Friday, November 12, 2004

Downgrade in the upgrade

Cory Doctorow from Boing Boing and Electronic Frontier is putting digital copyrights and copyright law in the context of other media. As he says: all media technology is originally pirat technology. To use technology to force people to obey laws - by, for instance, making it impossible to copy a movie on a DVD - unless you hack it - and then making hacking it illegal - is in his opinion the same as saying that blacksmiths have the right to control all transportation, and cars should be outlawed unless they use blacksmith approved wheels.

An interesting perspective, definitely. And so is the information about "upgrades" fixing "bugs", which really is downgrades removing features - because the features can potentially be used for things like copying music off the internet and distributing it. His example is iTunes upgrades - sadly I don't know enough about Apple and iTunes that I caught the precise reference.

Doctorow mentioned public broadcasters and how these should open up the archives - and how Norwegian Broadcasting can set the standard internationally by opening the archives. From what I know, sadly, that will not happen. NRK wants to make money off their archives, and offer to sell the old programs to users. This is a problem for scholars as well as for anybody who would like to use this material for learning or for artworks. I am afraid NRK will not turn out to be the progressive spokesman for the freedom of information that Cory Doctorow speaks for.

1 comment:

Jill said...

The full video of Cory's talk is online in the conference video blog.