I admit it – when I heard that the MPAA was sending someone to SXSW to sit on the “The Future of Darknets: Can Hollywood See The Light?”, my first thought was, “That’s gonna be fun.” You know, fun in the way that root canals happening to someone else are fun. Fun, fun, fun.
And it was. I have a sick sense of humor that way. As Kevin Smokler said the next day, “There’s a street fight a-brewin'”.
Let me set the scene: the panel was hosted by J.D. Lasica, author of Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against The Digital Generation. Panelists included Kori Bernards of the MPAA, Mark Ishikawa from BayTSP, Ian Clarke, creator of Freenet, Heather Champs from Flickr (who was mad as hell about the DMCA, a perfect mood for the panel), and Dave Toole of Outthink. Oh, and a room packed with tech geeks, media consumers, and filmmakers. These groups were not mutually exclusive.