July 12, 2004

Letter to the Paper XXVI

Michael Powell has decided to blog. He's looking for feedback on the FCC and its policies. Here's my contribution:

One of the things that I have not seen discussed to date has been the upcoming revolution in Internet Protocol (IP). With the US Army mandating a transfer to IPv6 starting 2007 and 2011 being the cutoff date of IPv4 for their use, it seems quite likely that this period will see widespread transition in backbone providers to IPv6 and other users. With encryption built in, a Quality of Service (QoS) bit, and a huge new address pool it seems a no brainer that IP owners could quite easily protect their monopolies against copying by distributing via encrypted multicast over IPv6. The legitimate goal of IP protection would be accomplished without infringing on the legitimate right to copy as detailed in the fair use doctrine. And as a bonus, encrypted multicast, for those who choose it, would have no significant legacy equipment problems. If you can't understand it, you don't get it.

So what is the justification for the much broader protection that the new broadcast bit provides? It seems to interfere in the market for consumer electronics by restricting new entries from the Open Source Software (OSS) world. It provides inferior protection of broadcasts because legacy equipment will still be able to copy. And it stomps on legitimate fair use rights because, in combination with the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, exercising your legitimate right to copy is a crime even if it is for fair use.

I don't mind IP creators maintaining their monopoly via technology as long as they don't get to expand their rights beyond the law via an unfortunate exercise in setting technology standards.

HT: BeyondVC

Posted by TMLutas at July 12, 2004 09:43 AM