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 Friday, 24 January, 2003, 10:09 GMT
Tech firms take on Hollywood
CD placed in computer
Pressure for compulsory copy protection in computers
Technology companies have joined forces with consumer groups to fight compulsory copyright protection systems in computers, CD burners and other products.

The new group, called the Alliance for Digital Progress (ADP), brings together tech giants Microsoft, Cisco, Intel and Apple, as well as several consumer groups and think tanks.

It says it is committed to stopping digital piracy, but does not want politicians deciding how this should be done.

For its part, the entertainment industry has lobbied the US Government to stop the widespread digital copying of films and music.

Complex problem'

A bill proposed last year by the South Carolina Senator Ernest Hollings set off alarm bells in the tech industry.

Fred McClure
We are greatly concerned that Hollywood is trying to pressure Congress into forcing technology mandates onto American consumers

Fred McClure, Alliance for Digital Progress
The measure would have forced technology firms to include anti-piracy features in their products.

The new group is trying to prevent any new attempts at legislation that would require the introduction of technology that makes it hard to copy films or music, or play DVDs on more than one device.

"Piracy of digital content is a serious, complex problem that concerns all of us," said ADP President Fred McClure, a former official in the Reagan and first Bush administrations.

"But government-designed and mandated technology that swaps the diversity of marketplace solutions for a 'one size fits all' approach is not the answer.

"We are greatly concerned that Hollywood is trying to pressure Congress into forcing technology mandates on to American consumers," said Mr McClure.

Music control

The alliance believes the technology companies should be left to work with the entertainment giants to find ways of stopping piracy.

The music industry recently softened its position, dropping its support for "locking controls" on hardware and in software to block piracy.

But the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents all the major US film studios, is continuing to push for anti-copying technology.

Hollywood studios are worried that the trading of movies over the internet could undermine cinema attendances and eat into sales of videos and DVDs.

The growth of the internet has led to massive piracy of music, with tracks being saved to computers and then shared amongst music fans through file-sharing services such as Kazaa.

Music sales have fallen sharply over the last few years, with music producers blaming sharing of files over the internet and digital piracy as the major factors.

See also:

19 Jan 03 | Entertainment
20 Jan 03 | Technology
22 Jan 03 | Americas
15 Jan 03 | Entertainment
08 Jan 03 | Entertainment
03 Oct 02 | Entertainment
22 Nov 02 | Technology
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