One Hundred Year FUD

Nate Ander­son at Ars Tech­ni­ca takes a trip down mem­o­ry lane for the con­tent indus­try’s cen­tu­ry-long fight against tech­nol­o­gy. Every step is a fight against the con­ve­niences we enjoy every­day (and these fools lat­er learned to mon­e­tize):

The anx­ious rhetoric around new tech­nol­o­gy is real­ly quite shock­ing in its vehe­mence, from claims that the play­er piano will destroy musi­cal taste and the “nation­al throat” to con­cerns that the VCR is like the “Boston stran­gler” to claims that only Hol­ly­wood’s pre­mier con­tent could make the DTV tran­si­tion a suc­cess. Most of it turned out to be absurd hyper­bole, but it’s inter­est­ing to see just how con­sis­tent the words and the fears remain across more than a cen­tu­ry of inno­va­tion and a host of very dif­fer­ent devices.

So here they are, in their own words—the copy­right hold­ers who demand­ed restric­tions on play­er pianos, pho­to­copiers, VCRs, home tap­ing, DAT, MP3 play­ers, Nap­ster, the DVR, dig­i­tal radio, and dig­i­tal TV.