I couldn't help but chuckle at Tom Giovanetti's post today concerning his inability to back up his favorite shows from his PVR, which crashed last night. As he laments:Payback's a bitch, ain't it?The problem is, we have been using the PVR to record 2 years worth of a Spanish language curriculum that is broadcast over an educational channel, and we've been using this content to teach our son Spanish. Now the curriculum is gone. It's not like I'm just inconvenienced in not being able to watch my "24" episodes. An educational curriculum is lost.For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Giovanetti's work, he's a frequent and pugnacious commentator on intellectual property issues, and an avowed supporter of the DMCA and digital rights management technologies. He's a frequent critic of "IP skeptics" and "commonists" who argue that copyright law--and the technological measures designed to protect copyright--have gone overboard.
Today he discovered that sometimes, technological measures designed to deter piracy are a pain in the ass for ordinary consumers--like him.
Here's a radical proposition: Mr. Giovanetti should be permitted to make a backup copy of the television programs on his PVR, as long as his use of that mateiral stays within the bounds of copyright law.* Moreover, someone else should be permitted to sell him a device allowing him to do so. And finally--here's the truly radical part--it should be legal to manufacture such a device without getting a license from Dish to do so.
[Technorati tags: drm | pvr | giovanetti]