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Re: [dvd-discuss] Geeks in government: A good idea?

On Fri, Aug 16, 2002 at 10:22:45AM -0700, Ken Arromdee wrote:
> If you're willing to count copyrighted music files traded through Napster as
> warez, I'd say that the law has had a big impact on warez trading.

I respectfully disagree, mostly because I was painting a larger
picture. Yes, if you look at Napster, or Drink-or-Die, or any other
specific, individual data point, you can see the impact. However, on
the warez scene as a whole, the Drink-or-Die arrests had little to no
effect. And on .mp3 trading, viewed seperately or in conjunction, the
demise of Napster had no effect at all. Rather on the contrary, P2P is
now much stronger than it ever was while Napster was still something
besides a RIAA zombie.

(I work for an ISP. The majority of traffic on our network is P2P
stuff. Yes, it dwarves HTTP traffic.)

> look at things not done by individuals, there's been a huge effect; for
> instance, you just can't walk to the store and buy a region-free,
> Macrovision-free, DVD player.  If it weren't for the law, you could.

I doubt that very much. There is no law propping up CSS in europe or
asia. Nevertheless, they sell CSS-crippled players here. Remember the
WIPO paper: It's a three-pronged approach and the law is only one of
them. What keeps the electronics industry in line is the
cross-industrial licensing scheme they set up. Selling region-free
players would almost certainly be perfectly legal in europe, japan,
asia - essentially everywhere except the US. However, by doing so you
risk not getting a license for CSS anymore (required for the US market)
or losing the right to use the DVD logo (big marketing loss) and
possibly other stuff, too. I stopped unravelling that intangible web
when it made me sick.

In the end, the DMCA is just a nice goodie they got cheaply.

pub  1024D/2D7A04F5 2002-05-16 Tom Vogt <tom@lemuria.org>
     Key fingerprint = C731 64D1 4BCF 4C20 48A4  29B2 BF01 9FA1 2D7A 04F5