2006/01/25

With Distribution Sown Up, The RIAA/MPAA Attack Innovation

Big Content has made it their mission to destroy any distribution channel that they can't control. Through legal tactics that would make Elliott Spitzer blanch, they've choked off the peer-to-peer networks that could free artists from distribution deals that resemble indentured servitude.

So now with the distribution battle won, the RIAA and MPAA have focused their attention on doing away with innovation. In a new piece of legislation (reviewed at ARS Technica), submitted ostensibly to address the uses of digital broadcast signals, the successor to fair use has been outlined, Customary Historic Use.

Though the arguments are complex, it basically boils down to this: If you have a digital representation of a something--a song, a video--Customary Historic Use would preclude your using that content with any new or novel device in any new way.

So take your CD's, for example. What was the first thing you did when you got an MP3 player? Ripped them all and uploaded them, right? Well if Customary Historic Use had been in play, you could forget it because that would have violated the intended historic use of the digital data. In other words: No new uses; no novel formats; in short...no innovation whatsoever that isn't anticipated by Big Content and their shakedown men, the MPAA and RIAA.

They get to control the content, the distribution, the delivery, and the revenue--entirely!

4 Comments:

That's stretching intellectual property rights a wee bit to far, of course then again I have a leftist Libertarian streak that tends to want to piss all over these "rights" anyways...
Well I suppose this is anticipatory fascism at its finest.
What disturbes me the most, I guess, is the parallel betwenn how Big Content is behaving and how Big Oil has historical behaved: First consolodate to achieve control over all aspects of the revenue stream and strike hard to quash innovation.

Big Content wants a veto on technological progress. I did a snarky post some months back about how the MPAA wanted to control your eyes directly, but this is rapidly approaching the point where you can no longer joke about it.
If the MPAA was so concerned about it's artists, it would push it's representative labels to pay them better. 90% of major label artists are practically getting bent over by their labels, all the while, the MPAA is trying to use them as an excuse to protect their intellectual rights. My take is this. I paid $15 dollars for your shitty CD, now I will do with what is on that CD whatever I please, and if you don't like it, well fuck you.

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