Why copyright law matters

Cory Doctorow just posted Why Microsoft should get out of DRM over at Boing Boing, an excellent and accessible (read: for everyone to read, not just lawyers) description of why "Digital Rights Management" -- the sort of technology that prevents you from listening to iTunes downloads on any mp3 player you happen to own (at least not without jumping through some time-consuming, wasteful hoops) -- is a terrible idea, and terrible for technology companies and artists, as well as for consumers.

Here's a Pittsburgh link: CMU faculty member Dave Touretsky has been a vocal critic of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the federal law that makes it illegal to hack even the simplest DRM system.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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