Issue No. 10 - October (2001 vol. 34)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/2.955098
<p>Despite how easy copying has always been, vendors continue selling content and people continue to buy it, even when they can get that content illegally. When records and, later, radio were introduced, artists and record companies feared it was the end of their world. It wasn't. When VCRs were introduced, they didn't destroy movie theaters—they led to creation of the video rental business. History tells us that the ease of digitally copying music, video, and any other media won't destroy the copyright holders.</p><p>Now, with the ubiquity of CD burners, technology has again advanced, making audio CDs trivial to copy, bit for bit. The record companies could potentially address this situation by creating some fundamental advance in how music is delivered to consumers. Instead, technology companies are offering the record companies a wide variety of snake-oil schemes to help them maintain their previous business models. These schemes can be defeated—doing so only requires that somebody study how they work.</p><p>The only way to prevent teenage girls from freely sharing boy-band MP3s will be to provide a service that's reasonably priced and irresistibly better than free file sharing. Any other technology, business model, or legal framework is simply doomed.</p>
D. S. Wallach, "Copy Protection Technology is Doomed," in Computer, vol. 34, no. , pp. 48-49, 2001.