I used to have a voracious appetite for science fiction and read countless books on the near and distant future. The one thing I can say about them is that they do a lousy job at predicting the future.
One case in point is the internet. There is not a single story I can remember that predicted this, arguably the most important media advance since movable type. There were plenty of stories about gigantic databases that required special skills to pull information, plenty more stories with artificial intelligences of varying ability and lots of high-tech communication tools, but nothing that came close to the internet and what it accomplished.
As another poster pointed out, the hard science fiction writers do a good job of describing future technology (e.g., Clarke's space elevator), but as far as predicting how those technologies affect our society? Not so much.
Let me get this straight, Mr. Attorney General. You're saying that constituents are more concerned with real-life issues than with home entertainment imaginary worlds, right? So, uh, why are you spending so much energy controlling access to these imaginary worlds?
She wants the master copy? Fine. In a digital world, there are no "master" copies. They want to review the content and demand changes. Sure, but those demands must be recorded to video. Of course the producers don't HAVE to make the changes, right? The clips (or even transcripts) of their demands will certainly make things interesting (and possible drive up sales).
So, that's what a hobbyist can do for pocket change, eh? What can he do with a few million? Well, a much more interesting question would be "How much would it cost Hollywood to produce that clip?" I think the biggest problem facing traditional filmmakers is a perception that you have to throw money around like a chimp flinging feces if you want to get anything done.
Has anyone looked into the fact that this is a double-edged sword (if I may mix my metaphors). If all it takes is three accusations to be kicked off line, who is allowed to do the accusing? What if ANYone's accusations are acceptable? What if a corporation is accused? How would the RIAA feel if it lost its internet connection for infringing on the copyright of an artist. I suspect they'd be singing a very different song, so to speak.
I'm betting the copyright is there to prevent someone from using a portion of an image of the bill for advertising or something similar. For that matter, it could be to prevent someone from using an image that is clearly not counterfeiting, but still infringing: say, a billboard of a bill with advertising text across it.
I can't help but imagining a parody of Wexler's comments set sometime around the early 1770's in colonial America. I picture him addressing a house of lords or some loyalist gathering and claiming that the colonists just don't appreciate how important it is that they pay tax and that everything must be taxed and that it's all for the colonists' own good and those extremists like Jefferson and Franklin are totally misguided. The assembled crowd all nod in agreement, unable to imagine themselves anywhere but in a position of authority.
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