You know, when I was sitting down with entertainment execs on a regular basis to debate applied, practical technology choices in DRM standards bodies, their constant refrain was, "We love technology! We use it all the time!" The implication being that if they instigated a law prohibiting a technology it would not represent ignorance or fear, but well-informed solemn judgement. I'd often cite Jack Valenti's infamous words to Congress: "The VCR is to the American film industry as the Boston Strangler is to a woman home alone," and they'd scoff. "Why do you always bring that up? It's ancient history!" And I'd say, "Oh, do you repudiate Jack Valenti, then? Because the last time I checked, you guys renamed your headquarters (I shit you not) the Jack Valenti Building." And they'd say, "Ha, ha, very funny. But seriously, is one wrong-headed statement from Jack all you've got?" And then I'd go into the long list of all the crap they'd fought as an industry, from the remote control to cable TV, from diversified cinema ownership to yeah, the VCR, and they'd mumble something about how EFF stood for "Everything For Free," and I just didn't understand the arts. Which always made me laugh because generally speaking I was the only working creative artist in the discussion, and I'd often be going to meetings in between working on novels. Clearly, to understand the arts you need to be an entertainment industry lawyer working for a giant multinational conglomerate, not a working artist.
Anyway, if I was still in those stuffy, hateful rooms where they plotted to ban technologies, I'd print out a stack of this Matador Network infographics, which are a handy guide to the pig-ignorant campaigns that Hollywood has waged against new technologies since the industry's founders ripped off Thomas Edison's patents and fled to California.
Infographic: Why the movie industry is so wrong about SOPA
Redditor Vadermeer was in a local Goodwill Outlet and happened on a trove of files from Apple engineer Jack MacDonald from 1979-80, when he was manager of system software for the Apple II and ///.
Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us “a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos.”
An excellent excerpt from Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz’s The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy on Motherboard explains how Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which bans tampering with or bypassing DRM, even for legal reasons — has allowed corporations to design their products so that using […]
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