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Berners-Lee Speaks Out Against DRM, Advocates Net Neutrality

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the papa-don't-speak-i'm-in-trouble dept.

The Internet 187

narramissic writes "Speaking before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee advocated for net neutrality, saying that the Web deserves 'special treatment' as a communications medium to protect its nondiscriminatory approach to content. Berners-Lee's more controversial statements came on the topic of DRM, in which he suggested that instead of DRM, copyright holders should provide information on how to legally use online material, allowing users the opportunity 'to do the right thing.' This led to an odd exchange with Representative Mary Bono who compared Berner-Lee's suggestion to 'having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit.'"

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Why can't (5, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199884)

...Mary Bono do some snow skiing...and do us ALL a favor?

Re:Why can't (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200204)

I agree. It's bad enough when a show-biz bubblehead gets elected, but when his widow gets to inherit his job because people feel sorry for her, it just makes me want to hurl.

-jcr

Re:Why can't (1)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200754)

Cher is a congresswoman now?

Re:Why can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200914)

I was thinking the same thing. Why can't there be a tree for her, too?

Flawed analogy (5, Insightful)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199892)

DRM would be more like having speed limits but having car manufacturers artificially prevent the cars from going over 65mph.

Re:Flawed analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18199934)

which exists now, btw. some cars are "regulated" to a lower top speed than what they are technically capable of.

Re:Flawed analogy (5, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199970)

"having car manufacturers artificially prevent the cars from going over 65mph"...

Using a rate limiter velcroed to the dashboard.

Which obscured the driver's vision.

And stopped the car completely when it turned onto non-toll roads.

Re:Flawed analogy (3, Funny)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200006)

'having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit.'"


Bono's just plain daft. The faster you drive the more likely you will inflict serious harm. The more drm-less mp3s you download the more likely you are to bore people senseless talking about your bulging mp3 collection.

Re:Flawed analogy (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200020)

Not quite. A theoretical open DRM that never prevented you from doing things that were legal would be like what you describe. His reply should have been something like this: "DRM in any practical sense assumes that ALL copying is illegal, regardless. It is the practical equivalent of having a limiter set at 15 MPH because anywhere you drive, 15 MPH will be within the speed limit. This prevents a lot of legal use as well, though, and I'd imagine that 15 MPH limiter will go over really well on the beltway." That's a reference that they'd all understand....

Re:Flawed analogy (4, Interesting)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200436)

Wish I had points to mod you up. Instead, I'll just extend your edition of the analogy, as it'd be like...

  • ...if major car manufacturers had lobbied Congress to create the Driving Millennium Conformance Act (DMCA), which made it illegal for people to modify their limiters to actually drive within the speed limit but higher than the limiter-imposed 15 MPH.
  • ...if major car manufacturers were lobbying Congress actively to require 15 MPH limiters on all cars regardless of manufacturer (let alone actual speed limits).
  • ...if Motor Car Association of America (MCAA) were suing people who didn't own cars for driving over the speed limit.

Re:Flawed analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201082)

You don't have to own a car to drive one over the speed limit.

Re:Flawed analogy (2, Insightful)

squidfood (149212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200564)

That's a reference that they'd all understand....

"Moreover, Congress LIKES voluntary compliance on things like pollution standards... as long as it's for corporations. Why the double-standard?" They'd understand that argument, though they wouldn't like it.

Driving LESS THAN the speed limit is illegal too! (2, Interesting)

PRMan (959735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200708)

It's not even the same as that, because driving more than 20 MPH lower than the posted speed limit is illegal.

Re:Driving LESS THAN the speed limit is illegal to (3, Informative)

fourchannel (946359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200944)

It's not even the same as that, because driving more than 20 MPH lower than the posted speed limit is illegal.
That's not quite true. It depends on, for a few things, the state you're in, interstate vs. municiple streets, etc.

For example: I can bring my car to a dead stop, legally, on a city street. If I go to the interstate, I must go at least 40 mph.

This has nothing to do with sensible driving, but the legality of it. If I drove 40 mph on the interstate I would greatly endanger everyone from going painfully slow.

Re:Flawed analogy (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200264)

Motorcycles are usually electronically limited to 300 kph. It's an effete Euro thing .....

Re:Flawed analogy (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201062)

Motorcycles are usually electronically limited to 300 kph. It's an effete Euro thing .....

Except that is not a law [at least in the US]. It's the manufacturers who got together and agreed to do this because they were afraid laws would be passed, perhaps even more restrictive than their voluntary limit.

Re:Flawed analogy (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200962)

Of course, rather than bitching about it people would just not buy the stupid cars.

DRM is bad as law and easily ignored as customer hostility.

Speed limits (5, Insightful)

Darthnice (591865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199910)

There is a speed limit. I obey the speed limit. The police enforce the speed limit. They don't install a speed limiter in my car that keeps me from driving faster than the posted limit.

Re:Speed limits (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200094)

There is a speed limit. I obey the speed limit. The police enforce the speed limit. They don't install a speed limiter in my car that keeps me from driving faster than the posted limit.

That's because there are plenty of local municipalities that depend on the funds created by speed traps and their enforcement of them. I'm not quite sure how the judges that preside over those cases can claim impartiality when a portion of their wages come directly from those violations.

Re:Speed limits (1)

pinkstuff (758732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200232)

Not yet anyway... pays not to give them such ideas! :)

Re:Speed limits (1)

ottffssent (18387) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200308)

In particular, there is a speed limiter in your car, in all liklihood. It's probably set at somewhere between 100 and 140 mph. So it's not even an issue with added expense, etc. A simple software tweak would keep you from going faster than 75 (the fastest posted speed limit I know of in the US, though parts of Montana or somesuch may be faster).

Speed limits aren't enforced, with rare exceptions (speed traps). In general, only egregious violations (== unsafe driving) are pursued. Applying this model to copyright would result in the regime that existed prior to all the hooha about DRM: large duplicating rings are busted, but the little guy gets ignored.

Re:Speed limits (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200954)

In particular, there is a speed limiter in your car, in all liklihood. It's probably set at somewhere between 100 and 140 mph.

Do you have a source for that?

In all the cars I've ever owned, from Acura Integra's to VW Golfs to Porsche 911s I have never encountered a 'speed limiter'.

Several of the cars did have 'rev limiters' which prevented the engine from going too far past the red line. But those are there to prevent over revving in 1st/2nd, not to limit speed in 5th or 6th. Most cars can't even reach their red line in top gear, so the rev limiters aren't really an 'artificial' limit.

Re:Speed limits (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200988)

Mercedes and BMW both have electronic limiters that restrict most of their cars to 155mph.

Re:Speed limits (1)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201188)

I used to have an '87 Chevy that had a speed limiter that kicked in right around 115 mph. The engine was running fine, and right at that magic threshold it started sputtering and the speed fell off a bit, and suddenly it was fine again. And no, it was nowhere near redline.

Currently I have an Eagle Talon, which reportedly has a limiter at 145, but I have never put that to the test! If I hadn't read about it, I would have never known.

The justification I remember reading for these speed limiters was that it prevented the car from going faster than the tires were rated for. I don't know if that is really true, though.

Re:Speed limits (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200354)

Indeed. And -- just to make it even more explicit -- copyright law enforces copyright. Bono is nuts.

If DRM is enforcement, it is *private* enforcement (3, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200590)

It's one thing for the police to enforce the law. It's quite another for private companies and individuals to do so. If DRM is enforcement, then it's private enforcement: companies interpreting and applying the law according to their own standards, and without oversight.

Of course, as you correctly point out, DRM itself is not enforcement. It takes people to enforce a law. Devices can only enable and prohibit specific behavior, but that's a far cry from the active human reasoning required to apply the law.

I have often seen copy protection and DRM measures described as "speed bumps" for pirates, which is a much more accurate characterization. Although again, these speed bumps are private, interfering in a public space (i.e. restricting legitimate activities of the public).

Re:Speed limits (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200842)

I obey the speed limit.

What if you disagree with the speed limit for a certain part of road? What if your local authorities keep lowering the limits?

speed limit? (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199926)

rep. bono's analogy that not using DRM and rather educating users is like not enforcing speed limits is just bogus. DRM is more like having a lock on your car that prevents your car from going any faster or slower than the speed limit except for slowing down to turn or stop. DRM is not a means of enforcement. it's a means of control.

DRM comapred to speed limit. (3, Insightful)

1101z (11793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199940)

Well in Mrs. Bono's analogy it DRM would be having a speed limit and building cars that could not go faster then the speed limit, and where the car manufacture deciding when and where you could drive your car.

Re:DRM comapred to speed limit. (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200166)

And who you can resell it to.

Taking a step back (2, Interesting)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199952)

If we take a step away from the particular details of whatever argument he's made, let's consider the following:

Berners-Lee, speaking before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in the U.S. House of Representatives...said the Web as a communications medium deserves "special treatment" to protect its nondiscriminatory approach to content.
Does anyone else notice that the very fact that we have a US HoR Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet (complete with all of the money that its respective members have a hand in distributing, regulating, or privately investing) makes it impossible for there to be a nondiscriminatory approach?

Sure, the subcommittee can recognize that the federal government won't pass laws regulating content and then, in the next week, they can dump billions in social security funds into private investment brokerages which invest in only organizations which maintain pro-Mormon, pro-Catholic, pro-Abortion, pro-Prohibition, pro-War websites. Or they can go home and privately invest only in companies which are pro-Duracell, pro-Pepsi, or pro-Guatemalen. Or they can wait for the next spending bill to come along and selectively filibuster any measures which are pro-Smoking, or pro-Cheetos, or pro-Ford.

Let's not allow the trees to obscure the forest. The only way to achieve net neutrality is to divest the government of their power to direct the flow of a significant portion of the GDP. As long as the federal government directly collects a significant portion of the GDP in tax money, and indirectly regulates the remainder, "net-neutrality" is nothing but lip service.

Re:Taking a step back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201106)

You may be right about the government regulating the nation through money, but this just doesn't cut it at the net neutrality level. The government is the only organization that can ensure net neutrality. Without some sort of oversight, any company could violate neutrality without worrying about the laws. In this case at least the committee's not your bad guy ;)

bad analogy (3, Insightful)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199976)

having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit

It would be more like enforcing the speed limit by legislating that car wheels have to be squared!!

RIAA Theme Song regarding Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18199978)

"I've Got You Babe"

gah (5, Funny)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18199992)

You've unleashed the Slashdot car-analogy fiends! You fool!

Unenforced speed limit? (2, Funny)

Bradmont (513167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200022)

Have a speed limit but don't enforce it? It would be just like here in Canada!

Re:Unenforced speed limit? (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200108)

s/Canada/America/

Re:Unenforced speed limit? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200442)

or only enforce it between 9 & 5 on weekdays ;-)

I used to cross between Buffalo and Detroit regularly and at 5pm, the cops all went home. 80-90mph (not kmh) was the norm and 100+ wasn't unheard of for regular traffic speeds...


Re:Unenforced speed limit? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200592)

I think you've been watching too much CBC recently. I had a couple of several hundred dollar fines and points on my license for doing 142 in 100 zone, and two years later, 135 in a 100 zone. I was younger and stupider... thank goodness they didn't catch me when I used to drive 160-170 on the 401 between London & Toronto. That would have been a criminal conviction for doing more than 50 over the posted limited. Oh wait, the 142 offence was when I drove that fast - I was leaving London and hadn't got up to speed yet. I was lucky (in more ways than one).

For once "education" is in fact needed (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200028)

The only way that copyright law will really work is if the public respects it, and right now the public doesn't. It has nothing to do wtih prices or the actual law; most people don't even think about that as hard as that may be for most slashdotters to think about. It's because the public has been conditioned to think that no one is getting screwed, when in fact the creators are getting screwed. DRM is not going to fix what is fundamentally a social problem, and it's not like speeding. Damn, sometimes I hate analogies. You know what it's like? Having a very important part of the law that we teach people doesn't really have any moral component to it. Yes, it does. When you don't buy a band's album, but download it anyway, you're just an asshole. If you can't afford it, so what? If you can't afford even $20 for a CD, you sure as hell are too cheap on average to buy merch or go see them live. So yes, we need education and enforcement. Young people need to be taught that it's not a victimless crime to systematically break this law, and then there need to be fines and jail terms in place for many of the offenders.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200206)

For reasons of fairness, people also need to be taught that it's not a crime -- it is a tort (which has a victim by definition). Since it's a tort, it is up to the victim, not the police, to enforce this law.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (2, Informative)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200686)

"For reasons of fairness, people also need to be taught that it's not a crime -- it is a tort (which has a victim by definition). Since it's a tort, it is up to the victim, not the police, to enforce this law."

In the United states, it's both. This is what the "severe civil and criminal penalties" phrase means on the FBI warnings on DVDs, but I'm guessing most people reading this get their movies via BT with the FBI warning redacted.

If anybody's interested, here's the relevant section of US copyright law [copyright.gov] that covers criminal infringement and penalties. With the bar being only $1K retail value, it's pretty easy for your average kid with a share directory to cross into criminal territory (that's only a thousand songs) but so far, copyright holders have limited themselves to civil suits in the case of garden variety file sharers.

The police can and do enforce S506, but it's typically for instances where the infringement is north of $50K or so. News of criminal convictions shows up on Slashdot from time to time.

Felony charge for uploading an Academy screener (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200940)

For reasons of fairness, people also need to be taught that it's not a crime -- it is a tort (which has a victim by definition). Since it's a tort, it is up to the victim, not the police, to enforce this law.

Think again.

(AP) - LOS ANGELES-A man was charged with copyright infringement for allegedly uploading the computer-animated film "Flushed Away" after getting a copy from an Oscar voter.

Salvador Nunez Jr., 27, faces up to three years in prison if convicted of the felony count. He was scheduled to appear in court March 1. He was charged Thursday.

Prosecutors alleged he obtained a copy of the movie after it was sent in advance to his sister, an Oscar voter and member of The International Animated Film Society.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences received a tip in early January that someone put "Flushed Away" on the Internet, and an investigation found Nunez uploaded it on Dec. 23, according to a federal complaint.

A digital watermark identified it as an Academy screener film.

When interviewed by FBI agents, Nunez acknowledged he uploaded "Flushed Away" and the Oscar-nominated film "Happy Feet" onto the Internet, court documents said. However, investigators found only a copy of "Flushed Away" in his computer hard drive.

"Flushed Away," won four prizes on Feb. 11 at the Annie Awards, honoring achievements in feature film and television animation.

In 2003, the MPAA banned the distribution of screener copies over concerns about bootlegging, but partly lifted the ban after complaints from filmmakers, producers and independent production companies.

It was not immediately known whether Nunez had an attorney. His home phone number was not listed. US man charged with uploading Oscar movie copy of 'Flushed Away' onto Internet [findlaw.com]

Flushed Away was released on DVD February 20, 2007. Theatrical release November 3, 2006.Flushed Away [aol.com]

There is much of interest in this story.

But nothing could be more significant than the decision to prosecute the uploader on the felony charge.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (2, Insightful)

csplinter (734017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200216)

Nah it's the price for me. I love having a music collection more valuable than I can afford right now. Music needs to become about an order of magnitude cheaper before I could consider going completely legal. I'm sure there are others that feel the same way.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (1)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200246)

Yes, let us put young people in jail for listening to music that they wouldn't have bought anyway. That must surely teach them to respect the righteousness of the law.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200552)

Actually, I think it's more a perception (largely correct) that the big copyright holders are screwing both the creators and the buyers. Certainly that's the case when it comes to music, and given the creative accounting for which Hollywood is so famous, that likely applies to the movie industry as well. Consequently, you are right, copyright infringement is not victimless, but the victims are generally not the people that the RIAA/MPAA types would like us to believe. Much of the verbiage those outfits spew on that topic is downright disingenuous.

Now I do believe that one should pay for what one receives, and I've no problem buying music, but I'd just rather buy from a source that is as close as possible to the creator. That way, as much of my money as possible goes to the creative elements of our society rather than the parasitic ones. Take iTunes: yes, Apple gets very little of the vast stream of raw dollars pouring into it's DRM-constricted throat, but the people actually producing that music don't get even that much. The rest is picked off by businesses that have litte raison d'être in the Internet age.

But that is nothing new in and of itself. Middlemen generally suck, when you get right down to it. But pinning down who, exactly, is a "victim" is not always so black-and-white, and given that many of the "victims" here are organizations that have criminally abused their own customers it's hard to work up much sympathy.

In truth, the recent corruption of IP law in this country is turning a nation of people into victims, in many ways. Think about that for a moment. Something isn't right, and it can't all be laid at the feet of P2P technology and downloaders.

It amazes me to hear people like you rambling on about "jail terms" for civil violations like copyright infringement. Apparently you've bought into the idea that downloading a song is somehow the moral equivalent to a violent crime. It's not, never has been, and copyright law never said so. Heaping on more penalties isn't the solution. Besides, copyright infringement is already against the law, and given the extreme penalties that could already be (mis)applied to an individual I don't see how tougher laws would help.

A freer-market is the solution, one that is not controlled by a handful of abusive corporations. That would be better for both the content creators and their customers. Bad for the middlemen, but odds are we won't miss them.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (2, Insightful)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200968)

Why do copyright holders screw the creators? No one is forcing the creators with a gun to their head to buy their world wide distribution service. Usage of a distribution chain isn't a birth right. If I have a store in Fruits&Vegetables, I've to market the store and make a local living. Or, I can choose to join Evil Fruits&Vegetables Corp and have my apples distributed worldwide. On their terms, yes, but it would still be my choice. Why would I choose that? Because I want to be a millionaire and rule the world. In other words, these creators are just as greedy as the guys they sold out to.

Well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200628)

If you have to educate a lot of folks in order to get them to see that sharing is wrong, is the problem really a matter of education?

I mean, what if I proposed that we "educate" people that it's my *RIGHT* to be paid continually for something I did once? Perhaps a "teacher right" that gives teachers a share of the revenue their students make from their teachings? After all, that would surely encourage people to teach each other, right? What could possibly go wrong?

P.S. You owe me big time for reading this post.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (2, Insightful)

Bullet-Dodger (630107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200936)

Yes, we do need more education about copyright but your view of it is completely one-sided. It's very possible that people would be less respectful of copyright if they were taught more about it. You, it seems, have been conditioned to think that copyright exists solely for the benefit of the creator. It doesn't. It exists for the benefit of society.

The deal was that content creators would get a limited period of control as an incentive to create works that would then go into the public domain. Increasing the time limit tenfold, and continuing to increasing it so that nothing will ever enter the public domain is clearly breaking that deal. When companies have used a loop-hole (that infinity-1 qualifies as "limited") to completely violate the sprit of a law, is it really surprising that people don't respect it?

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201250)

The only way that copyright law will really work is if the public respects it, and right now the public doesn't.

"The public" is not all of one mind.

Not everyone has a computer with tetra bytes of storage. Broadband service. Not everyone can afford the 200 pack of DVD-Rs.

Not everyone loves the Geek for stealing a copy of a movie he had to buy or rent or go without.

Until its mutilated release on broadcast tv or basic cable.

The Geek is far too quick to mod down as Flamebait the bare suggestion that his defense of copyright infringement is nothing more than a self-serving assertion of a middle class entitlement. Social Welfare for the iPod generation.

Re:For once "education" is in fact needed (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201480)

It's because the public has been conditioned to think that no one is getting screwed, when in fact the creators are getting screwed.
Actually, I think realize that the creators of the music are getting scrwed and the consumers are of the music are getting screwed. The RIAA likes to give it to both ends.

Weird choice of argument (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200038)

Bono questioned if his idea would prevent mass stealing of copyright materials. "Is that not the equivalent of having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit?" she asked.
[...]
"What is the enforcement for speeding?" he said. "The enforcement for is not that the car grinds to a halt. [Instead of DRM] I'm inclined to make software to allow people to do the right thing first."
Why on earth did he choose to turn aside that argument in lieu of taking it head on? This is an EXCELLENT analogy to turn to his own uses imo. Speed limits in almost any country I know of seem to have a good 10 units of measure (km/h or mp/h) leeway it seems as to whether the speed limit is enforced or not. This seems to me to be an excellent analogy to the black and white way the **AA's attempt to enforce the DRM rules currently versus the grey area that SHOULD exist with regards to fair use.

Can someone enlighten me as to why he would choose to avoid that point? Is there some precedent that makes this dangerous to his argument?

IANAL as per most such posts, but if one could point out why that analogy would have been a bad thing I'd love to know.

(ps slick with the s/deep/dept/)

Re:Weird choice of argument (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201164)

He didn't avoid the point. His response was that DRM prevents legal instances of copying, whereas speed limits don't prevent legal driving. It could have been phrased better, but he was on the spot and had to respond to a really stupid analogy.

Speed Limits (5, Insightful)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200050)


Well, here in Virginia, it seems that the speed limit serves only to fund the police.

Honestly, if the speed limit were posted as a suggested top safe speed, I think we'd still be ok.

Research has shown that regardless of the speed limit, almost all motorists will drive roughly the same speed on the same road, indicating that most people have common sense and will find a "max safe" speed that they're comfortable with. Some people will speed, some will go far slower. But when a speed limit is lowered below this "natural speed", it only serves to line the coffers of the Police, filling their quotas.

For instance, here in Blacksburg, they've just recently decreased the speed limit of Patrick Henry Drive from 35 to 25. This road is four clearly marked lanes, has a sidewalk on both sides, a bike lane, and is clearly lit with streetlights on both sides of the road. Why is it 35? I dunno, but I can tell you there have been a lot more police on it since then.

I really believe that if the powers that be started enforcing reckless driving statutes - ticketing people for weaving in and out of traffic, not using signals, etc - and stopped enforcing speed limits, we'd have fewer accidents and everyone would be happier (fewer "speed traps"). But then, I'm a firm believer in less police and that police should "Keep the peace", not "enforce the law".

It'll never happen, though, cause old people are the only ones that vote anymore (cause it's all they have left to look forward to, other than death and the daily delivery of the mail), and they all drive at 15mps regardless of the speed limit (causing more problems than people who speed).

~Wx

15 mps (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200512)

Fifteen meters per second, eh? Grandma's driving did become a bit more reckless in her old age...

Re:Speed Limits (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200734)

regardless of the speed limit, almost all motorists will drive roughly the same speed on the same road

Don't know if it's still the case, but this used to be more or less the actual definition of the speed limit in California. The authorities could put up whatever signs they wanted, but you could get out of a ticket if you could show that, if cops weren't around, traffic moved at the same speed you were ticketed for. You had to pay a traffic engineering company to do a study or something like that.

Re:Speed Limits (1)

shofutex (986330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200838)

I'm sure it has less to do with the drivers than the idiot pedestrians. Driving around Blacksburg is like playing Frogger...

The Steve Jobs Quip (1)

ratm999 (1070324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200072)

I kind of like the Bono's quip about Steve Jobs: "With great respect to Steve Jobs, he's trying to sell hardware, first and foremost," she said. "I wonder if he would feel the same way about his patents being on the Internet free of patent protection."

Re:The Steve Jobs Quip (1)

ttyRazor (20815) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200480)

of course that's still a bad analogy since there's no technological protection on the patents themselves, just the purely legal protection over implementing those patents.

Re:The Steve Jobs Quip (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200876)

What's she's really saying is that if there were some technological measure that could be widely implemented to prevent any and all copyright or patent infringement, it should be forced on us.

I'm not impressed with this woman. I agree with one of the earlier posters ... I think she should take a skiing holiday. We might get lucky.

Re:The Steve Jobs Quip (1)

steelneck (683359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201056)

His patents _are_ on the internet, the PTO publishes them, and they are free to download... Please do not mix the immaterial that we cannot either see or touch with physical things that goes as property. Yea, there is no such thing as "inetellectual property" it is a contradiction in terms.

Re:The Steve Jobs Quip (1)

SpecBear (769433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201156)

I find it amusing as well. First off, Jobs never suggested removing copyright protections, he just advocated getting rid of DRM. Big difference. Copyrighted work is still protected by copyright law, with or without DRM.

Secondly, any and all patents that Steve Jobs has are already available on the Internet for free [uspto.gov] . They're right out there for anyone who wants to read them, copy the ideas, and infringe on his patents. How on earth does the man sleep at night?

Mary Bono is Clueless (1)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200074)

Look at how part of the conversation went:

Bono questioned if his idea would prevent mass stealing of copyright materials. "Is that not the equivalent of having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit?" she asked.

"What is the enforcement for speeding?" he said. "The enforcement for is not that the car grinds to a halt. [Instead of DRM] I'm inclined to make software to allow people to do the right thing first."

But Bono said strong protections for digital content are needed. "With great respect to Steve Jobs, he's trying to sell hardware, first and foremost," she said. "I wonder if he would feel the same way about his patents being on the Internet free of patent protection."

She just made herself look stupid, what was she thinking with that last comment?

  1. Get owned by Tim Berners Lee for making an analogy that makes no sense;
  2. Panic, then throw up a smokescreen by ranting about patents and what a great bloke Steve Jobs is;
  3. ...
  4. Profit (campaign funds from Apple)!

Re:Mary Bono is Clueless (2, Insightful)

Sam Ritchie (842532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200816)

what was she thinking with that last comment?

I don't know. Apple's patents are all available on the internet free of technological copying restrictions. What's protecting them is that fact that copying [the ideas in] the patent is unlawful, ie they have exactly the same protection as hypothetical DRM-free Sonny & Cher MP3s.

Re:Mary Bono is Clueless (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201288)

I'm emailing her about it as I type this. I suggest other Californians do the same. She has betrayed an unheard of level of ignorance on the subject of "intellectual property" and should seriously reconsider her position. People in the 45th Congressional district should email her as well.

http://www.house.gov/formbono/issue.htm [house.gov]

Speed Limit Analogy (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200078)

My knee jerk reaction to the "speed limit" analogy was "Oh, god, here come the tubes again."

But actually it's a pretty interesting analogy.

You don't have to have cars engines cut out, you just have to require governors be installed that limit the speed to, say , 65MPH. If you visited a place like Montana, you could have the governor adjusted upward. If you were driving on a private speedway, you could set it as high as your car would go. But if you were caught driving over the governor limit on a public road, you'd be subject to severe penalties.

What makes this interesting is that the argument for installing governors on cars is stronger than the argument for enforcing DRM.

WHAT IS ACCOMPLISHED:
DRM enforcement: increase copyright holder's profits.
Speed governors: saves lives, reduces strategic dependence of foreign oil, reduces insurance costs.

COSTS:
DRM enforcement: restricts users from doing some things that they have a legal right to do.
Speed governors: restricts users from doing things ONLY if they are clearly illegal.

IMPACT ON FREEDOM:
DRM enforcement: restricts fair use of information for critical, educational and political purposes
Speed enforcement: prevents police from arbitrarily stopping/fining people.

I'm not saying I'm for putting speed limiters on cars. I'm just saying anybody who sees DRM as an appropriate way of enforcing the law should also be for limiting how fast cars can go.

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (3, Funny)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200148)

186,282.397 miles per second; it's the law.

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201104)

186,282.397 miles per second; it's the law.

And it's a good thing, too. Have you checked your gas mileage at 0.9c lately?

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201162)

It's astronomical...

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200304)

Yeah, it would be great if your car dynamically knew how fast you could go based on where you were. Well...unless my wife were pregnant...or I was being chased by "car pirates" trying to take my life, or any other emergency situation.



Of course this could never malfunction and make your car grind down to 25 mph on the highway.



Oh, I thought of another one: passing old cars on hills.

PS hey!: I read your disclaimer :)

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200534)

This is an excellent example of a phenomenon a management consultant friend of mine likes to point out. Most people when faced with an alternative, will focus solely on the intended benefits of their preferred alternative, and solely on the intended costs of their less preferred alternative.

So -- Lets say for a moment it's a good idea to drive 90mph with your pregnant wife in the passenger seat. Let's say that you can drive like a hollywood stunt driver on public streets without endangering other folks. Let's grant all the positives for letting cars go as fast as they are mechanically capable. Would you be statistically safer?

Probably not.

I'm not for putting speed governors on cars. I'm for setting reasonable speed limits and enforcing them consistently. I think that would be a better option. But it is possible to argue reasonably for putting speed governors on cars. I'm not sure that's true of DRM, but if it is true of DRM, it is more true of speed governors.

Of course this could never malfunction and make your car grind down to 25 mph on the highway.


FUD. If it were true, then it should be happening now. I know for a fact that some cars limit the top speed in software. So far as I know there haven't been cases of this.

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (2, Insightful)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201028)

Of course this could never malfunction and make your car grind down to 25 mph on the highway. FUD. If it were true, then it should be happening now. I know for a fact that some cars limit the top speed in software. So far as I know there haven't been cases of this.

Actually the current system for limiting a car's speed is not dynamic. It's preset to a specific speed, for instance 110 mph.

A system that dynamically governs your car's speed has not been invented. What would it use? Maybe it would use RFID tags that were embedded in the road. I'm sure no one could put a spoof tag in the road and of course we can't guarantee that your car will be able to read it in adverse conditions, which would cause problems when you're coming off a 25mph residential street on to a 75 mph highway. So RFID tags are out, but put up any system and there will be problems.

The current manufacture installed governor system works because it is inherently uncomplicated whereas any dynamic system would have a lot of room for error.

If the world were perfect it would make sense to perfectly enforce rules but the world is not perfect and it's better to leave an imperfect gray area to deal with it. There are too many strange and different situations that might need you to go faster than 25 on a residential road to try to blanket force everyone to go the speed limit.

If we, as a society, treat everyone as children that can't be trusted they will act like children and we will not be able to trust them.

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (1)

isometrick (817436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201094)

Not that I disagree with the rest of your post, but:

FUD. If it were true, then it should be happening now. I know for a fact that some cars limit the top speed in software. So far as I know there haven't been cases of this.
I think you misinterpreted.

The OP mentioned at the beginning of the post:

Yeah, it would be great if your car dynamically knew how fast you could go based on where you were.
This would be a great deal more complicated than a hard limit set in a car's internal software, especially with possible security concerns. I don't think any cars have dynamic speed governors ... at least yet.

Re:Speed Limit Analogy (1)

codevark (1070362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201326)

Tired, just feel like blithering...

If the roads were smart (yes, a big IF), the car/road would do some quick calculations involving the weight/power of your vehicle and the section of road you were about to be driving on and the other cars around you, and just not let you do anything stupid/dangerous (NASCAR tracks would obviously use a less strict equation).

Even better, if I could get in my car, say "work", and nap for 15 minutes while it drove me there by itself...

DRM on the other hand, as it appears to be evolving, is about as consumer-friendly as BMI/ASCAP coming down on the little coffeshop across the road because one of the unpaid local musicians performing at their weekly open mic night *might* perform a song by a registered artist who has been tricked into believing that BMI/ASCAP is actually looking out for the artists and isn't an obsolete 1930s juggernaut empowered by the US government, collecting money from artists and "violators" alike, yet rarely ever doing anything for artists unless they are considered "worthy" of remuneration (already in *The Machine*).

Maybe the "artists" have such bad hearing that they can't tell the difference between their original multitrack recordings and some crappy mp3 floating around. Maybe people content to listen to crappy mp3s deserve to get the music for free. If John publishes his own music on the web, and I like it, and John wants $1/song for high-quality digital versions, I'll probably buy some songs, and might give one to a friend so that they can decide whether or not to pay $1/song. But if John demands that I buy all of his songs at $2/song, and warns me that if I share any of these songs I'll be sent to Guantanamo, I will laugh at John (I know John, so I can do that and get away with it).

Me? I give everything away for free cause it's my life someday I will die and if I want to be remembered the more people who hear me the better. Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law. Jam The Web!

(thanks for reading me)

Patent protection quote (1)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200080)

I wonder if he would feel the same way about his patents being on the Internet free of patent protection.
You can freely view patents online [uspto.gov] .

Re:Patent protection quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200420)

I believe that the important part of the quote is, "free of patent protection."

Re:Patent protection quote (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200478)

View them? Yes. Sell something infringing upon them without expecting to end up in court? No. Her point being: if they weren't protected by law, the would-be holders wouldn't be terribly happy about them being freely viewable (I'm sure many aren't happy about it as it is, but you have to pick one: patent protection or trade secret)

"Special treatment" not required (4, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200104)

There's already a standard treatment available--common carrier. ISPs were subject to this regulation when everyone connected to the Internet over phone lines. Now, thanks to the 9th Circuit Court, cable ISPs are not subject to this regulation. And rather than restore it via legislation, Congress is instead considering stripping it from telephone-line ISPs as well.

Common carrier is an essential part of all of our transportation networks. The reason you can go to Kinkos and send a package, regardless of what's in it, is common carrier. The reason you can make phone calls to Cingular with a Verizon cell phone is because of common carrier. Without it the transport company can refuse or degrade service as they please.

Re:"Special treatment" not required (1)

ifakemyadd (1070340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200640)

What's interesting, though, is that although the content can't be blocked on a common carrier, it can still be charged to the sender at different amounts. I.E. a long distance phone call doesn't cost the same as a local phone call, though 'common carrier' is still at play. Does this suggest that the legislation should reflect discrimination cannot block, only limit?

Hmmm (1)

V_Pundit (794571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200130)

Funny about that comment. I know lots of places which have speed limits that they don't really enforce. I wonder if it's anything like having immigration laws that you don't enforce . . .

RIAA Speed Limit Enforcement (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200150)

If the RIAA wrote laws about speeding they would look like this:
  • You could only purchase a RIAA approved automobile, which was incapable of speeding and included a fee for speeding.
  • It would be against the law to roll up the windows, cut off the parachute shaped spoiler, or replace the solid rubber wheels on that vehicle, because that would increase the chance you would speed.
  • The hood would be welded shut and only RIAA authorized, indoctrinated, licensed and bonded mechanic would be allowed to look under the hood.
  • Depictions of pistons in cylinders and other anti-speeding circumvention paraphernalia would be against the law.
  • Walking, bike riding, public transportation, carpooling and water craft would be against the law. It's hard to speed with them but they would be considered an anti-speeding circumvention because they avoid automotive fees.
  • Everyone would pay a small fee for speeding with every gallon of gas purchased, which triples the cost.
  • The road would contain speed bumps every 20 yards.
  • Ownership of 99% of all roads would revert to RIAA companies.
  • There would be a camera with police authority for full body cavity search on every corner to catch the speeders.
  • Innocent people who pay their speeding tickets early will get a significant rebate.
  • The penalty for speeding would be $250,000 or life. Those accused of speeding would be thrown out of school immediately.
  • Before driving, you would be forced to view the RIAA/FBI speeder warning to remind you of the steep penalties speeding carries.
  • Speed limits would not be posted, there would be no central repository of speed limits and your vehicle would not have a speedometer. The only way to know that you were speeding would be notification of your crime in writing by an RIAA member company.
  • None of these laws would apply to RIAA members, their family or anyone they thought well of.

Everyone knows that automobiles are just a repository for speeders and the RIAA deserves it's cut of the action.

As crazy as the above appears, it's not nearly as damaging as copyright laws that do the same things are. The above would only inhibit your ability to get from A to B. Copyright laws make it hard for you to share your culture, or quote it to make a point and limits your mind.

Re:RIAA Speed Limit Enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200366)

well, that's 40 minutes of your life you'll never get back.

Poor analogy (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200210)

It's not like having a speed limit and not enforcing it. DRM is like having a speed limit of 65mph and installing electronic governors on every car that limit it to a top speed of 65mph. If instead of DRM the RIAA and MPAA just ticketed people for $75 when they discovered they were violating copyright, then we'd have a better comparison.

Background information on the Bonos (1)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200266)

For those of you who don't know, Mary Bono [wikipedia.org] is the widow of Sonny Bono, as in Sonny and Cher, and the politician who yes, died while skiing in Nevada. More importantly, she is the namesake of Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act [wikipedia.org] which dramatically increased the duration of copyrights, which may explain her opposition to free and open formats and architecture.

Re:Background information on the Bonos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200970)

It is kind of ridiculous that in the US, which poses as the supposed posterboy of democracy, someone with a direct personal financial interest can actually initiate and push through a piece of legislation, that is aimed to provide personal financial benefit.

Politicians should be barred from this. It is not only completely un-ethial, it is outright criminal.

Since Mary Bono likes analogies: this is like a leader of organized crime is trying to preach law and order to a petty thief.
Please show some decency Mary Bono, resign, before your voters press charges against you for misusing and abusing the power they provided you for the interest and good of the public. Not for Mary Bono and her friends in the entertainment industry.

Going to have to partially agree Mary Bono (1)

Jack Sombra (948340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200278)

"This led to an odd exchange with Representative Mary Bono who compared Berner-Lee's suggestion to 'having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit.'"
That is an accurate description of Berner-Lee's suggestion, he is saying it should be still illegal but that pretty much nothing should be done if people break the law nor should anything be done to prevent them breaking the law

DRM is not the solution but neither is Berner-Lee's sugestion

Not really (1)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200516)

Really, he's suggesting that we shouldn't have cars that only let you go the minimum speed limit.

Using Mary Bono's analogy, DRM is more like a car that will only let you go 20kmh, even on the freeway. If we continue this analogy, people should get arrested for breaking copyright.

This analogy is really quite good: almost everyone speeds. There are very few people who only go the posted limit. Very few are really caught. Those caught are handed a minor rebuke, unless they do it a lot. Police let most speeders go by, as they are only speeding by a little bit. They wait to catch the big ones, the fellow doing 120kmh in a 90kmh zone.

Mary Bono should listen to herself talk. I bet she breaks the speed limit.

Re:Going to have to partially agree Mary Bono (1)

passiveNecro (1070344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200566)

i don't think it is an accurate description at all. With a speed limit a driver is told the limit and then chooses to obey it or to break. If the driver is caught breaking the limit they then face fines. the model Berners-Lee suggested seems to reflect this. If users are aware of what they are allowed to do (the speed limit) they are considered responsible if they do otherwise (claiming not to know the speed limit is not an excuse for speeding)

List of what you can do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200900)

1) Purchace license to play
2) Download
3) Playback on a single platform (# of time dependent on license)

Looks like tons of fun to be had by all!

Re:Going to have to partially agree Mary Bono (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200714)

If I have read the quotes correctly it seems that Berner-Lee suggested that education was the priority not preventative full-scale lockdown; this type of lockdown is a violation of the doctrine of fair-use {fair dealing}. Mary Bono countered that his concept was against enforcement of copyright; but it is not, he advocates a system that only refutes preventative full-scale lockdown it did not either directly or indirectly address enforcement of copyright. Please note enforcement of copyright was and is intended to be a reactive measure available to the copyright holders as a response against improper/illegal actions taken by others.

Call me cynical, but (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200404)

I think politicians are all in favor of a "toll-road on the Internet" because just like with state highways, there is money to be had in bribes and kickbacks for the politician(s) who give a particular toll-road company the operating contract.

Congrats (1)

47Ronin (39566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200484)

Well, at the very least it's nice to know that there are more than two people actually in the room listening to proposals. Have you ever seen the room BEHIND the person on the mic? Nearly all those chairs are EMPTY most of the time!

Bono's Patent Comment (3, Informative)

nameer (706715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200524)

FTFA: But Bono said strong protections for digital content are needed. "With great respect to Steve Jobs, he's trying to sell hardware, first and foremost," she said. "I wonder if he would feel the same way about his patents being on the Internet free of patent protection."

Umm... They are, at www.uspto.gov. There is no "patent protection" keeping people from the information. If Steve wants to enforce his patents, he can file a civil suit, but the information in the patents themselves is available to all.

If DRM is as good as dead, what's the solution? (1)

niteblade (764045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200716)

Every time the subject of DRM comes up, its seems like there is a good 10-1 if not 20-1 ratio of 'DRM will NEVER work' to any other response. Well that's fine in theory, but without DRM do the copyright holders just hope and pray that people won't copy? Sure, there are ways to strip DRM right now, but what the RIAA/MPAA are trying to do is at least hold on to their core/non techie market (meaning no one would realistically think they would stop all copying but as long as they can stop a large % that's good enough).

It seems most people on here frequently mix up 'free as in open source' with 'free as in beer' - two distinct concepts. I'm curious what the people who think DRM's death is inevitable/will never work think will keep the movie/recording industry alive. Why wouldn't a non-DRM market simply implode - and the industry as a business would die. Another way of putting it - does non-DRM material have a place in capitalism? If so, how? By relying on people's good will? Sorry, I don't see that as a realistic answer. By in large people purchase because that HAVE to not because they WANT to. Tell me how I'm wrong on this.

-NB

Re:If DRM is as good as dead, what's the solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200836)

Music has been copyable for at least 100 years, DRM didn't exist until about 10 years ago. The vast majority of music sold today has no DRM. Yet somehow, the industry's managed to survive.

Re:If DRM is as good as dead, what's the solution? (2, Insightful)

niteblade (764045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200896)

One could argue music had a built in DRM up until recently - 30 yr ago could anyone copy records? What about 20 yr ago - you could copy your buddy's analogue tape but the process ended there (a copy of a copy sounded like crap). With the internet it isn't uncommon for individuals to possess thousands of songs, copied from people they've never met. Bob

Re:If DRM is as good as dead, what's the solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201112)

Most of us desperately home that the movie and music industries will in fact implode.

I didn't think it was that hard to figure out. We don't want, or need the cartels. AND we will still have music, and movies and TV shows.

We may not have 500 channels of each anymore, but in all seriousness, who cares?

Get this, it's going to be a big shock. Sit down. Ready? Music existed BEFORE copywrite. OMG!!!!!!11!!!! It's true. So did plays, and books and public performances. SHOCKING. More so, most of the artists involved didn't get ANY MONEY for their effort. They did it because they WANTED TO. The history of earth is filled with cultures that freely and widely traded information, culture, art and music. It's also filled with culture s that died off because they didn't share thier culture.

CRAZY!

So, in short, we want the cartels to crash, we want the "industry" to die. We want to opt OUT of the culture for money paradigm. Culture is free. It's always going to be free. Its just a matter of how much it's going to costs the capitilists to realize that. You can lock up culture. But you can't do it forever. Culture is information, and in the digital age, information spreads at the speed of electrons. Weirdly, without slowing down or stealing from other electrons...

The amazingly funny part is, if the RIAA had never become the greedy cartel they are today, this would likely never have been a major issue, and the current crop of "artists" with 1m$/yr drug habbits would still be allowed to set examples for our youth.

As it's going right now, those "artists" and the cartel that supports them is going to collapse, eventually. Because, no matter the level of mis-information, people are easily convinced that they should not have to pay for culture. Or at the least, not have to pay alot for it.

No one complained when you could pick up an album for 10$. Suddenly it's 20$ and revenue goes down. Welcome to capitalism you stupid fucks. We played by your rules for the last 50 years. Now it's our turn. And guess what? We don't even have to lobby to get our way. We just take it. And then we really piss you off, because not only did we take some for ourselvs, we give it away to anyone else that wants it. How dare we.

controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200726)

Since when is speaking out against DRM controversial? Speaking out about DRM is the new black these days. It's so overdone, it's passe. Next thing you know, we're gonna see Paris Hilton speaking out against DRM. Give me a break. I wanna see people start speaking out FOR DRM.

Representative Mary Bono's limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200764)

Representative Mary Bono (and other law-makers) should be very careful with their statements and analogies, since they expose their own limitations very, very fast. No legislation can put a speed limit on this.

legislative nature (1)

ifakemyadd (1070340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200770)

Speed limit laws protect a different group of 'citizens' than DRM. In general, I think the speed limit is there to protect others present on the road. DRM, and copyright, are present to protect ownership. But laws in general are preventative only in that there are repremands for actions. Artists are only granted copyright through the law, so I think the most effect method of maintaining that mentality is through methods that operate as the law does. This being said, I see watermarking technology will eventually replace DRM, and I think the mentality Burners-Lee references is that very issue. Copyright is only a right after something has been copied. And the best deterrent will most likely reflect the very nature in which copyright is granted.
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