace Need the PERFORM Act

Modern media is in chaos. In this digital free-for-all there are no winners, and the current paradigmis only feeding the frenzy. The filtering technologies currently in useblatantly censor content, consumer groups are justifiably up in arms overprivacy breaches, and the labels are suing the individual users whileholding ISPs hostage with exorbitant revenue demands. Meanwhile, the courtsare reluctant to take proactive measures to stem the bloodshed. In the end, it's all about the money: the financial consequences to America'sentertainment industry are staggering.

On top of it all, the end user experience is duplicitous and mediocreat best. A solution must be adopted where creative content is deliveredsecurely, providing lawful access and guaranteed privacy for the consumer. The rights owners and the distributors must cooperate to that end if theindustry is to have any sensible future, which is why adopting the PERFORMAct is a critical first step.

Professor Richard Walter, Screenwriting Chairman of UCLA's Departmentof Film and Television opines, "At the heart of the problem lies theadversarial mindset. Intellectual property owners and users should not beengaged in this futile prizefight. Copyright customers and purveyors arenot intrinsic enemies at all, but partners sharing common interests andgoals. The PERFORM Act embraces collaboration over conflict. Far fromlimiting the creation and dissemination of intellectual property, thelegislation expands it."

Viacom's takedown notices to YouTube (purchased by Google for $1.65Billion last fall) accomplish nothing beyond censorship, negative consumerexperiences, and a non-competitive business environment which fomentsglobal piracy. Ironically, Viacom's CBS Innertube remains a veritablebuffet for copyright infringement, with its entire contents available foreasy theft. As MySpace is one of the primary platforms of YouTube content,its financial future is also very much at risk.

What is universally understood is that everyone deserves propercompensation. One of the goals of the PERFORM Act is to create a levelplaying field for all content distributors, so that they may prosper alongwith the creators. Financial realities mandate MRT's distribution solutionswhich power, enable, and enhance business models for all types of digitalmedia. Robert Hambrecht, Managing Director of WR Hambrecht + Co. and actingadvisor for Media Rights Technologies, eloquently expresses the commercialimpact, "The entertainment industry will continue to shoot itself in thefoot until creators and distributors work as a team toward this reachablegoal. MRT's solution is a win-win answer to the problems at hand, deftlyanswering the PERFORM Act's call-to-arms. If even a small percentage ofpiracy is converted into real revenue, then both parties stand to benefitgreatly."

Hank Risan, CEO of MRT, adds, "Hundreds of millions of dollars areneedlessly spent in litigation while solutions are commercially available, proven, and affordable to the entire entertainment industry. Why are we notemploying technological innovations to create a harmonious relationshipthroughout the entire creative economic food chain? Our solution can bearout this critical legislation; the economic viability of the recording andfilm industry is at stake."

Source: Media Rights Technologies,

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