To understand what DRM does to artists, you need to understand how copyright and technology interact. Copyright is inherently technological, since the things it addresses—copying, transmitting, and so on—are inherently technological.
But the Supreme Court ruled against Hollywood in 1984, when it determined that any device capable of a substantial non-infringing use was legal. In other words, "We don't buy this Boston Strangler business: if your business model can't survive the emergence of this general-purpose tool, it's time to get another business-model or go broke."
Boston Strangler thing: an analogy the entertainment industry used (Betamax does to the entertainment industry what the Boston Strangler does to a woman alone at home? it's weird)
Piano rolls didn't sound as good as the music of a skilled pianist: but they scaled better.
Whenever a new technology has disrupted copyright, we've changed copyright. Copyright isn't an ethical proposition, it's a utilitarian one. There's nothing moral about paying a composer tuppence for the piano-roll rights, there's nothing immoral about not paying Hollywood for the right to videotape a movie off your TV. They're just the best way of balancing out so that people's physical property rights in their VCRs and phonographs are respected and so that creators get enough of a dangling carrot to go on making shows and music and books and paintings.
Technology that disrupts copyright does so because it simplifies and cheapens creation, reproduction and distribution. The existing copyright businesses exploit inefficiencies in the old production, reproduction and distribution system, and they'll be weakened by the new technology. But new technology always gives us more art with a wider reach: that's what tech is for.
Which means that today's copyright--the thing that DRM nominally props up--didn't come down off the mountain on two stone tablets. It was created in living memory to accommodate the technical reality created by the inventors of the previous generation. [...]
I'm a Microsoft customer. Like millions of other Microsoft customers, I want a player that plays anything I throw at it, and I think that you are just the company to give it to me.
Yes, this would violate copyright law as it stands, but Microsoft has been making tools of piracy that change copyright law for decades now. Outlook, Exchange and MSN are tools that abet widescale digital infringement.
More significantly, IIS and your caching proxies all make and serve copies of documents without their authors' consent, something that, if it is legal today, is only legal because companies like Microsoft went ahead and did it and dared lawmakers to prosecute.
Microsoft stood up for its customers and for progress, and won so decisively that most people never even realized that there was a fight.
it's weird to think of microsoft as a pro-infringement company but i guess when it suits them ...
think about how this relates to corporations changing IP law to suit them? power resources theory? and how countervailing forces need to push for better (more freeing) changes?
This technology, usually called "Digital Rights Management" (DRM) proposes to make your computer worse at copying some of the files on its hard-drive or on other media. Since all computer operations involve copying, this is a daunting task—as security expert Bruce Schneier has said, "Making bits harder to copy is like making water that's less wet."
something to cite when it comes to IP law (and the conventions/hegemonic ideology that it engenders/builds) being the only thing underpinning this shit
The Supreme Court threw out these arguments in a 1984 5-4 decision, the "Betamax Decision." This decision held that the VCR was legal because it was "capable of sustaining a substantially non-infringing use." That means that if you make a technology that your customers can use legally, you're not on the hook for the illegal stuff they do.
This principle guided the creation of virtually every piece of IT invented since: the Web, search engines, YouTube, Blogger, Skype, ICQ, AOL, MySpace… You name it, if it's possible to violate copyright with it, the thing that made it possible is the Betamax principle.
Unfortunately, the Supremes shot the Betamax principle in the gut two years ago, with the Grokster decision. This decision says that a company can be found liable for its customers' bad acts if they can be shown to have "induced" copyright infringement. So, if your company advertises your product for an infringing use, or if it can be shown that you had infringement in mind at the design stage, you can be found liable for your customers' copying. [...]
just some copyright law history, maybe worth knowing one day idk
The futurists were just plain wrong. An "information economy" can't be based on selling information. Information technology makes copying information easier and easier. The more IT you have, the less control you have over the bits you send out into the world. It will never, ever, EVER get any harder to copy information from here on in. The information economy is about selling everything except information.
good thing to cite as a supreme misunderstanding (or at least incomplete understanding) of how good capitalism is at adapting lmao.
The US traded its manufacturing sector's health for its entertainment industry, hoping that Police Academy sequels could take the place of the rustbelt. The US bet wrong.
But like a losing gambler who keeps on doubling down, the US doesn't know when to quit. It keeps meeting with its entertainment giants, asking how US foreign and domestic policy can preserve its business-model. Criminalize 70 million American file-sharers? Check. Turn the world's copyright laws upside down? Check. Cream the IT industry by criminalizing attempted infringement? Check.
It'll never work. It can never work. [...]
The novel is an invention, one that was engendered by technological changes in information display, reproduction, and distribution. The cognitive style of the novel is different from the cognitive style of the legend. The cognitive style of the computer is different from the cognitive style of the novel.
Computers want you to do lots of things with them. Networked computers doubly so — they (another RSS item) have a million ways of asking for your attention, and just as many ways of rewarding it.