[Linux-aus] Re: DMCA on slashdot

Mark Newton newton at atdot.dotat.org
Fri Jul 7 16:33:04 UTC 2006

Adam Hawes wrote:

> We are getting DMCA and DRM in some form whether we like it
> or not. 

Agreed.  But thankfully it won't make any difference to anything.

The copyfights have been going on for the last decade, at least.
At every step of the way the content industry has said that they're
about to go out of business, and folks like us have said that culture
as we know it is going to be firewalled.

The fight has been going on for long enough that if either of those
things were going to happen they'd have happened already.  But,
no, they haven't, and what we have instead is a ten-year-long string
of failed predictions made by people who, somehow, expect to maintain
their credibility when they make their next predictions, which will
be just as inevitably wrong when we review them in a few years time.

I don't trust the four-letter-industry-associations.  But I don't
have much more faith in the activists on the other side, either.
They've been just as wrong for just as long, after all.  Despite the
corporatization of media in recent years and the shrill arguments
about how much damage it'd do to society, in 2006 we're able to
use more types of media in more ways, on more devices, more creatively,
and cheaper than we've ever been able to use it in human history.  So,
like, who cares?  Art is still being produced, derivative works are
still adding to the wealth of human creativity, the planet has not
turned into a Disneyland-style theme park dominated by corporate
culture owners.

I think the next ten years is going to give us more of the same, DMCA
or no DMCA.  Copyright will continue to be a stupid law;  Citizens
who object to the stupidity will continue to infringe;  and copyright
owners will continue to sabre-rattle by spending ridiculous amounts
of money on show-trials for a negligible proportion of the infringing
population, in a vain attempt to induce the infringers who giggle at
the "Don't Steal Music!" ads in the cinema to give it a second thought
before they burn their next DVD

And laws will continue to get stricter, in the breathtakingly bizarre
(but sadly predictable) belief that the way to stop people from breaking
laws is to make more of them.

The end-game for the copyfights will be a copyright law which says
that any use whatsoever of creative content is illegal, which is
routinely ignored by every living, breathing, sentient being on the

Who wants to archive this thread and come back in ten years to review
it? :-)

   - mark

I tried an internal modem,                    newton at atdot.dotat.org
      but it hurt when I walked.                          Mark Newton
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