posted Oct 23, 2003
in Communication Ethics

Communication Ethics book part for Boiling It Down . (This is an automatically generated summary to avoid having huge posts on this page. Click through to read this post.)

I think it can basically be boiled down to this:

  1. DRM or libraries? The evidence to date is any restriction a sender is allowed to place on a receiver will be used. Libraries can't live in a strong, enforced DRM environment. The stronger you make DRM, the weaker libraries and corresponding low-level sharing we all do so routinely we don't even think about it get.
  2. Fast forward or not? Are we going to live in a world where we have the choice to fast-forward past commercials or not? (manipulating messages)
  3. Are "receivers" individuals or some group? What group, if any?

Each of those question are merely exemplars of a whole host of related questions, meant to highlight the issues at stake, not exhaustive enumerations of all the issues.

Once you choose the answers, propogating them back out to the various message types and media are really relatively simple. It's the figuring out what we should answer that is that hard part, and what I'm trying to at least help with with this essay. As a society, we need to come to a consistent idea of how the sender can restrict the receiver of a message, while still maintaining symmetry of relationship. It's a subtle problem with more then one good, consistent answer, but quite a few bad, inconsistent answers.


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