Monday, December 19, 2005

Sealing the Last Hole

ArsTechnica is reporting on a resolution in the house of representatives that will "close the analog hole." What this means to the rest of the computer using public is the end of being able to convert analog media content to digital. This would require that any media player made within about a year of the passage of the legislation to recognize flags in digital media that determine their authenticity. All of a sudden this looks like another disastrous idea the tech giants tried to push through over the summer, the so-called broadcast flag legislation. I guess what worries me most about this particular legislation is that it would create problems for vendors like TiVo. The House Reps pushing the bill focus on a particularly damaging case where a defendant pled guilty to selling $20 Million worth of illegally produced, copyrighted material. To "pirate", we must buy special hardware, say a computer. Then, we like to convert said software to a portable form of hardware which requires more hardware, like iPods. You think that Republicans who are interested in helping the economy would let every form of "piracy" occur to promote other aspects of the economy. Defendant's like the $20M pirate are different than the every day user. This legislation shouldn't hurt the everyman and the economy at the same time. There are reasons congress moved against the trusts and monopolies after the depression. I guess I hope that we can learn from our mistakes, and see the evil end coming sooner rather than later.

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