USA: Seagram Chief Executive Asserts That Content Copyrights are Essential to Internet's Survival
Speaking at the conference sponsored by Real Networks, Mr. Bronfman told almost 2,000 music, media and IT industry professionals that, "The main challenge for the continued growth of the Internet at this time is not taxation; it is not government regulation; it is not in any way technical. It is, rather, to manage, preserve and protect the sun around which all these planets make their stately circles. That sun is not an operating system or even the greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts Internet itself: It is the content, without which the Internet would die in a day."
Mr. Bronfman pledged his own resolve, stating, "So I will, as the leader of one of the world's foremost content companies, fight to preserve the creativity and the genius of creators everywhere."
The Seagram CEO pointed out that a high priority in Universal's entertainment businesses is creating and launching consumer-preferred and legal systems for consumers to access the media they desire through the Internet, beginning with music.
Mr. Bronfman said his company will continue to use existing laws to bring to justice those who demonstrate contempt for copyrights and who seek to profit from that which is not lawfully theirs. In addition, he said, "We must restrict the anonymity behind which people hide to commit crimes. Anonymity must not be equated with privacy."
According to the Seagram executive, the company's Universal music and filmed entertainment units will undertake with industry allies an educational effort targeted to the vast majority of people "who want to do the right thing, yet may not fully comprehend that accessing copyrighted material without proper payment or permission in the digital world is as wrong as it is in the physical world."
In conclusion, Mr. Bronfman said, "For in the end, this is not only a fight about the protection of music or movies, software code or video games. Nor is it a fight about technology's promise or its limitations. This is, at its core, quite simply about right and wrong."
The complete prepared text of Mr. Bronfman's speech is available on the Seagram corporate Web site (www.seagram.com).
The Seagram Company Ltd., headquartered in Montreal, operates in four global business segments: Music, Filmed Entertainment, Recreation, and Spirits and Wine. Universal Music Group, the world's largest recorded music company, produces and distributes recorded music throughout the world in all major genres, and it is engaged in music publishing. The Company's Filmed Entertainment business produces and distributes motion picture, television and home video products worldwide; operates and has ownership in a number of international cable channels; and engages in the licensing of merchandising rights and film property rights. The Recreation business operates theme parks. Other businesses include retail stores and the development of entertainment software. The Spirits and Wine business is engaged principally in the production and marketing of distilled spirits, wines, coolers, beers and mixers throughout more than 190 countries and territories.
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