New Yorkers For Fair Use

© Copyright for the Digital Millennium

Date:           Thu, 27 Mar 2003 18:02:44 -0500 (EST)
From:  (CMB,
Subject:        To all TCPA Signatories

need to be "general purpose".  The reason that we use the computers we do
today is that other more restrictive offerings failed.  As soon as the
neighbor down the street can do something with their computer that I can't do
with mine, I'll want to get what he has.  Change "down the street" to "in
another country" and you will understand why this effort will not only fail,
but hurt the US economy in the process.  We are already to the point where
people here order computers from Japan and Taiwan because they have more
features than those offered here.  With so little of the actual production of
hardware taking place here you can be sure that there will be a TCPA/Palladium
version of everything for Americans, and a "normal" one for everyone else. 
There will almost certainly be a healthy black market for the un-neutered
equipment here too.  Seems like everyone will benefit except the consumer
doesn't it?   Perfect!

TCPA/Palladium is a trap.  While in the long run it
will hurt everyone in America, in the short term it will benefit a few of its
signatories.  Microsoft will benefit most, because it's software will be the
primary "enforcer" of whatever restrictions TCPA/Palladium needs to place on
user's activities.  Thus, providers of other products will once again be the
water boy for the Microsoft war machine against other operating systems.  To
be sure, TCPA/Palladium might slow down software piracy and illegal music
trading, but that benefit will be more than compensated for by the fact that
ONE COMPANY will be the primary keyholder for all of this content, and you had
better bet that they will extract more than their fair share of the booty.  It
will be one more expense for the record companies to pass on as overhead to
the consumer.   As it is, hardware makers have to PAY Microsoft to certify
their products for compliance.  This pyramid scheme will now trickle down to
every software developer as well.  Now maybe at last Microsoft will be able to
lower the prices for Windows and Office (give them away even) as they will
collect money for every other product sold, hardware or software in this
country.  For technology company executives, did you make money backing
yourselves out of the Pentium ID number fiasco?  If not, then you probably
won't make money from this either.  Did you strike it rich going down the
proprietary Rambus memory dead end?  In the short term Rambus benefited, but
in the long run even they were hurt by their own wheeling and dealing. (To
record company executives:  Are you TOTALLY naive, or does it just seem that
way?  You DO realize that Microsoft, and not you, will control music
distribution in this country if this scheme were to work right?)

The "good"
news is this:  Just as governments of other countries (as well as state and
local governments) are having doubts about continuing to pay through the nose
for Microsoft products, while at the same time having to pay the burden of
buggy, insecure code, they will no doubt have even graver doubts about running
a box that is locked up, knowing that the keys are held by a company in
Seattle.   Linux will continue to thrive, if not here, then elsewhere and in
the end, we will buy hardware, software and know-how from countries that
remain FREE.  The "brain drain" that has given this country an edge since it's
founding can certainly be made to work in reverse, and it will by ideas such
as TCPA/Palladium that cause that to happen.  It would appear that a
brain-drain of sorts has already taken place in the boardrooms of the other
companies signing on to this.

In short:  It's a bad idea.  It won't achieve
it's objective.  Most companies that participate will not benefit, but be
harmed.  In the end, American technology will be right back where we are now
having lost much momentum.

I have 6 computers of relatively modern vintage.  
They will run Linux and do everything I need them too for the rest of my days.
 I have hundreds of CDs in my collection and much of the music being put out
today is crap.  I don't NEED your new computers and I don't NEED your new
encrypted music, software or anything else.  Make my freekin day.  You'll only
hurt yourselves.

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