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back to article The HTML that says no - Joi Ito's pitch for a theft-free web

Joi Ito has a recipe for a world without DRM - cunningly, it's software that stops you doing stuff you're not allowed to. Simple, yes? In the future world according to Ito, every object on the Internet will have licensing and copyright information attached to it, machine will talk to machine, and machine will overrule you if you …

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Pirate

...am I missing the point?

...what's to stop me writting my own web browser, which ignores these restrictions, and then 'sharing' that?

...Or just use the one I've already got?

/pirate, cos well - I must be one, i use an unrestricted browser and will continue to do so, Yarrr.

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Stop

DRM is DRM

This eejit needs to read Core Doctrow's "content", it's even a free download, and understand why it won't work. We need a different licensing mechanism as per every technological shift since the piano roll was invented. It's not hard to understand.

http://craphound.com/content/

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not

gonna happen

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W

Software

I watched the re-run of the Bill Gates Money program the other day and a quote in a clip of him from the early 90s-ish stuck in my mind. To paraphrase:

"It's software! We can do anything!"

If it is being piped onto my machine and is being displayed on a screen, it can be copied, stored, retireved, manipulated and distributed.

It's impossible to stop it.

There will always be software that can undo/prevent whatever some other software is attempting to obfuscate.

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Pirate

Trollers wet dream

"If you have copyright attributes associated with everything, mightn't it make sense for you to want to protect that association?"

Mightn't it? It makes no sense if you don't. The whole exercise would be pointless.

If people think that the patent system is a trollers and squatters paradise wait till you see the rush to grab web objects.

Look people - if the multi-million dollar music and movie businesses can't work out how to sell shit to their market we don't all have an obligation to help them out.

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Huh?

It automatically manages what rights you have in manipulating a digital resource? How is that not DRM (Digital Rights Management)?

Am I missing something obvious?

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Silver badge

Oh, yes

And the light of the Emperor will shine upon all 8 corners of the world.

The dream of all fascists, communists, pigopolists and Jacqui Smith.

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Gold badge

Quite astonishing...

...that a grown adult could have the cheek to inflict such a naive piece of pish on an audience.

Next time I leave my house, I think I'll just stick a post-it note on the front door with my name on it. Not only will that prevent anyone from stealing my property, it *creates* an opportunity for someone to temporarily rent my property whilst I'm not there and they'd know who to make the cheque payable to. Fantastic!

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Unworkable

The only thing wrong with this proposal is that it's absolutely, totally and utterly unworkable.

I'm reminded of another anti-piracy proposal from the back in the days when the Amiga reigned supreme: Have a special area on the disk that a legitimate user can read, but a pirate can't.

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Gates Horns

Joi Ito Has too much time on his hands it seems

Yep. Too much time on his hands.

This "Joi Ito" person needs to think up something useful that benefits people.

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Anonymous Coward

"Every object on the Internet"

Too late.

Anyway, before this is even remotely feasible, we need to secure the internet. Which is impossible.

What he seems to be talking about is a consumer product that works like a white list. Nice for your granny but not so nice for anyone who wants to look at porn (80% apparently) or illegally download stuff (10%?). "That's the whole point", I hear you shout. In theory, yes, however, just because there's a white list doesn't mean you have to use.

Unless we outlaw non-government approved software or something. Which is impossible.

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OFI
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Database Size?

I have a feeling a database of the size required by this nonsense would be a tad hard to manage..

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Stop

CEO of Creative Commons?

Do they pay him with crack?

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Anonymous Coward

Calm down, dear....

Look, people. It's not enforcing rights hard, it's only informing you of your rights. Which is moderately useful.

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DRM that assumes the decency of the majority

"...astonishing that a grown adult could..."

Maybe Creative Commons needs to go back to its roots: a teenager and a Stanford law professor, and no-one able to tell who was the smarter of the two.

Of course this is DRM. If you like it, it's Marxist DRM - it assumes that people are basically good and honest, and if you advise them simply as to what's OK and what isn't, then most of them _will_ behave themselves.

This only fails when you meet the deliberate pirates or the naive (or el Reg a couple of days ago, with the CC-licensed but uncredited Mac photo) as technical DRM regularly fails here anyway; you're still falling back to enforcement and working back from who's selling the Mama Mia DVDs at the car boot sale. That doesn't invalidate Ito's call for client-side examination and notification of bundled licences.

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So, while they're back-tagging the catalogue...

I'm sure Disney will make sure to point all "Lion King" viewers at the Japanese film they stole it from, right?

And who decides where "My Sweet Lord" has to point back to? :-)

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RW
Unhappy

Uh-oh

So Itoh and Creative Commons have stopped paying attention to what ordinary users want. A troubling trend. I notice it in Firefox 3, which has thrown away the time-tested bookmarks-as-an-html-file system of Netscape and Firefox up until now, and replaced it with a complex, badly documented bookmark system that no one, as far as I can tell, had asked for. I suspect it's a "bright idea" feature, implemented because someone thought it was kewl.

As Firefox, so the entire web under Itoh's proposal. Ignore the actual users! Impost on them! They don't count anyway!

An attitude that also infests Microsoft and explains why intelligent people are bailing out of Windows if they possibly can.

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Stop

Fair use

Software cannot tell the difference between fair use and copyright violation. Therefore this idea is doomed to fail.

I can't even figure out how it's supposed to work in the first place. They're talking about putting the copyright information in HTML. Images are not HTML; what prevents someone from creating a link with no (or forged!) copyright? Or grabbing it directly with curl? The Internet is much more than the Web, so what are they going to do about files on FTP servers?

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Attribution = Accountability

Computers *cannot* determine what is fair & if they could, they would already!

Creative Commons nonsensical a[[roach to attempt to replace a framework which already exists becomes more dangerous & transparent as more is revealed about such machine-readable approaches to "ts and cs" ... YouTube & Flickr can erase your account today without so much as a fair or equitable challenge, why is this any different?

Watermarking are needed the same way digital signatures are needed - you must allow the person deserving of proper attribution to sign his own work. If original unmakred content is released into the wild, we need to be more diligent in determining attribution.

But as one poster already said, DRM = DRM, to which I'll add, = failed format. CC = more of the same.

Come clean and educate your users that we are having a debate over the interaction between structured data & unstructured data. Guess how structured an innovative society is? Not as much as the status quo always seems to want (er, demand).

Boooo!!!!

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Boffin

"RDFa is a W3C recommendation for XTML"

eXtensible Telephony Markup Language? Really?

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Alert

Some points of information

Everyone "puts a postit note" on their copyrighted works. The Register too. It is called the copyright notice, and if it's not there, then if someone copies it, you can't complain. All this use of RDFa does it makes the copyright machine readable too. Nothing wrong with that, right?

RDFa is just microformats generalised. It allows you to add machine readable information about the content. It's early days yet, but if a page for a conference for instance were marked up with RDFa, the browser would know it was an event, and could offer to add it to your calendar, show you it on a map, look for hotels, or flights. You can only do this if the information on the page is machine readable.

There really is an official W3C version of HTML with RDFa: it's called XHTML+RDFa. It's section 8 of http://www.w3.org/TR/rdfa-syntax/

There is already some adoption of RDFa apart from CC. For instance, it will be in the next version of Drupal (http://groups.drupal.org/node/16597), and check out the London Gazette (http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/) whose articles are chocka with RDFa.

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Why not just do away with "copyrights".

Everyone knows they're now a broken idea. Why not just put them to bed?

As for creative commons... well it seems to be used by people to license what they think is "content", but in 90% of cases is drivel. The same people that think their blog about their shit life is somehow interesting. The other 10% of cases are people licensing ten line Javascript scripts.

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Stop

it matters not

whether you think piracy is a crime/civil tort/great fun. the simple fact is that no matter how many millions are spent developing DRM/securom/rootkit/insert liberty invading bollocks here/... that the combined powers of the worlds nefarious geeks will have it beat at some point.

if it's digital and can be played/listened to/viewed, it can be copied. end of.

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Gold badge

Pointless. But so is other DRM.

Pointless. But so is other DRM. This *IS* DRM, it's just not very strong. The thing is, of course, that "strong" DRM isn't -- every single restriction system has been thoroughly broken. I for one will not add tags to my pages just to follow some hairbrained rights restrictions scheme. It would be amusing if anyone adopted this though, it WOULD at least stop companies wasting time on trying to develop "unbreakable" DRM since that is physically impossible.

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Bronze badge

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, ...

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....

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Alert

Time for big-style reform

The concept of copyright originated at a time when the wherewithal to be a publisher was confined to a minority. Times have changed since then.

People do need to be rewarded for sharing their work with Society At Large, but perhaps a government-mandated temporary monopoly over its distribution is no longer the best way to accomplish this. This is the "unthinkable" we have to think.

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The European Directive

EU law is quite clear about the copyright aspects of creation: as soon as something is created, it is considered copyrighted to its creator. So whether you put your creations on the wicked wacki web or display them in your front window, they are automatically protected from a legal standpoint. Putting some kind of nanny tag which will tell you "oh oh naughty boy" is not going to help, even if it's technically feasible. Should this proposal be ever introduced, soon after you'll have kids in playgrounds comparing who has collected the most "oh oh naughty boy" web stuff. Human desire is not predictable, something those techno positivist goddies-two-shoes seem to forget.

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Pirate

Reciprocity

Copyright assumes the superiority of the creator to the consumer

and does not assume that the publishing of the material creates a dialogue between equals.

I want to be paid for my precious attention and I want to be able to issue

micro-fines people who waste it.

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