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DMCA Creator Admits Failure, Blames RIAA

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the how-to-make-friends-and-influence-people dept.

Music 239

An anonymous reader writes "DMCA architect Bruce Lehman has admitted that "our Clinton administration policies didn't work out very well" and "our attempts at copyright control have not been successful". Speaking at conference in Montreal (video at 11:00), Lehman lay much of the blame at the feet of the recording industry for their failure to adapt to the online marketplace in the mid-1990s."

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habble habble (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469801)

frost pissed. habble habble

Re:habble habble (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470925)

If we can just temper your penchant for high-brow verbiage, I think there may be a future for you in the US government.

Wooo! (0)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469821)

Woohoo! Way to pass the buck, but still, woo!

Re:Wooo! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469847)

Lehman lay much of the blame at the feet of the recording industry for their failure to adapt to the online marketplace in the mid-1990s.

What does this mean? Despite DRM, copying carries on regardless, and despite the copying, the recording industry is making more money than ever.
Only difference now is that when a CD doesn't sell, they can blame copying/file sharing, and not simply bad marketing practices.

Re:Wooo! (4, Insightful)

idugcoal (965425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470159)

Only difference now is that when a CD doesn't sell, they can blame copying/file sharing, and not simply bad marketing practices.

And they'd still be wrong! If they could pull their heads out of their overstuffed asses, they'd realize that they're not selling records because they're not making records worth spending money on. Plain and simple. I wish I could go buy a record a week, like I used to do on a teenager's allowance! Today, I could buy new records to my heart's content! But my heart's not content with the content (or lack of) they continue to spew at us.

Re:Wooo! (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470499)

And they'd still be wrong! If they could pull their heads out of their overstuffed asses, they'd realize that they're not selling records because they're not making records worth spending money on.

That's not really true, though. There are a lot of really great records coming out every year. Problem is, the ones that the record companies market are often the same-old same-old unimaginative pop crap, or the "alternative" stuff that has basically just become pop 2.0. There's still a ton of great music out there, you just have to search to find the records worth spending money on.

Re:Wooo! (5, Insightful)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470899)

In the sixties, old people didn't like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In the seventies, old people didn't like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath or disco for that matter. In the eighties, old people didn't like Metallica or Guns n' Roses or Run DMC. In the nineties, old people didn't like Nirvana and Pearl Jam or Dr. Dre or NWA. Congratulations!!! It's 2007 and you're an old person!!!

Re:Wooo! (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471049)

Through all of those decades, as I got older and older, I liked every one of those. I've got CDs or LPs of every one of those bands except Run DMC.

Now I'm only slightly older, and there is rarely anything on the mainstream music charts that is anywhere as good as any of those. I haven't changed that much in the last few years. I know what's good and what's crap. I can tell what bands are real and what bands have been prefabricated by the record companies based on focus groups.

If there were some new musical style on the pop charts that I just "didn't get", maybe you'd have a point. However, that's not the case. Most everything I see is a poor derivative of various genres that were already done better the first time around.

In fact, one of the main problems is probably that the big record companies are too conservative and stick with the same tired formulas rather than finding new music directions that alienate old people for the right reasons. As it stands, what they're doing is alienating everyone because it's just crap. It's no wonder CD sales are plummeting.

Re:Wooo! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18471157)

The difference is that all those groups were formed by artists to make music, and they happened to make it big. Most pop today is produced, start to finish, and boy does it show. We oldsters simply reached the limit of how much artificiality we could take.

Now you occasionally get a good dance tune out of produced groups: one of the first of these, C&C Music Factory, people are still dancing to, particularly one track of theirs. Did anyone listen to any of their other crap though? And crap it was.

Occasionally a produced popstar breaks out and does their own thing and it actually works. Christina Aguilera is actually producing interesting music now (still pop but so's Madonna)

Re:Wooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470211)

the recording industry is making more money than ever.

Are you saying they should put a limit on their greed?
Have you ever seen a leech detach itself because it didnt want more?

Re:Wooo! (0, Flamebait)

phrostie (121428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470619)

Really, i remember at the time everyone predicting what HIS bill would cause, and now it's not his fault.

LOL.

the Motto of the Clintons, "it's not my fault"

Re:Wooo! (1)

Mr. Lucas Brice (955050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470845)

The quote should have read:

"DMCA architect Bruce Lehman has admitted that "our Clinton administration policies didn't work out very well" and "our attempts at copyright control have not been successful". Speaking at conference in Montreal, Lehman lay much of the blame at the feet of the Clinton administration and me."

On behalf of all fair use fans (5, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469823)

I most certainly forgive you.

To err is human, to apologize and publicly shoot one's own demonic brainchild in the foot is divine.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (2, Insightful)

jeremy_hogan (587864) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470183)

> To err is human, to apologize and publicly shoot one's own demonic brainchild in the foot is divine.

His recalcitrance doesn't repeal the law. The purpose of the system is what it does, and the purpose of his "demonic brainchild"--whatever it was originally--has become to allow the RIAA to bludgeon whomever they'd like. So whatever the RIAA has done with his baby, it's still his fault for spawning it.

--jeremy

Exactly. (3, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470463)

I was complaining to my congresspeople about the potential abuses of this law, long before it was signed into law. This jackass ignored a multitude of experts and bought the corporate line. To your hell with this guy, he's an even bigger bitch for trying to skate on his responsibility.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470607)

What a load of crap.

The RIAA hasn't used, for the most part, the DMCA. The two central tools the DMCA gave groups like those the RIAA represents were a legal backing to DRM (the laws against circumventing Access Control Mechanisms), and a set, established, procedure for taking down content hosted by third parties.

Well, which have the RIAA used? In the former case, "DRM" used by RIAA members has tended to be of the kind of thing that isn't an Access Control Mechanism or a Copy Control Mechanism, instead a "Use bugs in certain popular CD driver implementations to make it easier to use the publisher's own special music software which causes all kinds of problems" variety. The RIAA and its members could, in the late nineties, have settled on an encrypted music format, just as the movie industry did with DVDs, and phased out CDs, but they didn't, and so their ability to use the DMCA to fight piracy was limited.

(I might add I'm glad they didn't, because DVD CSS has proven only to be a burden to non-pirates, not pirates who copy it anyway. But the point remains that the DMCA is utterly irrelevent to the RIAA actions. The RIAA has never seriously tried to make use of the DRM related parts of the DMCA.)

Then there's the take-down system the DMCA provides. Has the RIAA and its members made serious attempts to exploit this? Well, no, because they couldn't. The way the DMCA is worded means it doesn't really apply to distributed systems like the old Napster, and would, indeed, be toothless even if you could make it apply to Napster. So they've been unable to use it at all.

So my question is: why are the words "RIAA" and "DMCA" being used in the same article? One might "criticize" (because, like, we'd all have been better off if the music industry had forced us to buy our music again for the umpteenth time, this time on encrypted DVD-Audio or something. Yeah. Right.) them for not making use of the DMCA, and thus the DMCA not helping them, but the implication they tried to, but it wasn't enough because of their business model or something is complete crap.

The movie industry has made use of the DMCA, in both areas. DVDs were encrypted, much to the detriment of legitimate end users, and take down notices against groups like YouTube are frequent. If the DMCA is a failure, it should probably be measured on how much it has benefited the movie industry, without causing harm to the entire electronics industry, the customers of the movie industry, and other unrelated third parties. I think any reasonable person can call it a failure on the basis of all of these criterion.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (3, Interesting)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470855)

"The RIAA and its members could, in the late nineties, have settled on an encrypted music format, just as the movie industry did with DVDs, and phased out CDs, but they didn't..."

You seem to be forgetting SACD and DVD-Audio, both heavily-laden with DRM. The market rejected them in favor of regular Audio CDs, and I would say the presence of DRM was an important factor in this rejection, since geeks knew to stay far away from those formats. DVDs were successful due to the drastic improvement in convenience and picture quality over VHS, despite the DRM. BluRay and HD-DVD won't have it so easy since they're not such a drastic improvement over DVDs as DVDs were to VHS, combined with the rise in popularity of electronic distribution in favor of shipping shiny discs... I guess my point is that DMCA or no, content distributors seem to have forgotten on which side their bread is buttered.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471005)

No, I'm not forgetting them, as even the most cursory read of the sentence you quoted would have made obvious. If I had forgotten them, the words "settled on" and "and phased out CDs" wouldn't have been there.

The music industry looked at two competing formats and barely supported either, instead continuing to support the unencrypted CD format. As I said, the RIAA and its members could, in the late nineties, have settled on an encrypted music format, just as the movie industry did with DVDs, and phased out CDs, but they didn't.

The music industry made no serious attempt to phase out CDs in favour of an encrypted format, even though such technologies were available to them. They have made no serious attempt to use the DMCA's DRM measures to "protect" music. (Thankfully.)

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (1, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471527)

'As I said, the RIAA and its members could, in the late nineties, have settled on an encrypted music format, just as the movie industry did with DVDs, and phased out CDs, but they didn't.'

Yes it isn't the content producer that chooses what format to settle on and whether they can phase out the old. Its the market. Even the music industry can't just drop a new format in place, they have to phase it in. If nobody buys your new encrypted format but they are still buying cd's then there is no money for the massive investment to change all the content over to the new medium. Further there is every reason to believe that all those consumers who are avoiding your encrypted format will turn to piracy to keep avoiding it if you don't provide cds anymore.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (3, Insightful)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471121)

You seem to be forgetting SACD and DVD-Audio, both heavily-laden with DRM. The market rejected them in favor of regular Audio CDs...
More like the market (the public in large) never was aware of SACD and DVD-Audio or saw no real value it buying those 2 formats over regular old compact discs; drm had little or nothing to do with the failure of those two previously mentioned formats.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (3, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471221)

DVDs were successful due to the drastic improvement in convenience and picture quality over VHS, despite the DRM.
VCRs had as much DRM as DVDs by then.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470885)

Didn't the DMCA make non-commercial copyright infringement a criminal offence?

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470315)

I don't think he's sorry he did it, I think he's sorry it didn't work.

Re:On behalf of all fair use fans (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470949)

"And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids"

Finally!! (2, Interesting)

ptbob (737777) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469825)

Could it be possible that somebody has come out of their hole and realized that they were wrong on this whole DMCA mess?? Now, how long will it be before the RIAA comes around and changes their attitude on downloading music?

When? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469837)

Dont hold your breath. I smell political maneuvering here, nothing more.

Re:Finally!! (5, Funny)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470617)

Now, how long will it be before the RIAA comes around and changes their attitude on downloading music?
I asked God, but he said it wouldn't be in his lifetime.

Put the toad down (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471235)

and slowly back away from the computer.

To bad (0, Troll)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469831)

It's nice for someone to admit that it is a complete screw up. Unfortunately that is not enough for it to be struck down. Everyone on this site says Bush is the ultimate evil but a Clinton policy is one of the worst laws ever. It will be fun to read the responses to this that try to make it Bush's fault.

Re:To bad (5, Insightful)

essence (812715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469843)

one of the worst laws ever
Yeah the DMCA is bad, but one of the worst laws ever? I don't think so. How bout the Patriot Act? or drug prohibition laws? Or the race segregation laws of bygone eras? Cmon, keep things in perspective.

Re:To bad (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470219)

Well, when your nation is suffering from out-and-out economic warfare on all sides, any law that damages the ability of your nation to compete is very bad. For everyone. So let's also not push the DMCA out of our consciousnesses just because there are worse laws. China is going ahead full-steam building and selling stuff, something we used to do very well, while we're using the DMCA and other such laws to keep each other from building and selling stuff. The DMCA is one of the worst laws to come out of Washington in a long, long time. I wouldn't care so much if the effects of that legislation were limited to only the music and movie industries. But they're not, they've proven to be much more far-reaching.

Bad laws (1)

Hrodvitnir (101283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470389)

Just goes to show you, all the good intentions in the world can't make a bad law work.

another perspective (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470801)

Information control *is* thought control.

Thought control is a crime against humanity.

The PATRIOT act is horrible, but perhaps slightly less so because the contradictions that it presents with the Constitution and with American values are more obvious, thus making the act easier to challenge.

The DMCA takes information control and packages it up as if it were an exemplar of American values. It, too, presents slavery as if it were freedom, but it does it in a more subtle way.

The PATRIOT act takes an obvious frontal assault to our freedoms, whereas the DMCA sneaks in through the back door. The PATRIOT act attacks our ability to speak and act freely, whereas the DMCA attacks our ability to gain knowledge. An aware mind may find ways to operate within the chains that bind him (and even to escape them), whereas a mind starved of knowledge cannot act at all.

This would apply not only to knowledge of one's culture (necessary for one to have a sense of self which empowers him to interact effectively with his peers), but also to knowledge of how to make his computer do useful things (that is to say, software copyrights), knowledge of how to create useful items (design copyrights of all forms), and so on.

Until information is free, the human soul cannot be free.

Re:'Worst Law Ever' nomination (2, Informative)

coyotl (415332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470815)

one of the worst laws ever

Ummm, slavery [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:To bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469849)

The executive order on encryption comes to mind. That one order may have set us back several years on security.

Re:To bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469881)

American presidents certainly aren't like what they used to be.

Re:To bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469953)

Nah, this isn't Bushe's fault, it dosn't involve shooting someone...

Re:To bad (0, Troll)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470197)

Nah, this isn't Bushe's fault, it dosn't involve shooting someone...

Uh, Clinton was the one who's political enemies had a tendency to die mysteriously. You may accuse Bush of being a war monger, and even big brother, but he's not one to have domestic political enemies shot.

Re:To bad (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470447)

Please expound on this--I've never heard this particular accusation, and I would like to know more. Since you've already been labeled troll, I need to state that I'm serious about wanting to know more. Reliable sources please.

Re:To bad (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470945)

Please expound on this--I've never heard this particular accusation, and I would like to know more. Since you've already been labeled troll, I need to state that I'm serious about wanting to know more. Reliable sources please.

The accusations are untrue. However it was a popular urban legend. A debunking of the list is available here [snopes.com] . I never believed he killed any of those people. My only point in making the statement was I don't think Bush has ever been accused of having someone shot, except of course as a matter of war. Clinton has, although unjustly. However, accepting an urban legend as true, is better than making up some baseless accusation.

Now I could be wrong, there could have been rumors of mysterious deaths related to Bush, but I've yet to hear them.

Re:To bad (2, Insightful)

Mix+Master+Nixon (1018716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470405)

Just because Bush the Second is a horrific ass-suck of a President who'll hopefully live long enough to WISH he was a historical footnote instead of a full, bleak chapter or three, doesn't mean that Clinton was any better than he seemed at the time. But when your successor makes people long for the relative sanity of Richard Nixon, your presidency inevitably takes on an unrealistic rosy glow it doesn't deserve. Just imagine what the DMCA would look like had it emerged in "post-9/11 America", say around 2002 or 2003. I'll take the DMCA we've got now over anything this bunch of assholes would have cooked up. Doesn't make it good, merely slightly less bad - I'd much rather take NO DMCA AT ALL over options A or B.

Friend of mine once told me that Bush and Clinton were pretty much equally likely to screw you in the ass, but at least Clinton would have the courtesy to give you a reach-around and thank you later. Bush would slap you in the face, spit on you and call you a bitch, cleaning out your wallet as he left you on the floor degraded, bloody and shamed after the deed was done, leaving you wondering why you were stupid enough to have invited him into your home in the first place, and why you didn't kick him out or call the cops once he TOLD you exactly what he was going to do to you.

Re:To bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470441)

So, BCW2, how many years was Clinton president while the DMCA was the law of the land versus how many years has Bush resided in the White House while the DMCA is the law of the land?

Oh, that's right, the DMCA was passed in 1998. So the bad law existed for less than 2 years under Clinton but has persisted for over 6 years under Bush.

Again, BCW2, who is the worse politician? Who has had the longer time period in power in which they could do something about this atrocious act?

Re:To bad (2, Interesting)

tetromino (807969) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470449)

Everyone on this site says Bush is the ultimate evil but a Clinton policy is one of the worst laws ever.

Where is the contradiction? Bush is an evil* president. Before that, Clinton tried his best to be evil**, and often succeeded, but fortunately he was stuck with a Republican Congress so he couldn't do as much damage as he might have liked. The fact that one president sucks does not exonerate the other.

*Iraq, PATRIOT Act, Guantanamo, "unlawful combatants", wiretapping, national security letters, the budget, Kyoto, stem cell research
**Clipper, DMCA, Copyright Extension Act, CDA, COPA, extraordinary renditions, bombing random countries to distract Congress, assault weapons ban

Good comments for the FTC (5, Interesting)

octalgirl (580949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469851)

We may have a long way to go, but it is worthwhile to take notes on this now, so when the FTC request for public comment [copyright.gov] regarding the DMCA happens again in 2009, we will be ready.

Passing the buck (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469855)

Lehman lay much of the blame at the feet of the recording industry for their failure to adapt to the online marketplace

That's rich. The RIAA can't make law. The RIAA aren't charged with doing what's best for the USA public. That's your job, and you failed miserably at it. You can't fuck over the public because a corporation told you to, and then blame the corporation. It's your fault for listening to them instead of the public in the first place. The RIAA could "fail to adapt" a million times over and it still wouldn't make it any less your fault for pandering to them.

Re:Passing the buck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469907)

You know, it's not just the DMCA. The CTEA is equally to blame. How 'bout letting copyright expire one of these centuries? Oh yea, many of the people who backed these bills heavily (aka Orrin Hatch) are still in office.

Yes, this is passing the effing buck. "I'm not really responsible for this obviously horrible legislation."

The DMCA, the CTEA and the fucking NET Act. (4, Interesting)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470503)

Don't forget the No Electronic Theft Act. Another Clinton Era monstrosity. But before you go and blame the Democrats, it was the Republicans who slipped in the worst part of the NET Act at the last minute in an amendment. The part I'm referring to is where the definition of "commercial exchange" is re-defined from meaning the exchange of copyrighted material in exchange for money, ie traditional piracy, to be replaced by the absurd definition where commercial exchange now means the exchange of copyrighted material for anything of any value. This language was targeted specifically at free peer-to-peer file sharing networks which had prior to that point arguably been exempt due to their lack of commercial exchange.

How did that happen again? Any exchange of any value instantaneously became defined as commercial exchange because some bought and paid for Republican congressman tagged a little note onto a bill right before it was voted on? This completely fails the test of logic. Dozens of simple analogies can easily show that this is an absurd proposition. Any exchange of value is a commercial exchange? That is sick.

Congress is indeed evil. Perhaps not as evil as the Bush administration but just as insidious and bought off.

Re:Passing the buck (5, Interesting)

Checkmait (1062974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469913)

It's your fault for listening to them instead of the public in the first place

I have to say I agree.... Congress isn't exactly intended to represent the RIAA. And now that they've gone down that path and realized it was a mistake, they want to blame the RIAA?

That makes even less sense because it was clearly in the RIAA's best interest to promote the DMCA and that's why they pushed it so hard. In the end, even the RIAA has a right to lobby Congress (for all their other faults). It is entirely Congress, and more specifically Lehman's, fault that this happened and that everything got screwed up (and that it hurt the American public so much).

You know, this reminds me of the fact that in the 1920s, the politicians passed laws which only helped really large, often shady corporations. What ensued was the Great Depression....

at least they got radio deregulation right (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469965)

Sure, they screwed this up but their deregulation of the radio industry worked out so well....for a few corporations.

And the War on Drugs (read marijuana) that they kicked into gear in the 90's and has netted 750,000 pothead arrests a year since ahs worked out well. The prison lobby, police and drug testing and rehab fields are booming.

Yup, dem dems did real well for their friends.
Now tell me the story about how both parties are somehow different and are not in the pockets of lobbyists and multinationals:
I love a good fairy tale.

Re:at least they got radio deregulation right (5, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470115)

Hooooray! Someone gets it right for a change!

The US government/constitution had two things going for it that are now in the toilet. The first was an independent press to expose wrongdoing. Since giant corporations control the media what we get as "news" is now heavily filtered. The second is the ability to vote out bad leaders. Since the political process is controlled by political parties that are two sides of the same coin, funded by the aforementioned giant corporations, we don't really get a choice as to who we elect or what the so-called "issues" are. Pretty much the same thing is happening in europe.

Bottom line: as the western governments squabble over which corporation gets to screw the most people, the chinese are slowly and carefully assuming real power in the world.

Welcome to the dawn of the totalitarian era.

Re:Welcome to the dawn of the totalitarian era (-1, Flamebait)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470195)

Except as the Chinese seize more and more power, they find that they have to become less totalitarian in order to keep it.

Re:Welcome to the dawn of the totalitarian era (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470235)

So the Chinese head towards a european socialist route they still beat us.

Capitalism only works well when the competition is strong. you start creating monopolies even short term ones, and competition dries up. Patents, copyrights are federal backed monopolies for a set term.

Re:Welcome to the dawn of the totalitarian era (2, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470995)

The original intent of patents and copyrights were to encourage more invention and artistic creation. The "limited term" monopolies were simply means to that end. If an inventor invents something, has invested significant time, money, and effort into it, and as he brings it to market, someone else simply copies it and markets it without royalties, that inventor may not have the wherewithal to invent again. He needs to recoup his costs, in order to keep inventing. To that extent the "limited term monopoly" is good, and the same applies to the artist.

But it's important to remember that the "limited term monopoly" is there to encourage continued invention and artistic creation. It's equally important to remember that "old" inventions and artistic works are supposed to go into the public domain as fodder for the future. The "limited term monopolies" are not supposed to be a revenue model, and these things are where we've lost it.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Re:History repeats.. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470821)

Hooooray! Someone gets it right for a change!

Remember who got it wrong. From the artice, the DMCA is from the Clinton Administration. Let's not do that again.

Re:at least they got radio deregulation right (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470933)

Let's try to be a little less "giant corporation-ish". The news is not "heavily filtered". The news is PROPAGANDA, like the stereotypical definition of propaganda. Identical in sense to the propaganda pushed by worst organizations/governments in history.
        We as (ostensibly) intelligent people should try to be reasonably accurate about our postings. Otherwise, we suffer from the same villainy as the "giant corporations".

Re:at least they got radio deregulation right (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471039)

We have the best government Money can buy (v jnag n ershaq)

Not what he is saying. (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470763)

Note that he never actually said that he thought that the goals or methods of the DMCA were a bad idea and never apologized to the public for passing it - he simply pointed out that it failed to achieve those goals. In other words, his repeated attempts to pander to the RIAA failed because the RIAA members refused to help themselves.

Re:Passing the buck (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471271)

Let the blame shift to the RIAA, even if its congress who's truly to blame. If congress takes 100% of the blame, it won't want to change the law and admit its fault. Rather, if the RIAA takes the blame congress can fix it without completely admitting they fudged up. I'd rather have the law changed and be allowed to do things along the lines of legally playing the DVD I received for my birthday a few years ago on my Linux boxen, then glare at congress with that DVD sitting on my shelf still in its shrink-wrap. Its not as though the RIAA is innocent in all this anyways.

An open Letter to the RIAA (5, Interesting)

Sodade (650466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469857)

An open Letter to the RIAA

What follows is a short history of my economic experience of music and a simple business model for the labels to recapture my wallet:
Back in the old days, when I had my first CD player, I went out and replicated my sizable record collection at $12-$13 a pop (note that I lived in Berkeley, which was blessed with two awesome non-chain retailers - Rasputins and Ameoba) - this took all of my struggling-student-with-no-loans spare cash. Over the course of a year, I bought 80+ CDs. It sucked hard, but I hated records and tapes (no vinyl nostalgia for me). Back then, the rumor was that the price of CDs was inflated to cover the cost of retooling manufacturing and would come down below record prices because they were cheaper to make.

Five years later, the prices didn't go down and my 200+ CD collection was stolen from my ghetto apartment. I was literally in tears. That was more than $2500 and I was still pretty poor due to the early 90s recession. The upside was that stolen CDs were valuable because there was a budding used CD market in the Bay Area. Once Rasputins & Ameoba started selling used CDs in quantity, I stopped buying new CDs altogether. This is early 90's and I already dropped out of the label's direct market. Here I was, a 20-something kid that was so in love with music that I would spend the better part of my expendable cash on CDs and I dropped right off their books because I could buy "Nevermind" for $9 if I waited a month after it came out.

Funny thing is that I started making serious money. I still wouldn't buy new CDs. I was used to paying $6-9 and there was no way I could go back. I probably missed out on a lot of music, because I was limited to what college kids would buy and return.

Then came burners - I spent many hours burning all of my friends CD collections. Shortly thereafter came MP3s. I was already pirating software on the FTP scene (another economic lesson to be learned for the SW companies, but I'm not gonna stray there), so suddenly, I'm not even buying used CDs anymore.

So where does this leave us? Well, I'm in my late 30s, make 6figs, and I like a huge variety of musical genres. I could spend $100 a month on music and not bat an eye, but I don't. The labels have alienated me. I virulently despise them, but I am a music addicted consumer. If they offered me something that had value to me, I would embrace the bastards with loving arms.

So, what can they do for me that would convince me to give them my money again? Simple:

A reasonable service at a reasonable price. Look to the Russian sites. I select the quality and pay a reasonable price for it. The bottom line here is that I'll pay up to 4 bucks for a CD encoded at 256k VBR with no obnoxious DRM crap - no less quality and no more money.

Give me FTP access to a full catalog (all labels in one place)of high quality, verified, DRM-free and properly tagged MP3s. How much would I be willing to pay for this? Figure 2-4 bucks for 10 songs. That's $.20 - .40 a song. Bill me based on bandwidth - that's 5-10 cents per MB (assuming an average of 4min songs). The only real limit to my spending at this price is the availability of good music - better go find some talented new artists fast!

Ease my conscious - I admit it, I feel bad for screwing the artists by downloading mp3s off Russian websites. The problem is, they are already getting so screwed by the labels. It's kinda like buying Nikes - hard to say whether it helping the poor little Indonesian kid or not. Besides, the less that people give the labels, they less they have to offer the artists who should really all jump ship anyway. I buy Timberland clothes 'cause they make a big deal about how their sweatshops are less satanic than others. Treat the artists well so I don't feel bad about promoting your exploitation of them. Tax the superstars a bit to feed the starving artists - music should be a middle class profession.

This would keep me from downloading music "illegally" - I promise. I might give some of this to my friends for free, but that is usually stuff that they wouldn't have bought anyway. Burning a CD of songs for my friends is fucking fair use to me.

For physical media, I would pay 6-8 bucks for a CD if it came with a bandwidth rebate, and an access code to a spiffy band website with news, lyrics, tablature, special monthly download songs and a $10/year subscription to have access to every live show.

And labels, before you complain that your promotion budgets wouldn't be covered at these rates, you should know that I don't listen to ClearChannel, I don't watch MTV, I don't hang out in record stores and that wallpapering of downtown areas with posters just pisses me off.

RIAA - I haven't given you money in over 10 years - that is a huge failure on your part. Win me back - it's not that hard and it's not too late. I am the consumer and you are supposed to be serving me - make me a happy, full, fed and fat sheep and I'll open up my wallet for you, but treat me like your enemy, and I will be a wolf poaching your chickens with impunity - the choice is yours.

Re:An open Letter to the RIAA (3, Insightful)

SlayerDave (555409) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470009)

While I have no love for the RIAA, I also have absolutely no sympathy for the views expressed in your post. Basically your "argument" goes like this:

1) You were poor in the 1990s, buying CDs at retail price, but discovering cheaper used CD prices.
2) You soon refuse to pay higher retail prices, but are still willing to buy used CDs.
3) You, for unspecified reasons, develop a taste for software piracy.
4) Morally comfortable with piracy in general, you move on to music piracy.
5) You would be willing to pay up to $4 per CD at 256kbs VBR.
6) ???
7) The RIAA is to blame!

At no point in there did you make an argument that the RIAA has done anything wrong, except place CDs at a price point you were not comfortable with. You demand that the RIAA allow digital copies of CDs at $4, but will remain a music pirate until that day comes. You admit to being able to easily afford your monthly quota for music on CDs (from which you yourself could generate MP3s fitting your personal requirements), but yet "the labels alienated you", an assertion you never justified or backed up in your post. Am I missing something here?

Yes, you did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470325)

You missed the part at the end in which he said he'd be happy to pay the RIAA members if they offered a product he considers worthwhile and until that time he will only procure products that do meet his criterion. IN other words, he's cheap, but he's willing to pay what he thinks something is actually worth.

Unfortunately, the RIAA thinks the items are worth far more than he does and cannot stop him from purchasing internationally.

Re:Yes, you did... (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470423)

Yeah, the same RIAA that <A HREF="http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02 /07/011217">thinks CDs ought to cost $34 a pop</A>...

Data's cheap and I ain't paying their inflated prices for it.

-uso.

Re:Yes, you did... (1)

Gorlash (957166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471145)

>

Then feel free to make your own, instead of taking what someone else made, without their agreement.

Re:Yes, you did... (1)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471093)

You missed the part at the end in which he said he'd be happy to pay the RIAA members if they offered a product he considers worthwhile
Obviously they do as he is pirating what is out right now. So I guess if it is worthwhile to go through the trouble and time to pirate then it is worthwhile to pay for huh? Lame excuse please try again. If you going to pirate then do it--tired of the asinine justifications.

Re:An open Letter to the RIAA (1)

DenmaFat (704308) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470329)

Worst of all, he failed to include Rather Ripped Records among the legendary Berkeley record shops, the store that actually caused me to drop out of college it was so great. Maybe they were closed by the 90s, though...

Re:An open Letter to the RIAA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470341)

How spelled out do you need a person to make his statements for you so that you can understand a simple letter? He shouldn't have to put his thoughts into PowerPoint slides to give nerds the ability to figure them out.

1) CDs are of no greater value new at the $12-$15 price to him than they are used at the $6 price. This is the fulcrum of his entire argument. If he accepted the price of new CDs because they were set at that point to help overcome starting costs for a new medium, why should he accept it after the medium is fully adopted?

2) He found other means of getting songs and shows that he knows it isn't right but that he is also willing to spend money on them if they were delivered in a way that reflected the value he has set in his own purchasing already.

3) He proposed a reasonable system to meet his value with their product and that's a very helpful data point for any company. They try to set their prices at a place that will capture their core audience. (ignore the iPhone, Apple knows they pwnzor joo)

If you're confused as to how the RIAA could be blamed for any of the reasons he stated, implied, or possibly could have had for his decisions, you really should hand over your Slashdot account to someone who actually reads this site. It is practically the primary theme of any music-related post. Look up what a "meme" is and you're questions will all be answered. And don't worry, he does NOT need to spell out why the RIAA is at fault to the RIAA itself. Using logic is always your first mistake when dealing with hegemonic a-holes.

Re:An open Letter to the RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470541)

'Am I missing something here?'

Aside from the point?

Reasonable == Relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470573)

Mod SlayerDave++!
There are so many whiny people here and elsewhere who want their music/software "at a reasonable price". What a lark. First of all, being that these pirates are NOT in the music industry proper, how do they know exactly what expenses and financial risks are involved in signing a band and recording them? Secondly, "reasonable" is completely relative: $9/CD today "should be $6/CD" 5 years from now, "should be $4/CD" 10 more years from now... It wouldn't stop; each generation would naturally want it cheaper. Further, what pirate is going to pay ANYTHING for something they can have for free? Should their ethics be trusted: "I'm sure the pirates will start paying for the music again once we lower the price enough." Yeah, right.

(PS-What would a reasonable price BE for someone who makes 6-figs?)

     

Re:Reasonable == Relative (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471475)

There are so many whiny people here and elsewhere

Whiny is relative. It seems to me that there are so many people here and elsewhere who are more than happy to "pirate" music because it is both free and more convenient than buying it. In the grand scheme of things, it's really the music industry who's "whining" that these people don't buy music, not the other way around.

Re:An open Letter to the RIAA (5, Interesting)

inflamez (885475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470231)

Very interesting comment and I completely agree with your view on how the music industry needs to adept to consumers needs. The situation here in Europe (Switzerland) where I live is the same as in the USA. Even though the RIAA does not have such a strong influence here (yet) you still feel and experience their less then consumer friendly way of doing business. (radio stations playing the same songs over and over, CD stores with 1000 copies of some over-hyped band but not one alternative / unsigned group, etc.)

Normally I am not one to promote any online stores, but I think you might enjoy cdbaby.com. They currently have a 5$ per CD sale, mostly unsigned and unknown bands but absolutely great music from many different genres and you get the physical media which you may rip / encode to your liking. No DRM, no copy protection, ... They also have a very interesting and simple business model, which makes groups like the RIAA obsolete. Worth a read even if you don't plan to buy any CDs there, it really opened my eyes how the music business can be both, commercially viable and still leave enough room for indie / alternative bands.

Disclaimer: I do not work for this store, I am just a happy customer. And pleeez excuse ze bad English, I normally talk German or French.

Here's where you lost them (and me) (3, Interesting)

dereference (875531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470459)

Burning a CD of songs for my friends is fucking fair use to me.
Think about that for a minute. You've got such a convenient way to rationalize this:

but that is usually stuff that they wouldn't have bought anyway.
You sound as if you're nothing more than a spoiled child, screaming that "it's not fair" that you can't get what you want. Then you're attempting to justify it on economic (not moral or ethical) grounds. Think about how this could be abuse. Consider a philanthropist deciding that all relatives, in-laws, co-workers, and so forth are "friends" and that the entire population of Berkeley were really just extended "friends" and distributing a record to all of them, or the entire state, or perhaps even the entire country or world should be fair use. That would obviously put this person is direct competition with the labels (negating the economic affects you think you're using to justify your position) yet that person (under your ideals) has exactly zero obligation to reimburse the artists or anyone else involved in creating the work in the first place. Yet if you had your way this would be perfectly fine.

Sure, this is a "slippery slope" argument but I can only hope you'll be able to grasp the bigger picture. You're making what you see as a responsible fair use, but there's no meaningful way to codify this approach. Further, you don't know what your friends are doing with the copies you gave them. Suppose they made "fair use" copies for all their friends, and they made "fair use" copies in turn. Your morality may be offended by these scenarios, but I'm hoping to reach your rationality.

I'm guessing you'll still justify it all by saying you're "advertising" for the labels and that the lost sales are more than made up by those of your friends who actually then buy more than they would, because you exposed them to these copies.

However, the underlying problem is that you feel entitled to something for you have absolutely no rights. Fair Use never has (and never should) have anything to do with making copies for others. It has to do with satire and some academic uses. It also has to do with allowing you to make a backup (for yourself!) and arguably to time-shift, location-shift, and device-shift the content for your own personal use.

You should certainly be allowed to play these songs for your friends, and because of the shifting you can do this at your place, their place, or anywhere else. You can let them borrow the songs for a while, or even sell (or give) them to your friends. However, you can't keep your copies as well. If your friend borrows a few songs for a weekend, you have no place listening to those same songs that weekend. You've temporarily assigned your rights to another, so you can't have your cake and eat it (the backup) too.

I'm trying to keep this from being personal, but it's people like you who cause people like me to lose credibility when fighting for actual reasonable fair use. I just want at least the same rights for music that I have with physical content (think books)--plus the various shifting concepts noted above--and nothing more. Note that shifting is conceptually a "move" not a "copy" even though the practicality of convenience means you make an actual copy.

But your position is absolutely untenable, not just to the industry, but to people like me! I had DRM as much as anybody else, and perhaps more, but I would call you out as bastardizing the very concept of "fair use" (and yes, that's even if it didn't affect me at all). It's definitely not within the spirit or letter of any related laws, yet you flaunt your disregard as if waving the flag in the name of justice for all. Most of the pre-DMCA laws and doctrines (such as that of first sale) were working perfectly fine.

Unfortunately, so many of us can't make a stand for extending reasonable rights because of extremists like you (sound familiar?). I want to make a difference, so I'd simply and respectfully ask that you keep your twisted view of the world of copyrights to yourself, for now, and let those of us who understand and respect the laws to put up the good fight on your behalf. Admittedly, you'll never get what you say now that you want, but I'd suggest you'll probably have even less if you continue to ignore basic concepts of the law.

Re:Here's where you lost them (and me) (3, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471253)

Burning a CD of songs for my friends is fucking fair use to me.
Think about that for a minute. You've got such a convenient way to rationalize this:

And where I live, it is LEGAL. I have 20 gigs worth of MP3s, all legally downloaded from P2P networks, ripped from CDs borrowed from friends or the public libraries.

And the best thing is that it allows me to do my little part to destroy those big music companies, all legally.

Re:An open Letter to the RIAA (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471223)

> Look to the Russian sites. I select the quality and pay a reasonable price for it.

Yeah, I paid a pretty reasonable price for the stereo sold out of the back of this one guy's truck. You know damn well what you're doing. The RIAA is no saint, but you're in no position to pin this one on them.

Re:An open Letter to the RIAA (1)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471269)

It's a little too late for the largest labels to win me back. I hope they all crumble and rot, to be perfectly honest. Other record labels will take their place, and maybe these labels will learn from their predecessor's mistakes. As far as the RIAA goes, it deserves nothing less than complete disassembly as an entity. If I weren't a civilized person, I'd probably be in favor of an angry mob doing the 'disassembling'. But that's obviously barbaric(as tempting as it might be.)

This is most certainly ironic... (5, Informative)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469873)

"our Clinton administration policies didn't work out very well"

Considering that Orrin Hatch (R-Idiot-Utah) wrote the damn bill.

Republicans are best at passing the buck, they take responsibility for nothing. EVER.

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469943)

Republicans are best at passing the buck, they take responsibility for nothing. EVER.

Maybe if Clinton hadn't been so preoccupied with that stain on the blue dress at the time he could have vetoed the bill(s), along with taking out Osama when he was out in the open.

So yes, it was Clinton's policies that didn't work out very well. :p

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470109)

Clinton was only preoccupied with that stain for what 3-5 seconds? I believe it was the Republicans who were more preoccupied with it.

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470093)

Republicans are best at passing the buck, they take responsibility for nothing. EVER.
What?! Come on... seriously...

I make a point of not being political - politics makes people stupid. It does. I am certainly NOT a Republican.

Passing the buck? What is the biggest issue of all that is the locus of hatred of Republican policy in this day? Iraq.

Who voted for it? Which party (that voted for it) now tries to jockey with one another over how "anti-war" they are? Joe Lieberman (one time Vice Presidential candidate) retains intellectual honesty by standing by his vote and what do you know? The Party ostracizes him. John Kerry, who voted for it, runs for President as "anti-war". Hillary Clinton, who voted for it, now wants the Party nomination to run for President whilst paying lip-service to the "anti-war" crowd. If you still see things in black-and-white and not see the outrageous contradictions that politicians (of either party) are forced into by partisan politics, you'll probably never make the conscious decision to support a party on principle. That is, you probably don't think for yourself. And this kind of ridiculous comment gets modded +5 INFORMATIVE? How about propaganda?

I'll say it again: Politics makes people stupid.

***I say "anti-war" in scare-quotes since these people are not actually "anti-war" - they were happy to bomb the shit out of Iraq in 1998 (over WMD) and Serbia in 1999 (over a genocide that pales in comparison to that of Saddam Hussein). Maybe it's because Serbs are white people? I'll just throw that out there, not that I actually think so.

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471261)

The Party ostracizes him. John Kerry, who voted for it, runs for President as "anti-war". Hillary Clinton, who voted for it, now wants the Party nomination to run for President whilst paying lip-service to the "anti-war" crowd.

I think this is ignoring the number of people on all sides who were fooled by the fake WMD info. Dems and Reps both believed Colin Powel's presentation to the UN, including such gems as the UK-made hydrogen trucks - with US DoD export approval - being presented as mobile WMD factories.

I have no problem with people who were fooled, later saying that they are against the war. In fact, I have a lot less of a problem with them than with people who are still saying it was a good idea after all the subsequent events and revelations, whatever party they are from.

TWW

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (4, Interesting)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470163)


That troll Orrin Hatch may have initiated the bill, but it was passed under Clinton's watch. I am not an american, but I do know he has something called a VETO which is pretty damned hard to override if he had used it. At very least it would have been a strong symbolic guesture of disapproval. No veto = Clinton approves.

If you go to opensecrets.org and look at where the $$$ for both parties comes from, you will see the #1 contributor to the Democratic party is Hollywood.

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471297)

but I do know he has something called a VETO which is pretty damned hard to override if he had used it.
Not hard to override at all when the opposing party has the majority in Congress. It only takes a 2/3 vote to override a veto.

From Wikipedia:

Passed on October 8, 1998 by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998
Okay, so maybe the Republican majority didn't really matter in this case. Clinton could have vetoed the bill, but it would have been a not-even-token gesture. You'd have better luck and make a larger statement flipping off an oncoming 18-wheeler.

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470863)


Considering that Orrin Hatch (R-Idiot-Utah) wrote the damn bill.


which was passed by the Clinton Administration.. Orrin Hatch get's the autorship blame. There is a lot of stuff that gets written, but doesn't get passed.

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471101)

There is a lot of stuff that gets written, but doesn't get passed.

There's not a lot of stuff thst gets written, passed by the House, passed by the Senate, makes it through the Conference Committee, and is then vetoed by the President. Clinton did veto 36-37 bills in total, with only two overridden, but still, vetoes aren't exactly daily occurrences in most administrations, even when the Congress and Whitehouse are opposing parties. I tend to blame the Legislature more for legislation than I blame the Executive branch, though they're certainly both responsible for it. Especially if they push for it.

Re:This is most certainly ironic... (1)

shma (863063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471139)

That's the Democrats fault.

DRM doesn't work, DMCA means it never will (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18469909)

Well DRM has been an unmitigated failure, there isn't a single DRM system that can't be bypassed and customer hate it. But because of the DMCA anti-circumvention people are not able to publicly challenge crappy DRM by making tools for joe sixpack to break them.

So we have the worst of all possible worlds, the makers of DRM turf around pretending that their broken DRM still works and spread fear that if a publisher releases anything without their DRM it will be instantly stolen. But their DRM is already broken!

It's turned a simple clean purchase into a complicated 'license' where the user is getting totally screwed over.

It's caused a massive loss of sales. All the sales they could have had if they hadn't gone the DRM route are lost. It's going to take them a long time to recover.

It's given the luddites in the copyright industries a means to hold back time. It only takes one shortsighted Valenti to separate an entire industry from it's VHS profits.

It's led to fake claims, a person making a DMCA takedown claim does not need to show any evidence that they are the copyright owner and because the DMCA claim is made to a third party, there is no interest in that third party ensuring the claim has even the basics of legitimacy.

Dumb shit has been slotted in as copyright clauses, like the UK's no parallel imports, so I can't import Vista from the US, even though its half the price, because it's been made an offence under a copyright statute! Now everyone if claiming copyright to block imports of their products from cheaper markets and UK consumer is getting screwed over paying inflated prices. /rant

Buh-bong (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470567)

So we have the worst of all possible worlds, the makers of DRM turf around pretending that their broken DRM still works and spread fear that if a publisher releases anything without their DRM it will be instantly stolen. But their DRM is already broken!
DRM isn't broken 'til you actually break it. Until then, it is still an encrypted file that cannot be played by conventional means. To break a certain instance of DRM, you need to know that it exists and what it does, that there might be a program to remedy the situation, the know-how to search the Internet for such a program, and the know-how to install and use the program. Believe it or not, but all those things are beyond many computer users out there. All they know is that they can't share their music collection. They don't look for the "why".

Re:DRM doesn't work, DMCA means it never will (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471177)

there isn't a single DRM system that can't be bypassed

How's your XBox 360 emulator coming?

Blame Canada! (0, Offtopic)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18469981)

Speaking at conference in Montreal [..]

Re:Blame Canada! (1)

jbenwell (318892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470363)

That's spelled Montr é al, FYI. Blame Québec!

"DMCA architect?" (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470105)

Like most tools of Big Media, he just ripped off someone else's work, namely the English Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 [opsi.gov.uk] .

Re:"DMCA architect?" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18470143)

No he didn't. He was involved in the 1996 WIPO copyright treaty [wipo.int] that forms the basis of the DMCA as well as the EU Copyright Directive. And that's where the UK copyright act gets its anti-circumvention provisions from. Despite the "1988" in the name, that act got updated quite a few times since then.

The phrase that pay (or doesn't) (5, Insightful)

hhawk (26580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470133)

I loved the quote, " we are entering the "post-copyright" era for music"

This from the guy who is head of the International Intellectual Property Institute.

I have maintained since the late 80's that the road to the future on this issue is paying a few cents or a few dimes to verify that your copy is a good copy... and doing that direct with the labels or the bands... but some doing it with anyone they "trust."

When street "kids" can sell a terabyte of music on a corner like they used to sell crack, then my friend, copyright for this sort of thing will be dead.

There is one other "blame" besides the two headed griffen of DRM and bad Major Label Music, and that is the Sonny Bono Act and those acts that came before which have strenched out copyright protection so far into the future that let's be honest none of this stuff will ever see the light of the public domain; they killed public domain's cousin too, sweet little Fair Use (but then you knew that!!).

Why so many laws now don't work (2, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470185)

The DMCA was written to attack the issues that lobbyist were paid to attack. I'm sure their handlers conceived of the ways it would be abused. That's WHY it was written the way it was. But the onus should have been on the lawmakers to ALSO perceive the ways it could have been abused and to make sure that couldn't happen. Of course, all to many of them (most?) are in the same pockets as the lobbyists are.

Fair use is (was) already well established doctrine. Any new law regarding any perceivable restrictions to fair use should be framed from the perspective of the end user (of the people, by the people, for the people) rather than from the perspective of the copyright holder. I BUY a DVD and it's ILLEGAL for me to rip it and put it on a server in my own home or to compress it and put it on a laptop. That's completely absurd. It's what happens when lobbyists write laws and lawmakers pass them without reading them and understanding the consequences.

We've heard what Senator Stevens has said about technology. Can you just imagine the things that get said in those committees discussing laws like the DMCA? I can't even fathom the level of stupidity that goes on when they're discussing complex technological issues.

-S

More Lehmann Doublespeak (4, Interesting)

occam (20826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470285)

Assuming this Bruce Lehmann is the same guy who ran the USPTO under Clinton, I seriously do not trust him. If so, he's the same guy who institutionalized software patents using a panel of self-serving lawyers, and did so in a what I consider a blatant (to me) railroad of predetermined hearings. IMO, he is pure politician, claims you can have your cake and eat it too, and uses politics not to serve the public, but to serve the legal industry. IMO, he dismisses the obvious when it matters (policy making) and now is trying to feign innocence.

If this is USPTO Lehmann, then IMO he's a total joke, and a lackey for the legal industry to create law which taxes other industries to the benefit of... the legal industry.

So, he did the DMCA too? Amazing. He is "the architect of the WIPO Internet Treaties". Wow. I didn't know he also "did" the DMCA and WIPO (cast US patent law into global stone), but it makes sense. And I didn't know he was still "in business" ("who now heads the International Intellectual Property Institute"). The more things change, the more they stay the same. I guess Lehmann is getting his dues from the legal industry for all the "work" he did on behalf of the legal industry.

Good to know he's still out there. Amazing to know he did the DMCA, WIPO, _and_ institutionalized software patents. What a joke.

I suggest taking anything Lehmann says with a huge grain of salt, even any apologies. He has known what he has been doing for decades, and to feign ignorance now is unconscionable IMO. I do not buy it, and it's not his style. He's more of a "have your cake and eat it too" kind of policy-maker, which is to say he'll ignore the obvious to forcefeed policy despite all public interest(s), IMO. Again, I'm not buying.

So, Brucee.... (2, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470587)

Have you given them back their filthy lucre?

Old habits are hard to die.. (3, Insightful)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470671)

FTFA: "While he says that teens have lost respect for copyright, he lays much of the blame at the feet of the recording industry for their failure to adapt to the online marketplace in the mid-1990s."

This is the entire RIAA problem in a nutshell and I completely agree that *this* is the root of their problem *and* our problem.

They made a choice. They made this choice when Napster (the old Napster, not the castrated one) showed the world how to share, point, click, and download.

The choice was to hold on to their legacy distrobution cash cow and go screaming, kicking and clawing their way into the internet age instead of seeing the digital tsunami heading their direction.

Their problem now is that theyre loosing their brick and mortar base *and* the digital distrobution war and the only way the can maintain any semblance of their arcane business model is to sue the masses into submission, which of course will never work.

The entire DRM/DMCA/RIAA battle was lost before it began. Those who cant evolve become irrelavent and extinct sooner or later...

It's more of a pendulum effect... (5, Informative)

Garwulf (708651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18470807)

Well, while some of Lehman's comments are interesting (and promising), and I certainly believe that a lot of this current situation is very much the fault of the RIAA, I'm seeing a pendulum effect here. Having failed to control copyright using extreme measures on one end, he's now talking about the end of copyright, which is basically the extreme on the other end. The truth, like so many truths, is somewhere inbetween.

I'm speaking as a published and agented author here - I need to know what copyright is, and how it works. My livelihood depends on it, partly when dealing with publishers (knowing what rights I'm signing away) and partly when it comes to dealing with agents (making sure that they know what rights of my work to keep from being signed away). A bad contract can nail an author to the wall, and there are very bad contracts out there. So I am very much aware of what copyright is, what it does, and how it works.

And here is the problem - most people in the grass-roots movement don't. And the fault for this lies very firmly in the hands of the RIAA. Frankly, our society needs copyright - it is the single most important tool our culture and society has to advance itself. And, I'll explain why (even though it will take a while, and probably put a few readers to sleep).

We have a society that is very unique in many ways. First of all, literacy is the norm, not the exception. Secondly, we have the technology (and have had it since about the 15th century) to efficiently reproduce the work of creative artists (first literature and visual art, now music and film). Third, we have a capitalist system where the success of an artist is based on the sales of his/her work (rather than a system of patronage). It is, broadly put, a literate meritocracy.

What this means is that there are a lot of creative people out there, and they are able to distribute what they create through a variety of means. We are drowning in content, which is good - the more content there is, the healthier our culture is, and we have a very healthy culture, make no mistake. But, how is this content to be dealt with? Many of these creative artists want to do different things with their creations. Some want to sell it, others want to share it. Some want to keep their characters to themselves, and others want to create shared worlds that anybody can write in. Even in software development, there is a disparity. And there needs to be protection for all of these creative artists, so that they can do what they need to. And that is where copyright comes in.

Copyright is the broad tool that allows the various creative artists to do what they want with their work. It really is amazing in its simplicity - if you don't believe me, look at the Berne Convention. The creative artist owns the copyright to their work until such time as they die and it runs out, or they sign it away. And that copyright simply allows them to say "this work and what is in it will be copied in X way." It provides protection for the specific implementation of an idea, but not for the idea itself. And, it requires reasonability from the creators - hence fair use and the public domain. It's this tool that allows the Creative Commons to exist, that allows the Open Source movement to fight against SCO, and that allows an author to receive royalties on his work from a publisher for copies sold. And the success of the created work is determined by the market, and nothing else.

And this is where the RIAA is so troublesome - they have spent quite a long time abusing both the letter and the spirit of copyright law, and doing it very publicly. So, while I've just described the literal truth of what copyright is, there are a lot of people who just won't believe what I've written. Why won't they? Because while copyright law is about balanced rights of the creator, the RIAA is using it to sue dead grandmothers, students, and welfare moms for copying insignificant amounts of music. And actions do speak louder than words. The irony is that copyright law over the last 300 years was designed to protect AGAINST the actions of a group like the RIAA.

It may surprise quite a lot of people to know that from its inception copyright never actually took the actions of the reader as a possible threat. Frankly, most readers simply didn't (and still don't) have a printing press. The Act of Queen Anne (1709), the very first copyright act, begins as such:

"Whereas printers, booksellers, and other persons have of late frequently taken the liberty of printing, reprinting, and publishing, or causing to be printed, reprinted, and published, books and other writings, without the consent of the authors or proprietors of such books and writings, to their very great detriment, and too often to the ruin of them and their families:"

So who are the threats? Basically, other publishers. This is one thing that hasn't really changed over the centuries. If you look at the Berne Convention, very little of the protections in it apply to anything a reader/listener/viewer could do. There is protection of the exact implementation, which is only helpful against other creators. There is protection of intellectual rights that only applies to protecting creative artists from their own distributers doing something shady. There is protection against mass redistribution, which in books you pretty much need a printing press or e-publisher for, and in movies you need one hell of a file server for. The thousands of bootleg DVDs sold in Asia are a serious threat that copyright law is there to protect against. Same with bootleg CDs. These are the things that can cause a serious threat to the livelihood of a creative artist - that is the sort of piracy the Act of Queen Anne was written against. A bunch of teenaged music fans on Napster? That barely shows up as a blip on the radar.

But we're not hearing a lot about the Asian bootleg market, are we? We're hearing about the RIAA going after student filesharers. And they're stretching the law to do it. One of the ironies is that along this road, they've probably created a serious threat out of what was once an anthill just through sheer gut reaction. And, why do they claim to be doing this? For the sake of creative artists. The same creative artists whose intellectual rights they have systematically stripped away over the last thirty years. When kids and their grandmothers are getting sued by an organization that makes sure everybody thinks they're doing it for the rights of the artist, is it any wonder that the actual letter and spirit of copyright law is met with disbelief?

And this brings me to DRM - and the pendulum effect. Forget the RIAA for a moment - they've muddied the issue, but copyright has been around for 300 years, and it will continue - it's too important for the health of our society for us to lose it. But there are new means of distribution. It is possible to put a movie, song, or book onto a fileserver and publish it that way. The question lies in how to ensure that the letter and spirit of copyright law is preserved with these new means of publication. I don't claim to have an answer to that question. All I know is that those creative artists who want to share their work should be able to do so, and all those who want to sell it through channels of their choice should have the same ability to do so. And I know that the end user shouldn't get clobbered in the process. Nobody really has the answer to this issue, and so it isn't surprising that we're seeing a pendulum effect. The DMCA went too far towards trying to control everything, and we now have acknowledgment by the people who wrote it that it was too much. Will having no DRM do? Probably not - some protection is needed. How much is, of course, somewhere inbetween, and we will reach it eventually.

He's an idiot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18471017)

He just doesn't want to admit he got snowed when the RIAA lobbying helped him craft their own law.

Now he looks like an idiot for not paying attention to his job.

He's not quite right (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471341)

Lehman lay much of the blame at the feet of the recording industry for their failure to adapt to the online marketplace in the mid-1990s.

Not to defend the likes of the RIAA, but big business has always tried to influence government at all levels. That's nothing new, it happens all the time, in every nation on the planet. Much of the blame (well, all of it really) can be laid at the feet of Congress for permitting the recording industry to exert undue influence upon them. Once, just once, I'd like to see a Congressperson call the cops and have a lobbyist hauled off to jail for trying to buy a law or other favor.
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