on Jan 26, 2007
It’s time for an unfocused tirade! Whoopie.
Someone has come up with a program called BackupHDDVD, which is used to bypass the copy protection of the new HD DVD format, thus allowing people to make copies of those discs. Here is an interview with muslix64, Developer of BackupHDDVD. (Via Steven)
My favorite quote:
muslix64: I’m just an upset customer. My efforts can be called “fair use enforcement”!
So the “copy protection” on HD DVDs is broken. I’m not going to be backing up DVDs anytime soon, but I am happy about this.
I own heaps of videogames, a dozen or so movies, and gigabytes of music. In all of that, I don’t have a single item of pirated material anywhere. I respect copyright holders, and I’m happy to pay up or do without. Having said that, I am enraged by the stupid, clumsy, annoying DRM I have to put up with on a regular basis. I am particularly annoyed that I can no longer create backups of the software that I buy. (At least not without trolling the sewer of Warez sites, looking for hacks and cracks.)
So media companies are trying to take away the consumer’s right to fair use by making it impossible to exercise that right.
It’s like saying “everyone is free to visit the public park”. But then some selfish idiot comes along, builds a two-foot wall around the place and gets a law passed that it is illegal to circumvent the wall. Sure, it’s legal to be in the park, but it is now illegal to enter the park, and being in the park is used as proof that you have entered it illegally.
It’s reprehensible, and I applaud the efforts of people like muslix64. Sure, pirates can and will use this compromise to help themselves to movies without paying for them. This is unfortunate, but it still isn’t a viable excuse for infringing on my rights.
The article ends with the glimmer of hope that media companies will give up on this DRM nonsense. If they spend half a decade and millions (maybe billions) of bucks rolling out a new format and we crack it within weeks, then maybe they will start to realize that this whole effort is a waste of time and money on their part. Better to tolerate low-level piracy, hunt down large-scale piracy, and leave the rest of us out of it.
(On the other hand, maybe they will take those billions to Washington and try to get some more laws passed. Actually, since they have already shown a fondness for taking that route, I don’t see what will restrain them in the future.)
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.