March 30, 2009 (All day)

Please join EFF for a special lunchtime panel:

Hollywood, Digital Rights Management, and the Future of Digital Video

Where: The City Club of San Francisco,
155 Sansome Street, 9th floor, in the Bechtel Room

When: Monday, March 30, 2009, noon - 1:30pm

Bob Barr, 2008 Libertarian Party nominee for President and former Congressman
Fred Von Lohmann, EFF Senior Staff Attorney
Paul Sweeting, columnist, Video Business Magazine and editor,
Michael Page, partner with Durie, Tangri, Page, Lemley, Roberts & Kent LLP

Moderated by: Bill Triplett, former Washington Bureau Chief for Variety

Admission is free and lunch will be served.

When it comes to digital video, will the future be one of consumer choice and robust innovation, or will it be one where every customer and innovator must ask Hollywood's permission for every new activity?

Despite the death of digital rights management (DRM) on digital music, Hollywood remains deeply committed to content restrictions on all future video formats, both online and off-line. For example, Real Networks is being sued for its RealDVD product, which permits DVD owners to make portable copies on their laptops. Hollywood is still pushing Congress to enact a "broadcast flag" to restrict over-the-air digital broadcast programs. And online, authorized services like Neflix On Demand and Amazon Unbox use DRMed streaming technologies -- something that Hollywood would like to see on Flash-based platforms like YouTube.

Our guests will be:

Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, and was the 2008 Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States. He practices law with the Law Offices of Edwin Marger, and runs a consulting firm, Liberty Strategies, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Barr works tirelessly to help preserve our fundamental right to privacy and our other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

Fred von Lohmann is a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in intellectual property matters. He has been at the forefront in the fight against the "broadcast flag" for digital television and has worked to secure DMCA exemptions for DVD content shackled by content restrictions.

Paul Sweeting has covered the home entertainment and technology industries for more than 15 years for such publications as Daily Variety, Billboard, Video Business and Publishers Weekly. His widely read weekly column in Video Business focuses on technology trends, intellectual property issues, Internet and technology policy, and business and financial developments in the home entertainment industries. In 2006 he developed and launched, an online business-to-business news portal and blog site focused on the intersection of entertainment content and digital technology.

Michael Page has represented a wide range of clients in cutting edge litigation in all manner of intellectual property disputes, ranging from the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit, and the Second and Ninth Circuits, to district courts around the country. Until Hollywood sued them out of business, he represented 321 Studios, makers of the popular "DVD X Copy" software used to make back-up copies of DVDs.

Bill Triplett was head of the Washington bureau of the entertainment industry trade paper Variety from 2005 to the end of 2008. Issues, legislation and federal policy regarding piracy, intellectual property rights and digital rights constituted a significant part of the D.C. beat.

The City Club of San Francisco, 155 Sansome, 9th floor, in the Bechtel Room. The City Club is accessible via BART. The City Club is one block from the MONTGOMERY ST. STATION. Exit the station at Sansome Street and walk towards Bush Street. Cross Bush Street and The City Club is located between Bush and Pine Streets.