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Linuxcare: Arne Flones: Electronic Brains

Mar 21, 2000, 21:16 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Arne W. Flones)

[ Thanks to Linuxcare for this link. ]

"We all know computers are as dumb as posts. The only thing that makes them so useful is their speed and their ability to adapt. However, these same features enable digital technology to be utilized in a multitude of new and innovative ways. But, a half century into the digital age, it's bothersome when computers are still portrayed as something mysteriously different or as reckless Godzillas. It really bugs me when this thinking directs national (or international) policy. It's almost like our law and policy makers are spending too much time watching the SciFi channel. Here are some examples."

"The multi-billion dollar movie and music industries have their shorts all in a bunch about digital piracy. They have gone before governments and begged special protections for the artistic works they market. The sole basis of their claim seems to be that because the technology is digital, it's possible for individuals to make perfect copies of their work. That's strange. Perfection never comes to mind when I think of the meatgrinder used to produce compressed digital multimedia. Truth is, the digitizing process introduces substantial errors in three different levels: color registration, pixel reduction and time domain compression. It's also sublimely ironic that the people complaining the loudest about digital piracy aren't the artistic creators, but the billion dollar corporations which market their products. If this is such a threat, why don't we hear complaints from people like Steven Spielberg and Eric Clapton?..."

"The UCITA laws, currently under consideration by state legislatures, plead for special consideration in the commercial code for digital technologies, especially the marketing of computer software. If enacted, these laws would grant rights to commercial software companies, above and beyond that of any other business, simply because their products are computer based."

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