Digital Lockdown: Ming’s Response

December 15th, 2003 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

Ming has an excellent response to the Digital Imprimatur and my post. He mentioned that open source is gaining ground every day, and competition of chip manufacturing, especially in Asia should help keep competition alive that could ameliorate wide-spread adoption of DRM at the chip level. He agrees that the centralized traffic map of the net is a bad sign, as few pipes are much easier to control than p2p meshnetworks. But getting a meshnetwork across oceans without an expensive pipe or satellite is not possible as far as I can tell. There is still the emulation/encryption model I suggested, but I’m no expert and don’t know of its feasibility.

Ming concludes with the following:

So, is the answer to just implement these things whether it is legal or not?

Well, I’d say that the strategy ought to be to put technologies in place that are inherently controlled by their users or grassroots groups, rather than central control, and which can be easily configured for a variety of uses. Like that GNU Radio thing. Or mesh network protocols. Or like Linux. Or like file sharing. Or open media formats like OggVobis. Or open encryption standards. Nobody’s saying they will be used for anything illegal, but they could, if the climate turns too oppressive.

I think it is essential to share good information about what is going on, and what the alternative efforts are. Important to make the issues known, so that even non-techies know what they are. Anybody who buys a computer or a TV should know what DRM is and what the intention with it is, and what the alternatives are.

Here are a few informative sites from people who work on keeping technology open:

Freedom to Tinker 
Abusable Technologies Awareness Center
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
The Internet is for Everyone
Lawrence Lessig


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