Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More Right Minded Wisdom

There's been another libertarian shot at the DMCA, suggesting that the neither the French approach nor the American approach are right, as it were.

I doubt that I was the first to use the phrase "French Revolution" to decribe what is now happening over there, but I'm obviously not the last.

Here's a piece in the National Review from Peter Suderman who is assistant editorial director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Suderman concludes:
Somewhere in between the U.S. and French approaches to DRM lies an appropriate middle ground. The DMCA makes DRM far too strong, but the French proposal renders it nearly useless. Individuals ought to have control over their media, but digital-music vendors like Apple ought to be allowed to protect and control their property. Vive la (digital) revolution!
This follows another highly pedigreed libertarian comment from Tim Lee that I noted earlier from the CATO Institute.

And an important op-ed from Canada's influential Prof. Tom Flanagan and Gemma Collins in the Ottawa Citizen, March 18, 2006 - widely blogged about and now fortunately available online. (Read it while you can!)

It is ironic and very important, but not so strange, that the "left" and the "right" seem to be more frequently meeting full circle on copyright issues.

Governments, particularly Canada's newly elected Convervative government, may wish to take note.



  1. I don't think the question has ever been whether copyright holders should be able to put technical measures on "their property" in order to protect it, but whether they should be allowed to put technical measures on "my property". What Apple is doing is a technical measure on both the content and the tool which accesses the content, the latter being the controversial part.

    I disagree that the French law even went far enough, or that the "libertarian" solution is somewhere in between the French and US proposals. The French proposal didn't attempt to protect my property rights (as the owner of the devices used to create, distribute and access content), just created a larger coalition of content cartels that would be given government protection for their circumvention of my property rights.

  2. Gemma Collins replied to my question about whether they were willing to put the article online by mentioning that the Windsor Star has already done so.

    Creators vs. consumers
    Tom Flanagan and Gemma Collins, Special to The Windsor Star

  3. Thanks, Russell. I've updated the blog entry above.