The entertainment industry wants to retreat to the comfort of 1996. It was a good year for them. CDs were selling briskly, but no one had figured out how to rip them and turn them into MP3s yet. Music fans were still spending money to buy CD versions of music they owned on LP. DVDs had just been released, and movie fans were spending money to buy DVDs for movies they already owned on VHS.
And most importantly, the laws regulating copyright and technology were almost entirely designed by the entertainment industry. They could write anydamnfoolthing and get it passed in Congress, by the UN, in the EU.
Private agreements with electronics companies guaranteed that all new devices were crippled: Remember the Sony Minidisc players that could record sound digitally, but could only output it on the headphone jack, meaning that you couldn't just record your kid's first words and digitally transfer them to your computer for safe keeping?
1996 is gone, and good riddance.
In 2009, the world is populated by people who no longer believe that "Thou shalt sell media on plastic discs forever" came down off the mountain on two stone tablets. It's populated by people who find the spectacle of companies suing their own customers by the thousands indefensible. It's populated by activists who've figured out that the Internet is worth saving and that the entertainment industry is prepared to destroy it.
And the entertainment industry hasn't figured that out, and that's why they're doomed.
— Cory Doctorow, Internet activist, blogger, co-editor of Boing Boing
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