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Old 11-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
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LXer: Copyright Maximalism: Turning Satirical Works Into Ridiculous Reality

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Last week, we discussed Microsoft's patent filing on a content distribution system that counted heads and charged license fees accordingly. Utilizing the Kinect or some other unnamed technology, Microsoft had the beginnings of the copyright industries' wildest dreams: an opportunity to treat the public's living rooms like theaters and collect "admission" from every viewer.Rick Falkvinge has amusingly pointed out that "prior art" exists for this "Content Distribution Regulator" -- in the form of a satirical piece published at BBspot (and covered here years ago, noting that it "hit too close to home") five years before Microsoft's filing.
Six years ago, a satire site wrote a story about how the copyright industry wanted more money if you invited friends to watch a movie in your living room. This notion has now been patented in new technology: automated headcounts coming to a living room near you, to enable new forms of restrictions. Apparently, the copyright industry takes six years to catch up with the very worst satire of it.
Old 11-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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Just put a piece of tape over the camera lens. When the chips are down, they must sell that content to you somehow.

Seriously ... the peddlers of copyrighted material (in the traditional business models that have made vast fortunes up to now) have a far more serious threat to deal with now: the content-producers and authors themselves.

The Internet is intrinsically point-to-point and also immediate. Books no longer require paper; music no longer requires media of any sort; ditto motion-pictures and TV shows. Therefore, vast amounts of formerly-necessary "middleman" activity is simply .. gone. Obsolete. Unnecessary. And, with it, the once-invincible role of "gatekeeper" is gone too.

Producers of the proprietary content realize that they can completely bypass the former iron-grip of the very same people who are clamoring for all of this copy-protection nonsense, and that in so doing they get paid more, get paid faster, and have an unprecedented relationship with their clientèle. Sure, there's still a vital role for a distributor and a store-presence, for promotion and marketing and so on, but it's utterly different than before. As always, when a "sea change" happens, nimble newcomers (such as Amazon) grow justifiably rich, while former companies deny that anything did or even could happen.

The people who are clamoring for these onerous restrictions are the "former oligarchs," who abruptly find themselves to be unwanted and unneeded by the very people upon whom they were always most-dependent, and yet whom they treated for so many decades with utter contempt.

(You will correctly observe that eBooks, e.g., do contain DRM features, and that they are generally optional. This is not an argument for-or-against DRM. I am specifically setting-aside this as being "beside my point.")

The true business relationship here is direct: between producer and consumer. It always has been so, even though this ideal could not formerly be reached. The Internet, likewise, is direct. It not only reaches that ideal, but does so easily and universally.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-14-2012 at 10:38 AM.


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