DMCA, Go Away


Erstwhile roomie and all-purpose tech braniac Tim Lee has a sharp new paper critiquing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as an attempt by the entertainment industry to outsource the costs of their business model to the legal system.

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  1. We will spend millions of dollars pursueing Bill Gates to the death for bundling explorer with Windows 95 but I can’t buy music from any other site but I-tunes that will work with my I-tunes software or load directly onto my I-pod or get my I-tunes software or music purchased from I-tunes to work with any other MP3 player. Nope nothing uncompetetive or monopolistic to see here. Just move along.

  2. That’s funny, I’ve bought several hundred MB of music from that I, yes, loaded directly into iTunes when downloaded and, yes, put directly onto my iPod. Perhaps the problem is operator error.

  3. Stand corrected Phil, you can download and let Itunes take over your music if you are willing to let I-tunes dicate how many times you burn the music onto a CD (limit 10). Try using any other brand of Mp3 player after you let Itunes take over your computer harddrive. It won’t work.

    Perhaps the problem is you are an obnoxious jerk.

  4. “critiquing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act” about late to the game..he’s just now getting around to critiquing it?

  5. MP3 files don’t have any provisions that I’m aware of for DRM so you should have no problem with them. Or are you saying that iTunes transcodes them to AAC or that it encrypts your entire MP3 collection?

    I never have used nor ever will use iTunes. I’ll buy the CD’s and rip them to FLAC or buy the music from, say where there is no DRM. Many bands that control their own music even offer their stuff in lossless FLAC format (TMBG for example). If the music publishers wish to make life difficult and control my files with electronic nannies or push technology to where I no longer can control what I do with MY files then I will not buy any more music, period. Hell, I’ll even stop using a computer altogether. Perhaps some people would like that anyway. 😉

  6. One irony is that right next to the link to the PDF article is one for Adobe Acrobat reader. Their business model is to give the reader away so they can make money selling the writer. The DMCA stops the development of models like that for content. Plus, as someone pointed out years ago while the bill was under consideration, it outlaws the sale of the general purpose computer! It doesn’t exactly mandate a certain file structure, but it does so in effect for anyone who wants compatibility with customary file structures.

  7. Wow, John, you sure react harshly to being corrected about a misstatement of fact. I think that’s actually the definition of “obnoxious.”

    PS If you convert your iTunes-purchased music to mp3, you can in fact use it on another player.

  8. Phil: Really? That’s news to me! If you download music from iTunes, it comes wrapped in a DRM format, and iTunes doesn’t provide any option to convert directly to MP3 format. You can burn it to CD and then re-rip the CD to MP3 format, but that’s a pain in the ass for a large music library, and it’s liable to cause some loss of quality.

    On the other hand, if you buy from a non-DRMed store like eMusic, then you won’t have any such problems. However, you can’t get access to a lot of popular music on those sites.

  9. If you download music from iTunes, it comes wrapped in a DRM format, and iTunes doesn’t provide any option to convert directly to MP3 format.

    I believe utilities for this purpose can be found on the interweb. Google “convert AAC to MP3”.

  10. Right, those utilities exist, but they’re illegal under the DMCA. Hence, why the DMCA should be repealed.

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