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Subject: RE: Wanted: FM Recorder owner

RE: Wanted: FM Recorder owner

From: Justin <>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 12:20:27 -0800

>What's SCMS?

SCMS is the fruit of one of the many attempts by the RIAA to cripple or
outlaw consumer technology in the USA.
SCMS stands for Serial Copy Management System or some such thing.
Bascially, while copyright infringement is a crime committed by people,
in the US the law also allows technology companies to be sued if their
product happens to be being (ab)used by the person committing an
infringement. This law has a safe-harbour - if the company impliments a
SCMS system in its product, it cannot be sued if other people use it
improperly. In effect, products destined to be sold in the USA market
must be crippled with SCMS, else the manufacturer is exposed to
potential lawsuits. And the RIAA much prefers to leave the actual
pirates alone and litigate tech companies instead, as it's easier.
SCMS is basically any system that prevents a digital copy being made of
a digital copy. The idea being that much fair-use is retained if people
may make one copy freely, but copies of a copy (ie 2nd generation and
on) should not be permissable.
Of course, in the Real World, with a versatile device (like the archos)
that can connect to any sound system, it's often impossible to know
whether it is copying from a digital master or a digital copy, thus
SCMS, which seems fair enough in theory, effectively turns into
"no-digital recording or copying - period!", which is, of course,
completely unacceptable. Unless, that is, you are an RIAA exec
determined to run your industry into the ground via your relentless
technophobia and resistance to change, in which case SCMS is a good

So in summary: SCMS is a "feature" that actaully means the device is not
as useful as it should be. It is unfortunately required to safely sell
products in the USA, and because one large production line is cheaper
than two smaller ones, SCMS is often present in devices sold in other
countries also.

Archos did an excellant job - they implemented SCMS, but it can be
disabled. And they didn't further cripple the device with DRM
"features". That alone makes it the best device on the market IMO. The
fact that the product is also really good is just icing on the cake :-)
Received on 2002-12-19

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