Saturday, January 21, 2006

Boing Boing: Broadcast Flag is back, this time it covers iPods and PSPs, too:

Under the DCPA proposal, digital media technologies would be restricted to using technologies that had been certified by the FCC as being not unduly disruptive to entertainment industry business-models.

There are two things to be certain of this century:

1. Everything that can be expressed as bits will be expressed as bits

2. Bits will only get easier to copy

The entertainment companies are convinced that their businesses depend on copy-proof bits. This is ridiculous: there's no such thing, there never will be.

Governments that try to protect businesses that demand copy-proof bits are like governments that try to protect businesses on the sides of volcanoes, who demand an immediate end to business-disrupting lava.

If the current entertainment companies can't or won't adapt to a world of bits, that's too bad. Let them die, and let new businesses that thrive in the new technological reality take their place. If you can't stand the heat, get off the volcano.

Back in the mainframe days, IBM made its money by giving away computers below cost and then charging a bundle for keyboards and printers. Hitachi killed the mainframe business by introducing cheap peripherals for IBM mainframes.

Killing mainframes didn't kill computers: it made them better. IBM was forced to get into the minicomputer business, which led to the personal computer.

If computer industry complaints got the same attention as the entertainment crybabies get from lawmakers, there'd be 10,000 computers total in the world, running punchcards, with three companies making modest sums servicing them and shipping a new model every three years.

11:43 AM