I ran across this keynote speech on Chris Blizzard’s blog, and I think it deserves passing around.
This is a keynote speech by Corey Doctorow, who used to be with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This organisation basically fights for the preservation of the end-user’s rights in a world where the law is still being firmly established on the Internet.
In this keynote he’s detailing a lot of the negative things that are happening to our rights to use the things we buy. Key points:
1) Technology companies want to make the things you buy inscrutable, so you can’t use them to their full potential and exercise your right to lawfully enjoy copyrighted material.
2) Organisations including the WIPO arm of the United Nations are doing an end-run around your lawful right (as upheld by the supreme court in the United States) to copy and distribute your purchased music and movies for your own use. They’re doing this by first making it technically impossible to do so, and subsequently having legislation passed that makes it illegal for you to circumvent those prevention mechanisms. This is done primarily through the DMCA, and is revealed to be its primary purpose.
3) Incumbent industries have always sought to stop the growth of new industries, and what we’re seeing now with copy protection and DRM is the same thing.
4) What’s new in this struggle is that the legal fight is now not against business, it’s against you. It’s about imposing restrictions on you, and imposing punishments up to and including jailtime against you for trying to exercise your legal rights.
Certainly worth a watch. The keynote is available here.