September 15, 2002

DRM and lesser vs. both evils

At the risk of repeating myself, I'd like to make one comment about something Ed Felten just said - "... and that what Lessig calls "token based" DRM is a lesser evil than what he calls "copy protection"

Voting, for example, is an exclusive "or" - that is, one candidate winning, means that all the other candidates lose. But here, the control systems being discussed don't have the property that one being implemented means any others will not be also in force. Indeed, it's entirely possible for the ultimate result to be both evils. In fact, object-control plus network-control works together in a very natural belt-and-suspenders fashion.

And this makes a great deal of sense from a Congressional standpoint too. I don't think this discussion has intense politics behind it. But I'd worry if people seriously seemed to get caught up in the idea of actually advocating object-control as a way of supposedly warding-off network-control. I don't think that's being seriously advocated now, just speculated in an academic sense. But I still have the scars from the censorware wars. Beware seductive theory.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight , infothought | on September 15, 2002 11:57 PM (Infothought permalink)

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