Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Piracy worse than child pornography - Are you kidding?

THE NEW look Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) seems to be giving the world an unusual moral code.

It seems that with the DMCA, and now the expanded DMCA legislation, it will actually be a less crime to physically steal a CD or DVD than it will be to digitally copy one. Child pornographers and Pedophiles get lesser sentances.

Banning digital media in this way, and the tools and software which make reverse engineering possible is a really bad thing.

I am NOT for pirating, and illegal distribution and sales of copyrighted works, but the DMCA provisions make what is legal and illegal a very grey area. Those of us who work in the computer industry and especially the security industry know that software which falls into this category shouldn't be illegal. You block innovation, reverse engineering, competition, and the free-market when you outlaw stuff like this.

The Sony Betamax case, and the consumer electronics protection act need to be also considered here. There should never be laws abrupting the legal sharing, personal backup, and use of your own purchased stuff.

I can see the wisdom in cracking down on a pirate trafficing, distribution and sales ring operating for profit. However, some Joe who is downloading music and/or video should not be considered in this legislation. It is incredibly difficult to distinguish downloading of "illegal" content, and that which is legal. As the laws may change rapidly due to DMCA, RIAA, and MPAA it gets so grey.

I have a Tivo, and I also have a Blockbuster subscription. I also buy many CD's and DVD's. I get media coming out my pores. Are those the only avenues where legal media may be obtained? If I download an episode of Alias from a source on the Internet, why is that illegal? I have a copy of it on my Tivo at home, possibly on more than one Tivo. If I buy an Avril CD, but then decide to download a copy of the CD contents from the Internet to place on my iPod, why is that illegal? I own the CD. Who makes the judgement that downloading content is wrong this way? Why are we so micro-managing our citizens that everything is told to them what is legal and illegal and you can only do certain things.

Please keep in mind that the more rules you place on society, the more times things will break. The more you make illegal, just makes that many more criminals.

The one thing I know, is that corporate entities such as the RIAA and the MPAA should NOT be allowed to continue and make policy such as the legisltation in the DMCA. They are only looking out for their monetary interests and are not protecting any person in the USA. When companies can start making laws which make people criminals, it is a bad day.

I cannot say this enough. The more laws put in place, making more things illegal, open up the doors for more criminals and abuse by law enforcement. The local street cops, and even the FBI will simply be enforcing BAD legislation. This has become a TRUE Police State when wiretaps can be performed simply for downloading what my be considered pirated content. Where the laws are harsher for these offenses than the physical act of stealing the same CD/DVD.

Please see that these types of laws are not productive. All of us want to be good citizens, but we don't want to be put in a box. We don't want to always be told what to do, and just exactly how we may enjoy our media.

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