Biting at Apple

Apple, the darling of movie-makers and longtime technology conduit for streaming film trailers, is noticeably absent from this week's Digital Hollywood confab, a bi-annual gathering of entertainment and technology executives. But Steve Jobs' ears must be burning, because Apple is on everyone's lips.

"Apple showed us that digital content distribution can work, it showed us all how to do it" with iTunes, Scott Smyers, vice president of Sony Electronics network and systems architecture division, said during a panel.

That is the general tenor here in Santa Monica. That Apple is one to look up to, but it's not the one coming to the negotiating table as the entertainment industry struggles with new business and usage models for film, video and television to avoid being "Napsterized."

"It's not a productivity enhancer" that Apple isn't here, said Ron Wheeler, senior vice president of content protection at the Fox Group.

"We try to have people here that want to work toward interoperability," added Brendan Traw, an Intel fellow.

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