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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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Copyfight

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June 13, 2005

Your locked-down digital future

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Posted by JD Lasica

Thanks for having me guest-blog at Copyfight for the past week. I'll be traveling this week, and visiting the Berkman Center for the first time.

One note of warning for the months ahead: Keep an eye on cross-industry standards being worked out behind closed doors. Hollywood is pushing hard to require things like "certification" and "renewability" in the next generation of DVD players and other digital devices. The players you own would obey the Hollywood studios' directives, without your even knowing about it.

I paint the grim picture in the latest free excerpt from Darknet.

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Abuse


COMMENTS

1. Studios forget "we the people" on June 13, 2005 7:14 AM writes...

"The players you own would obey the Hollywood studios' directives, without your even knowing about it."

The sooner done, the sooner that computers will be the central controller of all entertainment and computers can always be PROGRAMMED TO IGNORE all intructions that prevent copying. So Hollywood may simply be accelerating the doom of the television dvd player and accelerating the adoption of computers to watch and copy movies.

The increased use of computers by itself will not decrease thee movie business, if the movies studios do not alienate the consumers by calling them thiefs and overpricing their producrs, as they are now doing.

If on the other hand the studios reduce the prices
and treat the customers better, the business prospect for them could be quite good.

After all, the studio customers is "we the people" and we are sovereign, over legislators, and could put in place the rules we want. We may even reduce copyrights for films to 10 years if we really wanted, for the sake of culture.

For now, they are following the wrong business plan.

Rafael Venegas
http://www.gvenegas.com

Permalink to Comment

2. Alexander Wehr on June 13, 2005 9:21 AM writes...

"The sooner done, the sooner that computers will be the central controller of all entertainment and computers can always be PROGRAMMED TO IGNORE all intructions that prevent copying."

As much as i'd love to believe this, I've been reading about the specs on these technologies.

The truth is "renewability" makes devices forcibly adaptable and "revokable". The copy protection would be almost fully enforced at the hardware level, and immediately adaptable.

The moment the copy protection is circumvented new protection could be forcibly installed on your drive by firmware upgrade.

While i'm not sure on the details, I do believe this is potentially a serious breach of the anti-hacking laws. However, it would be terribly easy, considering how activist judges have been expanding contract law, to claim that you "signed away that right" by opening the box or buying the computer.

"the studio customers is "we the people" and we are sovereign, over legislators, and could put in place the rules we want."
No. This would be a tremendous escalation, and I doubt even the best hackers and tool developers would be able to keep up if there were radical changes in copy protection each month.

Permalink to Comment

3. Studios forget "we the people" on June 13, 2005 5:39 PM writes...

Please let me clerify.

I was not talking about hacking or violating any law.

The "we the people" idea is that the people ultimately control the laws and laws can be changed if "we the people" want them changed to allow free copying rights (for personal use only).

"We the people", of course, is the majority.

Rafael Venegas
http://www.gvenegas.com

Permalink to Comment


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