An article over at Wired looks into the relation between copy protection and the reality of a rational amount of ‘wiggle room’ that is typically provided by the legal system.
In reality, our legal system usually leaves us wiggle room. What’s fair in one case won’t be in another – and only human judgment can discern the difference. As we write the rules of use into software and hardware, we are also rewriting the rules we live by as a society, without anyone first bothering to ask if that’s OK.
The purpose of Boston Review’s New Democracy Forum is to foster politically engaged, intellectually honest, and morally serious debate about fundamental issues of the day–both on and off the agenda of conventional politics–and to say something about how we might better address them.
Read Reclaiming the Commons by David Bollier.
One of the great questions of contemporary American political economy is, who shall control the commons? "The commons" refers to that vast range of resources that the American people collectively own, but which are rapidly being enclosed: privatized, traded in the market, and abused. The process of converting the American commons into market resources can accurately be described as enclosure because, like the movement to enclose common lands in eighteenth-century England, it involves the private appropriation of collectively owned resources.
Shoot this problem’s been around for ages:
They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose.
English folk poem, circa 1764