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Linuxports: MP3 and DVD: The Final Solution?

Sep 06, 2000, 22:46 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joshua Drake)

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"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 producer."

"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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