Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Circumventing Competition: The Perverse Consequences of the DMCA

Fellow copyright-obsessives are in for a treat: read and laugh out loud at this beautifully-written, devastating critique of Digital Rights Management laws from the Cato Institute. One of several gems refers to the Motion Picture Association of America's comparison of the effect of the video recorder on the movie industry to the Boston Strangler's visiting of women home alone:

Contrary to Valenti’s predictions, the VCR turned out to be a great boon to the movie industry. Although some sales probably were lost to customers who chose to build libraries of movies recorded from TV, many consumers found the process too cumbersome and time-consuming and opted to purchase them instead. Meanwhile, within a few years, the “prerecorded cassette” market became a major revenue source in its own right. If this was Hollywood’s Boston Strangler, every woman home alone should hope for a visit.

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