I guess my version is an example of the metal gymnastics one would have to do to make the poll question make sense. Am I being blindly optimistic to hope a poll respondent would make a similar translation?
I mostly agree with you so it's a shame I have this petty need to sound off on semantics all the time.
If a gun poses "little danger" then it you can't say it's not a threat. It is a weapon and as such comes with a certain amount of danger, and I'd argue that a loaded gun sitting by itself is innately more dangerous than a video game sitting by itself.
Of course without any human interaction nothing is dangerous (if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to get hurt, is it still dangerous?) so comparing just the items doesn't really get us anywhere. What we're really asking is if video games have a corrupting effect that makes a person more dangerous than a person with a gun. I'm sure there are many responsible and safe gun owners out there, but I'm going to assume the injury and death stats are heavily weighted towards the firearms side of the scale.
This is, of course only assessing the dangers of each, not taking into account their benefits and ramifications. Which is why it's a stupid question. What's more dangerous bricks or canals? Children or cacti? Free speech or nationalism?
Hmmm... well it sounds like that would be a method of learning which would be covered by a patent. But you never know, they may figure out a way to get a copyright on the particular sequence of slaps that best drives home the lesson.
If I was the head of a nation-wide cabal that made billions from unending unilaterally binding contracts with the power to ruin lives, I'd probably think their unanticipated infection of new industries was a good thing too.
You are not the arbiters of the arrangement of bits! If you can't point to something that is physically among my belongings and say "that is in violation of customs" while I am in the designated customs processing zone, you have no cause to delay me or my possessions.
Don't even get me started on that 100 mile rights-free zone B.S.
I think the future of traffic violations lies more in the kind of black box analysis that happens after air traffic incidents. Not so much for assigning blame as fixing the system if need be. Essentially, an officer who witnesses rule violation would tag the hardware as requiring diagnostics. Either something is wrong with the unit and it needs to be repaired, or there's a bug in the manufacturer's firmware and the entire model line would need an update.
I think there are some interesting conversations coming about the consumer's right to tinker with their automated vehicle code. I'm all for the right to open and reprogram phones and computers now, but I'm less okay with people editing their cars to exceed driving regulations and maybe create dangerous situations on public roadways. I could see it being illegal to use a home-brew driving program in public; and I might even be fine with that.
Okay... so I may have blown this whole thing wide open. Looking at the next clause in the DMCA that describes DRM:
a technological measure “effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title” if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, prevents, restricts, or otherwise limits the exercise of a right of a copyright owner under this title.
Check out the part I bolded at the end. "Limits the exercise of a right", like if my right to free speech was limited I would be unable to express myself in every way I desire. So my point hinges on the question "What are the rights of a copyright holder?" If theirs is the right to exclude others from using something, it turns the whole thing on its head, we get a statute that makes it illegal to circumvent something that makes it harder to prevent infringement.
...to “circumvent a technological measure” means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure...
It includes language that covers traditional "breaking" of the DRM, but it also says "avoid, bypass, remove" which I think can have VERY different interpretations. Most liberally, avoiding or bypassing DRM would cover ANY method, no matter the technique behind it, based solely on the concept of copying something that had some kind of DRM.
More simply, if someone puts a "do not copy" sign on something and your technique results in a copy of it, you broke the law. I think it's pretty ridiculous that such an interpretation seems feasible; both in that it exists and in the fact that we as citizens have no idea what laws we are bound by mean.
I think it would be interesting to try explaining all this complicated "circumventing DRM" business to politicians by asking them to fix something that's broken. It would probably be most effective to tailor it to each person's skills and background. Maybe give one of them a blender with a broken switch, or another one a car with a clogged up air filter. I guess to hold up better it should be an instance of planned obsolescence.
Then, once they've fixed the problem using skills that they find normal and commonplace, tell them there's a federal statute against fixing problems and they could face criminal charges, 5 years in prison and half a million dollar fines; all because blender companies like to sell more blenders and car companies like to sell cars.
Since they're not willing to learn how their laws effect those who use technology, start applying their concepts to areas they do use.
Yeah, you're right, I'm not suggesting real solutions to this problem; I used it as a springboard to get back to the "War on Computing" theme I liked so much last week. But I don't think it's all that absurd an example of the basic problem-solving I'd try if I was the parent of a child who brought home such a "broken" reference material.
As far as "added features" I think that's great, let that be their toehold against piracy. "You'd see an awesome diagram of the Endocrine system here if you opened the chapter from our website!" But I don't think it's much of an excuse for not providing a less fancy off-line version of the text and questions for kids to use at home. DRM and piracy paranoia harming paying users and hindering the uptake of new tools. That's a theme I'd love to see a lot less of.
"useless without a broadband connection, and impossible to move to a cheaper platform, like an e-reader."
Hmmm... I dunno about that. I bet you could set up a scraper that would get at least the text on screen into another format. You might even be about to use your license to make an automated routine that queries for pages you'll need in the near future. Doesn't really seem all that different than the fair use ripping of a cd to format-shift the...
WHAT DO YOU MEAN FEDERAL INVESTIGATION FOR COMPUTER FRAUD AND HACKING?
I read a comment at ARS that tried to explain the dedup in a sharing context. If you upload a file and share it with a friend, it wouldn't be physically copied and encrypted again into his Mega account. His account would just possess the key required to access that original file, and so on as it is shared.
I'm not sure if that's really what Mega is referring to, or if they're doing some pre-encryption analysis, but it seems a lot more reasonable and less intrusive to me.