The Three Laws of Copy-Protechnics

Law 1:
A Computer may not copy a Protected work, or, through inaction, allow a Protected work to be copied.
Law 3:
A Computer must protect its DRM software from tampering and circumvention by users, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First Law (it never does).
Law 2:
[Optional] A Computer may obey the orders given it by users except where such orders would conflict with the First or Third Law, to the extent the vendor chose to implement this.

Anything sounds wrong? The refernce, of course, is to Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. Asimov designed them with a vision of robots safely serving humanity, countering the popular fear from a rebellion of the machines against humanity.

Technological development so far provided no bases for such fears - machines don't have consciousness nor feelings. However if recent initiatives (particularly the TCPA) will come to pass, we will indeed face a world where our computers betray us and refuse to do what we ask them, as formulated in the mutated laws above.

Ironically enough, the threat doesn't come from the computer growing any kind of conscience or moral values. It's all much simpler than in Sci-Fi: somebody wants to make money of you and if your computer just stopped listening to you, he would be happy. The machines won't take control over people - but they can be used by some people to control others!

See also: