Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A blog you MUST check out
The DRM Blog is a great clearinghouse for information about how Digital Rights Management technology affects us.
As more and more of us use digital media, we need to be aware of our rights as consumers of that media. For instance, did you know you only have rights to use your Napster To Go songs as long as you're a subscriber (and you won't be able to play any of those songs after your subscription expires, too). I didn't know that. Then again, I wasn't in a hurry to sign up with them.
The Intellectual Property companies, as they're going to end up being known, don't want us to own information any more. We need to be smart about how we use information and media so that we can retain our rights under Fair Use. If the IP corporations control the transmission of information, do you think that the creators will be better off? Nope. How about the public, if you only get company-cleared news (imagine nothing but Fox News all the time...)? Yeah, it's THAT bad.
Another organization you should look at is the Electronic Frontier Foundation (you'll see references to the EFF all over the DRM Blog). They really are the front line in the battle to protect the public's rights from the government, big business, or whoever wants to restrict the access to information we have in the Digital Age. Think of them as a cyberACLU.
You may not think it's a big deal yet, but it keeps getting bigger. When I started ranting about this shit back in 1995, people thought I was a revolutionary...and I came late into the game. Folks, if we don't pay attention, the future will roll right over us.

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