Sony CEO – The Internet? Nothing Good Has Ever Come Out of There!

Many would argue that it’s up to the record industry to somehow reconcile with new technology, like the internet, instead of fighting it. As if to reinforce the stereotype that the record labels just hate the internet altogether, a CEO from Sony pretty much said just that in a recent forum.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

So what is the standard image that comes to mind when it comes to the average major music record label CEO? Grey hair? Overweight? Disgustingly rich? A passion to hate the internet or technology in general? Well, judging by a picture, at least two of those stereotypes were reinforced recently:

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 21: Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, attends The National Multiple Sclerosis Societies 32nd Annual Dinner of Champions at the Century Plaza Hotel on September 21, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Michael Lynton

(Hat tip Getty Images for the picture)

According to a quick report by WWDMedia, the CEO of Sony, Michael Lyton, had a few choice words about the internet recently:

The panel was about the future of filmmaking, but that didn’t mean anyone had to like what they saw. “I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the Internet,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive officer Michael Lynton. “Period.”

At a breakfast cohosted by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and The New Yorker Thursday, Lynton wasn’t just trying for a laugh: He complained the Internet has “created this notion that anyone can have whatever they want at any given time. It’s as if the stores on Madison Avenue were open 24 hours a day. They feel entitled. They say, ‘Give it to me now,’ and if you don’t give it to them for free, they’ll steal it.”

Apparently, he seems to think the internet is for taking stuff for free or ‘stealing’. It’s unclear whether or not he’s had the chance to see someone else’s rendition of what the internet is for, but there was a few other comments that were being made as well:

Lynton tried out another simile. Referring to the Obama administration’s goal to spread broadband access without, he said, regulating piracy, Lynton compared it with building highway systems without speed limits or driver’s licenses. “We do need rules of the road,” he said.

While this is mere speculation, it’s almost as if he was alluding to France’s recently passed three strikes law or a similar and related issue. Still, one wonders that if that was the case, where did such a comment come from? Did the Obama administration reject calls for the US to implement a three strikes law of their own? The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which is still being currently held as a national secret, had leaked documents last year that did address the concept of disconnecting people from the internet – while not directly addressing three strikes, still alluding to ideas such as the three strikes law.

We already know that the MPAA, to which Sony Pictures is a member of, certainly wanted Canada to adopt something like the Three Strikes law in December of last year. So it’s quite probable that the MPAA wanted the US to adopt the three strikes law at the very least, at some point in time.

Still, it doesn’t help very many arguments when you are seen suggesting that the internet is just some no good piece of technology. Then again, how many are surprised by this revelation at all?

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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