×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Internet Firms Describe Themselves as ‘New Faces’ of Content Industry in Trade Letter

WASHINGTON — Google and some of the other members of the tech industry trade groups have found themselves at odds with the MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America, the entertainment industry’s chief lobbying organizations.

A recent letter to the Trump administration’s top trade official is the latest example of that — but what’s drawing attention in D.C.’s industry lobbying community is how the internet firms describe themselves.

“We are the new faces of the American content industry, winning Emmys and Oscars, providing distribution for streaming-only Grammy winners, while creating services that address the challenge of piracy by allowing consumers to legally access content globally,” the letter states.

That sounds like the mission of the MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as other groups focused on copyright and content protection.

Among the signatories to the letter was the Internet Association, which includes as members Netflix and Amazon, now two big players in Hollywood’s content marketplace. They are not members of the MPAA, but they did recently join a coalition to fight piracy that includes the traditional studios.

The letter was to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and it outlined the tech and internet firms’ priorities when it comes to renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It was also signed by the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Consumer Technology Association, Engine, and ITI.

As studios seek robust copyright protections in trade agreements, the internet firms are countering that any revised agreement needs a strong “safe harbor” protection, which they enjoy through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That shields internet firms from legal liability when, for instance, users post pirated content on user-generated sites like Facebook and YouTube.

“If we seek to create an international obligation in a modernized NAFTA that embodies only one part of the U.S. copyright framework, but leave out other portions that the U.S. technology sector depends on, we will cause serious harm to the most innovative and fastest growing segments of our economy, and put at risk vital jobs,” the letter stated. “This is why it is essential to ensure the balance at the heart of the U.S. copyright system, including DMCA safe harbors and other copyright limitations and exceptions, is embraced by our key trading partners in North America.”

The studios, record labels, and other groups have yet to respond.

But last month, the RIAA and more than a dozen other music organizations ran an ad in Roll Call and Politico urging Lighthizer to “use the strongest negotiating hand possible.” They also warned against using the Trans Pacific Partnership as a framework, saying that it contained “flawed copyright loopholes” that “could cost America $1 billion a year.”

More Digital

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Jay Frank

    Jay Frank, UMG Senior VP and Digital Music Veteran, Dies at 47

    Universal Music executive and digital music veteran Jay Frank died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 47. UMG chief Lucian Grainge remembered him in a message sent to the company. “Dear Colleagues,” it reads. “I’m deeply saddened to tell you that our colleague and friend Jay Frank has passed after a recurrence of [...]

  • Sam-Colby-The-Graveyard

    YouTube’s Sam and Colby Unveil ‘The Graveyard’ Paranormal Series Set in London

    Sam and Colby, YouTube’s favorite DIY paranormal investigators, headed to the U.K. for their next big ghost-hunting project. The duo today released the trailer for “The Graveyard,” a four-part docu-series shot in The Langham – by legend, London’s most haunted hotel – and an abandoned church graveyard. The project is their first international expedition. The [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

  • Babylon Berlin

    ITV-Backed Streamer Cirkus to Launch European Drama Service Kritic (EXCLUSIVE)

    SVOD outfit Cirkus is expanding with Kritic, a new service programmed with premium non-English-language drama. The first launch will be in Sweden in December and feature big-ticket shows such as “Babylon Berlin” from Germany and “Gomorrah” from Italy. Cirkus has established itself in the Nordics and German-speaking territories. Kritic will roll out in Sweden before [...]

  • Mama K's Tesm 4

    Time Travel, Child Hosts, Diversity Build in Kids Shows, Says Glance Study

    CANNES —  More or less the only thing that hasn’t changed in Avril Blondelot’s MipJunior presentation of Kids Audience Successes Around the Globe was Blondelot herself. As well as, which she began by reporting, that “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Miraculous Ladybug” – in that order – still dominate the rankings for the [...]

  • Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Stock Recovers From Hong Kong Fallout

    Activision Blizzard saw its stock recover Friday despite continued backlash over its decision to punish a “Hearthstone” player for publicly siding with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. The company’s share price was up more than 2% Friday, closing at $54.82. Activision had been in the spotlight ever since Ng Wai Chung, a player of its “Hearthstone” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content