AUSTIN: Kori Bernards, VP of corporate communications for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), faced a skeptical audience at a SXSW panel on copy-sharing as she tried to explain her employer's unpopular decisions.
Moderator JD Lasica, executive director of citizen journalism organization Ourmedia and author of "Darknet : Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation," didn't ignore the elephant in the room when introducing Bernards, one of four panelists.
"We don't want to put the MPAA on the spot," Lasica said to a laughing audience.
Bernards retorted, "Is it unclear why I'm on the panel?"
Later she joked, when fielding a question, "Since I'm kind of 'the man' [here]."
But when matters turned serious, Bernards attempted to make attendees understand the MPAA's position.
"Our goal is to limit [piracy's] impact to the creative world," Bernards said, adding that the industry loses $5.4 billion a year to piracy. "We're working to get the people who are abusing new technologies."
Bernards said the MPAA, in addition to its lawsuits, for which it has been lambasted by some, was working has created a new education department to answer questions about copyright. "Software piracy is a huge problem," she said. "Shows are appearing online within hours of their viewing."
When she called one person, who criticized the entertainment industry's approach to delaying content releases, a "customer of the future," several audience members groaned and one said, "He's the customer of now."
While many of her answers elicited protests from the audience, at least one attendee whispered to a friend, "It's cool that she's here."