Saturday, May 23, 2009

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Another violent agreement

Kim replied to my earlier post with a thoughtful piece. First, let me say, the allusion I made to the RIAA was that they wish to ban tools - it's so much easier than collecting evidence of illegal behavior.

And I took Kim at his word when he talked "about the need to prevent correlation handles and assembly of information across contexts..." That does sound like "banning the tools."

So I'm pleased to say I agree with his clarification of today:

"I agree that we must influence behaviors as well as develop tools... [but] thereís a huge gap between the kind of data correlation done at a personís request as part of a relationship (VRM), and the data correlation I described in my post that is done without a personís consent or knowledge." (emphasis added)
We need sophisticated data correlation tools, tools which can discern our real desires from our passing whims and organize our quest for knowledge, experience and - yes - material things in ways which we can only dream about now. By all means let's punish and abjure bad or anti-social behavior. But let's not stigmatize the tools that the miscreants pervert to their own unethical purposes.

And I think we can say that those who purchase barbells, and only barbells, at Canadian Tire are thoughtful, erudite gentlemen of the old school... :)

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Monday, October 08, 2007

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Wronging a right

My Network World colleague, Scott Bradner, opines today ("Examining DRMís future within the Internet") about rights and content. But he makes the, now becoming classic, error of confusing Digital Rights Managment (DRM) with the practices of the RIAA. Not all uses of digital rights management have to do with entertainment. The technology shows promise in the area of privacy protection for personally identifiable information (PII). Sun's DReaM project is a good example.

The term "Identity Rights Management" (IRM) is sometimes used to differentiate this use of DRM, but that shouldn't be necessary. Too often DRM is used by lazy thinkers simply as shorthand for "thugs from the entertainment industries". Let's try to keep the technology issue seperate from the cultural and ethical issues.

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