Friday, March 01, 2002

Hollywood vs the World The unholy triumverate of Valenti, Eisner, and Hollings, set the stage of reviving the draconian SSSCA, legislation that would outlaw fair use, computers, the internet, and open source. Intel's Leslie L. Vadasz put it best in saying "content, once captured in "unprotected" form, can never be put back in the
"bottle" and protected against copying on the Internet."

The key to the SSSCA is that it outlaws the public domain. Companies are free to encrypt their content to their hearts' degree, but this degrades the experience of using it compared to using open content (either under copyleft or public domain). In a competitive market, open content will win.

There's already been a backlash against crippled CDs, and there will be a similar backlash against crippled hardware. The central point is that draconian copyright reduces the willingness to pay of consumers, limited the price companies can charge for the content, and by extension, their profits and revenue. Content's quantity is already very restricted, so this will mainly impact on the utility of PCs. Of all the technology companies, only Microsoft might be interested in this legislation since it outlaws GNU/Linux, the only threat to its OS monopoly.


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