Monthly Archives: November 2003

Zealots attack

I’ve been getting some emails from angry Mac zealots. Many of them start out similar to this:

Sorry to say this but, unlike with DeCSS where you were allowing Linux users
to view DVDs, this time you’ve gone too far.

None of them explain how this is different and why GNU/Linux users should not be allowed to play legally bought music. Instead they go on to rave about how great iTMS is and that the imposed DRM is a good compromise. If they hadn’t been completely clueless about copyright law, they’d know that Fair Use is the compromise. Some of them claim that this will lead to the RIAA imposing stricter DRM. Did they suddenly realize that it’s the RIAA, and not Apple, which determines the rules for the iTMS DRM? When they complain about Microsoft’s DRM used by other music stores, why do they think that it’s Microsoft, and not the RIAA, which determines the DRM rules?

They have failed to understand that by buying into DRM they have given the seller complete control over the product after it’s been sold. The RIAA can at any time change the DRM rules, and considering their history it’s likely that they will when the majority of consumers have embraced DRM and non-DRM products have been phased out. Some DVDs today include commercials which can’t be skipped using “sanctioned” players. If the RIAA forces Apple to include commercials, what excuses will the Mac zealots come up with? “It’s a good compromise”?

Here’s how one of the emails, from a guy in the UK who’s working on his Ph.D, ends:

You may think you’re doing the right thing “liberating music for one and all” but you really aren’t. Thanks for fucking it up for all of us, asshole. I hope Apple, the RIAA and the BPI come down hard on your ass now that the EUCD and DMCA are in place.

Funny stuff. I just hope I have enough room in /dev/null.