OT: Re: Re: Interesting Tim O'Reilly article.

From: Sellam Ismail <foo_at_siconic.com>
Date: Sat Dec 14 09:43:00 2002

On Fri, 13 Dec 2002, Wayne M. Smith wrote:

> > Wayne, I can't buy your argument for the same reason I can't believe
> > anything the RIAA or MPAA or any of those silly acronym-based
> > organizations say. They don't back them up with hard data, because if
> > they did, we would probably find that sales are only increasing. When the
> > recording industry is willing to allow an independent auditor to check its
> > books and report the findings, then I'll believe it. Until then, I don't
> > take their word for anything.
> >
> Every recording contract with a participation clause has an audit provision in
> it that allows the artist to come in with their own auditor/accountant and have
> full access to the books. Same is true in the movie biz. So I don't really
> know what you're referring to.

What I'm referring to is the recording industry claiming their sales have
dropped. First of all, I want to see hard data to prove this. Second, I
want this dat to be from an independent auditor. Lastly, I want an
independent analyst to confirm whether this is because of rampant CD
copying on college campuses or if it is as a result of the economy.

> > Also, I think it's pretty petty for the recording industry especially
> > to be griping about losing sales, especially when it robs most
> > recording artists blind anyway. But that's another (and even more
> > off-topic) thread.
> >
> I see you've been reading the popular press and the gospel according to
> Courtney Love.

And many other artists who have had the courage to speak out publicly.

> > > No, he didn't, but he did distribute DeCSS, and then others did. The DCMA
> > > doesn't preclude reverse engineering CSS for purely encryption research or
> > > security testing, and I'm certain the MPAA has not said otherwise.
> >
> > But it does preclude distributing that research, and I can't believe you
> > could support that provision.
> >
> It depends on what you mean by "distributing that research." If you mean
> unrestricted distribution of a hack -- particularly when you know that 99.9% of
> those who will use it have no interest in "research" (other than to "research"
> whether they can crack a DVD) -- then I do support it.

Witholding knowledge never keeps anything a secret, especially where
technical issues are concerned. In a sensible world, the MPAA should have
been glad that someone broke their encryption so easily. However, they
would have put the algorithm to scrutiny BEFORE committing it to standard
and shipping millions of copies of vulnerable product. Then they could
have fixed it. Instead, the MPAA has to sit there defending why they
have a turd on their head, and they know it, and everyone else knows it,
but the MPAA is trying to pretend that it's everyone elses fault that they
have to wear a turd on their head.

And in the end, they'll inevitably learn that you can't rely on copy
protection to boost revenues after all, as all the software firms of the
1980s learned from their failed attempts to copy protect software with
ever increasing elaborate schemes. In one regard the RIAA/MPAA (and I use
these acronyms to describe the recording and movie industries
respectively) did learn one lesson, and that was to go straight to
lobbying congress to pass very bad laws (the DMCA) to make it illegal to
crack copy protection schemes. However, this will still not change
consumer behavior, and it will not change the fact that for every
technology, someone WILL figure out how to get around it, laws be damned
(especially when the laws are immoral).

> > > The movie biz is right about where the music biz was 5 years ago.
> > > DVD burners are around $300-400, the media is approaching $1 per
> > > disk and connectivity speeds are increasing. We will see.
> >
> > The economy is also right about where it was 5 years ago. People just
> > don't have the money they did in 1999 (I certainly don't). The
> > correlation is more than a coincidence.
> >
> I thought you were going to say that they're spending all their
> remaining money on DVDs ;-)

Nope, if anything they are spending their money on high speed internet
access so they can download music and movies faster ;)

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org

 * Old computing resources for business and academia at www.VintageTech.com *
Received on Sat Dec 14 2002 - 09:43:00 GMT

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