Printer Friendly

Consumer Alert tells Congress to back off digital mandates.

Consumer Alert in January joined with a number of other groups in the Alliance for Digital Progress in calling on Congress to back off from mandating "solutions" to the new choices and problems posed by digital entertainment technologies. Past breakthroughs in entertainment technology, from films with sound to the television to the VCR have always yielded greater consumer choice without industrial planning directives issued from self-styled experts in Washington. There's no reason to think that current revolutions in broadband networks and digital disc burners should be any different.

Fifty years ago, sales of television sets exploded, and the film industry responded by differentiating their content from that offered by television--wider screens, color, expensive spectacles, and so on. Twenty years ago, Motion Picture Association Chairman Jack Valenti ranted before Congress that the VCR would "slit the throat" of the film industry. Yet Hollywood adapted to the new format, and later on introduced another--the DVD--adding value such as director's cuts and director's commentaries to the package.

Content providers, anticipating gains in consumer Internet technology, have regularly been able to adapt their intellectual properties so that what is offered has more value than what can be created or duplicated by the consumer. This will continue of hardware and content industries are left free by the government to develop their own standards and content delivery structures. A mandated digital regime will only calcify technology and drive up costs.

Alliances between content and electronics producers, not subject to market competition rather than government mandate will best bring consumers a wide array of choices in music, movies, television and other unique forms of digital art while still turning a profit for artists.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Consumer Alert
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Consumer Comments
Date:Mar 22, 2003
Words:276
Previous Article:Payday lending often ignored by regulators as consumer need.
Next Article:Media highlights.


Related Articles
Program may be good, but let the states choose.
NCC warns against information regulation.
Prisoners of digital television: A misadventure in high-tech regulatory policy--and a harry Potter fix.
An effective advocate: here's how the Consumer Electronics Association tackles--and often wins--public policy challenges.
The impossible stream: the war on DVD users.
CA issues statement on pediatric rule.
Real media reform needed.
Hill Bulletin.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters