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Plug Hollywood's hole

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The EFF’s Cory Doctorow has written a wonderful description of Hollywood’s attempt to alter the way our lives work in orde to avoid having to change their businesses. Doctorow’s article explains highly technical and legal concepts in simple terms.

For instance, he writes that if Hollywood gets its way and digital converters are regulated "you might end up with a cellphone that switches itself off when you get within range of the copyrighted music on your stereo [or] a camcorder that refuses to store your child’s first steps because he is taking them within eyeshot of a television playing a copyrighted cartoon."

Hollywood is pushing for laws regulating everything from the Internet to common electronic components to ensure that you aren’t able to make unauthorized copies of copyrighted materials. Can you think of another case in which the construction of an item is regulated to prevent it from being used to break the law? Imagine if automobiles contained speed sensors and electronic eyes that prevented you from exceeding the speed limit, rolling through a stop sign, or parking in a no-parking zone.

Hollywood is doing this because they are scared. New technology that has the potential to disrupt their business model is being created at a rapid pace. Never before has there been this many threats to their control over how their product is distrubuted and consumed. Consumers are now able to listen to music and watch movies and television when and how they want to, not how the studios want them to.

It is understandable that the industry is frightened. For decades they were in control but that control has been disrupted. Now that the consumer has begun to wrest some of that control away, they need to change the entire way they package, market and sell their product in order to remain successful.

Or they can legislate the disruption away.

Read Consensus at Lawyerpoint: Hollywood Wants to Plug the "Analog Hole".

Adam Kalsey
June 18, 2002 8:23 PM

Update: Zimran calls using the law to prevent your business from changing "injunctive relief from the future." I like that.

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