The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Open Letter to the MPAA

Posted By on November 4, 2004

Dear Sir or Madam:

My name is Matthew Caron. Following the RIAA's decision to sue it's customers, I ceased to purchase music from any and all record labels affiliated with the RIAA. The website RIAA Radar has been quite useful in determining which albums are safe to buy.

Throughout this time I have been continued purchases of DVD's, generally in a volume of three or four DVD's a month. If the MPAA proceeds in it's announced course of action and begins to sue people for copyright infringement, I will cease these purchasing activities, only buying movies from non-MPAA affiliate labels.

Please note that I support the MPAA's right to protect it's copyright, and were the MPAA to fight copyright infringement in the historical manner of criminal prosecution, I would continue to purchase movies. Criminal prosecution is better because there law enforcement oversight (and therefore some amount of indirect public oversight) of the MPAA's actions. The filing of mass lawsuits provides little oversight and the playing field is easily biased toward the player with more money. Therefore, all this provides is an opportunity for a wealthy trade group to harass large portions of the population.

Sincerely,

Matthew Caron.

PS – I tried to send this to the MPAA, but there is no provision on your website for electronic submissions.

PPS – Tell your web people that “introductory flash sequences” are annoying, stupid, and bely a fundamental misunderstanding of proper web page design.

PPPS – DeCSS may be “akin to a tool that breaks the lock on your house” (http://www.mpaa.org/Press/DVD_FAQ.htm), but fundamentally, it is MY house. I can do whatever I want to it. I can sell it, let people live in it, leave it unlocked, break out the windows, etc. Simililarly, when I purchase a DVD, I can sell it (right of first sale), let other people live in it (have friends over and watch a movie) and even snap it in half. I should therefore be able to watch it on any platform containing suitable hardware, and even rip it to a central movie server. If it have the talent to construct such a device, no technical or legal impediment should be allowed to stop me. Such an approach stifles creativity and basically destroys garage innovation. As long as I am only using it for personal/family viewing, there is no reason the law should stop me from doing so.


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