Consumer Voice Finally Getting Heard On Copy Protection Ills?

from the could-it-be? dept

While there’s definitely been a vocal group of folks (us included, obviously) who have been pointing out for years that copy protection on things like CDs is a bad deal for everyone, it hasn’t really received much attention in the media. Most news articles have taken the position that copy protection for things like CDs is a “necessary evil” to “protect” the content. Of course, it’s not hard to figure out that it doesn’t actually protect the content at all — you can find pretty much all of the content available on file sharing networks anyway. All it really does is make the content less valuable and less useful to buyers, and makes them feel like the entertainment industry doesn’t trust them. Now, one of the benefits of this whole Sony rootkit fiasco is that the voice of consumers is actually getting some attention. The Associated Press is covering the news that a European consumers group is telling the recording industry to stop treating their customers as criminals: “Private consumers … are not criminals and to portray them as such is insulting and counter productive.” In the past, the entertainment industry has written off people who said these kinds of things as “radical extremists” or something along those lines, often brushing off the complaints as simply being from people who want free stuff. However, if the ideas become more mainstream, maybe they’ll finally be forced to recognize that it isn’t a fringe element, but people who simply are sick of getting less value out of the things they buy.

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Comments on “Consumer Voice Finally Getting Heard On Copy Protection Ills?”

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Michael "TheZorch" Haney (profile) says:


Mike, I totally agree with everything you posted in that blog. Its about time we the consumers were treated with respect by the recording industry. This whole thing of treating us like criminals is getting way out of hand. The Sony Rootkit DRM fiasco, or what I like the call The Beginning of DRM’s End, is just a symptom of this. Things have gone too far and its time for them to stop.

No matter what new technology the RIAA or software publishers will come up with there will always be 12 year old computer-geek out there who’ll find a way to crack it. Its time to give up and concern themselves less with prevention of piracy and concentrate to making better products so we will want to buy them instead of download them for free.

MarshmallowClock (user link) says:


Heh, I’m that 12 year old computer geek.

But I agree totally with the subject. Not to mention, cops in our town are completely aproving of it. At a meeting for the younger kids who were newer to the internet they said “You may think you’re downloading that song, but it could have viruses or child porn or trackers attached to it.” At to which I asked if it was alright if you could get music directly from someone that you knew you could trust, and they said that was fine.
Either our cops are idiots, or they’re serious and they’ve finally given the P2P problem a rest. Personally, file sharing doesn’t seem that bad of a crime to me. The person, rather than be getting charged of some HUGE irrational fine should just be charged a dollar for each song, because that’s what they could get if they merely signed up for iTunes, which a lot of people don’t bother to do. Personally, I don’t use an P2P services, but I’m completely for things like Limewire and the Gnutella Network. KaZaa, however, had way too much child porn and whatnot. Thus, I’m glad it’s almost completely shut down.

nezromatron says:

Consumer Criminilization..

This is the same issue that’s been going on with the software market. Back in the days when I was living on bread and water and had no money for programs, downloading stuff was the way to go. Programs would be cracked and would be a snap to use. Once I started to buy them, something came up. Games requiring CDs to be in the machine despite not reading any real data from them, applications requiring long strings of serial numbers to install. Don’t even think about losing a CD-key, it’s virtually impossible getting a new one. I pretty much ended up downloading cracks so I can use software that I actually paid for. So the only people not affected by any protection schemes are the targets of said protection.

Chris says:

Don't use CD's then

I think one thing should be pointed out to these companies. The CD format as defined by Phillips is inheriantly NOT protectable. So the simple responce is if they want protected content, they CANNOT use CD’s to distribute it.

Therefore they have a simple equation to work out, the amount lost due to copying against the amount that would be lost if it wasn’t on CD in the first place.

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