SJ Mercury: Greed undermines benefits of digital technology

“… greed has overcome the public interest when it comes to
intellectual property.”

“The entertainment and information industries are leading the
charge. They make no secret of their ultimate goal — a system
where consumers pay each time we read, view or listen to anything.
Today, sadly, the forces of greed have the law on their side.”

“The patent system is a total mess, as I’ve said in this space
before. This time, however, let’s look more closely at where we’re
heading with copyrights. The direction is dismal…”

“The worst impact is looking more and more probable, and you can
trace it back to another 1998 law known as the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (DMCA).”

“The movie industry has come down like a ton of bricks on
programmers who reverse-engineered a program that unscrambles the
information on entertainment DVDs. The programmers who did it say
they were trying to make it possible for DVDs to be played on
computers running the Linux operating system. The entertainment
industry, wielding DMCA, has convinced at least two judges that
this activity is illegal because it can also be used to make
copying of DVDs easier. The music industry, meanwhile, is trying
its best to stamp out MP3…”

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