'It's not just this one technology that's the problem,' Schneier says. 'It's the mic plus the drones, plus the signal processing, plus voice recognition.'"
I usually agree with Bruce. But unless that quote was taken way out of context, he is wrong here. Technology isn't the problem. It never is. It is the people salivating at the thought of using it against us. Even those who think they are doing us a service to keep us safe: when they invade our privacy, they are the problem. The tech? It's actually cool. There are probably - how would someone jaded to the world of sound and copyright put it - many non-infringing uses of the tech. It can probably even be used in a way that isn't spying. For example recording a conference speaker (with permission) in a noisy room or the like.
Who the fuck are these astronauts that will study it?
They will probably be astronauts in the same sense that the guy who controls a drone is a "pilot". In other words, they will be in some NASA control center controlling some drone spacecraft with lasers and drills and mass spectrometers.
Rightsholders have to have *full time* people involved in policing sites like youtube.. something just isnt right about that.
Actually, they CHOOSE to have full time people do this. They also choose to have some inadequate software do it too. They don't have to do it. They have some fear (grounded or unfounded, brilliant or misguided) that "people will see our stuff and we won't profit from their eyeballs". This may be true. But it is their choice to produce stuff and their choice to limit distribution in the way that they do. If those choices then result in them choosing to try to put a genie back in a bottle and attempt technical and social engineering means to enforce artificial scarcity on the things they produce - well, that was all their choice. They don't "have to" do it.
I happen to agree with limited copyright protections (maybe 10 years, maybe 20 - there are good arguments on either side), and, as a rule, don't violate copyright and actively educate the minors in my household about respecting copyright laws. But that doesn't make me blind to the crazy choices that these distributors make in limiting distribution of content and then expecting people to not be criminals. Lots of people are criminals. Heck just look at all the red-light runners and speeders on the road. Look at all of the shoplifting that goes on. Then take copyright violation (which many people don't even consider to be immoral) and what would you expect to happen when you attempt to artificially limit the avenues by which content can be legally acquired? Yep. Violations. Lots of them. If hiring people to police web sites is the price of the business decisions they've made - well, sorry, but they made their bed. Now they get to sleep in it. And by artificially limiting distribution - here is what I mean summed up pretty well - http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones