LAS VEGAS, January 8, 2013 - One year after Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro opened his technology trade show with a war cry against the entertainment industry, Shapiro this morning touted "two industries working together to solve problems" of sharing digital content.
In his welcoming remarks at the launch of the Consumer Electronics Show here, Shapiro welcomed five motion picture industry executives to tout the movie-sharing service UltraViolet.
This olive branch came just minutes after excoriating Hollywood for the entertainment industry's aborted efforts to pass the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The two bills in Congress advancing copyright interests stalled after Google, Wikipedia and a range of technology companies mounted a successful effort press legislators to abandon the bills.
"Some 40 members of Congress withdrew their names from that legislation, and it died," said Shapiro, referring to the fall-out when Wikipedia and other sites went dark on January 18, 2012.
"There will never be SOPA or PIPA legislation with that name again," Shapiro said. "It [would be] like calling your kid Adolph" after the wake of German dictator Adolph Hitler.
After that remark, Shapiro attempted to emphasize the positives of innovation-led collaboration in Washington. He sited his recent book, Ninja Innovation, and its efforts to highlight "collaboration, solving problems, [and not] always going to the government."
Shapiro then touted UltraViolet as just such a collaboration. The
free service is designed to let consumers share their movies in the broadband "cloud," meaning that consumers are able to access content from a television, a computer, a mobile device or a game console.
Warner Brothers President Ron Sanders called the alliance a "great cross-promotion for the industry" and one that allowed consumers to "unlock the value" of their existing video libraries.
Joined on stage and executives from Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate, Warner Brothers' Sanders thanked Shapiro for his help in promoting alliance, which includes significant consumer electronics companies LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Vizio.
Such broadband cloud-based services enabling content sharing have proven difficult in an electronics ecosystem populated by multiple companies. Within a single company, Apple's iCloud service is among the most successful service enabling smartphone-to-tablet-to-computer-to-television sharing. Apple employs digital rights management technologies to ensure entertainment-industry buy-in to the company's cloud technology.
Shapiro also highlighted other priorities of the Consumer Electronics Association, which hosts the annual CES: fighting to stop "patent trolls," or entities that assert patent rights against technology companies, and promoting small business growth through "strategic immigration."
He also urged trade groups to join CEA in supporting federal budget-cutting initiatives, such as those put forward by the Simpson-Bowles Commission.
Editor's Note: This story has been corrected from its original version.
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