Eric S. Raymond: Is the SDMI boycott backfiring?
Oct 04, 2000, 06:25 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric S. Raymond)
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Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 02:30:04 -0400
From: Eric S. Raymond firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Is the SDMI boycott backfiring?
I'm writing in response to your story "Is the SDMI boycott
As one of the hacker-community spokespeople who came out in
support of Don Marti's proposal for a hack-SDMI boycott, I have to
say that I think your article missed one of the most important
tactical points of the action.
As defenders of consumers' rights to fair-use copying and
technologists' rights to reverse-engineer, we in the hacker
community want to teach the record companies a lesson about the
futility of attempting to "secure" data that is to be interpreted
by a consumer's general-purpose computer -- a lesson also relevant
to the DVDCCA lawsuit.
We've noticed that huge, stupid collective organisms like the
record and media industries seem to learn best from pain.
Therefore, to make the lesson as effective as possible, it is in
our interest (and in the interest of music consumers) that it be as
painful to the media industry as possible.
Accordingly, we actually *want* the inevitable failure of SDMI
to ruin careers, bankrupt companies, and leave as large and livid a
scar in the collective memory of the media industry as possible.
That will make it a much more effective object lesson -- with any
luck, one we will never have to repeat again against son-of-SDMI or
So sure, we'll crack SDMI. *After* the record companies and any
consumer-electronics companies gullible enough to do their bidding
have sunk billions of dollars into hardware and business plans
based on it. Hasta la vista, idiots!
We sympathize with the weary technologists at the hardware
companies. They're right; the whole concept behind SDMI is so bogus
it can be seen through by an average sophomore CS student. But
there's an easy way for those technologists and those companies to
avoid being burnt; simply refuse to play. Leave your stupider
competitors holding the bag.
Think of it as evolution in action...
Eric S. Raymond
Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation,
that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defence? Where is the
difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our
own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If
our defence be the *real* object of having those arms, in whose hands
can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in
our own hands?
-- Patrick Henry, speech of June 9 1788