Fear Of Lawsuits Is Killing Digital Content Innovation: Entertainment Pros

Most garage entrepreneurs are worried about getting hit with lawsuits from the big studios or other patent holders, speakers said at a conference this week.
But it's not just the cases traveling through the court system, but rather "the threat," argued Perlman. "Grokster might have been bad for inducing infringement, but there are the millions of users of peer-to-peer networks that don't want to steal the content." Perlman said. He argued that consumers turned Napster into an easily accessible service for digital content because they "if you won't do it for me, I'll do it myself."

Digital technology continues to press up against limits set by companies in the entertainment industry, said Philip Lelyveld, vice president digital industry relations in the New Technology and New Media Division The Walt Disney Co. Lelyveld pointed out that one industry's definition of innovation isn't always good for all.

Not surprising, the discussion circled back to innovation when Lelyveld challenged technologists to develop a method allowing movie, music and video game developers to distribute content based on consumer identity, rather than device.

Offering up innovation challenges in the digital television content market, panelist from Philips Semiconductors, National Semiconductor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Freescale Semiconductor and Magnum Semiconductor agreed discussions between chip manufacturers, device makers and content providers need to cut through inaccurate delivery timelines that could stifle wide-spread delivery until 2009.

"The marketing spin is killing the reality of market development," said Fritz Jordan, director of strategy and emerging markets in the Wireless & Mobile Systems Group at Freescale Semiconductor Inc. "You will find out that mobile TV digital service is merely another service of video."