One of the biggest problems with copyright in the digital era is that we expect people who aren’t in the entertainment industry to understand and abide by its rules: it’s no more realistic to expect a casual reader to understand and abide by a long, technical copyright license in order to enjoy a novel than it is to expect a parent to understand securities law before they pay their kid’s allowance.
As countries begin to think about how to regulate cross-border e-commerce in the future, they have found their work complicated by competing visions of what the internet is, and what it is for.
- Silicon Valley
- Beijing’s paternal internet
- Brussels’ bourgeois internet
- Washington DC’s commercial internet
And a bonus one, Moscow mule model.
It is interesting thinking about this after the EU’s recent decision to sign off the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. Casey Newton proposes that there may come a time when we may need digital passports.
Now it was Brian’s turn to say “No way” but Alanna wouldn’t budge. The only way she was going to trust a camera in her house from then on was if she knew that anyone was free to read its code and tell her what it was doing. She couldn’t reprogram it herself, but she also couldn’t do her own brain surgery, and she could trust the peer-reviewed, open process that designed the procedures they’d use if that day ever came.
“It’s not brain surgery, Brian,” she said, as she downloaded the code.
Rejecting years of settled precedent, a federal court in New York has ruled [PDF] that you could infringe copyright simply by embedding a tweet in a web page. Even worse, the logic of the ruling applies to all in-line linking, not just embedding tweets. If adopted by other courts, this legally and technically misguided decision would threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability.