Coeur D’ Aline, Idaho – Unlike other industries over the past year, consumer electronics has performed well since the economic downturn and Sept. 11 attacks, according to CEA president Gary Shapiro, in remarks during the CEA CEO Summit, held here last week.
‘Since our last CEA CEO Summit [last spring] the world has obviously changed,’ Shapiro said. ‘Our industry has performed well, especially after September 11.’ He noted that among the positive trends that helped the industry has been that, ‘We are benefiting for providing strong product value. We provide entertainment. for pennies an hour.’
Still Shapiro told his audience that challenges remain, especially changes involving copy protection and fair used home recording. He said, if legislation pending by Congress becomes law it will ‘straight-jacket’ the consumer electronics industry. Commenting on current copyright laws, ‘One hundred year copyrights are not limited terms. Under the Constitution copyrights were to be granted for limited terms.’
He noted that unless copyright and copy protection laws are passed to recognize the capabilities of products that are available now and will be developed in the future, ‘New technology will be strangled.’ For instance positions by the cable industry about digital set-top boxes will ‘stop us from going to retail’ with products.
The industry’s immediate challenge is to make Congress and consumers more knowledgeable about consumer electronics than it is today, he said.