Even right-wingers hate the DMCA

The ultra-conservative Washington think-tank, the Cato Institute, has come out with an astonishingly perceptive critique of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Here’s an excerpt from the summary:

The result has been a legal regime that reduces options and competition in how consumers enjoy media and entertainment. Today, the copyright industry is exerting increasing control over playback devices, cable media offerings, and even Internet streaming. Some firms have used the DMCA to thwart competition by preventing research and reverse engineering. Others have brought the weight of criminal sanctions to bear against critics, competitors, and researchers.

The DMCA is anti-competitive. It gives copyright holders—and the technology companies that distribute their content—the legal power to create closed technology platforms and exclude competitors from interoperating with them. Worst of all, DRM technologies are clumsy and ineffective; they inconvenience legitimate users but do little to stop pirates…

Wow! Full report here. (pdf)

Thanks to Owen Barder for the link.