Tech companies need to understand that easy copying of media on-line is not a bug to be fixed. It's a property of the Internet. They're convincing the world that this is a problem, and we need to fix that.

History of copyright. It all started with the piano roll. The only business model that the "music industry" knew were concerts. But then came radio. People fought that too. Cable operators did the same thing with broadcast TV. And they fought the broadcasters too. Sony and the VCR had the same problem. But Sony fought back.

Today things have changed. Intel is selling us out on digital TV, saying the Hollywood must approve all new applications run over digital TV. Now there's a push to make all analog to digital converters respect watermarks.

Upcoming copy protection meeting in LA before CES. DRM for digital TV under discussion/design, and it's pretty nasty stuff.

At the UN's WIPO, they're considering making copyright on proprietary databases of otherwise common information--facts. Upcoming broadcast rules will make even non-copyrighted works "protected" when broadcasted. And there will be a 50 year old statue.

What if that applied to the web? Search engines copy everything they see. Scrapers, comparison shopping, mailing lists, and so on. The so-called Broadcasting "Treaty" will cover the Web too. Email to get your name on the EFF document opposing this.

Outsource your policy work to the EFF. Most startups don't have time to deal with it, so use the EFF. Otherwise the new laws may make your business impossible.

See Also: My Web 2.0 post archive for coverage of all the other sessions I attended.

Posted by jzawodn at October 07, 2004 09:05 AM

Reader Comments
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.