Originally Posted by Shmack
Just to be clear: what I am about to say is not intended to attack the poster; rather, I am going after the content (and what it stands for).
I think the quote above is exactly what a running dog would say to its overbearing masters. "I like DRM and anything else the manufacturers want to do." This just gives me the shivers. Our hard-earned cash is the lifeblood of the studios, and they should recognize that the interplay between provider and consumer is a two-way street. Sure they provide something that we like (and don't really need), but this should not require us to scrape around in the dirt, hoping for crumbs.
I actually have no problem with copy protection on discs -- so long as it does not impede my ordinary use of the disc (or invade my home with unwanted software). I have no tolerance for pirating, and I encourage every pirate I run across to simply stop pirating and buy the discs. I have hundreds of movies on DVD, and I have never backed up any of them (even though I think I am legally allowed to make a backup copy). I have the luxury of buying any movie I want, and, if need be, I can also repurchase any movie that I damage (if I think it is worthy of a second purchase).
But the attitude expressed above is harrowing. At some point, the so-called "rights" of studios just have to let up. What I do in my own home with a copy of a movie that I have purchased should simply be beyond the reach of some studio. We don't accept intrusion into our homes in other arenas (e.g. consensual sexual conduct), so why should we allow intrusion into our other diversions and entertainments?
There is, of course, a difference between consensual sex and movie watching, but that difference, alone, should not allow a studio to reach into my home and control what I do with a copy of a movie they have produced. I recently watched with some interest the fight between various content owners and private parties who were selling edited copies of movies. The setup for this fight was as follows: certain people, who owned a legitimate copy of a movie, would purchase an edited backup of the movie from a private company that was editing backup copies. This edited backup was simply a copy of the movie with certain portions cut out. Well, needless to say, the practice enraged the content owners. For, as they saw it, this defiled their content (I'm paraphrasing). A federal court agreed with the content providers and put a stop to the practice.
What I found interesting about this fight is that the content providers and the federal court treated these copies of movies as if they were original works of art -- the editing, they claimed, was improper because it interfered with their artistic vision and altered the content from its original form. The problem with such thinking, though, is that the owners of these discs only owned copies of the original. Copies.
Thus, the editing process did not alter the original work in any fashion. And, more importantly, the resulting edited copies were only being used in people's private homes. (Remember, those who bought the edited backups already owned a legitimate copy of the movie; thus, the content owners had been paid by these people.)
In other words, the playing of the edited copy in a private person's home was the virtual equivalent of a person simply skipping over or fast-forwarding through parts of the movie that the person did not like. But that was a violation of the content owners' so-called "rights." In short, content owners were expressly allowed to determine exactly how a movie would be played back in a private person's home -- and it was accomplished with the assistance of a federal court. This is frightening.
The logical result of this case is this: if I own a book (which is a copy
of the original), I can't skip a page (or even a word) of it when reading it. I can't tear out a page. I can't alter an illustration in the book or remove it if it bothers me (or if I think it will bother my children). I probably can't even write in my own personal notes in the margin, because such additional "content" would tend to alter the "original" copy. Or, if I own a print of a famous painting or picture (a print is a copy
), I can't deface it by coloring in a mustache. If I buy a magazine, I can't skip past all the advertisements, because then I would be straying from viewing the copyrighted material (copyright includes layout) as intended by the content provider.
I'm being a bit ridiculous, but only a bit. These are the logical results of the fight I outlined above. And this is why overbearing copy protection schemes should be kicked and beaten to death. If content providers' so-called "rights" are elevated above our own and extended into our homes, we will eventually lose rights that we currently enjoy.
And, when the fast-forward and rewind buttons are removed from our remote controls, so that we are forced to watch the film "as it was intended" by the content providers, we will simply smile and say, "Personally, I like DRM and anything else the manufacturers want to do."
I just hope that some of our smiles, in that day, are masking subversion.