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gnat (29)

gnat
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Journal of gnat (29)

Thursday March 21, 2002
10:05 PM

What's Wrong With the SSSCA

[ #3712 ]
The SSSCA made it into the Senate as the CBDTPA.

There are three reasons to despise this:

  1. The anti-copying technology would be co-created by the RIAA and MPAA, which have traditionally taken very narrow views of "fair use". The code becomes a single inflexible reading of what you can and cannot do, without appeal (what if your VCR won't let you make more than one copy of your appearance on Wheel of Fortune but you have two sets of proud grandparents?)
  2. This will create an active market in foreign-manufactured consumer equipment that doesn't have the content protection hardware in it. (See zone free DVD players)
  3. The government shouldn't be raising the price of consumer electronics in an attempt to boost broadband adoption. It hasn't been shown that the broadband and HDTV industries flaccidity is caused by piracy. In the eyes of many, their problems lie in pricing and their fundamental inability to offer service. This kind of interventionist meddling is ridiculous.

I'm reducing those three objections to soundbites and Jenine is going to call our Senator tomorrow morning. You should do the same. Use this to find them.

I'm still boggling at how far in the pocket of the RIAA and MPAA the elected representatives are. Online book publishers have grappled with the problems of digital piracy, and yet they've not felt the need for legislation to mandate digital copyright protection code in every device from which things can be read. The MPAA and RIAA are just a bunch of whiners and should be smacked and sent to bed without supper.

Those of you in foreign lands, you can wipe that smug smile off your face and stop thinking "typical American politics." Your governments will be next. Pay close attention to what happens in the US, because often we're just the first stop for the content fascists. Once a stupid law is passed in Washington, the next stop is London, Brussels, Canberra, ....

--Nat

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