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Washington Times: Digital dilemma

Nov 14, 2000, 07:57 (5 Talkback[s])

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"Admittedly, politicians aren't all to blame. Washington is full of tech-savvy entertainment lobbyists who have clouded the politicians' distinctly less-than-tech-savvy heads with talk of "protecting artists' copyrights" from Internet piracy, a noble sounding intention if there ever was one."

"The DMCA, however, largely drafted by entertainment lobbyists, does a lot more than simply protect copyrights. The bill establishes a federal law against the circumvention of encryption technologies on digital media. This would be fine if encryption simply protected against unlawful copying and distribution. However, unlike the compact discs, books, and video tapes on the market now, encrypted media are smart. Encryption allows content holders to determine when, where, and how their product is used."

"The DMCA, therefore, protects content holders not only against uses which will harm incentives, but uses which do not fit into their business plans. Hollywood has fooled the government into handing it a big legal stick to lord over technology companies who have a different vision of the future of media."

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