How Closely Is Copy Protection Tied To The DMCA?

from the and-doesn't-that-say-something? dept

Tim Lee has started up a very interesting discussion that deserves a lot more attention. The specific details focus on disagreements among various thinkers concerning whether or not copy protection mechanisms represent a private system for protecting intellectual property, or one backed by governments. However, the much more interesting sub-plot in the article is just how closely attached the DMCA law is to copy protection. While some like to argue that the two are entirely separate, and copy protection is simply a private mechanism — it’s worth noting that those are the same people who are so vehement against any change to the DMCA concerning things like circumventing copy protection technologies. This view has always struck me as odd among groups who talk about how much they support less government in favor of market forces — because it’s essentially supporting the need for government to step in and repeatedly grant monopolies where they may not be needed. No one wants to take away the right of any company to use copy protection should they choose to. Instead, many of us simply see copy protection as a bad business decision, likely to cause more harm than benefits. If that’s the case, though, why should it need so much government protection in the form of the DMCA, that appears to take away many of the rights people had in previous generations?

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Comments on “How Closely Is Copy Protection Tied To The DMCA?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

If a copy protection is needed then they should just insert a serial number into the recordings so they can track the sale and know exactly which CD owner uploaded a copy to the net if it happens.

As it stands now, they want a copy protection plan that amounts to DRM. The problem with DRM is they want to retain control of data that is sold to someone else. DRM is great for a personal computer or a company computer network in order to protect sensitive data from prying eyes. However, if that data is sold, with or without copyrights, the new owner has the right to use that data in the manner they see fit. If the data is copywrited then the new owner can do whatever with the data except copy it to give away or sell. That would be illegal, but making backup copies for themselves or changing the format to use an application they like should be well within their rights.

Mr. Anon says:

Re: No Subject Given

Even then its not that easy, before I get to my biggest question let me propose this situation to you.

Say you buy… the new craptallica Album. One day while you are in the shower or otherwise busy a friend visiting with their laptop seems the album and thinks “oh cool!” and rips it and you don’t even know. From there they go home later and distrobute it or they don’t know their systems are insecure and while they are having an unauthorized visit someone sees the ripped album and thinks “Oh cool!” And transfers it then shares it with all they can. All tracks would lead back to you, what did you do? Took a shower.

Now to my biggest question. Do you want to have to register each time you buy music? I for one would boil over, I don’t even like it when certain sotres aske me for my name address and phone number when I make purchases in person, if you need some location information for taxes fine, here is my zip code, but other than that… No!

Wizard Prang says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Naturally there will have to be allowance for outright theft. Think firearms here. There will be a “paper trail” leading back to your “friend”, and I suspect that he won’t be a friend for much longer.

Is watermarking perfect? No! But it’s a whole lot better than the music business using DRM restrictions to try to tell me what _I_ can do with with _my_ music after the sale.

Mr. Anon says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

You don’t seem to get what I’m saying at all. For watermarking to work you’d have to do is register with the watermark (IE guns) and for music that is impratical.

Also I’m not for DRM, it hinders legimit users, take the latest Foo Fighers Album for example, most mainstream Ipod users couldn’t figure out what and how to do. However the albums was still avaliable for download at many illegal sites… Bad, I believe not because of any copy protection but DRM of the authenticator for the Foo Fighter’s album One by One I could never get to the extra online content, also bad.

Companies want DRM and we will probably see much more (I dread the whole trusted computing plague that is about to descend on us) because of the DMCA, I believe DRM is tied to the DMCA because of this.

Mess with DRM you face the DMCA, the DMCA is legal where as just DRM is Technological.

With time DRM can be broken (our game) but the DMCA is legal (their game) and thus any one person or small team working to defeat the protection, even if just to see if they can, would never amass a legal team like a bing company can, therefore company wins… so far.

I think its a whole cluster-mess and businesses and consumers are all going about it the wrong way, whats the right way? I’m not sure but its definetly not in this direction.

dwreid (profile) says:

Governments for sale

With all of the discussion about DMCA and copy protection, I think that a lot of us have forgotten that the problem is really much older and more basic than digital music. This problem goes straight to corporate greed, their willingness to buy influence in a government in which they have no vote and the willingness of those govenments to be purchased. When the country was first founded it was decided that authors needed to have some protection for their created works. The copyright laws were created to give authors 17 years to profit from their labors. After that, copyrighted works became public domain “for the good of the people”. Over the years, those laws have been perverted by companies and bought officials so that, as the time came for copyrighted works to enter the public domain, the government officials just made the amount of time longer. At this time, the copyright is good for over a century, far longer than any living person could hope to benefit from his or her work. Works never enter the public domain. There are over 35 million published works that are no longer printed but unavailable because the copyright holders will not release them. The government stopped caring about the the public good long ago.

Nobody says:

Re: Governments for sale

DRM and DMCA is the reason why file sharing is so huge and keeps growing.Most people do not want to pay almost 20 bucks for a couple of songs.The Movie industry spends millions more than the music industry and a DVD costs 20 bucks.To me 20 bucks for a new movie is a fair price.20 bucks for a few songs or sometimes just one is not a fair price.The large mojority of file swappers agree they would pay for music if it was priced fair and you could use it on any form of media you choose.I for one will not buy over priced music that restricts me on how I listen to it.And until the music industry comes to terms with that file sharing will continue in one form or another.For every one they shut down 10 pop up.And every downloader they sue the more support there is against them.

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