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Open source entertainment

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I was reading the wikipedia article on the Sony rootkit scandal from a couple of years ago, and it got me to thinking about the war that the entertainment media industry has declared on its customers. And it occurred to me that some parallels exist between that and the open source movement.

I don't feel any particular sympathy for the entertainment industry. They go whining and crying to the news media and to Congress whenever they feel their rights are being violated, but as the Sony rootkit business shows, they don't give a fart about the rights of their customers (or their artists, for that matter) when it comes to protecting their revenue stream. I pick that one thing as an example here, but there are plenty of other examples of media companies violating customers' right to fair use, Vista and DRM being the most glaring recent one. They're trying to protect an outmoded, obsolete way of doing business by making everything else illegal. The fact that they've bought some of what they want from Congress doesn't make it the least bit right.

Users want free exchange of what they buy. Media companies want to lock up that content and charge customers again and again for the same thing they've already bought. Does that sound like anyone we know? We don't have to name names, but its initials are MS.

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