Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Steven Jobs suggests giving up on anti-piracy copy protection software


An article in The New York Times today, on p C1, by John Markoff, "Apple Chief Urges Shift on Piracy" reports that Steven P. Jobs, CEO of Apple, is now suggesting that companies sell music without intrinsic copy protection.

In 2006, The Cato Institute had sponsored a forum on whether enforcement of copyrights really helps content creators and publishers, and sometimes it doesn't. There is a link where I summarized this, and I have a blog entry dated Sept 30 on Tim Lee's paper on the DMCA and copyright. On the other hand, the National Writers Union has always vigorously pursued copyright protection for writers, especially electronic reproduction rights.

Jobs's comments reflect a criticism, that all of the copy protection technology is causing devices to be incompatible with many media, and that includes issues for the iPod. There is also a concern that scaling down copy protection for music would put similar pressures on movies and video, where piracy is perceived as a big problem. It would not eliminate the safe harbor take-down provisions of the DMCA.

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