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March 22nd, 2002

Congress Takes It Too Far

It’s 2004. You’ve just downloaded the latest CD by PM Dawn, back after a remarkable absence with an album dubbed “their greatest ever” by Time. You pony up the $20 for the entire album. You listen to it on your computer, and you think it’s the best. So, you think, “I’d like a CD version for my car.”

You drag files over to your CD drive and… oops! An error message pops up. “Sorry, but you are not allowed to have more than one copy of this CD. For reference, note the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act of 2002.” What? What’s this?

Senator Hollings of South Carolina unleashed the warm-and-fuzzily named CBDTPA yesterday on Congress, and it is without a doubt the thinnest-veiled moneygrab in the history of America. So what does it do?

The CBDTPA makes copy protection an area mandated by the FCC. All devices which record anything digitally must utilize copy protection that is authorized by the FCC. That includes devices and media we use today such as, oh, computers, televisions, stereos, MP3 players, PDAs, PVRs, DVD-recordables, DVDs, CDs, MDs, SmartMedia and CompactFlash cards, digital cameras, digital camcorders… anything that does anything digital.

The implications are harsh. While the CBDTPA claims it offers a fair use clause, there is no way anything passed will support a consumer’s rights. For instance, the Wired article mentions recording from television will be permitted – but will be limited to a one-use copy. One-use! Imagine if you recorded something to watch later, and found that you could only watch it once. Gee, think that’ll kill TiVo?

This bill is, without a doubt, the most ridiculous and controlling attempt to control consumers’ rights yet. If you wanted proof that Congress not only doesn’t get it, but also wants all the money it can get, this is it. The big corporations are in control, and this bill will equal the end of digital devices as we know them.

I’m angry. I’m very angry. Join the EFF. Write to your Senators. Boycott those who support this crap bill. Take it to the web, take it to the streets – get the word out.

This country was founded on the idea that all people are created equal. Over the past few decades, we’ve been told that only the people with the money matter. Let’s remind those in power that the people who matter are us, and stop this crippling piece of legislature. -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Greg
DATE: Friday March 22, 2002 -- 10:17:57 am
I bet once this passes, Congress will try passing bills to make condoms and facial tissues one use only.
Seriously, I thought these guys in congress were supposed to be on our side. It seems lately that they are on the side of big business because they're the ones that pay for all their campaign posters that litter the streets every elecation day. This is crap, crap, crap.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 22, 2002 -- 10:25:40 am
If this goes through and manufacturers of digital recording/playback products are required to comply, two things will happen. First, our entire electronics industry will be set back a decade because people are simply not going to pay for the "right" to watch something more than once or listen to something that they paid for, in more than once place. It'll be disaster.

But then, a group of underground, rougue hacker electronics geeks will start to build products that fight the power and work -- gasp -- for the consumer! They will soon rule the world!

Or something like that. The point is -- the attempts of "the industries" and now the government to spend all this time, money, and effort figuring out how to stop what's begun to unfold is absurd. They need to be spending their time figuring out how to adapt to the new "digital age" and work with the consumer on something that's fair for everyone, not something that only lines the pockets of the higher-ups.

FROM: Dave
DATE: Friday March 22, 2002 -- 11:26:16 am
anyone remember DIVIX (sp?) from Circuit city? it failed and so will this entire thing if it goes through..

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 22, 2002 -- 12:26:35 pm
DiVX wasn't a law, though... it was just a piss poor attempt by a company to do a similar thing.

FROM: dave
DATE: Friday March 22, 2002 -- 8:43:20 pm
i have several hunches about this:

1. even if it passes in Congress, the president won't sign it, as a slap in the face to the entertainment industry for supporting the Democrats for so long. This would be one of the first intelligent things Bush has done outside of 9/11 issues.

2. even if he did sign it, it would be rendered illegal - unconstitutional like the Communications Decency Act (the crap legislation that spawned the EFF) was - or more likely, in violation of antitrust law because it would destroy competition in the digital hardware market.

3. even if somehow this did come to pass and was upheld, piracy would move offshore. i bet within six months of passage i could go into a Hong Kong electronics store and buy a Region 1 DVD-rewritable drive.

Wanna prevent piracy? Stop selling CDs for 20 bucks.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday March 22, 2002 -- 9:58:17 pm
dave -- Right on, sister.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Saturday March 23, 2002 -- 11:39:23 am
More craziness from the powers that be. Who votes for these fat fucks anyway? What give them the room to completely control other humans? fascist bastards, it's a no win situation. The govt., media, secret societies, entertainment industry: they all=NWO.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Saturday March 23, 2002 -- 1:04:08 pm
Damn Hogan, Hall, and Nash!

FROM: Matt
DATE: Sunday March 24, 2002 -- 1:11:17 am
"Goldberg...My Car!!!!" -Sid

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 4, 2002 -- 2:58:46 pm
Wow. The copy protection that this act would require is astoundingly, coincidentally similar to a Microsoft patented invention.

It's all like a nightmare. [Link via Camworld]

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