t byfield on Fri, 24 Mar 2006 14:00:37 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Lessig endorses DRM

It's fun to think about possible contexts where open-source means
could be used to justify closed ends.


< http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/24/lessig_blesses_drm/ >

Lessig blesses DRM

It's open source DRM, so it's good. Huh?

   By [55]Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
   Published Friday 24th March 2006 06:10 GMT

   If you arrive for work today and discover a grisly pool of brain
   tissue and bone fragments where a colleague used to sit, we may have
   the explanation right here.

   For in a move that risks causing [57]Scanners-style head explosions
   across the land, Professor Lawrence Lessig has endorsed DRM.
   [58]Click Here 

   Not just any old digital rights management, but Sun's open source DRM
   initiative, the [59]Open Media Commons.

   "In a world where DRM has become ubiquitous, we need to ensure that
   the ecology for creativity is bolstered, not stifled, by technology,".
   says Lessig - or [60]somebody purporting to be Lessig.

   "We applaud Sun's efforts to rally the community around the
   development of open-source, royalty-free DRM standards that support
   'fair use' and that don't block the development of Creative Commons
   ideals," says Lessig.

   Debian coder and software freedom campaigner Benjamin Mako Hill
   [61]finds this strange. "Lessig's position seems to be that DRM is bad
   and should not exist. But in a world where it does exist, he thinks
   that not-quite-so-bad DRM is better than the alternatives. Is that the
   sort of message we want to be sending?," he writes.

   "The fact that the software is 'open source' is hardly good enough if
   the purpose of the software is to take away users freedom - in
   precisely the way that DRM does."

   Presumably, Lessig's position is that the development process has
   sanctified the evil. But others may take the view that a noose is a
   noose is a noose. As Mako points out, Lessig sits on the board of the
   Electronic Frontier Foundation - [62]which has already come out
   against Sun's OMC - and the Free Software Foundation. Whose position
   on software freedom should be clear enough .

   Lessig thinking

   "Hmm. Why won't this song play?" - Professor Lawrence Lessig

   Maybe it's all a terrible mix up. Or maybe ... maybe it's a really bad

   We'll certainly be exploring this issue tomorrow with both Sun
   Microsystems and the Great Man (one of these parties is speaking to us
   - while the other is sulking at us - and you can guess which one is
   which) tomorrow.

   But given the health risks this news poses, we felt it best to warn
   you without delay. ®


  55. http://forms.theregister.co.uk/mail_author/?story_url=/2006/03/24/lessig_blesses_drm/
  57. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081455/
  58. http://sel.as-eu.falkag.net/sel?cmd=lnk&dat=357969&opt=0&rdm=1034
  59. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/24/lessig_blesses_drm/www.openmediacommons.org
  60. http://www.linuxelectrons.com/article.php/20060322062359676
  61. http://mako.cc/copyrighteous/ip/20060323-00.html
  62. http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2005_08.php#003929

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