April 12, 2006
Data Pirates Seek Political Power and Lessig on Open Source DRM
[The Pirate party's message] is that corporations are engaging in racketeering in the developing world and a few power hungry individuals and greedy corporate entities are infringing on privacy and integrity. Piratpartiet says that it will strike out immaterial law, ignore WIPO and [WTO], and annul any further treaties or policies that hinder the free flow of information. They will refuse to allow data retention nonsense based on terrorism claims or failed RIAA business models. |Inquirer|
Linux P2P has an interview with the founder of the Pirate party, Rick Falkvinge. While the Pirate party's Declaration of Principles |PDF| makes clear its hostility to Europe's new Data Retention Directive and modern developments in copyright law, Linux P2P asks about the Pirate party's views on Digital Rights Management (DRM).
[Digital Rights Management] should be prohibited outright. DRM is effectively media companies writing their own copyright laws, harming society and consumers. We have a parliament to write such laws, thank you very much. The equivalent would be if someone sold you a product that shut down on purpose in daylight, or outside of a particular city, or under whatever condition the manufacturer hadn't approved. We call it fraud in the cases where we can relate, so I can't believe the media industry is getting away with this. |Link|
Closer to home, Stanford Professor Lawrence Lessig has spoken approvingly of Sun's proposal for open source DRM.
Sun's Open Media Commons [OMC] is an open-source community project to develop royalty-free codecs and digital rights management (DRM) solutions. The goals of the OMC are to develop an open-source, royalty-free solution for the distribution of digital content, focused on authenticating people and roles, not just devices; to address the application of DRM technology to a wide range of content and situations, including personal rights management, the privacy of health records and compliance management for businesses dealing with Sarbanes-Oxley; and to create an open environment where creators, content owners, consumers, network operators, technology providers and consumer electronics device manufacturers can work together to address the technical problems associated with DRM.|LinuxElectrons|
But lest he be misunderstood, Professor Lessig posted this clarification on his blog:
[S]ome confuse praise for better DRM with praise for DRM. So let me be as clear as possible here...We should be building a DRM-free world. We should have laws that [encourage] a DRM-free world. We should demonstrate practices that make compelling a DRM-free world...one [can] hate DRM, but think that if there's DRM, it should be at least as Sun is saying it should be [respecting fair use, being open source with a tag to trace misuse]. |Lessig Blog|
Neal R. Axton, Reference Librarian, William Mitchell College of Law
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