gunslnger (gunslnger) wrote in talk_politics,

The coming war on general-purpose computing

It's not that regulators don't understand information technology, because it should be possible to be a non-expert and still make a good law. MPs and Congressmen and so on are elected to represent districts and people, not disciplines and issues. We don't have a Member of Parliament for biochemistry, and we don't have a Senator from the great state of urban planning. And yet those people who are experts in policy and politics, not technical disciplines, still manage to pass good rules that make sense. That's because government relies on heuristics: rules of thumb about how to balance expert input from different sides of an issue.

The first part of the article is mostly history, then it gets into the above part about regulations and then concludes with the warning that it will only get worse. I think this is a reasonable analysis of the situation and I agree that a big part of the problem is dealing with copyright when you have technology that effectively eliminates it, so that you have to create a new version of copyright by fiat, rather than have the system naturally enforce it. And people want to hold onto that old system and shoehorn the new one onto it.

But just as we saw with the copyright wars, banning certain instructions, protocols or messages will be wholly ineffective as a means of prevention and remedy. As we saw in the copyright wars, all attempts at controlling PCs will converge on rootkits, and all attempts at controlling the Internet will converge on surveillance and censorship.

That's where we're headed and there isn't anything to do about it as long as the copyright holders insist on controlling things the way it's always been. We need to rethink the concept of copyright, not just how we enforce it.
Tags: article, copyright
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