These past four months, I have felt like a rat in a maze searching for cheese that doesn’t exist. I have come to the conclusion that neither copyright law nor new technologies will ever be able to provide an acceptable solution to digital copyright problems. People will always figure out how to use software they have written to ignore, circumvent, or just plane laugh at the law. Future technologies which are more limiting than current technologies will not be accepted. Even if they are, they will be circumvented by hackers.
copyright laws won't work US
I don’t think copyright laws will significantly change the present course of media. If the vast majority of people don't think copyright infringement is morally wrong and some form of P2P filesharing remains available, P2P will always exist. American laws are useless because the internet is global. There will always be countries willing (and even eager) to ignore American laws. People will find a way to obtain the technology from other countries who don't follow our laws and P2P programs that could never be released in the
that won’t work
Media protection will be, almost solely, technology based. I recently posted on a copy protected CD (Norah Jones) that was giving me problems. I think I have above average computer skills, but I had no idea how to copy a protected CD onto my hard drive or transfer it to my MP3 player. I think there are very few people who could copy this CD. I searched Google for a good hour looking for tips and I was still in the dark. I also spent a lot of time on my friend’s computer searching Kazaa for the songs. I only found 2 songs that were actually good copies. This leads me to assume that copy protection actually works pretty well. A false assumption on my part. I'm sure if I spent a little more time and tried a few other P2P programs, I could find all the high quality Norah Jones songs I want.
there are only so many ways you can change a CD to add copy protection while
still allowing it to play on an unchanged player. So, the electronics
will have to change as well. Laws could be passed requiring electronics
manufacturers to make devices with very limited playing capabilities.
This change would have to be global. I guess the US
there a technology based solution?
Yes. But it is a solution that all of us fear. Copyright infringement can be vastly controlled with a fundamental restructuring of the internet. ISP's can close individual ports and keep people from accessing files on other computers. Without access to the files of others, one would be very limited in the way that they could infringe on copyrights of digital media. If I wanted to give some music to a friend, I would have to do it the old fashioned way: I would have to physically give him a hard copy. Of course, people would not share with anyone other than people they personally know, so the amount of infringement (and the usefulness of the internet) would be greatly reduced. People could still view content on web pages but nothing could be downloaded unless it came from a government certified host.
While this solution might be terrifying to the majority of the public, I'm sure much of the government would love it. I imagine that the government hates the internet as it is now structured. Had they known what the internet would become, they would never have allowed for its public release. The Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and a host of other government entities are horrified by the fact that even a 10 year old kid can send or receive a file from anywhere and to anywhere without any governmental knowledge whatsoever. They would love to be able to control the ISP's and most of the internet traffic. Let's all take a few seconds in silent prayer. "Please don't ever let that happen."
a bright future possible?
I sure hope so. I'm hoping for a future that embraces the Creative Commons. We need to find a variety of ways to make Creative Commons music profitable. I think Wired Magazine is onto something. They recently released a Creative Commons Licensed CD included with one of their issues. I assume they paid each artist a set amount that was funded by Wired's advertising department. Other companies could do the same.
This class has left me with more fear than hope. I guess we will all just have to wait and see what happens.