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06.07.08

Integrating the ACTA and Microsoft

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Risks to culture, match made in heaven

Microsoft and intellectual monopoly (IPR) are by no means strangers. They need each other.

In previous posts we showed how Microsoft defended — even enforced — DRM and music player 'tax' when it conspired with the MPAA/RIAA for Zune. It’s just the tip of the iceberg when you consider the secret engineering and designs for Windows Vista (an unimproved operating system with facilities Hollywood craves for).

This is not some crazy conspiracy theory. It’s a finely-documented fact and its evidence is not even concealed by those who are involved (they just don’t voluntarily speak about it, unless asked). We recently wrote about another very real conspiracy called the ACTA [1, 2, 3]. The documents have already been leaked (kudos to Wiki Leaks) and here is some inspiring analysis of this.

I’ve recently heard through a grapevine that ACTA negotiants have reportedly signed non-disclosure agreements as a condition of their participation in this week’s secret closed-door meeting in Geneva.

This is an amazing and frightening step backwards in the history of global governance. It also epitomizes the ACTA negotiants’ dismissive attitude towards the importance of credible, transparent trade policy-making in the current global environment.

Anyone who would seek to radically transform the world’s trade in intangible assets without the participation of most of the world’s governments has learned little from the Asian Financial Crisis, the Iraq War, or the ongoing real estate and credit catastrophe.

You may soon find that another cycle is gradually being closed. The media companies require particular restrictions for effective enforcement. Whether people care about software patents or not, the following scoop from The Register mustn’t be missed.

Microsoft’s brainwave is called Device Manners Policy (DMP) and it could ensure that if a sign says “No photography allowe[d]”, then your camera or your phone’s camera won’t work.

I so look forward to the future. Got to love intellectual monopolies that pass laws secretly!

In case it’s not obvious, some of the above renders Free software illegal, globally.

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A Single Comment

  1. Luke said,

    June 10, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Gravatar

    That is why you hold on to old technology like 35 mm cameras. Can’t disable that without a bat.

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