Press Release

Public Knowledge Disappointed With White House ‘Piracy’ Meeting

December 15, 2009 , , ,

The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and
co-founder of Public Knowledge:

“We were extremely disappointed to learn of the White House meeting
to be held later today on the issue of intellectual property and
‘piracy.’ It is unclear why three cabinet officers, several
subcabinet officers, the directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
and the U.S. Secret Service are needed to tend to the worries of the big
media companies, particularly the motion picture industry which is
completing a year in which it will set box-office records.

“Although the meeting with Vice President Biden purports to bring
together ‘all of the stakeholders to discuss ways to combat piracy
in this rapidly changing technological age,’ some stakeholders are
noticeably missing. Many representatives of media companies will be
there. No consumer or public-interest groups, technology companies,
technology associations or Internet Service Providers are on the guest
list. No one who questions the need for Draconian governmental policies
on behalf of the privileged special interest group for whom this meeting
is being held is on the guest list.

“If Vice President Biden is truly interested in learning more about
intellectual property, we hope he will continue his consultations with a
group of people who share a wider range of views than those with whom he
will meet today.

“We also question the propriety of having Attorney General Eric
Holder attend a meeting with top officials of NBC when it is quite
possible the Department of Justice will have to rule on NBC’s
unprecedented merger with Comcast which would combine those two media
giants.”

The White House announcement, with entire guest list, is here:
https://www.publicknowledge.org/pdf/wh-advisory-20091214.pdf