Here’s another good article at News.com about the DMCA.
I guess the thing that bothers me the most about how the Digital Millenium Copyright Act is being used is the fact that companies can deny me the use of things that I’ve purchased. For example, it is illegal for me to write a program that lets me watch a DVD that I’ve bought. When you buy a DVD, you aren’t really buying anything other than the right to watch that movie on an approved player.
There was a story just the other day about how you can buy DVDs in China for about $1 each. There, the disks are mass-produced by companies with disk duplicating machines just like the ones used by the movie studios. But Hollywood doesn’t seem to mind that very much. Instead of going after the big-time thieves, they chose to attack a teen-aged kid.
Jon Johansen, a Norwegian teenager, is on trial right now for writing a program to let him to watch DVD movies on Linux. This program, called DeCSS, breaks the encryption or Content Scrambling System on DVD disks. He wrote this program when he was only 15 years old. Here’s an article about that trial. The verdict has not been given yet.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), filed a complaint against Jon Johansen saying that his program allowed illegal duplication of DVD movies. But the funny thing is, DVD players only play encrypted movies. If you’re going to make a copy of a DVD, you don’t want to decrypt it. Otherwise it won’t play.
Some of the regular visitors to our site may be wondering why I’m posting all of this stuff instead of pictures of our pets. The reason is I feel like big corporations are walking away with all of our personal freedoms. The only way I know of to change this is to educate people about what’s going on in the world. Hopefully if enough people read about the DMCA, and how it’s being abused, we can make a difference.