The future of the fight against piracy, according to industry leaders, may very well lie not in legislation but voluntary agreement between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. MPAA chairman Chris Dodd says that there have been talks, but he declines to get into specifics.
Last week, there was a meeting between a top executive from Google, which often is a frequent target in Hollywood, and show biz executives and other creative types. It was by no means an official negotiation, but the latest event from the Foreign Policy Roundtable, the industry org that brings in speakers for forums on international issues.
Robert Boorstin, the director of public policy for Google, spoke about international censorship, using Internet technology to identify hot spots for hate crimes and other unrest, as well as the increasingly vexing problem of cybersecurity. There was also piracy, as Google has come under fire for not doing enough to curb infringing sites in its search results. The presence of Howard Berman, the former congressman who was a champion of anti-piracy issues before being defeated for another term last year, was a guarantee that it would come up in a Q&A. The session was off the record, however, but suffice it to say the net result isn't a sudden full meeting of the minds on copyright.
Among those present at the Studio City home of Jeff Wachtel, co-president of USA Network, were director Wes Craven, producer Dante de Lorento, FX's Nicole Clemens, radio host Matt Miller, producer Ruth Vitale, Sony Intl.'s Andy Kaplan and political and government affairs consultant Andy Spahn, as well as the executive director of the roundtable, Donna Bojarsky.