HP chief Carly Fiorina used her keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show to proclaim HP's commitment to promoting high quality content and combating piracy:
"We all know that the best system in the world won't mean much if the content you're receiving isn't rich, and exciting, and meaningful to you. From creation, to distribution, to consumption, we are working today to ensure that the music and the movies that will be a part of your digital entertainment system are as rich and compelling as they can be."
How will HP do that? By joining hands with the content industry, figuratively and literally, to fight digital piracy. Fiorina described how HP is collaborating with content providers, sharing the stage with music and movie industry notables (e.g. Jimmy Iovine, Sheryl Crow, Ben Affleck) and singing the praises of iTunes, DreamWorks, and the Sundance Film Festival. She not only condemned Internet piracy as "illegal and wrong," she outlined specific steps HP is taking to combat it.
Fiorina's vision reflects enlightened self-interest - recognizing mutual interest in protecting incentives for the creation of a steady stream of high-quality music, games and movies. PFF has long emphasized the mutual dependence of four sectors - computer, software, telecomm and content - that must all work together to provide valuable digital content to consumers. Jeff Eisenach and I have dubbed this the "virtuous circle." But the feuds between the content industries and the tech and telecomm sectors over content protection have often degenerated into a vicious circle.
Does this signal the end of the battle between Hollywood and the tech and telecom industries? Hardly. Finding common ground will remain difficult. But let's hope we see more of Carly Fiorina's spirit of cooperation and enlightened self-interest.