[clug] Consume But Don't Try Programming [was viva la DMCA? [was: Against US-AU FTA Intellectual Property Clauses]]

Martin Pool mbp at sourcefrog.net
Mon Apr 12 09:16:40 GMT 2004

On 11 Apr 2004, Jepri <jepri at webone.com.au> wrote:
> Martin Pool wrote:

> As for entrenching monopolies:  no again.  My computer can play movies 
> that haven't been encrypted, like the AniMatrix( 
> http://www.intothematrix.com/ ).  It would be a monopoly if someone 
> could prevent me or you from watching the animatrix.

Wrong; check the definition of "monopoly".

Since the Animatrix seems to be distributed for free, it is irrelevant
to discussion of a monopoly, which by definition means there is only
one *seller*.  Anyhow, I didn't say it would be a perfect monopoly,
merely that it would entrench monopolies.

I could explain how disallowing compatible replacements and legally
protecting proprietary formats helps with monopolies, but there are
plenty of clear explanations already on the net or in economics texts.

> >Right now I'm free to buy a DVD player that plays US DVDs I bought and
> >paid for.  Under the USFTA, I might not be.  Explain how this is good?
> I'm not sure about this one.  I didn't see anything that would stop you 
> importing a US PlayStation and using it to play US-encoded DVDs.

Aside from the 110V input and NTSC output, and the hassle of
purchasing and importing one.  (In fact, importing five new players,
if I want to play global DVDs.)  But why should I have to do that?  I
already own the DVDs and am able to play them.  What will compensate
me for losing the right to play those DVDs?

In a sense using a US PS2 in Australia subverts a copyright control.
I'm not sure that it actually would be legal, and if I imported them
in volume I might well get in trouble.  If the publisher says "you
must only watch this in the USA", then the DMCA seems to require you
to comply.

> >Right now if somebody patents an obvious/trivial software idea, I am
> >free to just smile wryly.  Under the USFTA, it might make it illegal
> >to write some free software.  Sounds bad to me.
> OK, that one is bad.

I'm glad you agree.  That is the most important part to me, though
there are bad side-effects of the anti-circumvention restrictions.
>From a certain point of view we should argue the DMCA and software
patent cases separately.


More information about the linux mailing list