Posts tagged ‘copyright’

The Public Good: Fred Benenson Explains the Rights and Wrongs of Copyright

Fred Benenson, currently of Kickstarter, presented the history and current state of copyright law to Evan Korth’s Computers & Society class at NYU. I was lucky to be allowed to sit in.

Prof. Korth noted that Benenson started the Free Culture chapter at NYU. After college and an ITP masters degree, Benenson joined Creative Commons.

“Copyright law is a balancing act,” Benenson said. “It balances fair use and the rights of the public with the private rights granted to copyright holders.”

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DRM: Unnecessary, Expensive, Broken

“Academic criticism of DRM and the entertainment community’s enthusiasm for it are two debates that have run on parallel tracks for some time,” Wendy Seltzer, Law professor at the University of Colorado’s Law School, Berkman fellow, and board member of Tor, told me today.

“Policy makers bow to the entertainment companies without listening to academic concerns.”

One such academic paper is “Digital rights management: Desirable, inevitable, and almost irrelevant,” (available here in .pdf format), a three page screed published in 2007.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) software is designed to make it impossible to copy and share songs, movies, software, and other products which, because they are digital, can be distributed virtually for free.

Not all academic research opposes DRM, Odlyzko said, precisely because DRM is complex. “There are all these nobs to turn, so you can produce lots of PhD theses and conference papers,” he wrote to me in an e-mail.

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