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MPAA says it's committed to fair use, interoperability, and, uh, DRM

Nilay Patel

Uh-oh. Looks like MPAA boss Dan Glickman skipped over his pal Steve's open letter. Speaking at a LexisNexis conference on DRM, Glickman announced that the major studios comprising the MPAA have made a "philosophical commitment" to interoperability and fair use and announced a plan to let people rip DVDs to home servers and iPods. The goal, he said, is to "make things simpler for the consumer." However, Glickman also stressed that the studios were going to move forward "legally and in a protected way," meaning, of course, DRM. Hammering the irony home, the solution he proposed -- a "technology summit" of academics, tech companies, and content producers to develop a workable DRM system -- is exactly the sort of wasted effort Steve-O lambasted in his open letter. And while it's encouraging that Glickman recognized the "impatience" of consumers, he didn't give a timeline, instead saying that pricing and business models were "way beyond" him. Now, to be fair, Steve himself doesn't think TV shows and movies need to be DRM-free, but on the whole, Glickman's plan to solve DRM's problems with more DRM isn't exactly our favorite idea ever. Still, it's nice to see the MPAA finally recognize the importance of interoperability. Let's just hope they're actually serious about it -- we're not holding our breath.

[Thanks, Todd]

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