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Copyfight has an interesting post on the discrepancy in congress over ClearPlay DVD players. The players automatically remove scenes that would be offensive to sensitive viewers, but do so in the comfort of one’s own home while playing standard movies on DVD. Some politicians oppose it because individuals are creating derivative works and they also see it as opening the door to “recipe hacking”, which would be like producing the Grey Album by purchasing two legal records (the original Beatles’ White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album) and combining them at home to produce a derivative work (if DJ Dangermouse produced software that could create his mixes).
On top of all that, since the motivation behind ClearPlay technology is largely religious, it turns the argument on its ear to many participants and observers. It’s not hard to find folks that loved the Grey Album but see ClearPlay technology as something to be frowned upon, but the underlying technology and law is largely the same. It’s an interesting case and hopefully does open the doors to all sorts of creative uses of derivative works.Posted 21 May 2004