Along the same lines as 'Digital Restrictions Management', 'copy control' is an alternative term for 'copy protection', that attempts to rid the concept of its positive connotations. While 'Digital Restrictions Management' is merely a humourous backronym, 'copy control' is an attempt to change public perceptions by changing terminology.

The music and software industries have very powerful and outspoken lobbies, and make great efforts to introduce into everyday speech terms which demonize their opponents. 'Software Piracy' equates a person who carries out unauthorised copying with someone who operates outside the jurisdiction of any country's law, committing murder, kidnap and theft on the high seas. 'Digital Rights Management' portrays the noble cause of protecting the rights of the 'Creator' of a work, glossing over the restrictions it imposes on millions of 'consumers'.

Copy control systems attempt to do what even an introduction to information theory will tell you is impossible - create a system that can 'play' data from a source, but does not allow the data to be 'copied'. In doing this, copy control systems exploit undocumented hardware quirks, producing a product that is less convenient to copy, but does properly implement that relevent standards. Ignoring these standards leads to unusual behaviour, and it is the individual that suffers. Copy control has given us games which are incompatible with CD-ROM drives that do not exhibit the right undocumented quirks (C-dilla SafeDisc), and audio CDs that render computers unusable and can't be ejected (Cactus Data Shield and the iMac).

Copy control systems ignore the 'fair use' rights of the consumer. It has been ruled 'fair use' to make a backup copy of a CD to guard against damage to the original. CD-copying hifi separates will allow such copying to occur. But, should the original be destroyed, 'fair use' then allows the individual to make a backup of the backup (which now takes the place of the original). The CD copier prevents the user from making such a copy. Copy control for software tries to make it impossible to create even a 'fair use' backup.

Copy control also ignores the rights of the copyright holder. Minidisc recorders, for example, will not make n'th generation copies of discs recorded from an analogue source, as they assume that any analogue recording must be an unauthorised copy of a protected work, even though the user may be using their recorder to, for example, dictate notes for later reference, or to record their own garage band playing their own original music.

To use the term 'copy protection' to describe a system that treats the vast majority of the population as criminals, in order to further the interests of a very select group of very rich people, is a gross misuse of the word 'protection'. The only thing 'copy protection' protects is the media cartels. Copy control systems are a blatant attempt to control our actions, and to label them as anything else is to assist in spreading the media lobbies' lies.

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