in a January 23 article entitled A Radical Rethink with the subtitle: The best way to foster creativity in the digital age is to overhaul current copyright laws. The article starts out well, but then ends up suggesting that the fair bargain for short copyright terms is to give industry system-wide strong DRM. This is quite simply a non-starter, both practically and theoretically.
teenager Jon Johansen over the creation of DeCSS, the software he made so that he could watch DVDs on his Linux box rather than an industry-vetted player. The judge stated very strongly that as long as a DVD is legally obtained, no one could dictate which machine could be used to use it. Looks like a showdown will be coming on these issues between Europe and the US.
wrote today, “I gotta dig how fast and far the People Vs. Hollywood political conversation is spreading.” For the record, I’d like to throw one small point out, maybe to fill in the historical side of this a little. People are fixated upon the DMCA and its role in overturning old US copyright law traditions. It is right to be fixated on that insidious law – but it didn’t begin there.
In its own way, the Telecom Reform Act of 1996 was as important as the DCMA. Everyone focused on the Communications Decency Act back then, but that was clearly just a smoke screen from the beginning. The types of business combination that were finally allowed under the Telecom Reform Act are what has given rise to the large, monopolistic firms who are driving things currently in Hollywood.
Of course those combinations started to occur well before 1996 – but the “reforms” in 96 stripped away the barriers to companies who could own the whole pipeline and control it from head office. Before 1996 there were enough different kinds of player in the food chain that it was harder to get traction, either operationally or as a lobbying force.
follows up on Internet radio and the fallout from the recent decision of the Librarian of Congress who, basically, made it impossible for any Internet radio broadcaster to stay in business: Why Are So Many Internet Radio Stations Still on the Air?.
, though luckily this time it didn’t happen. The RIAA had a plan to amend the USA Bill so that any efforts they made to hack computers they felt violated the DMCA wouldn’t be made illegal under the new (and still outrageous) law. They have abandoned the plan, but still – it proves that the RIAA and member companies feel that they have the moral and legal right to police copyright themselves using any means possible, with little or no oversight.