Last week, I was a panelist at Digital Hollywood. As usual I was invited to speak to issues around the intersection of technology, digital entertainment business models and content licensing. It turned out to be a great discussion. I suspect that the panel moderator, Mike McGuire of Gartner, had hoped to pit us against each other, and to a certain extent he did. In fact we did not agree that outdated copyright laws and complex content licensing are a bad thing.
The panel split into two groups, the lawyers and the entrepreneurs. We had very different perspectives on how to solve the difficulties, complexities and time involved in negotiating content licensing, especially for new tech enabled entertainment startups.
Technology now enables us to push the edge of the envelope with new entertainment business models. Consumers and artists are ready to try new approaches. In fact, one audience member suggested that Creative Commons offers a solid alternative to the current approach.
This panel, reinforced my opinion that the greatest obstacle to new entertainment business models may be outdated copyright laws and not content pirates or fear of technology.