When playing a CD becomes a ‘privilege,’ not a right

Ars Technica’s Ken “Cæsar” Fisher writes,

I’ve spent part of my tenure here at Ars trying to warn people about the encroaching affront to our culture being brought about at the behest of the entertainment industry. It has consistently been my position that technologies like “Digital Rights Management” are less about preventing piracy, and more about finding new ways to nickel-and-dime customers. Through DRM and “contracts” for content, fair use rights are being eroded.

Of course, the industry is trying to accomplish its objective by publicly lamenting piracy. If the public and “their” politicians believe that the entertainment industry is on the verge of collapse, they’ll be much more likely to accept restrictions on use of content that they’ve paid for. For this reason, most industry talking heads keep their comments in check when talking about DRM schemes, but from time to time we’ve seen people truly speak their mind. Such is the case with Tommi Kyyrä, of IFPI Finland. Mr. Kyyrä told Tietokone (Finnish) that the ability to play CDs on computers is a “privilege,” and that people who have problems with CDs laden with DRM should just buy new CD players.

Now, we need to understand that listening to music on your computer is an extra privilege. Normally people listen to music on their car or through their home stereos,” said Kyyrä. “If you are a Linux or Mac user, you should consider purchasing a regular CD player.” (Translation via tigert.com)

I fully agree with Ken on what is happening to fair use in this country (and around the world) as I have written so many times on my blog in the past. Might want to click here and here for some of them. In particular the posting from July 16, 2005, Intel to cut Linux out of the content market.

And I find it very interesting indeed that someone in the ‘industry’ has actually stated it outright.

Just nice to hear one of them actually confirm what we all already knew.

DRM is doomed to failure as pointed out by Cory Doctorow at EFF.org and Microsoft themselves in their Darknet Paper linked on BoingBoing.

As I have noted in the past, I do not file share, I don’t encourage anyone else to file share ‘copyrighted’ materials. And I especially discourage file sharing with programs that are spyware ridden. But there are some songs that you can’t get any more. There are songs that are out of print and not available any longer. The entertainment industry is not making money on them because they are not being printed or sold retail any longer. And in some cases, they are not even available from used record stores at any price. So where’s the problem with sharing these? Or your own music? Or from Indie artists that do use file sharing to get the word out about their music?

Back when Napster was taken down I started boycotting any of the Big 5 labels handled by the RIAA. Further, I refuse to buy DRM laden music online or DRM laden CDs. I will not be limited to how I can listen to the music I buy. I just refuse to have my purchases fuel the litigation frenzy by the RIAA and the Big 5. I will not be a part of that. And if it means I don’t get to buy new CDs, so be it. We have plenty already in various formats including CDs we purchased before all this started.

We already saw the cost to our fair use with Macrovision on DVDs. You can’t even pipe your own DVDs — if you use the output on your VCR to distribute it — to your inhouse cable system, or even if you find enough outputs to your in house cable system, you can’t play that movie through a TV/VCR combo that happens to be anywhere on your in house cable system.

There is something seriously wrong with this picture. When will we say it’s enough! Give us our fair use back!

Much thanks to The Register for their article Music exec: quit whining and dump Mac, Linux which brought Ars Technica’s article to my attention. (Their article is also quite good).

BTW: While I am on a bit of a rant, I also like Ars Technica’s article on US broadband adoption rate slows – especially since Pew’s thoughts on this are just dead wrong – at least for some of us.

There are some of us that can only get latency-ridden satellite broadband Internet at its inflated pricing (and other issues) because our own phone company (Verizon in our case) gives folks the run around about getting DSL by saying “…in a year or two, no real plans for your area this year” (while they continue to up the bandwidth ante and drop prices to areas where they are already serving DSL). This has been going on since about a year or so after we moved here (between 5-8 years), and the two cable companies that are now (for the last two+ years) within 10 miles (one about 6 miles and the other about 3 miles away) refuse to bring their Charter cable or Cox cable to our little town in Surry County, Virginia either.

All of them would have to bring their cabling into our town. But Verizon would have to upgrade their entire line from across the river and upgrade their CO in our area, whereas Cox and Charter would only have to extend their service a few miles to offer not only their cable broadband but cable television to our area. It’s not such a big thing to ask, is it?

Comments on: "When playing a CD becomes a ‘privilege,’ not a right" (1)

  1. […] Doctorow: Microsoft Research DRM talk and Ars Technica’s Ken “Cæsar” Fisher’s When playing a CD becomes a ‘privilege,’ not a right. When will software, music and movie companies […]

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