Regarding the DVD injunction:
I’m pissed off.
I understand why they would want it; it makes sense. They don’t want their videos flitting around the Net just yet. They don’t want to have to deal with the same havoc that’s being wrought on the music industry. They want time to observe and to prepare. They knew CSS was going to be cracked, but didn’t expect it this soon. They’re scared and they’re suing as fast and as hard as they can.
This is exactly the sort of thing that will bring them to a violent end.
You see, I think everyone understands that technology lubricates the slippery slope. It forces a stricter dichotomy between white and black. You either have no privacy or complete privacy; no circulation of information or complete circulation thereof. Partial solutions just don’t work. Don’t be fooled by companies that claim that they’ve “finally done it after all these years.” It’s just not possible to hold a middle ground. It’s all or nothing.
If I could point to a single causor of violence in a human society, it is the grouping factor. You put while shirts on 10 people and green shirts on 10 people and before you know it, they’re bonding with each other and hurling epithets at the others.
The MPAA is donning their white shirts, casting the green shirts at the “hackers” and “pirates.” They are claiming war. This is a very foolish move. The “hackers” and “pirates” just wanted to get a player working under Linux that they could understand. Any security expert will tell you that a good encryption scheme can (and should be!) released in a completely open manner. Security through obscurity is no security at all. Is it the hacker’s fault that they discovered that CSS is an incredibly weak algorithm? Is it their fault if nobody helped them to make a player that they did it on their own?
This whole thing is a nasty Shakespearean tradgedy, with the sheer inevitability of the horrible end irking you throughout the performance. They are going to declare war on the Hackers. The non-technical are laying seige to the Technical on the ground upon which those hackers were reared. And if they were under the illusion that simple complacency will be in order, in deference to giant corporations, they should think again. The hackers will band together and create new methods for sharing data (like SafeX) that will be undefeatable, short of unplugging the Internet.
And who knows? Come 5 years from now when most all content is available openly to everyone without cost, maybe they will try to unplug routers…their value rests in a capacity to restrict information flow. (Why do you think that Disney only released films on videotape every few years?) That capacity is rapidly disappearing and I’m not surprised that they’d put up a fight. They should. They will.
This whole bloody thing is just so ineviatable, it’s killing me. I want to scream, but what good would that do? Is there any hope? This is the new warfare, as far as I can see it, and someone just threw a bomb at Franz.