MIT 1700 Lecture: Code Copyright

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Kane Faucher

MIT 1700 Lecture Week 11 continued March 22 Code Copyright Bill Gates vs. Richard Stallman - Idea of personal computer = new consumer market - Ethical issues here - If you spend so much time developing a program, you hope to be paid for it. Not really fair if people are using it for free and you don’t want them to. - But Stallman would say the noble thing to do would be to give it to the public for free. - Computing should be free - Stallman wrote GNU Manifesto in 1980’s - Those who subscribed to GNU Open License can gain access to source code and modify the contents of any program to make it adaptable to their needs. - Is the Internet eroding boundaries to transform us into a new open global village, or just a capitalism? - Looked at one way, the Internet could be considered inherently democratic. Belief by optimists that the source of the online revolution will emerge from the online community (already happening in Libya) - Are our governments monitoring our content? - Belief that force of numbers and participation can not be stopped by anyone, no government or corporations Digital Rights Management - Critics of this movement have named it Digital Restrictions Management - Meant to protect content from theft, used to prevent you from using music, movies, etc, that is considered proprietary. - Sony and Microsoft are in favour of DRM to protect content. - Are you copying the DVD to turn a quick buck or distribute it to your friends while cheating Sony of it’s billion dollar profits? We can’t assume that we are all crooks, which is the basis of DRM. - What if our computer dies, and along with that is the software we bought. DRM makes it really hard to use this software on the new computer, we will probably have to purchase the product again - Products come locked. It is encrypted; you can not copy it or distribute it the way you want, it’s not reallly yours. - Of the media and devices fitted with DRM Code: CDs, DVDs, Ebooks, Computer Operating Systems, IPhones - iPhones are locked to providers. You can’t choose whatever provider you want. - Means that these big media industries want us to lock us out of making fair use of the stuff they sell, extending copyright on them forever - Measures for Pro DRM are kind of creepy - Netflix: user agreement; you are authorizing the service of netflix to go through your hard drive for all installed software, your comps online activity, and everything you have on your computer. The service may notify EA Games that you downloaded the Sims for free, then you’d be in trouble. - whenever you buy an ebook on amazon, you can ONLY open it on a kindle, not another kind of ereader. - Everytime you purchase a DVD and want to copy it to another portable device, DRM may say no. - Makes it hard for you to access the content that you purchased in a different way - DRM tries to control your access, distribution and usage rights - authorization codes on software ensures that you can only use it - when you install it automatically brings you to the internet to authenticate it. MIT 1700 Lecture Week 11 continued March 22 - DRM was invented to combat copyright (BitTorrent, piratebay) were taking money out of the hands of people who were making these things. Technically stealing. - Sony BMG was mad that they were losing money. - Popular musicians decided to take personal control over release of their content and revenue they gathered from it - Radiohead. Once his contract expired with the record label, he decided to screw the label and just sell to the fans. They could pay as little or as much as they want. They made more money this way because the record label didn’t get its’ cut. - If more musicians do this, there would be no more DRM. Means cheaper products, more money going to the artist (not Sony BMG) - As more people read stuff online, we lose out on the context. - WE might download our favourite track, but not the whole album. Appreciation of music has changed now that we can store 10000 of songs. We used to have cassettes or CD’s. - Some albums “need” to be listened to in full. - Change in production level of music. Albums are made for singles, not for you to appreciate the whole album. Disintermediation - Emphasis on “self service” - New way of establishing credibility and reliability - High trust culture required - Intrinsic versus extrinsic information: what will we trust to buy solely online and what will we not trust to buy online? - Standardized products are easier to sell online - Rise of self service options. We make use of the internet to acquire the information we want; this is done without intermediaries. In this way we take control over information away from people who used to control this stuff. - We have information of where are products are (mailing things online) instead of just waiting around. If you are ordering a package, you now don’t have to hire p
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