Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fighting RIAA and MPAA: Your Rights as a Consumer are Under Attack

In case you haven't heard, the film and music industries have collectively lost their mind. They now believe you owe them more money. Why do you owe them more money? Mostly because you still have some, and they'd rather you didn't.

Take for instance the latest claim from the RIAA that ripping a CD you've already paid for and uploading the music to your iPod is stealing! That's right. If you want to listen to music on a CD and your iPod, you'll have to buy the album twice.

Most die-hard media consumers have followed this issue, so I won't regurgitate it all here. However, because I know some average consumers read my blog, I must urge you to elevate your awareness about these issues.

In particular, you may have heard about the new Blu-Ray and HD DVD systems coming out. DON'T BUY THESE SYSTEMS! To find out why you should avoid these technologies, read this blog from Mike Evangelist, the man who brought us iMovie and Final Cut Pro.

For an in depth run-down on the bigger issue of DRM, you should definitely give this blog a read.

This is serious shit, people. These huge conglomerates are out of control and after your money and your rights. If you still don't believe me, check out this blog.

1 comment:

  1. I will buy a Blu-Ray player and an HD-DVD player at some time. I'll probably check out to see if they have any modified versions available after the initial release of midrange players.

    Before that, however, I plan on replacing my JVC Super VHS player/recorder with a JVC D-VHS high definition deck. That's right, I can buy a player that records HD onto what amounts to an expensive VHS cassette. I've seen the image quality from one of these while in Japan last year. It's very nice. Unfortunately, it's also slightly DRM equipped but it can be worked around.

    The absolute holy grail of High Definition player/recorders, however, are the JVC W-VHS systems which enjoyed exclusive release in Japan and only a short run in the mid 1990's here in the USA. Again, it uses a VHS form factor cassette, but unlike D-VHS, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, HDCAM Professional tapes and the like, this is an ANALOG system!

    You can literally plug in component Red, Blue, Green cables and stereo audio for recording without much fuss from any Macrovision limiters.


    The decks were always expensive, at around $5,000-$10,000 and if you can even find one, expect to bay between $3k-$5k for a good example.

    Then there are the tapes. I think the last I checked, JVC or Sony were the only manufacturers of the W-VHS tape. New, a single cassette will set you back $60-$100.

    I love Hi-Fi equipment so it intrigues me. Still, i don't have that kind of money to throw around and really, my approach to my personal hi-fi system is simple:

    I want to be able to watch everything and be able to copy if I need/want to. I have a lot of old decks, some not worth fixing if they break. I WILL be getting in on the next wave of video discs, but I'll still be keeping my Super VHS, BetaMax, Extended Play Laserdisc deck, record player, DVD/CD player, and my 16mm film projector.

    And no matter how useful or ubiquitos high def and digital gets, I am always going to love vintage, analog A/V stuff. You never have to worry about DRM with those things. You just might need to buy a cable or two from Sam Ash or Radio Shack.

    It's similar for me with cars: I'd rather drive older, because there are so many non-tampering rules related to emissions control systems today, if you really love creatively modifying your car, you have to drive something built before 1996 and even better, something before 1973. That way, the only limit to your personal choice of car configuration is money and your own imagination.

    DRM is not limited to copyrighted works. The very concept of this control is affecting every bit of personal property in our lives today.

    No matter how I look at it, I'm in the same boat as everyone else, and unfortunately, getting what you want to enjoy for personal use these days is increasingly beginning to mean that you cannot be as practical as you would like.