Thursday, November 10, 2011

Copyright Protection Online

Here's Cory Doctorow's latest essay on copyright and Internet regulation. Briefly, his major premise is that because the Internet has become so pervasive in daily life (and for many people is fast becoming necessary to routine activities such as communication and banking) "there is no Internet policy, only policy." As the online realm increasingly interpenetrates every area of our lives, attempts to regulate online copying and distribution may have the unintended effect of regulating all sorts of other things most of us don't want official interference with:

Talking About Copyright

As usual, I have reservations about some directions in which Doctorow’s argument develops. On the other hand, the idea of an entire household losing Internet access because one member has been accused (not necessarily convicted) of piracy strikes me as deeply scary. And not that farfetched—similar draconian measures have been imposed in cases where the accused are suspected of downloading child pornography, haven't they? I’m exasperated by some of the page’s commenters’ wrongheaded notions about electronic theft, but I’m also a fanatical advocate of privacy rights. It won’t be easy to map out the right places to draw the lines.

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt

1 comment:

  1. The questions is, has Cory Doctorow read the Bill, or is he drawing from a partisan source such as EFF?

    I am under the impression that the current proposals in Congress concern foreign sites dedicated to copyright infringement... which is a far cry from depriving private households of access to the internet.