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September 09, 2003

Freedom to discover

Dave Weinberger echoes my previous post in his article in the June issue of Wired, which talks about the legal locking down of information and the ability to share, comment, critique, and build on it. As Dave notes here, these abilites are the basis for our democracy and our economy and are being locked down by technological means as well as legislative and judical ones.

Yet we're on the verge of instituting digital rights management. What do computers do best? Obey rules. What do they do worst? Allow latitude. Why? Because computers don't know when to look the other way.

We're screwed. Not because we MP3 cowboys and cowgirls will not have to pay for content we've been "stealing." No, we're screwed because we're undercutting the basis of our shared intellectual and creative lives. For us to talk, argue, try out ideas, tear down and build up thoughts, assimilate and appropriate concepts - heck, just to be together in public - we have to grant all sorts of leeway. That's how ideas breed, how cultures get built. If any public space needs plenty of light, air, and room to play, it's the marketplace of ideas.



Posted by larryb at 06:13 AM [permanent link]
Category: Misc
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