Warning Shots

Oy.

I’ve skipped out on writing Rants for a long time, but never for 15 months before. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. I’ll try to get pissed off more frequently from now on, for your continued amusement.

Since it’s been so long, I’ll kick-start the stalled Rants with some quick bow-shots. Warnings of Rants to come, unless these people clean up their acts real quick:

Warning Shots

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

If you greedy MPAA bastards hadn’t come up with the ideas of DVD encoding, player regions and licensing players, then you wouldn’t have to spend so much effort futilely trying to shove the DeCSS cat back into it’s bag. And who the fuck gave you the right to get the police in another fucking country to do your dirty work and scare the shit out of a 16-year-old kid and his family? You better hope Star Wars comes out on DVD before 2005, because there’s no way in hell I’m buying a DVD player before then, and they’ll be the only DVDs I buy. By the way, in case you didn’t notice, iCraveTV was netcasted out of Canada. Mind your own fucking business!

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Separated at birth from the MPAA, it’s the RIAA. (It’s pronounced “ree-ah”. Rhymes with “greed-ah”.) The genetic relationship is obvious; they both suffer from extreme cases of cranial/rectal inversion, also known by the clinical name of headupassitus. Did anybody else notice that Judge Jed Rakoff’s judgement against MP3.com came after a whole two days of deliberation? Two days is about the length of time it would take for a cheque from a big name like RIAA to clear… Coincidence? And does anybody other than me think that someone named “Jed” should not be involved in a court case that has ANYTHING to do with technology?

Metallica

You’re not losing money because of Napster and MP3s, you’re losing money because everything you’ve released since “…And Justice For All” sucks ass. Get your heads out of your asses and get your asses back in the recording studio, where you belong. Can you believe these guys are so stupid that they claim the Napster suit isn’t going to harm their fans, then they hand over a list of over 300,000 names of people offering Metallica songs on Napster? Yeah, I’m sure none of them were fans. You know what? They’re not fans anymore.

Network Solutions

If you guys hadn’t been so fucking arrogant and incompetent, maybe you would still have your government-sanctioned monopoly. You fucked up, so you lost it. Stop crying and deal with it. You’re not the only player anymore, just the biggest bullies. And all bullies eventually get their asses kicked.

Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm are the manufacturers of the world-famous Eudora e-mail client. Evidently they’ve decided to follow the Apple school of freeware marketing and the Light Mode in the newest versions of Eudora now continuously reminds you about all the “great” features of Paid Mode that you’re missing out on, even after you’ve told the program to shut the fuck up about Paid Mode. Eudora now officially sucks, and it’s been taken out of Guile’s Recommended Software.

Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC)

Yes, it’s the Rant that won’t die! Well, the Tragically Hip Subsidy Act, better known as the Blank Media Levy (it’s not a tax), has been implemented and is in full swing. Apparently, someone at the Copyright Board of Canada was actually paying attention, because they fucked the CPCC right up the ass. 23.3 cents on audio cassettes (but only if they’re over 40 minutes), 60.8 cents on MiniDiscs, CD-R Audio and CD-RW Audio discs, and 5.2 cents on regular CD-R and CD-RW discs. Just a fraction of what the CPCC was demanding. Needless to say, the collectives are whining. The artists themselves still don’t give a damn.

And before anybody else gives me flak for always being negative, some people actually have smartened up, and they’re deserving of notice, too:

Peace Treaties

Intel

Intel finally got the message, and are removing the serial numbers from future releases of Pentium processors.

Doubleclick

The opt-out is a good start.

Microsoft

Not an actual peace treaty, but just a temporary cease-fire. I’m waiting to see what the DoJ does to them with baited breath and barely-hidden glee.

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