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Old 03-01-2007, 09:39 PM   #1
NatCh
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Web's inventor appeals to Congress for net neutrality and more lenient DRM

Berners-Lee offers thoughts on Net neutrality, DRM:
Legendary Web originator weighs in


Mr. Berners-Lee was speaking to a U.S. House of Representatives in support of prohibiting ISPs from slowing access to content from providers that aren't allied with that particular ISP.

Toward the end he also comments on DRM, this seems to be the crux of his DRM comments:
Quote:
While Berners-Lee didn't hear a lot of opposition to his Net neutrality comments at the hearing, Representative Mary Bono, a California Republican and the author of the copyright-extension clause often referred to as the "Sonny Bono" or "Mickey Mouse" Copyright Extension Act, challenged his assertion that digital rights management (DRM) copy protections could hinder the growth of some parts of the Web.

Berners-Lee called for open standards instead of closed DRM technologies. Instead of DRM, copyright holders should "allow people to do the right thing" by providing the information on how to legally use the material, he said.

Bono questioned if his idea would prevent mass stealing of copyright materials. "Is that not the equivalent of having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit?" she asked.

But Berners-Lee suggested DRM limits the market for digital music downloads, echoing recent statements by Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs.

"What is the enforcement for speeding?" he said. "The enforcement for is not that the car grinds to a halt. [Instead of DRM] I'm inclined to make software to allow people to do the right thing first."

But Bono said strong protections for digital content are needed. "With great respect to Steve Jobs, he's trying to sell hardware, first and foremost," she said. "I wonder if he would feel the same way about his patents being on the Internet free of patent protection."
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Old 03-03-2007, 08:09 AM   #2
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Nice "Dog Bites Man" story... I mean, no one would be surprised by the stances taken by Bono or Berners-Lee, with her background connection to music and Sonny, and his creation of a globally-available technology.

I wonder if they got anything accomplished, or just managed to contribute to Washington's general malaise...

I will say, in Bono's case, the analogy is a bad one. If she wants to bring driving into it, she should be talking about a prepaid 10-lane highway for big spenders, with only one free lane for the little guys to use.

If Berners-Lee wanted to counter her, he could have said that a better analogy for DRM would be paying for parking: Use technology to make it worth people's while to legally pay for it (by making prices painless, or identifying violators and penalizing them, for instance), instead of stealing it.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 03-03-2007 at 08:15 AM.
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