Arnold Schwarzenegger held his inaugural symposium of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy this afternoon. James Cameron was scheduled to attend but was a no-show – described as “on a creative roll” working on the script for the Avatar sequel – despite prior billing and decades working with Arnold on movies like The Terminator and True Lies. Universal Studios President/COO Ron Meyer joined the former Governor as well as Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chair Rob Friedman, Imagine Entertainment chairman Brian Grazer, and American Idol mentor/Interscope Records boss Jimmy Iovine on “The Power Of People and Innovation — Media/Hollywood Leader’s Perspectives” panel.
Piracy was the hot topic, with Meyer saying Hollywood has to take some responsibility in the downloading wars. “Audiences are not looking to steal it. We just have to give them more reason to buy it,” the Universal boss told the crowd. “We’re content providers. Innovation is a friend not a foe. But the important thing is we get paid for it. People are used to getting music for nothing, but the movies are different. We have to get smarter about it.””
Friedman said, “Piracy is a giant giant issue for us as an industry but we absolutely learned from what happened to the music industry. But our ice cream is melting a lot slower than the music industry’s,” to big laughs from the audience.
Echoing remarks made by WME’s Ari Emanuel earlier this year at the AllThingsD Conference, Iovine, urged the music and movie industry to “use our leverage to get Google and the others to play ball”.