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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Feb 2006 @ 6:47pm

    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.

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