[rumori] Re: pho: Re: RE: Napster Teens want DRM (or so abacus.roq says)

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Mon Feb 19 2001 - 10:04:37 PST

Too bad you are reconciled to a "vicious struggle" over controling the
exclusivity of art and ideas. That art and those ideas are not usually
concerned with being "vicious" (let's not return to Eminem!) so it's really
unfortunate that they will have to continue being passed through an
environment that is. Ya know, it almost defeats the purpose of art and
ideas, dontcha think? Certainly tends to give them the lie... all easily
dismissed as romantic sentmentalism with no meaningful bearing on our
actually "vicious" reality. It seems we create and "share" much art in the
form of fairytale escapist fantasies in order to make a living with them in
the REAL world which doesn't actually believe that art or those ideas for a

As to your reference to the "bygone days of IP" being about sharing,
balanced with the need to ameliorate the public good, I assume you really
mean sharing vs compensation. Anyway, your argument seems all askew here -
the way I see the history of the commercialization of art and ideas, the
founders wanted to make sure BOTH public domain type sharing and
availability would remain along side (and ALWAYS surpass with time) the
much more vicious idea of witholding it all for private compensation. They
wanted both, but I certainly don't think they envisioned quite the balance
we have in effect today. But then they didn't envision ANYTHING we have
today, EXCEPT human nature which, perplexed as it is in the modern
technological era, has not itself changed at all! The founders lose all
relevance with regard to technological developments but are still
absolutely relevant as to their hopes to benevolently shepherd our always
close to vicious human nature with the enactment of laws.

I believe you are saying that their type of balance is now out of date and
"bygone," but I don't actually see a bygone time in which their hoped for
balance was in effect! It NEVER was, pretty much no matter how far back you
go, and certainly not in effect to any significant degree since the
industrial revolution. As the income potential grew around art and ideas,
so the balance between sharing and selling moved whole hog towards the
"rights" of the private owner, both in law and in practice. You, for
instance, apparently value employing millions of people over the principle
of sharing. I don't think you think there's a useful cohabitation between
sharing and employment, and that comparison wise, employment is a trillion
times more important than that relatively useless sharing stuff. You (all
of us) have put these two things into unaccomodating competition as
opposites, like oil and water, irreconcilable in our "real" world where the
individual's self-interest now supercedes all else. (Like the way
corporations fought and got the legal status of an individual for legal
purposes of untouchability.) Sharing is seen and has been seen for a very
long time as an unwanted intruder in capitalism. Our markets may be free
but our minds and spirits are their prisoner.

And, admittedly, there has been no conceivable way out of this mind set as
long as art and ideas remained frozen in physical products. The general
population, employed or unemployed, never before had any effective means to
EXPRESS sharing or their desire for it because they didn't have any
personal control over the distribution of products or the laws that got
enacted around them. These were always the exclusive domain of those with
private interests in the products.

So, as your art-as-employment attitude moves onto the Net, fully intending
to institute those same overiding priorities there, it suddenly dawns on
you that something is a little different there. This difference from all
previous means of distribution is that (1) the user CAN control the
distribution of your product themselves and (2) a good many of them appear
to be more interested in using that to freely share art and ideas than they
are in the employment those have always previously implied.

I think the vicious battle you envision there will be as much your fault as
it is theirs. The Net has become our own philosophical Middle East, and
it's becoming just about as endlessly vicious.

As an entire culture, we are beginning to see that, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN
OUR HISTORY, there finally is a workable CHOICE here, one that just so
happens to favor sharing OVER selling for the first time in the whole
history of reproducing technology, and it is akin to the discovery that the
world is no longer flat, but round, thanks to the telescope. So far, our
commercial establishment can't bring itself to even put their eye to the
lense. I believe some people were once viciously burned at the stake for
insisting on publically sharing their view that our world was round.*


* unvicious musical reference: "The Day THe World Gets Round," George
Harrison, Living In The Material world.
Also see "Sue Me, Sue You Blues, same record.
He's pretty good on stuff like this, you might want to move on to "Isn't It
A Pity" from All Things Must Pass. And yes, he became a multi-millionaire
from selling utterly irrelevant, unbelievable crap like this.

>Taking a step back, Frank, I think many of us are trying to reconcile the
>notion of the by-gone days of IP being about the duty of sharing worthwhile
>arts and sciences balanced by need to ameliorate the knowledge and
>experiences of the public good. Not anymore. Whatever deal the founding
>fathers may have envisioned, it's a far, far different construct today. I've
>often quoted the figure that our copyright industries is a half a trillion
>dollar annual industry. That's huge, employing millions of people, and yes,
>ameliorating our society in many, many ways. I figure it's a success.
>Although, it's pretty much turned into a product-based industry. It's not
>strictly IP anymore. Think of music, books, movies as valuable widgets. Not
>strictly ideas. So, I don't think the original copyright quid pro quo deal
>applies anymore. Thus, you're going to find copyright holders in a very
>vicious struggle to protect their products, using stuff like DRM (effective
>as it is, or not), from piracy. That's the reality. And the more infringing
>that goes on, the more copyright holders are going to fight back. I don't
>see a great leap of logic there. But what I do find hard to grasp, is the
>great loss of respect for the basic integrity of creator rights and the
>process of fair commerce.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Frank Davis" <frankATchaoskitty.com>
>To: <phoATonehouse.com>
>Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2001 6:50 PM
>Subject: pho: RE: Napster Teens want DRM (or so abacus.roq says)
>> >Original Message:
>> >-----------------
>> >From: Frank Davis frankATchaoskitty.com
>> >Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2001 12:33:27 -0500
>> >To: phoATonehouse.com
>> >Subject: RE: Re: pho: WP: Napster Teens vs. the Move to Stop the Music
>> >
>> >"...How do you justify Napster II imposing DRM technology as not being
>> >indicative of the messiah selling out his followers to the Pharoahs?"
>> >-----------------
>> >Come on, Frank. Now you're sounding worse than jealous... you are
>> >vengeful.
>> >
>> >How can you blame Fanning for having cut a deal that keeps him in
>> >when it was because of a litigation that would have withered anybody
>> >you)?
>> So if I'm sounding vengeful and I do not see Fanning as a "messiah" - what
>> do you think will be the reaction of his faithful?
>> I realize you've chosen to take the role of apologist for Napster's
>> decision to create a lockbox and impose unique ID encryption on all
>> material passing through it's system. I can only guess you're comfortable
>> with having a corporation telling you how you can use the music on your
>> hard drive. I'm willing to bet you are in the extreme minority when it
>> comes to seeing a DRM Napster as a "good thing" and a "compromise".
>> So help me understand why this is a good thing and a compromise.
>> Please explain to me why I should welcome Napster II's encryption scheme
>> which will lock anything I get from Napster to my hard drive, not allow me
>> to burn it to a CD (or back it up for that matter) and requires me to buy
>> new portable player. Not to mention each encrytpion key will be unique
>> giving Napster (and anyone else Napster works with) the ability to track
>> files. Explain to me how this sort of system is better than Universal's
>> Bluematter system - or any system so far proposed by the cartel.
>> I look forward to hearing from you.
>> cheers,
>> Frank Davis
>> http://www.chaoskitty.com
>> now featuring frank's house of [flash] cards
>> (Not to be used for the other use)
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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