If it isn’t useful, then what is it good for anyway?

Writers Block Live » Blog Archive » The HD Boycott Begins Now

“Under pressure from Hollywood, they are engineering a complete removal of the concept of fair use. They are setting up systems that will completely control how, when and where you can use content that you buy. Even worse, they can retroactively change the rules!”

Here’s an interesting discussion of the strategy and implications behind the transition to digital content delivery that I’ve mentioned before.

The way that this transition to digital is being used to destroy opportunities to use content in my own time-shifting, room-shifting way, a la Tivo, is a primary reason that I have been avoiding the technologies, such as HDTV, etc …

If the media companies put too many restrictions in the way, I will likely decide to forgo their content entirely and I suspect that many consumers will also realize they are being taken through the doors of a prison with gilt bars. It’s bread & circuses, after all.

Much like the software industry, movies and music will be licensed, never sold, and subject to perpetual restrictions and ever under the threat that what little rights are available will be revoked.

What happens when a studio finds that it needs to make money to satisfy investors? What would stop a studio to issue a new release, say with nominally new features, and revoke use on the previous edition? You think the double dipping of special editions and extended releases is bad now? Just wait until your entertainment library, which is a library of culture, after all, is subject to going dark when someone decides to end-of-life the copies you have.

It’s exactly the disassociation presaged in 1984, where the newspapers are the only record of the past, and they are re-printed with changed content, at the whim of isolated, authoritarian, and hierarchical controllers outside the ability of the public to influence.

Here is a primary reason that the notion that everything should be owned, the marketization and privatization of everything, is a heinously, cataclysmicly mistaken.