John Gilmore gives Intel hell
The Hollywood conspiracy to colonize the public interest has a number of collaborators from the technology side of the fence, Vichy technologists like Apple, Microsoft, and the member companies of the Computer Industry Association. But no company has gone over to the Dark Side more enthusiastically than Intel, the tech giant that is helping to chair the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group and is marketing copy-prevention technologies with both the 5C and 4C conspiracies. John Gilmore wrote this lucid and damning document to Intel’s execs, telling them exactly what’s wrong with their strategic withdrawal from the side of light and good:
The heart of the difference between Intel and I on this point is on what you called “the need to protect content”. I believe that there is NO need to so-called protect so-called content. In fact, both the structure of our society (free speech and capitalism) and the structure of our technologies (open standards that plug together in innumerable ways to satisfy innumerable desires) require a lack of restrictions on who can transmit what information to who.
Intel builds machines that process data. “Content” is just data. Every piece of data that an Intel processor or networking component handles is copyrighted by somebody, under the Berne Convention. It’s all “content”. You could talk about “protecting data” but people would realize that preventing it from being copied does not “protect” their data. Frequently you NEED to copy your data — e.g. onto a backup tape — to protect it. So instead you use this made-up word “content”. Since nobody knows a definition for “content”, you can say the most outrageous things about it and get away with it.