Saturday, September 24, 2005

Re: Insanity of the RIAA

Sho wrote a really nice piece about the RIAA that popped up in my mind again after someone from IFPI Finland (basically Finlands RIAA) said that if you can't listen to your purchased copy-protected "CD" on your Linux or Mac system, then tough noogies, buy a CD player. (The irony, for those who missed it, is that the copy-protected discs are not real Compact Discs.)

There was also a very interesting comment on it too:
The interview from which this was quoted is about the new Finnish copyright law, which is basically a Finnish version of the DMCA, following the EU directive on national copyright laws. (The interview was originally published in the Tietokone magazine; rumor has it that Mr. Kyyrä was less than amused at being quoted verbatim, and a cleaned up version was put up a few hours later.)
The high points of the law include (these are mostly quoted from Electronic Frontier Finland's FAQ on the law at us-faq.html (Finnish only)):
  • prohibition on sale, distribution, possession and "organized discussion" (yes, it says this; no, "organized discussion" is not defined; yes, it's hard to see how this isn't against the Finnish constituion) of products whose purpose is the circumvention of DRM (this would include all non-sanctioned DVD players using something like libdvdcss);
  • prohibition on copying of "efficiently" protected music or other copyrighted material to, for example, MP3 players; this is sort of allowed in one clause and expressly prohibited in another (this has been the major point seen in public discussion in the last few days);
  • prohibition of "parallel" import of goods from outside the EFTA; individuals can still order goods from outside the EFTA, but all (including private) resale is prohibited; it doesn't actually matter whether the import is "parallel" or the only import, it must still be sanctioned by the copyright holder;
  • possibility of expansion of the "cassette tax" (currently paid for recording media such as audio tapes and CD/DVD-Rs sold in Finland; money goes to the record labels based on how many records they sell, IIRC) to other media that "may be used to store copyrighted material"; this potentially includes all hard drives.
There is also a neat little strip on the EFF page that I tried to translate to English.
I really don't have anything of significance to add that hasn't been said before, I just thought I'd post something.

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