Friday, January 23, 2004

I have recently had a brush with Open Access versus Closed Copyright Control and it has made me think and raised emotions in me I have thus far reserved only for the Lunar Right.....we all remember them hey.
After recent financial benefit (i.e. wages) I made a purchase for which I had begun planning three years ago...a recording minidisc. The Sony MZ-N910 is in many ways an amazing (small!!!) piece of equipment but it has a dark side. In order to direct upload sound files to one's hard drive one must download the software which accompanies the product. This carries with it something called OpenMG technology (TM.) which "allows you to enjoy digital music while maintaining the copyright of its holders" according to the booklet. So any sound file that has not originated with the computer carrying the software which uploads the soundfile is read as 'failed'. Furthermore each sound file can only be transfered a maximum of three times,reducing (not really preventing) illegal sharing of files. Direct download from computer to minidisc is no problem once the file has been played on the computer using the minidisc software (called 'Sonic Stage'...positioning the user well and truly in the audience I feel).
One queston: what if I am the copyright holder of the soundfile??????? What if I want to use the features of the minidisc system (equivalent 16 bit recording) to construct sound collages from the birdlife outside my window or document a performance I have made of my own music?
Buy an Mp3 recorder.....yes.....maybe thats what I should have done.
I fail to understand why (apart from Sony being one of the big five multinational recording companies) a manufacturer would limit the capacity of a tool to perform its function? To protect their interests of course, but their interests could also be changing with their own developing technology, thus removing the danger of redundancy in a media enviroment which is startling for its level of inovation. I am certain that there are, shall we say, customized versions of the Sonic Stage software which comes with the MZ-N910.......the market in such cracked software is created by the companies which spend so much time and money in developing the reasons/built in restrictions which the pirate material negates......It is reminiscent of other struggles against deviant behavior as enshrined in law throughout history....a chastity belt anyone?

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