I’d bet that most people outside the industry (and even some within) don’t know much about the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and if they do know anything they probably know it for their annual trade show, the Consumer Electronics Show or better known as CES. Also, few outside of Washington are aware of Public Knowledge (unless they are already involved in these issues)
One thing that everyone in and out of the industry should be aware of is how the CEA fights for consumer’s rights. Now this isn’t necessarily because they are a consumer advocacy organization but more because what is right for the CEA’s members is typically right for consumers.
The latest battle the CEA is fighting is against two pieces of legislation, the Protect IP Act and SOPA. I’m probably not the best person to summarize legislation but take it from Public Knowledge, “This Bill Seriously Screws with the Internet” and Gary Shapiro the president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association “the content owners want to take a sledgehammer approach and shut down any website that hyperlinks to an offending site or advertises a product that they view as allowing copyright infringement.”
It’s basically like trying to ban the VCR all over again…. and much much more.
Hopefully these two bills will be defeated–but it hasn’t looked good recently.
More and more often, copyright holders interests are bumping up against consumer’s freedoms–and the copyright owners are making a huge effort to ensure their interests win out over consumer’s freedoms. Thankfully consumers and the consumer electronics industry have the CEA and Public Knowledge on their side.
If you care about issues like this and other technological issues that affect consumer’s rights and abilities, you should be following the CEA and Public Knowledge.
The industry supports these efforts through CEA membership but if individuals want to get involved, Public Knowledge advocates, informs and organizes on many of the same issues.