Now, I'm not normally one to get on a soapbox </blatantlie>, but this is just starting to get ridiculous. We've got an entire industry that's shifting to keep up with the times, and doing a surprisingly good job at it. Yet the nameless, faceless corporate entity that runs it all is too busy turning out manufactured, pre-fab crap and panicking that independent artists actually have a distribution channel now. Oh, yeah, and fair-use is bad too?
And at present, I'm staring down the barrel of being in a band that wants to make the big time. We have little to no clue of how to get there... We just write and play the best we can, and sit around going "duh" when it comes to press packs, radio airplay, CD mastering, and even scheduling shows. (Though our front-man is definitely competent at the latter.) They're not extremely aware of the situations involving DRM, RIAA Lawsuits, etc... I try to keep them updated, but they're not all that interested. At least they understand the evils of a boilerplate RIAA recording contract.
I think the biggest thing that irked me is that America's the land of Tesla, Farnsworth, and Edison. The land where garage/workshop tinkerers turned into some of the greatest inventors of our time. And yet, Jack Valenti, the head of the MPAA said in an interview when discussing the DRM inherent in HDTV:
Quoted from this interview here.
TT: Everybody I know thinks the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Broadcast Flag are awful. And everybody in Congress disagrees. This does not lead to good debate and good public policy, when people can’t even talk to each other. How can we have a good debate on these topics?
JV: I don’t know. I go on forums, and panels, and Rich [Taylor, an MPAA spokesman] does the same. We’re available to anybody. I never believe in hostile debates. That’s not my style. I believe that we ought to talk objectively about it. I think for anything that I’m advocating, I’m willing to be in an open debate with anybody about it. Because if my ideas have no bottom, then they ought not be even heard.
The broadcast flag -- if you are in your home, then you can copy anything that’s on over-the-air television to your heart’s content. The only time that you will know there’s a broadcast flag is if you try to take one of those copies and redistribute it on the Internet. Then, the flag says, ‘No, you can’t redistribute it.’ But you can do everything you’re doing right now -- you’ll never know there’s a broadcast flag. Well, why would people object to it?
TT: I’ll tell you, because I’m an engineer, I’m an engineering student, and this year I built a high-definition television, from scratch. But because of the broadcast flag, if I wanted to do that again after July 2005, that would be illegal.
JV: How many people in the United States build their own sets?
TT: Well, I’m talking about engineers.
JV: Let’s say there are a thousand. But there are 284 million people in this country. You can’t have public policy that is aimed at 100,000 people when the other multi-multi-millions are also involved. You can’t do it that way.
Uhm... Isn't this supposed to be the land of the free, where majority rules, but does their best to protect the minority's rights as well? So now instead of opressing Orientals, or African-Americans in the name of xenophobic fear, this is now the age of opressing the part-time engineer in the name of corporate profit?
Or am I just on crack? (Note to ATF/FBI: That's a METAPHORICAL piece of crack I may or may not be smoking.)