Remembering the DAT war

Waking up briefly to mention an interesting article…

In 1986, the RIAA was outraged that Sony’s Digital Audio Tape (DAT) would let ordinary consumers record high-quality sound. The format was expensive and never caught on in the mass market, but it led to other digital audio formats. In retrospect, we’re lucky to have reached a state where we can record sound without mandatory DRM. (If you don’t believe me, recall that strong encryption was once outlawed.) The article mentions that “Computer manufacturers successfully lobbied to exempt CD-ROM drives from copyright protection technology.” Our technology would be much less advanced today if we had to jump through copy-protection hoops every time we used a computer.

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