Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

On second thoughts…

On second thoughts, I’d better clarify my position with regards to what Bill Thompson has to say – I agree that the US is using the fact that it is the world’s most powerful country to exercise its laws on the internet to the advantages of its own corporations, and I agree this is wrong. I also agree that the DMCA is a pile of b***s***.
My reservations are with the use of Trusted Computing. I really don’t like this idea. My computer runs what I want it to run, not what Microsoft or any other corporation wants to me to run. I have a vast catalogue of MP3s because its convinient to have them on the PC to play, not because I want to trade them with the rest of the world. In fact, if CDs where cheaper, then I’d buy more of them, because I believe in supporting the artist, not some fatcat music industry boss. Trusted Computing would restrict me way too much, and thwart the development of rival software. It’s bad, I tell you. Baaad.
As for US laws, the fact is, I’m not a US citizen. I’ve never even been to the country. So why should I have to abide by its laws, particularly as I had no say in whether I think the law is good or not? At least here in the UK the public has more leverage when it comes to law-making – you only have to look at the “Snooper’s Charter” earlier this year where the public outcry forced the government to make a U-turn and admit the bill shouldn’t made law.
Though I suppose we don’t have huge corporations heavily lobbying the government – yes it happens but not on the same scale as in the US. I bet half of the bills either passed or awaiting decision in the past few years over there are unconstitutional, due to the fact that they restrict the rights of individuals and grant more rights to the corporations and industry groups like the RIAA.
For the Americans reading this, please don’t take it as an attack on your country – if it weren’t for the US the world wouldn’t be where it is today, and I have many friends living across the pond. But, let’s face it, your government sucks.

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