Monday, May 09, 2005

Only Post For The Week

As I have a massive deadline looming over my head on Wednesday, after which I will be leaving for the rest of the week, this will be my only post until next week. But, [insert gleeful giggling here] it sure is a good one. It seems that Hilary Rosen, former chair of the RIAA, has a rant about the "monopolistic practices" of the iPod. Her complaint is that iPod owners can only get their music from the iTunes Music Store or by ripping them from CDs that you already own. In other words, you can't go to every online music store to purchase MP3s for your iPod without having to strip it of the DRM technology (which degrades sound quality).

The whole thing is a catch-22. The RIAA was the driving force behind things like the DMCA. We geeks have long ranted against this piece of legislation, saying that it stifles innovation and restricts consumer fair use. We've complained that the DMCA has made cool technological gadgets like DVD jukeboxes (which let you copy movies from DVDs onto a hard-drive, but never let you distribute the movie after that) illegal. We've complained that the heavy-handed enforcement of the DMCA that the RIAA and MPAA have pushed for will lead to legitimate vendors (such as Apple) to implement proprietary DRM encodings that would prevent consumers from being able to transfer music, movies, etc., from one device to another. If they didn't, there was the very real possibility that that company would be opening itself up to lawsuits under this misguided legislation. We have complained about all of this because WE KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN. We have seen it before.

Remember the .gif image format? Most companies now do not use that. The reason is that CompuServe illegally implemented a proprietary version of the Lempel-Ziv compression algorithm. Implementing tools to bypass another company's DRM encoding is illegal under the DMCA, unless you jump through all the legal hoops (which is time-consuming and expensive). That's the legislation that your organization wanted, Hilary.

And now, you, Hilary Rosen, have the fucking audacity to criticize Apple?!?

You did this.

You pushed for this legislation.

You are the guilty party.

Reap what you have sewn and call up those legislators you and your organization pressured before. Tell them that you were wrong and the DMCA needs to be repealled.

With that rant, I'm out for the week...


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