Copyfight Friday

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did another one of his monkey acts when he went ape about music and DRM.

Most people still steal music…We can build the technology but there are still ways for people to steal music.

The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.

It could just be a picture of what happens when Microsoft wakes up and realizes it doesn’t own and can’t control everything, but it also reveals a lot about where the company is going. Ballmer could have said that the shifting of purchased music from one device or format to another is a legally protected form of fair use (at least for now). Instead, he argued something like “Microsoft’s DRM is the only solution to piracy.” Anyway, it’s a crock of shite. Teleread (always an anti-DRM advocate) has picked up on it.

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Copyfight‘s Donna Wentworth reports on an article by Laura Murray about copyright law in Canada. Here are some items quoted from that work:

Spend more than a few minutes browsing Canadian court rulings, policy materials, or public hearings on copyright, and you will come across somebody seeking or promoting “protection.” “Protection” seems to be a good thing, and somehow copyright provides it, or should be providing it. But protection of what? Protection from what? … Only a few argue for protection of consumers or those whose creativity builds on copyrighted works, and fewer still the citizenry or the public domain.

How do we differentiate between “creator” and “consumer?” Are they really “distinct entities placed on either side of a fulcrum(?)”

In fact, as many have pointed out, we cannot draw a firm distinction between “creators” and “users”: every single person alive on earth is a consumer of culture, and anyone who ever puts pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) is also a creator.