"In the wake of the unprecented and sometimes outlandish
litigation involving the current highly publicized MP3 and DVD
conflicts, it s hard not to be gripped with the sudden and
immutable sensation that perhaps we didn't leave Orwell s vision of
"1984" behind a decade and a half ago."
"For many, there is no longer anything but the thinnest veneer
that might suggest that this war is over the rights of the artist
or distributor. It is rather a transparent example of the
disturbingly aggressive trend in corporate america to exhibit
displays of power towards the preservation of the current economic
model and the cultural status quo. It is not just foolish or wrong,
but simply irrelevant to point out, as so many already have, that
the proverbial cat is well out of the bag."
"Despite all evidence that the DeCSS (DVD-decrypting) algorithm
is so well distributed as to be carried on the highly visible Got
DeCSS? t-shirts and through the ongoing DeCSS obfuscation contests
to cleverly hide the algorithm in every last nook and cranny of the
Internet, the MPAA still seems to believe that through enough
litigation it can be blotted out of existence."
"For the corporate entities that currently monopolize
popular culture, such a solution is not welcome news. The idea of
directly connecting the artist with their audience all but sends
them scrambling for a reason to exist. To bombard them
further, software and hardware innovations combined with the
falling cost of high-end production tools are putting
studio-quality and near-studio-quality production tools in the
hands of just about anyone with the inclination to be their own
"Suddenly, without the need for their financing or distribution
channels, the corporate label emerges as an almost totally
superfluous parasite; they appear as an organization with little to
offer the motivated and informed artist other than bad contracts
and a shot at fifteen minutes of fame. It seems to be this
realization which has pushed them into lobbying for legislation
such as the DMCA, making legal the current litigation of
organizations such as Napster and 2600, as a desperate measure to
preserve their cartels."
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