MSNBC/ZDNN: Intellectual property laws in flux

“Big corporations are working diligently and successfully to
expand intellectual property laws in the digital age – a trend
that’s chipping away at individual rights.”

“THAT’S THE MESSAGE a panel of law professors had at the
Computer Freedom and Privacy Conference here, as they dissected a
series of lawsuits and legislation aimed at making sure people
don’t copy material.”

“… panelist, Randall Davis of Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, outlined what he called the “digital dilemma,” or the
collision of the information infrastructure and intellectual
property in the digital age.”

“He said companies should look at new business models instead of
just locking up their content. For example, companies can give away
products and sell accompanying services or upgrades (as the Linux
companies do), give away one product that promotes other products
(such as Adobe’s business model for its Adobe Reader); or they can
differentiate themselves by customizing “to the extreme.” Yochai
Benkler, of the New York University Law School, said a proposal
moving through the U.S. House of Representatives could make it
illegal to use information that used to flow freely, by restricting
how information about the world can be collected and stored in
databases, such as a phone book.”