Wall Street Journal: Free, Legal and Ignored. As a student at Cornell University, Angelo Petrigh had access to free online music via a legal music-downloading service his school provided. Yet the 21-year-old still turned to illegal file-sharing programs. The reason: While Cornell’s online music program, through Napster, gave him and other students free, legal downloads, the email introducing the service explained that students could keep their songs only until they graduated. “After I read that, I decided I didn’t want to even try it,” says Mr. Petrigh, who will be a senior in the fall at the Ithaca, N.Y., school.
The entertainment industry’s belief that we should all be in a pay-per-view world runs contrary to common sense. Digital restrictions management is more than a speedbump; it is an outright barrier.
The worry for citizen media is several-fold. First, the entertainment companies are trying to force technology companies to build restrictions into pretty much everything, and to block technologies and services that will be essential for access to edge-in media. Second, we are losing the right even to quote from copyrighted works, a huge barrier to creativity and new art.