February 11th, 2005

Macbeth the Usurper

First Ammendment

The First Ammendment Center

I get passionate about the first ammendment.

The BIGGIE I see coming down the line in terms of first ammendment, copyright, and other rights, is Digital Rights Management.

In short, those who produce copyrighted material want computer equipment to have digital locks that users can't open. They have a legitimate interest in protecting their works. They want to extend their copyright control to micromanage how their works are used. This would be acceptable, except that I use these devices to create my own works. When my computer breaks, and it will break, how do I open the locks to access my own works? Do my rights as a creator to my own works override the rights of other creators for their own works?

Until these things get resolved, I see a trainwreck in terms of rights on computers. The DRM era will be a most unhappy time. The DMCA is already being abused. DRM abuse is certain.