We live in a world made of computers. Your car is a computer that drives down the freeway at 60 mph with you strapped inside. If you live or work in a modern building, computers regulate its temperature and respiration. And we’re not just putting our bodies inside computers—we’re also putting computers inside our bodies. I recently exchanged words in an airport lounge with a late arrival who wanted to use the sole electrical plug, which I had beat him to, fair and square. “I need to charge my laptop,” I said. “I need to charge my leg,” he said, rolling up his pants to show me his robotic prosthesis. I surrendered the plug.
Considering what sorts of rampant censorship are on the web today, this would be a VERY BAD development for open speech.
Most anti-piracy tools take one of two paths: they either target the server that’s sharing the files (pulling videos off YouTube or taking down sites like The Pirate Bay) or they make it harder to find (delisting offshore sites that share infringing content). But leaked documents reveal a frightening line of attack that’s currently being considered by the MPAA: What if you simply erased any record that the site was there in the first place?
This could strike a huge blow to the idiotic clause in the DMCA that forbids circumventing DRM locks. I’m crossing my fingers on further developments.
Telling users how to strip the DRM from their legally purchased ebooks is not contributory copyright infringement, according to a ruling last month by a federal judge in New York. Judge Denise Cote dismissed two publishers’ claims of contributory infringement and inducement in Abbey House Media v. Apple Inc., one of the many cases to come out of the antitrust litigation against Apple and a handful of major publishers.
The massive missive, passed in 1998, governs the tense and often amorphous intersection of intellectual property and physical property. The law was birthed when digital piracy (of things like DVDs and music) first and truly reared its head. As a reaction, Congress built “anti-circumvention” edicts into Section 1201 of the DMCA. The provision makes it a violation of copyright law to break any sort of technological protection measure over content—like, say, the encryption on DVDs. But the DMCA doesn’t take intention into account. Breaking the lock is a violation, whether or not the locked content is actually pirated.
Copyright isn’t just about pirating music or downloading DVDs anymore. Like a creature alive, copyright is evolving and expanding. Traditional “dumb” products are being replaced by an internet of things — and copyright is hitching along for the ride. Its DNA is being woven through the programming that powers your car, the firmware in your phone, the code in your kid’s talking teddy bear, and the software that calibrates your hearing aid.
“The most transparent administration in history….”
Seriously, it is a really bad sign when some of your biggest supporters are crying foul. Continue reading Obama’s Secret Attempt to Ban Cellphone Unlocking, While Claiming to Support It