Note to the good people who wrote the DMCA and the CSS: fuck you and the horses you rode in on.

Yes, I know you guys need to protect your investments. I know you're scared out of your minds about losing money with DVD piracy. I can appreciate that. But do you have to punish me? Why aren't you going after the big pirates instead of making life hell for little guys like me?

Lemme explain: Jamie wanted to use clips from “The Matrix” for the Tri Club year-end video. You know, make a little movie with Tri Clubbers talking with Morpheus and Neo, that kind of thing. With iMovie, it would've been a snap. Only problem was getting raw footage.

We tried hooking up Jamie's DV camera to the DVD player, but we kept getting a signal that said “COPY INHIBIT.” Whether the devices were able to talk to each other, or if the DVD was sending out a signal in its decoded info, I don't know. All I know is that it was frustrating as hell.

So, okay. We don't need really sharp footage; we just need footage. How about making a videotape of the DVD, and then a DV tape of the VHS tape? Well, that doesn't work either. The signal was scrambled. It wouldn't decode.

So, you know what that left us with? Piracy. We had to scour Limewire to find a ripped version of “The Matrix.” We had to break the law to get at something we'd paid for, something that was certainly within the bounds of fair use, something that would've been shown to our club and never resold. I don't give a stony rat's ass what you say; I paid for that DVD legally, and that means I should be able to use what's on it. Instead, you've gone and broken my devices. You've pissed off a customer.

And now you're going to get away with the Broadcast Flag. You're going to cripple my hard drives and computers to make sure I can't go and copy something I've bought. You know what? Fuck you. Your right to protect your investments does not trump my right to geek. Keep your hands off my boxen!

P.S. And, oi, Apple! Fix your damned Quicktime player, wouldja? I should be able to play anything on my machine, right out of the box. I'm not paying for QT Pro until you make sure it can play AVIs, MPGs, DVXs, everything. So, same for your horse, too.