Can you believe this crap? Hollywood to ban PCs?
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  1. #1
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    Angry Can you believe this crap? Hollywood to ban PCs?

    http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/business/2764054.htm


    Posted on Thu, Feb. 28, 2002

    Intel backs consumers over Hollywood
    By Dan Gillmor
    Mercury News Technology Columnist

    Does the technology industry need Hollywood's permission to innovate? Hollywood says yes. The tech industry, at long last, is emphatically saying no -- and saying so where it counts, in the halls of power.

    Today, a senior Intel executive will tell a U.S. Senate committee that the entertainment industry's inflexible stance on digital copy protection threatens technological innovation and wounds the public interest. Intel's stance, given its size and clout, is a significant boost for those who want to preserve consumers' rights in the Digital Age.

    So far, Congress has granted almost everything the movie and music industries have demanded -- including passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a 1998 law that gave copyright owners stronger control over digital content.

    Now Hollywood and its allies want Congress to force the technology and consumer-electronics industries to build rigid protection into everything they sell. The idea is to prevent anyone from making copies of digital information, such as movies and music, without copyright owners' explicit permission.

    Enough is enough, Les Vadasz, Intel's executive vice president, will tell the Senate Commerce Committee. The committee's chairman, U.S. Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., supports the new copy-protection requirements.

    ``Any attempt to inject a regulatory process into the design of our products will irreparably damage the high-tech industry,'' Vadasz says in prepared testimony. ``It will substantially retard innovation, investment in new technologies, and will reduce the usefulness of our products to consumers.''

    Today's hearing follows a letter from eight tech-industry chief executives, including Intel's Craig Barrett and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, to the movie studio chiefs. The letter, released Wednesday, politely rejects federal regulation while seeking cooperation between tech and entertainment interests.

    Vadasz' testimony is toughly worded, and it notes -- in a not-so-veiled assertion of strength -- that the technology industry is vastly larger than the entertainment business. Intel, taking the lead in the overdue tech rebellion, has considerable clout of its own.

    Hollywood's arrogance continues to be amazing, but its paranoia is at least understandable.

    In a world where digital content can be copied and then zapped around fast networks, the entertainment companies see every person with a personal computer and network connection as a potential thief.

    To counter even the possibility that people might make unauthorized copies, the entertainment industry sneers at countervailing public interests. Under the DMCA, we are already losing the ``fair use'' rights that are part of the nation's law and tradition -- the right to make personal copies, for backups and playback on other devices, and to use small parts of copyrighted materials in other works without paying the copyright owner.

    The entertainment companies want absolute control. They want veto rights over any new technology that even might be used to make unauthorized digital copies, even if there are perfectly legal other uses of the same technology.

    For the computer industry, Hollywood's latest push boils down to something simple, Vadasz said before he left for Washington. The movie studios would turn powerful PCs into little more than expensive DVD playback machines, crippling PCs for other valuable uses.

    Intel's toughened stance is actually something of a departure, even though Vadasz takes pains to note in his testimony that the company strongly supports intellectual property rights. The company has been a willing participant in an industry working group that would build some level of copy protection into some digital storage devices, perhaps even computer hard disks. A proposal along those lines more than a year ago was shelved after furious objections over its potentially customer-unfriendly aspects.

    Neutering PCs is only part of Hollywood's plan. Its goals would inevitably turn the Internet into a variation on pay-TV.

    Much of this fight is about money. Intel's position is closer to the public interest at this point, but Vadasz acknowledges Intel's vested interest. He also expresses discomfort that a company with a direct financial stake has become the default advocate of the public good in this war.

    He's right. The vested interests are bargaining over our rights as much as their own.

    We, the people, need a charismatic, high-profile champion with no stake other than the public interest. Who will take up the mantle?

    In the end, of course, this issue may defy compromise. Then we'd have to choose between two painful alternatives -- total control or no control.

    Vadasz isn't willing to write off a compromise. But he understands something fundamental.

    ``This technology is not going to be put back in the bottle,'' he said. ``They can slow down progress, but they cannot stop it.''


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dan Gillmor's column appears each Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. Visit Dan's online column, eJournal (www.dangillmor.com). E-mail dgillmor@sjmercury.com; phone (408) 920-5016; fax (408) 920-5917.
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  2. #2
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    Ban the banners. Too much oversight as it is.
    Trappedagainbyperfectlogic.

  3. #3
    Flash M0nkey
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    [sarcasm]right well I think that knives, glass bottles, bats and even bricks should be banned - cause maybe just maybe someone might mug me with one!! So what if there are other uses!?[/sarcasm]

    sheesh when will these guys realise they r fighting a losing battle???

    v_Ln

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    sad that we would have to restrict ourselves to step forward in technology

  5. #5
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    my point exactly. Hopefully reason will prevail.
    Trappedagainbyperfectlogic.

  6. #6
    The Lizard King SarinMage's Avatar
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    wed all be controlled by the movie industry....strange

  7. #7
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    This could all become a reality if the SSSCA gets passed. It is the Act that Sen. Fritz Hollings, has drafted but has not yet introduced. So far the Republicans are against it, according to this story at wired.com. I think the article mentions, how much the Entertainment Industry has given to the Democrats, compared to the Republicans.

    You first started seeing news bits about the SSSCA right after the 9/11 attacks. I spoke to a few people about it, in real life. And after, I had asked their opinion on it. They said that they were all for it, if it meant great protection against Terrorists. I was horrified. I tried explaining to them, that it wouldn't do much good against terrorists anyway! They wouldn't listen. That was back in late September. But now, most people have realized the fact that the Media/Politicians/Corporations, has over-hyped the whole patriotism bit. And will "hopefully" not sign any Acts/Bills without first really thinking about it.

    Much of this fight is about money. Intel's position is closer to the public interest at this point, but Vadasz acknowledges Intel's vested interest. He also expresses discomfort that a company with a direct financial stake has become the default advocate of the public good in this war.
    No ****, its about money. Wtf else would it be about. Are they (Mainly the RIAA) really that f-ing worried about the artists? I think not. Most people, well a lot of people don't like Microsoft, because of their business practices, and Software issues. And lately the Activation Code introduced with WinXP Home Edition. I have seen a lot of posts complaining about that. But while people are bitching about MS. The RIAA/MPAA are quietly getting legislature passed. Just the like DMCA was, in 1998.
    If you can vote. Please vote. Voice your opinion. And write to your Representatives. If you aren't a very good writer, there are quite a few forums on the internet, where you can paraphrase other people's letters to their congressmen. I know, that isn't exactly "the ethical way". Whats the harm if you contact the author of a letter before hand? I have even seen people say that other's can use it.

    Also, I have one question. Why don't we see these controversial Acts, in the news? (tv news, newspaper, magazines) I have only heard and read about them on the Internet. And that was from "geek" sites. Sites which the average Joe and Jane Doe, don't visit. So how would they find out about these Acts. Their local TV News, and News Paper of course. Perhaps we should even write to them asking, them to report the Pro's and Con's of the Acts. This of course is just an idea. I don't know if there are any other implications involved or not. Worth a shot isn't it?

    I like my freedom. And I want to keep it. Do you?

    EDIT:
    There are a couple stories on slashdot right now, that go over this topic.
    The Customer is Always Wrong
    Disney Blames Apple for Piracy
    This is all a bunch of he said she said bullshit. Oops I quoted an Artist, does that constitute as stealing?
    savIRC :: The Multi-Platform IRC Client v. 1.8 [Released 9.04.02]

  8. #8
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    Hmm, all I can hope is that legislation like this doesn't go over to Canada, I would hate to be at the mercy of that mostly talentless, obsessed with appearances and gossip group of idiots.
    Elen alcarin ar gwath halla n engwar.

  9. #9
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
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    Well, there's a certain degree of power wielded by the computer manufacturers... If they are FORCED by law (stupid myopic idea) to build copy protection/cripple hardware, then they don't have much clout over the media companies... But if was VOLUNTARY, then they would have a measure of power, in that they have something collective Hollywood wants.
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

  10. #10
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    lol, incredible reading, what part of the body do they use to think with?
    Im just waiting for a "small shoppers coalition against guns" to try to force arms manufacturers to make their useless in robbery.
    Dear Santa, I liked the mp3 player I got but next christmas I want a SA-7 surface to air missile

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