November 27, 2020

The Other Digital Divide

Long and well-written articleby Drew Clark and Bara Vaida in the National Journal’s Tech Daily, about the history of the current Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley battle over copy protection. If you’re still coming up to speed on this issue, the article is a great scene-setter. Even if you know the issue well, you still might learn a thing or two.

My favorite telling detail:

Valenti warned that the Hollings approach “might be what had to happen.”

No, the tech executives said, a process to resolve differences between the two industries was already in place: the technical working group formed in 1996. But Valenti wanted a CEO-level dialogue, not another meeting of the engineers.

Dilbert fans will recognize this as a classic Pointy-Haired Boss tactic: “We can’t solve this engineering problem. Maybe if we kick the engineers out of the room we can solve it faster.”