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The End of Innovation?

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the final-nail dept.

News 323

Simone writes: "2001 has been a bad year not just for dot-coms but also for people interested in preserving the public's right to fair use of copyright materials. From the shutdown of Napster and the DeCSS case to the prosecution of Dmitry Sklyarov, federal prosecutors and U.S. courts have acted in support of copyright interests and against the public's ability to use technology to secure fair-use rights. OpenP2P.com editor Richard Koman talks about these turns of events with Lawrence Lessig." Not particularly coincidentally, Lessig has a new book coming out on this very topic.

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323 comments

A few additions... (4, Funny)

the_ph0x` (170740) | more than 12 years ago | (#2110740)

2001 has been a bad year not just for dot-coms but also for people interested in preserving the public's right to fair use of copyright materials.

It's also been a bad year for the stock market, most all technology fields and on top of all that, my sex life is down 5 points... go figure, I'm still blaming el nino.

.ph0x

In my opinion... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2117537)

What's up wit a chicken carcass dangling between Jeb's nuts?

81, bitch!

Hahahahaha, get it?

What does this have to do with innovation? (4, Insightful)

iapetus (24050) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119947)

This isn't a question of 'the end of innovation' at all, except possibly in a Microsoftesque "Help! Stop the bad man! He's depriving me of my ability to innovate!" sort of a way. The issue is an entirely separate one, that of fair use and the purpose and extent of IP rights.

There's nothing to stop people coming up with new and better ways of carrying out these same tasks, or entirely different tasks - the constraints that we're looking at here are primarily on reverse engineering, which has never really struck me as being an integral part of innovation...

Re:What does this have to do with innovation? (2, Insightful)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121935)

the constraints that we're looking at here are primarily on reverse engineering, which has never really struck me as being an integral part of innovation...
I agree with most of your statement, but I have to take exception with this comment. While reverse engineering may not be necessary to innovate, it is often necessary in order to compete. If you cannot compete, then you have no resources with which to innovate. These issues are all tied together, and to destroy any one of these facets is to damage the whole.

Re:What does this have to do with innovation? (2)

iapetus (24050) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153527)

That's a fair point to a certain extent, but the tie isn't particularly direct in this case. If my company can't compete because of restrictive IP law, then I don't have any resources to buy expensive business lunches, but I wouldn't have called this article "The end of expensive business lunches?" either...

Perhaps that's a slight oversimplification, I suppose, because stifling the ability to compete tends to lead to monopolies or near-monopolies, which in turn *does* stifle the need for innovation somewhat. But the more direct problem is the destruction of the right to compete, and the abuse of draconian IP law we're beginning to see.

WTF? (5, Insightful)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151998)

"which has never really struck me as being an integral part of innovation..."

Almost all technology in use today is in part available because of reverse engineering.

Without reverse engineering there would be no interoperability between Windows, Macs, Unix, etc.

Without reverse engineering we wouldn't even have the current PC at all.

Without reverse engineering we wouldn't have the huge microwave oven market we have today.

Car manufacturers buy each other's cars and completely take them apart to see how competitors do things.

There is simply no end to how much technology is improved through reverse engineering. Reverse engineering has ALWAYS been a huge part of innovation.

Hurting profits worse than taking life. (1)

thebitninja (512627) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121933)

This article talks about what we have been seeing all over recently. Namely the reduction of individual rights to allow corporations to make more money. But then I guess with the economy posed to nosedive the only way to perk things up for a while is to sell off our individual rights!

Did anyone study the revenue generated by the recording industry and weather it was affected by Napster. I'll bet it went up rather than down. I personally have bought albums of artists I heard and liked under mp3 and the same goes for my friends.

I particularily liked the Smith and Weson point in the article. But then guns only kill people, software releases and distributes information and can reduce profits, which in this day and age seems to be a far greater wrong than the loss of a life!

So, how big is sealand? (2)

hardaker (32597) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121934)

is it big enough we can all move there? Or maybe we should just buy a fleet of air craft carries?

Re:So, how big is sealand? (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 12 years ago | (#2114731)

Nah, not really, it's pretty small actually. On a side note, which sealand are you referring to?

Re:So, how big is sealand? (2)

hardaker (32597) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132133)

I believe it's approx. 60 x 100 feet.

Shotgun!

Re:So, how big is sealand? (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153346)

Check it out here, on the official Sealnd government page:

The Amazing Sealand [demon.co.uk]

I believe it's approx. 60 x 100 feet.

The start of Neuromancerish society? (0)

General8 (470466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122278)

Are we on the brink of a society controlled by big companies instead of nations? Especially in the US, it seems things are going more and more into securing the well being of companies instead of individuals.

Frankly, it scares me. I hope another great nation would rise, like Germany.

So... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2122748)

I guess it's the end of the world as we know it!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2123305)

fp!

The ambiguity is overwhelming... (2)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123483)

Too often people confuse their rights in content with their rights to access content. The two are completely separate and apart from each other.

The DeCSS case is about the ability of a manufacturer to control a proprietary means of accessing content in DVD format. In my opinion, too bad for the manufacturer in choosing to protect its control mechanism as a trade secret. Trade secrets are only good so long as they are secret. Reverse engineering is an accepted method of properly discovering trade secrets. They should have gotten patents which offer stronger protection, even against reverse engineering, but they got greedy and wanted to keep their rights exclusive past the limited term a patent gives you.

As for Napster (yes, I know I will get flamed and/or modded down for this - I have enough Karma to take the hit because it is the TRUTH), since when is it "sharing" when you make another copy of copyrighted material that you do not own? People have been ripping off artists for years. 20 years ago it was by making bootleg cassettes. Now that the digital format has come of age, why does the ease with which something can be stolen convert "stealing" to "sharing"?

Don't get me wrong -- I believe it is a fair use for someone who has already purchased the music to convert it to any format they want and make back up copies for their own use. HOWEVER, when you make a copy of a song in a digital format that you did not buy, it is stealing. Plain and simple.

DeCSS and P2P (2, Interesting)

Duncan Cragg (209425) | more than 12 years ago | (#2124008)

This is my comment on the site, reproduced here:

Stuff distributors wrap their stuff up. Hackers create breaking technology to free it and there's nothing to be done to stop that. Stuff gets freed, even if its in the privacy of an individual's home.

Then another technology comes along (P2P) that allows the Stuff to be shared: it gets shared and there's nothing to be done to stop that. Stuff gets published anonymously from the individual's home into the homes of thousands of others.

So a law (DMCA) says, there's a (usually broken) technology to protect our Stuff, but you can't break it or allow others to break it. Too late, the stuff is out there, and will always continue to be out there.

Even if you add another law that says 'you can't share Stuff'. How do you stop people using Freenet to anonymously make Stuff public? That new law would be totally unenforcable.

So the next step of the corporate-backed lawmakers is to come up with a Better Law - even better than the appalling DMCA: the 'We own the Net: We own your Computer' law.

This law makes it mandatory on Operating System writers and vendors to include a reporting mechanism that can send back details on request of anyone's machine (what hardware, what software is running) to a central enforcement agency.

Further, it is mandatory on network owners to supply to this agency details of the ports and message protocols being used from anyone's machine.

If you're spotted running unapproved software or using unapproved ports or protocols, you are subject to investigation.

That's the only way to go! Look out for this law at a government near you.

Redefinition of Innovation (1, Troll)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2127847)

Miriam Webster's [m-w.com] defines innovation as
  1. the introduction of something new
  2. : a new idea, method, or device : NOVELTY
It's interesting that when MSFT describes what they do as innovation [m-w.com] people get all up in arms yet here's another group of people who are using even worse newspeak [m-w.com] by tying the term innovation with copyright violation.

As a software developer I'm actually offended that there are people who are trying to perpetrate the idea that innovation in software and on the 'Net revolves around violating people's copyright and redistributing the works of others. Of course, it all is put in perspective when one realizes this article is being hosted by the OpenP2P.com which was just another "jump on the buzzword bandwagon" venture whose major proponents are focused around benefiting from redistributing the works of others.

grammer/usage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2128648)

This is a small note, but in the news post, "coincidentally" should be "coincidental," in that it is the object, not an adverb.

If you're gonna be picky... (1)

Richard Bannister (464181) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121504)

This is from the person who spells Grammar wrong! :)

W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gained? (-1, Troll)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2128650)

Look at what we have learned and gained from technology?

Napster was designed to distribute ILLEGAL recordings, had they gone legit they could have merged with MP3.com and distributed peoples work much like the philosphy of distributing free software.

The whole slashdot concept of DVD's is pathetic. BUY A DVD PLAYER to watch your movies. 99% of the world bought dvd's because of the technology and advancements over VHS. YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THOSE ACHIEVEMENTS and technological improvements. SO FREAKING WHAT if you want watch your DVD's for free. You didn't write the codec, produce the technology, market the products and standardize the industry on formats. That comes to a huge cost and well, DVD's are so awesome for home theater that i don't mind paying that cost.

P2P, again if it wasn't for distributing 99% illegal software, music and files then it may become viable. I have yet to see a P2P solution for distributing "freshmeat.net" or any OSS software which is 100% legally available from anywhere, simply for the fact that free software, free information is already available in very simplistic and standard internet protocols. (hello, HTTP, FTP...) IF i have to load up a P2P network browser then why not load up Netscape and download it off the web to begin with?

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 12 years ago | (#2110517)

then don't sell dvd drives for pc's that are marketed for watching dvd's. Don't forget that these people bought dvd's and the dvd drives. They did support the technology. Perhaps this is a troll? Just because you didn't mind paying the money for home theater doesn't mean everyone is interested in purchasing it. These people have legally purchased these products only to be shafted because of their OS of choice.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151706)

You didn't READ THE LABEL did you? On the box it said support by Windows 98, Me or 2000 right?

If you READ what i said then you wouldn't come off sounding like a troll. IF someone MADE a viable commercial effort for DVD sotfware under linux then it MAY work.

you still have to BUY powersoft DVD, DVD PLus or anyone of the many windows dvd playing programs out there.

Re:DVD's are *not* "awesome" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2117531)

Even if you discount the region coding and other such hacks that cripple the hardware, few DVD's even approach film quality. What's astounding is that the industry convinced the sheep it was "better cuz it's digital", even with artifacting up the wazoo. Face it, as long as you have lossy compression (ooh! MPEG-2! ooh! MPEG-4! Give me a break), you're going to lose detail. With the right equipment and *painstaking attention to detail*, a quality product can be created whether it's a DVD or a digitally filmed theatrical movie (see latest filmthreat.com for more). But not everyone goes to the trouble to create a quality product, and *that* sure as heck ain't anything new...

Re:DVD's are *not* "awesome" (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 12 years ago | (#2152977)

they didn't market them as being film quality, only better than VHS. ...and they are right. Having recited ideas that aren't mentioned much because they aren't popular make you no less a sheep.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (3, Funny)

AstynaxX (217139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2118674)

The whole slashdot concept of DVD's is pathetic. BUY A DVD PLAYER to watch your movies. 99% of the world bought dvd's because of the technology and advancements over VHS. YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THOSE ACHIEVEMENTS and technological improvements. SO FREAKING WHAT if you want watch your DVD's for free. You didn't write the codec, produce the technology, market the products and standardize the industry on formats. That comes to a huge cost and well, DVD's are so awesome for home theater that i don't mind paying that cost.

The price of the DVD and/or player isn't the issue. DVD's aren't priced much higher than VHS [in some cases they can actually be less than a comparable VHS tape]. Likewise, the players are now at rather reasonable prices, about where VCR's stabalized to after they became common [incidentally, VCRs are now DIRT cheap]. The issue is fair use violations [it is not possible, under current law, to legally copy ANY portion of a DVD, even a small excerpt for use in a classroom.] The other issue is region encoding [I can buy tapes from Europe, Asia, etc that play fine in my VCR so long as they are the right format {VHS}. Yet, DVD's from each area may or may not play depending on the region encoding]. Region encoding is, flat out, screwing the consumer. The only possible reason for it is so people in region A have no choice but to pay region A prices and can only get films at region A release dates. Currently, especially for those of us in the US, this is not much of an issue, but the potential is there for a great deal of abuse, and it would be best to nip that in the bud. Lastly, there have been reports of DVDs the refuse to fast forward [one of the wonderful points about DVDs is the ability to jump straight to a scene as opposed to winding tape] through trailors. On rental only copies, maybe I can see this, a way to offset the discount rental places must get, but for consumer purchased discs? I think most would agree if I buy it I ought to be able to watch however I like, be it straight through, no trailors, or the last 5 minutes only. I paid my money, it ought to be my choice.

Basicly, the DVD opposition isn't about copying. Even with today's huge hard drives, you still couldn't put too many onto them at DVD quality, and besides, to download them off the net would take forever even at broadband speeds. The issue is consumers losing rights they have been entitled to and enjoyed since the dawn of home entertainment devices.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121179)

I have to agree with what you're saying about the legalities, but I have to say that I don't think MP3 should be classified as an illegal copy of something. It doesn't have CD quality, it's just a file on your computer. The record industry is punishing people who make CD's from mp3's by just punishing everyone who uses mp3's at all, and that sucks.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2117530)

Didn't say MP3's were illegal, just napster never took the stance to move to a legal distribution until it was already in court.

Mp3.com has tons of legal mp3's that napster could have traded, but yet again i don't think it would have been as successfull because people want what they hear on MTV.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2139387)

The problem with DVD's is not the technological achievements part. It ths deliberate action by a few to bundle one some benefits with some poorly thought out compromises. Why was there not some public debate to inform and educate? Why was region encoding (you think this is a fair thing?) introduced in such a sneaky fashion?

The advance of DVDs certainly did not have to include these features. Are consumers supposed to play dead and simply vote yes or no to the things presented to them?

It seems that under your vision, consumers aren't even allowed to vote yes or no.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151552)

Regional encoding is to protect copyright owners. The US can't protect its copyrights outside of its territories, so they put an end to that and made US encoded DVD's that play on US players.

It doesn't and hasn't ever stopped me from playing a dvd on my laptop, my dvd player at home or my dvd player at my friends house or the dvd system at work or the dvd systems in hotels.. (i could go on and on..)

sure it sucks you can't run your dvd through your vcr because macrovision puts the god awfull blur effect on your screen, but DVD's are already a well preserved medium and there is no means of copying the movie without changing it from its orignal form which is considered REPRODUCING instead of backing up for backup sake :)

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2132134)

This is bullshit. If I wanted to produce my own digital content and obtain the protections afforded to me by DVDs, there is no way out for me, unless I also join the MPAA cartel. This is ridiculous. I am an independent - I may not care about the economic division that affect MPAA. What if I was only interested in the US and China markets, but don't want to bother with the other markets? There is no way to enforce my copyrght in this case.

Everything about region encoding is about enforcing the status quo. These visionless MPAA executive snever think that one day, through diplomacy, we may persuade China, say, to enforce copyright. Or if one day, a favored trading partner may turn rogue. And when that happens, what will they do about this obsolete encoding?

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2152164)

Dude, China and most 3rd worlds barely have HUMAN RIGHTS yet allown the ability to enforce copyright protection.

I HIGHLY DOUBT you keep your "backups" on tape or on file to restore originals if you lost them, your probably watching the backups on your pc and sending them to your friends or sharing them on Morpheus.

If you do save your backups in a fireproof safe then more power to you. Until then YOU didn't loose anything.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134604)

See - now you are back to arguing the status quo, assuming that I am some small time, bedroom artist not worthy of consideration.

When men of no vision rule the future world, that future will not be worth envisioning.

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (1)

agusus (470745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151850)

Um... I thought that one of the legitimate uses of DeCSS was to use it to play DVDs on a Linux or Unix machine... It doesn't mean people are using it to illegally reproduce DVDs. They legally bought the DVD and want to play it in Linux, which they have a legal right to do (under fair use we are allowed to use media in the form that we prefer, as long as we paid for the media).

Re:W e didn't loose anything, look at what we gain (2)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151912)

you paid for the right to use the media under approved and licensed software and or hardware.

You own the phsyical DVD, you DON'T OWN THE MOVIE TO DO WITH IT WHAT YOU WISH

huh? (3, Flamebait)

nehril (115874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129070)

...public's right to fair use of copyright materials. From the shutdown of Napster...

exactly which part of downloading mp3s without paying anyone a dime is "fair use"? I didn't think anyone actually believed that Napster was used for anything other than wholesale copyright infringement.

Re:huh? (1)

Hair (124791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123252)

i personally downloaded a lot of music that i didn't already own on record, cassette, or even cd... i also downloaded songs by people that had been recommended to me by friends. i didn't own those either.

it's the easiest way to hear a song that you haven't heard before. if i liked the music then i would buy the cd. if i didn't like the artist (or a particular artist's album), then i would only own one or two songs (that means it's not illegal, right? :) ). if it turned out that i didn't like the cd then its not very probable (zero percent chance actually) that i would have bought it anyway. who in their right mind would?

someone please tell me how the record companies are losing money. i only see them making money off of the free "advertising" that napster was providing. i sure know they made money from me... in a year, i'd say i bought a minimum of 30 cd's by artists that i previewed with napster. which is a decent profit from one high school student who doesn't have money to throw around.

just think: the people who are downloading songs so they don't have to buy cd's weren't going to buy them anyway.

when the RIAA took napster down, sure it made me hate their totalitarian attitude (and consequentially them) vehemently, but i was/am still willing to let some (read as most) of my money go to them as long as an artist that's making music i appreciate gets some of it. i just have to use limewire now. (java is better anyway shawn fanning!)

Re:huh? (2)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129209)

how many times must it be rehashed that alot of people download mp3's of records and tapes that they own. Which is well within their rights since they licensed the music when they purchased the record and medium.

come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2121503)

sure.. and i downloaded NPR broadcast recordings

Some people WANT their stuff downloaded... (5, Insightful)

Gregoyle (122532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151037)

The Offspring tried to release their entire new album (I forget the title) on their website. For free. What happened? Their record company shut them down. Thousands of artists release their material online, for example: mp3.com, besonic.com, djcentral.com, and countless others. Dave Matthews Band encourages trading of bootlegs of their concerts online. Many smaller record companies (not affiliated with the RIAA) also like the exposure they get by having their work available for download online, and encourage it.

When they shut Napster down, you couldn't trade your recordings of Dave Matthews concerts unless the files were named undescriptively (read: uselessly). Many smaller artists were/are finding that their music is NO LONGER available for download over Napster. This is exposure they *depend* on.

Not all copyright holders are the RIAA. I've said this before and so have many others, but I will say it again. The RIAA represent themselves, and their own bottom line. They do not represent the artists. They think they represent all of music, when in reality they are crushing the "little guy" who is so important to musical innovation (eek, I actually used that word?!?) to preserve the status quo.

Re:huh? (1)

flumps (240328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151551)

[sarcasm]Sure. I know, lets ban all use of CD-RW shall we? After all, its a medium that could be used to - god forbid - pirate software!!

Or how about banning the use of the video recorder? Yea, thats a good idea. [/sarcasm]

Just because a medium is abused, does not mean that it's the mediums fault: therefore just because ppl abused napster doesnt mean that its Napsters fault, or that they should do anything about it in all fairness. I can go to my local library and borrow a copy of any CD or Tape I want and if I wanted to I COULD COPY IT *gasp*. That would be MY fault, and *I* should pay the consequences for it. Should we regulate my local library so that they have to provide non-copyable material? That would be stupid, as was the descision by the courts over Napster.

Lets get the line between the "medium" separated from the "copyright infringers" clear, shall we?

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151909)

Napster isn`t a medium, its a company providing a service by running a website.

Re:huh? (1)

flumps (240328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2135055)

what?!? GET A BRAIN, BRAINIAC

What do YOU, mr/ms clever, define as a MEDIUM in any different way than the rest of us?? According to the dictionary (which last time I looked defines what language actually mean - probably something u could do with no doubt):

"medium (md-m) n. pl. media (-d-) or mediums Something, such as an intermediate course of action, that occupies a position or represents a condition midway between extremes. An intervening substance through which something else is transmitted or carried on. An agency by which something is accomplished, conveyed, or transferred: The train was the usual medium of transportation in those days. pl. media Usage Problem. A means of mass communication, such as newpapers, magazines, radio, or television."


Therefore, the Internet is a Medium, a newspaper is a medium, a damn RADIO WAVE is a medium and THEREFORE NAPSTER is a medium.

Oh dear, you've just burst into flames.

Re:huh? (1, Interesting)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153067)

exactly which part of downloading mp3s without paying anyone a dime is "fair use"?

1: I buy a cd, make a tape recording of it, and give you the tape so you can listen to it. You don't pay me. No money exchanges hands. Next week I make another copy for another friend. That's fair use as defined by the courts. That's why VCR's and Cassette tapes are not contraband.

2: I by a cd, rip it to mp3, and send you the files so you can listen it. Next week I send copies of the same mp3's to another friends. No one ever pays me. No money every exchanges hands. How is it fundamentally different? The quality of the copy is irrelevent. This is *NOT* fair use?

Using an application to distribute my copies to you more efficiently should have not affect on its legality. Napster, and P2P in general, only makes sharing copies -- a legally protected fair use -- easier and increases its volume.

That's what these current lawsuits are trying to do -- make efficient implementation of fair use practices illegal.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

stille (213453) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153645)

Indeed Napster was mainly used to distribute copyrighted material. However the question you must ask is: Who was illegaly distributing copyrighted material with Napster? It was the users.

Napster doesn't break copyright, people break copyright.

Re:huh? (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151783)

Napster was accused of vicarious copyright infringment . Basically this means that even though they didn't "steal" the music, they wre the means to do it, in other words, the getaway car.

bad title (3, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129352)

I think the "end of innovation" is going a bit far. Although no one wants to hear it, big corperations innovate too. I feel that the "little guy" gets stepped on all to often, but we tend to simply ignore the time and money large corperations spend on what is more or less innovation (so they can make more money)

End of innovation? (1)

kalleanka2 (318385) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129436)

What do you mean with this?

What do law enforcement, in this case making sure people are getting paid for their honest work, has to do with "End of innovation"??

Please explain.

People were innovating through worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2130631)

Don't forget that some of the most notable "innovators" had to deal with the threat of death and the church. Socrates and Galileo would be good examples. There will always be innovators and the worst that any government can do is make those innovators go underground.

whatever doesn't kill us (1)

pudge_lightyear (313465) | more than 12 years ago | (#2133168)

Our government has been playing catch-up in techonology ever since technology starting making big leaps. This year is just another year (a bad one, yes) where the government is trying to retain control by making wild stabs in random areas to please coorporations, who by coincidence, are the only sides the government are hearing right now. All of this will pass when the government, and society in general begin to realize the implications of what they are doing. If it doesn't, it can't shut down the free software movement. It definately can't shut down the anti-M$ movement. Those things will become stronger and more defiant. The government, except to those who are directly effected by it, should be a non-issue at this point.

"guilty before proven innocent" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2134022)

is the new american way! seriously, think about it. we are having technology/information yanked away from us because we will 'most likely' use it for something illegal. heaven forbid we be trusted enough by the govt. to do the right thing ourselves.

Re:"guilty before proven innocent" (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 12 years ago | (#2111822)

just the way the damn gun is being yanked away from you before you kill somebody with it. Oh wait, I forgot, the American way hasn't gotten to that point yet...

Re:"guilty before proven innocent" (0, Offtopic)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129208)

what?

Personally.. i find it hard to believe the gun manufactures can't be sued for wrongfull deaths from a WEAPON DESIGNED TO KILL.

BUT The cigarette industry is being sued up the ass because someoen CHOSE TO SMOKE and got cancer PROBABLY because they drank too much and worked in a manufacturing environment around chemicals all day as well.

Most people don't choose to die behind a gun, everyone who popped a cig in there mouth CHOSE to smoke and any DUMBASS who grew up with a brain can figure SMOKE is bad for you. You don't stand over a fire and breath in that smoke.

By golly though were taught guns and firearms are fun and protective and for hunting..

Nobody told me cigarettes were for fun, protectice and for hunting and they sure as hell won't kill anyone else.

enough of that rant.. npr was pissing me off this morning with the dude who's winning 3billion because he got cancer... put the ass out of his misery with a freaking legal gun

Re:"guilty before proven innocent" (1)

ThePilgrim (456341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153646)

Most people don't choose to die behind a gun, everyone who popped a cig in there mouth CHOSE to smoke and any DUMBASS who grew up with a brain can figure SMOKE is bad for you. You don't stand over a fire and breath in that smoke.

If you go back 10 - 15 years cigs where being advatised as being good for you.

Yeah??!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2136269)

fp

Re:Yeah??!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2129351)

Temnaja nochj,
Toljko puli svistjat po stepi,
Toljko veter gudit v provodax.
Tusklo zvezdy mercajut.

V temnuju nochj
Ty ljubimaja znaju ne spishj,
I u detskoj krovatki tajkom
Ty slezu utirajeshj.

Kak ja ljublju
Glubinu tvoix laskovyx glaz,
Kak ja xochu
K nim prizhatsja sejchas gubami...

Temnaja nochj
Razdeljajet ljubimaja nas
I trevozhnaja, chernaja stepj
Prolegla mezhdu nami.

Verju v tebja,
V doroguju podrugu moju,
Eta vera ot puli menja temnoj noch'ju xranila.

Radostno mne,
Ja spokojen v smerteljnom boju,
Znaju, vstretishj s ljubov'ju menja,
Cto b so mnoj ne sluchilosj.

Smertj ne strashna,
S nej ne raz my vstrechalisj v stepi.
Vot i teperj nado mnoju ona kruzhitsja...

Ty menja zhdeshj,
I u detskoj krovatki ne spishj,
I poetomu znaju ja
So mnoj nichego ne sluchitsja.

P.S. Sorry the formatting is a little screwy -- I
don't know how to render the rhythmic structure properly.

Innovation? HA! (1, Insightful)

gamorck (151734) | more than 12 years ago | (#2136459)

Newsflash: There hasnt been innovation in the computer industry for YEARS. Hell most of the people reading this are running an OS thats over 30 years old. The OS I'm running is 10 years old.

IE 6.0 and Netscrape 6.1 arent terribly different from the 3.0 versions. Office XP isnt terribly different from Office 95. The hardware in my machine is about the same as five or six years ago except for the fact that its a bit faster. Artifical Intelligence still sucks (dont even try to contradict that statement by pointing to one of those overrated expert systems /. likes to run stories about). Hell even PEZ is still that same as when my parents where kids (and probably their parents as well)

The computer/technology industry has begun to remind me of the automobile industry. Most of the changes that take place from year to year are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Innovation in that industry essentially died after the first combustion engine was built.

Perhaps instead of whining about this fact - you people should get off your collective asses and attempt to "innovate" something yourselves. Stop sitting around and whining about how your sources of copyright infringement have been cut off - and actually innovate. Otherwise I do not want to hear it.

Final Note: I cannot believe the majority of people here actually believe that Napster was innovative. Thats a good laugh. As far as Dmitry is concerned - if the encryption wasnt innovative - how the hell can you consider the crack innovative? Now theres the pot calling the kettle black.

Gam
"Flame at Will"

Favorite Quotes (1)

stille (213453) | more than 12 years ago | (#2139386)

. . . employees at Smith & Wesson don't have to fear that the FBI is going to swoop down and arrest them because their products led to somebody being killed, yet employees of software companies need to fear that some FBI agent is going to swoop down and arrest them because it's possible that somebody used their code to steal the latest John Grisham novel.
You get them[, the people,] to obey the law by making the law reasonable and getting people to be respectful of it, and that's the direction we ought to be going.

Hope they speak for themselves.

Bad year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2146531)

Doesent everyone think its kind of strange that the year in which we have such a economic downturn is also the same year where we are having all these copyright lawsuites?

Bad Move (1)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151038)

"- Channels can have channel operators and a channel founder which is the client who created the channel. Channel founder privileges supersedes the channel operator privileges. Also, channel founder privileges may be regained even if the founder leaves the channel. The requirement for this is that the client is connected to the same server it was originally connected. The channel founder cannot be removed (kicked) from the channel using force.

yeah, that's gonna work well, what happens when the founder doesn't like the peeps in the channel anymore, yet the peeps in the channel like it? THIS will cause more bs than anything else.

Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (4, Interesting)

camusflage (65105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151442)

For me (and a lot of others in the anti-spam community), Mr. Lessig lost all credibility when he wrote The Spam Wars [thestandard.com] . In it, he describes a group of vigilantes looking to change the nature of commerce on the net. What he fails to mention is that it's just a bunch of network admins using a self-compiled and maintained list to drop packets from open relays and known spammers from hitting their own networks.

I find it both amusing and disturbing that he can be so strongly in favor of fair-use, reverse engineering, and against the DMCA, among other hot button /. issues, all the while decrying network operators dropping traffic they don't want on their network.

Re:Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (1)

drc500free (472728) | more than 12 years ago | (#2113867)

What he fails to mention is that it's just a bunch of network admins using a self-compiled and maintained list to drop packets from open relays and known spammers from hitting their own networks.
Except the "known spammer" in this case was the entire MIT community!

Re:Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129353)

Here is a clue for you - the man is a lawyer. He very definitely sees things slightly differently from you. You cannot ever expect someone, even your idol, to agree with you 100%. If you feel so sore about his opinions, why don't you email him with what you believe are cogent arguments and try to get him to see it from your point of view?

Re:Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (2)

camusflage (65105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153477)

It wasn't a brief. It wasn't a bit of trial advocacy. It wasn't a legal opinion. It was an op-ed piece, aka opinion editorial , one which at no point approached legal issues. BTW, he's also a professor at Harvard, but for all I know, that might be only because the Law School Dean figured it might be good for the alumni donations to keep him around.

I don't question his knowlege or his credentials, only his (stated) opinion, one which leads me to question all others. To question the right of a network operator to drop traffic they don't want strikes at the very definition of the internet, a collection of interconnected autonomous networks. If he wants to tell me that I have to take packets from networks I don't want to talk to, you bet I'm going to get pissed off.

That being said, he's free to express his opinion, I'm free to express mine, and we're both free to disagree with each other. I'm also free to keep whoever I want out of my network.

Re:Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (2)

(void*) (113680) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123211)

That's the whole point. You believe that you can accept and reject packets as you like. While nobody is arguing with your rights to this, there is an issue - are you filtering accurately and justly? The reason why he calls it vigilante is exactly that - is there a role for regulation of your actions? If you believe that you can do no wrong, then that is precisely a point of law that you've failed to grasp.

For example, ISP's may want to reject incoming port 80 connections. becuase of the Code Red worm. Is this action so legally clear cut? What about the home user who needs to run a server now?

Re:Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (2)

camusflage (65105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123372)

For example, ISP's may want to reject incoming port 80 connections. becuase of the Code Red worm. Is this action so legally clear cut? What about the home user who needs to run a server now?

1. Find an ISP who allows you run a server. Most home broadband ISPs have clauses preventing people running servers. Just because they haven't stopped you before technologically doesn't mean they approved of it.

2. Run it on a different port. You're likely still in violation of your user agreement, if it has such a clause.

3. Get a dedicated connection. T1's can be had for $500 port and telco. Just because you can run a server on a DSL or cable modem connection doesn't mean that you should.

Re:Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (2)

JatTDB (29747) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151661)

It's a matter of freedom. Total freedom. A lot of people seem to have the view of "Keep the internet totally open, except where that conflicts with my ideals!" I have no problem with someone using a blackhole list to control access to their personal servers, or even a network admin who has verified that all (or at least a very significant majority) of the users want such blocking in place. When the admins bother to poll the users, the question tends to be worded such to extract the desired result ("We can implement measures that will reduce the amount of spam on the network. Do you want us to do this?"). The user answers in the affirmative while being unaware of the potential ethical issues involved.

Also, a major point Lessig made in the article you linked is the unaccountability of the people compiling these lists. There have already been abuses. Quite simply, it's part of the vigilante mindset that this comes from. Some people can remain totally objective, but most cannot.

All things considered, Lessig appears to be significantly less self-contradicting than many people I've spoken with who support blackhole lists.

Re:Lawrence Lessig = Wanker (2)

camusflage (65105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2112399)

Also, a major point Lessig made in the article you linked is the unaccountability of the people compiling these lists.

They're accountable to their users. If I use a list that is abused, I will try to correct the abuses. If I cannot correct the abuses, I will cease to use the list. No one's telling anyone they must use a blackhole list. It's a voluntary choice.

Regarding network admins polling users, I don't agree with that. A network admin is charged with operating the network as they see fit. I don't like that I can't listent to streaming radio at work. It is my employer's network, and they don't want me doing that, hence I don't do that. If my ISP used any filtering I don't want, I'd use another ISP. If my employer does something with their network I don't think they should, I raise the issue with management.

you know /. is getting bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151550)

when even the articles are trolling....

Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151655)

Napster was NOT fair use. It was plain and simple theft of copyrighted material. (Duh!)

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (0)

notext (461158) | more than 12 years ago | (#2119116)

sure mark it troll. I agree 100%. If you already own the cd the music you can make an mp3 yourself. There is no need to download it.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (0)

Genoaschild (452944) | more than 12 years ago | (#2152162)

I'm not completely disagreeing with you. If you don't own it, you shouldn't be able to copy it.

I do see a problem when you can't copy it and still want a backup copy of it. Like those old NES games, the only real way to copy it is to rip out the chip and use some special hardware to convert the data on it to a digital file on a computer. Not everybody has the capability of doing this. So, should I be punished and not be able to play NES games that bought 12 years ago because my Nintendo no longer works? I don't think so. I still paid for it and should still be able to keep a backup copy of it. Same deal here. Not everybody has the ability or the time to rip CDDA and convert it to wave files just so they can convert it to MP3s in bulk. They shouldn't be punished or not be able to have a backup copy when their CD could get scratched or burned or something any minute. The illegal stuff, well that is iffy and their is really no way to prevent that completely.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122770)

True, but "innovations" like "rip-proof" CD's take away much fair-use for the everyday Joe. Most average users do not know how to get around such obstacles, so they would go to Napster, Music City et al. to get the music they might have already bought.

A lot of my use of Napster was downloading obscure/out-of-print material or music I already owned on CD.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 12 years ago | (#2123373)

I think much of the /. regulars are totally clueless on why Napster in its original form was shut down: the small minority (about 20% at most) that used the service to essentially get copyrighted music for FREE and no longer wanted to buy records because the music was available freely.

No compensation for the artistic creators in any form is a major no-no even by Berne Convention standards.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (4, Insightful)

DGolden (17848) | more than 12 years ago | (#2128311)

Copying copyrighted information is not stealing. Stealing would mean that if I took it, you know longer have it. This is blatantly false. Copyright infringement is a more accurate term, though far less emotive.

It is only human convention that keeps copyright around, not some law of nature. And, at present, the original motivations for copyright are being perverted in the current implementation, so civil disobedience is a valid response.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (1)

kacp (188529) | more than 12 years ago | (#2121458)

so civil disobedience is a valid response.

If you feel that way, fine. Yet do not scream or shout when and if you are fined/arrested/have your computer taken as 'evdience'...
...that is a part of civil disobedience, after all.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (1)

Vilk (131239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122773)

You seem to be missing the point. Yes, the RIAA is greedy and out to make the greatest profit it can, but that does NOT make copyright infringement RIGHT. Every time you buy a CD, the overwhelming majority of your money goes to the record label and the rest goes to the artist. You are depriving an artist of his or her profit, and when in such a terribly binding contract as the ones record labels force artists to sign, every one of those cents count. Your high and mighty "I am entitled to copyrighted information because I don't agree with the principles of copyrights in the first place" attitude is not only selfish, but you are denying a musician his or her fair share.

Downloading pirated music is the same as stealing the CD from the store. Grow up: You're defending Napster with ridiculous claims of idealism when the basic reason is that using Napster is so much easier than paying for the CD.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (3, Insightful)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151067)

BS. I am not "depriving" an artist of a profit if I copy something I would not have purchased at the market price. If I actually had to pay for Britney Spears and Eminem, I would have waited for the used bins to fill up so I could buy them at $4-$8 -- and bing! still no profits for the artist.

But I agree with the statement that Napster contributed to copyright infringement. Sharing Britney Spears and Eminem with people I don't know is not Fair Use. It is an attempt to get the goods at less than market price or for free. The question is still there, would Napster survive if it somehow was limited to legal file sharing? The answer is still pretty obvious: no. It required a mass of popular music to have sufficient users to be useful.

I am hosting two mp3s for your entertainment at www.ichimunki.com, just go there and type 'mp3' into the command line. I permit you and everyone to share these files as much as you will-- and I can do that. I created the songs and the files. However, there is not enough interest in work like mine to keep a Napster viable legally. And most work in which there is enough interest to get a Napster up and running is going to be work that the copyright holders do not want to share for free to the world.

But just because I am giving my files away for free online, does not mean I'd condone stealing the CD from a store. That results in the real loss of physical property. And if my bandwidth needs become excessive due to the files' popularity, I would-- of course-- have to charge for them to help cover the expense of hosting them. Internet services cost money to provide, and the people who do the work need to eat. This is the lesson we are learning in 2001.

Nailing artists on crosses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151781)

You are depriving an artist of his or her profit

The artists are depriving themselves by willingly signing into agreements that gives the record companies rights to their music and most of the profits from it.

Re:Nailing artists on crosses (1)

Vilk (131239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2122782)

And does that give you a right to steal their work?

Re:Nailing artists on crosses (0)

Genoaschild (452944) | more than 12 years ago | (#2126673)

It certainly doesn't take my "rights" away to steal their work. This is not a war against the artist, they are just casualties, it is a war against the record and labeling companies that make most of the profit. It costs like $.33 to buy a CD and what $.10 of labor and electricity to stamp it. What is the CD selling for, what, $19.99 retail with record companies sell it for $14.99. The artist is making, what, only 5% of the record company sell ~ $.72 per CD. Who do you think war is going to be declared first on?

Re:Nailing artists on crosses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151187)

Arrgh Theft != Copyright infringement

Re:Nailing artists on crosses (1)

Vilk (131239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2136506)

Release an album under a major label and watch as people download your material, without your permission, off of AudioGalaxy, FTP sites, and other services. What would you call it then, when the one-time advance from the label is gone and you no longer have a source of income? Get off your Goddamn high horse and realize that it IS stealing because you're violating fair use and, as another user helpfully pointed out, conforming EXACTLY to the American Heritage dictionary definition of stealing: Taking another's property without permission. Intellectual property is property, thus the word "property" in the name.

Re:Napster Fair Use? Give Me a Break! (1, Troll)

Jasonv (156958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2134606)

"Copying copyrighted information is not stealing. Stealing would mean
that if I took it, you know longer have it. This is blatantly false."

Cool - I'm coming over to your house tonight, taking your car out for awhile, but putting it back in the morning so you still have it....

For me, theft would be using any of my possessions in any way which I don't want you to. Whether you take my car for a drive, take code I've written and use it when I don't want you to, or download and listen to music I've made without my permission.. that's theft

What dictionary do you use? (1)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151075)

Copying copyrighted information is not stealing. Stealing would mean that if I took it, you know longer have it

From the American Heritage Dictionary [bartleby.com] :
steal
TRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.
The question then becomes whether you believe that anyone who redistributes copyrighted works without the permission of the original author has the right to do so or not.

So if your belief is that if you write a piece of software, book, magazine article or song and then anyone is free to redistribute it without your permission and probably profit from it then according to your personal beliefs copyright infringement isn't stealing. If this isn't your personal belief, then yourself and the moderators that modded this up to +5 are full of shit.

Thanks for your time.

That won't happen (1, Insightful)

redcliffe (466773) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151656)

The open source community will never stop innovating. You can't suppress people's freedoms. Governments and corporations will keep trying to enforce rules and laws on the internet, but it won't work. They will build a 6 foot fence, but the open source community will build an 8 foot ladder. They can't take away our freedom to innovate.

What is this innovation you speak of...? (2, Interesting)

RumbaFlex (465472) | more than 12 years ago | (#2129382)

"The open source community will never stop innovating." Come on now, surely you don't mean that. I haven't seen innovation in years really (anywhere), and building an eight foot ladder in answer to a six foot fence isn't innovation, that's just being a huge unpopular kid on the way up the ladder expecting to hang out with the other kids, and really be heading for a fall. NEW ideas count as innovation; these are elusive things that have never ever been on the inside of the fence, so you see?, you don't really need the ladder..

Re:That won't happen (1)

bmongar (230600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151845)

They will build a 6 foot fence, but the open source community will build an 8 foot ladder.

And it will be an opes source ladder that I can extend to a 10 foot ladder when the fence is extended to 8 foot

right on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2137847)

imagine a beowulf cluster of OSS extension ladders!

Innovation (1)

Claric (316725) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151658)

The end of innovation ? This is just the beginning my friend ! So Napster got shut down. Big deal ! The protocal was so bad I suprised it wasn't exploited. It's times like these that inspire people into creating more innovative stuff. So come on old boy, keep a stiff upper lip. Good things are afoot.

Claric

Lighten up ... It'll get better (0)

Genoaschild (452944) | more than 12 years ago | (#2151966)

The economy won't stay in the rut forever. Eventually enough dot-coms will drop out of the market so that the remaining can actually make a profit. The supreme court is the king of the US and, in the end, everything will turn out A-Ok. So get over it. Everything will turn out fine. We are not suddenly going to go back into the great depression with all the dot-coms dying at once and the courts taking away our freedom of speech, press, etc. Leave it at that.

As I wait for /. to quit /.ing the /.ed (3, Insightful)

phantumstranger (310589) | more than 12 years ago | (#2152029)

I haven't read the /.'ed article but I figured I'd write this anyways.

Out of the three cases mentioned, the one one that made me the most upset, and is still the one that makes my blood boil the most, was the DeCSS travesty.

I'm talking, particularly, about the case with 2600. I'm not a big backer of 2600 or Emmanuel but in this case I had to give the respect where it was deserved. This was the case, IMHO, that set the tone for all cases after it and because 2600.com made the hearing available on their site [2600.com] I, we, were given a first hand listen to just how badly lawyers could manipulate judges in technology cases.

After listening to this case, at least the whole of 2600 / Emmanuel's side, and finally finding out the judgement, I knew that it was only going to get worse was only going to get worse (I suggest doing a search here for 'Court' it's truly appalling). It wasn't as though the judgement and the judgement alone upset me. It wasn't that I was all "rah-rah" for 2600. It wasn't even that I thought DeCSS should be "legal." It's that the judge had no concept of technology and the justice system allowed a mac truck of a manipulative lawyer to run him over. Listen to the testimony.

I said it before and I will continue to say it, the judicial system needs better qualified people presiding in these cases. I say 'these' because, and IANAL but, this is an entirely different concept than, say, laws of the physical world and laws of the 'cyber one.' I've often thought and giggled about the idea that files are never stolen, because if you copy something it's still there. I truly feal that we need judges that know the facts of the technology before it's sppon fed to them by the attorney's on both sides.

Until that happens, and / or until the hearings on Dmitry, Napster, etc. are made public (if they have been could someone please link them) so we can know for sure if proper and fair judgements were passed [lysator.liu.se] .

Without that, and without the DMCA being either a) abolished, or b) re-written (I'd much prefer the latter) the companies that own the DMCA will continue to 0wn anyone they want.

That's my two cents. Mod it to hell.

What I don't understand (1)

julianc (34853) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153019)

... is that Sklyarov was arrested because his program infringed DMCA. But surely the vendor of the compiler he used to build the program which committed the infringement also violated DMCA by allowing Sklyarov to circumvent the Adobe copy protection.

Given an MS Windows platform, presumably the co-conspirator compiler vendor must be Microsoft.

So why aren't they in court as well?

Typical lifecycle of any industry... (4, Insightful)

tbo (35008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2153528)

When was the last time you heard about private individuals making major discoveries in the automobile industry? Probably quite a while ago. As industries mature, the innovations stop happening in garages, and start happening in corporate labs. That's the typical lifecycle of any industry as it matures.

The problem with the computer industry is that that wasn't happening, so companies had to turn to the courts to force it to happen. As for the dot coms, I think that was Wall Street's way of saying, "party's over, nerds, now get to work". I just hope things don't end the way I think they will (no more individual innovation in the computer industry, death of open source from IP lawsuits, etc.).

On another note, I'm going to play devil's (lawyer's?) advocate and defend the DMCA (sort of):
Devil's Advocate:

People on /. are constantly slamming companies for hiding behind laws like DMCA instead of building better copy protection/encryption into their products. At the same time, when they try to improve their "rights management system" or whatever, we laugh at their feeble attempts *cough*SDMI*cough*. We know that the problem of protecting trusted content on an untrusted system is impossible. Ultimately, if we can see/hear it, we can capture it.

What's it going to be, folks? How are content providers supposed to protect their works? Unbreakable encryption is a myth, and once your encryption is broken, the hack can be distributed to millions within hours. The hack may have originally been created for legitimate access, but it can just as easily be used by your local warez d00d. The same is not true of analog content--even if you figure out how to photocopy a book, you haven't made it any easier for others to do so. Since technology provides no complete solution, content providers must turn to the law.

Predictably, the law (DMCA) is screwed up (when does government ever get anything right?). Think of it as an alpha release. Other countries, wiser from watching the US experience, will make better, fairer laws. Unfortunately, alpha may be all the US gets.


Seeing as I haven't seen a realistic, workable alternative economic system for what we now call Intellectual Property, I figure we should probably stick with the current concept of IP, and try to patch it up so it can survive the "digital age" without being too broken or stupid.

Re:Typical lifecycle of any industry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2123694)

How are content providers supposed to protect their works?

How about using this thing called "copyright law" to protect your work?

Copyright law is very powerful, it can easily shut down entire bootlegging operations and send criminals to jail. It allows rightful punishment of anyone who attempts to infringe your copyrights. It's perfect as it stands - balanced rights between the publisher and the public.

However, most inconveniently, copyright law allows people to resell your publications second-hand without your prior approval or consent. It also allows them to take quotes from your publications which they might use in a damning review. Furthermore, the copyright statue has no clause on Pay Per View subscriptions or Region Coding - you know, that illegal abridgement of international trade that allow pricing cartels to be rigged for the benefit of the publisher. So the DMCA was born.

Thanks, America!

Re:Typical lifecycle of any industry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2151186)

The biggest problem is not learning from mistakes. What if there was open discussion on why SDMI sucked. What its flaws were and so on. Then inovation happens you try again but this time you use what you have learned. Companies know they can put a small amount of effort then hide behind the law they paid for. Why inovate? It is more about profit.

Not necessarily (3, Insightful)

Richard Bannister (464181) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156872)

Napster may have made it easy to trade copyrighted music files, but don't forget that it could just as easily be used for swapping free music and personal recordings.

The Internet can be used for wholesale piracy of music, videos, commercial software, you name it. Is the Internet being shut down? No, because it has many redeeming qualities.

I'm not trying to justify keeping Napster alive - I recognise that the number of people using it legally was somewhere between zero and zero - but nevertheless, I believe that shutting Napster down is not all that different to shutting down Hard Disk manufacturers because their media can be used for piracy.

Just my 0.02 Euro...

On contrary, innovation starting again (3, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156876)

Silicon Valley has been technically boring the
past four years as people were rushing to bring
startups to IPO. Most people doing this were in
for the money, not the technology. And the tech
guys had worked 80 hour weeks developing boring,
me-too apps. Now there is time to be creative
again.

Never has the foundation been stronger-
2 GHZ, 1 GB computers for a grand, decent OS'es
with a maturing Linux and MS XP, decent development
language like Java and C#, and so on.

Re:On contrary, innovation starting again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2153504)

decent development on java and C#? are you mad?

but no, im happy to see all the dot-craps getting run out of operation. fuck commercialism.

The internet brings an end to innovation (1)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2156877)

Lessig beat me to it. I've been considering this vary topic for some time now.

Consider for a moment, not the corporate manipulation of copyright, and IP, bur rather, the academic and research fields. I maintain that the Internet has done tremendous damage to scientific study, and that it has the potential to slow down discovery of new technologies. The internet has facilitated massive colaboration in research and development, both in academic an corporate enviroments.Such colaboration, while vary positive one one level, is quite negitive on another. Suppose 3 seperate academic groups scattered throughout the world, envevour to develop , say, Cold Fusion. In earlier decades, scientists would work only with theor closest coligues who were in physical proximity. In that case, there might be tree seperate tracks of research undertaken, to reach the same goal. Suppose then, that after 5 years of work, it turns out that one track is completely fruitless and it is decided to abandon it. There are still two other groups who have worked the last 5 years on alternate tracks of research tward the same goal.

In the internet age, massive colaboration would take place and the three schientific groups would decide on a common approach and undertake that approach together. Now, all pursuing one research track, 5 years later they discover that this approach s fruitless. In this case, there weren't two other groups working tward similar goals along different lines. As such, the target discovery is delayed by 300% due to the evils of colaboration. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against colaboration per-se. I'm against massive colaboration for just for the sake of colaboration, which has been fostered by the web economy in recent years.

Not all scientific doscivery has been the product of colaboration. Consider the invention of the telephone. Both Bell, and anpther scientist in Germany (who's name escapes me at the moment) developed a similar technology at almost exactly the same time, with no colaboration at all.

Again, I'm not against colaboration, I'm just against moving blindly to colaborate when such colaboration is not nessecery. It can be related directly to the .com economic bouble. Venture capitalists threw money at anything with the word internet in it, not because the company's proposed service was needed, or wanted by the market, just because it could be done. We need to stop and consider when making use of technology, weather the particular use's benefits are real or imagined, and stop pursuing things because we can, focusing on things because they're needed and add value.

--CTH

who asked you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2129336)

that's what you think!
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