But wait—there’s more. Not only are publishers turning on libraries and librarians, now the music industry is trying to tell us what we can do with our CDs. One of the problems with the DMCA is that it isn’t very clear. Against a backdrop of challenges to the DMCA, Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina held hearings on standardizing digital copy-protection technology in nearly all PCs and consumer electronic devices. Hilary Rosen of the RIAA was one of those who testified. This is a really stupid idea for any number of reasons. The technologically ignorant aren’t the people to create standards, particularly when those standards would restrict innovation, and place control of intellectual property with a few large corporations, corporations that are potentially immortal.
There are more intelligent ways to go about protecting rights holders, without assuming all consumers are thieves, and without restricting reasonable use of personal property to make copies for personal use. DigitalConsumer.org has some good ideas, including a Consumer Bill of Rights.