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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Friday, August 31, 2007

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Journalistic ethics

Larry Barrett, at Internet News, jumped the gun on the announcement that Oracle had acquired Bridgestream. While the deal has been rumored for a couple of weeks (and actually was signed off on over two weeks ago), the lawyers had held off on the announcement to be sure all the Ts were crossed and all the Is were dotted. Official announcement should come on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Barrett has done a great disservice to those of us who try to practice ethical journalism by actually abiding by embargo dates so that we can thoroughly research the story before it breaks. It is a big story, but there's nothing about it which requires breaking a confidence. I'll have more to say once it's official.

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