September 3, 2004

Mark Cuban on Broadcast Flag [2:36 pm]

An online Q&A with Mark Cuban [pdf] at the Washington Post includes this (IMHO overly optimistic) exchange:

Washington, D.C.: “In the end, the consumer will be the winner”

It certainly doesn’t look that way right now. Hollywood has bought the “broadcast flag” legislation that it wanted, and the hardware manufacturers don’t seem to be putting up any kind of fight about it. It’s not hard to imagine that copyright law will be rewritten within the next 10 years to completely remove all of the consumers rights. How is the consumer going to end up winning?

Mark Cuban: Its going to take independents like HDNet to offer consumers what they want. If consumers dont want copy protection, HDNet will be there without it.

I agree that politicians have gotten really slimey on this issue. Could hollywood be any deeper in Senator Hatch’s pants ? The Inducement act is a travesty.

We will spend taxpayer dollars and resources trying to protect and industry that doesnt need protected rather than on helping people who need it. Its a shame and why I hate politics.

But to answer your question again. Ingenuity and inventiveness beats politics every team in the tech world. This will be no exception.

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A Reg Look At Collegiate Music Policies [11:44 am]

Apple faithful’s apathy to blame for Napsterized schools

Travel over to Cornell University, which is rolling out a one-year trial of Napster at this very moment. Neither Napster nor Cornell highlight that the service software only works with Windows XP and Windows 2000, but that’s the fact of the matter. This policy will leave 20 percent of Cornell’s students - most of them Mac users- unable to rent music on Napster.

[...] Cornell students aren’t alone either. The Register discovered that 42 percent of students at Wright State University - another Napsterized school - can’t use the music service they are forced to fund.

It’s sad to see these schools enter the music business simply because the music labels’ are threatening them with lawsuits. This surely doesn’t send a good message to our youth. It’s also sad that the schools promote services such as Napster with vacant business models behind them. What kind of business-minded undergraduates will this create? Another glut of glassy-eyed dot-com gimps, no doubt.

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