[p2p-hackers] Red Swoosh/Travis Kalanick comments

Travis Kalanick travis at redswoosh.net
Wed Dec 15 05:14:08 UTC 2004

I made some comments today that were covered (sort of):


For the record, here are my comments (raw text).  A careful read might
bring some nuances to light . . .

Thank you for the introduction Jon.  Certainly I have a unique perspective
on the litigation.  The last time I was in a room with the MPAA was in a
courtroom on the other side of a $250B lawsuit.  Since then I’ve certainly
turned a corner as a technologist.  And though I have my own opinions on
litigation and its effectiveness, I’m not here to discuss lawsuits.

So, what am I here to talk about?  I’m here to tell you that P2P
technology is good for the content owners and the media industry.  And I’m
here to communicate how the industry can better fight piracy by beginning
to promote and adopt the positive, non-infringing uses of the technology.

This process of assimilation of distribution technologies like P2P is
familiar.  From the Xerox machine, to the tape-deck, to the VCR, and even
the DVD, each of these new distribution technologies has been initially
seen as a threat to content creators.  The advent of VCR technology was
challenged and ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court.  Ultimately, the
film industry turned their immense creative talent toward building
business models around the VCR technology, and they found an entirely new
billion dollar distribution window waiting for them, bigger than all box
office receipts combined.  An equally lucrative opportunity exists with
non-infringing business models built on P2P.

That enormous opportunity in P2P is the holy grail of digital
distribution.  High Quality. Low Cost.  Universal Access.  Instant
Gratification.  Without P2P, digital distribution of film and video is not
viable.  With P2P, billions of dollars in network upgrades can be spared,
and higher quality entertainment services are possible many years sooner. 
Even in its short, controversial history it clearly has shown the kind of
prodigious demand for digital distribution that represents another
billion-dollar opportunity latent in waiting.  Red Swoosh is a tangible
example of the beginning of harnessing that demand.  Across the almost 100
media customers of our technology, we are distributing millions of files
of promotional studio content every month.

With all of the noise of litigation there is a very important story that
unfortunately won’t make it to the headlines.  That story is that the
media industry is beginning to see the power of P2P.  Like Shawn Fanning
with Snocap, and myself with Red Swoosh, the media industry too has begun
to turn the corner.  They are now embracing P2P’s non-infringing
applications as flashpoints for innovation in their own businesses.  The
MPAA’s statement to the FTC is illuminating and I quote: “it is quite
possible that P2P technology could become the DVD of the future: offering
great content to consumers with protections that preserve the rights of
creators”.  We should still be realistic.  The roads between the
technologists and the media may be converging, but there is still a lot of
work ahead of us.

The message we are sending to the entertainment industry is bold.  The
tools in the fight against piracy are no longer exclusive to litigation. 
In this new phase of technology adoption, it is time for the entertainment
industry to actively support and utilize the non-infringing applications
of P2P.  By doing so they can set the course so that legitimate
distribution will soon dwarf illicit distribution, in the value delivered
to consumers, and the commerce generated with new business models. 
Eventually, the power of the partnership between traditional entertainment
and innovative technology will win out and piracy will fade into the
background.  The message to the entertainment industry is that the next
phase is about to begin, and the new secret weapon is to embrace the
technology once feared most.  In the arms race against piracy, supporting
and promoting the non-infringing uses of P2P will prove one of the most
effective strategies.

On the eve of the P2P FTC hearings, we believe there is also a role for
regulators as well.  With malicious intent of certain actors there have
arisen malicious business models from some of the more infringing
applications of P2P.  The harm caused by the bundling of adware, spyware,
malware, and their kin has resulted in billions of dollars in real
damages.  The abuse of users’ trust and privacy though has had a much
greater negative impact on society and technological progress.  Because of
the aggressive and surreptitious activities by bad actors in the
marketplace, consumers no longer feel safe online and now are reticent of
participating in technological progress. We cannot expect major investment
in new technologies and new innovations when the mass consumer and
audience fears of damage to personal property and the misuse of their
personal information.

A marketplace that consumers are afraid to take part in is not a
marketplace at all.
The curtailing and constraint of these more malicious online activities
will go a long way in convincing the stakeholders to participate in what
will ultimately be a powerful marketplace indeed.

In closing I would like to thank the MPAA for having me join them at this
event.  It shows that while they protect their members’ copyrights, they
are also making strides in understanding and promoting the productive uses
of P2P technology.

Travis Kalanick
Red Swoosh, Inc.
Founder, Chairman
travis at redswoosh.net
(v) 310.666.1429
(f) 253.322.9478
AIM: ScourTrav123

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