From the Wall Street Journal's Digits Blog:
Apple’s iTunes makes saving music from CDs onto one’s personal computer a simple process, but doing the same with a DVD is much more complicated endeavor. Most DVDs are encoded with digital rights management technology to prevent copying.
Most DVD-viewers think that’s hypocrisy. A study of 1,000 consumers conducted by the National Consumers League found that 90% think that they should have ability to back up DVDs on their personal computers in the same way they are able to do with music from a CD ...
At first, it was beyond me why Hollywood would be against this type of innovation. Then I learned about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a piece of legislation that prohibits backing up DVDs. As FreedomWorks recently pointed out:
There are acceptable avenues of protecting intellectual property, but banning a new product that maintains the DRM encryption and prohibits copying for distribution in the name of fighting piracy makes no sense. All this does is impose substantial new limitations on consumers and their use of the DVDs they purchase.
When we usually think about corporate welfare, we think about all of the special tax credits and deductions along with all of the subsidies that only the most powerful companies (i.e. the ones with the most lobbyists) get. For the Right to move beyond the simplistic arguments of the past on fiscal and tax policy, we should battle corporate welfare, not only in the tax code but in regulatory matters as well. Many states already have film tax credits which try to "promote economic development" by essentially paying filmakers to produce movies in their states. Just as these film tax credits at the state level is corporate welfare, so are many of the regulatory matters that fly under the radar.
We have to move on from the "tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts"-only message and refine a message that can work for those who don't have lobbyists and large political action committees working for them: government should not pick winners and losers in the market.