Re: [rumori] more WSJ on copyright

From: matt davignon (
Date: Thu Jul 27 2000 - 15:55:03 PDT

I wonder if this means that the music industry is going to try to create a
new format to replace the compact disc.
Maybe a new format which contains a digital code that prevents music from
being extracted digitally without a password. It would be pretty hard to
upsell the CD though. CD's have a great fidelity and don't take up that much

I don't think I'll ever buy the argument that musical creativity will
diminish if it gets harder to collect revenue for artists. There is a ton of
artists who make music for reasons other than to make a living as "a


>From: Steev Hise <>
>Subject: [rumori] more WSJ on copyright
>Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 11:24:01 -0700 (PDT)
>July 24, 2000
>In the Age of Napster,
>We Face Copyright Gap
>WITH CONCERN ABOUT NAPSTER and Gnutella running at a fever pitch, it's
>beginning to look like the death of copyright is at hand. Now that
>millions of users have access to technology that lets them swap songs,
>movies or anything else that can be stuffed into a computer file, the
>ability to protect intellectual property appears to be evaporating before
>our eyes.
>But there's another side fighting in this online arms race. Companies all
>over the Internet are working on systems designed to thwart rampant
>piracy. Using the same kinds of high-tech codes that protect your
>credit-card numbers from prying eyes on the Net, these companies are
>developing ways to lock up digital content so that only paying customers
>have the key to open a movie or song file.
>Make no mistake: there's no panacea for the copyright woes. The impact of
>peer-to-peer technologies like Gnutella and Napster is just beginning to
>be understood, and control over the millions of songs floating around
>these systems is probably lost forever. But there's still plenty of
>intellectual property that hasn't been Napsterized -- not just popular
>fare like novels, but also high-value content like textbooks and market
>THE CHALLENGE IS TO FIND an equilibrium in this escalating battle. During
>the early days of the Cold War, hawks worried about a "missile gap" that
>supposedly left the U.S. vulnerable to the Soviet Union's more effective
>weaponry. Instead of the death of intellectual property, perhaps we only
>face a copyright gap, a time when methods for protecting copyright
>material just haven't caught up. Can the publishers of the world make it
>easier to buy content than to steal it?
>"The idea that copyright is dead is rubbish," says John Schwarz, CEO of
>Reciprocal, one of the companies hoping to make its fortune by narrowing
>the copyright gap. "If the people who create content cannot protect their
>rights, pretty soon there won't be any content," he says.
>Right now when you buy a book or a CD, you're not buying the intellectual
>property itself but instead the right to use it a certain way. You can
>listen to a CD or make a tape of it for yourself, but you don't have the
>right to make 100,000 duplicates and sell or give them away. Consumers
>rarely think about those rights, because until now, making a tape for a
>friend has been simple but cranking out those thousands of duplicates
>To understand what Reciprocal and its competitors are up to, here's
>another new buzzword from the Net vocabulary: digital rights management,
>or DRM. The goal of DRM systems is to make digital content behave in a way
>that parallels a consumer's rights. When someone buys a song in digital
>form, it should behave in a way that makes it easy for the purchaser to
>listen to, and even lend to a friend, but highly impractical to duplicate
>on a large scale.
>To do that, DRM systems seal up content in a tamper-proof electronic box
>protected by mathematical codes that are practically impossible to break.
>Legitimate users get the appropriate cyber-keys. Those keys can be overt,
>like a password, or hidden away on your computer or associated with a
>particular Internet address.
>The concept is fraught with potential problems. Historically, systems that
>are hard to use or too draconian about copying simply don't catch on with
>consumers. That's what happened with digital audio tape players, which
>have built-in copy protection circuits. More recently, the Divx video-disk
>system, which restricted access to movies, failed. (Hackers have since
>appropriated the name for a new system that stores movies on PCs.)
>Receive e-mail notifying you of the latest publication of E-World. See the
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>BUT IF DRM COMPANIES CAN get it right, their systems could open up new
>possibilities -- and new ways for authors, artists and publishers to make
>money. "You have so much flexibility here," says Ranjit Singh, president
>of ContentGuard, a Xerox spinoff that develops DRM technology. Consumers
>could buy a season-pass style subscription to all of a particular
>publisher's books, or buy only the songs they want from an album.
>As Internet access becomes more pervasive and consumers have routine
>access to high-speed broadband connections, DRM systems will gain an
>advantage. That's because it will become easier to store all those songs
>and Stephen King e-novels up on an Internet server someplace, tapping them
>by Net when desired rather than storing copies locally. Access to these
>so-called digital lockers can be controlled more easily. NetLibrary of
>Boulder, Colo., uses this approach to offer digital versions of textbooks
>and reference works in university and public libraries.
>None of this is likely to shut down Napster or the other music-swapping
>systems. Music is especially susceptible to online piracy because it's
>distributed so widely in an unprotected digital form, the compact disk.
>But other forms of content, particularly books, won't become widely
>available in digital form until DRM systems are in place.
>Meanwhile, as the arms race rages on, some antipiracy gadflies have
>discovered some relatively low-tech ways of thwarting the peer-to-peer
>networks. These protesters take useless computer files, then name them
>with the titles of popular songs and put them on the system, tricking
>people into downloading the garbage. If these protests catch on, Napster
>users might once again find it easier to just go to the record store.
>URL for this Article:
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