Hewlett-Packard loves Kazaa
The Register's Ashlee Vance did an excellent take on Hewlett-Packard's efforts to climb way up alongside the record labels. And the movie studios. And the hardware and software manufacturers. And all those other good people and enterprises who together comprise The Thing we call Hollywood.
"HP's CEO Carly Fiorina filled her keynote speech at CES (consumer electronics conference) with media piracy rhetoric, saying that consumers are undermining the economy and the morals of this nation by exchanging music," Vance wrote. "With this platform established, Fiorina went on to say HP will be the media industry's first rate lackey and do all it can to equip files with DRM (digital rights management) controls. The move by a technology company like HP to so wholly support a dying, old world empire shows how fragile the idea of an open PC has become."
She also wrote: "HP made this position quite clear by inviting Jimmy Iovine, the chairman of Universal's Interscope music label, on stage to push their shared agenda. Iovine, a scrawny, middle-aged man dressed like a teenager, attacked the CES crowd for being an immoral collective of music industry killers."
But Jimbo wasn't alone. Far from it.
Sheryl Crow, Dr Dre and Alicia Keys were also up there with Fiorina as she, "took perhaps the toughest stand yet by a technology industry executive against digital music piracy," as PC World says here..
"In a photo opportunity that most CEOs only dream of, Fiorina was joined on stage at the Hilton Theater by a string of music industry heavyweights that also included U2 guitarist The Edge, Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg, and Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Universal Music Group's Interscope label, which produces U2, Limp Bizkit and others."
Iovine apparently offered "an impassioned, sometimes rambling speech about the harm that he said file-swapping services like Kazaa can do, to the music industry, to recording artists, and to our moral values".
On behalf of Universal Music Group, he also pledged "to support HP to the point where they're going to beg us to stop" and "For a company, willing to be this brave and forward thinking, we will show what our industry can do to help HP in return."
And back to Fiorina, HP will build, license or acquire the best content protection technologies it can find to prevent its customers from illegally downloading and sharing copyright material, she said.
But back up a little ...
... "prevent its customers from illegally downloading and sharing copyright material"?
Carly, Carly. You haven't been listening to that Cary Sherman on strategy, again, have you?
Anyway, HP's Digital Movie Writer product, used to record video tapes onto DVDs, already includes protection technology that stops consumers from illegally copying VHS tapes, the report goes on, and, "Soon that technology will be in every one of our products," says Fiorina, also promising that HP will also implement the broadcast flag into some of its products this year.
"And we'll introduce new technology this year that will encrypt some recorded content," Fiorina said.
Having dealt with Big Music, Fiorina made sure she covered all the bases by coining a new term which dealt with her perception of The Player on the Wrong Side of the Tracks.
There's a law, she said, that "states that our sense of right and wrong does not evolve as fast as our technology. Just because we can do wrong doesn't mean we should. Just because we can steal music doesn't mean we should."
She called this pithy piece of nonsense Kazaa's Law. And we're not joking.
Finally, in passing, the story mentions that after her performance, Alicia Keys said:
"This is what I tell kids: You can download, but if you like what you hear, go out and buy it, go out and support the artist."