To the MPAA and the RIAA, you — their customer — are a criminal.
You were presumed a criminal when VCRs and cassette recorders were introduced, no matter that these new recordable medias opened up huge markets to them them. You are presumed a criminal now with your general-purpose computer, no matter that this new medium opens up huge markets to them that they again don’t understand.
These entertainment cartels claim to represent artists. Mainstream and non-maintream artists alike know that this isn’t true, and that they really represent (1) themselves, and (2) a tiny herd of cash cows like “artist” Britney Spears, who are basically under their thumb.
If they get their way, general purpose computers will be a memory, replaced by entertainment players that enforce copyright not with the law, but with hardware and software. Fair use will require you to be a criminal. Inevitably, you will find that your ability to distribute content that you’ve created will also be impacted.
Oh, and they also want to be able to search your computer, however and whenever they want, for potentially illegal content. (Oh sure — it looks like a Quicken file…)
The Senate Judiciary Committee is soliciting public comments on DRM legislation. The MPAA and RIAA have their lobbyists, but all we have are ourselves. Now would be a very good time to share your thoughts on this with the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Link