In a well-timed piece that aligns with Canada’s new copyright legislation, Techdirt describes how content owners will likely use new digital locks provisions:
The real reason why they want anti-circumvention even when there’s no copyright infringement is because it gives them a veto on any new technology. All they have to do is put in some sort of weak digital lock and suddenly the company has to “negotiate” a deal or they can be sued out of existence.
It isn’t a hypothetical ‘could content owners sue innovators into the ground’ but an action that has, and does, occur in the US. Kaleidescape, a DVD jukebox company, has been served an injunction in the US even though they enable higher degree of anti-infringement encryption than already exists on DVDs.
This is just wrong: innovative services that add value to existing products should be permitted to thrive, not be forced to beg permission to exist. The network neutrality movement is all about enabling innovators to innovate, citizens to speak, and services to interact without having to beg permission of network owners. The copyright cartels are busy crafting – and getting passed – laws that undermine the next-generation capabilities of our communications systems to protect historical revenue streams.
There comes a time that next-generation systems need to be adopted, that revenue canabalization has to occur, and new processes tested and brought to market. Our ‘new’ copyright laws are a direct threat to such innovation and risk leaving North America in a cultural ghetto at the bequest of large, democratically unrepresentative, rights holders.