A Digital Ownership Tug-of-War
How much control can a corporation claim over a digitally generated product for which it has the license? It’s a debated question, but the digital rights movement—a burgeoning worldwide critical mass of hackers, digital activists, and creative professionals who seek broader rights for media consumers—is trying its best to make sure that the answer favors the consumer public, according to Hector Postigo, Temple University mass media and communications professor. In The Digital Rights Movement, he profiles the issues and actors behind the movement and the huge ramifications that it may hold for media consumers everywhere.
Privacy, free speech, technological innovation, first sale—digital-rights activists are involved in these and many other issues relevant to media users, Postigo explains. Globally, they resist what they deem to be overly exclusive media-copyright protections on software programs, ebooks, digitally generated art and music, and other creative digital content. They strive for new participatory rights that grant consumers not only more access to the products, but also the freedom to become active co-creators of them.
Postigo details the movement’s historical development, seminal technological applications such as iTunes hacking programs and BitTorrents, and the landmark legal cases that won international attention and popular support for the cause. He also describes numerous groups and individuals involved in advancing digital rights, such as the consumer-rights nonprofit Electronic Freedom Foundation; Web entrepreneur Dmitri Sklyarov, who was arrested by the U.S. government for patenting and selling a program that circumvented access-protection measures on ebooks; and “hacker” Eric Corley, operator of the Web site The Hacker Quarterly.
Digital ownership is a subject with room for many points of view. Postigo comes across as highly sympathetic to the digital-rights activists and hackers’ point of view. His account, however, is thoroughly factual and detailed, and is worthy reading for students and experts of software law and technology alike.—Rick Docksai
- About WFS
- Contact Us
- Frequently Asked Questions
- History of WFS
- Board and Council
- Press Room
- Futurist Gear
- Are You the Next CEO of the World Future Society?
- Book a WFS / Futurist Magazine Speaker
Free Email Newsletter
Sign up for Futurist Update, our free monthly email newsletter. Just type your email into the box below and click subscribe.
December 8, 2013 - How do you measure the downside of unburnable carbon assets against the balance sheets of energy companies? Enter the Bloomberg Carbon Risk Valuation Tool (CRVT), from Bloomberg Professional Service at XLTP XCO2.
This week I received two detailed reports from 23andMe (23andMe.com), the genomic organization I wrote about in an earlier blog. They sent a LOT of information, and I am still working through. The first report was about strengths and weaknesses in my health plus information about how my body might respond to various medications. The second report related more to ancestry and genealogy.
December 6, 2013 - Scientists who look at rivers and watersheds and model changes to them from climate change predict that Africa will be the continent most affected by a warming planet. Why is that?
- Today Africa is 66% arid. Two of the largest deserts on Earth can be found here.
New technology could make us a world of winners. Customer control will increase so businesses will serve customers with total dedication and focus. Here’s examples from products, services, business relationships and health care. You win in tomorrow’s economy!
December 6, 2013 - An article in The Guardian a couple of weeks ago caught my eye.
Exactly 80 years ago today, city streets across the United States went into celebratory mode: President Roosevelt had just signed a repeal of the prohibition on alcohol. On Dec. 5, 2013, however, a new challenge is under way against another set of U.S. prohibition laws. And the arena isn’t just the United States, but the entire globe. The present-day forbidden fruit: illegal drugs.
December 5, 2013 - At this blog site we have looked at artificially-induced vortices as a novel approach to generating energy, but this one seems less like science fiction, a technology that captures wind from any direction and funnels and compresses it to drive a generator.
December 5, 2013 - You have to admire Jeff Bezos for what my culture calls chutzpa. He has been in the headlines twice in the last week. First with a proposal to start shipping goods from Amazon to customers using drones. And second, successfully firing his new Blue Origin rocket engine at the Van Horn, Texas test facility. The latter simulated a suborbital mission.