New NBC Series to Feature World's Smallest Violin Playing World's Saddest Song
Nothing like an alarmist study to get Washington lawmakers worked up into a pro-legislation lather. Which is exactly what NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker gave them at an antipiracy summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today.
Citing an Institute for Policy Innovation study that estimates that copyright-industry piracy costs the U.S. economy $58 billion per year (Holy cow! That’s like Mitch Bainwol’s and Dan Glickman’s salaries combined!), Zucker called upon Congress to create dedicated intellectual-property enforcement bureaus in the Justice and Homeland Security Departments and to offer federal grants for state and local governments to escalate their own policing efforts. “The unfortunate truth is that today we are losing the battle,” Zucker said. “We need, across the board, to move IP enforcement up the agenda of the federal government. … [This issue is] absolutely critical to our economic prosperity.”
Lawmakers, especially those with musical aspirations, were predictably roused by Zucker’s spiel, though it conveniently obscured the fact that the entertainment industry’s business models are clearly in need of serious work. Said Sen. Orrin “I Write the Songs” Hatch (R., Utah, pictured with Barry Manilow, right), “Our challenge is to come up with viable economic solutions that will not only protect existing intellectual-property rights, but encourage the free flow of information and ideas necessary for creativity and innovation to thrive.”