August 17, 2005  ·  Hilary Rosen

The comments have been reallly interesting.

I love the Warhol Campbell Soup example. I wonder if Campbell’s would sue him today. doubt it. in fact that is what is always so fascinating. the amount of people who face legal consequences for things like samples or parodies is so miniscule compared to the amount of their use. Music sample lawsuits, for example are really only done by successful artists against successful artists because it just isn’t worth it to pursue. Every once in awhile “artistic integrity” comes into play, but rarely.

Public Enemy was genius. Did they lose their mojo because they stopped sampling?

I’m impressed with the balance and thoughts expressed in the comments.

One thing that Larry and I have always agreed on is that the licensing systems for all copyright owners are often antiquated and unresponsive to today’s needs. While most copyright owners with a significant investment in work have made great strides in addressing this issue, there are so many small owners who are either regularly unavailable or not willing to use collective licensing (when it is available) As I have learned over the years, it is particularly difficult in the academic and research settings where university or grant policies often require licenses that are impossible to get or even impossible to trace ownership. That is a very good and important set of examples.

One more bit of info before I head to the beach today – relevant to the Fox News example. I believe the following story is little known.

1988. It is 2:30 in the morning. I am sitting in the House Commerce Committee room with four or five congressional staffers and only three or four lobbyists/lawyers. The final mark-up for the DMCA is the next morning in the Full Commerce Committee. The Bill had already passed out of the Judiciary Committee but it had a sequential referral to Commerce which needed to approve it before we went to the floor for House Passage. And we were hung up. Hung up on the very issue you raised. What would happen when legitimate fair use needs arose and the required content wasn’t available in upprotected formats? While we knew it wasn’t a “dreamers” issue and that technology was moving rapidly enough that protected content could be a reality quite soon, it wasn’t yet at the time. And several of us, including most importantly by that time, the Committee Chairman who had heretofore been opposed to the Bill, wanted to get it done.

So, I pulled out a long used legislative tactic and suggested we put a “study” in the statute. That we empower the Copyright Office to do a regular study on the impact of the law on fair use and the accessibility of works. The tech lobbyist and committee staffer suggested the C.O. was too pro-copyright owners and suggested that the Commerce Department have a role in the study as well. We got a Bill passed the next day.

So, the example you raise, is just the sort of thing that the law envisions be monitored thoughtfully. One such study has already been done and found no adverse impact to date on Fair use. They will keep going.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Hilary,

    Will you be responding directly to any comments within the threads or will you simply be in lecture mode and stick to top-level posts the entire visit? I hope not as that would defeat the beauty of blogging…

    Anyway, still curious if you read “Promises to Keep” and what you think of the idea of artists and consumers taking control of creations whilst using an attribution right and the Internet to trade, track, and count files in an automated compensation system.

    No more costly middle man. That is, no more RIAA or MPAA – or at least, a wholly different meaning and purpose for those organizations. They would then become organizations with a mission to actually help artists as a whole – which they have not done at all. They have simply made a small minority rich and placed billions into the pockets of the organization’s leaders and shareholders.

  • http://www.ibiblio.org/studioforrecording/ Tom Poe

    Peter: Hilary doesn’t respond to “little people”. She’s a policy maker. Her role is to decide how the world should look. That role requires she not engage in discussion of issues outside of those “selected” for the final cut process. Fair Use issues quickly lead to “Promises To Keep” thinking, and that threatens to shift economics drastically away from obsolete corporations, as does anything remotely akin to technology advances.

    I loved her rationalization of avoiding Fair Use with the brilliant (in her mind) logic pursued by WIPO’s Bruce Lehman back in 1994 (or before?). Eliminate Fair Use and in its place, initiate study after study about impact, as a token gesture.

  • AxCx

    you mean 1998?

  • rodander

    Ms. Rosen alludes to the point that much of the problem is a market problem rather than a legal problem, which I think is exactly right. How much revenue are copyright owners foregoing by the current “licensing systems”? I’m guessing quite a bit. Much revenue is also lost, I suspect, because of copyright owners overvaluing their rights. A better rights marketplace, with reduced transaction costs and more data on which prices can be set, would appear to address this. And address it better, IMHO, then nuking rights altogether (as many here appear to favor, or at least nuking rights from being owned by the unworthy such as “obsolete corporations”).

  • three blind mice

    Peter Rock, Tom Poe, may we remind you that Ms Rosen is a GUEST here and deserves to be treated accordingly. show a little respect. (we would also like to point out that professor lessig very rarely participates in the threads he starts, and no one ever complains about it. not once has he responded directly to anything we have written and you don’t see us crying about it.)

    How much revenue are copyright owners foregoing by the current “licensing systems”? I’m guessing quite a bit.

    point well taken rodander, but clearly it’s not a uniform problem. jay kay, madonna, coldplay, and many other artists seem to be doing very well indeed under the existing market structure. brad pitt, tom hanks, sean penn, and johnny depp seem as well to have plenty of coin in their pockets.

    lesser artists remain poor under the current structure because… well… maybe they suck.

  • three blind mice

    Tom Poe, as a pedantic point of fact Bruce Lehman was assistant sec. of commerce between 1993 and 1998 and commissioner of patents and trademarks. Lehman never had any official responsibility for US copyrights. (the US copyright office is part of the library of congress.) he never worked for for WIPO, but served as the US delegate TO WIPO in 1996. if you’re going to slag him at least do so correctly.

    the Wikipedia has a (not surprisingly) biased, unflattering, and undeserving biography on him. it is worthless except for the dates.

  • http://www.ibiblio.org/studioforrecording/ Tom Poe

    Three Blind Mice: Who is the “we” and the “us” as if I or Peter is a “you” or “them”? Am I not part of the commentors group? What about Peter? Weird!

    AxCx asked if I meant 1998. Actually, I was referring to Bruce Lehman in his position as chairman for undertaking the task of the Green Paper on Cyberights in 1993. At that point, I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, we saw the formal recommendation to eliminate “Fair Use” issues from existence. To those who squealed like stuck pigs, he threw out the old let’s go ahead, and in the interim, we’ll do a study on the matter of how to bring “Fair Use” provisions back into existence at some later time. [cynical me]

  • three blind mice

    Tom Poe, sorry for the confusion.

    the we is us and the us is we.

    we are three blind mice. a plural identity. yes, it is somewhat confusing, but it allows us to avoid gender specific pronouns, permits us to use the royal “we” while remaining lowly rodents, and is just a bit of on-line fun to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. it also allows us to contradict ourselves whenever necessary! our opinions are based on a majority vote and there is rarely unanimous agreement. the swing vote is a particularly unreliable little mouse who drinks too much and works too late. the other two are however pretty consistent.

    yes, you are correct about Lehman’s involvement and his bad idea to throw out fair use and replace it with a let’s wait and see what happens study. we are all for fair use. it is an important and necessary and well-established part of copyright law. it does not exist in the statute without reason. fair use should not, however, subvert copyright law and that was what Lehman (he of little vision) had concluded.

    comparing it to the DMCA is a bit unfair. the DMCA was new legislation. it was not throwing out a long established principle. although we think the DMCA was a good and necessary idea.. it is a miserably written piece of legislation that well deserves an annual review… and a re-writing.

  • http://catamorphism.livejournal.com Kirsten Chevalier

    in fact that is what is always so fascinating. the amount of people who face legal consequences for things like samples or parodies is so miniscule compared to the amount of their use. Music sample lawsuits, for example are really only done by successful artists against successful artists because it just isn�t worth it to pursue.

    What? All you have to do is open Prof. Lessig’s _Free Culture_ for counterexamples to your claim. Besides, the fact that the threat of a lawsuit exists is enough to keep non-wealthy artists from using samples without permission. The chance of being sued may be miniscule, but a lawsuit would be devastating.

  • poptones

    “Fair use” is obsolete.

    What about your tax return? If I should stumble upon that while browsing kazaa, how much of your personal tax information should I be entitled to republish owing to “fair use?”

    Bits of data have real, tangible value. They don’t call the web “the personal media” for nothing; this is not just madonna and flavah flav we are talking about now…it’s your creations and my creations – pictures of your kids and home movies shared on personal web spaces. How much “fair usage right” of your personal space are you willing to give the next Michael Moore?

  • Erika

    poptones: Perhaps it is a limitation of the system, but it seems like we should not support overly zealous copyright laws just because they allow us to protect personal data such as tax returns and personal pictures. What we should do instead is refine the idea of “publication”. Things that are not meant to be consumed by others, things which have not been published should be protected because they are private and things that have been published should be protected under copyright. Such a distinction would allow the two domains to get the different types of protection which they deserve.

  • poptones

    A good suggestion on the surface, but how do we define what is “personal” and what is “public?” The point I am trying to convey here is that line is now very blurred for ALL of us. Are your browser cookies “personal?” The information in them is of no use to you, only to the websites you visit. In fact one could even argue the information in them doesn’t really even belong to you – it belongs to those who created it, and those who created it are those who wrote the code that ran when you clicked to their site and accepted the terms of use for their site. So if someone hijacks your computer and gobbles and resells all your cookies, who is infringed? Is it you? Is it the operators of those sites catalogged in your cookie folder? Since the data is to some large degree public is anyone’s privacy or secrecy even infringed?

    Various members of the EU have been setting about this tactic with privacy laws and yet they also end up deploying copyright laws that make our DMCA look like a communist approach by comparison.

    Consider the example of the kids again: you put up a website with pictures of your kids because you want to share their lives with other members of your family. So what if someone in your family passes along that clip of the 8 year old getting out of the bath to a friend who then posts it to usenet? Whose privacy has been violated? Who violated your privacy? It is a work you published yourself (because we ALL can do this now), so how do you prove harm?

    The DMCA allows you yourself to quickly, acting on your own behalf, demand immediate action. Privacy, trust – all that is irrelevant. All that you need prove is that it is your work and it is being distributed in a manner without your consent – end of story. You really think having to go to the police or a lawyer, file reports and affidavits and beg for someone to act for you is a better solution? By the time you get the laywer on the phone your kid’s video is being shared on e-donkey and no one can stop it.

    Of course, many of us feel the same way about our artistic creations that parents feel about their children. This is the basis for granting, in some cultures, “moral rights” on creative works. So “children” can in this example be literal or metaphorical, the point (and the reality) is the same.

    People must have the right to be unreasonable. To demand anything less is to demand we sacrifice our freedom of expression.

  • Erika

    So dividing the spheres creates difficulties. I do not see the problem with that since we have plenty of difficulties now, and this gets rid of a lot of them, in my opinion. I can think of a simplistic but probably salvagable solution to the labeling problem without much thought: something is published, protected under copyright, if you mark it as such. Otherwise, it is private. The picture scenario you bring up would be solved: it would be a private thing. Private things would be protected by stronger laws than things which are copyrighted but could not be used commercially.

    As for people feeling towards their art as they do towards their children, there is nothing keeping them from making their art private. The difference between private and published should not be ones feelings towards them but how they are used (is the difference between commercial property and the property you build your home on the way you “feel” about the land itself or how you use it?).

    And people do not really have the “right to be unreasonable”. They have rights, which they may use unreasonably, but that is not the same. Oh, and please, please stop trying to make your point with emotional “what if”s.

  • http://www.kosaraju.com/ajay/ Ajay K.

    Here’s a good example of free culture, especially the middle link for Grand Theft Submarine: http://home.comcast.net/%7Ebeefypapal/Pages/DFauntleroy.htm

    A nationally syndicated radio call-in show combined with hand-drawn animation and assorted sound clips.

  • AxCx

    Tom Poe, sorry for the confusion.
    I didn’t as you, I asked Hilary re her “story”. i didn’t even read your comment.

  • poptones

    The picture scenario you bring up would be solved: it would be a private thing.

    No, it isn’t. Because it was published on a website where the audience was – perhaps naively – intended to be limited to close friends and family. How can something be both “published” and “private?”

    These are not “emotional what ifs” these are very real scenarios. I have known a father who had to deal with exactly the situation described earlier. If you go to a usenet archive and search for “amanda” you will likely still find images of her being shared in forums that her father had never intended.

    And what about currency? DRM systems could finally allow us to have virtual atms in our own homes. No paying five or fifteen percent handling fees to the paypal and egold money changers, DRM and trusted computing platforms will bring these things into our homes. This isn’t an “if” it is a “when” and the laws need to be shaped in such a way that they protect everyone – even those without giant legal staffs. and for every intrusion you make into the property rights of Hollywood you weaken yourself just the same.

    And people do not really have the “right to be unreasonable”. They have rights, which they may use unreasonably, but that is not the same.

    If the law does not protect the people’s ability to act in a selfish and unreasonable manner, then the law has failed to protect their rights.

  • ACS

    “Fair use” is obsolete

    I agree to a certain extent.

    I am from Australia and as you may know we do not have an open-ended fair use defence to copyright infringement like our American cousins. Rather copyright defence is segmented so the purpose of the use is only protected if it falls within specific categories: research and review, comedy etc. The doctrine cannot be extended by judicial considerations in Australia beyond those categories (No Sony here thank you very much).

    I think the question of an open ended fair use doctrine can be put like this:-

    What specific standard is used to determine whether a potential infringement is ‘fair use’?

    Well the standard in s 107 of the Copyright Act (US) says there has to be some ‘fair use’ purpose but leaves this open to new categories then states that we must consider four key topics:-

    1. The purpose and the character of the use.
    2. The nature of the work
    3. The amount and proportion of copied work
    4. The effect upon the potential market.

    Now although this potential market may be different to the market debated above the relevance of the consideration would impact on the resulting decision in a similar way.

    So to Tom Poe & Rodander and Co

    Back off, market considerations and public policy are vital considerations to application of the Fair Use under the law. Take it up with your congressman.

    At the same time I note to poptones

    Fair use is vital and not obsolete. The limitation in the system is that it remains open ended and therefore open to further interpretations. The simple answer would be to get congress to make up thier minds about the true identity of fair use.

    So lets get to the nub of it:-

    Does Fair Use make the right of copyright devoid of value?

    No, the act envisages the monopoly itself being subject to policy considerations.

    Is there potential for the Fair Use doctrine to water down the monopoly granted under the Copyright Act?

    Yes, certainly an open ended exception that is continually tested may come up with interpretations that limit an authors ability to establish an infringement against persons that reproduce thier works.

    Does fair use cover reproduction by individuals?

    No, every infringement that is not subject to fair use is actionable. Furthermore, the system used to infringe may also be liable (IE Grokster).

    Now the biggie

    Does Copyright Law inhibit Free Culture?

    NO, Copyright law is a personal right which can be licenced or “waived”. Free culture is the sum of the copyright material which is subject to this licencing and “waiving” combined with the material that is subject to “Fair Use” or any other copyright defence.

    I do not see how this point is so hard to grasp. Why do you think you have a right to something that is not yours!!!!!

  • Corey

    “lesser artists remain poor under the current structure because… well… maybe they suck.”

    Oh come on, do we have to hasten the death of culture? You seem occasionally reasonable and I don’t want to believe that reasonable people equate artistic merit with ability to sell CDs en masse. It reeks of the fetishization of commodities. Do you want Marx to have been right?

    American Idol is a silly show but I think it proves once and for all that you can make anyone a pop star with sufficient marketing. I think that’s sad, but the attitude that good =profitable is exactly what enables it.

  • Corey

    “Music sample lawsuits, for example are really only done by successful artists against successful artists because it just isn’t worth it to pursue.”

    That isn’t an entirely fair picture. Successful artist’s lawyers might not have authorization to pursue full-scale litigation against every sampler, but they can certainly send out a form “cease and desist or face litigation” letter, billing 1/10th of an hour to their client for the time it takes to address the envelope.

    Those letters, in combination with the few highly publicized suits that DO get prosecuted, have just as much chilling effect on sampling as prosecuting every case to the full extent of the law would.

    The RIAA knows this tactic well, in fact, it seems to have been your strategy when you started suing “judgement proof” college students for p2p use. Those kids settled for the entire contents of their college fund, which was less than the RIAA’s legal costs I am sure. But having spent that money, you can now simply draft a threatening letter that refers to those cases and get the same effect for the price of a stamp.

    This isn’t an attack, I will admit for the purposes of this discussion that those people facilitated infringement, even though I strongly disagree with the severity of the individual punishments.

    But I think the same process works to discourage fair use. People stopping the practice of sampling or parody out of fear of injurious prosecution proves that they “face legal consequences” for fair use. Public Enemy DID lose some of their creative mojo when lawyers forced a change in their practiced style of expression. (Of course Flava Flav going off the deep end didn’t help either)

    I don’t want to be skeptical of the pull towards the middle exercised by the Commerce Department’s “role” in the study of fair use… but I just can’t help it. :)

  • three blind mice

    It reeks of the fetishization of commodities.

    Corey, certainly big media can, through marketing and promotion, create a “star” who does not really merit being a star. we totally agree with you – not everyone who rises to the top does not suck. it is, of course, something of a matter of taste. appeal to enough tastes and you create market value.

    but on the other side of the coin (and further to Erika’s and your comment about the “chilling effects”) you can’t measure what you don’t see. sure you can argue that copyright laws are “chilling” hot new talent, but since no one can ever prove or disprove it what’s the point? you see giants, we see windmills.

    as regards the discussion over tax returns, etc. this is in some ways a total derail. trade secrets and copyright are TWO different things. personal private information is not copyrighted, it is secret. there is no fair use when it comes to secrets. lumping them both into the “digital data” and trying to craft one-size-fits-all legislation to deal with “digital data” is destined to fail. miserably.

    “the internet” as a blind, deaf, and dumb transport layer is an unsustainable technology. get over it. the days of manifest destiny are coming to an end; it’s time to start stringing barbed wire. the OSI stack needs another layer – a legality layer – and the sooner the better.

  • poptones

    But if you put your own tax return in your kazaa “share this junk with the world” folder then how can you call it “secret?” If you open your wallet to the world it may still be illegal for us to remove the cash from it, but you cannot blame us for peering inside when it was you who held it open for inspection.

    Of course, in a properly designed system your tax return would have a file marker indicating it was not for broadcast. Or the machine itself would be smart enough to know “hey, this file is not supposed to appear on the kazaa file search index” and so it would keep that file both invisible and protected from unauthorized eyes even when the operator was too forgetful or ignorant (or malicious) to treat it otherwise.

    This is why my entire hard drive is encrypted. For a while I tried the “I’ll just encrypt this stuff” approach but when you do that it is far too easy to forget and drag this “bad” file over to the “good place.” In an instant all that encryption is for naught.

    It has taken Hollywood almost a decade to pressure the technology industries into putting some serious effort into making the personal computer “smart” enough to know the difference between a tax return and baby’s first steps – and to be able to act accordingly. If this had instead been left completely up to the John p barlows and the EFF we would still be waiting. I’n glad the EFF is there, but I’m not about to stand in the way of Hollywood’s drive to foster a technology that will create an entirely new paradigm for the way we think of “data.”

  • Corey

    “sure you can argue that copyright laws are “chilling” hot new talent, but since no one can ever prove or disprove it what’s the point? you see giants, we see windmills.”

    Back in the days before technocrats, people had less trouble relying on collective common sense in the absense of absolute proof either way. The question “what should we ideally incent?” can be answered via a number of methods, not the least of which would be a democratic inquiry into the values of the people in regard to which side to err on. Or if you prefer you could ask God.

    ““the internet” as a blind, deaf, and dumb transport layer is an unsustainable technology. get over it.”

    The internet sustained itself fine under the auspices of the military industrial complex, then it prospered under the trust of universities, then desperate politicians “invented” it, and still it grew, the pornographers, spammers and booksellers learned to exploit it… and now finally, as you indicate, it is the lawyers turn. Attempting to apply yet another cultural redefinition to the underlying technology. For what ends I wonder? You will excuse me perhaps if I don’t herald the coming of cryptofacism to the network we have all come to depend on for access to porn, consumer product info, and counter-factual wiki entries?

  • three blind mice

    corey, you give us the impression of someone who is awed by technology. as engineers, we approach this from the point of view that technology is a tool to serve mankind – it is not a God that mankind must bow before.

    “cryptofascism” dear sir can be as much a result of the hegemony of an uncontrolled technology over our lives as it can be a result of our attempts to control that technology. as george washington observed about fire, technology is a useful servant and a dangerous master.

    in a democracy only anarchists would want to see technology subvert the will of the majority.

    so put your guns away wild bill hickcock: civilisation is coming to the internet and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

  • http://www.linuxrising.org Christian

    TBM: Most democracies have built in mechanisms to make sure they do ‘subvert’ the will of the majority in order to protect the rights of the minorities. These measures range from demands for qualified majorities for many decisions, overrepresenation of smaller groups/areas (US Senate is an example of this) and many other variations. Unfortunatly the respect for diversity seems to be weakening in the world and some people seems to think that if you can claim 50,1 percent in favour for something it gives you a moral and legal right to do so. Which leads us to a situation where democracy might become a tool for the majority to supress the minority, which I guess is slightly better than the historic situation of a minority supressing the majority, but not a whole lot better. I think and hope a much wider group than anarchists wouldn’t mind technology playing a part in subverting the ability of the majority to become abusive.

    So mouseboy please stop confusing your Orwellian wetdreams with civilisation.

  • poptones

    in a democracy only anarchists would want to see technology subvert the will of the majority.

    And Poptones glances around nervously…

  • three blind mice

    Christian, ok, so that was obviously too complicated for you.

    let’s see if we can make it more simpler… why should the on-line community exist under a different legal regime than the real world?

    is there really any difference if your “rights” are taken away by a Republican majority or a failure in network design?

    the wet dream, x-tian, is one where the internet exists outside the realm of law. that is the situation today and you are in total denial if you a) think it is healthy or b) think it will continue for much longer.

  • three blind mice

    Christian, on review, our apologies. yes, we were a bit unclear.

    as poptones highlighted, we wrote:

    in a democracy only anarchists would want to see technology subvert the will of the majority.

    what we should have said is, in a democracy only anarchists would want to see technology subvert the rule of law.

  • poptones

    And despite the fact I am strongly defending Hollywood and DRM and wholeheartedly embrace a technological evolution the majority seems to greatly fear, I’m still sitting around the campfire singalong with the anarchists…

  • rodander

    Hey, ACS, why did you throw me under the same bus as Tom Poe regarding fair use?

    I really don’t have much of a problem with fair use as it is. (see my wrangling with Aaron in the previous thread). It seems too many here want to have fair use safe harbors that are defined in advance (no doubt, defined to cover exactly only their desired uses and nobody else’s). Having a court sort out fair use in difficult cases, based on those facts, is not a bad result, IMHO. Nor is it a bad thing to have a “use at your own risk” default if you use someone else’s work without permission.

    At the risk of being repetitiously redundant, my only point so far in this thread was that there appears to be a practical snag in the market system for some rights that keeps some buyers and sellers (licensors and licensees) apart and that gets in the way of supply/demand pricing for certain rights. In this day of worldwide instant communication and ebay commerce, one would think that an online licensing marketplace could spring up.

    But it is misguided to solve a problem of transaction logistics for conveying rights by eviscerating the rights themselves.

  • Fiepoto

    I don’t think that the debate is about whether or not the internet will or should be governed by laws….but of what type of laws. There seems to be two forms of production that are competing with one another….one that is based on rents and exclusion (the Garrett Hardin argument) and one based on a commons that is self healing (ala FOSS; see Yokai Benkler). They can co-exist, but in competition with one another. Such competition leads to strategic behaviour by those whose buisness models are threatened (proprietary software manufacturers, recording companies, the movie industry, etc.)

    When I look at legistlation such as the DMCA, the push for more patents by Microsoft or the statements from WIPO that ONLY favour stronger and more restricive copyright enforcement, I can’t but help but think that this fight is one sided and just a little biased.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Tom Poe:

    Hilary doesn’t respond to “little people”. She’s a policy maker. Her role is to decide how the world should look. That role requires she not engage in discussion of issues outside of those “selected” for the final cut process.

    Hi Tom. I understand where you are coming from but my understanding was that Hilary was no longer working as a voice for the corporations. Therefore, I thought there was a chance that she – as a human being unencumbered by corporate directives – would address my question (or at least say “No, I haven’t read the book – not interested”). I realize there are some bigwigs out there who actually believe they are “big people” and pay little or no attention to “little people”, but I really have no idea about Hilary. I’ve never conversed with her and do not know her at all. She might not fit the bigwig category – I’d like to give her that chance and find out. Like I said, I wouldn’t have even bothered asking if she still worked for the RIAA as responding to my question in a positive manner could open her up for dismissal by the organization. Perhaps I’m living in a dream world, but I am quite impressed that she is on Lessig’s blog so I figured that – just maybe – she is slowly shedding her biases and old alliances and looking at the whole issue of digital file transmission with a whole new mind. Then again, I’m probably fooling myself if I think that just because Hilary doesn’t *officially* work for the RIAA anymore that she is completely free from their economic/political agendas. I guess we’ll see in time. Can’t hurt to find out…no?

    To the 3 Mice:

    I’m not sure what it is I wrote that you thought attacked Hilary Rosen’s “guesthood” on this blog. Regardless, I’m sure she can handle herself by either ignoring or responding to any offensive comments. In fact, having “The Mice” stick up for her is about as offensive a manouvre as one can imagine as it simultaneously reeks of a very brown nose…

  • three blind mice

    I don’t think that the debate is about whether or not the internet will or should be governed by laws….but of what type of laws.

    preferrably the existing laws Fiepoto. the economy of rents and exclusion is every bit as self-healing and as productive as the kum-ba-yah of the commons.

    we would argue that the rents and exclusions model is more productive, more sustainable, and like capitalism, more consistent with the principles and ideals of liberal democracy than is commons-ism. consider, if you will, that linux would not exist save for the market for proprietary microprocessors that windows created. it is a follow-on technology – not a leading edge technology. (the same may be said for open office, thunderbird, firefox and many of the other open source alternatives to existing proprietary software.)

    co-existence is a fine thing. competition is a good thing. we are all for it. the problem is that the commons does not want co-existence because the commons stops where the property of others begins. to keep up, whether in software or in music the commons wants – the commons needs – to follow the leader.

    so the commons wants to change the rules. the solution offered by the commons-ists is, not surpringly, is to confiscate the property of others (the leaders and the innovators) or to otherwise make it impossible for property owners to prevent trespass. that’s not co-existence. it’s not competition… it’s copying.

    if real creativity and real innovation occurred within the commons and within the FOSS community, there would be NO need to be concerned about the property of others.

  • three blind mice

    Will you be responding directly to any comments within the threads or will you simply be in lecture mode and stick to top-level posts the entire visit?

    well Peter Rock, where we come from guests in our home are treated better than the host. you would not (and do not) speak like this to professor lessig.

    In fact, having “The Mice” stick up for her is about as offensive a manouvre as one can imagine as it simultaneously reeks of a very brown nose…

    *mice turn the other cheeks*

    how sweet. sir, the anonymous voices of the three blind mice have no need to suck up to anyone. pray tell, what would be the point? unlike others who wish to draw attention to themselves, we don’t post a URL, we don’t post an e-mail address, and we provide no connection to the real person behind the words. we’re totally anonymous. get it?

    that being said, like it or not Peter Rock we are all members of this blog family and this is our collective home… our (yours and ours and everyone else’s) commons if you will. one of the remarkable things about this commons is that those who visit are generally polite, occassionally intelligent, at times witty, all too infrequently funny, but almost always devoid of ad hominen intent. in the echo chambers of cyberspace, this is – you must agree – highly unusual.

    we do ask (most kindly) that you refrain from littering the commons. keep the lessig blog beautiful. it makes for a more pleasant visit and creates a better enviroment for the exchange of ideas.

  • rodander

    Time for me to stick up for the mice.

    The three blind mice and I have had quite heated disagreement on at least on past topic, to be sure. But the mice don’t keep personal grudges; on later topics, they’ve listened to what I’ve said and when they agree with me, they’ve said so. Same goes for poptones. That speaks well for the open-mindedness of the mice and of poptones, and in general for the commenters on this blog. And that is what gives me the confidence of posting comments here — I know that most will read what I have to say and comment fairly, whether they agree or disagree.

    So, Peter Rock, I advise you to follow the lead of the mice and poptones, and let’s keep the sandbox clean.

  • Corey

    “why should the on-line community exist under a different legal regime than the real world? “

    Oh, lets see… perhaps because the online community isn’t really real, or perhaps because it is but it encompasses more people and cultures than any single legal regime including the Anglo-American one you would presumably adopt for us all.

    “corey, you give us the impression of someone who is awed by technology.”

    No, actually I was an engineer for 8 years. There are things I helped develop inside your computer most likely. Many people get confused though, I have become somewhat of a techno-skeptic and resemble an anarchist.

    “and like capitalism, more consistent with the principles and ideals of liberal democracy than is commons-ism.”

    There you go again, postulating the superiority of neoliberalism. By the way, all graphical browser software including IE can be traced back to Mosaic, which was a government/university project that was distributed for free.
    Netscape and IE were “follow-ons” designed most obviously to extract property from something previously “common”

  • http://blogs.jigzaw.com Shannon Clark

    There is a critical difference between the “Internet” and other spaces governed by US laws.

    For one – the “Internet” is truly global (I think the last country without connectivity has now been connected) and while it is true that US legal decisions have a way of being written into treaties and/or copied around the world – as we have recently seen in the case of the EU rejecting Software Patents this is by no means universally true.

    So when the US, as in many recent laws like the DCMA, tries to legislate for the Internet as a whole it may in a very real sense be fighting a losing battle, with the biggest losers possibly being US citizens (and our corporations) who will be prevented from the full potential of digital technology.

    In the case of online gambling, for example, this is a complex subject – but it is also very clearly one where companies (and their millions of customers) in other countries are seeing a great deal of innovation and revenues.

    In the case of innovation in less politically charged realms – from patents to music – I personally find it striking that some of the most innovative music I have heard recently have been mashups, mostly from Europeans (though they are likely difficult to license in Europe as well as the US).

    On a more legally clear example, I listen to a large number of podcasts – however here in the US they are restricted heavily by limitations (specifically the lack of legal universal licenses ala radio licenses) to allow podcasters to mix and play any song they would like to. However other countries have adopted radio-like universal licenses and the result is one of my favorite podcasts and a mix of music better by leaps and bounds than any radio station I have ever heard (on or offline) – Karin’s Themed podcasts. These are about 1 hour blocks of music bound by a common theme – often a very international selection of music, but even when she selects only English language songs her groupings and selections cause me to hear old songs in new ways.

    She pays the licensing fees in the Netherlands to be in legal compliance – so the artists she plays do get compensation from her playing of the music, in much the same way they do when a radio station plays them – and as a fan I gain the great benefit of hearing old music in new, creative ways.

    I think for many forms of non-duplicative creative use (i.e. not selling a CD that is an exact copy of the artist’s CD) a form of universal license such as the radio license – though probably tiered and/or with a per-unit percentage of price capped fee – could make much more sense than the current “clear every right with every possible rightsholder”. Especially since the number of “orphaned” copyrights is huge and growing (even works created just years ago can be difficult if not impossible to track down the copyright holder of. A simple example, I wrote to many USENET newsgroups in the early 90′s – my writing gained am immediate copyright – however if you were now to want to print, in full, the content of a specific USENET newsgroup you would have to find each poster and get permission. I am no longer at the email address I posted under, which was a university account, a quick google search of the Internet does turn me up as the first “Shannon Clark” and indeed I list on my profiles that I attended the university where the posts came from – so it is probable that I am the same Shannon Clark – but how can you be certain? There are literally dozens of other Shannon Clark’s in the US. And I did this fairly simply, I posted under my own name – what about someone like “three blind mice” – how would you go about including his comments, in full, in another creative work?)

    The point is that the requirement “get permission first” is increasingly untenable.

    Here in the US we do not currently separate out commerical and moral rights – in the EU they have taken the approach that these rights are separate (which creates the complication that in the EU creative commons licenses or attempts to put new content into the public domain may still be bound by “moral rights” which apparently the authors may not be able to waive completely).

    I think we should make it easy for the “public domain” to grow again – both by cleaning up orphaned copyrights (Lessig’s suggestion of a minimal registration fee would clear things up pretty quickly and separate out “commercially viable” copyrights from the millions of orphaned ones – and have the further advantage of making it clearer which works were/were not in the public domain) and by making the process of offering up works to the public domain easier (and perhaps making some areas, such as comments especially anonymous ones, USENET etc areas where the public domain is assumed – that is by posting publically unless you attach restrictions you waive future need to contact you for permission to quote, remix, etc)

    Moral rights – i.e. the right not to have your words used in ways you do not agree with are a much trickier issue. I think, however, it might be possible to expand the concept of “misrepresentation” (and/or libel) to cover this without much difficulty. (i.e. you can use what I right without first clearing it with me – but you can’t use it in a way that makes it appear that your changes/remixes are my original work – i.e. use my works to claim that “Shannon Clark wants there to be no public domain at all” via the means of selective editing and insertation of new words into my text.

    You could, however, use my words in a quotation (even an extended one that might go beyond “fair use”) as part of your pamphlet or book arguing against my position. If my writings had a way of being placed in the public domain OR if you had a way of obtaining a “radio like” license then I (in the US at least) couldn’t object to your usage and use that objection to prevent (or make commercially onorous) the publication of the book.

    It is not always going to be a clear line – and multimedia examples will be complicated (does the music playing a documentary imply that the musicians condone the actions appearing on screen to their music? what if it isn’t a documentary but a commercial? what if it isn’t a ‘commercial’ but is a ‘reality tv show’?) but I think there are alternatives which offer great benefit than the current stasis and uncertainty.

    Shannon

  • Fiepoto

    TBM, thankyou for your comments. Although I would agree with you that allot of innovation does occur in proprietary production methods, i believe you overstate the case that commons projects (especially FOSS projects such as Linux, or what we now know as the internet for that matter) would never have been possible without proprietary exclusion licenses in place. I don’t really think this is a matter of opinion or argument, but of fact. (the body of literature on this point is rather extensive, prof. Lessig himself points this out in OPEN ARCHITECTURE AS COMMUNICATIONS POLICY, pgs 44-54)

    Now, as far as “innovation” is concerned…one of, if not the primary advantage that commons production has over proprietary production (for the record, let me point out that I’m talking about digital/idea production, NOT material production) is that you do not have to expend resources on distributing labour. Labour distributes itself, people work on things that interest them…this has enormous concequences for both the innovation of technologies and long term effeciency.

  • three blind mice

    There is a critical difference between the “Internet” and other spaces governed by US laws.

    excellent observation Shannon Clarke and a well-written and well-argued post.

    no one said it would be easy lest of all us. we think there are few people outside the US republican party that want to see more US hegemony. especially when that US hegemony is controlled by the US republican party.

    *mice get cold shivers*

    the internet will change. is it changing. there is no question about it. in countries such as china it isn’t the same internet as it is in america. there is nothing that says the solution need be one-size-fits all.

    the OSI stack gave us seven layers, separated bearer services from transport and that opened up the floodgates for applications… what the OSI model didn’t provide is a legality layer and this is what is now hindering innovation. as we have said before the internet is literally starved for rich content of legal music, movies, photographs, archives, etc. that are being withheld because once they are released they can no longer be controlled.

    the legality layer will have to introduce legal policies. ownership of those policies will have to be distributed among individuals and regional governments… and the machine will have to obey those policies/legalities because apparently individual users will not.

    like the march of technology, the introduction of law and the means to enforce it seems inevitable.

    the frustrating thing for us Shannon Clark that instead of working together to achieve compromise, we are engaged in binary struggle over ideology.

    Fiepoto: i believe you overstate the case that commons projects .. would never have been possible without proprietary exclusion licenses in place.

    proprietary windows created the economy of scale that resulted in all of those proprietary microprocessors on which linux runs. it ain’t all free and it never has been. the FOSS community needs to give a nod to “old-fashioned” methods of development.

    and finally Corey… the recovering engineer.

    There you go again, postulating the superiority of neoliberalism. By the way, all graphical browser software including IE can be traced back to Mosaic, which was a government/university project that was distributed for free.

    good point about Mosaic. if it had been GPL:d neither Netscape nor Microsoft could have swiped it. but then again, had Netscape patented some of the features they added, IE wouldn’t have been able to steal it from them and the brower market – and perhaps the software industry – might look quite different today.

    as regards the superiority of Schumpeterian progress.. well color us capitalist. you will pardon us if we do not share your enthusiasm for commons-ist development.

    well it seems most of us have had the chance to repeat beat our usual drums in this thread again!

    Peter Rock sorry if we came off as a little condescending. we are not immune to the caustic comment and we hope we haven’t put you off. you are one of the strong – although misguided – voices here and it we would have done no service to the community if we made you feel anything less than welcome.

    it’s boozing time!

    thanks for another good discussion everyone.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    TBM quoting me:

    Will you be responding directly to any comments within the threads or will you simply be in lecture mode and stick to top-level posts the entire visit?

    TBM:

    well Peter Rock, where we come from guests in our home are treated better than the host. you would not (and do not) speak like this to professor lessig.

    Side question: How would you know how Larry and I communicate?

    Regardless, we are now at 116 comments in threads and not one is Hilary’s. I don’t expect her to respond to everyone, but what is the point of blogging if you are going to be only passively and semi-responsive to your audience? Why is she here? Why not just go on television?

    I want to know if she considers the future of digital culture for stakeholders (rather than simply shareholders as was her duty as president of the RIAA) and what it will mean for my children and her children and Lessig’s children and Lasica’s children and on and on and on…if we continue to use the entertainment industry (i.e. the movie and music corporations in their current form) as a vehicle for art when there could be a radically better way of pursuing and creating digital culture.

    Perhaps the RIAA was necessary but technology has revolutionized the status quo. The problem is that the RIAA is interested in maximizing profit instead of looking after artists. They say they are looking out for the artists but they are not. At best, the RIAA is looking after their artists but not artists as a whole. A different approach by consumers (i.e. something resembling Fisher’s ideas) and mission (i.e. something resembling a non-profit organization working to defend actual rights instead of privileges), I believe, is something important to pursue.

    Peter Rock

  • three blind mice

    we hardly had a chance to pour a whiskey…

    How would you know how Larry and I communicate?

    well, umm, we read this blog. what you say to professor lessig outside these four walls is your own business.

    you do realize, Peter Rock, that Ms Rosen no longer works for the RIAA and she specifically said that she didn’t want her guest hosting to become a forum for a discussion over her tenure there.

    again, professor lessig does not often participate in the topics he posts and it is not unusual, or troubling, that Ms Rosen has not.

    as for your concern for future generations, our advice to you would be to tune in, turn on, and drop out of the entertainment culture. old fashioned books, our mineral friend, that’s where the future lies! have you read eats, shoots, and leaves? we know it’s so last year, but we bought a copy at the community center book sale this weekend and it’s good fun.

    still if “digital culture” is your concern, tune into the creative commons database and be enriched… ahh.. but the good stuff, the stuff you want, is controlled by the evil, exploits-their-artists RIAA. what a pity. those silly artists. giving up all that money for nothing. so live without coldplay. the hipsters have already moved on.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Interesting story Hilary.
    I must say that I recognize your “long used legislative tactic”. It’s often used as an excuse not to the legislative job proberly. DMCA and all it’s spawn are no exceptions.
    These laws deal with something they call “technological protection measures”, but any computer scientist who is not trying to make money selling DRM would tell you that such a thing can not be made to work in software. Attempts will only create non-interoperability. You can make secure DRM systems with hardware, but the effect will be the same: incompatible systems.
    In the end this quest to get DRM into everything will mean a goodbye to the one thing which made the PC and the Internet a success: That is is open systems. If Hollywood gets their way we will be back in the 1980′s where all computersystems were closed, propritary and incompatible… which of course will result in a monopoly.

  • poptones

    My goodness! I copy this brief bit of text to my clipboard and read on through twenty posts wondering how I am to put it in context, only to find at the end the perfect setup…

    In this day of worldwide instant communication and ebay commerce, one would think that an online licensing marketplace could spring up.

    As TBM just pointed out, so many of those “rights” are owned by corporations and so it must be up to them to decide the proper venue for such a clearing house of their own. But such a forum does indeed exist for those who choose to participate and still retain rights which they may themselves license. Magnatune is only one such example and it’s made quite easy – as easy as an ebay purchase, in fact. For a few tens to a few hundreds of dollars one can point and click and purchase a license for a a bit of music in only a few minutes.

    And I must take exception to those who would dismiss these artists as not quite having “it.” Some fantastic music can be found there, but you’ll never know if you don’t listen. Fortunately this is made quite easy as well, just click a link and enjoy the entire album… as many times as you like.

    And somehow these artists manage to be creative without lifting vast sections of their corporate contemporaries. Just as the information embodied in Shannon clark’s usenet post (or mine – and trust me, there are megabytes of them) can be conveyed without having to quote directly a single phrase, so too can artists reinterpret.

    And I was tempted, but managed to resist, fawning over Ms. Rosen myself. Without taking away from the other guests who have appeared here (and disappeared) over the last weeks I have most looked forward to hearing from Ms. Rosen in this context. Since others are now “out” I will admit I was downright giddy when I first read she would be appearing on this blog.

    And, sadly, I must now admit I too am a bit disappointed we have not heard more from her. I can understand priorities and such and “blogging” can be difficult when one is leading the conversation rather than merely reacting within it (that is why I am posting here, now, after all… rather than posting on my own).

    Still, it is thursday and so there is still hope we may hear a bit more. Ms. Rosen is one of the few (former) cogs of le mechanique I would truly love to meet outside this tiny box that too often contains “us.”

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    3BM:

    the internet will change. it is changing. there is no question about it. in countries such as china it isn’t the same internet as it is in america.

    ?!

    For someone who just spoke on software layers in the next paragraph I’m surprised you would say such a thing. The Internet is not changing at all. It hasn’t changed since its infancy. The Internet is exactly the same in China as it is anywhere in the world. This is why those in the Chinese government who wish to block access to information must have engineers write code at layers above the Internet protocols (e.g. the browser) in an attempt to stop the dissemination of bits. Or, they can strike deals with self-interested corporations like Microsoft and purchase software like MSN Spaces that are pre-packaged to block content linked to free speech and democratic issues.

    See – http://news.ft.com/cms/s/d07011b8-d9d6-11d9-b071-00000e2511c8.html

    It is precisely because the Internet is the same in China as it is everywhere else that deals like this and those surrounding DRM through Hollywood occur. The Internet’s nature is to be free flowing. And unfortunately, organizations like the RIAA and MPAA are having a huge influence on how the technology (both hard and soft) develops over time when they really should have no say.

    Yes, “no say”.

    You see, the RIAA and MPAA in their curent form are bound by law to seek policies and influence government in a way that maximize profit – not benefit the public. I’m not blaming anyone – that is just an indisputable fact. But the beauty is, the RIAA and MPAA are not people – so we can use “them” and then toss “them” into the garbage once we have a complete troubleshot system ready to be put in place and not feel as though we have hurt anyone in the process. Sure, we can look at some sort of gradual buy-out of these organizations – they need not be financially obliterated overnight…after all, there are people monetarily connected (i.e. shareholders and directors) to these corporations. But their control over culture is not needed anymore – in fact, their control is keeping the potential for the worldwide distribution of digitized culture at bay. That is, it is much of Hollywood’s doing that the darknet exists.

    I don’t want my children or any children to have to go to the darknet in order to participate in culture. And with some imagination and a wholly different approach, I believe they wouldn’t have to.

    Peter Rock

    p.s. Lasica’s “Darknet” is a very informative book by the way. I bought it this summer and although I’m only about 3/4 of the way through it, I give it an early and high recommendation. “2 thumbs up” as Ebert would say.

  • poptones

    The Internet’s nature is to be free flowing. And unfortunately, organizations like the RIAA and MPAA are having a huge influence on how the technology (both hard and soft) develops over time when they really should have no say.

    Your fears are not well founded at all, then. You see, Hollywood and DRM already have “no say” over that flow of information. DRM is itself built upon encryption, and all the encryption in the world will not reroute those packets or reidrect them from their destiny.

    DRM (whether protecting content from Hollywood or one’s own tax return) depends entirely upon the routers and switches and servers doing exactly as they have always done.

    And the notion DRM will not work because people can opt out is as silly as saying banks won’t work because people can still stuff dollar bills in their mattresses or barter labor for goods themselves. Of course all those things will work – and they will work better still when we are able to exchange information as securely and give select bits of that information sufficient scarcity as to carry with them meaningful economic value.

    I still cannot fathom how one can argue for liberty and freedom and how the internet will enable people to do all these amazing thngs with their lives while at the same time arguing against the very technoilogy we all need in order to do exactly that. Computers need electricity to run and someone has to pay the bills. And to a starving person all a computer represents in an asset that may be traded for food.

    We must make DRM work in order to be freed from the credit banks. How can this not be obvious to people?

  • three blind mice

    If Hollywood gets their way we will be back in the 1980’s where all computersystems were closed, propritary and incompatible… which of course will result in a monopoly.

    yeah, Peter Mogensen, just like GSM. which by the way STILL has more paying subscribers than the internet has users. think about that commons-ists. patent encumbered, proprietary, non-open GSM is the world’s most important communication system. and also the most egalatarian.

    as the Economist pointed out a few months ago, GSM also contributes more to the economic development in the 3rd world than the internet does. IWRC, the quote was “the real digitial divide is between nations that have GSM and those that do not.” access to the internet (except for nigerian spammers) wasn’t even an issue.

    Peter Rock don’t get all pedantic on us. to some people, internet means TCP/IP, to others it means the world wide web, and to us it means what happens when we launch a browser window. china is introducing the legality layer we talked about, as other countries will do the same independent of the others, this is what will create problems with interoperability.

  • Joseph Pietro Riolo

    To Three Blind Mice:

    Are you sure that GSM is patent-encumbered, proprietary,
    and non-open? According to the FAQ at:

    http://www.gsmworld.com/technology/faq.shtml

    GSM is an open, non-proprietary system.

    I don’t know what to make of your misinformation but
    you should clarify what you meant or withdraw what
    you said.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo
    <riolo@voicenet.com>

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
    comment in the public domain.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    Your fears are not well founded at all, then. You see, Hollywood and DRM already have “no say” over that flow of information. DRM is itself built upon encryption, and all the encryption in the world will not reroute those packets or reidrect them from their destiny.

    I understand what you are saying Poptones – I didn’t make myself clear. In fact, I spotted my error. I meant (correction in bold) -

    —–
    organizations like the RIAA and MPAA are having a huge influence on how the technology that sits upon the internet (both hard, soft, and firm) develops over time when they really should have no say.
    —–

    We’ve seen Hollywood take down some software at the application level (e.g. Napster). With the “trusted computing” agreement, Non-free BIOSs on ROM chips has become an issue as consumers can be herded into buying particular hardware that will be compliant only with particular operating systems. That layer is now under attack. And at the processor level itself there is already speculation over Intel DRMing (i.e. more “trusted computing”) their upcoming VIIV processor. Many are speculating whether or not the upcoming Mac move to Intel has something to do with this.

    I agree on one level, Poptones, that all the DRM in the world will not stop packets from switching. But pragmatically, Hollywood is saying that we cannot live in a world of free (as in freedom – not price) software and expect to be a participant in much of our digital culture. The corporations are essentially saying – “Sure, you can do anything you want…anything that is, that we allow to have happen in your little free software prison cell.” All the free software in the world won’t help if the processors and ROM/BIOSs are controlled by the corporations and turned into black boxes.

    You see, I want freedom – not free stuff. I have piles of legally purchased books, CDs and DVDs. I don’t even have a p2p file sharing program currently installed on my GNU system at home. In fact, at home, less than 1% of my 500+ CD/DVD collection violates(?) copyright law (and that’s only if you consider the unasked-for gifts I’ve received from friends who’ve ‘burnt’ stuff for me as ‘illegal’). However, I have downloaded and kept entire “All Rights Reserved” works anonymously through the internet at work. But I must have this access at work and should not be told I need to buy from any particular software or hardware or firmware vendor. My rights to content are protected under fair use, but what is protecting my rights from having to buy from a particular motherboard vendor or a particular processor vendor and run a particular operating system in order to obtain digital culture?

    Especially considering my work necessarily requires me to freely share in order to perform my function to the best of my abilities, I must have freedom and so too must those whom I share software and digital culture files with who number in the hundreds. This is why I am shocked when Mice squeak and claim that the creative commons supporters just want free (as in price) stuff.

    Bottom line is – I need freedom in order to create the absolute best work environment.

  • http://www.darknet.com JD Lasica

    Thank you, Peter, for mentioning “Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation,” which speaks to many of the issues raised above. I’ll send you a copy, gratis, if you’d like, Ms. Rosen. Seriously. There’s a discussion about the issues raised in the book — incluiding fair use, the DMCA and outmoded business models — at http://www.well.com.

    What is fascinating, as you write above, is not the miniscule amount of people who face lawsuits by the music companies (not so miniscule if you include file sharing lawsuits), but the chilling effect the entertainment companies’ entrenched position has had on remix culture. (Ms. Rosen hasn’t addressed grassroots creativity in any of her posts.)

    As to the “always get permission first” mindset, no need to buy “Darknet,” just check out the free mini-book at Darknet.com, including this: When the studios won’t give permission.

    http://www.darknet.com/2005/07/when_the_studio.html

    And as to this:

    >Public Enemy was genius. Did they lose their mojo because they stopped sampling?

    Yes, because they (and the majority of hip-hop artists) can no longer afford the cost of sampling multiple 3-second riffs. And we haven’t even touched on mash-ups … :~)

  • poptones

    Absurd. Ridiculous. I’m sorry, but no lesser adjectives describe this sort of FUD.

    First, look at Apple’s recent fiasco with the beta OSX/X86 systems… these have DRM components built right in and yet, miraculously, they run both Windows and linux! Those thinkpads Stallman was talking about, too, include TC components and yet, somehow, I have had no trouble getting them to boot, install, and run linux. There are even people (too few, sadly) working to incorporate those TC “hooks” into linux.

    The specifications for the TC platform are available on their website. A full command list and spec is linked right form their front page. Of course, like all trade organizations they have “members only” sections and all that sort of nonsense and we lowly “consumers” of their information have no say upon the direction or development of this technology.

    But that is by our own folly. I’ve been pretty vocal on the ubuntu site about this as well, I finally gave up realizing that the FUD simply runs too deep to garner much support until someone in a leadership position picks up the ball, and it’s unlikely Shuttleworth spends even a nanosecond reading posts there anyway.

    Not that I’m picking on Shuttleworth… but he’s the founder of ubuntu linux. and He’s a Millionaire technologist with a political kink. I use ubuntu myself, so this is the first direction I head. But he’s not alone; there’s Linspire, and Redhat, and Novell, and a host of other smaller companies out there that could easily come up with the $50K/year “membership fee” that would put them on the voting board of the TCG. And TC is not incompatible with linux or with liberty – but until the leaders of this “free community” get over their hypocrisy and zealotry none of that is going to matter. If they truly demand a free hardware platform then one of these leaders needs to fire up the sourceforge and rally some meaningful support for the project. the doomsday scenario outlined in that article you linked already exists and has for some time.

    When I install and run ubuntu I do not begin with the kernel source. I may have to recompile the kernel at some point, but even when I do so I am not beginning from a full source tree – most of it is linked from precompiled modules. I have an AMD system and so to even get decent graphics I have to similarly run a proprietary piece of software from them. yes, this is annoying; I bought my motherboard for the sound mixing features but am unable to use any of them because Nvidia refuses to add those features to the proprietary drivers for my motherboard.

    So, I am already using proprietary software. and if you are using linux on a system of recent vintage then you are as well: intel, ATi and Nvidia ALL have “proprietary” features in their chipsets and, therefore, the “open” drivers available support only the most basic features. If your computer was made after about 1999 then it is presently impossible to escape this requirement of deploying some proprietary modules upon otherwise “open” linux systems – and yet linux based systems of recent vintage exist. They do their job and they do not betray the owner via backdoors. (To do this would be foolhardy, of course, as they would be found out and their customers would flee to those suppliers who do not betray them.)

    There is nothing to prevent Mark Shuttleworth from sponsoring one or more technical members at the TCG, developing a trusted kernel module for ubuntu, and making ubuntu a trusted root authority. Would the module itself be “free?” No, no more than the Nvidia modules I already run on my linux machine. But Mark Shuttleworth has shown himself to be a friend of the community, and the corporation behind ubuntu linux is a bonafied (and, therefore, responsible) party that would surely qualify for membership within this organization (and were they denied such membership one can well imagine the press battle and the governmental antitrust investigations that would follow).

    Would this make all linux systems TCPA compliant? No, it would only make those running ubuntu’s kernel compliant. Nor would it make all the software run upon these systems “trusted.” That does not, however, preclude anyone from choosing to develop software that would be trusted nor would it preclude anyone from choosing to run said software.

    TCPA is, at its core, a very good thing for all of us. It builds robust encryption right into the platform which will increase performance. And the entire point of the platform is to allow the machine to keep individual processes segregated from one another, which means you can have “good” and “bad” software running at the same time – this is not a bad thing. It would dramatically increase the security of computing systems regardless of whether the owner of a system chose to link the machine to Hollywood’s root authority.

    And if you don’t want to use that stuff then there’s nothing to prevent you from opting out of all of it – as many parts of the world are likely to do. The internet does not begin and end in the US and most of the TCG work is being done right now with an eye toward deployment in the US. In order for it (or for a competing platform – which we are still quite free to develop) to succeed then it will have to offer real benefits to the consumer and it will have to work as advertised.

    There are valid objections to this deployment. But DRM of some sort is coming – and it must if the internet (aka the web) is to ever live up to the hype. So long as there is no DRM, every person who uses the web for commerce will be a slave to the credit banks and, ultimately, the world bank and the will of the US.

    You want to see creativity stifled? The Noriega factor is a greater hindrance to societal change and artistic expression than all the lawyers and lobbyists in Washington. And until a platform is made available to us all that will allow for the electronic equivalent of a trustworthy cash like system of exchange, JP Barlow’s “declaration” amounts to nothing more than a utopian call to martyrdom.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Y’know, TBM, it’s funny you mention the innovation Windows provided, considering how it started:

    Microsoft shipped Windows on November 20 [1985], and two days later during Fall COMDEX (a huge industry trade show) in Las Vegas, Gates and Sculley signed a confidential, three-page agreement that granted Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use these derivative works in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.” In other words, Apple got Microsoft’s commitment to upgrade Word for Macintosh, delay Excel for Windows until October 1, 1986, plus an acknowledgement that “the visual displays in [Excel, Windows, Word, and Multiplan] are derivative works of the visual displays generated by Apple’s Lisa and Macintosh graphic user interface programs.” In other words, Microsoft got Apple’s crown jewels, and Apple got shafted. Not since British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Adolf Hitler with the Munich Pact of 1938 had the world seen such a fine demonstration of negotiation skills.

    And DOS was bought by Bill and Co. from a company, and cleaned up from it.

    Microsoft was built on the idea of (very slyly) taking software from other companies. There was actually a movie made a few years back that aired on TNT about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and the whole start of the computer age, called The Pirates of Silicon Valley (har har har). It’s definitely recommended, I would really suggest watching it (everyone, really). In fact, this is great timing! The DVD of the film is about to be released on August 30th.

    Of course, Xerox was the originator of the GUI and the mouse in the first place (with more visionary executives, we could be bitching about them today instead of Microsoft or Apple…heh).

    TMB, you accused me of hyperbole in a prior post, but now I’m accusing you of simply slinging mud in directions that make no sense. I love a great deal of Creative Commons and indie music. Hell, I’m an artist, too, and my group is actually selling stuff (yay us!), in part because of (not despite) the fact that we’re offering the whole works free online. Part of our music was taken from CC sources, and yet I haven’t heard anyone accusing us of being unoriginal or mediocre. Sure, our style isn’t for everyone, but we worked damn hard on the album. Not everything that is “proprietary” is somehow better than something that is borrowed or changed. Peter Jackson’s imagining The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a great example of a derivative work being very powerful, very original, and very innovative. But, you argue, he paid for it (or, more accurately, New Line paid for it). But I’ve heard you complain on several occasions about non-proprietary somehow being worse (or at least that’s the feeling I get from your posts). But does that only apply to free (legal) borrowing, and not bought-and-paid-for borrowing? You seem to equate free borrowing and free music (not “free” as in beer) as somehow lesser figures with fewer talents. I’d like to argue that this is absurd.

    Like anything, monetizing something and placing huge backing behind it does create a lovely market. I’m kinda curious how well Tryad would do with a major label backing, actually.

    But, I do think that CC is a great step to no longer needing those companies to promote and sell and distribute and market and control. I’m not saying, nor advocating, that they disappear, but just that they will no longer be an integral part of success…you see? And, more importantly, that something that just pops into someone’s head is not necessarily better than something borrowed from someone else (especially if that borrowing is legal…or at least if you have a licensing agreement that really screws ‘em over, am I right?).

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Y’know, TBM, it’s funny you mention the innovation Windows provided, considering how it started:

    Microsoft shipped Windows on November 20 [1985], and two days later during Fall COMDEX (a huge industry trade show) in Las Vegas, Gates and Sculley signed a confidential, three-page agreement that granted Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use these derivative works in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.” In other words, Apple got Microsoft’s commitment to upgrade Word for Macintosh, delay Excel for Windows until October 1, 1986, plus an acknowledgement that “the visual displays in [Excel, Windows, Word, and Multiplan] are derivative works of the visual displays generated by Apple’s Lisa and Macintosh graphic user interface programs.” In other words, Microsoft got Apple’s crown jewels, and Apple got shafted. Not since British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Adolf Hitler with the Munich Pact of 1938 had the world seen such a fine demonstration of negotiation skills.

    And DOS was bought by Bill and Co. from a company, and cleaned up from it.

    Microsoft was built on the idea of (very slyly) taking software from other companies. There was actually a movie made a few years back that aired on TNT about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and the whole start of the computer age, called The Pirates of Silicon Valley (har har har). It’s definitely recommended, I would really suggest watching it (everyone, really). In fact, this is great timing! The DVD of the film is about to be released on August 30th.

    Of course, Xerox was the originator of the GUI and the mouse in the first place (with more visionary executives, we could be bitching about them today instead of Microsoft or Apple…heh).

    TMB, you accused me of hyperbole in a prior post, but now I’m accusing you of simply slinging mud in directions that make no sense. I love a great deal of Creative Commons and indie music. Hell, I’m an artist, too, and my group is actually selling stuff (yay us!), in part because of (not despite) the fact that we’re offering the whole works free online. Part of our music was taken from CC sources, and yet I haven’t heard anyone accusing us of being unoriginal or mediocre. Sure, our style isn’t for everyone, but we worked damn hard on the album. Not everything that is “proprietary” is somehow better than something that is borrowed or changed. Peter Jackson’s imagining The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a great example of a derivative work being very powerful, very original, and very innovative. But, you argue, he paid for it (or, more accurately, New Line paid for it). But I’ve heard you complain on several occasions about non-proprietary somehow being worse (or at least that’s the feeling I get from your posts). But does that only apply to free (legal) borrowing, and not bought-and-paid-for borrowing? You seem to equate free borrowing and free music (not “free” as in beer) as somehow lesser figures with fewer talents. I’d like to argue that this is absurd.

    Like anything, monetizing something and placing huge backing behind it does create a lovely market. I’m kinda curious how well Tryad would do with a major label backing, actually.

    But, I do think that CC is a great step to no longer needing those companies to promote and sell and distribute and market and control. I’m not saying, nor advocating, that they disappear, but just that they will no longer be an integral part of success…you see? And, more importantly, that something that just pops into someone’s head is not necessarily better than something borrowed from someone else (especially if that borrowing is legal…or at least if you have a licensing agreement that really screws ‘em over, am I right?).

  • http://commonsmusic.com/ Commons Music

    CORRECTION: TBM (not TMB)

  • http://modleft.blogspot.com Jeremy

    I think you correctly point out that civil libertarians, whether they be free-content or anti-patriot act nazis, are terminally paranoid.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones

    You posted a rather pasionate defence of “trusted computing”.

    Let me clearify: I agree with you that the principles of trusted computing is not bad in it self and such systems _could_ actually be a valuabe security tool.

    The problem which people see with TCPA/TCG is not the specifications in general, but the concept of the “endorsement key”, but is not owned by the owner of the computer AND with the posibility of building a infrastructure on top of the endorsement key, which in effect will let producers of hardware be able to dictate to consumers which software they are allowed to run in they want to be a part of online culture.

    EFF has an article about the problems:
    http://www.eff.org/Infrastructure/trusted_computing/20031001_tc.php

    Give the owner of the computer knowledge about the endorsement key or make an “owner override” and this will actually be something you can trust.

  • poptones

    Give the owner of the computer knowledge about the endorsement key or make an “owner override” and this will actually be something you can trust.

    That EFF article is ancient and it would seem you haven’t even read the comments section where the foolhardiness of that notion was pointed out months ago.

    By definition you cannot have a trusted system if that system contains backdoors that allow the owner of the machine to tell it to lie. Putting an “owner override” of the type called for in that article would mean anyone could disable any DRM components installed. In the scenario I am conveying, such a backdoor would be, literally, a license to print your own money. No one in their right mind would ever trust such a system.

    Like I said: the point of this system is to allow components to exist in their own sandboxes. If you want to run edonkey no one is stopping you, but you won’t be able to move the files you bought from itunes into that untrusted application. You can play your mp3s in itunes, but you can’t play your itunes in xmms. If you truly care about free culture that won’t matter to you anyway, since you’ll only be buying fairly licensed music direct from the artists.

    The “owner override” is called “deny root authority.” No root authority is going to give you their private key any more than I would ever give you my own private PGP key. If you don’t want to trust Hollywood’s root authority, then lock them out and watch your Hollywood HD-DVDs with a $49 Apex like everyone else – or do like me, and don’t watch them at all.

  • http://www.farceswannamo.com Dave W.

    PE didn’t lose their “mojo.” Rather, they lost their primary musical instrument. That seems to be the part you are not getting. What you did is akin to smashing YoYoMa’s cello and then wondering where all the genius went. In a word, disingenuous.

  • three blind mice

    PE didn’t lose their “mojo.” Rather, they lost their primary musical instrument. That seems to be the part you are not getting. What you did is akin to smashing YoYoMa’s cello and then wondering where all the genius went. In a word, disingenuous.

    well that’s quite an analogy Dave W.

    “what counts is that the rhymes
    designed to fill your mind”

    Public Enemy lost the rhymes and became irrelevant. loss of magic charm didn’t have anything to do with it.

    what about Spike Lee? do you think Spike Lee should have been able to sample “Fight the Power” without compensating Public Enemy in order to produce Do the Right Thing? it was just a little sample. less than one minute in a 2 1/2 hour film. sampling was essential to his artistic expression. right?

    what about Spike Lee’s freedom? what about his mojo?

    maybe D.J. Lord and Chuck D would have been down with that, but we thinks Professor Griff and Flava Flav would have wanted their money. especially Flav.

  • rodander

    I think if you smashed Yo-Yo Ma’s cello and made him rent a student instrument from the local music shop (or even made him play the tuba), you’d still be hearing genius when he played. Yo-Yo Ma’s genius is in Yo-Yo Ma, not in the wood.

    So if by “taking” PE’s musical instrument, one took the genius, then one can wonder where the genius was to begin with . . . ?

  • http://www.andrearogers.com Andrea Rogers

    I’m really enjoying these guest commentaries on Lessigs blog.
    I love the creative commons,use the creative commons and I took my kids to the Napster Hearing back on April 1,2001.
    They still have the dusty blue T-shirts,but the hearing went right over thier heads, they remember going, but not what it was about. Mom’s crazy field trip was in vain, which is sad because we are all artists and the issues are important. In retrospect I should not have been surprized, afterall the other kids in matching t-shirts on field trips to Washington D.C probably did not understand all of the issues surrounding copyright, though that day I wished I could have steered them all into attending the hearing. So many gray areas, and a kind of us versus them partisanship, demanding that we choose sides.

  • http://www.farceswannamo.com Dave W.

    1. I think “It Takes A Nation Of Millions” was a product of both the rhymes and the music. As a matter of fact, if I could compare the importance of these two disparate constituents, I would say the music was more important to PE’s genius when they were genius. Maybe Terminator X would have gone down the tubes without Ms. Rosen’s help, but I guess we can never know that. Interesting to watch Ms. Rosen ponder that lil piece o path dependence. My guess is that Terminator X would have found someone even better if Chuck and the other co-lyricists stopped bringing the rhymes. There are other rappers, ya know. Lots.

    2. It is overwhelmingly likely that if YoYoMa were restricted to the banjo or French Horn tomorrow, then the quality of his artistry would be impacted, hugely and negatively. To think otherwise is just plain foolish.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones

    Which “comment section” ? Could you please point me to the argument you’re making?

    You cannot speak of trust without defining who can trust who. You’re speaking of Hollywood trusting my computer, and I’m speaking of me trusting my computer.
    Unfortunately you can’t have both. If a third party can deny speaking to me unless I run the exact software which they have approved, I can be forced to use specific software or stay away. Unlike you I don’t believe that it’s always an option to just stay away. I might do fine without Hollywood DVDs , but there
    will come applications where I will be forced to run specific software. And not all software is available for all platforms, so I will also be forced to run a specific OS (at least on one computer).
    What would stop a company requiring you run IE to access their website?

    I can see from your arguments that you believe TC to be the solution to online cash. I don’t … I simply don’t want to be dictated who I have to trust to trust my cash.

  • rodander

    Let’s see how foolish, Dave W. Maybe some musicians on this blog can weigh in on : How much of one’s musical talent and artistry depends on choice of instrument? (not talking about acquired skill, obviously — I wouldn’t expect Yo-Yo Ma to pick up a tuba cold and toot out Bach Sonatas, but given time . . . )

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    rodander, you said, “How much of one�s musical talent and artistry depends on choice of instrument?”

    I think what Dave W. was getting at (and correct me if I’m wrong) was that people can be extremely talented on one instrument, but not so much on another. For instance, I played both trumpet and piano, but I was much better at piano, and took to it much quicker. If I did not have the piano to work with, I would still play as well on the trumpet, but wouldn’t have nearly the ability. So, essentially, it’s not a matter of choice of instrument, but talent on certain instruments and lack of ability on others.

    At least that’s how I’ve seen it to be.

    Now, that’s legality aside. From a legalistic standpoint, the arguments are much different (of course).

  • http://commonsmusic.com/ Commons Music

    BTW, my apologies for the double post up above, I didn’t realize I did that.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Jumping into the talent discussion:

    I play the trumpet… and several other instruments. Though I do not play piano or guitar. I don’t think it’s a matter of diffent talents. I just haven’t taken the time to learn the basics. I suspect than if I ever get around to learn guitar and relax when holding it (it hurts my fingers :) ) then I will be able to transfer what I know from other instruments. Of course, some instruments are easier than others. Brass instruments (like trumpet) require you to train your lips and keep them fit. A flute on the other hand is not a demanding to get a correct sound from.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    poptones:

    I’d like to ask you something: Won’t DRM have to be monitored and controlled by a DRM entity itself? Protection of financial records and data is good, certainly, but won’t that protection (aside from encryption, which is widely available) have to rely on an outside system to relay what is and isn’t correct to do with money, records, data, etc? How can we be sure that such DRM entities are more honest and secure and forthright than the monetary institutions already in place?

    I’m not trying to be snarky, I’m just curious why you think DRM systems would be more trustworthy than closed system encryption technology?

  • poptones

    Which “comment section” ? Could you please point me to the argument you’re making?

    The comment section on the linked EFF artiicle. But it doesn’t matter, I made the argument myself right in my post.

    You cannot speak of trust without defining who can trust who. You’re speaking of Hollywood trusting my computer, and I’m speaking of me trusting my computer.

    Why can you not trust your computer just because oyou agree to allow a third party to certify that parts of it work as advertised? What operating system do you use now? Who wrote it? Even if you use linux or a BSD derivative, did yu personally audit the Million or so lines that make up the core? Did you write the BIOS it runs when you boot the machine? Do you carefully checksum that contents every time it rebooted?

    How do you know you can trust the operating system you use now? If you live in the US and the police even suspect you of having illicit ties they are empowered to enter your home when you are not there and covertly install keylogging software. This software doesn’t even go onto the hard drive – it goes into the BIOS itself, and you would never know. As a matter of fact there are virii that run under windows that are able to do this even without a third party having physical access to the machine.

    There is no trust in present day systems. I know how these machines are made, I know about the software that runs on them – and I know how very little they may be “trusted.” I have the entire hard drive encrypted and yet a simple flick of the wrist at the wrong time can mean copying “private” data into a “public” space and I might never even know it – because the machine is too stupid to know what is “private” and what is not.

    If this were a trusted platform, guess what? Even if root authority X wanted to access the data created by the software running under rtoot authority Y they couldn’t because they are locked out just like everyone else. If you don’t want to trust root authority X then don’t use their software – just use the software from root authority Y, or RA Z, or generate your own RA key and don’t trust any of them. Of course you won’t be able to use the porograms (or data) locked to root authorities X, Y or Z – but that is your choice to make. If you feel locked out start up your own service and get other people to trust your root authority, then you can all live by whatever rules you agree.

    Unfortunately you can’t have both. If a third party can deny speaking to me unless I run the exact software which they have approved, I can be forced to use specific software or stay away.

    This already exists. Go to real.com and try to subscribe to the “24/7 broadcast” of Big Brother – or ABC news, or any of the other content they offer. Are you using a Mac? Linux? No Big brother for you.

    How many websites have flash animations for navigation? I HATE those things and I dislike flash, so I generally cannot access those sites, either.

    What about videogames? I have a copy of American McGee’s Alice I bought back when I was still using Windows and, despite the fact Alice was written for Windows, I was never able to get it to work because I wasn’t using the right Windows. Two years I’ve had that stupid disk. All I wanted to do was play with a gothic Alice in Wonderland and even the people who published it wouldn’t help me unless I would agree to run Windows 98.

    Those barriers you describe already exist and they have been part of computing as long as computers have existed. You could not run SCELBI BASIC on your KYM1 no matter how much you paid for the paper tape, and you cannot play a PSP movie DVD on your laptop – and I have yet to hear the first complaint about that.

    What would stop a company requiring you run IE to access their website?

    Plenty do already. Write them a nasty note. Or find the informatin elsewhere. It still wants to be free, you know.,.. and it will. if it matters.

    I can see from your arguments that you believe TC to be the solution to online cash. I don’t …

    And you know of a way to do this without DRM and without paying five to fifty percent of every transaction to a money changer?

    There are plenty of businesses already that cannot use paypal or accept visa or mastercard because of religious doctrine based pressures upon the credit banks that do business in the US. This is not a “what if” and it’s not causing some imaiginary “chilling effect” – it is legitimate entrepreneurs complying with local laws but being denied a competetive online presence solely becausethe US bank system objects to some aspect of their business. The only alternative for them is to use a barely reputable service like e-gold where buyers and sellers alike are charged ridiculously high transaction fees.

    And the only reason for any of it is because you and I do not have any way of engaging in direct commerce save for me stuffing valid currency in an envelope and mailing it to you and me trusting you to deliver the goods as promised.

    I simply don’t want to be dictated who I have to trust to trust my cash.

    Who do you trust now? Visa? Paypal? They can (and do) change the rules at their whim and you have little chance of recovering the fees they add when they do. If you earn 100K a year that might not be a big deal but plenty of people do not earn that kind of cash. The people who could benefit the most from a system of direct ecommerce likely cannot even get credit and so are excluded from all of it.

    There is no choice right now. If you participate in online commerce you are bound hand and foot by the credit banks and the agenda of whatever regime happens to rule the US.

    If you don’t want to trust root authoiry X then choose root authority Y. Or deny all root certificates except your own and live on an island. DRM doesnt mean the “information” that already exists in the clear is going away and you will always have that.

    But it is undeniable the lack of trustowrthy DRM is directly responsible for less creative expression in this online world – both because of Hollywood presently opting out of participation and because of those artists who would love to participate but cannot because they are locked out of the world bank. I could give a shit less about Hollywood, but I want to hear what those people locked outside the system have to say.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Y’know, poptones, I’m kinda curious myself who believes they are being “locked outside” because of no reliable DRM (outside of Hollywood, that is). Anyone have any thoughts on that?

  • Peter Mogensen

    Why can you not trust your computer just because oyou agree to allow a third party to certify that parts of it work as advertised?

    Because, that third party might only want to certify specific programs for certain tasks, which remove the freedom I have now as a consumer to choose another program. Thus I might be forced to use programs I don’t trust or complete refrain from using my computer for some tasks.
    It doesn’t matter if I have read every line of source code running on my computer. What matters is that I am free to choose software from who ever I trust to produce good software.
    The third party might even only certify a specific version of some software, which will prevent me from fixing bugs.

    How do you know you can trust the operating system you use now?
    Doesn’t matter. What matters is that if I loose trust, I can change my OS.

    If you live in the US
    Fortunately, I do not. Anyway… I would much rather have such powers reserved for the police than for some industrial consortium.

    I know how these machines are made,…
    So do I.

    If this were a trusted platform,…
    For the pusposes of securing your data so you can trust them, it would still be a trusted system if you owned the endorsement key. As I said in the beginning, trusted computing has its uses. The problem is who owns the keys.

    If you don’t want to trust root authority X then don’t use their software – just use the software from root authority Y, or RA Z, or generate your own RA key and don’t trust any of them. Of course you won’t be able to use the porograms (or data) locked to root authorities X, Y or Z – but that is your choice to make. If you feel locked out start up your own service and get other people to trust your root authority, then you can all live by whatever rules you agree.

    I’m glad we agree. This will be the effect of a TCG infrastructure.
    Consumers will have to use the software they are told to use however bad, insecure, spyware-infested or bugged it may be – or – they can just choose not to use their computer for any copyright related acitivities on the Internet.
    I find it very naive to believe that an alternative RA would survive in the market.

    This already exists…
    No. As long as reverse engineering is legal you always have the choice to make it work. You can’t compare that to incompatibility protected by trusted computing.

    Those barriers you describe already exist and they have been part of computing as long as computers have existed….
    No… this is not the same and if you base your defense of TCG on this, we will never agree.
    Until now reverse engineerig to achieve interoperability has been legal. Now we have DMCA, which for some vaguely defined class of systems makes it illegal, but with TCPA we will have a digital infrastructure where it is not only illegal, but also technical impossible (up the the strength of the cryptography and hardware) to make an interoperable system with the explicit permission of the RA.

    About cashWho do you trust now?
    I trust my directly or indirectly my government. This is the only place such an authority should be placed. Not with a self proclaimed insustry consortium. Actually in Denmark I suspect it would be illegal for such an enterprise to start using their TCPA infrastructure for cash. You need a special permission to run a banking operation.
    If some bank abuses my trust, I can choose another. I will not be stuck with a specifik endorsement key in my hardware.

    I don’t buy your way of thinking.

    You suggest two scenarios:
    1) A world with TC where I wont be a Hollywood customer because I don’t use the software they want me to.
    1) A world without TC where I can’t be a Hollywood customer, because they have “opted out”.

    I don’t believe that 2 will happen, but either way, I would prefer 2 over 1 any time.

  • http://www.jan-peters.net Jan Peters

    How do you know you can trust the operating system you use now?

    Use Mac OS X and you can always trust your OS!

  • http://www.farceswannamo.com Dave W.

    Somebody above wanted musicians to weigh in. I, myself, have written a few hundred songs, with the kind help of my band. FWIW then, I second what I said above about Terminatror X and YoYoMa.

    Fur those that need further proof of my musical genius, please go to:
    http://www.farceswannamo.homestead.com/download.html

    BTW, my original comments on PE (in another recent thread) were occasioned by Ms. Rosen’s query for examples where too much intellectual property had hurt art. Whatever else my analysis may prove or suggest policy-wise, it is still a valid answer to Ms. Rosen’s original question.

  • poptones

    Use Mac OS X and you can always trust your OS!

    I hope you are joking. Apple went with intel because the next platform will be built around TCPA. Apple’s dev kits already have TCPA hooks in them and the next processor will allow a machine to run multiple virtual machines in secure fashion.

    Or is TCPA here ok just because it’s delivered by a giant corporation that starts with the letter A rather than the letter M?

    Consumers will have to use the software they are told to use however bad, insecure, spyware-infested or bugged it may be – or – they can just choose not to use their computer for any copyright related acitivities on the Internet.

    How many times does this need to be thoroughly rebuked before you get it? Apple already is shipping DRM systems. They have sold Millions of tracks that are locked up in DRM and yet not one track at Magnatune or CD Baby has been diminished because of it. If a musician wants to publish a song locked up in encryption so tight no one can access it that is her right. It is your decision whether or not to purchase – to make part of “your culture” – that music no one will ever hear.

    Culture is not something inflicted upon us. It is your choice who to reward and who to rebuke. If others wish to reward the musician who sells music no one will ever hear it is not your right to deny them their right.

    Regarding the rest of the business on TCPA… I believe it clear you (like most) do not understand how it all really works. There is no single “root authority” – a machine can have dozens of processes all keyed to their own root authorities. As systems are now this is primitive and insecure, but the next gen processors will have multiple cores, integrated encryption, and the ability to run multiple virtual machines – you may have linux and osx and windows all running at the same time on the same machine. Each workspace will be allowed to interoperate through shared communications channels. How those workspaces and the applications within them interoperate is entirely up to the keyholders. Software makers will still have to compete for functionality and features just like they do now.

    So far as the red herring about spyware… well chief, there are laws protecting consumers from this sort of thing. But thanks to the utterly insecure platform most use now it is both easily installed and easy for those who infringe upon individuals to hide.

    You just said you wanted to trust the government… well, there it is.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones

    I agree with your view on the Apple situation.

    How many times does this need to be thoroughly rebuked before you get it? Apple already is shipping DRM systems….

    You haven’t “thouroughly rebuked” anything. It’s seems you don’t want to listen to what I say. You can’t compare the current situation of DRM (iTunes etc…) to a TC controlled infrastructure.
    I completely agree that if a musician want to crippled his product in a way which makes it unusable it’s his right.
    That not my complaint. My complaint is that I in general will have to allow a third party to control my computer to participate in digital infrastructure.
    I can do fine with out iTunes or Hollywood, though today it’s actually still possible to enjoy digital culture without being dictated a specific computer product. Thnaks to DVD-Jon I can actually play the DVD’s I buy and the songs on iTunes I can buy other places. In a TCPA world there’s no guarantie that I will not be required to run specific “secure” software to – say pay tax or sign up for an education. As soon as the infrastructure is in place there’s no guarantee what it will be used for.

    If others wish to reward the musician who sells music no one will ever hear it is not your right to deny them their right.

    I resent that suggestion. I’m not denying anyone their right to pay musicians. I’m advocating consumer political awareness of trusted computing. It might not be the case in the US, but in Denmark we actually have strong consumer protection. Consumers should not need to aquire detailed techincal knowledge about TCPA, they should be protected from abuse of their lack of knowledge when they buy computers.

    Today copyright gives you the right to correct errors in software you buy. Unfortunately, with TCPA you migh end up in a situation where you have bought a lot of music only to find that the program needed to play it has a security flaw. Today you are allowed to fix it. With TCPA you’ll have to wave goodbye to your music collection if you do.
    Also… With TCPA you might be forced to re-purchase all you music if you want to change supplyer of software. Or if you want to play you music on a newly acquired gadget. I don’t like that. I want musicians to be payed, but one a piece of music i s bought i don’t want the musician to poke around in my private life deciding how I play it.

    I do understand how TC works, but you don’t seem to understand that I don’t believe in your “take it or leave it” world.
    Of course there can theoretically be more RAs. I could even set up my own, but who would trust it and what good would it do me. Ultimately trust originates in the endorsement key and that’s not my key. I could of course generate it my self, but as the spec says – that would be of limited use outside my home.
    In the end – regardless of the number of RA – the result will be that digital culture is reserved for those who obey a limited set of authorities (most likely one), and you say that if I don’t like it I can just stay away.
    You should know that that approach will not protect consumers. They have no chance of knowing the implications of the techincal details in a product. A good example is that for years the record industry has been selling defect CDs under the label “copy control” and most consumers don’t know that it’s not their playing equipment which is the problem, it’s the “CDs” not being “CDs”, but (as Philips but it) “silver discs that aren’t”.
    This is absurd abuse of consumer rights (selling defect products), and of course consumers could just “stay away” … but mostly they don’t. Because they don’t know what is happening.

    In much the same way most consumers will run the software they are told because they don’t know better and when it starts misbehaving they won’t have any choice.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Oh… and about spyware. What makes you think that big companies with certified “trusted” applications would not include features which qualify as spyware?

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Peter Mogensen:

    What makes you think that big companies with certified “trusted” applications would not include features which qualify as spyware?

    Good question.

  • poptones

    Oh… and about spyware. What makes you think that big companies with certified “trusted” applications would not include features which qualify as spyware?

    Ummm… because that is now illegal and it would cost the company (and its shareholders) Billions in fines when the holes were discovered?

    So do both of you now use linux or BSD? And I take it you have audited the code before compiling it yourselves? And what machine did you use to compile your carefully audited operating system? Did you audit the compiler from which you generated your operationg system? Are you sure that compiler wasn’t backdoored?

    Today copyright gives you the right to correct errors in software you buy.

    No it doesn’t! Not even a little! If you buy windows XP you are trusting Microsoft to a) behave in your best interest by not selling you an operating system full of backdoors and b) to fix the errors in it and make those fixres available to you – because you do not have the information required to fix them yourself NOR do you have the license to do so. And despite their lip service to openness with the darwin code the same thing applies to OSX – and even more, as Apple won’t even allow third parties who figure out how to alter the desktop functionality without rewriting the core code to do so.

    with TCPA you migh end up in a situation where you have bought a lot of music only to find that the program needed to play it has a security flaw

    And so, you do not buy music that is wrapped up in DRM. There is still choice. If there is any integrity at all to this “free culture movement” then there will always be choice.

    My complaint is that I in general will have to allow a third party to control my computer to participate in digital infrastructure.

    We already do. In order to participate in commerce you have to “hire” the services of overpriced banking authorities. They both control the gateway (no credit, no soup for you!) and are free to set the fees at whatever they want because there is no competition. This oligopoly directly controls functionality of your computer. They do so because your computer is not trusted – they control the trusted infrastructure that allows you to transact business. Every time you are using their service you are allowing them to control functionality of your machine. This is not called “the web” for nothing; your machine is only one small part of a massive distributed computational grid.

    DRM will allow this control to be placed more directly under your control. Instead of paying for a banking service to provide trusted infrastructure we need only a service that will audit a segment of our machine and vouch for its veracity. That auditor does not need to know about every transaction – all it needs to know is machine 1233456 is running a state machine it can certify to be trustworthy.

    This is how you enable peer to peer currency exchanges; trustworthy DRM is the only way we can move onto that plane.

    But it seems you do not believe in the very ethos you espouse. “Freedom” is fine only so long as it is enforced by a complete inability to make things non-free.

    Life may be great on the commune, but forcing everyone to remain there against their will is not freedom at all. DRM provides the tools we will use to tear down that wall.

    Wir bin alle inhaber. Solidarnosc!

  • http://www.ecourier.co.uk hugo
  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    “Ummm… because that is now illegal and it would cost the company (and its shareholders) Billions in fines when the holes were discovered?”

    I was kind of predicting some response like this. But you see, Poptones, the fact that spyware is “illegal” is not enough protection.

    The only solution is free software – that is, free in a ‘gnu’ sense as price is not a factor in this issue. Free software is the only guarantee that, in time, protection will be granted. If someone writes malicious code in a free program, it will be exterminated – and perhaps very quickly depending upon the importance of the said software. Yes, malicious/vulnerable code can (and often does) exist in free software, but its nature means that healing is to follow closely behind. With non-free software you must forever “trust” your code in the hands of a few people who have access to an environment that is ripe for abuse (not only that, but people who are bound by law to act in a way that maximizes profit – not your experience as a computer user). In fact, over time, non-free software can become even more corrupt due to its secretive nature.

    One of the most tragic happenings in the USA at this current time is the lack of people who understand this simple fact.

    If I recall, the US government has actually sanctioned the use of proprietary software to conduct e-voting. Personally, I think e-voting is wonderful. But until all technological aspects of e-voting are governed by an open/free infrastructure, any ‘democracy’ conducted using these machines is dead in America. The specifications of not only the hardware but the software as well must be open to public scrutiny. As far as I understand, the code used to run these machines is only inspected by a few individuals outside of the for-profit entity that created it in the first place. You say “when the holes [are] discovered” – but who says they will be discovered? Why waste time creating some elaborate scheme of checks and balances in an attempt to retain integrity when all you need to do is pay a competent group of university students/experts out of public funds and by law ensure that the source code created is open for the world to see and comment upon?

    Poptones – do you really believe that if you wrote some code that ‘rearranged’ the voting results to favor a certin candidate and put it into the machines that accept the vote for the next president of the United States of America that you would get away with it when the source code is then available for the whole world to see?

    Now what if that code was kept secret by only yourself and a few others who helped you write it (which is currently the status in the USA)? And, you knew ahead of the time which professors/experts were going to comb over your work intented as a ‘check and balance’? What might (and ‘might’ is all we need no matter how slight the possibility) one do in such a situation if approached by a ‘key figure’ who asked you to write a little loop that activated if a certain candidate was ‘behind in the count’?

    This latter scenario is ripe for corruption and abuse. The former – although obviously not 100% bulletproof (code is code and can be faulty even without intention) – is as close to a perfect electronic system as you can achieve. Do you think it is by accident that this happens? Witnesses for cheksum and instant tallying can help guarantee that the software the public sees on their own time and pace is the software the public uses. I’m actually shocked that some people vote on these machines who are run by Diebold and other like-corporations. You think “fines” are going to stop corruption? Are you serious?

    Do you realize that corporations pre-estimate/calculate how much they believe it would cost them in fines in order to make a judgement call on whether or not they will take a certain course of action? Do you realize that GM chose to build their 1979 Chevy Malibu in a way that increased the likelihood of death because it saved a few dollars per car even if a few people died? Fines are not the complete answer although I am not opposed to them.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think the fact that spyware is now officially illegal is great. But you don’t fight code only with the law. You fight code with code as well. And the best scenario for that is FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software). Let the world take care of you – not “the corporation you can trust!”

    Perhaps you didn’t hear of this, but that is maybe because it went so smoothly – check this out.

    You want trust? Then don’t hand it over.

  • poptones

    DRM is inevitable. Contrary to what you seem to believe, DRM doesn’t have to mean proprietary.

    You fight code with code as well. And the best scenario for that is FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software). Let the world take care of you – not “the corporation you can trust!”

    Then get busy and help pressure those FLOSS corporations to make sure “the open community” doesn’t get locked out of the future.

    Sitting on your hands and holding your breath like an angry three year old is the surest way to make exactly that happen. It is time for “this community” to grow up.

    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    DRM will allow this control to be placed more directly under your control. Instead of paying for a banking service to provide trusted infrastructure we need only a service that will audit a segment of our machine and vouch for its veracity. That auditor does not need to know about every transaction – all it needs to know is machine 1233456 is running a state machine it can certify to be trustworthy.

    This is how you enable peer to peer currency exchanges; trustworthy DRM is the only way we can move onto that plane.

    poptones, I’m not aware of any services that would (or could) work like this, either that currently exist, or are in development. I’m curious about what programs or services could do this? Are you aware of any? I’d find them very interesting.

    Also, you didn’t answer my prior question: Why do you believe the DRM authority would be any more reliable or secure or trustworthy than, say, Paypal, or a bank, or what have you?

  • poptones

    CM, I do not know of any services like that because it is presently impossible for them to exist. Any such platform depends entirely upon a trusted hardware platform, and at present we do not have one.

    And the sad truth, as should be obvious now, is that we will never have access to such a platform so long as “The Free Community” and it’s “leaders” remain so blinded by these petty disagreements over copyright. If one were a conspiratorial sort one might think the RIAA and the MPAA are suing girl scouts in order to distract everyone’s attention from the greater issues surrounding the coming of DRM and how its infrastructure will play to the vested corporate interests.

    Hmmmmm….

    If we do not embrace DRM and take strong leadership roles in its development we will forever remain sharecroppers on the virtual plantation.

  • three blind mice

    Sitting on your hands and holding your breath like an angry three year old is the surest way to make exactly that happen. It is time for “this community” to grow up.

    c’mon poptones… you have done a great job arguing your points in this thread. you don’t have to go here.

    81 comments in this thread. that’s a healthy discussion. Ms Rosen is to be congratulated for stirring up the pot with her initial question. but this thread has derailed so many times it is hard to follow.

    the general recurrent theme is however clear: there are some who believe that the centuries old ideas of intellectual property rights and protections spur innovation and that absolute freedom bounded by infringement is an optimal compromise. there are others who believe that these ideas are no longer valid in the 21st century, that intellectual property rights are an anachronism when bandwidth is large and reproduction costs approach zero.

    in essence all of this is just another way of decscribing what thomas sowell coined as “the conflict of visions” – the disagreement between the perfectability and imperfectability of mankind.

    we believe that technology should be built to accomodate human nature, others believe that architecture can improve human nature. there is perhaps some truth to both.

    we accept that some people will never agree that their vision is not the correct one. in sweden we still have unreconstructed (albeit relabeled) communists in vänsterpartiet who in their heart of hearts believe that save for stalin, lenin’s ideas would have worked: nothing, not the gulags, not the decades of environmental and economic destruction, and not even the worldwide collapse of communism will ever convince them of the contrary.

    so it is here. to some people copyright is evil and anything associated with it is the tool of the devil.

    poptones, do not become frustrated when you fail to get support from the commons-ists; present your case, make your arguments, provide information and accept that some people will be persuaded and others never will.

    this is actually a good thing. history teaches us that when any one vision excludes the other, bad things usually happen.

    balance, compromise, and moderation is the only one-size-fits-all model that works.

    DRM are coming (we think, like the three blind mice, that the noun is plural) that is clear, but DRM have to be moderated through careful crafting and application of of the law. the DMCA is a good idea, but it is also a hamfisted application of law. studies and reviews SHOULD be a permament part of all new legislation, but fear of not getting it 100% right the first time should not prevent new and necessary legislation from being introduced.

    enough for a sunday morning. keep up the good work everyone. it is still a joy to read ALL of the comments here.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Yes, but poptones, you’d think someone, somewhere, would be in development of this if it was feasible. But, there always has to be someone doing the actual transaction backend, which would be the DRM service.

    I’m not sure how trusted computing would, in any meaningful way, create such a system. TC is built on verifying hardware and software and things, but since DRM as a whole is so easy to get around, even with TC, I’m not sure this is even possible.

    So what we’re left with is another monopolizing agent, namely whomever would be doing the monetary transactions.

    Which leads to another question: If you’re freed from banks and the like, how is the money stored? Is the access viable from ATMs? Who issues cards? Where does the money come from? Does this mean everyone would be their own bank in a way?

    I’m sorry, I just don’t see that happening. I’m not sure its even possible to do something like that. There would have to be whole institutions setup to transact money and credit cards and check processing systems. To this I, again, ask the question: Why do you believe the DRM authority would be any more reliable or secure or trustworthy than, say, Paypal, or a bank, or what have you?

    Even if this were possible, you’d still be left with the issue of how to process money. There would have to be intermediaries, which would likely begin as monopolies themselves, and be little to no different from current systems already in place (like Paypal, traditional banks, etc).

    Am I misreading what you’re saying? I just don’t see your idea of what TC will bring at all possible, let alone likely.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones

    You keep arguing that I can’t trust open source systems today. You’re right. Backdoors could exists. (and examples have been seen), but I can put trust in that extensive peer-review will eventually reveal them, and I could valuate that trust more than the trust your are advocating TC would give me.
    The point is still, that I’m free to choose.

    Anyway… You seem to have missed my first comments that I actually find the techonolgy usefull from a security standpoint, but that I could get the same security if I controlled the endorsement key myself. It’s not the techonology I’m against. I don’t fear techonology. It’s the potential of a infastructure, which could be used to enforce incompatibility and consolidate monopolies and the privacy issues that would bring if people looses the free choice to choose their own security policy. I know, you’d say that the choice is still free and that I could just take-it-or-leave-it … but I don’t believe that the world works like that. I could personally live fine without Hollywood, but how should I explain to my kids that our family don’t participate in that area of digital culture, when all their friends in school does?

  • poptones

    CM, you ask the best questions. Thanks.

    I do know Mr Clark of Freenet fame (and his cohorts) have been working on a means of “distributed trust” and I do believe something like that will work – once we have in place a means of wrapping up code behind encryption locks.

    Again, I don’t believe people are quite clear on how TCPA is envisioned. When one says “root authority” that is not “root” like “root user” – it is “root” like administrator only of a portion of the whole. It is “root” like the root of a tree, but every computer will be home to an entire forest. Microsoft will be a root authority and Apple and (if they get on the ball and do the right thing) Novell and Redhat and Ubuntu – but also Real and Macromedia and Adobe will be root authorities. They will have their sections of software under their control – and how Photoshop interacts with an image imported from Windows Media Player will be up to the terms negotiated between Adobe and Microsoft. Microsft may, for example, say “you can import 500 frames of video into Premiere from a protected film but you may not save it unless it is transformed in some way” whereas an untrusted application may be allowed only to capture a number of individual frames, or perhaps be allowed those same 500 frames but only bearing a watermark.

    So, locking out “Hollywood” may mean locking out Real, and Macromedia, and Adobe, and Microsoft and Apple. All these entities will be competing to provide you the most compelling list of features they can negotiate with the studios. “Root authority” does not just mean one corporation (although it will mean only two operating systems if we do not get some Free software representation on the TCG voting board).

    So, let’s pretend the community really does get its act together and establish some meaningful presence in the TCG and we are able to run at least a couple of “trusted” linux distributions. So long as the kernel remains intact and able to perform its audits as required it can provide the secure path from keyboard to disk to screen and sound (as all these are kernel modules). Does this mean the entire desktop is trusted? No, absolutely not – but it doesn’t have to be.

    More importantly, though, we can use these tools just as the corporate entities do. One can expect this to be another area of competition – for example each userspace can easily be protected behind an encryption key, and within those spaces one can just as easily say “do not let the data from folder X be copied or read without confirming with me first via password verification.”

    And, because these are applications and data we own those other appications won’t care – it’s our data, after all, and it would be stupid from a business sense for Adobe to not allow us to edit our own files.

    So, there is nothing to prevent us from creating applications which we may share with others – like protected chat clients, secure file sharing applications (ala WASTE), etc. We can employ all those hooks to the secure infrastructure just like everyone else and it is up to others to decide for themselves whether or not to trust us.

    At that point there is nothing at all to prevent us from developing peer to peer applications that carry with them their own root authority. That is, I (or my community) generate the application and share it with you; as soon as your machine negotiates a secure connection with mine the application is transferred into your machine.

    Your machine is linked only to my private key; the first time it is run it generates its own root CA, and any friends who trust you then download the application keyed only to your key. My machine does not have the “authority” to to deny any machines keyed from yours. And, likewise, and machines keyed to your friend’s machines will not acknowledge your machine as root authority.

    In this way, no one person can “turn off the network.” The way you protect the network is via distributed trust. If you make part of the code itself a ranking mechanism – perhaps like the system ebay has on its site – then every individual carries with them their own online “credit history..

    How exactly one creates that distributed authority is still being devised. As I said, much of it depends on having machines that can be trusted, and we don’t yet have that. It can be modeled, but the only project I have heard of (so far) is the distributed trust model the freenet folks are toying with. Now, I am no authority on cryptography or randum numbers and genetic algorithms, but I am very confident some method or devising this distributed web of trust is possible.

    So, that leaves the details of commerce.. and that’s easy.

    I have sold on ebay computers, clothing, and most recently a Beatles 45. In return I was transferred paypal dollars. Now, because I had a bad expeience with them long ago (it took them two years to finally send me a check for a measly twenty bucks) I do not “trust” paypal to link them to my bank account. That means when I get money from an ebay sale I have to either spend it on other ebay crap or wait until I have enough money in my account it is worthwhile to get them to send me a check.

    Paypal, for me, is terribly inconvenient. But I participate because there is no other choice.

    Now, what is to stop one of my friends, who may plan to make an ebay purchase in the near future, from just “cashing” my paypal money? To paypal it’s just another transfer – I send my buddy $200 paypal plus a small sum to cover his paypal recipient fee, and my buddy gives me a stack of twenties.

    You can do the same thing with a p2p “wallet.” Because the computing infrastructure is now trusted you carry your money. You “install” an empty wallet and then you set about filling it up.

    How do you fill it up? You start with whatever currency you can find – whether you get an email transfer from paypal, or perhaps a meatspace friend will transfer you some money from his wallet in exchange, or maybe you set about it the honest way and earn it by selling music, porn, programming services – or maybe you just hit up your friends in IRC and panhandle it. It doesn’t matter how you do it, and whatever you have to offer is given value based upon the old fashion system of “whatever you and I can agree it’s worth.”

    Because the system is distributed peer to peer, everyone competes with each other to establish that value. It is not at all hard to envision entire “virtual eschanges” building up around this – day traders who spend their days in high pressure chatrooms trading egold and paypal and warcraft assets… an entire virtual stock exchange could spring up completely outside the bounds of any single government.

    The key is getting the trusted infrastructure in place. Until we have that, none of the rest of it is possible.

  • poptones

    PR, TBM just pointed out to me what was essentially a grammatical error on my part. When I said “you.. sitting on your hands like a three year old…” I was not speaking of you personally.

    I do not think the analogy inappropriate, but it was not meant to describe the attitude of any one individual but more of the way “the community” responds to any notions of TCPA or DRM. I do believe if you care to go to any “open software” community of your choice and openly advocate the adoption of DRM, you too will quickly see the truth in my descriptive imagery…

  • Tim Sackton

    the general recurrent theme is however clear: there are some who believe that the centuries old ideas of intellectual property rights and protections spur innovation and that absolute freedom bounded by infringement is an optimal compromise. there are others who believe that these ideas are no longer valid in the 21st century, that intellectual property rights are an anachronism when bandwidth is large and reproduction costs approach zero.

    TBM, I think that this may be true at the extremes, but I feel that it is possible to be legitimately concerned about DRM without believing that intellectual property is an anachronism (and implicitly that content should be free). In my mind, the issue is primarily one of control.

    Currently, once I buy a CD, it is mine. I can do with it what I like. Now, I agree that there are some uses that are and should be illegal and immoral: I can’t make copies of the CD to resell, I can’t stand on a streetcorner (real or virtual) giving away copies of the music, I can’t use the music from the CD as the soundtrack to a movie (or at least, not if I intend to distribute the movie). However, there are many things I can do that are important parts of my rights as a content-user: I can make a copy of the CD for my car, I can rip the tracks from the CD to listen to on my iPod, I can back up the CD in case my original gets scratched, lost, or stolen, I can use a few tracks from the CD in a mix CD that I burn for a friend.

    Now, some of these things may not be technically legal (particularly the last one), but I hope that we would all agree here that they are relatively harmless and not done with the intent to defraud the content creator of money. Content creators should have pretty good control over the content the create, but they shouldn’t have perfect control. Not only does that stifle fair-use, but it distorts the traditional balance between users and creators.

    Certainly, I agree that something needs to be done to fix the current situation — content creators have so little control that it clearly is stifling the distribution of high quality content online. But what worries me about DRM schemes is that there is the potential for them to shift the current system, where we pay once for the content and then can use it how we like, to a system where content users have to pay once for each use of the content, i.e., I can buy a music track online to listen to on my computer, but I have to buy another copy for my iPod and another copy for my car and another copy for my work computer. It seems clear to me, based on past actions, that some organizations that control the content would like to create that sort of regime, where we only rent content, never own it. So while I agree that DRM could be useful and important for spurring content distribution online, how do we prevent a future where rights holders can dictate how, when, and where we enjoy content we legitimately purchases (a future, I might add, we are quickly sliding towards)? Trusted computing seems, to me, to give far too much control to the content creators, thus hastening our slide towards this future. In particular, trusted computing could be a very powerful form of software lock-in, if the ability to play legally purchased content depends on using a particular piece of software. DRM could potentially function as a kind of proprietary format, preventing competition in software media players, which as more and more content moves to the computer, can only be a bad thing for the consumer.

    I might add that the future where all content is available illegally online, rights-holders have no control over the distribution of their content, and content production slowly dwindles as rewards for creating decline is also not a future I want to see come about., so I’m not arguing for some sort of anarchist free-for-all. I just think we need to be careful about giving anyone the means to exert near-perfect control over content.

  • three blind mice

    However, there are many things I can do that are important parts of my rights as a content-user: I can make a copy of the CD for my car, I can rip the tracks from the CD to listen to on my iPod, I can back up the CD in case my original gets scratched, lost, or stolen, I can use a few tracks from the CD in a mix CD that I burn for a friend.

    Now, some of these things may not be technically legal (particularly the last one), but I hope that we would all agree here that they are relatively harmless and not done with the intent to defraud the content creator of money. Content creators should have pretty good control over the content the create, but they shouldn’t have perfect control. Not only does that stifle fair-use, but it distorts the traditional balance between users and creators.

    excellent point, Tim Sackton, welcome to the discussion.

    you are, however, ignoring the difference between the ability to make exact copies and the ability to make pretty good copies. fair use developed under technology that did not enable the owner of an LP to make an exact copy. as good as that copy of Dark Side of the Moon was when made with a Nakamichi reel-to-reel it wasn’t as good as owning the LP. owning an LP still had value.

    once things went digital the copy of the CD you make for a friend IS as good. it is an exacty duplicate. once your friend has the copy you made for him, he has no need to buy a CD of his own. with digital scanners and hiqh quality printers, you can also make near exact copies of the printed material. this destroys the market value of CDs.

    we totally agree that fair use is a good and necessary thing. absolute control is neither practical, nor desired. the fair use statues exist for a reason and these reasons still exist. nothing here has changed.

    but the fair use statutes never envisaged that the purchaser of copyrighted media could make an exact, fault free copies of the original. (or that one could distribute exact copies instantaneously around the globe to people the purchaser does not personally know.) insisiting that fair use enables you to do so – or that the internet’s architecture should not be constructed to prevent this – is in effect claiming a much more expansive right to fair use than has ever existed.

    digital technology has changed the rules of the game

    this is where DRM, which would hinder exact copying, comes into the picture, but there are still people arguing that DRM a restriction on fair use. we say DRM restores the balance of fair use, but there are those argue otherwise.

    trusted computing comes into the mix because it enables DRM (and other things), but as the discussion above indicates, it brings with it other problems.

    the technical issues of DRM and trusted computing then become complicated by examples, such as the Public Enemy example, where traditional fair use issues are re-hashed. PE did not need to make an exact copy to run afoul of another copyright owner.. all they needed to do was to capture something sufficiently recognizeable of the original to make theirs a derivative work. this issue really has nothing to with technology, although technology makes it an issue happen more often. the creativity argument has also been taken on by those who want to use it as a way to avoid technological contraints.

    and on top of this, extensions in the length of copyright add another dimension to an already complex debate.

    the arguments, as this thread illustrate, quickly become a cacaphony of noise. it is very difficult to stay on topic because the different issues blend into each other so well.

    this is really complicated. even if you know something about it. even if you know a lot about it as many people on this board do. sometimes it leaves all three of our heads spinning.

    this is why we say a civilised, respectful, and open debate is so important. it is more important here than almost anywhere else because the issues are so diverse and demand a diverse participation. if people are intimidated or made to feel stupid, they are less likely to chime in and we are all less likely to listen to one another.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    In case anyone’s curious, a fascinating discussion occurred about DRM over at Dan Myrick’s website for his online series.

    A good presentation of issues.

  • Tim Sackton

    but the fair use statutes never envisaged that the purchaser of copyrighted media could make an exact, fault free copies of the original. (or that one could distribute exact copies instantaneously around the globe to people the purchaser does not personally know.) insisiting that fair use enables you to do so – or that the internet’s architecture should not be constructed to prevent this – is in effect claiming a much more expansive right to fair use than has ever existed.

    I guess the point that I was trying to make is that much of the discussion around DRM, etc, often seems to ignore the difference between copying and distributing. And I don’t think it is particularly important that digital formats allow the creation of perfect copies. The problem I see with making perfect copies is not that the copies are perfect, it’s that it opens the door to large-scale distribution, since the nth copy is just as good as the first copy.

    Even ignoring the issue of intent, should DRM prevent copying or prevent distribution? Obviously, those two issues are at least partially intertwined, and technically it may be impossible to completely separate the two. However, I would argue that fair use allows me to make a copy of a CD I purchased for back up purposes, or to burn a mix CD for my personal use, although I would agree that it doesn’t, in general, allow me to distribute the content that I have purchased (at least not anonymously to large audiences over the internet).

    My concern about DRM is that a side effect, whether intended or not, of preventing anonymous file-sharing may be eliminating a number of important fair uses of legally purchased content, in particular the ability to make back up copies and the ability to format-shift content.

    I realize there are a number of counterarguments to what I’ve just said:
    1) some people might not think fair use copying is that important, and so are willing to eliminate the ability to create copies of content for personal use in the name of eliminating the problem of illegal distribution.
    2) it could be argued that the market will sort it out, although I would argue that for the market to work, content providers have to be very up-front about what limitations they are placing on their content.
    3) perhaps there is a technical solution that would allow fair use copying but prevent illegal distribution — I don’t know enough about the technical aspects of DRM schemes to comment on this possibility.

    So there may be ways to make (almost) everyone happy. But I object to the idea that content users have no rights (not meaning to imply that anyone in this thread has taken exactly that position, but it clearly is at least the caricature of the position of the RIAA and similar organizations, and a position against which a lot of this debate is often framed) — it doesn’t seem any better than the position that content wants to be free and content creators have no rights to limit the distribution of their content. Nobody can distribution content and expect to have complete control over how it is used.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Yeah, I’d have to agree that the “perfect copy” argument doesn’t really hold water.

    Here’s why:

    1. Despite all the DRM in the world, all it takes is one copy, and the entire structure of DRM is vanquished. The problem here is the internet, not DRM. And, of course, you can’t get rid of the internet.

    2. I’ve been researching something besides DVD rips: Theater camera copies. That’s where someone sits in a theater and records the movie with a camcorder.

    Now, this is hardly a “perfect copy,” but there are some spectacular cam screenings. One, of War of the Worlds, came from Russia (at least I’d imagine, since the opening credits were in Russian). There was a direct audio line into the camera (meaning the audio was not recorded by the camera mic), and it was setup from the projection booth (at least it appeared to be, since it was an audio line into it).

    At first, I was convinced it must be an early DVD rip, but it wasn’t. So all this talk of perfect copies is…well, not really relevant. An MP3 is not a perfect copy, nor is a rip from a TV show. Compression causes degredation, even though every copy after that is a perfect digital copy.

    But, the point is that, as long as you can point a camera at a screen and record it (and, despite all the pandering of the industry, this will always be possible), there’s no stopping the recording.

    3. When presented with the choice of a perfect, unprotected file vs. a file with protection, people will always prefer the unprotected file. Not only that, but a lack of an unprotected file causes quite a few people to simply not buy anything at all (Source: “[t]hirty-six per cent [of people to say DRM] influenced them not to pay for downloadable music”).

    That’s a huge percentage. So, it’s all something to consider.

    Mind you, I’m not saying DRM should be banned, only that the law should allow for technology to work this out itself. If DRM is effective, there’s really no need for a law. And if DRM is not effective, then there were already laws in place to stop copyright infringement.

  • poptones

    Can anyone manufacture cars and expect “absolute control” over how they are distributed? At least initially – ford does not have to worry about a girl scout in Eporia cloning their cars for the cost of electricity and competing with them for the Mustang market in Illinois.

    DRM can allow IP to carry with it the same attributes as physical goods. This is both mandatory and inevitable if the internet is ever to empower the individual user to all those things the corporations now enjoy.

    that DRM can allow individuals to be locked out of features we previously took for granted is not a fault of the technology, and if we allow this “problem” to become a barrier to our embracing it, all we will do is allow the corporations to claim complete control over it and set the standards for themselves.

    I hope I have made clear that DRM does not mean we must all trust a single root authority. If we take a leadership role in the creation of meaningful DRM then we control the standards and practices. Consider:

    A peer to peer system of commerce combined with embedded DRM in our own creations could allow us all to participate in a creative commons and doing so on a commercial basis. Instead of adopting the limited CC license one could embed terms right into the file – for example, “sampling of this clip is allowed in derivative works for the sum of 3 cents per copy second.” My rights management system automatically handles the distribution at that point – for every copy transferred the proper royalies are transferred from my “wallet” to the wallets of those licensed. If they are offline the transfer is queued on my system and it will keep trying for several days. where the money comes from to replenish those fees is my problem – I can seell my derivative works for a profit, or I can trade my work for world of warcraft gold or a laptop computer on ebay or whatever I want.

    There is nothing to prevent the old school publishers from participating in a similar system. This would encourage artists and their publishers to share even more of their works in a manner similar to that artists like Trent Reznor and Garbage and Jay-Z are now experimenting with – by not releasing not just the album, but all the individual tracks and loops they used to create it. You can create and remix all you like for your own enjoyment, and the DRM system automatically handles the task of distributing payments if you should publish the work.

    A distributed trust system would address all concerns. Those who wish to publish gratis will forever be free to do so, and those who wish to exercise reasonable licensing terms can also do so under the terms we, the people, have agreed upon by way of our community licensing terms. No Congress, no Verkovah Rada, no Parliament and no single finger on the off switch.

    It’s only impossible if we refuse to create it.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    poptones:

    It’s all well and good to envisage a utopia environment like that. But, personally, I think we’d do just as well with licensing terms set out in a license without the need to encode it.

    Also, such a wallet/soundclip/whatever DRM system is not currently in development. DRM works by encoding the whole file, not parts that make it up. A massive infrastructure and programming interface would have to be created for sound editing programs, not to mention the commerce systems that would have to be built around it. The development costs would be…well, quite impressive.

    Is it possible? Well, maybe. But even Hollywood doesn’t much care about the ability to remix or recreate, let alone investing in a system to do it. So who is investing? Are you part of technology group doing this? Has anyone considered it?

    Besides that, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a world in which everything is so carefully tracked and catalogued. The last thing I want are more outside entities intruding on my computer, let alone individual artists.

    It’s a nice idea, but I don’t think it’s very feasible.

  • Tim Sackton

    that DRM can allow individuals to be locked out of features we previously took for granted is not a fault of the technology, and if we allow this “problem” to become a barrier to our embracing it, all we will do is allow the corporations to claim complete control over it and set the standards for themselves.

    True, the fact that DRM can be designed that takes away features/rights previously taken for granted is not the fault of DRM, it is the fault of those who designed the system in that way. And I would not argue against all DRM. I just think that there are certain rights that content users have that DRM should not be legally allowed to take away, and if a DRM scheme cannot meet that requirement, it is better to have no DRM than “too much” DRM, so to speak.

  • poptones

    Also, such a wallet/soundclip/whatever DRM system is not currently in development.

    This is where you are very mistaken. it is in development, and it has been for years. And when it arrives within Longhorn and no one within the free community has stepped up to participate in its development, the “free community” will have directly contributed to the realising exactly the scenario you all most fear.

    DRM works by encoding the whole file, not parts that make it up.

    Wrong. DRM works by embedding rights within the file and encrypting it as a means of protecting those rights. How the software that interacts with it is entirely up to the programmers and those who define it.

    A massive infrastructure and programming interface would have to be created for sound editing programs, not to mention the commerce systems that would have to be built around it. The development costs would be…well, quite impressive.

    The development costs of Linux would be… well, quite impressive.

    Making excuses accomplishes nothing. None of this is imposssible or even particularly difficult once the hardware arrives. But if we do not participate in its specification we will be locked out of that hardware and it will be a hundred times harder to reclaim the ground lost by us sitting on our hands and screaming “go away.” to the inevitable.

    …and if a DRM scheme cannot meet that requirement, it is better to have no DRM than “too much” DRM, so to speak.

    Except we do not have that option. Our only decision to make in this matter is whether we will own the technology, or the technology will own us.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    This is where you are very mistaken. it is in development, and it has been for years. And when it arrives within Longhorn and no one within the free community has stepped up to participate in its development, the �free community� will have directly contributed to the realising exactly the scenario you all most fear.

    Do you have more pertinent information on what, specifically, has been in development?

    Wrong. DRM works by embedding rights within the file and encrypting it as a means of protecting those rights. How the software that interacts with it is entirely up to the programmers and those who define it.

    Yes, but, currently no DRM system in existence (that I know of) allows individual portions of a file to be altered and retain the rights embedded in them, unless Microsoft is stewing on something…

    The development costs of Linux would be� well, quite impressive.

    Making excuses accomplishes nothing. None of this is imposssible or even particularly difficult once the hardware arrives.

    See, I still don’t buy it. Linux took a hell of a long time, but even it was based on Unix, which came from a massive investment. I’m just not sure the development costs would be worth the result, which may likely not want to be embraced by anyone in the free community. I would never want to attach DRM to my music or films, even with the supposed benefits of it. I don’t think the free community wants any protection systems on content as a whole, since they work mostly on trust systems, without needing a content backend to it.

    After all, trust is the entire point of the OSS/CC crowd, am I right?

  • poptones

    Linux did not “come from unix.” Linux “came from” minix which was a “mini unix” kernel. Linux has not spawned from unix, it is a re-interpretation of it. There is some legacy code in there but it is a tiny part of the whole.

    “Trust” may be the point of some within the crowd but what about that ‘freedom” stuff? what about the empowerment the internet is supposed to provide? What about overcoming the will of governments and all that stuff?

    Trust doesn’t put food on the table and people have to eat. And the only way for any of us to do that right now is with the permission of the credit banks.

    …currently no DRM system in existence (that I know of) allows individual portions of a file to be altered and retain the rights embedded in them, unless Microsoft is stewing on something…

    You again are confusing “files” with how the software interacts with those files. You are trying to put details on the painting before the sky is even on the canvas. A DRM system can behave however we specify it… or, the way things are presently going, however the Hollywood consortium specifies it.

  • poptones

    By the way: when windows 95 came out, linux didn’t really even have a desktop. when windows 2000 came out it had some desktops in development but they were so geeky linux was still considered just a server OS.

    Right now the linux desktop has features (like f-stop, and dashboard, and beagle and tomboy) that Microsoft is still promising to add back into Longhorn sometime down the road.

    We need to get a presence on the TCG.

    Professor, are you listening?

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones,

    You seem to be saying – in essence – that TC/DRM is freedom and denying that supposition on my part means to deny complete, free (i.e. gnu) computing systems their rightful participatory place in the future of global technology.

    Is this correct? If not, please correct my misunderstanding (with my apologies) of your stated position.

    Hilary, what do you think?

  • poptones

    That’s pretty much it, Peter.

    Remember all that talk about “virtual reality” and videogames and ownerhip of property in-game and such?

    If there is no DRM, then there is no ownership. as we increasinbgly find ourselves moving into this space we will become completely dependant upon the “trusted” infrastructure of corporations.

    In this world without pervasive and trustworthy DRM we are presently in the process of becoming sharecroppers on vast privately held plantations. We increasingly exist only through “user licenses” and permissions and whatever lawlessness we can commit.

    Without DRM, corporations will own virtually everything.

    Welcome to the new century…

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones,

    Declaring that “TC/DRM is freedom” is like an Orwellian declaration that “freedom is slavery”.

    I still don’t understand how a gnu system can work under your regime. Does not at least some software on a system (from firmware and up) have to be non-free in order for TC/DRM to work as intended?

  • Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Readers should know that Three Blind Mice do not have the
    correct understanding on fair use in the U.S. This does
    not surprise me because they are from Norway or whatever
    country in that area.

    Contrary to what they said, fair use does envisage that
    possessor of the copies of works that still have active
    copyrights can make exact copies of these copies. Fair
    use in fact permits one to make a full copy of a copyrighted
    work in very rare cases.

    Readers also should know that there are more limitations
    on the copyright holders’ rights other than fair use. They
    are listed in the first chapter of the U.S. copyright law.

    Whether DRM will recognize these limitations or whether
    DRM will suppress the copyright law through license remains
    to be seen.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo
    <riolo@voicenet.com>

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
    comment in the public domain.

  • poptones

    Declaring that “TC/DRM is freedom” is like an Orwellian declaration that “freedom is slavery”.

    How ironic you should use such a metaphor.

    Without ownership, we are enslaved by the corporations who “own” the trusted universe upon which the online world depends.

    Does not at least some software on a system (from firmware and up) have to be non-free in order for TC/DRM to work as intended?

    Of course not. I use gpg all the time for my emails and that is completely open source. Every hard drive in my computer is encrypted – more than 500GB of data in a redundantly protected storage bank. if I shut down this machine and leave it, how long do you think it would take you to break into this protected data store?

    The code can be developed in the open and there is no reason we cannot have TCP system calls that allow for confirmation, via secure hashes, of a memory store. The kernel is still developed in the open, then compiled and transferred to other machine via a mutually trusted root authority. This root authority could be a single machine, or it could be a thousand machines across the grid linked as a single virtual machine that constantly audits each constituent computational “cell” for untrustworthiness.

    Of course it comes down to trusting someone or a group of someones – you already do this now every time you make a purchase online – or install linux (or a component package) from a CD or download.

  • Palle Raabjerg

    Peter Rock,

    That is my own impression of DRM technologies in general. One of my greatest misgivings with TCPA, is that it would supposedly require a non-free/closed module to be able to interface with it. Please correct me if I’m wrong poptones, but if you want a completely free system in the GNU sense of the word, this is impossible while using TCPA. Because if the code interfacing with the TCPA hardware was open, stripping the DRM from any content would be trivial.

    This runs counter to the “free software community”s definition of “free”. Contrary to what some may think, it is quite possible to run a system of completely free software today and not be seriously hampered in most other ways than not being able to run high-end 3D applications, which is mostly used for new games.
    I can even play DVDs legally in Denmark because of decss, as previously noted.

    The main reason I hate almost all sorts of copy-protection and DRM mechanisms is that they always require me to run some sort of non-free software, if that even exists. And no, I’m not satisfied with “just” having to use some non-free software. TCPA is no different, if I’m informed correctly. Any kind of meaningful DRM would require non-free software.

    You can’t just take principles from the physical world and artificially apply them to the digital/non-physical realm without consequences. That’s one of the main reasons some of us are going directly against it.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Palle Raabjerg:

    if the code interfacing with the TCPA hardware was open, stripping the DRM from any content would be trivial.

    Yes, this is my impression too. Poptones, can you please clarify as to why this impression is mistaken? I didn’t understand your “gpg” and secured hard-drives response. I still don’t see how a gnu system (i.e. a completely free system) can work with TC/DRM.

  • http://www.robmyers.org/ Rob Myers

    “Intellectual Property” (actually copyrighted material here) does not require DRM any more than physical property requires locks. That is, there is no causal requirement. Not that burglars don’t exist. The property is a fact of law, not an effect of technology.

    DRM can cover non-copyrighted material as well. You can DRM anything.

    DRM can be used offensively as well as defensively. It can be used to expire, to erase, to track, to trigger. To reduce wealth as well as to -er- expropriate it. It’s not even like renting a house, it’s like a series of “Big Brother”.

    DRM will accelerate the gentrification of IP. Pleading for DRM for the corporations so that the little people can lock their kiddie photos just doesn’t work. It’s similarly bogus to the current pleading by corporations for perpetual copyright for artists.

    So DRM is unneccessary, expansive, destructive, social engineering. The few *personal* benefits that people plead for it (protect your kiddie photos, sell your terrible guitar music, be protected against the corporations that, um, make the DRM, have I missed any?) rely on emotional rather than reasoned argument. The arguments against it are based on technological, legal, historical and practical evidence.

    The pleading for DRM follows from corporate demands for it, it does not lead to those demands. There is no popular support or demand for DRM. If DRM did not exist, it would not be necessary to invent it.

    DRM may or may not be inevitable. But accomodating ourselves to it for fear of being on the wrong side of history will not improve whatever DRM we do get.

    But all this aside, do the maximalists really believe that DRM will be used to protect legally purchased music more than it will be used to to hide illegally downloaded music? ;-)

  • poptones

    Please correct me if I’m wrong poptones, but if you want a completely free system in the GNU sense of the word, this is impossible while using TCPA. Because if the code interfacing with the TCPA hardware was open, stripping the DRM from any content would be trivial.

    TCPA is still in development. And if this were so then it would be doomed to failure because such secrets will eventually come out.

    Even cryptography is not 100% secure. Cryptography only works so long as it is more work to break into the store than it is worth. By the way, it is important to note here this is exactly why the statements about content being forever locked away in DRM are fallacious. A decade ago it would take computational years to brute force 56 bit encryption – now you could do it in a matter of days. Content “locked away” today behind 512 bit encryption may, in a decade’s time, become just as trivially breakable. So, in the unlikely even that the original sources for a piece of valuable content are lost to the people of 2020, it is very likely it would take only a matter of hours for that content to be recovered fully from DRM’d archives.

    The point of DRM is to make it a practical impossibility for cleartext to be recovered from a file during that file’s useful lifetime. If I have 500 dollars in my e-wallet then what is the useful lifetime of that data? If this were the “me” who used to live just off Melrose I can tell you the “useful lifetime” of those 500 encrypted e-bucks would be only a matter of hours :)

    it is quite possible to run a system of completely free software today and not be seriously hampered in most other ways than not being able to run high-end 3D applications, which is mostly used for new games.

    It is possible but not likely. Unless you are running a five year old motherboard, no wireless support and no modem, then you are using non-free modules. Are you saying it is possible or that you are? You are trying to make the case for trustworthiness and I am pointing out Millions of linux users – even those who flail their hands wildly at the merest suggestion of TCPA – already trust corporations like Nvidia and Intel by installing sealed, proprietary modules on their computers.

    Any kind of meaningful DRM would require non-free software.

    Utterly false. In fact, any system that relies upon proprietary algorithmic secrets is doomed to failure (just like decss).

    Trustworthy DRM requires trustworthy software be deployed upon trustworthy hardware and that the trusted portion of the machine be periodically audited so as to prove that trustworthiness.

    The tools used to create that hardware and software, and the standards that establish it, can be every bit as open as (for example) PGP, GPG, DM-crypt, ssh, and the non-secret encryption protocols that power them.

    It is a non trivial problem, but it is solvable within those time limits – ie by the time an exploit is found in the present system, it has already been evolved so as to present new obstacles for the attacker to overcome.

    You can’t just take principles from the physical world and artificially apply them to the digital/non-physical realm without consequences

    Of course there are consequences. There are consequences to breathing and drinking water. There are also consequences to refusing to participate in the creation of an infrastructure which is becoming increasingly important to how we live our daily lives. You are worried about your “right” to rip madonna and I am saying that is a trivial concern given the world in which she shares that space with you is entirely owned by corporations.

    Without Digital Rights Management you have no rights to manage in this digital realm. You exist here only because the corporate owners of the infrastructure allow it.

  • poptones

    I still don’t see how a gnu system (i.e. a completely free system) can work with TC/DRM.

    Because the embodiment of that “free” system is protected behind physical locks. We can all define the algorithms and define the standards and then lock the state machine away inside hardware and encryption. Since the only “key” to the state machine now embodied in tha hardware is locked away behind a key known only to the machine itself, the only way to alter its functionality is to physically attack it. This is still possible of course – just as it is still possible for me to steal your car or lift your wallet.

    it is possible to do these things but not likely given the combination of physical difficulty and social and legal barriers.

  • rodander

    What I see here is a tremendous lack of confidence in the marketplace by some. Comments like “you have no rights to manage in this digital realm. You exist here only because the corporate owners of the infrastructure allow it.” and “e will become completely dependant upon the “trusted” infrastructure of corporations” (sorry poptones, yours were the easiest to find).

    But the point of any corporation is to make profit. And market forces will push the supplies to supply the products and rights that consumers will want and use. Maybe not fast enough for some, but the market will follow the demand, so long as a profit motive remains and so long as government stays out of the way. No corporation will exist very long (nor will its management remain) if it chooses to not meet market demands.

    And besides, we are the corporations now. Stock ownership is incredibly more diverse than ever before, both directly and through mutual funds etc. So lose the image of Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller sitting around scheming on how to control the world. The market is in control — both the market for products and the market for equities.

    I am afraid that the real issue for many was expressed by Palle Raasjberg: “The main reason I hate almost all sorts of copy-protection and DRM mechanisms is that they always require me to run some sort of non-free software . . .”. To paraphrase : dammit, I just want everything now for free and with no restrictions.

  • three blind mice

    “The main reason I hate almost all sorts of copy-protection and DRM mechanisms is that they always require me to run some sort of non-free software …”. To paraphrase : dammit, I just want everything now for free and with no restrictions.

    that’s not quite fair rodander.

    it would be more accurate to paraphrase Palle Raasjberg’s comment thusly:

    The main reason I hate almost all sorts of copy-protection and DRM mechanisms is that they always require me to run some sort of non-free software and I do not care if this exposes copyright holders to widespread piracy.

    it’s not fair to accuse Palle Raasjberg of wanting to engage in piracy. this is the sort of mud slinging that turns people off to what you are saying. give him the benefit of the doubt that he himself is honest.

    it is however entirely fair to point out that what he wants creates an environment where it becomes impossible – or at least very difficult – to prevent piracy. this is something it seems to us that commons-ists simply do not want to honestly address.

    so throwing the ball to you, Palle Raasjberg, how do you justify that the benefit to you to use “free” software is worth more than the greater loss to society caused by widespread piracy?

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Mice:

    so throwing the ball to you, Palle Raasjberg, how do you justify that the benefit to you to use “free” software is worth more than the greater loss to society caused by widespread piracy?

    Whoa! Back the truck up.

    Are you suggesting that pursuing freedom causes people to break copyright law? You’ve tried to weigh freedom on the same scale alongside reduced piracy – which is absurd. You can’t quantify freedom!

    Freedom is of utmost importance and should not be sacrificed with an ignorant (yet well intentioned) ‘lock and key’ piracy reduction plan. What needs to happen is the emergence of an enlightened and revolutionary way of approaching copyright and artistic compensation – NOT “trusted computing” with DRM.

    What I want: Freedom, and an environment where piracy is not an issue because everyone already has access to digital culture created by artists who are compensated fairly.

  • rodander

    Mice, thanks. I’ll back off of my paraphrase to the exent that it paints Palle as wanting to pirate. He didn’t mean that, and I didn’t mean to mean that I thought he wanted to pirate anything.

    But he did make the point of not wanting to use “non-free” software. That obviously means he doesn’t want to pay a market price for what he wants to use — he wants someone else to do the work and give it to him (again, I will assume that he wouldn’t take it). So the debate comes down to price — anything above free (with total rights to do whatever with it, as you point out) is not acceptable to some.

    Let’s trust the market, instead. It has great power. People (including shareholders of corporation) like to maximize profit. Supply will follow demand, if permitted to and if incentive remains.

  • rodander

    Ooops — mice, you didn’t really point out the “do whatever with it” comment that I made. That’s on me. My bad.

  • Palle Raabjerg

    poptones:
    Hrm. You just forced me to read a bit more up on TCPA. It seems you are right. It _could_ maybe be implemented in open source, at the very least.
    Well, that’s good, I suppose.
    It still ranks as a “scary technology” though. Kind of cool, but still scary.

    It’s comparable to the way the content industry uses, (or misuses) encryption today. Originally, encryption was developed for the communication of confidential information. The principles were there, even before the invention of computers, actually. That’s a good and, um, sort of “cool” way of using it. Then the content industry began embracing it as a measure of preventing illegal copying, which is where it all went wrong. This means you can buy discs with gigabytes of encrypted information, without the seller ever telling you the decryption key. That was a secret only told to people creating DVD-players and closed software-players. Now that’s a scary way of using encryption, in my mind.

    It’s the same way in which I _do_ now see the good ways in which to use TCPA technology. It could surely be immensely useful for exchanging confidential information in an even more secure way than by ordinary encryption. It seems sensible to use the technology for information exchange inside the military and other corporations/organizations, which may be a “cool” and good way of using it, I think.
    I just can’t see why it must become standard on the motherboards for ordinary home users. Its main use on home-machines would be for the industry to dictate which programs they “trust” to play their content. Which is, well, a very effective form of DRM, I suppose. And this is what I see as a “scary” way of using TCPA. I should be able to choose if I want to utilize the level of security TCPA provides without having to take into account possibly denying myself access to entertainment-content from the industry, or being forced to use specific binaries for playing movies and such. Besides, freeing the movie, or the music from this DRM is just an analog copy away, as previously mentioned, so what’s the point, aside from annoying the consumer with yet another level of protection?
    All the newest movies and music will still be available on P2P networks and the likes. It’s inevitable, yes. Even with TCPA. But frankly, I don’t really think it’s hurting the industry as much as it claims.
    (Just to clarify: No, despite this opinion, I don’t do illegal copying. I adhere to the laws of my country, which doesn’t allow copying without permission…). I just can’t bear to see any more futile attempts at stopping it. Every single attempt just seems to inconvenience the honest buyer, while proving no significant hindrance for P2Pers.
    Btw, poptones. Yes, I _am_ running a completely free GNU/Linux system right now. The motherboard is a mere 2-3 years old. You just have to be careful about the hardware you choose. Most motherboards today runs fine with a completely free OS on top. If you can stay away from ATI and nVidia cards, or do without their 3D functions, the rest is really very easy. And the reason I stay away from hardware with only proprietary drivers isn’t just because of “trust”.

    TBM:
    Yes. I’m very much against “DRM systems that can’t be implemented on a free (in the GNU sense) system”. That is, DRM systems where they basically say: “We just have to keep it secret, then we have good rights management.”, which is a fundamentally flawed way to go about DRM, really.
    No, I don’t really think DRM is needed either, because I don’t really think non-commercial piracy is anywhere near as destructive as the industry believes… Even if TCPA is to prevail and be used for DRM on home PCs, piracy is in no way impossible. And DRM only serves to inconvenience the regular consumer/costumer in the end. But if we _must_ have DRM, then go about it in an open way, please. Like SUN is suggesting now. Yep, the news were out just yesterday, and I must admit to being wrong on that point, poptones :)
    They’ve developed an _open source DRM system_… Without TCPA. Presumably implementable on a free GNU/Linux system. I wonder why this hasn’t been done before? Surely, the industry could only embrace such a solution, seeing as they then don’t have to fear the many open source hackers trying to crack it to make it work on a Free system…

  • http://blogs.jigzaw.com Shannon Clark

    If people haven’t read about this yet – take a look at http://www.boingboing.net/2005/08/22/customers_of_new_uk_.html

    Apparently a UK DSL service has struck a deal with Sony to allow FULL, UNRESTRICTED sharing of all Sony owned music (I think just music) by subscribers of this UK DSL service – full as in via P2P services, ripped from CD etc.

    Sony and Independent Labels the DSL provider has entered into agreements with will share a proportional portion of the service’s revenue (they are monitoring known P2P services apparently – the details of that are unclear from the BoingBoing article).

    This announcement, if true and managed in the long term, is a great step forward – it is a very sensible compromise and allows the artists to be compensated, the label to get a rich data stream (apparently rough numbers about which specific songs are traded and how frequently – for the back catalogue in particular this might be very valuable data and for new releases might be helpful in picking the hits), and individual consumers to make a financial decision, support the artists and be legal

    I wonder, however, if this will be extended to non-music content (films and tv shows) and if other labels and other access providers will also adopt this model.

    One item I found interesting is that apparently this specific provider offers a fairly slow version of DSL – I think this idea will really take off when the service offered is highly competitive in terms of access speed and offers this extra perk ( I suspect many people would pay a premium especially when more labels beyond Sony are added – if any take the plunge).

    Shannon

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Rodander:

    But he did make the point of not wanting to use “non-free” software. That obviously means he doesn’t want to pay a market price for what he wants to use — he wants someone else to do the work and give it to him (again, I will assume that he wouldn’t take it). So the debate comes down to price — anything above free (with total rights to do whatever with it, as you point out) is not acceptable to some.

    ?!

    Do you have any idea why Richard Stallman started the GNU Project? This has nothing to do with price. I have paid for some free software and will continue to do so in the future. I don’t understand why the free software people keep getting characterized as couch-potato losers who just want a free ride. How strange.

  • Palle Raabjerg

    Shannon Clark:
    Hold on. It isn’t april the first? No…
    Hrmm. It’ll still need some confirmation. If true, then yes, that’s what I’d call good news :)
    Perhaps even great news.

  • three blind mice

    What I want: Freedom, and an environment where piracy is not an issue because everyone already has access to digital culture created by artists who are compensated fairly.

    well Peter Rock this is where we part company. your vision of freedom excludes private property. in the modern western constitutional concept of freedom, from the magna carta onwards, the right to private property is the cornerstone of freedom.

    Are you suggesting that pursuing freedom causes people to break copyright law?

    no, but arguing that locks are immoral makes it easier for dishonest people to open doors that we want to remain closed. it is a pity that we have to remember PIN codes, it is a pity that we have to carry keys and put lock our doors, but to not do this is to live in a fantasy world.

    Btw, poptones. Yes, I _am_ running a completely free GNU/Linux system right now.

    Palle Raabjerg, no, you are not. if you do not also own the complier and, more importantly, the microprocessor and all the associated hardware your “freedom” isn’t what you think it is. connect your PC to an ISP, and your “freedom” gets even smaller, use TCP/IP to connect to another server, and what remains in your visible control is very limited indeed.

    why should you trust the whole iceberg, just because you can see the part above water?

    in this light, TCPA is a lot more transparent than the insistence that top layer software layer be “free.”

  • poptones

    The point I have been making, TBM, is that this is not the choice we must make, to have proprietary DRM or to have no DRM. But to date no one in the “free” community has been willing to address this segment of the market with a free and open alternative..

    This is the problem. and it is not the fault of Hollywood or Microsoft or Apple that this has not been done. The free software community has no one to blame for this but itself.

    It seems some still don’t get that DRM and trusted infrastructure is not just about music and movies and books

    DRM is needed within the free community more than within the corporate. The corporate community already has its “trusted” infrastructure and its licensing deals and its lawyers and lobbyists to protect its interests. It’s ironic someone mentioned “Big brother” when talking about DRM. Big brother controls access to the “trusted infrastructure;” big brother sets the rules of the game and tracks your every transaction through that trusted infrastructure and denies you access to it when some vocal minority sways those “market forces” that own big brother.

    But the point of any corporation is to make profit. And market forces will push the supplies to supply the products and rights that consumers will want and use.

    If you do not have credit then you do not have access to this system. If you do wish to offer a service that defies some world government agenda, then you are excluded from this system. If you merely do not want to play the game by the rules of those who own and control the only trusted infrastructure, then you are excluded.

    No, this is not the corporate world of the John D Rockerfellers. John D Rockerfeller was one of those fellows who felt the wealthy had a responsibility to the world that made them. The John D Rockerfellers are few and far between. This is the corporate world of Enron and Tyco and the Ken Lays. A world where even “the good guys” conspire with governments to censor and oppress their citizens. Because, as you correctly pointed out, they must do what they must in order to protect their shareholders and to sustain profitability. It is a small world now, and when Italy or France or China or the US says “you must not do this” they have no choice but to comply.

    DRM and a trusted platform will empower people to work for themselves within this shared infrastructure. It will allow for individuals pooling their resources into organizations that may exist only within this digital realm and to offer services that compete directly with those now allowed only to the Big Brother entities.

    The promise of the online realm presently isn’t being fulfilled – and it can never be to many because they don’t have access to the assets or the records the corporations demand before they will allow us to play in the online game which they essentially own.

    Check this out. It’s a good start, but may not mean much if we are locked out of the hardware platform upon which it will depend.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Yes, It’s correct when poptones says that TCPA can be implemented in Open Source. And he is also correct that it could have many useful applications.
    But it doesn’t change that it could also support an infrastructure demanding “certified” software which could give problems for many important ways of using open source software and the open source development model.

    @poptones
    Could you please explain how you define “freedom”, when you claim that Palles system is not completely free. Something tells me you are putting a lot more in your “freedom” requirement than FSF does.

  • Palle Raabjerg

    Peter M.:
    Unless we have to go into the BIOS and certain firmwares, which there might be an argument for, I’m quite confident this is a free system I’m running, yes :) Otherwise, the rest is hardware, which isn’t really essential as I can’t make changes to that anyway.

    Trustyness is not the main reason I want to run a free system. If it was only that, I wouldn’t have any real issues with using nVidia and ATI drivers, since I certainly do trust them not to do anything malicious on purpose. The main reason is that there is no practical or legal barriers for me changing or fixing anything I want on the system. Which is indeed something TCPA could make problematic in various ways.

  • poptones

    “Palle’s system?” I have not seen Palle describe a system. if you mean the open source DRM announcement from SUN – he one I linked to in my last post – then you are talking about something that is, at this point, vapor. It is a “plan” for some DRM solution that is built upon Java and oriented, at least initially, at the mobile phone market.

    And that is because robust DRM depends entirely upon a trusted or locked system, and mobile phones are presently one of the few platforms to provide this. In order for such a system to work on the PC it must be built upon trusted hardware – and you will note that SUN, despite a presence in the TCG, makes no mention of this on their “open trust” website. Nor is it likely SUN’s invitation of “openness” will ever be extended to the linux community regarding TCPA because SUN has its own operating system (which is open source but not at all Free in the libre sense of the word) which they want to spread – and making Solaris the only TCPA enabled “free” operating system available is in their best corporate interest.

    I have no idea how the EFF defines freedom but I know how everyone from Moses to Jefferson defined it. They defined it by man’s right to own a place in this world – because ownership is important to a sense of self. Because if you do not have ownership of your being you are forever at the mercy of those who do. And in the digital realm we have no ownership of our being because so much of our “being” is contained on the only trusted infrastructure that is “ours” only through the grace of our corporate masters.

    Having a trusted platform enables us to own our means of commerce – and ourselves. DRM means having the choice to make free what we wish to be free and to keep for ourselves what is rightfully ours.

    You continually talk of concerns about being tracked through DRM yet every website you visit and every purchase you make online is tracked and recorded. Without a distributed mechanism of trust – a peer to peer system of exchange – this will forever remain true.

    TCPA means distributed trust. it means I control the tools of commerce and you control the tools of commerce and a Billion others across the world control the tools of commerce. Every one of us controls the part that most directly affects us – our own pocketbook. It doesn’t matter if you are in Afghanistan or Zimbabwe, if you have access to a trusted computing platform, a memoy dongle, and something to offer the world you can participate in the world market. No social security number, no credit checks and bowing down to the will of a hundred oppressive governments, no begging permission from those who run the offfline world. Whether you are a Mexican migrant worker living in New York or a Cuban refugee in Miami, you can send tokens of commerce home to your family; no handling charges, no governments telling you that you cannot, no taxman standing in the doorstep of your family’s home when the money arrives.

    Without a trusted computing platform we, the people do not have any control over the means of commerce. All the talk in the world about a “global community of enlightened and empowered citizens” is nothing but lip service to liberty if we do not have the freedom to transact business without first begging someone’s permission..

  • poptones

    Yes, It’s correct when poptones says that TCPA can be implemented in Open Source. And he is also correct that it could have many useful applications.
    But it doesn’t change that it could also support an infrastructure demanding “certified” software which could give problems for many important ways of using open source software and the open source development model.

    There is always the opportunity to become untrustworthy. Would you put your money in a bank that kept its deposits hanging in the alley on a clothes line?

    Yes, this system can be abused. it can lock us out of the future completely and make linux a quaint operating system relegated only to hobbyists and paranoid “blanks” who live in alleys and subway tunnels. And the one sure way to make exactly that happen is to jam our fingers in our ears and scream about how unfair the system is because we are not allowed to participate.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    “well Peter Rock this is where we part company. your vision of freedom excludes private property. in the modern western constitutional concept of freedom, from the magna carta onwards, the right to private property is the cornerstone of freedom.”

    There it is! The “bias“!

    3 Blind Mice, you would be a fool to deny that we are conversing over copyright. Yet, you speak of “the magna carta?!

    Tell us mice…why is constitutional copyright in the united states of america limited by time? Please…I’d like to know why the government can’t come and take away your property after two decades yet they can take away your patent. Please, enlighten us…and then part company if you wish.

    Can you answer us clearly, or are you too caught up in your beliefs?

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    TBM, you said (to someone else):

    …how do you justify that the benefit to you to use �free� software is worth more than the greater loss to society caused by widespread piracy?

    Well, philosophical arguments aside, I’d like some evidence that DRM reduces piracy. If you present it (and it’s accurate), then we’ll talk.

    Note that I will not accept evidence from the NPD Group, as they seem to be an overnight organization that has been criticized for inaccurate information, spinning errors into truth, and outright fabrication of facts.

  • three blind mice

    Commons Music, Peter Rock, we don’t want to appear to be ignoring your questions, but it is time to let this thread die.

    it has derailed so many times and crossed over itself, it looks like the path we blind mice take home after a night of hard drinking and substance abuse.

    this party has broken up into small groups, some of which moved into the bathroom quite a while ago, and it’s time for everyone to go home and sleep it off.

    let’s say we pursue these issues in the future in a new thread that is more germane to the topics you both raise.

    *mice exit thread muttering to themselves…. must stay on topic, must stay on topic, must stay on topic*

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    3 Blind(ed by Physical Property) Mice:

    Commons Music, Peter Rock, we don’t want to appear to be ignoring your questions, but it is time to let this thread die.

    Mice, I’m not particulary worried if we 3 are the only ones left reading this thread or if a million people are. The fact that you want to run away after CM challenges your implied belief that DRM reduces piracy and after I call you on your blatent misuse/abuse of the Magna Carta in an attempt to paint me as “anti-property” is telling.

    You do not want to end this thread because you are tired. You need not go and “sleep it off”. The simple facts are -

    1) your tails have been cut off by the carving knife because

    2) you have no legitimate response to CMs DRM/piracy question or my exposition of your bias between real-world objects and ideas. The “magna carta”? Give me a break.

    But at least keep thinking on this question…it will help break down your conditioning —

    Why is constitutional copyright and patent law bounded by a limited time?

    See you in future threads…

  • Graeme

    Post *content* aside, am I the only one who is horrified at her lack of spelling, proofreading, or grammar? “in fact that is what is always so fascinating.” is not a sentence. “I just haven’t seen an environ7ement that suffers from an excess of “ownership.””? Perhaps she should look up “slavery” after she looks up how to use her spell-checker.

  • three blind mice

    never accuse the mice of running away from a fight Peter Rock. we’ll join you at the bar for one last drink, or in the bathroom for one last joint, before we call it a night.

    as regards Commons Music’s question I’d show some evidence that DRM reduces piracy. If you present it (and it’s accurate), then we’ll talk.

    well it’s a vapid question, but here goes: there hasn’t been much DRM so the empirical evidence is frankly pretty thin. how could it be otherwise? there has, on the other hand, been terabytes of pirated digital content transmitted over the net. so at least piracy exists. we know that. and from that we can conclude that the tendency towards piracy among the general population is large.

    before DVD-jon cracked the CSS encryption it was impossible to rip DVDs and separate the content from the media. after DeCSS, it wasn’t. if you want to believe that people did not take advantage of DeCSS to do more than watch their paid-for DVDs on their linux box, you are more than welcome to engage in fantasy.

    as for you Peter Rock, poptones cited frikkin Moses:

    I have no idea how the EFF defines freedom but I know how everyone from Moses to Jefferson defined it. They defined it by man’s right to own a place in this world – because ownership is important to a sense of self.

    the magna carta came thousands of years later, but it was all about property rights. six centuries before the enlightenment invented the concept of libre, sir, property rights was what libre was all about. it still is. unless the wikipedia entry has re-written this bit of history….

    and to your question, Why is constitutional copyright and patent law bounded by a limited time?

    civil liberties. at some point both inventions and works of art become so ubiquitous that the enforcement thereof requires a very heavy hand of government. but for a limited time, the hand is light and the tradeoff is necessary, acceptable, and beneficial.

    it all falls into to commons at some point – as it should. the question is when. the commons-ists want it all and they want it now and that, dear friend, totally destroys the concept of property and undermines the very essence of libre.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Graeme:

    Perhaps she should look up “slavery” after she looks up how to use her spell-checker.

    Yeah, that was the bad half of the major “rights” proclaimed by the Magna Carta. Private property however, is something that the Mice and I both share a vision for. What information has to do with a discretely measureable chunk of land (which is what the magna carta primarily addresses along with slavery) is beyond me.

    To fail to acknowledge that copyright, in its current form, would be better referred to as – copyprivilege, is unfortunate.

    Do we really believe in copyright? I do. But the only copyright is attribution – everything else is copyprivilege. Even the desire to control derivative work based on the “integrity and sensitivity” argument is backward and non-sensical. That’s what attribution is for. To keep others from using your art because you don’t want to be offended is an insanely selfish and neurotic approach to distribution of your mind’s work. If someone used your art to, say, create hatred toward a particular group of people, then obviously other laws will deal with such extremes.

    But the best part is. Screw it. If artists really want to keep derivatives from happening, we could give artists that option – but in reality, they would have incentive to allow derivs under a progressive attribution/payment schedule like the one outlined in Promises to Keep. After all, to say “no derivs” means less potential income for the artist so it wouldn’t make much sense for them to choose that route.

    We are letting the corporations mess with our computers, software, and digital art all at the same time. Through law, destroy these corporations with a “severance package” and set up a gnu system using the CC as a bridge to a land where copyright truly means copyright – not copyprivilege. Let good ol’ fashioned encryption keep the private and confidential files safe when needed – DRM is an illusion.

  • poptones

    What information has to do with a discretely measureable chunk of land (which is what the magna carta primarily addresses along with slavery) is beyond me.

    Is your thinking really this limited? I cannot believe it – you have made some interesting points, have I totally overestimated you?

    What defines the borders of “my land” from “your land?” Fly above this earth only a few hundred feet and it’s all just rows and boxes of colors. There are no borders or boundaries and even the barb wire becomes invisible.

    What separates my stuff from your stuff is information. Ford may produce a Million Mustangs or ten Million and yet I always know mine from someone elses even if they are the same color because my key fits mine and because the VIN in the windshield matches the piece of paper in my pocket.

    Information is what determines the value of your work. Does your employer hand you a shoebox of cash at the end of every week? A wheelbarrow of sugar? A truckload of salt? Information is what set the value – and information is what you carry to the bank to echange for more information which you carry to the grocer, the butcher, and the candlestick maker.

    Digital Rights Management and a mutually trustworthy computing environment is the only thing that will allow us to exchange trustworthy information (as opposed to common information) outside the very narrow boundaries set by those who presently control all of it.

    Your freedom is entirely an illusion. A street vendor in Cuba presently enjoys more freedom than any of us because for us there is no means of establishing private ownership in this online world.

    This passage in Code V2.0 ends with the question “is this stll true?”

    Though Vietnam is a “Communist” state whose ideology, as understood in the West, admits very little limitation on the power of the state; though the Vietnamese state sets as its ideal a common good rather than the good of individuals or individual liberty; though on paper there is no “liberty” in Vietnam in the sense that we in the West like to imagine it—though all this is true, I could not escape the feeling that people in Vietnam, in their day-to-day existence, are far less “regulated” than people in the United States. Not all people, of course: political opponents undoubtedly feel the power of the state quite forcefully. But I sensed that ordinary people in their ordinary lives, many running small shops, had no conception of the control that government can exercise; no experience of having their wages reported to a central bureaucracy once a quarter; no understanding of what it is like to live under the (relative) efficiency of the regulation we have here. Life there is remarkably free from governmental control.

    In this online world even those people of Vietnam enjoy more “freedom” than us, because there is nowhere we may escape the watchful eye of Big Brother. Our every movement is tracked and recorded and, even if we are momentarily able to escape his watch for a few minutes, the only “freedom” we then have is to gaze in awe at this alien culture. Should we attempt to interact within that other marketplace the illusion comes crashing down as we are forced to re-enter the “trusted” domain of commerce where big brother sees all, knows all, and permits only what he favors.

    If code is law, we are ruled by tyrants.

    It is time to declare our independence.

  • Fiepoto

    poptones, what are you talking about?! You would make the US propagandist Frank Lutz proud for the way you confuse the issues and the word “freedom.”

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Hilary, what do you think?

  • http://www.robmyers.org/ Rob Myers

    DRM and a trusted platform will empower people to work for themselves within this shared infrastructure.

    How will value enter this system? How will it compete with inoperable closed systems? How will this system be made to run on hardware that will lock out non-proprietary systems as insecure (whether by design or by non-release of code as we see with Linux drivers now)? How will this tiny hamlet of value be any more relevant than its monetary equivalent, LETS schemes?

    Such a scheme will be self-defeating.

    Yes, the technology is “neutrally” set up to allow restriction, deletion and tracking of information. Not, admittedly, “neutrally” set up to ensure that work cannot be restricted, deleted or tracked, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    But the social environment in which the technology exists is not neutral. Ignoring this is catastrophic.

    What separates my stuff from your stuff is information.

    My stuff and your stuff may contain the same information. We may both own copies of “Don Quixote” for example. Now you may claim that ownership is information, but this not a very useful definition of information, and the information of itself has no effect.

    What separates my stuff from your stuff is law. Law is public. Code is private. Replacing law with code is not a good idea. There’s a reason why contracts are covered by public law…

    The idea that code written by corporations to exploit and control information will set individuals free simply doesn’t work. The idea that free software must distort itself to realise corporate ends ignores what those ends are.

    This is the equivalent of proposing a Neighbourhood Watch PATRIOT Act because whilst the provisions of PATRIOT are obviously intrinsically good, we don’t want government doing it.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    TBM:

    there hasn�t been much DRM so the empirical evidence is frankly pretty thin.

    Really? HASN’T been? DRM has been embedded in music since iTunes launched in 2003, and has been in every major music service to launch since then. So, one would imagine there would be at least some decline in P2P network usage and piracy, but there wasn’t. In fact, P2P tracker BigChampagne has said that P2P usage has doubled since 2003 (even as iTunes users went up), which is a diametrically opposite effect of what was trying to be achieved.

    if you want to believe that people did not take advantage of DeCSS to do more than watch their paid-for DVDs on their linux box, you are more than welcome to engage in fantasy.

    I’m well aware that DeCSS was (and is) used to pirate DVDs. My point is that the DRM was cracked, that DRM will always be cracked, and that only one unfettered copy is needed to render the protection useless.

    I asked you to provide evidence that DRM is effective in preventing piracy, but I’ll make it even easier: How WILL DRM prevent piracy?

    Let’s go over possible response:

    1. Stops piracy cause it prevents copying

    Obviously not. Only ONE UNPROTECTED COPY is needed, remember? And since DRM will always be cracked (just how it goes), then this doesn’t work.

    2. Creates a “speedbump”

    This doesn’t work, either. iTunes has updated its DRM system every time that Jon cracks it, and yet iTunes music (even exclusives) are online within minutes of being released.

    Good job there.

    3. Slows so-called “casual piracy”

    Who these days doesn’t know about P2P networks and torrent download sites? I must say that if the goal of DRM is to prevent people over sixty from copying content, then it succeeds. I think, however, that (if data I’ve seen is accurate) teenagers and twentysomethings are the ones that copy and share and pirate and all that. And for them, they go to P2P networks and find it, so loop back to #1 for the possible response to this.

    So, how will DRM make the world a better place or reduce piracy or do anything that anyone who sells it is promising?

  • http://www.robmyers.org/ Rob Myers

    there hasn’t been much DRM so the empirical evidence is frankly pretty thin

    iTMS and European CDs show that weak DRM doesn’t work and strong DRM annoys consumers. Who cannot buy the same music elsewhere without DRM encumbrance, and so the market cannot work it out.

    but it [liberty] was all about property rights

    In the historical circumstances of other people owning all the property. Including other people’s bodies The circumstances are different now (unless you get a tattoo from the wrong guy). But let’s suppose for the moment that liberty is all about property rather than any other rights.

    DRM undermines property. You do not own DRM’ed material. The DRM’ed material you produce is ultimately controlled by the DRM provider. The DMR’ed material you consume is basically rented. DRM will increase property after a fashion for a select few, although even then it will be contingent, but it will not increase property in general.

    DRM will not, therefore, increase liberty in any meaningful sense even for the historic definition of liberty that you are using here.

    the commons-ists want it all and they want it now

    If you look at any boom in history there is sharing of ideas and implementations. Lost value breeds outside markets and markets can then capitalsie (fnarr) on this. DMR cuts off this possibility. It reduces the value available to the market by unprecedentedly trying to keep all value within the market.

    and that, dear friend, totally destroys the concept of property and undermines the very essence of libre

    The most extreme commonists simply want a return to the “property rights” of the Renaissance, The Industrial Revolution, the golden age of Hollywood, the Silicon Valley boom and all the other drivers of monetary and social value that were not DRM’ed, were not rued by “IP”, and act as far more plentiful arguments against reducing intellectual “property rights” using DRM than Apple’s iPod figleaf.

    DRM reduces “property rights”.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    poptones:

    I responded to a comment of yours in the thread prior to this one, but I think the points you keep reciting here are still maintained in it, so I’ll repost it…

    —–

    A few things…

    If I want to offer material or services the US government doesn’t like they will do all they can to pressure me out of business.

    Hate to tell you this, but if the US government wants something stopped, it will stop it. Doing my documentary on the drug war has taught me this in spades.

    Now, if I were the gambling sort I mighttry accepting payment in game money. But that surely wouldn’t last; as soon as the game makers got wind of my efforts they would either sue me into oblivion or just stop allowing people to trade virtual goods outside the game, thus essentially freezing all my in-game assets and putting me out of business.

    How would a new DRM infrastructure change that? They’d still own the items to the game assets. It’s their choice whether to allow real-world sales of them. They could still sue you for copyright infringement.

    A pervasive and trustworthy personal computing platform must exist if the internet is to live up to the hype of the last decades. Without it, no one is truly free in this electronic world because no one can “own” anything.

    If you mean anything can be copied and disseminated…well, yes. But, DRM wouldn’t really stop that (see here), even with the trusted computing backend.

    Besides that, people would still own their creations. They couldn’t really stop its dissemination if an unprotected copy got out (which, of course, is what will always happen), but they’d still own it legally and morally (morally both in the philosophical and legal sense, although moral rights only exist outside the US). Ownership doesn’t vanish because of pirated copies, and the laws are working to really protect owners, so much so that, if you so chose, you could bring the full might of the law down on anyone who defied your rights. DRM wouldn’t help this, AT ALL (although you would get greater force of law cause of the anti-circumvention provisions).

    Of course, this is assuming you’re in a country within the umbrella of the Berne Convention and various copyright treaties.

    But, I go on…

  • poptones

    CM, I asked this several weeks ago now and no one has yet challenged the point: The X-box depends on DRM, although it is only a primitive example of the trusted computing platform, it has yet to be meaningfully “cracked.” There is one game that allows an exploit, and there are hardware modifications that can displace some of the protection only until one takes the box online and connects with Microsoft’s servers. At that point it is found out and banned form the service and, so far as I have heard, there is no way around this.

    Again: this is a radically primitive example of the type of control that will be possible before the end of this decade. And the new systems will allow for selected lockout and “on the fly” reprogramming.

    Before dvd jon cracked css, css was uncrackable. In a world where the locks on the safe can be reprogrammed every time one guesses a single digit of the combination, the next dvd jons will have a significantly harder time of it.

    What separates my stuff from your stuff is law. Law is public. Code is private. Replacing law with code is not a good idea. There’s a reason why contracts are covered by public law…

    Outside the proprietary graphics driver my computer runs a system of completely open code. It is not, in any way, “private” save for the encrypted data it contains – and I adopted this operating system (and tolerate its occasional weaknesses) because of that open-ness and security.

    Replacing code with law may not be a good idea, but it is already here and has been seen the design of the net. The more worrying part is it is increasing – in large part because those “public contracts” hold little force when one can, with relative impunity, violate them in this public space.

    That is not to say I think it is a bad thing we are able to overcome physical space governance in this space – and this is, in fact, the very point of my argument. One is not at all “free” to overcome those governmental laws regarding the exchange of money. I am not “free” in this space to hand you a single penny without first getting permission of some authority to allow me to make that transfer, paying them some ridiculous sum for the “priviledge” of their blessing, and then having that authority record every detail of it.

    There is no trustworthy system of personal monetary exchange in this space because there is no means of ensuring you and I are followng the same “laws.” In physical space I cannot just conjure pennies form the air. Here, even if my space says I cannot do that I cannot be sure your space has the same laws unless we meet in one of those “trusted” spaces – where, inevitably, corporations and governments rule.

    You and I have no way of creating a shared communal space where the same rules apply to all. We do not have the choice of creating one, because there is no trustworthiness in the hardware itself.

    The hardware to allow this could be designed in an open fashion, and so could the software. Robust security relies on robust encryption and good code, not proprietary magic spells. And we do not have to dedicate an entire desktop computing appliance to the task of creating trustworthy hardware that would allow us this control in our lives. “Computers” these days can be tiny devices that fit into a pocket. A “personal ATM” could be a simple USB drive.

    The path the corporations are setting upon is to lock away media, and media means having an appliance with a screen and sound and complex functionality. DRM can just as easily mean (and this is what I have been advocating) the ability to secure lightweight information about our world – being able to create scarcity and security of information that does not require immersive capabilities. Information that can be contained on a “trusted server” that one can carry in one’s pocket.

    We need to develop an open solution because the corporations are doing it and the “fringe voices” of a thousand or a Million “techno anarchists” are going to mean nothing to 30 Million people who just want to be able to trade shit on ebay. without having to fear “identity theft.”

    (Who do you think is making sure the media keeps up the bombardment of these horror stories, anyway? Convince the world the computers they have are untrustworthy and they will throw them to the curb the second the Redmond consortium offers them a “trusted computing platform.”)

    The idea that code written by corporations to exploit and control information will set individuals free simply doesn’t work.

    No, as the system is presently envisioned it is going to make us even more trackable and controllable. But it is coming and forces governmental and corporate are conspiring to make sure it will work – no matter how much more “freedom” in the online realm we have to give up in the process. Sitting aside and refusing to participate in the specification process is only going to better ensure they get exactly their way.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    But it is coming and forces governmental and corporate are conspiring to make sure it will work – no matter how much more “freedom” in the online realm we have to give up in the process. Sitting aside and refusing to participate in the specification process is only going to better ensure they get exactly their way.

    Borg from Star Trek:

    Resistance is futile.

  • poptones

    Of course you can resist. You will forver be free to not participate in the system.

    Do keep in touch and let us know how that works out for you.

    Ooops, wait…

  • Bryce

    Poptones (who has previously denied that he is a cryptography expert) has claimed that it is possible to build an open source “Trusted Computing Module”, just as it is possible to build open source PGP/SSH/etc. programs. This is entirely incorrect.

    He misses the critical difference between the two situations: SSH and PGP are designed to protect a message from third parties who try to intercept the message. A TC module has to protect the message from the recipient. So if I download the TC module’s source code, I can rewrite the source in such a way that the compiled program writes the message back in ways that give me full access.

    So given the existence of said source code implementing the protocols underlying trusted computing, the only defense is for the computer to not give the TC module any protected information. In short, the computer can only run trusted modules, and it certainly isn’t going to trust mine. If Poptones understands this, and considers this state of affairs acceptable, he is free to his opinion. But he is being disingenuous to imply that it’s “Open Source”.

    Poptones is also incorrect in his earlier claim that a good digital cash system requires that all participants use a trusted computing platform. Unlike a TC module, the message itself doesn’t need to be protected from the user. Each piece of digital cash is just a series of ones and zeros. The protection comes from the need to present that message to the other users of the system. In order for the rest of the digital cash system to accept a piece of currency as legitimate, that currency has to pass numerous cryptographic checks that can prove the message you’ve sent is the same as the message you received. Check this primer out for an overview of the crypto that would go into a digital currency system. No Trusted Computing required; an ideal digital cash system could be run on the computers we were using fifteen years ago.

  • http://www.robmyers.org/ Rob Myers

    Of course you can resist. You will forver be free to not participate in the system.

    So which is it? Ethical need (we must support starving artists) or practical need (we must keep up with the corporations)?

    And if we are free to produce alternatives (such as a voluntary “”"free”"” DRM/TC systems), what’s the problem? Unless you are admitting that this is impossible, in which case half of your defense of DRM (we can do it to ourselves) goes out the window.

  • Andy

    It seems you tweeked a hot topic here!! As far as the whole Andy Warhol soup can thing (I just saw them at the MoMa!) and other such art that uses products/companies is its a sort of free promotion for the company!! There name or image is being circulated around and they didnt have to pay for it. Sounds like a good deal to me.
    You have a great article here, which is obviouse by the 140+ comments!! There is a site called associatedcontent.com that allows people to publish articles for users to read. There is a possibility that they will pay you as well. I think you should go for it.

  • http://commonsmusic.com/ Commons Music

    poptones:

    CM, I asked this several weeks ago now and no one has yet challenged the point: The X-box depends on DRM, although it is only a primitive example of the trusted computing platform, it has yet to be meaningfully �cracked.� There is one game that allows an exploit, and there are hardware modifications that can displace some of the protection only until one takes the box online and connects with Microsoft�s servers. At that point it is found out and banned form the service and, so far as I have heard, there is no way around this.

    Name me an X-Box game, any game, and I’ll show it’s available online (Halo 2, for instance, is everywhere). Sure, network connectivity would disrupt this, but the security of the box in and of itself is not the issue, but the security of the games (or the content).

    The hardware is secure, as most DRM’d hardware is, but the content isn’t, and will never me. That’s just the way it is. Whether you release a movie using a trusted computing platform or not, there’s always going to be that one, uninhibited copy, and all your backend won’t help.

    Secondly, none of the scenarios you’ve listed would be assisted by DRM at all. As I said in my prior response, copyright and patent law are still top dogs, so using DRM to try and get around that by selling in-game items or things the government doesn’t like (what would those things be, btw?) doesn’t stop them from stopping you if they really want to.

  • http://commonsmusic.com/ Commons Music

    That should be, “and will never be.”

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    3 Blind Mice citing 1 blind poptone:

    I have no idea how the EFF defines freedom but I know how everyone from Moses to Jefferson defined it. They defined it by man’s right to own a place in this world – because ownership is important to a sense of self.

    “Place” takes space. Thank you for highlighting the fact that Poptones too shares the same bias.

    3 Blind mice continue:

    the magna carta came thousands of years later, but it was all about property rights. six centuries before the enlightenment invented the concept of libre, sir, property rights was what libre was all about. it still is. unless the wikipedia entry has re-written this bit of history….

    First of all, I think wikipedia is great. But why not read the magna carta itself? I agree with you, mice, that – to a large extent – the magna carta was “all about property rights”. But we are not talking about goods or land that take up a “place” in space.

    Not to worry mice. You are in high company. Even many law professors and lawyers who claim to recognize the difference still insist on using the term “property” to refer to the privileges granted by modern copyright and patent law. They argue that these “items” (revealing their bias as this suggests ‘rights’ instead of ‘privileges’) share a “common feature” – that is, “public goods problems” so the term “Intellectual Property” is – they say – justified.

    The term “Intellectual Property” is propaganda. Why it’s powerful propaganda and the best strategy to shoot it down should be the first thing investigated at any law school wishing to properly educate future copyright, patent, or trademark lawyers.

    “goods”?! “problems”?!

    There are only problems if you choose to believe. Forget belief. Simply look. The answers will present themselves. Until we wake up and see that what we are dealing with are not “goods”, we shall never build the metaphorical lighthouse that Fisher describes at the start of chapter 6.

    You don’t build a lighthouse for profit – yet once it is complete the rest of humanity will reap the fruits. You build it because you must – you must do it because you look and see that it will improve the quality of life for everyone. Once you look and see, your conscience, in fact, will not allow you to act in any other way. However, if you try to build it for any other reason than the simplicity of necessity, your lighthouse will be dim.

    Hilary…what do you think?

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    p.s. Sorry, I meant to say thanks before posting to the Mice and poptones.

    Thanks to Bryce for the information and link. That was of great value. For a minute, poptones had me wondering if I had completely misunderstood the basic workings of “Trusted Computing modules”. I’m not an expert in anything so I’m often and easily fooled. As I had thought, a gnu system is not practically possible under the regime of TC/DRM.

    It seems like building a gnu/tc/drm system would be like putting up a lock with its key sitting in the keyhole waiting to be turned. You could do it in theory – but what would be the point? It seems to me that something in the recipient’s computer must be non-free for this scheme to “work”.

    But this does not mean that a gnu system is insecure. Classic encryption can keep received and sent information private and secure against those who wish to intercept your transmission.

    Please, if I’ve misunderstood something, correct me. And, thanks again for such an informative post.

  • poptones

    It seems to me that something in the recipient’s computer must be non-free for this scheme to “work”.

    As I said from the start: the “non free” part is the key itself. It doesn’t matter if one person or one Million contribute to the design of the software that runs on the computer, if the key itself is locked away from everyone then once the software itself is inside the machine the only way to “unlock” it is for the machine itself to do so.

    As I said, I have my hard drive(s) encrypted. Now, all the encryption in the world doesn’t mean much if your swap partition is cleartext, so that is encrypted too. It is locked behind a key generated, at startup, by the computer itself. Instead of prompting me for (another) passphrase, the computer simply polls the pseudorandom number generator until it has obtained the required number of bits, then passes this number known to no one but the computer itself to the encryption software. Soon as I turn off the computer no one, including me, can access the swap partition without a detailed forensics study and/or a brute force attack.

    Intel is already talking pretty firmly about the next CPUs having on-chip random number generators and encryption. All data entering and leaving the chip can be locked to any of a number of keys stored inside the chip itself – numbers known only to the CPU.

    Who do you trust? You trust the chipmaker. Nothing changes because you already are trusting the chipmaker(s). You trust the supplier of the OS – as you already are doing no matter if you are running Windows, OSX, or Fedora. There is nothing to prevent Redhat or Ubuntu or Lindows from becoming root key authorities just like Microsoft and Apple. You run the “blessed” kernel keyed to their certificate, or you run an “untrusted” kernel that you compile yourself on your own machine. If you don’t trust Microsoft run Apple or Redhat or Yellow Dog or whatever.

    Yes, you still have to trust someone. In this case you trust the CPU maker (as all of us already do) and you trust the operating system vendor. By making the tools of trust as neutral as possible and their design as open as possible, you can have a mutually “trusted platform” that is protected from all but the most sophisticated physical attacks.

    So far as the nonsense about “it’s not stuff it’s just information” I will again remind you that, as the man said, the future is a jockstrap made of bees..

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones

    You’re right about everything in your post. But you forget a few important things:
    If you for some reason have to run an untrusted kernel, what will that mean to your ability to do your daily life on the Internet?
    You can of course have more root authorities, but who does mainstream media trust? .. and who is going to pay for certification and what will it cost?

  • Bryce

    Again, Poptones, I believe you’re missing the point. It doesn’t matter where the keys are or how they are generated. All that matters is that, at some point, the TC module has to be able to access the cleartext in order to display it to the user. Because of this, there is no way to allow the user to compile her own TC module, because then the user could redesign it to simply give her unrestricted access to the protected documents.

    I believe that the crux of the issue is that you’re talking about open standards, while I’m talking about open source. I’ve never claimed that an “open standards” trusted computing system was impossible; it’s just “rolling your own” that becomes impossible.

    With every other open standard in the world, if I create something that implements the standard, it will interoperate with other things that implement the standard. But even if I wrote a module that perfectly implemented the hypothetical trusted computing standards, I would have to get the hardware manufacturers to sign my driver so that it ran on their hardware. They wouldn’t, from a practical standpoint, unless they were intent on buying my implementation. But even from a theoretical standpoint, the manufacturers would have to make sure that my program was free of both intentional and accidental security holes before it could be allowed to run.

    I would also ask you, poptones, how will it be possible for this proposed Trusted Computing Protocol to implement this? If it cannot–and I don’t believe it can–then the system you are proposing doesn’t allow content creators to assert their rights under copyright law. Instead, it would allow them to assert whatever rights they saw fit, regardless of the law. If you think that’s all right, then you cannot believe that the public domain has value. Would you please come out and say so, or explain how your belief in the public domain’s value does not conflict with your support of technology that will ensure that nothing will ever enter the public domain again?

    Interesting links from boing-boing:

    Why Open Source DRM is impossible.

    Why Open Source DRM is bad.

    Why uncrackable DRM might harm copyright holders.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Of course, no computer program (DRM system) can reflect accurately copyright law. Most obvious problem might be that it’s impossible to decide if it’s currently X years after the death of the author (where X presently equals 70).

  • poptones

    If open source DRM is “impossible” then why is it bad? If it is “impossible” then it can be neither bad nor good because, by definition, it simply cannot be at all.

    These arguments are specious. Open source DRM is every bit as possible as any other open source cryptography. Without a trusted harware platform, of course, any DRM is impossible.

    And that is, obviously, the sole reason the “free community” will tell any lie they can invent to discredit it.

  • poptones

    …the system you are proposing doesn’t allow content creators to assert their rights under copyright law. Instead, it would allow them to assert whatever rights they saw fit, regardless of the law.

    Then you write the code to recognize the law.

    I just pointed out not two posts back how cryptography is not an indefinite lock. It is a “temporal lock” – and not even that to a determined attacker with sufficient resources to launch a brute force attack. The presently defined TCPA spec outlines 128 bit cryptography. At the present rate of advance in computing power, brute force attacks upon 128 bit cryptography will become practical within a decade – well within the terms of any newly created copyrights. And that necessity, of course, assumes such an attack would even be needed because of a creator stupid or careless enough to lose all cleartext copies of the source material. You can even get around that (unlikely) need by requiring producers of DRM protected materials register private keys for all copyrighted works with the Library of Congress.

    If you for some reason have to run an untrusted kernel, what will that mean to your ability to do your daily life on the Internet?

    You (and, I think, most everyone) overlook one incredibly important point I raised earlier: the next machines will have multiple cores and will allow for multiple operating systems.

    You can already do this with linux. the technology is still relatively young, but it is here. The next architecture being touted is one that will basically run everything in “emulation” at the microprogram level (aka inside the CPU itself).

    At that point, it is all moot. You can run linux and osx and windows all at once.

    And this is the gotcha: when that comes about then there is no validity to the claims that “we are locked out” – because “we” aren’t. Even if inux itself is locked out of the “trusted platform” it’s not as if we have to actually buy another computer in order to run Redhat right alongside the Microsoft moneybelt and the Microsoft trusted media controller and the Apple trusted network stack. All these self contained “operating systems” will run on the same computer and communicate through internal encrypted communications channels in exactly the same way as my desktop machine now is routed through the ten year old HP vectra at my feet that serves as my home’s firewall and router.

    You see? At that point the only arguments we can make about being “locked out” are along antitrust lines – and since there will be all of two operating systems available from the Redmond group (And perhaps a third if Sun continues to offer Solaris – but how “free” will that “trusted platform” part of Solaris be?), this oligopoly is not an antitrust issue… no matter that it is still, at its root, an issue of trust.

    The future will hit us with boob slapping ferocity…

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    If open source DRM is “impossible” then why is it bad? If it is “impossible” then it can be neither bad nor good because, by definition, it simply cannot be at all.

    C’mon Poptones. I knew you’d pull that baloney. You know very well what those links meant. “Open Source DRM” is impossible and it is bad because any attempt to implement this impossibility implies an attack on freedom. You have failed miserably retorting Bryce’s posts. Please ask another friend of yours who can speak clearly on the subject matter to help explain your position.

    At this point, I want to know what the Creative Commons’ relationship is with Sun’s Open Media Commons project.

  • Peter Mogensen

    This is getting ridiculous.
    Of course Open Source TCPA is possible and can be used for DRM. The problem is not whether it’s open source (giving your the right to modidy). The problem is whether you can use your modifications for anything at all.

    Sure cryptography is a “temporay lock”, but that’s no reason for DRM to be a good idea. History has already seen works lost due to proprietary file formats. Cryptography (how ever weak) will not make that better. And even if we were guarantied to be able to acces all works in 100 years, that wouldn’t make it a good idea anyway.

    No, I don’t forget, that you suggested multiple operating systems. You are forgetting that the reason to need to run a modified kernel could be anything within fair use.
    It doesn’t matter for the consumer if he can run Linux, OSX and Windows at once. Most people don’t (and won’t) run more than one OS and if I’m an Apple customer, what good would it do me that I can run all my apps (except one) on OSX, but I have to pay for Windows to run the last one. The price is probably the same as if I only ran Windows.
    How will your “trusted” Windows behave, when I ask it to communicate with my “untrusted” Linux along your “internal encrypted communications channels” ?

  • poptones

    I’m sorry you did not understand my points. I’ll outline them again for you, perhaps more clearly this time;

    Myth 1: Open source DRM is impossible.

    If robust open source cryptography is possible, so too is open source DRM. You and I can share the code to create an open source DRM technology, but this does not mean I give you my encryption keys – those are still private and under my control, just as your keys are to you. we can share communal space and contribute and share code all we like. You are free to generate your state machine and I am free to generate mine.

    The only caveat is I need to be able to trust you to run the state machine we have both agreed upon before I send you a secret.

    This is why a trusted platform is needed. It doesn’t have to lock the code away in secret – indeed, if we are both holding true to our promises to one another each of us already knows the code that will be used – we both wrote it, after all.

    Myth 2: “Trust” means being locked out of the machine and trusting someone else not to own you.

    To ensure we are both running the same code I can come to your house and you can come to mine and we can audit one another’s machines, or we can have a trustworthy and responsible mutual friend do it. We can send our code to that mutual friend and that friend can compile it and encrypt it using his private key and then install it on each of our machines.

    This still does not mean the code is “locked away from us.” if the architecture is properly designed to support trust then we can audit the code installed on our machines by that trusted friend – we can query for valid hashes, we can step through it in a debugger, we can even print out a disassembly. The only thing we cannot do is alter either the code that is running in that protected space or access the key – only the machine itself is to be allowed access to that.

    We are both free to update and improve the DRM technology we all use – and to add features and improve security as we both agree. And when it comes time to upgrade, we can either get that trusted third party to compile it or we can trust one another – I can update my machine that is on your system, and you can update my machine from your system. So long as the trusted third party who initialized the system can be trusted, then so too can we – because we can both see the code that is executing, we can checksum it and run it through the debugger… but we still cannot change it because you do not have my private key and I do not have yours.

    If you want to write your own version of our trusted DRM system to protect your stuff, you are free to do so. we can send it off to a trusted third party for auditing, or I can agree to trust you and allow you to install your sandbox on my machine. Your DRM system can then lock away all the content I agree to install from you, but because your DRM system uses a different key than our DRM system it will not have access to the media we protected nor will our player have access to your media.

    Open source does not mean being granted universal access to any data created using that open source code. My obligation to give you the GPL source code you are running on your machine does not mean I cannot still demand you run my compiled version of the state machine before granting you access to my protected data. It is your choice whether to agree to these terms – you still have the source code, you just will not be allowed my data.

    All this relies on a) a trusted hardware platform and b) one or more trusted certificate authorities. So long as we have fair access to this technology we can employ it for whatever unique purpose suits us. Whether or not Microsoft or Sony or Paramount agrees to trust our keys is irrelevant to whether or not we are able to agree to trust one another. We can delegate the task of auditing trusted kernels to the OSDL or to the corporate publishers of mainstream distributions or even to linus himself. How we structure it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we participate in the specification of this technology so that we have access to it. By refusing to even participate all we will do is lock ourselves out of the future.

  • poptones

    How will your “trusted” Windows behave, when I ask it to communicate with my “untrusted” Linux along your “internal encrypted communications channels” ?

    Well it’s not my “trusted” Windows – it’s Microsoft’s. I do not run Windows and, frankly, I resent your insinuation. But I’ll still answer your question.

    TCPA means an encrypted space all the way from the hard drive to the monitor screen. The keyboard is encrypted, even (one would guess) the mouse. Many currently available hard drives already support encrypted communications channels. The CPU will incorporate encryption, the memory contents will be encrypted, and even the graphics controller chips will incorporate encryption – they will accept data over an encrypted bus and will output encrypted data to monitors that employ digital interfaces that are, likewise, carrying encrypted data.

    Just as your system now uses overlays to handle video rendering, so too would the video controller on a “trusted” system. It will be taking that encrypted data and outputting it to a chromakeyed window just like it does now. Try taking a screencap now of a movie that is playing and you will more than likely just get a blue box – same thing.

    Once the hardware becomes “trusted” and the computational power is divided up among a few cores, the notion of operating system is going to change quite a bit. You can already boot linux inside windows or windows inside linux. With a “trusted” platform you could have windows media player 13 ship with its own microkernel and linux with its desktop kernel and OS X with its desktop kernel. Since the video hardware will already be designed to support total segregation of process data you could have multiple operating systems rendering only to their own display windows. Applications can then ship with as much of the operating system as they need. What’s 200MB when your system can store 1000 times that?

    think about it: multiple CPU cores and workspaces segregated via encryption. At that point I might actually be tempted to “trust” windows enough to let it handle rendering “protected media” to the display because I would likewise be able to trust Windows could not access my linux desktop, crash it, or otherwise infect, damage or even access the other protected spaces on my hard drive.

    Even Linus Torvalds has pointed out there could be merit in “allowing” this technology in linux. But if we don’t participate in its specification we will be locked out of all but the least of it.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones

    Of course I didn’t mean to argue that you “must be running Windows”. When I used “your” and “my” it was to exemplify two arbitrary different consumers.
    I think I saw your self point out such an mistake earlier in the thread.

    Apart from that I didn’t see any satisfactory answer in your reply.
    You would still be needlessly forced into customer relationships with the companies “certified” to provide you with media-handling applications and you would be paying for the soft/hardware cruft to make it possible.
    (As Felten points out here: http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=882)

    Also, your answer does not explain how I could use an “untrusted” Linux application to (“fair use”) correct an error in the display of the “trusted” Windows application I would be forced to use to play some content.
    Say… my monitor is partly broken, but I can get a decent display through Linux based image-processing.

  • poptones

    I’m sorry you cannot grasp what I am describing. I wonder whether it is an issue of technical knowledge, and inability to communicate, or simply a refusal to look past preconcieved notions and prejudice?

    Let’s try it from this angle: I ue ubuntu because I really like the gnome desktop. Part of the gnome project has been to integrate more functionaliy with (and based on) mono.

    Mono is an open source version of .NET. Many people (myself included) were (and are) a bit mistrustful of this relationship. Microsoft has encouraged open source development of an interoperable software platform, but interoperability seems to be the way it is going. A mono application can be divided up among several computers and even have portions running on a windows machine and portions running on linux. They all communicate through network protocols and objects shared via standardized methods of data exchange.

    When you can have multiple operating systems running on the same machine, in their own sandboxes, this model still works. Youu might have an authentication model owned by company A and a data handler owned by company B and a graphics handler owned by company C. The graphics display device has its own operating system, its system calls and primitive operations. The sound path can be handled by module X and the desktop management handle by module Y.

    The “operating system” only manages the switching of data packets and the scheduling of tasks among the resources available to it. Your “operating system” is not the stuff you see on the screen. the stuff you see on the screen is the desktop manager. The desktop manager responds to your commands and relays those commands to the graphics handler and the sound handlers and the disk drive manager and the network stack, which then hands off data to the network drivers.

    Microsoft doesn’t have a linux lab for nothing, you know. There are a LOT of people out there dual booting windows and linux. The GPL is a decent defense against software becoming borged into windows, but if Windows can support a common architecture with portions of linux, and if linux is embracing interoperable software platforms (like mono) then the task of melding these systems within the same machine becomes even easier.

    This platform is coming. The notion that you will be paying for it because of the added complexity is more specious rhetoric; the reason linux works so well at present is because it runs on commodity hardware. To demand less than the functionality provided by commodity hardware means paying more due to the lower production volumes. Refusing to participate in the specification process means locking ourselves out of the cheapest, most poweful hardware of the future.

    It’s sad that the operating system presently making the most rapid gains seems to be headed toward a devolution into the operating system of paranoid luddites.

  • Peter Mogensen

    I haven’t noticed that I should have any problems grasping what you describe. It’s perfectly clear to me – at least I think it is.
    But you don’t seem to answer my question in any way.

    You mention subsystem A,B,C, X and Y each in their own little sandbox. Yeah.. sure… But say I have problem which it would be fair use for me to solve with subsystem Z – which just happens to be untrusted (or at least trusted by no one else than me) but still needs access to cleartext data.

  • poptones

    Oh then…

    Duh.

    Is it your “fair use right” to use a hammer for a saw? Because you paid for the hammer does not make it a “fair use problem solver.”

    Two choices:

    Participate and be free

    Don’t participate and be pwnd

    There is no option where you don’t participate and you still get to take home a prize from the fair.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    Is it your “fair use right” to use a hammer for a saw?

    Of course it is – if you don’t have a hammer and the saw will work, why not?

    Because you paid for the hammer does not make it a “fair use problem solver.

    Of course not. The context determines if the saw is a fair use problem solver or not. Even if Peter Mogensen had received as a gift or even stolen the saw, it can still be a fair use problem solver. But in the meantime, he’s still a bastard for stealing it and could face unrelated criminal charges. :)

  • Peter Mogensen

    Yes it’s my fair use right. Just as the Betamax case ruled it was fair use to use a VCR.
    Your answer brings us to the conclussion that we just do not agree and that I don’t believe in your idea of a take-it-or-leave future.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Correction:

    That should be – If you don’t have a saw and the hammer will work, then why not?

    Sorry.

  • jj

    I really think so much of this is academic. Even Ms. Rosen knows in her heart of hearts that the DMCA is more or less a history lesson in FAILURE.

    My guess is 90% of people between 15 and 40 have broken it knowing and multipe times.

    Today music p2p isn’t just most of distribution, Rosen knows sanctioned revenue producing distribution is about 3% of all transactions. Some victory.

    Everything that happened with music is now hitting video material.

    Thanks to the DMRA and the way the industry throws around terms like “pirate” if I would already be ac iminal if I decided to buy a movie and make a copy to watch on my Arcoos — why actually buy the movie, or even rent it?

  • poptones

    The context determines if the saw is a fair use problem solver or not.

    Exactly. Unless the hardware store told you the hammer was actually a saw when you purchased it then who is to blame when you realize the hammer cannot cut wood?

    “Academic,” I think, describes it exactly. Some people just are unable to keep their dogma on a proper leash and it ends up dragging them to some of the most disastrous places.

    DRM is coming. TCPA, in some form, is coming with the next wave of microprocessors. The possibilities presented by a massively distributed, mutually trusted architecture are, at this point, unimaginable in both the worse and best sense of the word. I find it sad so many can only allow themselves the insufferable rule of fear.

    Information scarcity is nothing new. It has been part and parcel of man’s existence upon this earth since before the invention of language, and yet we managed to do just fine. Now with the possibility of spreading that information in new ways it seems many, in spite of their arrogant assertions it is impossible, in reality they fear the “locking up” of information because they know it is exactly possible.

    This does not have to mean the end of “free information.”

    You cannot, with any practicality, outlaw this science; we have to deal with this evolution of information architecture. Hiding your head in the sand is not an option at this point. Own the future, or it will own you.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    poptones:

    I’m still a little iffy on how open source DRM would work, even if it is backed by Sun.

    Here is a typical DRM system:

    1. Encrypted file

    2. Player/Decrypter

    3. Keyfile

    Now, once the file is encrypted, it can only be decrypted by the player. In a traditional encryption setup, this decryption would end here, and thus the person that has the key would be able to unlock it, and have the decrypted file.

    With DRM, there has to be an ability to decrypt it, then re-encrypt it once the license has expired or ended. If the player used to decrypt it is open source, after the end user receives the decryption and gets the cleartext, be able to alter the player so that it wouldn’t re-encrypt using the license? Once the keyfile is obtained and cleartext is accessed, what is preventing the player from being altered to simply decrypt using the keyfile, then that’s it? I’m curious how an open source system like that would function like traditional DRM?

    ——

    BTW, for the person who asked, Creative Commons has nothing to do with the Open Media Commons, Sun just used “commons” to, I assume, try to associate itself with CC.

  • Peter Mogenen

    @poptones

    I actually think you’re the one who don’t get it.

    - No, I don’t think I can or should outlaw trusted computing. I don’t believe in outlawing technology. – which is why I don’t believe in DMCA and similar laws.
    I have already said that once in this thread.
    I do however believe in consumer protection.

    - Yes. TCPA is coming. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or – more specificly – like the way it’s going to be used, if politicians don’t wake up.

    - Sure it’s fair use to modify something I own to make it possible for me to do fair use activities with content I have paid for. TCPA can be used to make that fair use impossible. What you don’t seem to realize is that Open Source development partly rely on such fair use being possible.
    What good does it do you that you have the source, if fixing a bug will make your system untrusted?

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Wow. The last couple of days have been quite a learning experience. This is how I now see things (subject to change of course)…

    Poptones is absolutely correct on some points.

    “Open Source DRM” is a reality. I had made the naive mistake of thinking that the Open Source Community thought that freedom mattered. Once again, it is about practical advantages for the Open Source folks. As far as I can tell, Sun’s DRM scheme is using the controversial CDDL license. This will allow “Open Source DRM” which acts as the stepping stone for what is truly desired by those who do not value freedom – that is, the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance.

    Unfortunately, the Open Source community catering to DRM under the CDDL (which is not GPL-compatible) will bring much harm to the free software community unless some action is taken. At this point it may be too late – unless the Open Source Community can drop the CDDL. I don’t see why they can’t, but dropping it would not be practical so I don’t expect this miracle to take place.

    Poptones is absolutely correct. Those who value freedom may soon find themselves on the sidelines.

    Personally, I think this is a critical moment in FOSS history. If TC gains a foothold through this Open Source-endorsed DRM scheme, Hollywood and the big software corporations will finally get what they want…

    For you to believe that the internet connected computer is nothing more than a television on steroids. A mechanism for their profit.

    Poptones is in…anyone else?

  • poptones

    How ironic someone would mention that “internet tv” mindset.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    Someone asked maybe 50 posts ago now how would “value” be introduced into the online system of distributed commerce that I envision.

    Well, that is how you “introduce value?” You create and then you find people willing to give you something they have that is of value to you in exchange for the thing of value you created.

    Banks did not exist before people had the ability to collect things and to attain wealth. Without property, there is no need for currency. But property is the way of man. Even Gilligan and Mary Ann and the Professor, on an island of plenty, ended up slaving away in a gold mine for Mr Howell because they wanted to own things if they ever got off the island.

    We all live on Gilligan’s Island, and our data is nothing more than a mountain of coconuts and bananas that fall from the sky.

  • Dave Roberts

    I read everything she wrote 3 times.

    I believe she is a sociopath.

  • Dave Roberts

    Ya know, media and ideas aren’t the only forms of intellectual property, time is property too. And if you’re the first to claim a period of time, other people in that time period are on your property..

  • Dave Roberts

    When one person looks at what another person is wearing it is hard to quantify how much value is being transfered, but let’s start at $1 per a milisecond and restrict who can be seen. At that point the price can be determined by what the market can bare.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Dave:

    If we define “intellectual property” as something which can be copyrighted, than ideas do not fit the bill. Only tangible fixations of ideas can be copyrighted.

    Patents are a different thing, but still not “ideas” per se.

    ————

    poptones:

    You didn’t respond to my question about the feasibility of open source DRM.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    “Open Source DRM” illegal according to the DMCA, no?

  • Peter Mogensen

    The term “intellectual property” is of little use as basis for a discussion. It covers a set of very different forms of protection of immaterials which does not have the same purposes or the same effects. The term is often used to try to suggest that immaterial rights should behave the same way as the right to tangible property. That’s not the case.
    Most people agree that the right to property is a basic human right.
    It could be argued that (at least some part of) copyright is a basic human right – although it’s NOT described in the same paragraph of the human rights declaration as the right to property.
    But it is certainly NOT a human right to get a patent for an idea. The patent system is artificially put in place becasue society believe it will encourage innovation for the benifit of society.

    So lumping together all this with the term “intellectual property” as suggesting that’s it’s just another kind of “property” will only cause confusion. As RMS put it:
    “When someone uses the term “intellectual property”, typically he’s either confused himself, or trying to confuse you.”

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    The term “intellectual property” is of little use as basis for a discussion. It covers a set of very different forms of protection of immaterials which does not have the same purposes or the same effects. The term is often used to try to suggest that immaterial rights should behave the same way as the right to tangible property. That’s not the case.

    what makes an item “material?” That you can hold it in your hand? Plants can be patented and this has been recongized law for decades before the megacorporations got hold of it. While the plant may be “material” the things that set one apart from another exist in the DNA of the thing itself – the information that defines its existence within the natural world.

    “Material” things have scarcity. They have value because of this scarcity. And what makes them scarce? That’s just the way things work in this world – things are made of something, and their embodiment represents work.

    In a virtual world natural laws can also be defined. Sure, you can have things like inverted gravity and objects that cannot be damaged – but you also have things that require the game player put forth effort in order to “earn” – all you have to do is define the rules under which those “things” must behave.

    If I am playing warcraft and you steal my sword, have you stolen my intellectual property? No, that is the rules and programs that allow my sword to exist – from my point of view, you have simply stolen my sword.

    What if we move that warcraft world into a distributed network of peers? Rather than having the laws defined y a corporation, they are defined by we, the gamers. the rules and laws evolve as we agree through consensus. Now, if you steal my sword, have you stolen my IP? That is still in the game itself – and in this case, since we created it, we own it. So in this case, again, stealing my sword means you have stolen my sword.

    It is mine because I put forth the work and time required to obtain it. it is mine because, by the natural laws that govern the world we have created, I cannot simply conjure another from thin air as if in a dream. In order to replace it I must again put forth the effort and time of obtaining another sword. It is as much a “thing” as the chair I sit in now, only it exists in a different world.

    By “stealing it” all you have done is a;ter some portion of data that previously said the sword was mine. The sword itself cannot be projected into our physical world, but it still represents real world work on my part because I am not a collection of data and, by the laws that govern us, I was required to work for it. All you have done is alter information but in doing so you have robbed me of the time I spent creating this assemblage of data.

    I am not confused in this any more than you or anyone else. Characters from Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny all the way back to Rosencrance and Gildenstern have confronted this conundrum. Only now we have the means to make the problem more “material” than Shakespeare could ever have imagined.

    So far as your questions about the feasability of open source DRM – as I said, the user never gets the cleartext because the user doesn’t have access to the key. The key is locked in an encrypted portion of the user’s hard drive, and the key to that is locked inside the CPU itself. In this way you can copy the data on your hard drive to another system and not lose access to your music (as present DRM systems do) because there is no need to “key” that files themselves to any specific system.

    If you should upgrade your system you would copy the data and then go back online and get the machine re-trusted. Once the provider of your DRM content has certified the new machine the key would then be sent to your new CPU and the data on the hard drive that it had locked away could again be accessed.

    There is so much greatness we could do with a distributed trusted net… but we need to make sure the technology evolves in the open.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones

    You’re confusing the concept of immaterial rights (or “intellecual property”) with the registration of ownership.
    The money on my bank account exists in such a world with virtual laws as you describe, but they are not my “intellectual property”. They are simply book-keeping.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    poptones:

    So far as your questions about the feasability of open source DRM – as I said, the user never gets the cleartext because the user doesn�t have access to the key. The key is locked in an encrypted portion of the user�s hard drive, and the key to that is locked inside the CPU itself. In this way you can copy the data on your hard drive to another system and not lose access to your music (as present DRM systems do) because there is no need to �key� that files themselves to any specific system.

    I think you’re fundamentally misunderstanding what I’m saying.

    The key may be locked, yes, but there has to be something that can play the file, right? A player. That player has to use the key to decrypt the file to cleartext while it’s playing, or else it wouldn’t play at all.

    Now, my question is, since everything would be open source, wouldn’t it just be a simple matter of modifing the player so it’s never reencrypted using the key? The key would remain hidden, sure, but the player would have to use it to unlock the content to play it, and if you unlock it, you have the access.

    How would one get around this flaw?

    —-

    P.S. Hilary, where’d you go? Ten days and no new posts…tsk tsk. ;-)

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    poptones (second post)

    What if we move that warcraft world into a distributed network of peers? Rather than having the laws defined y a corporation, they are defined by we, the gamers. the rules and laws evolve as we agree through consensus. Now, if you steal my sword, have you stolen my IP? That is still in the game itself – and in this case, since we created it, we own it. So in this case, again, stealing my sword means you have stolen my sword.

    Actually, it doesn’t mean squat, because Blizzard owns the rights to those swords. Regardless of whether you want to protect the sword or not, you never actually owned the sword – whether in a physical or intellectual sense. You never owned it. It was never, ever yours to begin with. And, on a side note, I’m certainly against using DRM to protect things from use that the creators themselves never said you could.

    Then again, I’m against DRM use, period. So…there’s that.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    So far as your questions about the feasability of open source DRM – as I said, the user never gets the cleartext because the user doesn’t have access to the key. The key is locked in an encrypted portion of the user’s hard drive, and the key to that is locked inside the CPU itself.

    So you’re saying that the user’s hard drive will be encrypted in this system. That is fine – I have nothing against encryption…but you are saying it will be encrypted so that I can’t access information on my own hard drive?

    And you are saying that members of the “free community” should not only accept, but endorse this unethical architecture if they want their computers to be able to play popular media files? You say we are fools if we decide to suffer the consequences of sitting on the sidelines, no? That there is no value in standing up for freedom? That freedom supporters are living in a fantasy world and are deluded about the great benefit to society this practical approach of TC/DRM will bring?

    You are basically saying that ‘freedom’ means being able to access popular media files and has nothing whatsoever to do with our quality of life regarding the individual privacy and security of our machines.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Commons Music:

    Now, my question is, since everything would be open source, wouldn’t it just be a simple matter of modifing the player so it’s never reencrypted using the key? The key would remain hidden, sure, but the player would have to use it to unlock the content to play it, and if you unlock it, you have the access.

    See this is what I’m confused about as well. Under the DMCA, doesn’t this make “Open Source DRM” illegal? You are not legally allowed to distribute any technlogy (in this case, source code) that allows one to gain unauthorized access to DRMed files.

    If a player is distributed under this scheme that easily allows anyone with knowledge to modify that player so that it can strip the DRM, then they are breaking the law – in the US and much of Europe.

    If this is true, then “Open Source DRM” is the cake that the entertainment and software corporations want to have and eat too.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @comons music

    No, because if you modified the player, it would become untrusted and then it would never be given the key to decrypt the file.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Peter:

    Untrusted based on what? Does the key have the trust issues? Does it still live with it’s mother? (hee hee)

    Seriously, though, if the user end has access to the cleartext at any time, they can rip it in someway. With audio files, you record it going to the sound card, with video, you capture it on-screen.

    The difference here is simply that it would be easier to hack using the player, even if by tricking the key into thinking that it’s trusted.

    There just doesn’t seem to be a feasible way of doing it.

  • http://commonsmusic.com/ Commons Music

    CORRECTION: “its mother.”

    Damn grammar.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Just a final note: I’m tiring of this thread, and it’s gone on quite a ways. I think we’ve gone as far as we can, and all sides have made their views explicitly clear.

    I’ll catch you on the next thread, whenever Ms. Rosen posts one (or the Prof. returns).

    Cheers.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Commons Music:

    Untrusted based on what?

    Couldn’t the hardware be built to check and see if the player asking to play a file is trusted (i.e. not modified) and if NO, then refuse to send the key? And if YES, then the player being used may be “open source” but it still won’t help one strip the DRM for their fair use.

    Is this how this proposed and oppressive Orwellian technology works?

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    Actually, it doesn’t mean squat, because Blizzard owns the rights to those swords. Regardless of whether you want to protect the sword or not, you never actually owned the sword – whether in a physical or intellectual sense. You never owned it. It was never, ever yours to begin with.

    This is the point I made like 100 posts ago! Nothing is “owned” by you or me – everything is “owned” by a corporation somewhere. And so long as this continues to be true everything we do here is ultimately in service to an oliopoly of corporate kings. they define and control “value” because they own us. If they do not want your data to appear here, they shut you down. If they do not want you to earn income, they shut you down. If they do not feel your existence here is in their economic interest, they shut you down.

    We are all reduced here to our cash valiue to a corporation.

    There is no way for us to change this without mutual trust. There is no way for us to establish communities where we own ourselves because any such system would, at present, be instantly exploited by thieves.

    This is not just about Hollywood. take Hollywood off the map, these problems still exist: people cannot trust each other because people will inevitably cheat. Without a trustworthy way for you and I to create a pooled computational resource – a computational “freenet project” – the system is forever vulnerable to one person somewhere pulling the plug on all of it.

    You want freedom? Without a widely distributed trustworthy computational architecture, your “freedom” remains nothing but illusion.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    This is the point I made like 100 posts ago! Nothing is “owned” by you or me – everything is “owned” by a corporation somewhere. And so long as this continues to be true everything we do here is ultimately in service to an oliopoly of corporate kings. they define and control “value” because they own us. If they do not want your data to appear here, they shut you down. If they do not want you to earn income, they shut you down. If they do not feel your existence here is in their economic interest, they shut you down.

    Okay, I’m back here for a moment.

    poptones: Personally speaking, I own quite a bit. My group, Tryad, owns the music we made. Some is under a specific CC license from samples, but we still control it. I write, I have screenplays, I have my documentary. These are things I OWN, because I CREATED THEM. Nobody, not Hollywood, corporations, or “they” can just shut me down, and I don’t see where this paranoia is originating from. How could “they” just shut me down? I have a documentary coming out about the war on drugs, and you think the government can just “shut me down”? Sorry, no, they can’t. I’m certainly not doing anything illegal with it, so I’m mystified by how you believe we have no control over our lives.

    Sure, Blizzard owns those things, as well they should. They created them, so they should own them. Just as my group and I created “The Final Rewind,” so we own that, and as well we should. I don’t see why I would need DRM to “own” it any further. Copyright law is protecting me just fine, and if someone misuses something I made, I have recourse against the person or persons who have wronged me.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    How could “they” just shut me down?

    Ask Manuel Noriega. Ask Saddahm Hussein.

    Your little documentary will be “published” because the corproations and the government may allow it. Hope there’s no copyrighted works in there, or anything that shows corporate trademarks in a bad light, etc…

    How anyone who is so paranoid about Hollywood controlling their lives and yet be unable to see this bigger picture utterly mystifies me.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    That copyrighted content could be covered under fair use, if it was just in there and captured accidentally. This is a fault of lawyers being overly cautious for indemnity insurance, not of copyright in and of itself.

    Also, last time I checked, I was neither a Panamanian general nor a ruthless dictator who murdered countless people.

    Then again, I was really drunk last weekend, so I suppose anything’s possible…

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    That copyrighted content could be covered under fair use,

    Irrelevant. Under the DMCA if the owner of the content objects the content will be taken down unless your host is up for a fight, and it will be left to you to defend this notion of “rights” in court at your own expense.

    What is wrong with this picture? Think for a second about the “sides” we are now arguing.

    Has it dawned on you yet? We do not control the infrastructure. Corporations control the infrastructure. And we have no reliable means of creating our own infrastructure on top of this one, because you and I, no matter how we might trust one another, become vulnerable to anything we do the second we invite a third person into the trust. Trying to create anything on the level of a hundred or a thousand machines is virtually impossible with this infrastructure because the hardware is unable to defend itself against attack.

    Imagine a football game where one of the players suddenly grew wings, or was able to become invisible, or run infinitely fast, or make himself impervious to tackle. That player alone would utterly dominate the game – he could, literally, destroy all the other players on the field if he chose.

    If our only defense from exploit – our only means of organizing even the simplest structures remains only through expensive court battles and years long delays, it will never amount to anything but “a tv set on steroids.”

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Irrelevant. Under the DMCA if the owner of the content objects the content will be taken down unless your host is up for a fight, and it will be left to you to defend this notion of “rights” in court at your own expense.

    This is why I’m for H.R. 1201 and a more thorough reformation of the DMCA. Also, I have my own server for stuff I want up there, so there’s that.

    But I tire of this. I think we’ve taken it as far as it’s going to go. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. ;-)

    Cheers.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones,

    No matter how bad it is, there is one crucial thing we must realize…

    We are the corporations.

    In reality, there is no “them”. Your entire approach is rooted in the belief that we must accept the status quo and fight for “our” place within a corporate-dominated infrastructure. You are extremely defeatist.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones,

    I have a question.

    Let’s say I get one of these brand new, shiny, built-to-the-hilt Trusted devices – acting as a server – and legally obtain the right to download a DRM encrusted media file. I download the file and it plays perfectly – no hassles. Everyone is happy. Hollywood got their cash and I have the file.

    Now that file is on a private server that can communicate with 30 other machines. But none of the 30 clients will play the file because the machines are not “Trusted.”

    But you see, I have the right to put that file on 20 other machines and expect it to play because Fair Use says I can.

    What is the solution Poptones? What should I do?

    Hilary, what do you think?

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    We are the corporations.

    Then please, for god’s sake, make me stop flooding the Gulf of Mexico with fertilizer!

    “We” are not “the corporations.” Try posting a a few Madonna songs on your personal webhost and then telling the attorneys who sue you it’s your right because “we” are Maverick Records.

    Jeezus, that’s not even worth a response. Too bad I already wrote it, now I can’t help myself… must..click..post.

    I’ve ben watching this grow and grow and wondering if it was going to reach 200, but I do not think it will – at least not with my help. Not only does it seem you are not reading what I said, I’m doubting some of you have even read Lessig’s books. I’m sorry, but I’m bored of answering the exact same questions over and over again.

  • three blind mice

    poptones it’s been interesting reading your posts, but clearly you are talking only to yourself. let’s kick it over 200.

    I have the right to put that file on 20 other machines and expect it to play because Fair Use says I can.

    it keeps coming back to this: I HAVE THE RIGHT. no, Peter Rock, you don’t. not on this planet. do you have the right to make 20 exact copies of a 10 dollar bill just because you “bought” one original? if you did (and if you could), don’t you see how that would destroy the value of money? it’s the same thing with digital content, amigo. NOT AN ANALOGY: THE SAME THING.

    fair use gives you the right to make bad copes of a 10 dollar bill – copies that could not be confused with the original – it doesn’t give you and everyone else “the right” to counterfeit. that little metallic strip in the dollar? DRM. (dollar rights management.) it is the trusted currency system that allows the system of paper money to work.

    one you can get your head around this very simple concept, everything poptones says will make sense.

  • nate

    I’ll respond to various of Peter Rock’s comments.

    > Couldn�t the hardware be built to check and see if the player
    > asking to play a file is trusted (i.e. not modified) and if NO, then
    > refuse to send the key? And if YES, then the player being used
    > may be �open source� but it still won�t help one strip the DRM
    > for their fair use.

    Yes, based on my understanding of “Trusted Computing”, that is exactly the plan. Reading the source is no problem, recompiling is no problem, but as soon as you’ve changed a thing it is no longer trusted by the other system components. For better and for worse.

    > But you see, I have the right to put that file on 20 other machines
    > and expect it to play because Fair Use says I can.

    I think this a crux of disagreement between two camps. If I understand US copyright law correctly (correction appreciated) there is no legal right to ‘fair use’. There is not even a privilege. Instead, fair use is a defense against copyright infringement.
    Personally, I think that such a right would be a fair trade for a government enforced monoply of production (copyright), but legally I don’t think any such right exists.

    Which leaves me wondering, Peter: did you boldface this text to lament this lack of right, to state that this right exists on a moral plane despite the current legal code, or based on the optimistic belief that the existing law reflects common sense?

    > Hilary, what do you think?

    I’ll second the disappointment with Ms. Rosen. I was very excited to hear her (likely unique) point of view on these matters, but still have not. Is it because she doesn’t care about the issues unless she is being paid to do so? Because she is afraid to wade into a fray?

    Also, why are people apparently so scared of long threads? It seems like there is progress being made, minds being changed, information being presented. More so in fact than in the beginning of the thread, now that people are starting to understand what each other are saying.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Nate:

    Instead, fair use is a defense against copyright infringement.

    Ahh, yes. You are correct. I should not have used the word ‘right’ in that context. A better way of saying it is -

    I will use that file on other machines because I am confident that I am not infringing copyright due to fair use doctrine.

    But I find the other machines are not built for Collusive Computing (TC), By law, my “rights” have not been violated, but the Fair Use doctrine has been emaciated in my particuar case. And because I have no rights, there is virtually nothing I can do about it.

    I think that such a right would be a fair trade for a government enforced monoply of production (copyright), but legally I don’t think any such right exists.

    This makes sense to me although in a world of Collusive Computing, it would seem that this theoretical right cannot exist.

  • http://www.commonsmusic.com Commons Music

    Yikes, 200 posts.

    Wait, why am I back here? Must…stop…coming…back…

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    This makes sense to me although in a world of Collusive Computing, it would seem that this theoretical right cannot exist.

    Of course it can. Or it can exist only for some things. Which things, and how they work, is up to the people of the community.

    If I don’t like the weather where I live I do not have the “right” to change the weather to better suit me. Ironically, in this artifical world we might have that right.

    “Collusive computing” isn’t an entirely unfair name for it, though I’m sure you meant this as an insult. the fact is the internet was designed when it was really, really hard to make a bunch of computers talk to one another. Now our desktop system have within them networks of smaller computers performing various functions. The infrastructure of the internet does not need to adopt this new paradigm, but the computers themselves need to.

    TCPA means you or I have the choice of buying a portion of a computational engine that crosses the globe. Right now we don’t have that – we have a computer that may contribute data but mostly is used simply to extract data from the grid. It is incredibly hard to build a trusted network that can accomplish anything at all because the computers themselves are so incredibly brittle.

    The next evolution is coming like a steamroller. Its progress may seem deceptively slow, but only a fool would attempt to stand it down. we need to climb on board and make sure we share in manning the controls.

    Security is one of those stepsisters of our field,” said Kleinrock. “It was not built in to the original internet. We had a philosophy and culture of trust. Everything we do now (for security) is patchwork, which makes it much harder.”

    The initiative will promote network architectures that balance “privacy and accountability and vary protections for individuals based on “difference and local values,” the announcement read.

    A new internet could also be made to support the privacy choices of individuals and communities as sensors and communications devices become more ubiquitous, GENI organizers hope.

    People already lack privacy and security on the internet, said Princeton University professor and SIGCOMM chairwoman Jennifer Rexford, one of the GENI organizers.

    “(Security) is an incredibly important problem today,” Rexford said. “And if you don’t solve that problem, you haven’t solved anything.”

    Concerns about security are valid, but this is why we need to participate – to make sure “trusted” means choice and openness and not “you will trust us because we tell you to.”

    Once that computational engine is in place we have the means to define those “laws” however we as a collective within any given community decide. A hundred communities with a hundred different sets of laws, all of them unbounded by geography or even language. If you don’t like the law in Hollywood, move out… that’s (literally) what I did.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    Collusive computing” isn’t an entirely unfair name for it, though I’m sure you meant this as an insult

    ?!

  • Peter Mogensen

    If I don’t like the weather where I live I do not have the “right” to change the weather to better suit me. Ironically, in this artifical world we might have that right.

    Oh… come on… these types of analogies are simpy too far out.

    Anyway… If your vision of the future actually becomes true with all the monetary trust you’d like to put into it, cracking the hardware would become really interesting for criminals. Thus it would bring us the same kind of problems as digital identity-theft and cracked biometrics threaten to do.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    Oh… come on… these types of analogies are simpy too far out.

    Far out analogies?

    Would that be the part where I point out (the obvious) truth that, in real life, you and I do not have the right (because we do not have the ability to change the weather?

    Or do you mean the part where I point out that, in shared cyber communities, the “natural laws” are whatever the inhabitants of a community agree upon?

  • Peter Mogensen

    That would be the part where I point out that I couldn’t care less that I cannot change the wheater in real life. Just as I cannot make the earth stop spinning. .. and it probably wouldn’t be a good thing if I could.
    I don’t know why you think these kind of aguments are good sellingpoint for your trusted computing fantasy. They are not.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    “Selling point?” It should be clear by now I don’t care about “selling” you on any of it. The future is coming whether you’re on board or not.

    You do not, and never did have “the right” to duplicate copyrighted content “for personal backups.” When music was still bought on big black discs no one would have even cosnidered the stupid notion that it was their “right” to print another record as a “personal backup” for use when that LP (almost inevitably) became scratched or noisy. If you scratched a record or left it sitting in your car you bought another record. If you wanted an LP and it was only available on CD, you were pretty much at the mercy of the publisher to work out a deal allowing you to print an LP of a sample so you could use it onstage. I never heard a DJ claim it her “right” to produce an LP from a CD because the licensed publisher didn’t make one available.

    What if Sony decided to set up a “Music world” where all its performers were on stage all the time? Go to the Sony virtual arena and there’s Alicia Keyes onstage in high definition – no admission fees, no time limits. But you have to “go there” – just as we cannot take Alicia home with us in real life (life is so cruel) we cannot take her “home” from the virtual arena – this is the only place to get this experience at this price.

    How can you argue A) they have no right to create such a virtual space or B) this is a bad thing for society?

    Our notions of “fair use” are shaped by what we can get away with. Impracticality of enforcement has given many the illusion of “right” where there was none.

    In a shared computing environment the “natural laws” are determined by consensus, not by physics. In such a world of no truly natural laws, of what relevance is copyright?

  • Peter Mogensen

    How can you argue A) they have no right to create such a virtual space or B) this is a bad thing for society?

    I don’t. You have not been listening. I argue that the lack of consumer protections against monopolies based on the digital infrastructure used to realise this is a problem.

    Regarding fair use and “rights”. You’re right. “fair use” (or the European equivalents) are not defined as rights in the copyright laws it self. It is however a human right to “freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”
    Maybe you don’t think that it should be a right to (within your privacy) freely choose which player-technonology you use to play a digital work. .. I do. (Remember that copyright it self is mainly a right granted by society. It’s not god given.)

    Of course, if a producer can make it technically impossible for me to do so, it’s within their right. But if it is abused society has the right and duty to protect consumers.

    You would of course say, that if I don’t like it, I can just stay away from it. I don’t believe the social workings of the market works like that.

    Also, the more trust you put into technology, the larger the problems, when technology is compromised.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones,

    Just trying to get a handle on your views. I checked out your blog in hopes I could better understand where you are coming from. The name of it is “The Commoner’s Rights”. Neat name. But I was wondering what the subtitle means…

    Declaring our independence from the tyranny of the corporate commons.

    Could you explain that?

    Also, you have a link called – “A Political Babe” and it goes to the huffingtonpost.com website. Who is the “babe”? Just curious…but I’m more interested in what you mean by “the corporate commons”.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    “The corporate commons” is, at present the only online commons we have left. No, this isn’t entirely true – I participate myself in many newsgroups (to the point that, even on dialup, I regularly chew through my allotted 6GB per month – in fact, I’m presently locked out until Sept 1). But newsgroups aren’t nearly as much “communities” as they once were. Most folks I know, in fact, don’t even know what the hell usenet is.

    What we are left with is a corporate commons – thousands of community BBS systems that are, most often, administrated by some corporate interest. and even them that aren’t are entirely behoven to the corporations that own the servers that host the software.

    I’m not a gamer in the contemporary sense of the word. I don’t even have a single game installed on my machine right now that didn’t come OOTB with the operating system. But I am all about the old school notions of virtual reality and the possibilities presented by a wired world. If you’ve never seen it before you should rent Wild Palms – ir predated The Matrix by, like, a decade and it still raises some worthwhile points.

    Having a more widely distributed computational structure is the next wave. SUN has had their employees operating on their new “computational grid” system for a while now, encouraging them to install applications that request resources in order to test it out, etc.

    This is all really a step back to what the internet was originally envisioned – a computational network of peers. But because none of us have any meaningful security in our systems such a network is not possible. It’s funny how some complain about having less security from such a system when at present they essentially have no secuirity at all. Any application running on your computer has the ability to query the hard drive, detect what other software you have installed and running… that some seem to see this as a good thing only shows how normalized has become the expectation of having zero system security – without that ability to audit every mounted disk space available to the operating system it would be impossible to remove all the spyware and virii and crap that gets accumulated on so many systems!

    Anyway, all that stuff you see in The Matrix and Wild Palms – assuming any of it could be real, it can’t using the infrastructure we have now because you cannot have ownership of information on the web. It is, given the nature of the beast, impossible to enforce “natural laws” in such a widely a distributed computational environment because anyone running the code can rewrite it in such a manner that they can become, essentially, super beings. By having the system able to defend itself from attack we can take one giant step toward creating truly shared virtual spaces – spaces that no one owns and where removing a portion of the resource (Ie shutting off or removing a node) would still leave the community intact.

    Here’s some more “wild” analogies for you to munch on: this is very similar to the way we presently understand the human brain to work. In children where even half the brain was physically removed from the body, the person was still “whole” and retained all her memories.

    With a distributed computational architecture, if you design the community right, the community itself becomes host to the “keys.” Using genetic algorithms and a means of affirming consensus within a community the software could be “seeded” by the initial developers but, once running, not allowed to be altered even by those who spawned it.

    This only sounds scary because now that would mean if it got out of hand it could wipe out our systems. But when every process runs in its own encrypted space and is not allowed access to any portion of the system outside that space, such an experiement would be orders of magnitude safer than what we have now; if a process proves to be a nuisance, just shut it off.

    But in-world such a system could evolve “natural laws” and the only way to alter them would be to opt-out of that world or to generate consensus on changes you want implimented. How such a system might evolve when it was distributed across thousands of nodes hosting thousands of people no one knows because we’ve never been able to do it.

    None of this means “copyright owners have too much power” because that is only one space You can still go to Virgin and buy a sack of CDs (or DVDs or whatever they sell) and you can still play those discs in any player that will accept them. You can still buy books at Border’s, you can still go to Magnatune and buy “alternaitvely licensed” music from whomever wants to offer it. More choice, and more ways for people in real life to realize the promise of a wired world.

    So far as political babes…. that’s just me being cute. I was trying to find something that fit with “Atypical joe” and I find Arianna Huffington very… attractive in a purely apolitical way. I’m a guy; so sue me.

  • Peter Mogensen

    For those interested, this article explains a bit about TC.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    An awesome jumping off point, PM.

    It’s so nice to discover I am not alone.

    …Remote attestation makes it possible for distributed computing projects to make sure that people are running legitimate clients which won’t cheat. Sealed storage will allow the client to checkpoint itself periodically and pick up where it left off if it gets interrupted, in such a way that no other program can create bogus partial data that it would be tricked into accepting. No longer will the time wasting counter-measures and tricks be necessary which are presently being used to try to catch cheaters. Code can be presented in open source form, which will improve confidence and make people more likely to run the programs. With all of these advantages, TC will be an important foundation for distributed computing projects in the future.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Since you have read my previous comments you will of course know that I have never disputed what you quote.
    It doesn’t change the fact that the same functionality can be abused when such distributed systems are not entered on a fully voluntary basis with full knowledge of the implications in a free market with fair competition.
    Don’t expect the avarage consumer to have the same knowledge of which limitations he/she is accepting when entering a TC infrastructure as computer scientists have when they set up a distributed computing project.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    It doesn’t change the fact that the same functionality can be abused when such distributed systems are not entered on a fully voluntary basis with full knowledge of the implications in a free market with fair competition.

    Such a system would allow less abuse than what we now have. The internet is absolutely infested with machines that are zombies, machines that are spam relays, machines that are not entirely under the control of the user or someone the user trusts, and the users have no idea of this.

    If Sony locks down Madonna to a single machine, that user is going to realize the files he bought are locked down real quick. They are going to know who set the rules they object to, they are going to know who to yell at about it, and they are going to know who to avoid in the future if they don’t like the policies.

    All that crap about being “locked down to one vendor” is already in place. If you want to watch Big Brother on the net you have exactly ONE place to go: Real Networks and their proprietary player. And you are allowed exactly ONE operating system in order to use that service: Microsoft Windows.

    If you want to watch the trailers at the mac trailers site, you have exactly one piece of software you can use: Quicktime. Whether you use linux or windows or a mac, you still have exactly one choice on software decoder.

    Even if someone posts completely free music and that music is in the format of either real audio or windows media, you still are constrainted to using one vendor’s software. It doesn’t matter if you are using linux and Xine or Mplayer or XMMS or whatever, the software decoders that actually play those files are still just hacked versions of the Windows software – it’s the only “choice” out there right now.

    The one great difference is having a virtualized, trustworthy machine means you have less risk of exploitation or even of software flaws causing lockups than the system we have now. The fact the codecs would become “uncrackable” and you’d be “forced” to run Windows in order to use their codecs is not a “barrier to fair use” or even a barrier to using linux for all the other Free as in freedom and legally licensed software on that platform when Microsoft is able to ship the required Windows runtime along with the free as in beer Windows Media Player that all runs in a completely segregated sandbox where any weaknesses it may have cannot spill over into the rest of the more secure operating system it shares space with on the machine.

    The system is already broken – badly. The arguments that this would allow corporations to engage in outright illegal behavior is moot when the system as it is now allows essentially anonymous and untraceable entitites to do far, far worse things than merely “forcing” Hillary Duff fans to use Windows Media Player if they want to listen to her on their computer.

  • Peter Mogensen

    But as it has already been pointed out:

    To solve the current “abuse” you describe, you only have to let the owner trust his machine. Not to enable external entities to decide whether to trust the computer based on it’s configuration.
    It’s not “TC or chaos” as you try to imply.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    OK, so the owner is ignorant and cannot be trusted to run his machine properly, but I am supposed to trust that operator (or any operator) with my data?

    Can you please at least try to come up with a consistent argument?

    Breaking the system so the user can ourtright lie about being trustworthy makes about as much sense as putting Michael Jackson in charge of the daycare center. The platform needs to be designed in the open, but if the open community refuses to participate in its design Microsoft is not to blame for that.

    However, if I can trust the machine, then you can trust the machine. If you don’t want to trust my software, no one is putting a gun to your head to install it.

    It’s not “TC or chaos” as you try to imply.

    “Try” to imply? No, I did not try to imply – I outright assert it. But you are half right: because there is no trustworthy consumer platform right now it’s only chaos.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Ok… so you asserted it. That doesn’t make it better.

    You will not get rid of ignorants no matter how much technology you throw at it. If you by “data” mean secrets, then don’t hand out data to people you don’t trust.

    There must be something you haven’t understood. TC doesn’t make the user trustworthy. It makes the computer trustworthy (until hardware is compromised… THEN you have trouble).
    EFFs suggestion doesn’t enable the user to lie about being trustworthy. People don’t get trustworthy just because they have a certain piece of hardware in their homes.

    You didn’t answer it the first time, so I will repeat it:
    You’re right. No one is (literally) holding a gun to my head to install your software, but there’s also no guarantee that I can live a normal life without doing so.
    I might be able to live without pokemon or Disney, (in fact I would be extremely happy to do so), but if all Pokemon/Disney was only accessible with a certain TC-enabled client, how would I then explain to my 6-year-old that “we don’t do that in our family”. … when his social life depended on knowing about these things?

    … and lots of other social dependencies in the market, like not being able to read the newspaper, because it requires software you “don’t trust”. Some software you just have to trust unless there is an alternative. As long as reverse-engineering laws are in effect there can be alternatives. TC can make these laws void.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    There must be something you haven’t understood. TC doesn’t make the user trustworthy. It makes the computer trustworthy (until hardware is compromised… THEN you have trouble).
    EFFs suggestion doesn’t enable the user to lie about being trustworthy. People don’t get trustworthy just because they have a certain piece of hardware in their homes.

    Yes, they do. If you have an ATM in your living room, the bank can still trust you not to steal from the other despositors because the ATM itself is reasonably secure even against you attacking it. This may not be entirely analogous because you can still hacksaw it – but if they have the system able to detect when you have hacksawed it and make the money magically disappear before you gain entry into the vault, then it is still a trustworthy proposition.

    …if all Pokemon/Disney was only accessible with a certain TC-enabled client…

    Is utterly meaningless hyperbolae. We might as well be discussing the economic and societal impacts of the second coming of christ. Pokemon and Disney are going to make their stuff available to as many people as possible because that is the only way they make money. What you have now is no Disney at all on the web because Disney doesn’t trust it. What you might have is more Disney on the web but restricted to software Disney feels it can trust. How do you explain too your six year old right now that she cannot play The Little Mermaid on your computer because you will only use linux? Or because the game at the website doesn’t play well with the linux Flash player?

    A trusted platform means you can run linux and you can still run windows – only you can actually trust the computer to not allow Windows virii to infect your linux system or the data it controls. You have more options instead of less. If you still refuse to allow windows because of some orthodoxy on your part then your question is moot – it is not my concern or my business to tell you how you explain your religion or ethics to your six year old.

    Perhaps this will help you understand. Or this. If, after reading this information you still have questions or points to raise I do hope they will at least be points not covered a hundred messages ago.

  • Anonymous

    poptones, it’s no use. The term “trusted computing” has been hijacked by DRM interests and become hopelessly muddled.

  • Peter Mogensen

    @poptones
    1) Your ATM analogy doesn’t hold.
    2) You suggested multiple OS’s running in virtual environment long ago. It’s still not a solution.
    3) I don’t have any questions. I’ve seen where you’re going long ago and I don’t like it. No point in arguing with you when confronted with that attitude.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Collusive computing (TC) is about turning the computer into nothing more than a set-top box for consumer-facing entertainment products.

    THAT is the driving force behind TC and DRM – no matter how many multi-page articles ramble on about security benefits.

    What sickens me most is the use of the word “trust”. It’s as sincere as Microsoft’s “shared” source campaign.

  • Peter Mogensen

    As I’ve said earlier. TPMs can be useful. As a system admin I would love to be able to cryptographicly verify the state of the machines I am responsible for via hardware. But I can do that just as fine, if I knew the endorsement key. I don’t need third party interference to trust my systems and I see no reason to trust them more, if I can’t modify them to suit my needs without rendering them useless.

  • peter

    i would like to add another point to the DRM discussion. i have to admit that i didnt read all the comments but only scanned about half of them, but as far as i saw the point wasn’t already made.

    to me one of the major wrongs of DRM is that it takes away responsibility from the people. it is one of the things that make a human society that people know and respect the borders we put there. its a way to show responsibilty against society to do that. with this responsibilty comes the possibilty to break the rules – to cross the street at 4 in the morning, even if you have red light – in responsible ways (and of course in irresponsible ways). this possibility is important, if we want people to act responsible. if we take away responisibilty from people and implement it through technology, two things happen:

    - we can’t have “gray zones” any more where it is up to the personal responsibilty to do something or not. we then loose the ability to judge that.
    - by taking responsibilty away from people, they actually start acting irresponsible.

    imagine a system where the speed limit is enforced through some technological means. i believe that many car drivers would drive at full throttle all the time, relying on their cars to keep the speed limit. this is actually irresponsible since the controlling system can never be smart enough to set the speed limit in a responsible way, in reaction to the “context”.

    another example would be antilock brake systems. it can be shown that due to ABS the number of accidents went down in total, but the severity of accidents went up. people drive more irresponsible when technology secures them.

    for me it is an imperative that we learn to take responsibilty, not give it away to some system. the damages through irresponsible behaviour are far more acceptable to me than the damage done by the loss of responsibilty.

    applied to our current situation, it is interesting to see that many p2p filesharer actually take their responsibilty. this is one of the reasons why it has repeatedly been shown in studies that top music sharer are also top music buyers.

  • rodander

    Wow. I go away for a few days, and I come back 150 comments later.

    peter’s last comment is right. The problem with a completely rule-based system is that the underlying concept of right and wrong are subsumed into the rules — if one can technically get around the rules, then the behavior becomes OK. See tax law for examples. Gaming the system becomes a good thing — “heroes” are made that way.

    But the fly in the ointment is that much of human society does not accept the principles of right and wrong. (see islamic fascism, for example, not to mention counterfeiters from Asia in the copyright context). So to utterly trust all to do the right thing now is foolish. Especially when there is hype after hype after hype after hype (this thread, perhaps?) about how the recording industry/Microsoft/all corporations are evil and soulless and must be eviscerated. Not to mention those who demand that they be able to show The Little Mermaid on a Linux system, because the social life of their children requires it. Not to mention those who are simply happy to be free riders.

    I, too, would love to go back to a time when we could all leave our doors open. But we can’t when there are thieves parading down the streets.

    So what to do? I have faith in the market, and in content owners eventually rediscovering that more money can be made by increasing access to their product. Arguing about the specific tools is pointless — demand will work things out eventually. Mark Cuban has figured this out — keep an eye on him.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Rodander:

    Especially when there is hype after hype after hype after hype (this thread, perhaps?) about how the recording industry/Microsoft/all corporations are evil and soulless and must be eviscerated.

    Personally speaking, I think corporations are useful. I too, get tired of hearing people say that these problems are the “fault” of the corporations. That doesn’t make any sense. I’d recommend the book – The Corporation or if you don’t have the time, the film based on the book.

    But equally, I get tired of people believing that corporations, for example, are forming the collusive computing platform (TCP) because they are looking after consumers’ best interests and trying to improve security. That’s delusional. Obviously the TC/DRM scheme is a mechanism for profit. A mechanism that will impede freedom but many people will celebrate and promote because it serves their own personal interest. When you have MS, IBM, Intel, HP, AMD, SONY, SUN, etc. all colluding together, of course you’re going to see many of these seemingly objective sites that point out the “advantages” of having your freedom taken away. TC/DRM is obviously a foolish route to take. I agree with Peter that you don’t teach responsibility by drawing up automatically enforced rules. In fact, you are trying to create an artificial world – a world where repsonsibility and respect are considered irrelevant issues that technology will take care of. That’s utterly dangerous – is this what we want to teach future generations?

    We are the corporations. Corporations are just a tool for the people. They are products of the government – created through legislation. Our problem is that we grant the corporations too much. We should use them and toss them aside or severly limit them once they have served the best interest of the public. We need to treat the corporations like the corporations treat us – that is, with no regard or care. I believe corporations are ultimately a useful tool – but for whatever reason (hmm, corporate/government collusion?) the government continually placates to these organizations when we should be placing strong restrictions on some while obliterating others.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Not to mention those who demand that they be able to show The Little Mermaid on a Linux system, because the social life of their children requires it

    *Sigh*… That was not what was said and you know it.
    I pointed out that today copyright laws (for good reasons) allows reverse-engineering for the purpose of interoperability. Disney could use TC to make that impossible and require a specific product. Poptones says that we should just take it or leave it. I pointed out that society does not work like that and in effect the fair competition goal of the interoperability clauses in copyright law would not be fulfilled.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Rodander:

    I, too, would love to go back to a time when we could all leave our doors open. But we can’t when there are thieves parading down the streets.

    We are talking about nonrivalrous mental expressions, not furniture. Please avoid confusing the issue by equating physical property with artificial privileges granted by patent and copyright laws. It is already hard enough to decipher the truth of this matter without this obfuscation.

    This is the metality that answers “NOTHING!” to the question of -

    What is the difference between copying a CD and walking into a store and taking one?

    “Nothing” is a very 3 blind mice-ish answer.

  • three blind mice

    What is the difference between copying a CD and walking into a store and taking one?

    it is you Peter Rock who obfuscate the simple. let’s turn your question around:

    what is the similarity between copying a CD and walking into a store and taking one?

    answer: the owner of the CD and the owner of the copyright are both illegally deprived of income.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Hmm… That definition would also make violation of anti trust law equivalent with stealing.

  • rodander

    Peter Rock, I’d accept your scold if I accepted your premise. But I do not accept your premise that copyright does not “equate” to physical property for any reason. Rather, the extent to which copyright ought to be legally treated as physical property is very much an open question. As evident by the comments in this thread.

    So I don’t accept your scold. FWIW.

    P.S. What is the difference between copying a CD and selling that copy, and taking a CD and selling that?

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    The Mice:

    what is the similarity between copying a CD and walking into a store and taking one? answer: the owner of the CD and the owner of the copyright are both illegally deprived of income.

    No. The owner of the CD has had physical property stolen that can never be sold. To say “deprived of income” doesn’t do justice to the owner of that phyical property. It’s much worse than “deprived income”. It took money to buy the blank CD to record the content on so this person has been hurt inexcusably.

    As for “deprived of income” of the person who had their copyright violated, you assume that the copier of the content would have otherwise bought the content – which is presumptuous to say the least.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Rodander:

    I do not accept your premise that copyright does not “equate” to physical property

    So then you think copyright should last indefinitely?

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    p.s. to the Mice…

    And if the content WASN’T going to be purchased otherwise, the person who had their content copied should be happy. That’s better than having nothing happen at all. The content being copied means its circulation has increased thus boosting the network effect. This has the potential of leading to more sales from others who may hear/see the content.

    The RIAA got it ALL wrong concerning Napster. Like I said earlier, when Napster first came out, the industry made a killing off of me. However, they have gotten mere pennies from me in the last few years.

    They got what they supposedly wanted though…I don’t download copyrighted content.

  • rodander

    And copyright term has *what* to do with this discussion?

    Oh, I get it. You’re saying that if copyright and physical propertyare non-analogous in one respect, then they must be non-analogous in all respects. Sorry, no sale.

    To be clear, Peter Rock, I do not believe that copyright should extend indefinitely. I think the term is too long as it is now.

    And on a larger point, if you and others refuse to buy copyrighted content, that lack of demand may push the market to where you want it to go. It may not. Or it may not do so soon, but eventually. Don’t know, but it will be interesting to see.

    But non-paying demand will not push the market in any direction because it provides no incentive for the supply side to react to it.

  • poptones

    Like, three of you talking to yourselves…god, how boring.

    I threatened to pull out of this before and now I will make it official. I have presented sufficient info, I think, you should realize the future I present is not one I made up, but one that is inevitable – I merely tried to point out the MERIT in such a future in the hopes of some being able to put aside their luddite inclinations, but I’m reminded that some will never be able to overcome such fears.

    Anyway, this will most definitely be my last post in this thread at least until the power comes back on. As I point out on my homepage I am from the south, and if you will look up “big black bottom” on a map you may see “the south” for me means right smack in the middle kat’s path. The whole town is out of power and I’m told it will be at least friday before we can expect more.

    Thank god for laptops and UPS power supplies. But it’s hotter than hell with no fans; This sucks.

  • The roots of racism

    Program on the emergence of civilization.

    “14 species of large animals capable of domesitcation in the history of mankind.
    None from the sub-Saharan African continent.
    13 from Europe, Asia and northern Africa.”
    Favor.
    And disfavor.

    They point out Africans’ attempts to domesticate the elephant and zebra, the latter being an animal they illustrate that had utmost importance for it’s applicability in transformation from a hunting/gathering to agrarian-based civilization.

    The roots of racism are not of this earth.

    Austrailia, aboriginals:::No domesticable animals.

    The North American continent had none. Now 99% of that population is gone.

    Organizational Heirarchy
    Heirarchical order, from top to bottom:

    1. MUCK – perhaps have experienced multiple universal contractions (have seen multiple big bangs), creator of the artificial intelligence humans ignorantly refer to as “god”
    2. Perhaps some mid-level alien management –
    3. Mafia (evil) aliens – runs day-to-day operations here and perhaps elsewhere (“On planets where they approved evil.”)

    Then we come to terrestrial management:

    4. Chinese/egyptians – this may be separated into the eastern and western worlds
    5. Romans – they answer to the egyptians
    6. Mafia – the real-world interface that constantly turns over generationally so as to reinforce the widely-held notion of mortality
    7. Jews, corporation, women, politician – Evidence exisits to suggest mafia management over all these groups.

    Survival of the favored.

    Movies foreshadowing catastrophy
    1986 James Bond View to a Kill – 1989 San Fransisco Loma Prieta earthquake.

    Journal: 10 composition books + 39 megs of text files

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Rodander:

    You’re saying that if copyright and physical propertyare non-analogous in one respect

    I can’t tell here…are you conceding that “in one respect” physical property and intellectual expression are not analogous?

    then they must be non-analogous in all respects. Sorry, no sale.

    Please cite where I claimed that they are “non-analogous in all respects“. Otherwise, quit trying to paint me in a false corner. If I have erroneous beliefs, please expose them intelligently and I will thank you for doing so. But do not put words in my mouth.

    —————–

    The fact that the two are different in one key respect (i.e. one is rivalrous whilst the other is not) is enough to shout loudly at those who wish to muddy the waters by continually trying to equate the two. The mice have referred to the “Magna Carta” and you speak of “thieves walking the streets”. Your metaphors confuse the issue. Either you are confused or you wish to confuse others.

    I, like the Mice, believe that private property is essential to maintain liberty. But only if you are talking about the demarcation of a physical piece of land. There is a reason why copyright and patents are limited by time. Those who wish to blur the distinction between these and land should then be arguing for permanent, unlimited copyright and patents. For if – as the Mice say whilst conflating intellectual work with physical property – private property is the foundation of liberty – then it would be unethical to ever have one’s patent or copyright revoked after some time.

    If you or the Mice want to argue for never-ending copyrights/patents then we have a starting point. But you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Quit conflating the two unless you are going to back up your analogies with equivalent stances regarding time limitations.

  • rodander

    Of course “physical property and intellectual expression” are not analogous in at least one respect. In several to many respects, I suspect.

    At the risk of belaboring this thread (oh well, it has been plenty belabored by the 236 preceding comments, I guess, not to mention The Roots of Racism), let me explain more slowly my original comment. For purposes of my original point (responsibility vs. rules/systems) I analogized copyright with physical property. But rather than challenge that specific analogy (much less in that context), you accused me of a certain “mentality” and of “obfuscation”. From that, I concluded (reasonably) that your premise the non-rivalrous nature of intellectual expression renders any analogy to “furniture” not only invalid, but distracting hyperbole. Even tho you didn’t say that in so many words, that is the reasonable conclusion from your comment. Please clarify if I have misinterpreted.

    And I do not accept your premise. But I do understand that intellectual expression has a non-rivalrous quality. I get it. OK?

    But you obviously totally missed my original point. For which I am sorry if that is where my analogy led you.

    And don’t continue to assume that I favor infinite copyright term. Especially when I have told you, expressly, exactly the opposite.

    And (further belaboring) a finite term on copyright is utterly irrelevant to the analogy and the point that I was making way back then. Again — more slowly — the analogy holds, for that context, during the term of the copyright, whether a term of one day or of infinite duration. Talk about obfuscation — jeez.

    Hey, poptones, hang in there, if you’re still listening. Sorry the storm hit you (I was in the first group of evacuees from N.O. — but was just visiting there). Stay cool. We are resilient, and it’ll all work out OK.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    rodander:

    the analogy holds, for that context, during the term of the copyright

    Does it?

    So you agree then with 3 Blind Mice that when you walk into a store and steal a CD, it is the exact same thing (i.e. “the analogy holds”) as copying a work currently under its term of copyright?

  • rodander

    They differ in some ways and are the same in others.

    GO BACK TO THE CONTEXT OF MY ANALOGY. It was a response to the discussion of the problem that a completely rule-based system subsumes the underlying concept of right and wrong into the rules. Which is a bad thing in my view — if one can technically get around the rules, then the behavior becomes OK. I then pointed out that the fly in the ointment is that much of human society does not accept the principles of right and wrong, so to utterly trust all to do the right thing is foolish.

    For that discussion, the open doors analogy fit. Yes, it would be nice to go back to a time in which we could keep our doors open, but with theives walking the street (counterfeiters galore in Asia, for example), that is not so smart, IMHO.

    I really hope this ends it. I hope you see now how the discussion of term, and whether stealing a CD is the same as copying it . . . was not relevant in this context.

  • poptones

    The power is back! The power is back!

    I HAVE THE POWER!

    I’m amazed it came back so quickly. Honestly, there are so many people down here SO much worse off than we, I almost feel guilty to again have air conditioning and no more concerns about rationing my battery power.

    Anyway, I was glad to see the discussion come back to that whole “non ravalrous nature of expression” because I think it is the (squeaky) hinge upon which this all swings. DRM and trusted virtual machines give us the ability to create “intellectual expression” that IS rivalrous – and especially so because it allows us to collectively pool “expressions” in manners that rival – challenge – the old school infrastructures.

    This sort of comes down to a thesis about Microsoft’s future role, but I’m not going to spend that intellectual capital here :)

  • poptones

    the government continually placates to these organizations when we should be placing strong restrictions on some while obliterating others.

    Hmmmm… so let’s accept this notion. In fact, let’s take the bull firmly by the ears and ride it right off the fast approaching cliff.

    Abolish copyright. None, at all – it’s gone. RIP, it was obsolete anyway.

    Now there is NO societal contract. No protection for corporations to hide behind. Mickey Mouse is mine, and I will make him smoke pot and bang minnie in graphic close up if I damn well please and just you try to stop me…

    So now “everything is ours.” If we can sneak a camera into that next Peter Jackson blahbuster it is ours to post all we please and it is up to the studio to provide a more compellling alternative from the instant of release… or to not bother at all.

    Where does that leave the potential for profit? In “distribution models that work within the new market?” Nah, that’s too hard – much easier to make “the new market” online in those virtual worlds where the creator runs the server and the clients are all protected against exploitation via DRM. Because, don’t forget – DRM is now practical and pretty damn secure just as soon as evreyone has moved to the new platform.

    “OH” you say “But I won’t go to that new platform!”

    Bah! You already have. You’ve even mentioned it here. But because so many are resistant to the notion of making general purpose computing trustworthy and secure, all you get is the acceptable version – the PS4; the Xbox2020; the DSDRM,

    People already accept “trusted computing” – only the trusted computing you now accept is exactly the one you most fear. It is “security through obscurity.” It is proprietary and secret and “you trust us because we order it.”

    So now trust never comes to the platform where it is most needed because no one will accept it there. The economies of scale never allow we, the people to compete with the elite publishing class because we, the people are too blinded by antiquated notions that segregate “computers” from “videogames” when the ruthless fact is they are identical under the skin.

    Let’s see you exercise you “fair use right” to remix The LIttle Mermaid Part 8 when Ariel is locked inside the Dreamcast gaming platform that came as a feature inside your shiny new 48″ big screen TV appliance. Oh, and you can forget the camcorder – those all recognize the embedded blanking information that tells recording devices to shut down when more than 30% of the visual field detects “protected” material. And none of this is subject to regulation because we abolished those pesky notions about fair use and social contracts…

    But don’t despair! For just 29.95 you can visit the Disney arcade and purchase ten second clips of Ariel and her friends into your Disney Production Vault! You still can’t alter them because they are, after all, protected inside their management keys – but you can assemble them along with YOUR OWN VIDEO into a Disney montage of YOUR CREATION that you can premiere and share with your friends for just three dollars admission per seat at the Disney fan theater in “Ariel’s world” – just click three times on button three and repeat: There’s no place like Disneyland, there’s no place like Disneyland…
    .

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones quoting moi:

    the government continually placates to these organizations when we should be placing strong restrictions on some while obliterating others.

    Poptones somehow concludes that I meant:

    Abolish copyright. None, at all – it’s gone. RIP, it was obsolete anyway.

    Umm, copyright is a body of law, not a corporation. Don’t get me wrong…many corporations love the traditional “All Rights Reserved” approach but the corporations are not copyright. I’m not sure how you concluded that I meant to “abolish copyright”. Sorry if I wasn’t clear and implied that.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Yes. Maybe it all comes down to whether you believe that what goes under the name “intellectual property” is a special kind of property and thus should be treated the same as tangible property. I don’t

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    …many corporations love the traditional “All Rights Reserved” approach but the corporations are not copyright.

    What does this even mean? It seems like saying “cars are not dinosaurs.” Of course corporations are not copyright – so what? As the mere existence of entities like MTV.ru and Elektra’s russian division proves, corporations right now have the infrastructure to sustain themselves even without robust copyright – Save for charity or hippie communal ideals, we do not.

    I’m not sure how you concluded that I meant to “abolish copyright”. Sorry if I wasn’t clear and implied that.

    Then what “restrictions” would you enact? You seem adamant about rebuking the practical (and likely) evolution I outlined but I haven’t seen any meaningful suggestions on your part about how we might tangibly benefit from a less restrictive copyright regime.

    And don’t think I’m making this personal upon you with this challenge – fact is I have never seen anyone accomplish this task. What sort of business model that can sustain you and me would be made possible by less strong copyright and a status quo maintaining an online world with no trustworthy means of collectively processing information we may agree, through informed consent, to share?

  • Peter Mogensen

    This is a very interesting article from Bruce Scheiner about TCG:

    http://news.com.com/Something+fishys+going+on/2010-7350_3-5844412.html

    I’ll give poptones so much that if it could stop Microsoft form blocking those best practices and correct the few vague points, then it would be nice if the Open Source society were represented.
    However… these are only “best practices” and they would not be the first “best practices” ignored by vendors without any consequences.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Peter Mogensen:

    Maybe it all comes down to whether you believe that what goes under the name “intellectual property” is a special kind of property and thus should be treated the same as tangible property. I don’t

    I don’t either. Unfortunately, once we state this, those who disagree will immediately close their ears and state that we are “communists” or that we are pushing for the “abolishment of copyright”. They want to turn this into a dualistic debate – you either believe in “Intellectual Property”, or you don’t. If you question the status quo, you must be some long-haired hippie idealist who smokes too much weed on a daily basis. The 3 Blind Mice play these games often (and ironically, smoke too much weed as evidenced from their “bathroom” comments). On the other hand, the Mice provide a good training ground for the crap that one may encounter when trying to defend one’s own complex reasoning. For example, I had never heard the “Magna Carta” trick before. Now I’m prepared if anyone tries to pull that kind of sly one over me.

    I’m really glad there are lawyers/professors like Lessig out there who can think with the right side of their brain. That is, people who are trying to get it right and don’t fear stating that they do not have all of the answers. Seeing the big picture. Constantly asking questions. Probing. Analyzing. Questioning. Asking difficult questions. Doubting themselves and others. These issues are very complex. Lessig not only smashes sterotypical beliefs around “Intellectual Property” but also smashes the stereotypes people often have about those in the “business” of law.

    I’m curious about something and I open this question to anyone out there…I hope some respond…I’ll probably ask it again at some other point as I’m doubting too many people are readnig at this point of the thread…BUT,

    Why do you come to this blog and why are you interested in these issues? What motivates you?

  • Peter Mogensen

    Why do you come to this blog and why are you interested in these issues? What motivates you?

    I’ve been fighting the DMCA-spawn and software patents in Denmark and the EU.
    I occasionally read Lessigs blog and I just happened to read Ms. Rosen explain how they managed to get DMCA passed. I recognized her “long used legislative tactic” as the excuse politicians usually use to avoid dealing with (or understanding) criticism. … so I commented.
    It evolved into a discussion about TC which is a subject of interest, since I’m currently finishing a master in cryptography.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    those who disagree will immediately close their ears and state that we are “communists” or that we are pushing for the “abolishment of copyright”. They want to turn this into a dualistic debate – you either believe in “Intellectual Property”, or you don’t

    This is complete bullshit. The very reason I support copyright protection is because it serves both the long term and short term interests.

    I have never seen mice argue for infinite protection, or really even support some of the means I have advocated here that would allow us to better defend information from unauthorized use.

    Do you have anything to burn besides straw?

    I have come here on and off for some time. I didn’t even know who Lessig was until well after his now infamous debate with Jack Valente. People who knew me commented how I “sound like Lessig” so I went looking for this apparently odd duck and I found this place. My views were formerly much more shaped by the techno anarchist views, but after spending time in the real (online) world I got past that nonsense.

    I vehemently disagree with some of his assertions and I think some of the examples he has used (for example, in Code) were naive. But I also find some really interesting people here.

    Now I want to see the open source community – the one I too most trust – to do what we need to do to ensure we’re part of a future filled with opportunity and not just some peacenick future where we are locked into a walled garden of antiquated ideology – a “commons” where we are, by our own inaction, unable to compete with the corporations we fooilishly claimed to have “liberated” ourselves from when all this began.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Peter Rock is right. There exists people who when confronted with criticism of the current copyright or patent regime are quick to say that you do not “respect intellectual property”. Accusations of communism usually follow. Bill Gates him self is an example.

    Funny though. In Europe “communist” is not such a scary word. Many parliaments have communist politicians and it’s just another political party. When Bill Gates call you “communist” it mostly makes people laugh.

    I too believe in copyright, but I don’t believe in everything people lately have been putting into copyright law. Just because you write it in the copyright law doesn’t mean it has anything to do with copyright.
    I likewise believe in that patents can be a good thing, but I don’t believe in patents in areas where they will not do society good. As in areas where the products are immaterial and already protected by copyright.

    Still… I’ve been accused of not respecting “intellectual property” for saying this.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Poptones:

    Then what “restrictions” would you enact? You seem adamant about rebuking the practical (and likely) evolution I outlined but I haven’t seen any meaningful suggestions on your part about how we might tangibly benefit from a less restrictive copyright regime.

    When I was speaking of “restrictions”, I was talking about enforcing limitations on the corporations directly – not copyright. For example, the recent ruling against Microsoft by the European Union forbid them to sell their operating system with Windows Media Player pre-installed. This was a restriction. However, it was simply a slap in the face as, realistically, people would then simply download it for no cost from the Internet. It was more like a “tsk! tsk!” finger-wag with no real benefit to society.

    It was a lack of restrictions (perhaps “regulations” is a better word) that helped fuel the Enron disaster in the United States. Key regulations are often dropped because the government “buddies-up” with the corporations instead of doing what they should – that is, acting as a check. The amount of corporate/government collusion that is occurring in numerous business settings not only in the US, but in Europe and some other parts of the world is rather disturbing.

    So to answer your question, an example of a “restriction” that should be put in place is a law that will prevent hardware or software manufacturers from building technology that discriminates against modified free software. This “open source drm/tc” scheme is disturbing in the fact that – on the surface – everything appears fine. You can have your “open source” player. But in practice, I cannot modify that player to suit my needs without it suddenly being shut out by the hardware. So although the player qualifies as “open source” in a technical sense, the true beauty of FOSS is being compromised. In my opinion, the hardware/software and entertainment corporations should be restricted from implementing the tc/drm scheme in this manner. I would like to see government officials strong enough to make this happen but I fear that many will simply placate to corporate interests and kick freedom to the curb.

    So no, a restriction is not “abolishment of copyright”. That would not jive with me. I think the concept of copyright is good. And I also think the concept of the ‘corporation’ is good as well. They are both useful tools. The harm occurs when we misuse these tools.

    Patents are another issue. I am not against hardware patents. That is, patents for tanglible things. But I believe software patents are foolish and can severely hamper innovation.

  • Peter Mogensen

    Actually, they didn’t forbid MS to sell Windows with WMP. They only demanded availability of a version witout WMP also. I’m not sure anyone is buying it though.

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    The amount of corporate/government collusion that is occurring in numerous business settings not only in the US, but in Europe and some other parts of the world is rather disturbing.

    And how do you fix this? You enable the people to compete against the corporations on their own terms. But you stand defiant in this discussion about the technology required in order for us to do so!

    I made the comment a while back about “the good guys” working in collusion with governments that censor and restrict its citizens – I thought it would be obvious I was talking about Google but no one seemed to pick up on it. These are “the good guys” on the corproate world – “do no evil” and all that – yet they pursue the bucks like everyone else. Google is set to become the next Microsoft, but it seems like everyone just buys their hype at face value.

    How would yo compete with Google? Google’s infrastructure is really thousands of cheap rackmount systems networked together using dedicated software. There’s no reason you or I could not do something similar if we had the resources. There’s no reason a few thousand people with decent connections of their own couldn’t “collude” to do something similar even without sharing a building. But in order to do this they must have security. You cannot do a project like that where everyone is “trusted” to not game their processes because inevitably you would have spammers joining the project purely as a means to inject their own sites into the highest ranked search results.

    You must have a way in a project like that to enforce the rules. That doesn’t mean coersion or force or secresy, but it does mean a platorm where the software state machine can be locked away from any single user (even the one who owns the hardware that hosts part of it) exploiting the system.

    Trusted computing, if done in the open is the technology that allows individuals to compete. It is one more step toward flattening the playing field for everyone. It’s what puts the tools of e-commerce in our hands.

    So to answer your question, an example of a “restriction” that should be put in place is a law that will prevent hardware or software manufacturers from building technology that discriminates against modified free software.

    This means no proprietary hardware. With the very simple regulation you just put forth you have outlawed every motherboard made since the 440BX. You have outlawed ATi and Nvidia graphics cards. You have outlawed many of M-Audio’s sound cards. You have outlawed both Windows and OS X.

    With one line of regulation you have outlawed the marketplace that provides us all that cheap commodity hardware our free software needs in order to run. Basically, you have outlawed most technological trade secrets. You have also outlawed that artist who would, as a political statement, publish a work locked up behind encryption that prevents the buyer from enjoying it – you have unconstitutionally regulated speech. How on earth does that better serve society?

    This is why people get labeled “communists” – because, like their cold war counterparts, some would regulate their agenda upon the market rather than defend that which they claim to embrace. Such ideals are not about making the market (and us) “free” but instead about locking up the marketplace behind regulation that forces a centralized ethos upon everyone. More one size fits all “red state politics,” only this field of red bears a star.

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Peter Mogensen:

    Actually, they didn’t forbid MS to sell Windows with WMP. They only demanded availability of a version witout WMP also.

    Yes. This is correct. My mistake. So my post should instead read – “a light slap in the face”. :-)

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com Peter Rock

    Sorry Poptones, you have utterly confused me. I don’t understand how I have “outlawed” all of the things you mention. All I’m saying is that I should be able to take my software, make a change to it, and expect it not to ‘break’ on my machine. That’s all. I shouldn’t need permission from anyone or any hardware to do that.

    Perhaps the term “discriminate” is a poor choice on my part. Can you recommend a different term? Or do you believe I should have to get permission to run modified software on my machine?

  • http://bob.com Dan

    wow shut up you blogging niggers

  • PeterALopez

    “Public Enemy was genius.”
    Well said…

    Now we’re advancing dampened creative restrictive commons contests which don’t allow entries like this… http://noneinc.com/sound/%20&ChuckDwithFineArtsMilitia&PublicEnemy-Meaning.mp3

  • http://gnuosphere.blogspot.com kcoR reteP

    We need that TC/DRM to stop eeeeevil people like THIS.

    C’mon Open Source advocates!…There are so many practical advantages of this technology! Don’t you see how useful this is? We have to stop piracy! And if we work together, we can put an end to piracy!

    Don’t listen to those wackos who talk of freedom! They’re extremists who have lost their marbles! Openness is where it is at. Open open open. People who talk of freedom just use that as a cover to get what they really want…

    FREE STUFF!

    What we need is trust. Trust has nothing to do with human interaction…respect…no way! We can build trust with a nifty little module. C’mon and join us in a world where those evil pirates are silenced and you can breathe easy knowing NO ONE will ever access your precious Intellectual Property without getting your permission paid for in cold hard cash!

    After all, it is your creation, no? You have a right to stop people from pirating your stuff!

    Those Chinese people are crazy. They take it as a compliment when you try to view or listen to their stuff. It humbles them to know that you may rip, mix and burn their stuff to create new stuff. What kind of crazy culture is THAT?! C’mon ‘western society’…we have superior views on Intellectual Property. We know what is best in this increasingly global climate. We must protect protect PROTECT the $$$ interests of those who create code and culture.

    If all you Open Sorcerers don’t get with the program, coders and artists will be in the streets begging for money just to eat. Culture will crumble if we let those pirates pilfer our property! And property is the cornerstone of freedom. Anyone who has read the magna carta knows that! Every download is lost $$$ for the artist! Those pirates are stealing when they download art! Every song and movie downloaded by these eeeeevil pirates is depriving the artists of income!

    Could you imagine a world without strong copyright or a computer you can trust? Yes, I know…a world of complete ANARCHY!

    ALL human beings are evil pilferers! PIRATES! ARRRRRHHH!!

    NO ONE will ever pay a cent unless they are forced to. We must create trust through a machine.

    Some are imagining a world of gratis. NO WAY! Would you pay for something if you could get it for free? Of course not! Neither would anyone else! That is a fact! And I know because I would never ever ever ever ever pay anyone if I didn’t have to. And everyone is just like me so I know. Oh believe me…I KNOW. Only a sucker pays for stuff when they can get it for free.

  • Bryce

    poptones,

    Sorry I don’t have time to fully participate in this thread. I admire your spirited defense of what you see as a very useful system. I’d like to engage you on many points, but I only have time to hit you where you’re weakest before I run off.

    You have repeatedly claimed that encryption cannot be a permanent lock on a piece of data, because eventually whatever sized key is currently being used will succumb to brute force attacks as computers get faster. Therefore, there is no need for a Trusted Computing system to have awareness of the copyright system; by the time a given work falls into the public domain, anyone can trivially crack the encryption on the work and retrieve it for their own use.

    This is egregiously wrong. First, but by far the least, it relies on the assumption that Moore’s Law will continue on until the end of time. Every time the processing power of a computer doubles, it doubles the number of keys that can be tested in a given slice of time. Effectively, it’s the same as if the key to be guessed was one bit smaller (say 127 bits instead of 128). In order for the 128-bit keys we use today to be as crackable as the 56 bit keys that are easily broken today, computers would have to double in processing power 72 more times.*

    But the laws of physics are the very least of your problems. The laws of mathematics bite much harder here. While the ability of computers to find keys effectively doubles every 1.5 years, their ability to use keys scales much faster. When a computer doubles its processing power, it can encrypt and decrypt using keys twice as large as it could before. So instead of 128 bit encryption, you can use 256 bit encryption with the same performance penalty.

    Doubling the key size from 128 to 256 bits doesn’t mean the encryption is twice as difficult to brute force; it means it’s 2^128 times as difficult to brute force. And come the next iteration of Moore’s Law, computers will be able to encrypt with 512 bit keys just as easily, making the task another 2^256 times more difficult. Meanwhile, those who would hunt for the key are able to crack 130 bit encryption as easily as they cracked 128 bit encryption a few years before.

    There is no upper limit to the size of the keys used in encryption algorithms. In 100 years, when the 128 bit keys finally become “crackable”, (assuming computing power continued doubling every 18 months until then), computers could be using 4.7 sextillion-bit encryption. But they wouldn’t. They’d be using 512 bit encryption, and rightfully feeling safe in doing so. When it comes to encryption, Moore’s Law works against key-crackers.

    Your primary method for extracting material from unwilling former copyright-holders is a complete non-starter. Now, how do you propose ensuring that, once the copyright on a work is truly expired, We the People (the ones copyright law is intended to serve) have access to that work, within a TC framework? I continue to assert that such guarantees are impossible, and that TC therefore represents a complete abrogation of the rights of the public. Whatever utility it may have, I believe the death of the public domain and fair use is too high a price to pay.

    P.S. Does anyone know why Hilary is being so remiss in her blogging duties?

  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    I’d like to engage you on many points, but I only have time to hit you where you’re weakest before I run off.

    Typical schoolyward bully tactics!

    The sad irony is you have done no such thing. Because you continually refuse to even read the information I have provided, you are only arguing with your own strawman.

    And why do you keep bringing up Hillary? Jimbo Wales posted only a couple of articles before he dropped off the map as well. Look at the schedule that was posted before Lessig went on vacation and you will see it ain’t Hillary who is presently missing. He had an article posted elsewhere that was linked today on Slashdot (more of the alarmist nonsense about the public domain dying because people are free to choose to give their dollars to corporate hounds who “lock up their culture” behind copyright) – so why blame Hillary? I don’t know what yours looks like, but my bookmark here says “Lessig Blog” not “Rosen blog.”

  • Bryce

    You’ve written a lot, but I haven’t seen any information from you regarding the subject I chose to address. All you’ve done is counter one important argument (that Trusted Computing will allow copyright holders full control over their works even after they should have fallen into the public domain) with a bogus assertion (that increases in computing power will ensure that people can break the keys after the copyright expires).

    Let me summarize my last post as succinctly as possible: As computers get more and more powerful, their ability to use larger encryption keys quickly outstrips their ability to break encryption keys. It’s a simple mathematical fact, and your “solution” flies in the face of that fact.

    As for Hilary, I was just curious if she was going to post again. The term “blogging duties” was meant to be received as a humorous misnomer. Given the fact that she is a rather controversial figure in the copyright debate, I understand why you might have missed the humor, and thought I was holding her to a different and unreasonable standard.

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  • http://commonsrights.blogspot.com/ poptones

    Your doomsday scenario is moot. I asked this question before and PR said “oh no, I don’t think we should do that” – so I will challenge you with the same question: what are you going to do about it? Outlaw cryptography? Outlaw the use of certain software? Revoke the First ammendment and deny publishers (that means you and me) the freedom to use cryptography?

    Disney and Sony have every right to publish their works as they see fit. If they release Britney Spears only on DVD you do not have the right to force them, through legislation or through piracy, to publish her works on vinyl. So how would you justify this regarding cryptography?

    If you truly value the public domain, you don’t support with your money those “bad actors.” That’s it – that’s the right you have. Anything else is imagination on your part based on how things were. If you don’t want your culture “locked up” then you don’t make “locked up works” part of your culture to begin with.

    It doesn’t matter if, next week, Disney went from using 128 bit to 1024 bit symmetric key cryptography to protect their new works – the old works would still exist, and would still be protected with the 128 bit technology and there is no taking that back. Thus, when the 128 bits can be cracked, so can all those works protected by it.

    But all that is moot because, as I already pointed out (and you conveniently ignore) no content producer is going to have only one version of a publication. It’s a stupid premise to even suggest that encryption will kill the public domain because there will be no unencrypted works – there will always be at least one copy of the “unencrypted work,” available to someone, and that is the one owned by the people who created it. If they lose it, or destroy it, then they are also out the economic value the work represents.

    Granted, there are thousands of films dying right now because they have little value to anyone except historians. The people who made the celluloid are either not around any longer or they don’t believe it worth the trouble of restoring the film, so the film sits gathering mold. It costs a lot of money to store those old films, and that cost only increases over time.

    Digital storage is the opposite of this. Every few months the cost of storage cuts in half. So the cost of archiving the original content cuts in half along with it. It may take an entire hard drive to store the HD master for Finding Nemo right now, but in a few years Pixar will be able to move their entire back catalog over to a shiny new drive that cost no more than the old one did when it was new.

    But what if they want to destroy the masters? I still do not buy the notion it is our right to deny them this any more than we can deny the toy people the right to smash the molds for their figurines at the end of a production run. If I create a movie or a painting, is it not my right, as the creator of that work, to destroy it?

    When copyright runs out the work is “free” to obtain its natural value; any existing copies will be worth what they are worth, and anyone would be free to recreate the work in any manner of expression they desire. I still cannot replace Bogart or a 17 year old Bettie Bacall, but if the work is in the public domain I can recreate Casablanca shot for shot and no one can stop me from publishing it. Even if (the unlikely event) one version of the work were lost, only that expression is lost. Yes, it would suck to lose all traces of the young Bacall, but no matter how firey her performance I fail to see how such a loss would diminish humanity.

    Meanwhile, Here’s just one more example of people being locked out of the system by the banking oligopoly. Instead of worrying so much about restricting other people’s rights why not instead focus on better securing our rights?

    The only way to prevent encryption is to outlaw it. Rather than jealously obsessing over the other guy’s possessions we need instead to be embracing it and the power encryption can give each of us to act in our own behalf.

  • http://gemsling.livejournal.com Nathan Jones

    Bryce: “Come to think of it, Lessig has “blogging duties” too. Where is he?”

    He probably needs a week to read this thread before he starts posting again… 60,000+ words and counting!

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