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Friday, February 28, 2003

DRM: Felten and Lessig
DRM conference continuing in the afternoon:

    Ed Felten gives a talk on “DRM, Black Boxes, and Public Policy”.

    Main assertions: DRM must be a black box (i.e., "secure execution environment," "appliance," "robustness"), created by technology and law. However, if that black boxing is backed by laws than ban analysis or tinkering, public debate about DRM policy is crippled by not being able to understand how it works.

    There are many claims about information policy which require research, being able to look inside the black box in order to inform debate.
    Examples: TIA (defenders claim its DRM can prevent abuses); porn blocking, filtering (defenders: block lists are accurate, protected by DRM); e-voting (defenders: there will be no tampering, DRM prevents it).

    Lawrence Lessig then speaks to “Binary Blindness”.

    He argues for an arc of different copyright authorization desires, from those who shared all freely ("none"), who who want some mix of protections ("some"), and those who desire total control ("all"). What happened since the Web was a sudden shift from the none's to the all's, a swing of extremes that address very few users' desires.

    Turning to campaigns for IP reform, Lessig described himself as “[i]ncreasingly convinced that working through courts and Congress won’t work in time”.
    Hence the shift to launch the Creative Commons. This is a form of DRE, digital rights expression. This allows all users to set their desired levels of content control, allowing a focus not on management but on expression. This has the advantage of being able to be done now. Example: Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, whose combination of hardcover release and Web publication reflects the author's desire for content expression.

    Brief note: after the Eldred fight, an opposing attorney found Lessig opposing “ideals and principles [against] all the money in the world”. We can move away from those horrendous odds by “Reclaim[ing] the internet through voluntary efforts… and expressions that show we mean it.”

:: posted by Bryan, 6:28 PM |

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