June 24, 2024

Archives for October 2002

Lessig's Post-Mortem on the Eldred Arguments

Larry Lessig offers an extraordinary
post-mortem
on this week’s Supreme Court arguments in the Eldred case. Lessig deserves our enduring thanks, and a long, peaceful vacation.

Bricklin: Copy Protection Robs the Future

Dan Bricklin explains how copy restriction technology frustrates archiving of historically interesting works. Archivists normally preserve works by copying them; so works that can’t be copied may never be archived.

Bricklin tells a sobering story about his attempts to recover an original copy of VisiCalc (the first spreadsheet program, of which Bricklin himself was the primary author). Due to copy restriction technology, he was unable to recover a version himself. Ultimately he found that an ex-employee had kept a (probably unauthorized) unprotected copy, so he was able to recover the program and archive it. VisiCalc is only about twenty years old, and was one of the most popular computer programs of its time. An older or less popular work might well have been lost forever.

Fritz's Hit List #15

Today on Fritz’s Hit List: the Wallace and Gromit talking alarm clock.

This alarm clock wakes its owner by playing copyrighted audio, so it qualifies for regulation as a “digital media device” under the Hollings CBDTPA. If the CBDTPA passes, any newly manufactured talking alarm clocks will have to incorporate government-approved copy restriction technology.

Fight piracy – regulate alarm clocks!

Fritz's Hit List #14

Today on Fritz’s Hit List: scrolling signs.

These signs display digital information, which may be copyrighted, in visual form, so they qualify for regulation as “digital media devices” under the Hollings CBDTPA. If the CBDTPA passes, any newly manufactured scrolling signs will have to incorporate government-approved copy restriction technology.

Fight piracy – regulate signs!

CNet Radio Interview

I’ll be interviewed on CNet Radio today, at some point between 1:30 and 2:00 P.M. Eastern time. Click here if you want to listen to a live feed.