Foxtrot takes a swipe at the DMCA

Today, Foxtrot (easily the geekiest of the mainstream comic strips) took a great little swipe at the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the notorious 1998 US Copyright law that makes it illegal to break DRM. Link (Thanks, Kim!)


  1. Except didn’t the RIAA just claim that ripping your own CDs is illegal?

    I’d like to see that get more play. It might actually get the public to give a damn.

  2. “READ CAREFULLY. By opening this magazine you agree to follow certain standard irrevocable TERMS and CONDITIONS now and forever, inheritable by your future prosperity and until the end of time.”

  3. Im still waiting for the US President to be brought forth on charges from the RIAA for having an IPOD with some Beatles tunes before they were available to be legally purchased for his ipod and not simply ripped from a CD which is most likely the case (or maybe they were nabbed with some sort of P2P?)

  4. Hmmm, tried viewing the comic on my cellphone awhile ago. It requires flash to view (or you get a really low-res version with a warning that the non-flash version won’t be available for long.)

    Perhaps a form of copy-protection? Perhaps, eventually to be a way to force ads to be viewed before the comic?

    I fail to see how Apple being forced to bide by a stupid law makes iTunes defective by design. iTunes is perfectly happy managing my 180GB of non-DRM music and video (all from my own discs) without complaint.

  5. When he says “you voted,” he really could mean any member of Congress. I found a record of the Senate’s vote on the DMCA: it passed unanimously. I can’t even find the voting record for the House because so far as I can tell it passed by a unanimous voice vote; they didn’t even bother with a roll call.

  6. Kevinv, defective is defective. Doesn’t matter if it’s a law or a bug, it still won’t do what it should.

    Software that doesn’t do what you tell it is defective.

    Knives that don’t cut are defective. It’s against the law to murder someone with a knife, but we have a right to have knives which could murder someone.

    Similarly, we need software that *could* break the law, not plastic sporks. Not i-tunes, the spork of the media world.

  7. I cut this one out of the paper when I saw it. Naturally, my wife didn’t find the humor in it that I did. But then, she’s never understood my excessively awesome geekiness.

  8. Win saidn, “Software that doesn’t do what you tell it is defective.”

    It might not be defective, but just a little un-refined. You know, it’s evolving and needs more work. Just like humans. We don’t always work the way we should, but we (our software) is not necessarily defective. On that note I’m going to go dump some media software that isn’t working right. Then it’s into the lab for another round of electroshock therapy!

  9. Can anyone tell me why Jason’s character is drawn with those odd vertical lines on his glasses? I’ve wondered for years and even Google doesn’t seem to know.

  10. “Kevinv, defective is defective. Doesn’t matter if it’s a law or a bug, it still won’t do what it should.”

    No the law is defective. If iTunes were to rip DVD’s Apple would be sued and prohibited from distributing versions with that capability. Hardly a positive change from current situation.

    If you spend all your time bad-mouthing Apple for following a stupid law, the law will never be changed. Focus on the real problem.

    Additionally this concept of “Software that doesn’t do what you tell it is defective.” is just plain dumb.

    I’ve told photoshop thousands of times to make a movie for me, but it refuses. Guess it’s defective.

    I’ve told my Linux kernel to run Microsoft Office plenty of times too, but it won’t. guess it’s defective.

    I’ve told my car to fly lots of times, but it doesn’t, guess it’s defective.

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