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Friday, April 24, 2009

Hollywood Protectionism on Trial in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO--On my first trip to California, I've done some reporting on a federal court case beginning today, in which the major Hollywood studios are suing a software maker whose software can make a single backup copy of a movie from a DVD onto your hard drive. My Examiner column discusses the case and its broader significance.
Lawyers and judges are thrashing out the specifics here in San Francisco starting today, but there’s a broader question here, relevant as Congress considers intellectual property law this year: Why should the government and the taxpayers be on the hook for protecting the current business model of Hollywood? Video piracy and downloading unauthorized free movies shouldn’t be permitted, of course, but maybe it’s Hollywood—and not Washington—that needs to work harder.

If the movie studios can’t survive without blocking you from backing up your copy of “Elmo’s World” onto your laptop, then maybe Hollywood is in need of innovation.
Read the whole thing here.

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