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[dvd-discuss] A TPM without use limitations -- thoughts?

EMI is "fingerprinting" audio files to make them easier to track on the
internet.  Here's the link and my post to ZD.


Assuming this fingerprint isn't used to control access (like players
that lock-up if they do or don't see it), this is far to be preferred
over copy protection.  Helping copyright holders find the *real* P2P
infringers publicly trading copyrighted works should reduce the impetus
for the (MP|RI)AA to seek strong DRM/TPM protections - and reduce the
plausibility of their case in the public policy debate. This is a far
better result than the current trend toward "trusted" (i.e. sealed away
from the user) computing and player platforms. 

Remember that a fair objective is to reduce the number of infringing
copies and copiers of copyright works. Most of the complaints about the
RIAA and MPAA is that they are assuming the customers are crooks and
breaking our ability to use and dispose of our personal property --
while at the same time not stopping a single infringing copy.

Broken not-really-a-CD  (like those documented here (
) do nothing about infringing copies, they only limit paying customers
from making ordinary and fair uses.  CSS limits the time, place, and
device of playback, but cannot prevent infringing copies.

There are three corollaries that should not be lost here:

(I) (Infringers take note!) If fingerprinting doesn't interfere with
normal, fair uses (back-up, personal copies, space-shifting, etc) then
anybody stripping the fingerprint is doing so *only* to attempt to
infringe and trade the work publicly -- and have clearly shown intent to
infringe. This works toward building "reasonable cause" for search and
seizure, and for overcoming "presumption of innocence" in the eventual

(II) (RIAA take note!) If the fingerprint IS used for even one fair-use
limiting restriction, the crack probability goes to unity and the
distribution/availability goes to ubiquity and the (a) fingerprinting
will lose it's meaning, and (b) (I) will be invalidated (as there will
be a significant non-infringing use).

(III) Finally (again RIAA take!) the fingerprint stripping crack
software (which will exist, probably within weeks) should not be made
illegal. Make sure that every infringer has a copy. Then (I) will truly
haunt those who infringe.

Note: the words pirate and thief are not used.  Infringer (one who
infringes) is the correct term, and words have meaning.  The village is
not being burned, the women are not being ravished, and the CD is still
in the store no matter how many infringing copies are made! (Hmmm, I
wonder if the shoplifting rate a music stores has fallen since Napster
and subsequent P2Pů)