United States International

Locking Down the Internet

Locking Down the Internet
by: Michael Geist

As digital technologies and the Internet began to emerge in the mid-1990s, many content companies responded by betting on the ability of technological protection measures to re-assert the control that was rapidly slipping from their grasp. The vision of control through technology required considerable coordination -- the insertion of encryption on content distributed to consumers, cooperation from electronics makers to respect the technological limitations within their products, and new legal provisions to prohibit attempts to pick the new digital locks.

A decade later, the strategy lies in tatters. Many content owners have dropped digital locks after alienating disgruntled consumers fed up with their inability to freely use their personal property. Electronics manufacturers have similarly rebelled, frustrated at the imposition of artificial limitations that constrain their products and profitability. To top it off, the U.S. architect of the legal strategy last year acknowledged that the legislative initiatives to support the digital lock approach have failed.

In recent months, a new strategy has begun to emerge. With the industry gradually admitting that locking down content does not work, it has now dangerously shifted toward locking down the Internet.

Read the entire article here: http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2008/01/29/ISPLockdown/

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