[Air-l] "It can't be legal unless you pay for it"

Heidelberg, Chris Chris.Heidelberg at ssa.gov
Tue Feb 28 06:54:01 PST 2006


In my research I noticed the trend in 2004 in the U.S. when the industry
began its lawsuits through the RIAA and the MPAA, and simultaneously the
industry also began a public education campaign in schools. Despite
their numbers and the lawsuits, the "alleged pirates" appear to be
winning because of the industry's greed. No better authority than Steve
Jobs of Apple Computers stated that people would begin piracy on a much
larger scale if the music industry keeps pushing Apple to raise its
prices. This is why other outlets like Google, Comcast and the telecomm
companies have prices that sometimes are higher than iTunes. I am
waiting for the first lawsuit that is filed in the U.S. against digital
rights management. In my job as a film producer and Internet content
manager I have have multiple digital devices just to listen to music
that I have already purchased. The operative question becomes when do
you really own a cd or dvd? How can you own some property and the seller
is still dictating how you can legally use the product even though you
are usin the product in a manner in which it is designed to be used?
Apple appears to have it right because they are at least allowing you to
own digital property without monthly fees; however, the DRM that Apple
utilizes, Fairplay, prevents one from lawfully transferring one's music
to other formats. The other content providers such as Napster want
consumers to pay rent or else they face losing their libraries.
Unfortunately, the industry will have to learn as Sony did during the
Beta vs. Vhs videotape wars of the 1980's. I am against real piracy of
intellectual property; however, I am equally against the propaganda
being spouted or insinuated by the industry that one must pay to
download content and that if one does not: one is a thief. The
SonyBetamax case is being worked around by new consumer sounding laws
like the Digital Content Protection Act of 2006, the Digital Milennium
Copyright Act and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. 

The problem in the U.S. is our legal system which allows lobbyists more
access to politicians and regulatory officials than corporate interests.
Ordinary citizens cannot compete with legal lobbying dollars. 


-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Louise Ferguson
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 6:32 PM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-l] "It can't be legal unless you pay for it"

On 27/02/06, Heidelberg, Chris <Chris.Heidelberg at ssa.gov> wrote:
> Thanks David! This article is excellent for my literature review. I am

> nearly finished the first three chapters and I am adding targeted 
> literature now. This piece really hits home that the industry has 
> conducted a highly successful and effective anti-piracy communications

> campaign. When law enforcement is completely befuddled, it is easy for

> one to see how ordinary citizens are experiencing the chilling effects

> of legal crackdowns on fair use.

Not only is law enforcement befuddled, but industry associations in the
UK are now producing so-called educational materials that time-poor
teachers seem eager to use. These, off course, put forward only the
industry's line.
The next generation is effectively being brainwashed.

I feel the recent launch of citizens' digital rights pressure groups in
the UK, the Republic of Ireland, and Canada, all within months of each
other, is no coincidence. Many are feeling that things have being going
one way for too long.

Louise Ferguson
Chair, Open Rights Group (UK)
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