Workshop: The Role of Content in the Broadband Ecosystem

9:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT
Washington, DC

The free flow of information among a wide range of users has had much to do with the growth in adoption and use of broadband. If this information flow is a driver of adoption, digital content is the valued passenger that makes the journey worthwhile. Much of this content comes from users themselves – email messages, family photos shared on social networking sites, or homemade videos uploaded to the internet. Much of this content also originates from industries that undertake sizable investments in talent and other inputs to add value to digital offerings.

Digital products such as music and video are subject to cheap and easy reproduction and distribution – and some online users benefit from this content without paying for it. Such consumption comes at the expense of creators of this content who are not compensated when users consume such content at little or no cost.

At the same time, efforts to thwart unwarranted digital reproduction can have problematic side effects if such efforts, intentionally or not, inhibit the appropriate sharing of digital information. Monitoring internet traffic to prevent illegal file-sharing might be seen as unduly invading the privacy of users, perhaps lessening the frequency and volume of online information exchanges, and infringing on freedom of speech.

Additionally, efforts to crack down on illegal file-sharing or adopt overly restrictive intellectual property rules may dampen incentives for innovation in application development and devices on the edge of the network, as well among potential new entrants to the content industries.



The following are some of the preliminary topics that will be covered at this workshop. If you would like to discuss any other topics, please send us your suggestions.
This workshop will address issues pertaining to online content and its role in the broadband ecosystem. Questions to be addressed include:
  • How does the illegal copying of online content impact job creation in sectors of the economy that produce digital content?
  • What measures should be taken to address piracy and other mechanisms for illegal delivery of content? What agencies should have jurisdiction?
  • What are the tradeoffs between content protection and innovation in industries other than content?
  • Are there business and regulatory models that preserve innovation, increase consumer choice, and deliver economic returns to content owners?
  • What are other countries doing to protect content online and to encourage the availability of content that may help drive broadband adoption? What are the best practices in these areas?
  • Do measures to address piracy have the potential to raise barriers to market entry by, for instance, making it more difficult to market their products?


9:30 am Workshop Introduction, John Horrigan, Moderator
9:35 am Panelist Presentations
  • Dan Glickman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Motion Picture Association of America 
  • Patrick Ross, Executive Director, Copyright Alliance 
  • Kathy Garmezy, Assistant Executive Director/Government & International Affairs, Directors Guild of America 
  • Frederick D. Huntsberry, Chief Operating Officer, Paramount Pictures 
  • Gigi B. Sohn, President and Co-Founder, Public Knowledge 
  • Michael W. Carroll, Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law 
  • Michael Bracy, Policy Director, Future of Music Coalition 
  • Alex Shapiro, Composer 
  • Charles B. Slocum, Assistant Executive Director, Writers Guild of America, West
10:25 am Panelist Discussion and Responses to Questions
11:55 am Closing Statement, Moderator
12:00 pm Adjournment

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