Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Recording Industry, Japanese Gov't Work To Break Your Mobile Phone If You Listen To Unauthorized Music

This is a post on TechDirt. Could this really be happening in Japan? Has it gotten that far out of control?

from the how-nice-of-them dept
You would think that the entertainment industry might look back at its rather long history of failed attempts to stop technological innovation from interfering with their business models and realize the sheer futility of trying to stop people from doing what they want to do, and could have learned that embracing what technology allows is a better path. But... that never seems to happen. Apparently the recording industry is now so worried that unauthorized file sharing on mobile phones is the next big threat, that rather than working on ways to use that to their advantage, they've teamed up with the Japanese gov't (note: not Japanese consumer electronics makers) to develop a system to break mobile phones if users are caught listening to unauthorized music.

Think of it like an automated "three strikes" plan for your phone:
Details are scarce, but apparently the system would consist of a central database which contains information about music which is authorized to be downloaded. This system would be responsible for verifying that cellphone users weren't downloading illicit music. Those that do would be sent warning messages.

But of course, simple warnings aren't enough for the music industry. The report claims that the music capabilities of cellphones could be disabled for persistent infringers.
Once again, the entertainment industry would prefer to break any new innovation rather than learn to adapt.

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