2002 November 14

(entry last updated: 2002-11-14 17:25:12)

I’m up to my neck today after being out of town. And, of course, that means that there’s lots to catch up on

Intertrust’s DRM is under consideration by Sony and Philips. The NYTimes talks about temporary DVDs. The Open Source community considers the threats of software patents. And Salon shows why digital distribution offers real benefits while changing the nature of the medium. A last minute change to the Homeland Security bill shows computer geeks what for!

A Findlaw columnist asks about intentions versus results in international intellectual property law.

More importantly, the increasingly bizarre nature of the approaches being taken to “solve” the problems of digital IP makes me think that we may be living through the first real example of historical materialism in the digital era – to wit, because the current economic and social system is failing to promote (in fact, blocking) the next generation of material innovation, those systems will be supplanted by a refined, revised system. The strategic questions then become (1) who’s going to figure it out first and (2) how much damage will be suffered by those who are late to the party because they continued to build ever-shakier structures to preserve the old order?

(8 items below)

  • Slashdot discusses in some excellent detail the Intertrust DRM system that Sony and Philips are considering. While the consensus is that the technology at least makes it clear what you’re buying, it’s going to be very interesting to see if the companies that employ this technology will actually be able to demonstrate the value proposition. Personally, I can’t believe that they’ll be able to price the IP they lock up with this apparently expensive lock, but that’s just my two cents.

  • The NYTimes describes the perishable DVD as an alternative approach to rights management – an even stranger concept given that I’m the kind of consumer who refuses to buy anything that I can’t eventually put onto some kind of permanent medium – this just seems crazy, unless the price is going to be really really low. Slashdot discussion

  • Now that Microsoft is unfettered, what IP instruments might they employ? Wired discusses the challenges facing the Samba open source SMB networking team.

  • Salon has an article discussing the impact of the DVD on the movie business. It points out that the distribution not only makes these creations more accessible, but it also changes the nature of both the business and the art.

  • The Register describes EMI’s plans to offer music downloads. LawMeme has pointers to more resources on the story.

  • Pressplay joins Rhapsody with content from all the big 5.

  • And the rhetoric of the Internet as a home for lawlessness continues to take its toll. At least some people are pointing out that the trends seem to be going the other way. And the NYTimes points out that the uber-database brings threats of its own.

  • Convergence: in the digital video recorder market; and in Hollywood in general
  • Peter Yu, a guest columnist at Findlaw, notes that the harmonization of international intellectual property law has not led to all that much harmony, especially between the developed and the developing world.