Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 11:53 UTC, submitted by SReilly
Internet & Networking "In the physical world, we have the right to print and sell books. Anyone trying to stop us would need to go to court. That right is weak in the UK (consider superinjunctions), but at least it exists. However, to set up a web site we need the cooperation of a domain name company, an ISP, and often a hosting company, any of which can be pressured to cut us off. In the US, no law explicitly requires this precarity. Rather, it is embodied in contracts that we have allowed those companies to establish as normal. It is as if we all lived in rented rooms and landlords could evict anyone at a moment's notice." Recommended reading. I'm no fan of Stallman, but despite a bit too much dramatisation towards the end, this article aptly illustrates in layman's terms why the 'net needs to be free, open, and unregulated.
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Goods - digital vs virtual
by WorknMan on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 16:35 UTC
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I find the following quote from the article interesting:

Reading too is done on sufferance. In the physical world, you can buy a book anonymously with cash. Once you own it, you are free to give, lend, or sell it to someone else. You are also free to keep it. However, in the virtual world, "e-book readers" have digital handcuffs to stop you from giving, lending or selling a book, as well as licenses to forbid that. In 2009, Amazon used a back door in its e-book reader to remotely delete thousands of copies of 1984, by George Orwell. The Ministry of Truth has been privatized.

You know, it's interesting... when people attempt to defend piracy (or copyright infringement), they say it is not the same as walking into a store and stealing the physical content, because digital and physical content are not the same. On the other hand, some of these same people cry and scream when they can't sell digital content, because afterall, if I can sell a physical book, why couldn't I sell a virtual one? I mean, they're the same thing, right? Well, you're gonna have to decide whether physical/digital goods are the same or not. You can't claim the two are the same/different only when it's convenient. (Same logic applies to content owners as well).

As for Amazon's DRM on ebooks, I have one word for you - unswindle. Look it up. I don't have a problem with buying DRM'd content, as long as I can crack it ;)

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