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[FYI] Disney CEO Derides Internet Piracy



Associated Press 

Disney CEO Derides Internet Piracy 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Disney CEO Michael Eisner is urging Congress to 
strengthen copyright protection on the World Wide Web, calling In-
ternet piracy ``the most devastating thing that's happened to the 
entertainment industry in 75 years.'' 

Musicians are already being victimized by illegal copying and down-
loading of their music over the Internet, Eisner said Wednesday. 

With faster computers and Internet connections being developed, 
``movies will be next,'' he said. ``Soon it will be possible to 
transmit perfect copies ... around the globe without our knowledge, 
participation or consent.'' 

But Disney does not want to risk the loss of its movies and other 
intellectual properties to Internet pirates who can crack DVD com-
puter codes and upload and distribute the company's property without 
paying a penny, Eisner told Congress's Joint Economic Committee. 

Initially, Disney planned to put out ``Snow White'' in the fall of 
2001 on a DVD, Eisner told the committee's high-tech summit, ``Remo-
ving Barriers to the New Economy.'' But now, he said, ``We are con-
sidering not doing that because once we've done that, if there is 
no (Internet) protection, that property - which is one of the back-
bones of our company - is gone forever.'' 


Movies are quickly moving toward computer digitalization, making 
Internet security important to studios. 

Lucasfilm Ltd.'s ``Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace'' 
became the first film to be digitally projected last year. And on 
Tuesday, Twentieth Century Fox beamed its animated sci-fi film 
``Titan A.E.'' from Burbank, Calif., over the Internet to a digital 
projector in Atlanta, with the company saying it is the first times 
a Hollywood studio has distributed a film to a digital theater over 
the Internet. 

People who download copyrighted material off the Internet like music 
and movies are criminals, Eisner said. ``There's no way around it. 
Theft is theft, whether it's aided by a handgun or by a computer 
keyboard,'' he said. 

In a later talk with lawmakers, Eisner suggested Congress force 
computer companies and Internet service providers to recognize 
copyrighted materials by blocking users' ability to download for 
free while studios try to come up with anti-duplication technology. 

The technology companies won't do it voluntarily, he said. 

``We intend to continue to pour resources into the Internet but not 
if this requires surrendering the rights to things we own,'' Eisner 

 On the Net: Disney: http://www.disney.com Congress's Joint 
   Economic Committee: http://jec.senate.gov/hightech.htm