Juen 2, 2001
BOB GARFIELD: Once again and probably for the last time, welcome back to On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone. Time now for some of your letters. Our discussion two weeks ago with NPR correspondent Rick Karr on the intellectual property argument over DVDs was a complex one, and it elicited equally complex responses. The problem is not with mass production per se, wrote William Roper. It's with the fact that it's digital, meaning there's no degeneration from copy to copy. With everybody having access to technology that can create infinite copies as good as the original, copyright holders like myself are at jeopardy in a way we never were before!
BOB GARFIELD:Bram Dulcourt [sp?] of Valhalla, New York added the techie angle. I can still read the DVD without decrypting it, but the encryption makes it look like gibberish. I can copy the gibberish and give it to a friend, still encrypted. When he tries to play it, his licensed DVD player strips off the encryption just like the movie was a store-bought original. And cynic Chad Lorettson [sp?] from Logan, Iowa had only this to say: the encryption of DVD is really just a way for the makers of movies or DVDs to control who can sell the hardware to view them.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:We received a polite reminder last week from Alan Thorpe [sp?] in Castledale, Utah that we are a national show with an occasional East Coast bias. Commenting on Scott Shugar's observations about the Washington Post and its dubious journalistic practices he says I'll never read that paper again, should it happen to be on sale here in Utah. An extended apology from OTM to listeners residing--everywhere else. Dave Crabtree said he enjoyed Brian Mann's piece on GE's campaign to sway public opinion, but notes that environmentalists often use the same tactics, albeit less sophisticated. His is a rallying cry for media outlets like NPR to alert the public to these misinformation campaigns. In my opinion, he says, NPR has been a little lax in this regard.
BOB GARFIELD:And lastly, Valerie Richardson from Bridgeport, Connecticut is on the Acronym-Watch. She writes that she's growing increasingly irritated with us referring to the show as OTM. Are you trying to increase the amount of content that can be squeezed into an hour she asked? Well, yeah! Exactly right. For every acronym we use, vital seconds are saved. That way the PRL's can get their VFM from NPR.