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you should read

Here are things I read today, that you should read to if you care at all about your future enough to have it not suck. It is absolutely vital that you understand how the Disney, the RIAA and MPAA, and Ashcroft are working so fiercely to take away what few rights we have left.
  • Lawrence Lessig (Our Hero and Would-be Savior) Interview on Greplaw
  • (archived)
    # When we met last summer you said that the EU needs to give the U.S. a good example of how to reframe the copyright debate. Now the entire EU is implementing the European Copyright Directive, based on the same WIPO priniciples that the DMCA derives from. Thus, it looks like the battle for balanced "lagom" copyright is lost in both Europe and the U.S.. So, who will reframe the debate and when?
    Europe needs to recognize the total failure of democracy that "the EU" now represents. When Europeans actually control their government, then something other than Hollywood will rule the EU parliament.
    # Speaking of copyright - what would a Lessig balance of copyright look like? Would you regulate books and computer programs different?
    14 year term, renewable to 28 for all but computer programs.
    Deposit requirement.
    Registration requirement.
    Vastly limited "derivative rights".
    10 years for software max, if and only if, the source code is deposited.
    No copyright protection at all for any software whose source code is not deposited.
  • Brad Templeton (EFF Chairman of the Board) Interview on Greplaw (archived)
  • # If you choose the three - and only three - most important issues for the EFF - what would they be?
    Two of the EFF's core issues -- freedom of speech and surveillance -- remain even more important today than they ever were. But the growing issue right now is certainly intellectual property and copyright -- in particular when such areas of law start affecting freedom of speech, freedom to do research and to build software, freedom to publish and reverse engineer, all of which are happening under the DMCA.
    # Being around the Internet for so long - what is your greatest fear for the future?
    I fear people will buy into the idea that there is an inherent tradeoff between fundamental rights and safety, so that everything that frightens us shifts that balance and takes away rights. A lot of people seem to believe this and say it. It's a scary world and it's going to get nastier for a while. Rights lost take a long time to come back, indeed they usually only come back in revolutions.
    So many times when people make this tradeoff it's just because they didn't think hard enough how to keep rights and increase safety at the same time. We need a force in society to push for that, and it's a daunting task. Many people don't worry about lost rights or privacy until after they are taken away.