Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

09-Oct-2003

An Utter Crock of Shift

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 10:21 pm

I’ve already mentioned a few times in the past how much I detest the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its abuses, but this takes the cake: Copy-protection developer SunnComm is suing a university student for explaining how to turn off CD auto-play. No joke; read the full article and marvel at the utter ridiculousness of the suit.

If that’s not enough indication that SunnComm’s management is clueless, this article sheds some more light on it:

Though simple, the act of holding down the Shift key in order to enable copying does let computer users know they’re doing something unauthorized, [SunnComm CEO Peter Jacobs] said.

Unauthorized? By that logic, skipping the auto-installers on CD-ROMs so that I can install software where I want and with only the components I want is unauthorized. So, for that matter, is disabling autoplay so that I can listen to a music CD (especially the “enhanced” but unprotected type) or watch a DVD in my player of choice…

Personally, I think that if your so-called “copy protection” is that flimsy, and if you understand that to a certain extent, you ought to be spending more time developing a more robust system and less time suing people who explain how to use simple, relatively well-known operating system features.

Really, will the quasi-legal madness brought about by the DMCA ever end?

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