Big Entertainment's century-long technophobic binge

Nice work from Ars Technica's Nate Anderson on the ways that entertainment companies have spent the past century decrying new technology, claiming that it would destroy copyright, from the record player to the xerox machine to the VCR to DTV to Napster.

Chief movie lobbyist Jack Valenti appeared at a Congressional hearing on the VCR and famously went hog-wild. "This is more than a tidal wave. It is more than an avalanche. It is here," he warned after reciting VCR import statistics. "Now, that is where the problem is. You take the high risk, which means we must go by the aftermarkets to recoup our investments. If those aftermarkets are decimated, shrunken, collapsed because of what I am going to be explaining to you in a minute, because of the fact that the VCR is stripping those things clean, those markets clean of our profit potential, you are going to have devastation in this marketplace… We are going to bleed and bleed and hemorrhage, unless this Congress at least protects one industry that is able to retrieve a surplus balance of trade and whose total future depends on its protection from the savagery and the ravages of this machine…"

"We're in favor of HD radio," said the RIAA's Mitch Bainwol in a 2004 interview. "It offers great benefits for consumers and everyone involved, but we're not blind to several concerns. Someone could cherry-pick songs off a broadcast and fill up a personal library and then post it on Kazaa… We're concerned for ourselves and the artists. If you don't have protection, it undermines the future investment in music."

100 years of Big Content fearing technology–in its own words