"Frightening" Digital Transition Content Security Act

This proposed US legislation would plug the "analog hole" by requiring specific DRM technology to be built into all consumer video products. It would allow content producers to control what consumers do with certain material that consumers choose to deal with in analog instead of digital form. Arstechnica calls this legislation "frightening", and for good reason ...it's not about piracy. It's about squeezing every last dollar out of our pockets if we want to do anything other than watch a live broadcast.

This is just another misguided attempt to control content. So why is this a bad thing? Off the top of my head:

- Tramples users rights (eg allows one to time shift only for 90 minutes - no more recording and watching it the next day)

- Allows creators to decide what "fair use" should be, not the law

- Stiffles technological advancement by dictating technology

- Poses extraterritorial effects when equipment manufacturers are forced to change product designs

- Prevents honest consumers from enjoying content in reasonable ways, but has no practical effect on commercial piracy

- Increases the cost of consumer equipment

- DRM/TPM often has unanticipated negative effects (Eg rootkit)

- Most DRM/TPM ends up being broken or worked around anyway, so is rarely effective in the long term

- Requiring specific tecnnology by law is never a good idea as technology changes faster than laws can

Read the arstechnica article

Read a CNet article

David CantonDRM