Blu-ray launches next week, adoption seen slow

Reuters reports;

Blu-ray, one of two much-hyped high-definition DVD formats, debuts next week, but the launch is expected to be muted amid device delays and consumer confusion, industry analysts said on Thursday.

The article seems to put the blame on Sony’s delayed release of their ‘format,’ the ‘early adopter’ pricing, as well as competing HD DVD format, etc. as the reason for the slowdown on adoption.

That may be true of those without any technical knowledge, but I would suggest that it may be something else.

Maybe it’s because of the technology being foisted upon purchasers? Maybe it’s DRM (hardware and software enforced), maybe it’s all the DRM Trainwrecks? Maybe it’s the MPAA’s attacks on fair use of what people buy?

Why you should boycott Blu-ray and HD-DVD

DRM Trainwrecks

And I got a great kick out of The Inquirer article about the Grateful Dead and the MPAA entitled: “MPAA says Grateful Dead are against the laws of nature” where Dan Glickman is quoted as saying, it was “ridiculous to believe that you can give product away for free and be more successful. I mean it defies the laws of nature.”

Really? Why did having fair use over the last 60 years actually give musicians free advertising by ‘word of mouth’ so to speak and actually provide the ‘hey day’ they had previously enjoyed? Do they really think it was all the millions they spent on advertising alone?

How egocentric.

Rather interesting to see the following at BBC Newsnight:

John Perry Barlow used to be the lyricist in the US supergroup ‘The Grateful Dead.’ He went on to co-found the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the pressure group that’s placed itself front and centre in the fight to keep the tanks of government and corporation off the lawns of cyberspace.

Congressman Dan Glickman became US Secretary for Agriculture under Bill Clinton. Nowadays he’s the President and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, the body that wields the collective political and legal muscle of the Hollywood studios.

Here’s an edited highlight of what they have to say about one another:

Well worth a read, check out the full article at BBC newsnight entitled: Hollywood and the hackers – Motion Picture Association President Dan Glickman locks horns with Electronic Frontier Foundation’s John Perry Barlow over big media’s war with the internet.

The only problem I have with the article is that it makes the same mistake so many in news publishing make. The term Hacker does NOT translate to Pirate, Criminal, or any other negative. Hackers by nature are tinkerers, builders, they are people who discover, uncover, innovate … there would be no present day science, Internet, developers of hardware, OS or software, if it were not for the Hackers of the world. There may be hackers that do those bad things (as there are in any other type of career or hobby), but that is NOT the definition of a Hacker. Never has been, never will be … no matter how much the US Government, Corporations or the Mass Media wants to portray it that way.

Even so, you gotta love John Perry Barlow’s closing:

I’ve got good news and bad news and good news. And the good news is that you guys have managed to buy every major legislative body on the planet, and the courts are even with you. So you’ve done a great job there and you should congratulate yourself.

But you know the problem is – the bad news is that you’re up against a dedicated foe that is younger and smarter that you are and will be alive when you’re dead. You’re 55 years old and these kids are 17 and they’re just smarter than you. So you’re gonna lose that one.

But the good news is that you guys are mean sons of bitches and you’ve been figuring out ways of ripping off audiences and artists for centuries…..

Comments on: "Blue-ray launches next week – hohum…" (9)

  1. erictravis said:

    I had no idea that Barlow founded the EFF. Pretty cool. If you’re into free Grateful Dead and Little Feat music, go to and They both have tons of live shows for download. I believe you’re right Bambi, about the word-of-mouth business, but there’s nothing like a good advertizing campaign to take nothing and turn it into something. As David Crosby points out in the Frontline video “The Way The Music Died” (viewable online at, MTV was really the death knell for the music business. Now it’s all about how you look rather than what you’re playing. His comment about Britney Spears “having nothing to say and being as deep as a birdbath” is pretty good. Recommended viewing (broadband and dial-up feeds both available). The funny thing is, the stuff that’s DRM protected may not be worth listening to 😉

  2. Yes, it was very interesting to realize that John Perry Barlow was one of the co-founders of the EFF.

    I had done some research a while back on EFF since I like to know what’s what when it comes to organizations I suggest folks visit.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in July 1990 by Mitch Kapor, John Gilmore and John Perry Barlow. The founders met through the online service The WELL.

    More info:

    And not a ‘terribly brief’ history by John Perry Barlow himself in 1990:

    We have quite a few Little Feat albums (vinyl) and CDs. And some Grateful Dead too cuz we love both of these bands (we used to buy alot of music, but not since Napster was taken down (instead of embracing their free advertising) and since the RIAA started funding lawsuits against individuals and calling fair use pirating). They are still attached at the hip to the Big 4/RIAA so we haven’t bought any in many years though…sad that they haven’t gotten out from under that yet…

    I fully believe music creators do have a right to choose how they wish to protect their creations…and I have a right to boycott them when I feel they make the way wrong decision. 😉

  3. Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

    A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.

    Quite an eye opener.

  4. erictravis said:

    My first mixing gig was at The Childe Harold in Wsahington, D.C. Pretty sure I helped string cable with Sonority Sound for the Waiting for Columbus album segments at Warner Theater. Massenburg electronics. Yikes. Nothing like good clean sound. Dallas’s ShowCo working for Stills’ Manassas – you want to talk about serious sound in the early 70’s. The point is… if you like it, pay for it. Haven’t heard of a better idea than iTunes Music Store. It should be expanded.

  5. I hear ya but…

    I will pay for RIAA/Big 4 CDs that I want ONLY second hand — as long as they don’t have DRM crap on them. Because I have been boycotting them since they started suing music fans … their customers and potential customers.

    The only exception I have made since the original Napster was taken down was a birthday gift of several Little Feat CDs for JimmyLee a few years back.

    Otherwise, I stick to Independent Artists’ music … as long as there is no DRM crap on the CDs. I don’t care how ‘great’ everyone says iTunes is and I agree it’s pretty awesome! But I will not purchase any DRM music from any place because I will NOT have that crap on my computer.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the music by all my favorites from the 50s, 60s, 70s and others … just means I will not fuel lawsuits by buying them. Plain and simple.

    We have enough vinyl, various types of tapes from cassette to 8-track, and CD Albums that we bought and paid of our favorite artists over the years that they have no complaints where we are concerned.

    But no more and they have the RIAA/Big 4 to thank.

  6. The following article by CNET back in 2002 really shows where this has come from and where it’s going:

    Time to rewrite the DMCA – Perspectives By Rick Boucher
    Published: January 29, 2002, 12:00 PM PST


    The American public has traditionally enjoyed the ability to make convenient and incidental copies of copyrighted works without obtaining the prior consent of copyright owners. These traditional “fair use” rights are at the foundation of the receipt and use of information by the American people.

    Unfortunately, those rights are now under attack.

    In 1997, motion picture studios, record producers, book publishers and other content owners came to Congress with a simple proposition: Give us a law that will stop pirates from circumventing technical protection measures used to safeguard copyrighted works, and we will release all sorts of exciting new content in digital formats.

    At the time, libraries, universities, consumer electronics manufacturers, Internet portals and others warned that enactment of the broadly worded legislation would stifle new technology, would threaten access to information, and would move us inexorably towards a “pay per use” society. That day is now close at hand.

    When Congress considered the content community’s anti-circumvention proposal, I put forward a series of amendments intended to preserve the fair-use rights of consumers. My colleagues and I feared that broad application of the proposed new anti-circumvention law would threaten the viability of the fair-use doctrine in the digital age.

    Unfortunately, as so often happens, Congress paid more attention to the loudest voices in the debate.

    In writing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, Congress made some important, but ultimately modest, changes to the original proposal. And we persuaded ourselves that we had achieved a rough balance of interests. But in the end, Congress agreed to a fundamentally flawed bill, which created the new crime of circumvention–a crime divorced from over a century and a half of respect for the fair-use rights of consumers.

    The DMCA, as enacted, quite clearly tilted the balance in the Copyright Act toward complete protection and away from information availability.

    In the three years since the law was enacted, we have not seen the promised new digital content. Instead, we have seen a rash of lawsuits; the imprisonment by U.S. authorities of a Russian computer programmer who had come to the United States to give a technical talk; and, more recently, the release of compact discs into the market that cannot be played in computers or even some CD players, and thus cannot be used to create custom compilations of consumers’ favorite songs.

    Some of the most serious lawsuits have implicated academic freedom and free speech. In response to an open challenge by the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), which invited the world to seek to defeat the watermarking technologies it had proposed for protecting digital audio content, Princeton University Professor Edward Felten and his colleagues defeated all of the proposed watermarks. The Felten team then sought to exercise their First Amendment rights by publishing the results of their scientific research and presenting the paper at a security conference.

    Before he presented the paper, however, Felten received a threatening letter from the SDMI warning that doing so would subject him to liability under the DMCA. Felten then filed a lawsuit to uphold his First Amendment right to publish his research findings. The case has been dismissed, but the issue has not gone away, because the judge did not rule on the actual merits of his complaint.

    Similarly, the publisher of 2600 magazine was sued by motion picture studios for providing a link to a Web site that contained the DeCSS code, which can be used to defeat the industry-standard DVD copy protection system enabling movies to be played on a Linux-based operating system. After losing at the trial level, the magazine publisher appealed, trying to preserve his right to link to sites without being held responsible for everything on those sites.

    Unfortunately, the federal courts in these cases did not uphold the First Amendment rights of these publishers. In the 2600 case, the appellate court circumscribed traditionally accepted fair-use rights by declaring that these rights did not apply to the most convenient, highest-quality formats available to consumers. These examples of the content community successfully threatening and hauling into court individuals seeking to exercise traditional free speech rights demonstrate how the DMCA is flawed, and has tipped the copyright balance in a damaging way against traditional fair-use rights.

    Given the breadth of the DMCA, the fair-use rights of the public at large also are at risk. From the college student who photocopies a page from a library book or prints an article from a newspaper’s Web site for use in writing a report, to the newspaper reporter excerpting materials from a document for a story, to the typical television viewer who records a broadcast program for viewing at a later time, we all depend on the ability to make limited copies of copyrighted material without having to pay a fee or obtain prior approval of the copyright owner.

    In fact, fair-use rights to obtain and use a wide array of information are essential to the exercise of First Amendment rights. The very vibrancy of our democracy is dependent upon the information availability and use facilitated by the fair-use doctrine.

    Yet, efforts to exercise those rights increasingly are being threatened by section 1201 of the DMCA, which created the new crime of circumvention. Section 1201 (a)(1), for example, prohibits unauthorized access to a work by circumventing an effective technological protection measure used by a copyright owner to control access to a copyrighted work. Because the law does not limit its application to circumvention for the purpose of infringing a copyright, all types of traditionally accepted activities may be at risk. Any action of circumvention without the consent of the copyright owner is made criminal.

    Consider the implications. A time may soon come when what is available for free on library shelves will only be available on a pay-per-use basis. It would be a simple matter for a copyright owner to impose a requirement that a small fee be paid each time a digital book or video documentary is accessed by a library patron. Even the student who wants even the most basic access to only a portion of the book to write a term paper would have to pay to avoid committing a crime.

    The day is already here in which copyright owners use “click on” licenses to limit what purchasers of a copyrighted work may do with it. Some e-book licenses, for example, prohibit the reader from reading the book out loud. Some go so far as to make it a violation of the license to even criticize the contents of a work, let alone to make a copy of a paragraph or two.

    To counter this emerging threat to traditionally accepted fair-use values, Congress must rewrite the law. We should begin by revising section 1201, which is at the heart of the Felten and 2600 magazine litigations, and which can be used to keep library patrons from copying even a paragraph from a book without making a separate payment.

    The only conduct that should be declared criminal is circumvention for the purpose of infringing a copyright. That approach would provide adequate protection for copyright owners without abridging the legitimate fair-use rights of consumers, libraries, educators and other users.

    For over 150 years, the fair-use doctrine has helped stimulate broad advances in scientific inquiry and education, and has advanced broad societal goals in countless other ways. In this emerging digital era, we need to return to first principles. We need to achieve the balance that should be at the heart of our efforts to promote the interests of copyright owners while respecting the rights of information consumers. We need to rewrite the law for the benefit of society as a whole before all access to information is irreversibly controlled. In short, we need to reaffirm fair use.

    Rick Boucher represents Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District.


    They figure if they do slowly over years to acclimate everyone into their way of thinking that we will all just roll over and take it …

  7. erictravis said:

    So why don’t you guys put up an independent artist radio station on the net (doused with sprinklings of Firesign, Trolls, et al)? You think the Fireheads wouldn’t listen? Talk about throwing a match on a dry prairie… :=)

  8. LOL! As soon as we have enough Independent Artists lined up, we have talked about sprinkling them between shows on CNI Radio. 😉

    Just need more independent artists (that don’t use ‘bad/foul’ language in their songs, since we have a general audience station, that may well include children in the house) to get involved is all.

  9. […] And Clint DeBoer didn’t even have to go into the HDCP reasons, or other reasons noted here, or the march to boycott Blu-Ray and HD DVD, or even the crippling Output Content Protection – DRM – and Windows Vista. […]

Comments are closed.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: