Originally posted by Frank777
God bless the French. Somebody's got to stop the DRM train.
Copyright and other "intellectual property" law has gotten way out of whack, far too imbalanced in favor of copyright holders and "content providers". Selling music you can only play in certain brands of players is like selling books you can only read while sitting in a particular brand of chair.
Forcing a company to provide compatibility for music or other audio/video media can be a bit of a gray area -- the analogy with books isn't perfect. Certainly it wouldn't have made sense when CDs first came out for the record companies to have been forced to create a kind of CD which would also play on a turntable and/or in a cassette deck. (And hey! What about 8-track?).
Should Apple be forced to sell MP3 and/or Windows Media files for compatibility? I can't go along with that. If Apple feels AAC is a technologically superior format, they should have a right to use that format, exclusively if they wish.
But the DRM applied to their AAC files? That's a purely artificial barrier to compatibility. I can see where a valid argument could be made to disallow such artificial barriers.
Beyond that, however, and what I really find objectionable about the DMCA and similiar laws, is the idea that customers are not only obliged to accept such artificial barriers, but that they can be harshly punished for daring to go around those barriers, simply because doing so might
lead to possible
infringing uses of DRM-protected content. If DRM did absolutely nothing other than help protect copyrighted material, I might find it a little less objectionable. But protecting intellectual property has become an excuse to simulataneously create artificial product lock-in and other barriers to competition.
Enforcing anti-circumvention puts the government into the role of helping companies prop up their business models and protecting those business models from robust competition. Apple has all the right in the world to encourage
the purchase of iPods through the use of their music store, but it flies in the face of what free-market capitalism is supposed to be about when the force of law is brought to bear to force consumers to go along with purely artificial barriers to traditional "fair use" and to more open competition.