Posted tagged ‘DRM’

On Intellectual Property Part 2: How Can It Be Fixed?

2010/04/10

In the decade before the American Civil War, the South worked furiously to strengthen the position of slavery in the law. They forced several compromises that required a new slave state be added to the country with every new free state. They passed, and several times strengthened, the Fugitive Slave Act, that made it illegal for anyone to assist slaves in escaping. They considered slaves to be ‘their property,’ and they inserted this into the law of the land. They clung to this, even though mechanization and other advances were making their labor-intensive style of agricultural uneconomical anyways. Their position was plainly wrong, and slavery was abolished after our civil war.

In the last decade, the music and similar industries have worked furiously to strengthen the position of intellectual property in the law. They have forced many changes to the copyright law (especially the Copyright Acts of 1976, and 1998) to prevent anyone from stealing ‘their property’. While the Music Industry isn’t treating the music artists and consumers, quite nearly as badly as slaves, bold action is needed to restore justice in the land.

(more…)

On Intellectual Property – Part 1: What Needs to be Fixed?

2010/01/21

Lately a lot of attention has been placed on the issues of infringement, of music and software pirates, or competing companies infringing on patents, and the actual people who do the creating don’t get paid much. The artists want to make a fair living (or better) off of their labor, and have the satisfaction of knowing their work is valued by their fans. Consumers contend that they want control over how they consume the work, want to not overpay (or pay at all if they are pirates), and furthermore some may have further concerns around online payment and Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies. Both sides raise some fair and good points.  Both sides also have some major weaknesses in their positions. (more…)

On Computers: What do People Really Need?

2009/10/29

The people I know mostly want something that works – something that allows them to do the things they need and want. For most people this involves simple office applications, internet and other online apps such as instant messaging, email, facebook apps, etc. They want it to run securely, and stably, without having to spend a lot of money to upgrade hardware and software every few years going forward.

800px-Computer-kitten What they have instead is a confusing market dominated by Microsoft and software from members of the Business Software Alliance that seek to make large profits by requiring endless upgrades of software to stay current – which also requires hardware upgrades. All of this costs money. Does it actually deliver any value? (more…)