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Consumers Shafted By Tech Industry In Digital Media Wars


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Consumers Shafted By Tech Industry In Digital Media Wars
Jan 21, 2003

Two major tech industry councils reached a "landmark agreement" with the Recording Industry Assn (RIAA). The groups will oppose legislation that requires digital rights management (DRM, the bone for tech) and support aggressive action against copyright violators (read consumers using P2P, the bone for RIAA). The joint groups will also oppose legislation that supports consumer rights (RIAA again).

The xenophobic Motion Picture Assn didn’t join in. They’re still holding out for software and device copy control and crying about losing the court case to outlaw VCRs back in the 80s. Another holdout is the Consumer Electronics Association.

Let’s look at this deal. Consumer outrage has already started a backlash against the DMCA. Congress is not going to mandate DRM usage. RIAA had little to lose. RIAA gets tech support for hacking P2P networks and opposing consumer rights legislation. Great deal for them.

To this point the technology industry had generally supported consumers. But in this deal the industry’s true nature showed. The tech groups acted to save their asses and avoid government interference, while supporting RIAA against the consumer.

So the loser is the consumer. The stated intent of the joint agreement is to keep the government out of the business sphere. It’s an admirable idea. But it assumes that the current state of affairs is fair. It is not. Current legislation (Digital Millennium Copyright Act - DMCA) and case law are extremely pro- entertainment/anti-consumer. Keeping the status quo does nothing to redress this imbalance. Who’s going to stand up for average guy and gal like you and me?

Send your appreciation to the spineless folks at Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, and their friends in the Business Software Alliance and the Computer Systems Policy Project.

Copyright 2003, Marc Freedman



Copyright 2003-4 Marc Freedman. All Rights Reserved.

All opinions expressed herein are those of the author unless otherwise noted. This web site at www.diariaa.com is non-commercial satire. It is in no way endorsed, sponsored, or affiliated with RIAA, the Recording Industry Association of America. All trademarks and copyrights mentioned on this site are retained by their respective owners.

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