Something I think gets lost in the debate over DRM: Big Content doesn't want DRM because they want to usher in an era of totalitarian control technologies; they don't want copyright filters because they want to make the censor's job easier; they don't want increased intermediary liability because they want to extinguish easy personal expression and collective action.
They want these things because they want to make more money.
But they are indifferent to the point of depravity to the totalitarian, censorious and restrictive consequences of DRM, filters and liability.
They aren't moustache-twirling supervillains. They're greedy, blinkered provincials and hypercompetitive macho bullies who are unwilling to look past the short-term benefits to the consequences. They think only of how things will work, not how they'll fail.
When we (we -- I do this too, all the time) focus on the consequences to culture and creativity, we allow this debate to be defined in terms of who gets to remix what, or whether you'll have to start paying for the ongoing use of your cultural goods. These are important issues.
But they're a distant second to a rearchitecting of our law and technology to create the preconditions for repression, corruption and suppression of dissent.
That's the real fight: are we shaping a world where our children will be able to come together effortlessly to improve their lots and the lots of their neighbors; where they'll be able to fight corruption and hold their leaders to account; where they'll be able to participate and help others to participate?
Or will we allow a small gang of selfish and short-sighted entertainment companies to fatally compromise the infrastructure of the 21st century to add a few points to its bottom line?
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