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        ...daily updates on PFF's Aspen Summit

Monday, August 22, 2005

Welcome and Opening Remarks and Address

PFF Co-Founder and Chairman George "Jay" Keyworth opened the Summit, and was followed by PFF President Ray Gifford, who outlined the debate between property advocates and commons enthusiasts. Citing 18th Century agricultural reform and the late Whig party, Ray made it clear why he's firmly on the property side.

Roundtable: Reforming Communications Law

  • Randolph J. May, Director of Communications Policy Studies, The Progress & Freedom Foundation (Moderator)
  • Jeffrey Citron, Chairman & CEO, Vonage
  • Peter Davidson, Senior Vice President, Federal Government Relations, Verizon
  • Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association
  • Forrest Miller, President, SBC Communications

The property vs. commons theme continued in the first roundtable discussion. A spirited discussion occurred on several issues, particularly net neutrality, including what exactly it might be and whether it should be mandated. Panelists resisted moderator Randy May's efforts to get them to name a single company they most feared.

Keynote Address

In a stirring keynote, Warner Music Group Chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr., discussed the future of digital content online and announced the development of an e-label. See our press release from today for more details.

Roundtable: Copyright: The Global Stage After Grokster

  • James V. DeLong, Director, Center for the Study of Digital Property Rights, The Progress & Freedom Foundation (Moderator)
  • Chris Israel, Coordinator of Intellectual Property Enforcement, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Ambassador David A. Gross, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications & Information Policy, U.S. Department of State
  • Shane Robison, Chief Strategy & Technology Officer, Hewlett Packard
  • Pamela Samuelson, Professor, University of California at Berkeley, School of Information Management and Systems SIMS & School of Law

Panelists at this morning's second roundtable discussion came to the general consensus that the Grokster decision struck a balance between all stakeholders. Panelists also discussed IP related activities in Europe, including the possible criminalization of copyright violations. Also discussed was the need for a digital rights management model that is independent from the technology used to receive the content.

Luunch Addresses

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Intuit President and CEO Steve Bennett gave back-to-back addresses at lunch. Barbour said politicians don't understand the tech industry, but he urged Summit attendees to work with governors of both parties, in part to promote free trade. Barbour also said governments have no business competing with the private sector, a theme continued by Bennett. Bennett challenged PFF to lead the debate on government entry into markets.

Heard at the Summit:

PFF President Ray Gifford: "For those of you who didn't know, the ash storm over Aspen this weekend is not a nearby erupting volcano, but rather the remains of Hunter S. Thompson, which were shot out of a cannon down the valley in Woody Creek the other day. So, it's not dandruff you are brushing off your shoulders in Aspen tonight, just the remains of the famous gonzo journalist..."

Look for more updates tomorrow.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation