Don’t Tell Me What To Think

Nothing Serious Podcast - Don't Tell Me How To Think

Paul, Daniel and Steven are joined by Mykel Alvis on the latest episode of Nothing Serious Podcast for a quick fire jaunt through class divides, free speech, atheism, PETA, fallible popes, Facebook restricting speech, the entertainment industry wanting to infect and monitor your computer, the law breaking the law, patent trolls attacking podcasters and much, much more…

Stories mentioned in this episode of the Nothing Serious Podcast include:

The Coming War On General Computation – Cory Doctorow

The copyright was was just the beginning. – Recorded at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress.

The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race.

The problem is twofold: first, there is no known general-purpose computer that can execute all the programs we can think of except the naughty ones; second, general-purpose computers have replaced every other device in our world. There are no airplanes, only computers that fly. There are no cars, only computers we sit in. There are no hearing aids, only computers we put in our ears. There are no 3D printers, only computers that drive peripherals. There are no radios, only computers with fast ADCs and DACs and phased-array antennas. Consequently anything you do to “secure” anything with a computer in it ends up undermining the capabilities and security of every other corner of modern human society.

And general purpose computers can cause harm — whether it’s printing out AR15 components, causing mid-air collisions, or snarling traffic. So the number of parties with legitimate grievances against computers are going to continue to multiply, as will the cries to regulate PCs.

The primary regulatory impulse is to use combinations of code-signing and other “trust” mechanisms to create computers that run programs that users can’t inspect or terminate, that run without users’ consent or knowledge, and that run even when users don’t want them to.

The upshot: a world of ubiquitous malware, where everything we do to make things better only makes it worse, where the tools of liberation become tools of oppression.

Our duty and challenge is to devise systems for mitigating the harm of general purpose computing without recourse to spyware, first to keep ourselves safe, and second to keep computers safe from the regulatory impulse.

A Few Thoughts On Google’s Ideas On Making Copyright Work Better Online

Pirate KittyGoogle’s General Counsel, Kent Walker, updated the Public Policy Blog yesterday to talk about some changes to their handling of DMCA take down notices on YouTube and how they are going to take action against spam blogs using AdSesne.

Here’s a few choice and possibly random quotes from the post before I throw out my decidedly random thoughts:

There are more than 1 trillion unique URLs on the web and more than 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

But along with this new wave of creators come some bad apples who use the Internet to infringe copyright.

We’ll act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours.

we’ll improve our “counter-notice”tools for those who believe their content was wrongly removed and enable public searching of takedown requests.

We will prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete.

We will improve our AdSense anti-piracy review.

Building on our existing DMCA takedown procedures, we will be working with rightsholders to identify, and, when appropriate, expel violators from the AdSense program.

Okay, enough quotes. Now for some quick reactions to the post.

Why is the automatic assumption that content is infringing when a DMCA notice is received?

Why, if my content is taken down should I have to apply to have it put back up? Shouldn’t the assumption be that I am using content withing the terms of “fair use” (unless it’s blatantly obvious I’m ripping something off) and make the person filing the DMCA provide explicit information on how it is infringing.  There might be a lot less DMCAs filed if companies and people have to explain how it is infringing and demonstrate that they actually know what infringement is VS fair use.

Google is placing an awful lot of faith in the entertainment industry to do the “right thing” and not much faith in their actual users. Or are the users the “bad apples” Kent Walker was referring to?

Blogs like TorrentFreak are going to have a hard time turning up on autocomplete. Anti-piracy blogs and piracy advocates alike will be smacked down by this one.

Good to see them making a move on spam blogs (splogs) but if they’re going to have a YouTube type procedure, then we’re all screwed. Prepare for rampant abuse from idiots who don’t understand, copyright, infringement, fair use, etc..

Finally, the thread on Googles post got into the usual “entertainment industry bashing” mode, but this interesting comment was made by Peter Griffon (it’s not his entire comment, he went off on a tangent, but this part was notable):

I think the “entertainment” industry just needs to realize no one wants to pay their outrageous prices for stuff. Instead of fighting with everything cut cost on stuff, people pirate stuff cause they cant afford it in most cases… I mean goto walmart and you see people digging thru the 5$ movies.. even thou they are B rated movies.. put new movies at 5$ they wont be able to keep them in stock…