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Additional resources for Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age
It’s your copyright, after all; you have all the negotiating leverage. But this works only if your audience can follow you from the old format to the new one. If I’m your audience, and I’ve spent a thousand bucks on my movie library, I don’t want to have to throw away that investment. I want to be able to use one family of devices and one program to manage my movies. I’m not going to try to remember which movie goes with which player and which device. ). This is how, once you add anti-circumvention to the mix, all of copyright’s protection is handed directly to the company that slapped a digital lock on the product in question.
You couldn’t buy the kind of promotion that the labels wanted, and you could sell songs for only one price: ninety-nine cents. The labels hated this. Apple wouldn’t budge on it. The labels came to realize that they’d been caught in yet another roach motel: their customers had bought millions of dollars’ worth of Apple-locked music, and if the labels left the iTunes Store, the listeners would be hard-pressed to follow them. Just to make this very clear, Apple threatened a competitor, RealNetworks, when Real released a version of its player that allowed users to load (digitally locked) songs bought from the RealPlayer store onto an iPod, enabling customers to play both Real’s and Apple’s music on the same device.
Once this secret was released onto the net, any skilled programmer could write a program that descrambled HD-DVD movies; if she so chose, she could include the option to convert HD-DVDs to unscrambled video files that could be played without restrictions. No more piracy warnings. No more ads. And you could play the DVDs you bought anywhere in the world, not just on players that came from the same country as the disc. Muslix64’s story is instructive—he attacked the weakest point in the system, and once he did, the whole system failed.