Topics discussing when software code acts as a form of policy, what Lawrence Lessig , author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace would call (US) "East-coast-code meets West-coast-code".

Why legal protection for technical measures is controversial

On August 14'th I gave a presentation on legal protection for technological measures, and why this policy doesn't fit well within Copyright law (Slides, link to audio recording)

Summary: The types of activities which copyright regulates all assume that you already have access to content. Copyright never concerned itself with concept of access, which was left to other laws.

Technical measures can restrict access, but can't in the real world directly restrict the types of activities that copyright regulates.

Copyright and technical measures are disjoint, but technical measures and other areas of law such as contract and e-commerce overlap.

Is technology useful for stopping an authorized person from doing things which Copyright regulates? Should we radically change "Copyright" to address this problem, or is this a non-Copyright issue?

My impressions of the DyscultureD Canadian audio blog

I am a big fan of audio blogs. Some people call them Podcasts because Apple iPod users seem to claim responsibility for making them popular. Leo Laporte over at, a large audio/video blogging network with a long history in broadcasting, tried to convince people to call them Netcasts as they were simply broadcasting over the Internet. While I'm a listener to a few shows, and a few other non-Canadian shows, I have always been looking for Canadian shows that cover some of the technology and political stories from the uniquely Canadian perspective.

If lawyers are confusing copyright with other laws, what about the rest of us?

A tweet from lawyer Barry Sookman (who has also blocked me, BTW), referenced an article with Further Copyright talk. At the end the author, Todd, said:

So is circumventing a TPM (even for legal purposes) like going into a theatre without paying or taking a book from a bookstore without paying? Or is it like being able to photocopy the relevant sections of a book in a library? To me it seems more like the former than the later.

Google, China, Hillary Clinton and the filtered Internet

By now you will have read many articles derived from the statements made by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer at Google about China.

The primary issue that Google was bringing up was a simple and not politically hot one. Companies need to know that the government of countries they are trying to do business in will have laws and enforce them against those who attack the physical or virtual infrastructure of these businesses.

Many of the comments and articles about this incident suggested Google was trying to protect online free speech. I do not buy that argument in this case.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog ...

Bits Debate: Is Copy Protection Needed or Futile? My answer: Neither!

This week, Saul Hansell of Bits will host a debate about copyright issues and technology between Rick Cotton, the general counsel of NBC Universal, and Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School.

I would like to offer my own thoughts in response to one of the themes Rick Cotton posted:

Facebook disabled my account

No, it isn't me getting kicked off again. This time it is Robert Scoble. Doc Searls at Linux Journal has an interesting take on this Dependence vs. Independence. That's the choice.

Unlocked Media!

Check out this article on Make Magazine's website that points to a Neuros press release about the "Unlocked Media" trademark and logo.

Interesting timing: I just ordered a Neuros OSD (At a special discount rate I was emailed about), and will be excited to do my own reviews.

Doctorow: The Future of Internet Immune Systems

Cory Doctorow's latest column in Internet Evolution includes:

This problem exists in macro- and microcosm across the whole of our technologically mediated society. The “spamigation bots” run by the Business Software Alliance and the Music and Film Industry Association of America (MAFIAA) entertainment groups send out tens of thousands of automated copyright takedown notices to ISPs at a cost of pennies, with little or no human oversight. The people who get erroneously fingered as pirates (as a Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) spokesperson charmingly puts it, “When you go fishing with a dragnet, sometimes you catch a dolphin.”) spend days or weeks convincing their ISPs that they had the right to post their videos, music, and text-files.

Apple might be even more of a "control freak" than Microsoft.

An article by Kevin Tolly discusses how the iPhone has suggested that Apple may be more of a control freak than Microsoft. This isn't surprising to anyone who has been a long-time observer of the Industry, as many developers and consumers moved from Apple to Microsoft in the late 80's and early 90's because Microsoft provided the comparatively more open platform.

Technology Is Legislation

An article by Worldchanging Canada contributor Karl Schroeder discusses how technology acts as a form of legislation, and how we can harness this fact towards specific goals (his focus is on climate change).

Introducing a new technology is not a neutral act--it is profoundly revolutionary. If you present a technology to the world you are effectively legislating a change in the way we all live.
Canadians are taught the legend of the last spike--we're told from an early age that it was the transcontinental railway that made our nation possible. For us, this is the canonical example of technology as legislation; it wasn't enough to declare the Dominion over a geographical area, that area had to be occupied and there was only one way to do that: through technological fiat.

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