Users of personal computers have consistently been forced to deal with copyright protection schemes that limited their use of software. From copy protection to rootkits, companies continue to try to protect their material through technical methods and legal challenges. In his presentation at the 28th annual Chaos Communication Congress (28c3), Cory Doctorow reviews the history of these issues, but also warns of the continued war against the general purpose computer.
Cory argues that proposed laws such as the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and other worldwide legal actions only make it easier for developers to monitor the use of the computer via malware installed as part of the application software. He calls for greater consideration of ways to protect copyright without reducing the value of the general purpose computer to the end user.
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing (boingboing.net), and a contributor to The Guardian, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He was formerly Director of European Affairs for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org), a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He is a Visiting Senior Lecturer at Open University (UK) and Scholar in Virtual Residence at the University of Waterloo (Canada); in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.
This free podcast is from our Chaos Communication Congress series.