19 Mar 2002

More Menace from The Mouse

MR Michael Eisner, Disney CEO, has recently been demonstrating once again why there is no democracy in Disneyland. Testifying before the United States Senate in support of proposed legislation by Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina–who has received large political donations from Disney—Mr Eisner tactfully gave voice to his view of the computer hardware and consumer electronics industries. “We’re dealing with an industry where an unspoken strategy is that the killer app is piracy,” Mr Eisner said. “Their quarter-to-quarter growth is definitely pushed forward by people wanting to get anything for free on their television or computer or handheld device.” For this reason, Mr Eisner decreed, the market could not be trusted to keep his content safe from all that overwhelming human desire to share; the only acceptable solution for Disney is Senator Hollings’ proposal—drafted last summer in closed meetings with Disney lobbyists—which would require all hardware and software in the United States to obey mandated content protection rules, and give a right to copyright owners to prevent the distribution of any software or hardware that doesn’t meet the mandates. By something less than coincidence, this proposed legislation would make free software multimedia implementations illegal.

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permalink | columns/lu | 2002.03.19-00:00.00