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Greetings fellow pirates! Arrrrr! (Digital Rights Management)

Microsoft Research DRM talk by Cory Doctorow
"This talk was originally given to Microsoft's Research Group and other interested parties from within the company at their Redmond offices on June 17, 2004."

"...Russian equivalent of the State Department issued a blanket warning to its researchers to stay away from American conferences, since we'd apparently turned into the kind of country where certain equations are illegal."

"If I buy your book, your painting, or your DVD, it belongs to me. It's my property. Not my "intellectual property" -- a whacky kind of pseudo-property that's swiss-cheesed with exceptions, easements and limitations -- but real, no-fooling, actual tangible *property* -- the kind of thing that courts have been managing through tort law for centuries. But anticirumvention lets rightsholders invent new and exciting copyrights for themselves -- to write private laws without accountability or deliberation -- that expropriate your interest in your physical property to their favor."

"That's what happened to Jon Johansen, a Norweigan teenager who wanted to watch French DVDs on his Norweigan DVD player. He and some pals wrote some code to break the CSS so that he could do so. He's a wanted man here in America; in Norway the studios put the local fuzz up to bringing him up on charges of *unlawfully trespassing upon a computer system.* When his defense asked, "Which computer has Jon trespassed upon?" the answer was: "His own."

His no-fooling, real and physical property has been expropriated by the weird, notional, metaphorical intellectual property on his DVD: DRM only works if your record player becomes the property of whomever's records you're playing. "

"The most successful organisms on earth are those that reproduce the most: bugs and bacteria, nematodes and virii. Reproduction is the best of all survival strategies."

"Copyright isn't an ethical proposition, it's a utlititarian one. There's nothing *moral* about paying a composer tuppence for the piano-roll rights, there's nothing *immoral* about not paying Hollywood for the right to videotape a movie off your TV. They're just the best way of balancing out so that people's physical property rights in their VCRs and phonographs are respected and so that creators get enough of a dangling carrot to go on making shows and music and books and paintings.

Technology that disrupts copyright does so because it simplifies and cheapens creation, reproduction and distribution. The existing copyright businesses exploit inefficiencies in the old production, reproduction and distribution system, and they'll be weakened by the new technology. But new technology always gives us more art with a wider reach: that's what tech is *for*.

Tech gives us bigger pies that more artists can get a bite out of. That's been tacitly acknowledged at every stage of the copyfight since the piano roll. When copyright and technology collide, it's copyright that changes.

Which means that today's copyright -- the thing that DRM nominally props up -- didn't come down off the mountain on two stone tablets. It was created in living memory to accommodate the technical reality created by the inventors of the previous generation. To abandon invention now robs tomorrow's artists of the new businesses and new reach and new audiences that the Internet and the PC can give them."


The Darknet Paper "The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution" by Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman 

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