The motion picture industry and AT&T have agreed to start working on a method to block the transmission of copyrighted content.Â It’s not clear how this will technically be carried out (without degrading performance), especially within individual’s rights to privacy and free speech. This will be a story to watch closely.
It has been far too long since I’ve blogged…
Online social networking and blogs have emerged as one of the heroes from the Virginia Tech shootings. The degree to which individuals and journalists turned to the Internet for up-to-the-minute personal information might be unprecedented. Otherwise, these articles speak for themselves.
Two of the industry’s largest heavyweights spoke to two of the most pressing issues in computing: Digital Rights Management and Security.
Apple posted a memo from Steve Jobs today regarding Apple’s take on the relationship between iTunes, the recording industry, and the use of digital rights management to protect files. The surprising thing: Apple is ready and willing to completely drop all forms of DRM. Under this “third option” Jobs describes that:
In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.
The popularity of iTunes/iPod has given Apple a good bit of muscle over the recording industry, as well as some heat from governments concerned about the market power of the tying of the two. This is a bold move that would solve this problem, and possibly leave Apple with less power.
In a recent speech, Bill Gates spoke of the great importance that data security will have in the future. It’s true that wallets and the proposed identity layer of the Internet, along with trusted computing, have been pets of Microsoft for some time. But here they are being connected with the problem of “keeping information secure in this age of laptop-lugging workers.” The problem of securing data strikes me as the “next Y2K.” The point may come where the public will demand systems which can ensure that data remains centralized and off vulnerable laptops.
For a good explanation of the “identity layer,” check out this chapter in Lessig’s Code 2.0.
Lessig makes an excellent suggestion in response to Jobs’ statement: allow DRM-free tracks for artists that want them