Finland bans fair use

*sigh*

The Finnish government voted yesterday to make it illegal to copy media, even for personal use, if you have to subvert copy protection to do so… under the new laws, not only will copying for personal use become illegal, so will possessing, distributing or advertising tools that break copy protection. P2PNet points out that the law prohibits even “organised discussion” of such things.

Sorry, meant to add a bit. To demonstrate how insane this is, let’s say you ripped your CD collection using Windows Media Player 18 months ago, and didn’t realise that by default it used WMA and added copy protection to your files. Now, you’ve got an iPod, so you download a utility to convert the protected WMAs to MP3 or AAC instead. Boom. You’ve broken the law.

8 thoughts on “Finland bans fair use

  1. Russ Craig says:

    couple of points….

    1. WMP only enables DRM if you tell it too, and it asks you either when you first install it or when you try to rip stuff.

    2. Neither iTunes nor any other utility can remove the current version of WMA DRM. The closest would be to play the file capture the output (via your soundcard and either cables or additional recording software) and re-encode. This convoluted method is illegal in Europe it is also transcoding and would sound mince.

    While Apple’s FairPlay isn’t too restrictive and I understand why it’s “A Bad Thing” to have music flying around file sharing networks and artists not being paid for their work, I am getting concerned that DRM is going too far.

    Normally I laugh at “Where will it end” however I am middle aged now so I can join in the cries. With Vista approaching and it’s no high definition content on non-DRM non-authorised displays measures etc I am getting rather concerned.

    Consider this…. if we had in place the sort of DRM models MS is putting in place with Vista and future “high quality media” at the time the compact disk was invented. In other words if the compact disk had more than weak protection (my PC is set up to correct “non CDDA compliant” CDs) then would the iPod/Zen/Rio revolution ever have occured.

    Ehm nope. Is this a bad thing, ehm, yes.

    So where is the balance. It’s probably closer to Apple’s vision than Microsofts or Sonys (the PSP wont allow “home movies” to run at full resolution).

    The DRM world is getting too much even for the non-evangelical types like me. If it wasn’t for games I would be running GNU/Linux now.

  2. Gary says:

    > 1. WMP only enables DRM if you tell it too, and it asks you either when you first install it or when you try to rip stuff.

    I agree, but I also know lots of people who ended up with copy-protected WMAs by accident. My dad, for one :) WMP’s a lot better these days, but certainly 18 months or so ago it wasn’t entirely clear that you weren’t ripping to MP3 (and WMP didn’t even have a proper MP3 encoder).

    > The closest would be to play the file capture the output (via your soundcard and either cables or additional recording software) and re-encode.

    Burn it to CD and re-rip. If I were finnish, I could go to jail for saying that.

    > The DRM world is getting too much even for the non-evangelical types like me.

    It’s going to get much, much worse. Enjoy ad-skipping on your PVR while you still can.

  3. Russ says:

    hmmm i’m on cable do you know how well they work with cable and what I need to look for?

    Oh and I only want it so I don’t miss channel 4 news :-)

    Russ

  4. Gary says:

    The problem with cable/sky is that the PVR can’t tune yer tuner, so you’d need to leave the digibox set to whatever channel you want to record. If you’ve got Sky then a Sky+ box solves that; I’m sure there’s an equivalent for cable but I’m afraid I’ve no idea what it is. Sorry.

  5. gusto says:

    I love my Sky+ box. Unfortunately, though, since getting Sky, my TV consumption has become akin to eating McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    /gotta go, Pimp My Ride is on.

  6. Russ says:

    Problem is that I live in a listed building in a conservation area, so I need planning permission if I want satellite and I don’t fancy my chances.

    Altogether now…”Satellite of love”

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