Skip to main content

Hollywood asks Obama for support on anti-piracy treaty in private meeting, says WSJ

Hollywood asks Obama for support on anti-piracy treaty in private meeting, says WSJ

Share this story

On Tuesday, Barack Obama spent an hour with major Hollywood executives, encouraging them to strengthen relationships with Silicon Valley while attempting to address concerns over copyright protections, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources say that Obama met with, among others, Disney CEO Robert Iger and CBS CEO Les Moonves as part of a trip to California, where he also visited the DreamWorks Animation studio and delivered a public speech calling entertainment "one of America's biggest exports."

Obama has generally seen strong support from Hollywood, though after coming out against the entertainment industry-backed SOPA and PIPA copyright bills, he drew ire from people like MPAA CEO Chris Dodd, who saw his opposition as a betrayal. At DreamWorks yesterday, animators created an animated avatar that performed sections of Obama's speeches. In this meeting, executives apparently asked Obama to help keep copyright enforcement language in the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty, despite opposition from people who say it grants over-broad protections and undoes progress on issues like the legality of phone unlocking.

Obama encouraged Hollywood to make peace with Silicon Valley

The Journal's sources also say that Obama offered help in bridging the divide between tech and entertainment, which frequently find themselves at odds: Silicon Valley characterizes Hollywood as out of touch with reality, while Hollywood accuses Silicon Valley of running roughshod over a vibrant business in order to make a buck. One of the prime examples of this is the ongoing fight over Google's search results, which the MPAA claims are a major driver of piracy despite Google's efforts to quickly remove links to illicit downloads.

In his DreamWorks speech, Obama praised Hollywood as an economic powerhouse and a producer of soft diplomatic power. "[People abroad] might not know the Gettysburg Address, but if they're watching some old movie, maybe Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, or The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or Will and Grace and Modern Family, they've had a front-row seat to our march towards progress, even if their own nations haven't made that progress yet." However, he later addressed a topic that has been in the news since last year's Sandy Hook shooting, admonishing the entertainment industry to make sure it didn't glorify gun violence in its films.

Obama also continued to promote his Affordable Care Act, which remains under fire both for its fumbling implementation of an online insurance market and for the many provisions opposed by conservative groups, including a requirement that employers help cover employee insurance plans even if they include birth control options — an issue that the Supreme Court agreed yesterday to examine.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed An hour ago Midjourneys

A
External Link
Andrew J. HawkinsAn hour ago
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterTwo hours ago
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.


J
External Link
Jess WeatherbedTwo hours ago
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.


T
Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.


R
Twitter
Richard Lawler12:00 AM UTC
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.