|Received:||12/15/2004 1:07:49 PM|
|Organization:||Young tinkerers, collectors, programmers|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Notice Announcing Public Workshop and Requesting Public Comment and Participation|
|Docket ID:||Not yet available|
Comments:I am a tinkerer by hobby, and soon by trade. I create programs, scripts, and alter my equipment to enhance their capacity, and to make maximum use of my media. I wish to speak out because my rights as a consumer to modify my own hardware have been circumscribed. P2P is being used as a scapegoat by which my rights to both fair use and my own property have been pilfered. I am allowed to take a wrench to my car to enhance its horsepower, but current law has robbed me of that same right with my electronics. I wish to also point out, as a collector of rare and international media, that p2p fills an often overlooked gap in the economic structure of the international entertainment trade. For every work which crosses international borders under official distribution channels, there are numerous others which never make it because they are considered either culturally or financially inexpedient. Though this may still be considered copyright infringement, P2P networks play an important role in filling this hole by offering people a means to otherwise unobtainable ends. As one familiar with computer science, programming, and networks, I caution that, because the very nature of the internet is p2p, any legislation which effectively shuts it down would with absolute assurance kill the internet entirely. I am gravely concerned that p2p has become like a blank check for content companies in congress, and is being used as a vehicle to bowl over what should be balanced and protected under the constitution. I'm also concerned with this great fallacy being proliferated that p2p poses some heinous threat to individual computer security, or a single person has the power to distribute to "millions instantly with a single click". There is far more risk to end users from internet explorer and security holes in windows itself than through a p2p application, and internet won't get that fast for hundreds of years. As for the arguments of certain interested parties that it is economically harmful, their figures count each copy of information shared as a lost sale, when they were really only potential sales. They claim "theft" of this "potential revenue", but that is the very definition of capitalistic competition. Home depot is not given legislation to outlaw lowes just because the chain competes with them. These industries claiming harm should play up their potential product strengths to the market. This would involve lowering prices, keeping quality higher than is capable on the internet, and, most of all, removing restrictions which treat people like criminals, invite consumer backlash, and are designed to force them to buy the same thing five times. I speak not only for myself, but several acquaintances who enjoy the freedom to govern their own property, and don't feel like giving it up in order to secure an unfairly sheltered industry from normal market forces.