David Pogue: How Important Is Copy Protection?

How Important Is Copy Protection? By David Pogue. From the New York Times: Technology. David’s a great wirter. I loved his Palm Pilot books and his O’Reilly “Missing Manual” series, but I don’t think he gets it when it comes to copy protection.

I think David misses the point here, when he points out the DVDs were copy protected from the beginning and no one objects. What about DeCSS? You can rip a DVD if you want or need to, perhaps not legally. However, DVD video is too huge to move around right now. Music, otoh, is something we want in our cars, on the beach, in our own mixes, playing on our PCs. I bought my albums and I want to rip them to my machine for my personal use. I haven’t had the urge to rip DVDs to my PC yet, as I can’t think of a reason to do so. However, I should have the right.

The music and movie industres still haven’t really proven that they lose sales, and I don’t think they can. Bootleg copies of some teenie-boppers’s latest music does not equate to lost sales; it is freely distributed marketing. If the recording industry stopped trying to sell such slop, maybe their sales would go back up.

I don’t have a scientific sampling, but I know from talking to the local high school and college kids that they buy the albums of the artists they like. How do they know who they like? They hear the music. On the radio. On the TV. And through shared files.

Next gen home computing is going to have terabyte data storage in the basement and the ability to play any home video, CD or DVD in any room in the house, and it is right and proper that the music and video distributors let us do this.

Copy protection is dumb, a waste of money, and it doesn’t work. I wish we’d get out of this hole we’re digging.

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