I had to restrain myself from making a crossed wires metaphor, you know, wires, cables, oh never mind.
Good news recently for us music and movie fans as our fearless leaders are finally listening, turning their ears away from the industry lobbyists and towards innovators and fans. For quite some time now, people more vocal and smarter than I have been putting strong arguments against the copyright lock down extolled by the various rights agencies.
As my Copyright Criminals song attempts to address, we’re all currently criminals according to the letter of the law. Unless you lived in a cave all your life, you’ll probably have in your possession a Cassette, VHS tape, Mp3 or DVD, which you’ve transferred from one format to another.
For years the media industries have rubbed their hands each time formats change, sometimes they’ve even developed technology to make it nearly impossible (ie. illegal) to “format shift”. It’s not in their interest for you and I to rip a CD with iTunes, they want us to re-purchase the songs from iTunes music store. They want you to buy an mp3 not make your own, they want you to pay over and over for essentially the same thing.
So be careful not to mention “cloud services” or “network media storage” to an industry representative, they turn a funny colour and start making a hissing sound. So far they have been the loudest voices in the debate. They’ve used all kinds of tactics to persuade those of any influence that anything other than sealing formats into neat little retail boxes will deflate their bouncy castle. Musicians will starve, the rubber apocalypse will be silent and slow-punctured. However, the sharp-clawed cat is finally out of the bag. Most ISPs and Big Iron stream providers are pushing forwards with new products and services which are essentially illegal to the letter of current UK law.
Vince Cable could well become my new hero. If it means he can steer the UK government into traversing facts and explore the true ramifications of both updated copyright vs proceeding along their current path (recent changes to the law). What’s been so far overlooked is evidence that over zealous copyright and patent laws stifle innovation and leave fledgeling services (cloud and other) bereft of wind.
Go Vince go!