Distributed Computing
Industry Association

DCIA's Founder Derek Broes was invited to submit testimony to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet for the hearing entitled "Ensuring Content Protection in the Digital Age" on April 25, 2002.

Note: DCIA's initial working title was Distributed Computing Standards Coalition (DCSC). The new name, DCIA, was established at its June 30, 2003 organizational meeting.

Here is the text of that testimony.


Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Markey, and members of the Subcommittee,

I am Derek Broes, Founder of the Distributed Computing Standards Coalition. The DCSC is a non profit organization that has been formed to establish ethical and technical standards and practices for decentralized Internet computer networks, commonly referred to as peer to peer networks. Our membership is open to copyright owners, software developers, product manufacturers, the telecommunications industry and consumers.

The mission of the Coalition is to bring the benefits of distributed computing to their full potential while protecting consumer, business, and intellectual property rights, while ensuring interoperability and maintaining the highest standards of security, availability and quality of service.

The DCSC offers its members ethical and technical working groups, and a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding for the public and private sector as well as to governments and interested organizations around the world.

The DCSC is being established to answer the urgent call of major copyright holders, including the television, film, and music recording industries and the desire of major computer hardware and software manufacturers for inter-industry cooperation to ensure that digital content can be distributed to consumers through means that are efficient and secure from theft.

A letter recently sent by a group of motion picture CEOs to a group of hi-tech industry CEOs said: “Unauthorized peer-to-peer file distribution…harms existing theatrical, home video and subscription outlets, and discourages legitimate on-line services which cannot sell access to movies, music and other entertainment content that are available for free.”

The letter goes on to call for the creation of a coalition in which they may “work together in a consensus-based and cooperative fashion to find solutions to this problem that is threatening the very essence of our business. We thus propose the establishment of a new high level working group, independent or as part of an existing process, to find technical measures that limit unauthorized peer-to-peer trafficking in movies, music and other entertainment content.

Recognizing that the United States Congress is watching the attempts at self regulation carefully, the letter states that “Establishing such an accountable and credible working group will better enable us to meet the call of Congressional leaders for regular reports to the Congress as to the state of our private negotiations.”

Thus, the DCSC is being formed to address these issues, inviting the full participation of the interested parties to swiftly move to find resolutions to the challenges at hand.

My diverse background encouraged me to establish and devote my time and full attention to the DCSC to represent the variety of views and interests held by all parties.

My experience in the entertainment industry helps me to understand the concerns of both the technologists and the content providers you are hearing from today.

As the former CEO of Vidius, Inc., I built an Internet security company that offers services to track and monitor networks for intellectual property loss over peer to peer networks and sells sophisticated tools to mitigate that loss. Vidius’ diverse team was a blend of entertainment industry executives and technologists and a software development team made up of veteran military scientists. As a media technologist, I launched the very first all digital motion picture and television recording and editing studio in Los Angeles. I have produced music and films and represented Academy Award winning artists. I am also a copyright owner.

The primary issue surrounding secure, efficient and reliable content distribution over the Internet is that there is no legitimate framework to follow. Indeed, the true success stories for content distribution are reserved for peer to peer networks that are widely seen as operating in defiance of copyright law. Despite a desire on the part of many in the peer to peer community to achieve legitimacy, these networks have no acceptable framework or forum to attain an authorized status. With no legitimate alternatives, peer to peer networks produce no paying customers, only pirates. We must all work together to develop the solutions to turn pirates back into customers.

As a case in point, Los Angeles-based Altnet, Inc. is working closely with the peer to peer network KaZaA, that reaches more than 50 million users, to implement a secure environment for the authorized and paid distribution of digital media content. These are not rogue networks seeking to operate outside the law, rather they are begging for cooperation and standardization.

The DCSC strongly advocates and will work closely with its membership to build the necessary framework to address the vital issues surrounding sanctioned peer to peer distribution of copyrighted content including; creating ethical bylaws, standardizing licensing and royalty models, adopting appropriate security measures, and setting universal standards for quality of service.

* * *

I submit to the subcommittee that both the desire and the technology exist to ensure content protection in the digital age. The DCSC is committed to this mission and offers its expertise to the subcommittee for this and other hearings in the future. I urge the committee and members of congress to encourage all industries concerned and affected by this issue to lend their support to the DCSC so that we may solve this problem together.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to have participated in this most important hearing.

Sincerely,

Derek Broes
Founder

Distributed Computing Standards Coalition

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