p2pnet news view RIAA | MPAA News:- “TekSavvy is a Canadian ISP, Mp3Rocket is a US p2p file sharing application,” and, “RealNetworks is a US company trying to turn online music into paying (for it) concern,” p2pnet posted yesterday, going on:
“Apart from the fact they all depend on the Net in one way or another, what else do they have in common? You may be surprised at the answer.
“They’re possibly the first three companies to understand people with products and services they’re trying to promote and sell online have to talk — really talk — to the people they’re trying to sell to.”
The quotes come in a p2pnet story on the fact RealNetworks’ Lacy Kemp is having a lively discourse with p2pnet readers on the subject of the company’s controversial (Hollywood is suing it) RealDVD ripper.
The interaction is called P2P, we suggested.
On the RealDVD, “Like a Brachiosaur sinking into a tar pit, the recording industry as we’ve known it for the past 70 years is very nearly extinct,” says Dan Tynan, but, unlike dinosaurs, the RIAA is trying to drag everyone else into the pit with it”, he says, going on »»»
As a long-time print journalist, I actually feel their pain â slightly.
Newspapers and magazines are following CDs into the fossil fuel bin. Some, like Infoworld, will successfully swap paper for pixels; most won’t. Unless you own a blogging empire, it’s not a good time to be a publisher. (But, with a few random exceptions, publications haven’t been suing their customers for unfettered article swapping.)
The movie industry takes less heat for prosecuting alleged movie pirates, but it’s no better than its reptilian cousins on the audio side. That’s about to change.
The MPAA will soon supplant the RIAA as Public Enemy No. 1 for people who believe that when you buy a copy of something, you actually own it.
Case in point: The dueling lawsuits between the movie studios and RealNetworks over the RealDVD software.
Interestingly, it was Real who sued first — launching a preemptive strike by asking courts in Northern California to declare its DVD copying license legal. It only took a few hours for the studios to respond in kind. Greg Goeckner, general counsel and designated spokesmodel for the MPAA, churned out a few choice sound bites [PDF]:
RealNetworks’ RealDVD should be called “StealDVD. [...] The major motion picture studios have been making major investments in technologies that allow people to access entertainment in a variety of new and legal ways. This includes online video-on-demand, download-to-own, as well as legitimate digital copies for storage and use on computers and portable devices that are increasingly being made available on or with DVDs. Our industry will continue on this path because it gives consumers greater choices than ever.
Except, of course, the choice to take a movie you paid for and make decisions about how and where you watch it.
The movie studios claim Real’s software violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it circumvents copy protection technology built into DVDs. Actually, Real Networks licensed the software that lets them legally de-crypt and re-encrypt DVD content. If they’re guilty of violating the DMCA, so are the manufacturers of every $50 DVD player out there.
Essentially, Real’s software allows you to take a DVD you own and make a legal copy of it on up to five machines. Unless you’ve got the hacking skills of a Jon Lech Johansen, you can’t share these copies with anybody else without handing them the drive you copied the movie to. And if you really wanted to swap movies illegally, there are, oh, about a gajillion easier ways to do it than by abusing RealDVD.
The MPAA’s other argument: Customers will “rent, rip, and return” DVDs from Blockbuster or Netflix. So instead of spending $10 to $20 for the movie at Wal-Mart, you drop $5 at Blockbuster and make copies you can watch on your computer. Real admits that’s possible (and illegal under the terms of its license). But doesn’t that sound like an awful lot of trouble? If I really want to watch a movie over and over and over, I’ll just keep putting it back in my Netflix queue (or simply not return it after I get it the first time). The people who still go to Blockbuster are probably the least likely to have heard of RealDVD, let alone use it.
You can argue legalities all day long (and, if you’re a copyright attorney, make hundreds of dollars an hour doing it). But the fact is that the recording and film industries have been trying to kill off the concepts of fair use and the creative commons for decades. Today’s copyright laws are written by industry lobbyists and handed over to friendly members of Congress for a rubber stamp. They do not represent the will of the people.
Dan Tynan – Tynan on Technology (beta)
[Tynan slugs his personal blog 'Tech talk without the usual BS.' He's been writing and editing stories about technology and its discontents for more than 20 years. During that time he's been an editor in chief and an executive editor for national magazines, written for more than 50 publications, and taken home a closet full of awards. He's also the author of Computer Privacy Annoyances, soon to be a major motion picture starring Ashton Kutcher.]
[This post originally appeared on Infoworld's Notes From the Field blog.]
p2pnet – RealNetworks uses p2pnet as focus group, October , 2008
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