Robots kill the Hugo Awards
Yes, there’s a certain symmetry to this–that the reality of our future present has overtaken one of the top awards in the world of futures imagined (for those of you who don’t know, the Hugo Award is one of the top accolades of speculative fiction).
Basically, what happened is that the Hugo Awards were being streamed live. Neil Gaiman was accepting an award for a Dr. Who script he had penned. They started the excerpt… and suddenly, the stream got terminated, on the grounds of copyright infringement. All this was administered by bots which automatically scan for such things. Never mind that the Hugo Awards had permission to show the images (the clips had been supplied by the studio, which held the rights). Never mind that even without permission, the clips may well have comprised fair use.
These bots–they can’t be bargained with, can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until all copyrighted broadcasts in unexpected streams are suppressed.
And that, right there, is the problem with DRM and its blanket suppression of all uses of (C) material, even those that are not illegal (not to mention the problem with prohibitions around breaking DRM for legitimate uses).
The i09 post: http://io9.com/5940036/how-copyright-enforcement-robots-killed-the-hugo-awards