Originally Posted by knutinh
Say I want to manufacture a HDMI video processor. Do you think that HDCP in any way affect the start-up cost of my company? The profits? The result is that people will have to use video processors at worse price/quality trade-offs because many upstarts never see day of light.
If that's your argument, you are on pretty shakey ground. There are quite a number of small companies that make video switching gear that is HDMI complaint. And isn't most of the low level HDMI stuff based on a chipset that someone would incorporate into their design? If you decide to get into any industry as a hardware manufacturer there are lots of costs you have to deal with, probably a lot worse than that one.
I see the point of copy-right and patent law as a way to encourage making content and publishing ideas. But our present western interpretation got it all wrong: the point is not primarily to make Microsoft or Sony or lawyers or whoever richer. The point is to make society better, to progress the arts and science, to give us better products at a better price and to reduce unemployment.
It's a little hard to reduce unemployement if your industry has collapsed by half over the last ten years due to theft of your product. You can't have it both ways. The point of copyright is to protect the creations of people who create intellectual property, so that they will create the products and companies that reduce unemployment and make society better off. If they cannot protect their investments that's when they won't see the light of day.
Try going to a venture capitalist and pitching a company that depends on an idea that you can't protect. Probably you won't get very far.
I am scared by the impression that the US actually protect its companies better than its citizens.
I'm not sure I see it like that. There was originally copyright law, it worked well. But, it turned out that the only reason it worked well is because consumers didn't have a means of breaking that law on a large scale. Unfortunately the internet provided them with that. When that happened, the protections that these companies have always been due basically vanished.
The original laws assumed that any piracy that could damage was for profit piracy that involved organizations and infrastructure that could be gone after legally, either by the feds or by law suits depending on the type of piracy going on. But that's no longer the issue. The issue is now millions and millions of people stealing content, and current laws just don't address that. There's no way anyone can sue millions of people.
So something has to give. IP creators cannot continue the way things are going. What has happened to the music business will happen to movies, and eventually to software. These are not small industries, and software of course is very important to our way of life and infrastructure. Not to mention that all of these industries are some of the few that this country actually has built up an advantage in, and other countries are ripping us off in a huge way, and now of course our own citizens have joined in the fun.
Ultimately copyright infringement is going to have to move from a civil issule to a criminal one because of the way it's changed. It would be like expecting grocery stores to deal with theft by suing people who steal from them. It's pretty crazy that if I steal a $1.98 something or another from your grocery store I can get a ride downtown in a police car. But if I steal $1980 worth of your intellectual property the only way to deal with me is to spend many times that over sueing me, and ultimately you'll lose even if you win. And of course you'll have people all over the internet talking about what an evil schmuck you are, harrasing people like that.