Off-Line and Off-the-Grid: Digital Detectiveson March 7, 2010 at 12:43 pm
I recently took a course in digital audio. The coursework was ok but what really grabbed the attention of the class was the instructors statements about two digital audio “Big Brother”
organizations: Digital Rights Media (DRM) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The instructor clams that these two organizations have received the right from the US government to access your computer if you happen to input digital media with it’s tags (for lack of a better term).
Is it true? I’m not sure. I spent a few minutes looking at a couple of different websites but there was way too much information for the few minutes I had allotted for research. Basically, I didn’t really want to look into it at all. The mere thought of it just pushes me further from digital media.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that digital media in and of itself is a bad thing. Just like anything it is amoral. It’s how we use it or, better (worse) yet, how we become attached to it. And the thought that we can purchase a CD, input it into our computer and, by just doing that, we grant access to some organization to view all our files give me pause. Just because we buy something doesn’t mean we have to let the producers of the product into our homes. When I buy a pizza, it doesn’t give the delivery guy the right to come into my place and see if I’m sharing my pizza with anyone. Maybe that’s a silly comparison but it’s along the same lines.
Do I pirate music? No. I rarely even listen to music anymore. There are some good internet radio stations, there’s also Pandora, there’s the old faithful radio, and, of course, there’s silence.
And that’s where I’m headed: silence. If these companies are so concerned about who is listening to their music and if they have the right to listen, fine. I just won’t listen so I don’t get into the whole mess.
But I’ll still have my music. I have a bunch of vinyl records, I’ve got radio, and, best of all, there’s live music all over the place. That’s a good switchback: head to the corner gathering house and take in some live folk. Such a novel idea, eh? Let the digital overlords keep their digital insecurities and let’s all head down to the coffees hop for some real-life human, non-invasive, pirate-free fun!