"In his Walled Culture interview, Cory Doctorow explains cogently why Digital
Rights Management (DRM) is such a disaster. It’s also pointless: DRM can always
be broken, and once there is one unprotected copy out on the Internet, the
material with DRM effectively become an inferior, hobbled version. The
copyright companies reacted to this fact in the usual way, by demanding new
laws from their allies in government.
The relevant legislation was passed as the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright
Act in the US, and as the 2001 Information Society Directive in the EU. The
latter is even worse than the former, since it forbids the circumvention of
copy protection measures, whereas the DMCA only forbids the circumvention of
access control measures. This means that even though citizens have the right
under EU law to use copyright material with DRM for things like education and
scientific research, it is illegal to make use of those rights, because it
would require circumventing the DRM. It’s a classic copyright situation, where
the few rights that ordinary users might have in theory are, in practice,
unavailable, because the concerns of the copyright companies take precedence."
This demonstrates a complete lack of good faith from the rightsholders. They
don’t bother to comply with the requirements of the law as they clearly never
expect anyone to actually exercise their rights. And of course the law was
crafted to their specifications to put all the penalties in one direction, with
no penalties whatsoever for noncompliance by rightsholders. Those with the gold
make the rules.
Via Glyn Moody.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics