Er, maybe he’s the Emperor. Regardless, here’s an interesting interview with outgoing (after 38 years!) MPAA president Jack Valenti. In response to a question about being anti-technology, he says:
I have said, technology is what causes the problem, and technology will be the salvation of the problem. I really do believe we can stuff enough algorithms in a movie that only the dedicated hackers can spend the time and effort to try to plumb through those 1,000 algorithms to try to find a way to beat it. In time, weâ€™ll be able to do this, because I have great faith in the technological genius thatâ€™s out there.
Later, he adds “weâ€™re trying to put in place technological magic that can combat the technological magic that allows thievery”. You foolish, foolish man. The usual critique about irritating customers with DRM aside, this way lies madness.
I hate to get all Santayana, but the MPAA really ought to study the last 30 years of technological innovation. In short, the hackers always win. Additionally, the more desirable the information and the more loathed the target organization, the more hackers will hack and the easier it will be for the average consumer to reap the benefits. Since the popularization of personal computing, I can’t think of a single example where hackers have failed to access something that they wanted. Anybody got one?
In fact, forget about hackers. The MPAA ought to consider how technology has largely failed to resolve the spam issue. Yes, spam blockers have gotten better (and, along the way, created a host of other problems), but so too have the spammers.
I’m not sure what the MPAA should do to address the piracy issue, and even if it’s a meaningful issue (in terms of lost revenue) at all. However, placing their faith in technology is going to get them a bunch of irritated customers, a wad of wasted money and little else.