Outreach Volunteers Needed - Content Control is a Dead End

Ray Dillinger bear at sonic.net
Thu Aug 30 13:19:02 EDT 2001

On Wed, 29 Aug 2001, Dan Geer wrote:

>> Content control is a dead end.
>You only get an even number of {privacy, copyright} -- either the
>owner of information controls how it is used or he does not.  Either
>you embrace copyright-and-privacy, or you embrace neither.  
>It really is time to be careful what you ask for.

This is not how I see things being developed.  In fact, I'd say 
you only get an odd number of {privacy, copyright} -- either I 
control what happens on my machine, or someone else does.  
Right now, the copyright technologies we've been seeing are 
actively invasive of the information purchaser's privacy.

The whole "you can display it but you can't print even a little 
bit of it" thing that Adobe is doing, for example, is damned 
offensive: by what right do they take copyright to exclude fair 
use?  And while we're at it, let's look at the RIAA, the MPA, 
etc.  Does copyright allow them to control what software I can 
and cannot run in the so-called "Privacy" of my own home?  I 
don't think so. 

Shakespeare had a rich public domain to work with because there 
were no copyright laws in his era.  I'd say the world has been 
enriched by the fact.  So yes, even as a software author, writer 
of short stories, musician, and several other things, I'll 
cheerfully give up copyright in favor of privacy and think 
the world is a better place for it.  Copyright has gotten way 
too oppressive lately, it's time to enrich the public domain 
and allow creative people to do what they want with it.


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