Saturday, 16 January 2010

Copyright fun

This gag is so true I just HAD to (probably illegally) copy it and put it here for you.

Having lived through several generations of recording media, it would be nice to think that things might change but they never do.

The record industry (a pack of low-life scum called the RIAA in the US, and similar bodies everywhere else - I will call them all RI to save some typing) has always howled and called for blood every time a new technology has popped up to allow for the more flexible use and protection of the music purchased by the general population.

Reel to reel tape, Compact Cassette, DAT (the first digital format - successful killed as a consumer product by the RI), mp3, CD and DVD copiers - every one was treated as the 'End of Civilization' by the RI.

The usual solution? Screw the customers caught with illegal copies. Yes there are real pirates out there, and no amount of copy protection makes the slightest difference to them. They break the protection and move on, while paying customers just get annoyed that DRM prevents them from backing up or sharing stuff they have already paid for.

Personal copy prohibition is stupid. It is almost always low level when done by customers. Reselling copies IS theft and should rightly be discouraged, but leave the paying consumer out of this.

I found an interesting example of Copyright paranoia recently. On the bottom of a piece of sheet music published way back in 1920 it declared that copying the music onto a blackboard was a breach of copyright and was prohibited. Like most consumer copying, to break this prohibition would make no difference at all the the bottom line of the publisher. Its only real effect is the annoy the purchaser.

Careful! Don't ever fall between a business suit and the perceived maximisation of his profits...

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