Here's a superb essay on the other
DRM problem -- DRM isn't only bad for fair use, it's also a disaster for innovation, because it forecloses on the possibility of disruptive new technologies (you can only build on DRM with permission from the DRM maker; no DRM maker is going to authorize a disruptive innovation that could hurt his bottom line). The paper is by Wendy "Chilling Effects
" Seltzer, and will be published in the Jan 25 edition of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal
First I briefly review the history and existing academic debates around DRM to consider why they have so overlooked the user-innovation impacts. The next sections examine the law and technology of digital rights management, particularly the interaction of statutory law, technological measures, and the contractual conditions generally attached to them. I focus particularly on the "robustness rules" in licenses at at this inter- section. I then introduce the rich literature on disruptive technology and user innovation, to argue that these copyright-driven constraints significantly harm cultural and technological development and user autonomy. I conclude that the mode-of-development tax is too high a price to pay for imperfect copyright protection.
The Imperfect is the Enemy of the Good: Anticircumvention Versus Open Innovation
In a new report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reveals that the “Department of Defense uses 8- inch floppy disks in a legacy system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces.” That floppy format was developed in the late 1960s and was obsolete by the 1980s. I wonder if the DoD saves […]
In 1989, Canadian activist, engineer and thinker Ursula Franklin gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the politics of technology design and deployment called “The Real World of Technology.”
The sale of Time Warner Cable to Charter Communications is completed today, and former TWC customers (including me) can probably look forward to a whole new era of crappy service, Netflix throttling, and horrible customer service experiences under our new broadband overlords.
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