Microsoft Clarifies: Amateurs And Hobbyists Not Wanted
from the no-room-for-you-around-here dept
A few weeks ago, we noted that the details of the proposed "analog hole" legislation made it clear that the bill was less about "protecting" content from being copied, and all about killing off amateur content production. It was so focused on setting up a different set of rules for "professionals" and "amateurs" that it was really just about trying to handicap the disruption that amateur content represented. Now, it appears that Microsoft has bought into that same vision. Two separate stories point to two separate quotes from Microsoft execs that both make this abundantly clear (they're not even tap dancing around the issue, like you'd expect). The first comes from Tim Lee, who points to a Jim Allchin interview where he was quoted as saying that the only way anyone will be able to watch digital TV is if it's been certified by CableLabs -- meaning that hobbyists and tinkerers are out. Meanwhile, someone in the comments to that article point to a talk by another Microsoft exec, talking about how the company views copy protection as only being for professionals: "We don't want this technology to be available to every hobbyist. We need to keep the number of licensees down to a manageable number. We charge a license fee to keep the number of people we have to deal with down to a level we can handle." They may want to do that to keep it "manageable," but it has the side effect again of trying to block out hobbyists -- who are doing some of the most innovative work right now. Of course, while some people are pointing out the anti-competitive nature of these statements, the truth is that the only ones it's really damaging for are for Microsoft and for the professional content producers. They're pretty much guaranteeing that everyone else will look elsewhere to work with technology that isn't trying to hold them back.