Thursday, 28 May 2009

Among the captains of industry.

Quite by accident I saw yesterday that Anna Troberg, vice chairman in Piratpartiet, was on the closing discussion panel at Bredbandsdagarna here in Stockholm. If I'd seen it sooner I would have made an effort to go and see how the debate went.

Bredbandsdagarna is an event that draws together operators, vendors and analysts in the broadband industry to discuss a wide range of topics both technical and business. In the run up to the EU elections it might seem like a low profile place to be but looking in the longer term it's absolutely the place to carry the debate - and with only one other politician on the speakers list it shows how important the PPs voice is on this issue. Sweden is at the forefront of international debate on the future of the internet, the right to privacy and the need for copyright reform - and Piratpartiet is clearly the voice bringing new ideas and fresh vision to the issue.

It's clear that business opinion carries weight in the debate. Money talks... It's what lobbying is all about. But it's by no means clear that it talks with a single voice. Internet solutions that put costs with operators for policing and income and profit in the media industry don't win any favours with the operators - even if they are effectively hostaged to the media industry to get content for new services. You only have to look at operators reluctance to cough up customer's details under IPRED to see that different players can have very different views...

In the wider scene the media industry is not big business.. telecoms is ... and it's an industry much more accustomed to changing how they do business in step with changing technology - so opinion here can clearly have influence in the wider debate.

New ideas take time to take root, but in any case, first you have to sow the seed. Great job Anna!

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