Sept. 10 was Digital Rights Management Day at the Seybold Conference in San Francisco, CA. Two panel sessions in particular, “The Anti-Piracy Wars” Parts 1 and 2, moderated by Bill Rosenblatt, tangled with the thorney bush of digital rights management, fair use, and personal computing.
I thought you might enjoying reading a few of the sound bites from these sessions. Remember, these statements are out of context and part of an ongoing discussion. That being said, I think you’ll find them fascinating.
“People confuse ‘fair use’ with ‘personal use.’ They are not the same. Fair use is a set of guidelines used by judges in a courtroom. Personal use is your activity on your computers at home,” Ted Cohen, Vice President of New Media for EMI Recorded Music.
“Fair use is important to innovators as well as consumers. It’s fair use that allowed the VCR to innovate on top of the television,” Joe Krauss, head of DigitalConsumer.org
“Media companies, under the guise of piracy, are asking congress to give them more control over fair use. Hollywood wants to control innovation.” Joe Krauss.
“Fight piracy; don’t squash innovation,” Joe Krauss.
“The copyright bargain: a balance between protection for the artist and rights for the consumer,” Robin Gross, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“We’re on the path of creating monopoly business practices out of copyright law,” Robin Gross.
“The marketers can compete with free; it just has to be better. Look at bottled water if you don’t believe me,” Jonathan Potter, Digital Media Association.
“The record industry is still pissed off that other people are making money off their business, even if it promotes their products and increases their sales. I think they’re still mad about radio,” Jonathan Potter.
“Fair use is always going to be a gray area, and it should be. We need to allow for things we can’t see yet,” Robin Gross.
“Just let me use the technology I want at a fair price,” Jonathan Potter.
These are just a few snips from over three hours of compelling conversation by people who really understand these issues. And that’s the key, understanding the issues. We already know that consumers aren’t going to take the time to learn and comment about DRM, fair use, and copyright law. And we also know that the entertainment industry is willing to throw lots of money at persuading congress to write bad law.
So my friend, whether we like it or not, it’s the technology sector that has to bring common sense to this issue. And that means you and me.
I’m open to comments about fair use, DRM, and copyright law.