Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Black Ages: The Errosion of Public Domain

I had not intended to address this issue until later, however things have progressed to the point where I believe it necessary that everyone's voice must be heard. Further that everyone who is capable should be shouting in descent.

Why is this coming now? Google Videos are now available. Most of the content is now public domain, but if you get it from Google, you will be subject to their terms of service which turn out to be quite evil. Boing Boing reveals in their blog titled Google Video DRM: Why is Holly wood more important than users? how this viscously evil scheme will work. It isn't copyright! It is a whole new layer of Digital Restriction Management which in reality has nothing to do with copyright. It is a blatant move to hijack what should be freely available to everyone and what has come to be called fair use. If this plan proceeds anything you thought you could do with content you purchased is gone.

British Libraries fear digital lockdown are worried enough about it to present a petition to parliament. Follow the link to read their petition.

We should be worrying about the extension of Rights (Restrictions) to content that is not really protected by anything except the people who add the content to the media an distribute it. This sounds like a new cash grab. Patent and copyright were meant to protect people who created or published content. However there is a new model upon us in which people who have no stake whatever in the patent or copyright and never intend to make use of it other than to sue or charge rent. We have already seen the advent of companies formed simply to mine patents and sue small and medium sized business.

With the negotiations for the new Copyright treaty taking place now in Geneva, even more public domain material could descend into copyright/DRM jail again. Thank-you again to Boing Boingfor this story.

This new business model would take items which are not copyright and lock them into a new proprietary management scheme where users/public have no rights. The battle lines are already drawn. SCO suing IBM for aledgedly dumping milions of lines of Unix code into Linux. The response from the Open Source community was swift with the formation of Groklaw every single legal dodcumenet was put online from the procedings and what there was of the SCO claim of copyright infringement was quickly laid bare for the hoax that it was. This has left SCO floundering like a fish out of water, already in the throws of death.

There are leaches out who would like to see all music and video entertainment as well as any information, online libraries or databases accessed on a pay-per-use basis. These leaches neither write, compose or create new works, they only find ways of extorting money out of our pockets. Public Domain was put in place so that this type money grubbing leaches would not be able to do this very thing. Yet, they sit and negotiate this Public Domain away or they build Linux clusters with super computing power to find work not bound by copyright and attach another rights RESTRICTION to it. I find this idea revolting! So will thousands of other collectors out there.

I have sworn by this universe, I will never accept pay-per-use media. I have rarely ever rented videos. When I have rented them I can almost never find what I want. Digital television and radio, music recordings seem all headed in the direction of some form of pay-per-use. I cannot find content in any of these services I want to listen to or watch. My tastes simply do not lend themselves to being offered in this way. This is why i collect music. As a musician I must always be listening to new things and always be looking out for what others have missed.

Please understand this. The leaches out there would like nothing better than to put up the pay-per-use (PPU = Pay-per-use = PU) music in place. The people who make those decisions do it for reasons of marketability. I want content which has not been screened by village or country idiots or the leaches of the RIAA of other such organized evil. I'm sorry, my toe nail clippings have better taste than these people.

Simply put, I want to purchase content .. not rent it. I have shelves full of CD's which I have purchased, some are simply there because they are part of an important collection and others are prized possession which I value more than money. There is no dollar value which can be placed on art. It is truely priceless, and our Public Domain Concepts protect our access to all that mankind has created. I fear the comming of the Dark Ages again, this time not just dark, but black.

1 comment:

bruno said...

ok, i will rethink my google video strategy