“It is unlawful to manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any interactive digital device that does not include and utilize certified [Digital Rights Management] security technologies.”
According to this article in The Register, those are the opening words of draft legislation “obediently proposed by US Senators Fritz Hollings (Democrat, South Carolina) and Ted Stevens (Republican, Alaska) on behalf of their entertainment and software industry patrons.”
“Digital Rights Management” is the code word for technology that would restrict your right to use any media that is capable of being controlled. Using DRM, the recording industry can restrict a song that you download so that it can only be played once, it can’t be played on another computer, and it can’t be used to create an audio CD. DRM can prevent you from copying a CD or DVD; it already restricts the geographical area in which you can play a DVD. When you buy a CD or a DVD, you might get a “license” to play the music or watch the movie for a limited number of times – and then the CD or DVD will shut off, until you pay and pay and pay.
This bill would require this technology to be built into every device you own that’s capable of receiving it – your computer hard drive, your CD player, your DVD player, your television, everything.
It would be illegal to make a device that allows you to save a digital song or broadcast in any way that exceeds the restrictions chosen by the copyright holder. Think about that! Do you have some videocassettes on the shelf of your favorite TV shows, or a movie you taped one night and decided to keep? This bill would make it illegal to create a new device that would allow you to do that.
The words “fair use” do not appear in the draft legislation. Those are the words that have been the cornerstone of consumer rights under the copyright laws up to now.
Read the article. Yeah, this might not become law, but it’s a terrifying glimpse into the mindset of the entertainment industry, which continues to methodically work towards fulfilling its visions of extortion and greed at your expense.