June 20, 2007 1:14 PM PDT

GE's top exec urges piracy fight

CHICAGO--Bob Wright, vice chairman and executive officer of General Electric, said piracy is the major obstacle that telecommunications and media companies face as they partner to provide entertainment over the Internet.

During a keynote speech at the NXTcomm trade show here Wednesday, Wright, whose company also owns NBC Universal, said media companies and Internet service providers need to join forces to fight the illegal distribution of pirated content.

In the past, Internet service providers, such as cable operators and phone companies, have not had a vested interest in doing anything to stop the proliferation of pirated content, Wright said. But now, as these companies invest money in rolling out new services and start providing some of their own content on their networks, they are more interested in stopping piracy. As a result, the companies can work together.

"Now that ISPs are moving to offer video-on-demand and some of their own content, facilitating the theft of content doesn't make sense," he said.

Wright said some progress is already being made. Six of the eight largest ISPs in the country plan to adopt notification policies and enforce them if people violate usage agreements that prohibit the downloading of pirated content. If the illegal behavior persists after notifications are sent, these ISPs have agreed to take further action, such as shutting off service.

Wright also said that NBC Universal is working with ISPs to develop better technologies, such as filtering, that can prevent piracy. AT&T has already said it will work with the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America to keep pirated content off its Internet network.

"Technology must be a part of the long-term solution of fighting piracy," he said. "I applaud AT&T for their plans to work on technology. This type of relationship will contribute to a positive evolution of the Internet. It's in no one's interest for the Internet to turn into the Wild West."

Verizon's CEO Ivan Seidenberg said he agrees that service providers need to be more involved in stopping the distribution of illegally downloaded content. But he did not say what, if any, antipiracy technology the company is considering.

"We agree with what Bob is saying," he said. "And we're looking into it."

Beyond educating the public about piracy and developing new technologies to fight the proliferation of illegal downloads, Wright said that stronger legislation is needed to fight piracy. He also called for companies in other industries to band together to stop the distribution of pirated entertainment as well as other counterfeit goods, such as drugs and consumer electronics.

"This is a global crisis," he said. "It's not just about bootlegged movies. It's about counterfeit pharmaceuticals and cell phone batteries. It's a drain on the economy and a public safety issue. Business leaders from all industries need to join forces."

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8 comments

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Looks like there is going to be a surge in HTTPS traffic
Honestly, How do they think they are going to stop this?

You can only monitor what the end users let you (through commission or omission). If someone is downloading pirated content from a web server using SSL how will the ISP know? What can the ISP do about it?
Posted by LarryLo (164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ahh well
Looks like I wont be using AT&T networks :(
Posted by sjcros (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
end to piracy?
piracy is the second oldest profession next to prostitution, you can never bring it to an end
Posted by Kirk101 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
End to privacy!
Why should the ISP's be allowed to watch me surf or send email when it is illegal for them to listen to my phone calls?

ISP: "Sorry but you loaded a copyrighted image from a cnn.com. That site is no longer allowed. But be sure to visit cbs-isp-bang-o-rama.com site!"

This is exactly the type of thing a true Net Neutrality bill would prevent.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality</a>
Posted by DrLumen (6 comments )
Link Flag
How could anyone control computer users..?
[The bulk of this post was previously posted, by me, in different thread, regarding the "banning" of -NON-APPROVED- "Operating-Systems"]


How could ISPs control ALL computer-use..?

Two words... "Trusted Computing".

If youve been following "..the news", you may have noticed that, currently, the Government, and various "commercial-interests", are heavily-pressuring various "network access providers" (such as "web-sites", "private ISPs" and "universities") to control the capabilities (and track the actions) of, their network-users. In fact, hardly a month goes by without some new proposed "legislation" or, much-publicized, civil-courtroom "victory", for those that wish to be able to forcibly-control (and track) virtually ALL Internet-access (and, more generally, computer-use). This is primarily being accomplished by, trying to hold "technology providers" (software, and Internet-access, providers) responsible for the actions of their "customers". This is allegedly also being done for all manner of "security" reasons ("terrorism", "identity-theft", "hacking", "spam", etc.), and, also, numerous alleged "legal", reasons (such as enforcing "copyright" interests, and catching "sex offenders").

In fact, both the Government, and the largest Internet-access providers (such as "...The New AT&#38;T"), HAVE been calling for, and working towards, the capability to "track", "control", and "block"... "...unacceptable uses"... and any form of "Internet anonymity"... for some time.

One might think that this would merely entail, wholesale, preemptive-monitoring, and blocking, of ALL "internet traffic" (which is, in and of, itself is a frightening prospect to any rational-American).

However, in my opinion, the ONLY real way to insure such levels of "control" (and, alleged, safety) would clearly, eventually, be the wholesale technological-implementation, and imposition, of technological-elements such as:

1. Fully identifying every single computer (and, potentially, each individual "user") during all computer, and network, transactions.

2. Being able to identify "trustworthy" systems (I.E. verifying systems which fully comply with ALL "copyright", "security", and "legal" requirements, and by requiring systems to prove, that they are not running any "non-trusted" elements, processes, hardware, or applications).

And, finally...

3. Denying ALL network-access to any computer which doesnt meet EVERY-ELEMENT of this arbitrary set of requirements.

This level of "control" is, in fact, exactly what "Trusted Computing" is actually, precisely, designed to accomplish. Specifically, "Trusted Computing" (in its various public incarnations, and components... "Palladium", "TC", "NGSCB", "TPMs", and "software-signing") consists of exactly these three elements:

-"Identification".

-"Verification" of all system-elements (from the motherboard-BIOS, to the OS, to the Drivers, up to the actual Applications themselves).

These elements are part of... "remote attestation" and, so-called, "end-point security".

And, finally...

-"Exclusion" of ALL "non-compliant" systems.


If you think that this must be a long-way from any practical-implementation... especially the most-extreme, ...the requirement for "individual-user identification"... The reality is that many of these "trusted" elements, in fact, already ARE, or are currently being put, in place.

..."MS-Vista", for example, already has the "APIs" (Application Program Interfaces) needed to require, such things as, "machine-readable, user identity-cards" ("REAL ID"??? ...which the government is starting to, once again, ...push heavily), and "biometric identification" of each "individual computer-user" (through such Biometric-devices as "fingerprint scanners"). It [MS-Vista] also has the built-in capability to require "software, and driver, signing and authentication" (which is actually-designed, primarily, to enforce "DRM" compliance from all "media", "devices", and any "..low-level OS operation calls"). And, the Government has indicated that they are preparing to DEMAND, exactly this level of "security" (external-control of, and the ability to track, ALL "Internet use"). Furthermore, most of the "routers", currently used by ISPs, ARE ALREADY designed to be able to demand such "trust authentication" from every "end-point device" (Thats YOUR computer, or network, when you try to connect to the Internet through your ISP, by the way). If your computers cannot "attest" to such "security criteria"... they WILL, simply, NOT be granted Internet-access, at all.

So... there wouldnt have to be an actual, sweeping, official, "requirement". But rather, so-called "voluntary compliance", with a broad set of "general security policies", and "legal requirements"... would be the rule (allegedly designed to enhance "security", "reduce abuses", "protect copyright interests", and thereby, "...limit liability")... all under THREAT of serious "legal repercussions"... if ISPs dont "voluntarily comply"). This could very quickly mean that only -approved- Operating-Systems, applications, and uses, would be "allowed" Internet-access, by any "ISP".

Frankly, in my opinion... based upon the entire "Trusted Computing architecture", this could easily, actually-mean, -ONLY- fully-registered, -APPROVED- "software", running ALL REQUIRED "updates", patches", "software", and "DRM" components.

In the end... such alleged "copyright" concerns could, mean that if you run anything other than -APPROVED- software, or attempt any "unapproved use"... you will be BANNED from ANY Internet-use, PERIOD...

Just some things to be aware of, and think about...
Posted by Had_to_be_said (384 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Guess what
If your ISP wants to limit you or block your internet access, go somewhere else, they're the ones that will lose. Crap like this is why I stopped buying music, movies and games sometime ago and now I download them.

&gt;"This is a global crisis," he said. "It's not &gt;just about bootlegged movies. It's about &gt;counterfeit pharmaceuticals and cell phone &gt;batteries."

Well, when a store wants to charge you $30 for a cell phone battery made in China like its pirate counterpart which I can get for $3 , what do you expect? :)

Here is a hint, eliminate all those money hungry executives at your companies (CEO's, Presidents, Vice, etc) and that way you can lower the prices to something most people will agree to pay.
Posted by lakatu32 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Huh?
Your ISP wanted to limit you or block your access, and that's why you stopped buying music, movies and games sometime ago? Huh? That doesn't even make sense. No, the reason why you stopped buying is because you are a petty cheap ass thief.
Posted by wangbang (155 comments )
Link Flag
The fact that...
This dufuss actually thinks they can end piracy shows what a moron he is. You can't end it, the only thing can do is go so far that you make angry your paying customers so that they stop buying your products and/or start stealing them just to make a point. The recording industry is in the process or learning about this now. Their lawsuits against individuals is back firing and just angering the people that are honest and would pay for their products. Companies need to learning that if it is of value it will be stolen. They need to be honest, caring and very customer friendly and fair and that will keep the stealing down. Going after people with attitude and an iron fist is not the way to do it.

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
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