Ben Laurie blathering

Wendy Seltzer Kicks MPAA Arse

My friend Wendy Seltzer recently debated Fritz Attaway of the MPAA on DRM. She argues very coherently against DRM, perhaps best summarised by this quote

Along with the broader doctrine of noninfringing use, fair use also leaves room for unanticipated uses — the “time-shifting” of the VCR, the “pause” button on a TiVo video recorder, the “time-stretch” function of my home-built MythTV. None of those innovators needed to ask permission before offering their products. Under DMCA and proposed legislation, they would need to ask before working with DVDs, digital television, or digital radio broadcasts.

Fritz, on the other hand, demonstrates that he totally doesn’t get it

…the DMCA has been an incredible stimulus to both technology and marketing innovation. Just look at some of the new viewing opportunities that have become available to consumers in the past few months:

• Warner Brothers partners with Free Record Shop using P2P distribution

• Disney offers feature length film on iTunes

• CBS delivers college basketball “March Madness” online

• ABC offers free downloads at

• Google Video beta launched — essentially going with a wholesale reseller model — creating an iTunes-like store.

I might buy marketing innovation (though even that’s a stretch – ooo, innovative, sell stuff online, wow!), but technology? What’s technologically innovative in any of these things?

1 Comment

  1. “Disney offers feature length film on iTunes” – This was not announced by Apple until September 12th and here Fritz is talking about it much earlier…That could piss off Apple couldn’t it???

    Comment by Craig — 15 Sep 2006 @ 10:32

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