The Copyright Office is spending the year deciding technology's future, but the future doesn't get a seat at the table

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Does the future contribute to various political war-chests? No? Moving on. . .


I’m not sure government is going to one day realize the laws are a mess, and fix them. Can you remember that ever having happened in the past? Before the Bell System was broken up, MCI was already successful, with a business model that simply went around them. Maybe the same thing needs to happen with DRM. Somebody will develop a new system that’s less broken, less monopolistic, more open to legitimate uses while still preventing large-scale piracy. Ten years later, the legislators will catch up.

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From a practical point of view, if it has DRM, you don’t purchase it and can’t own it. This is because DRM is used to allow the seller to retain rights that they would not have under section 109 of the copyright act.

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I already have a way around DRM. No, I won’t tell you what it is.

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That’s my problem with getting into the weeds with stuff like DMCA; going into the precise details of what doesn’t work just reinforces the picture that those pulling the strings wish to paint, namely that it’s too complicated to fix or even think about.

But the reality is that people liberally ignore laws like this, and openly laugh at the idea of “piracy” as an actual crime. Let lobbyists and politicians disappear up their own assholes; as a regular person your efforts are better spent using torrents and jailbreaking stuff, and as a business you won’t prosper in the long term by trying to jail people who engage with your products.


Today’s protectionists masquerade as free-marketers. The examples provided are excellent, but the practice goes back much further. Henry Ford had to litigate against the then restrictive laws which allowed only existing automotive-association-licensed dealers to sell automobiles.

We don’t get to brief the Copyright Office on the harms to companies that haven’t been founded yet, the gadgets they haven’t designed yet, and the users they haven’t attracted yet.

No, and we also don’t grant people exemption from taxes or laws because of the companies they haven’t founded yet, or the research they haven’t done yet.

The Copyright Office are a bunch of corporate shills, but the charge of stifling hypothetical future profit is one of the favourite knives of libertarian deregulationists, and I’m not comfortable admitting it as a valid argument here.

Yes, but use a decent VPN etc.

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