Why extending copyright is bad

Looking back, I have mentioned DRM a few times, and how I don’t like it — it’s only there to let other people be able to control what we can do with stuff we buy for ourself. And to extort as much money from us as possible.

While the thought behind DRM may be well meant, all I’ve seen of it is misuse. One other thing that is good, but made bad, is the misuse of copyright. How long should the copyright period be? 20 years? 50 years? 50 year after the death of the creator? The age of Mickey Mouse + 50? Infinite?

The companies that owns copyrights seems to want to constantly extend the copyright period, both to protect their old work from being used (and appreciated) and to prevent others to create new work that may use bits and pieces of their copyrighted work, intentionally or not.

Now, the best stuff I’ve read about this problem with copyright, is an old short story by Spider Robinson, Melancoly Elephants. Best of all, it is now available on his web site, for free! I recommend you to go read it right away.

Fun buying CDs again?

I’ve been refusing to buy any CD that contained any form for copy protection on them, partly because they’re inferiour products that may not be played on my equipment, and partly because I don’t want to pay for the privilege to be treated badly. The good news is, now it seems that the era of these broken CDs is over. I read it on Boing Boing that EMI is doing the only sensible thing and dropping their DRM scheme for CDs. Was EMI the last company to realise this was the only sensible thing to do? If so, it can be nice looking for new CDs again from now on, without worrying if they really are real CDs.

Just wonder if those DRM’ed albums are rereleased on real CDs — there are some nice ones I refused to buy…

On a related note, how long will DRM on compressed music last? WMA, AAC and so on — will the companies want to keep this practise going, or will they reach the conclusion that their market is actually limited by it? Some thinks that DRM will stay for a long time, others that it will go away, and yet some that yes, it’ll go away, but it will be replaced with something else.

I don’t know myself, and don’t have any particular opinion of wether it will stay or not – but I hope for the best. I have read a few articles about what other thinks, though, and from the couple of last months or so:

So, any idea what the future of DRM look like?

On Piracy

Whew. I just finished watching a documentary, On Piracy, about DRM, music, Walmart and stuff. A very interesting 1 hour 44 minutes, with interviews with several people in the Canadian music industry and its consumers, and it brought forward the different views on what it’s all about.

There are known information in the film, and things I didn’t know. There are stuff I find horrific and silly – the standard claim that making a copy of something so that two persons have their own copy is the same as stealing something so that one person lose it while the other get it is there. But no matter who you agree with and what view you have, this is a balanced documentary. Go see it on Google video.

If you want – you can also download it – this prerelease is released under Creative Commons.

DRM: The root of all evil?

Starforce logoDRM is needed. DRM is the only way to prevent everyone from making pirate copies of software. DRM is the only way to keep companies profitable. Not using DRM must be punished. Right?

At least, that seems to be what Starforce think, a company that makes DRM themselves, because as Stardock Systems released their game Galactic Civilizations II without DRM, Starforce responds by telling people on their own forum where you can get a pirate copy of the game.This doesn’t sound particulary nice, does it? Rather on the opposite end of the scale… Of course, they must feel the need to do this: If Stardock Systems show that DRM is not needed, what would become of Starforce?