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Programming Your Rights Online IT Technology

Programmers, Not Lawyers, Defining Rights 8

bhendrickson writes: "Berkeley law professor Lawrence Lessig delivered the most cogent speech I have heard defending the freedoms created by technology and threatened by expanding intellectual property laws. While Lessig's conclusions about napster, packet switching, and antitrust are far from revolutionary for Slashdot, his legal and historical perspective I found compelling. The Mp3 is available directly or as a stream both provided by technetcast ." Great thing to stream while you're at work.
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Programmers, Not Lawyers, Defining Rights

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  • it's a great thing to stream while you're chillin' at home, too ::)
  • It's not just programmers that are defining rights, its also the corporations that employ the programmers.

    Open Source Software is vitally important because it keeps Microsoft from defining the software architecture of the world. If they were able to do this, they would be able to define privacy rights, intellectual property rights, and even free speech rights as they pertain to the internet. Open Source allows anyone to have a voice in shaping those rights.
  • I'd really much rather read this than waste time listening to it, is there a transcription available?
  • Lessig's main point was that coders should engage themselves in political discussions.

    Well, there was this law coming up in Norway, where they would tax empty CDs. I read the proposed law, and while there could be come positive things from this stuff (for one thing, the law also made a strong case against content protection), it was for the most part extremely bad.

    For one thing, it said pretty clear that it was based on technology as it was in 1983. It said that the impact of technology was no different from what it was in 1983.

    Well, I wrote nine pages and sent it by e-mail and s-mail. It was ignored, so I asked the beaurocrats why it was ignored. They told me, in pretty clear terms, that they didn't appreciate responses from individual persons. And they told me to fuck off.

    Well, I'm not going to try again, the same way. They really don't want to listen to individuals, they only listen to those they want to listen to.

    However, we do fortunately have a law that says they have to respond to such things I sent them. So, when I get more time, I'll use this law as a LART.... :-)

    Perhaps, they will get a clue, for the future.

  • Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford Law School, not Berkeley.

    Lessig's Web site []
  • There is a saying in medical malpractice law: Good Medicine makes Good Law. Bottom line: the legal standards that will be applied are those good practices that the professionals set themselves.

    Sometimes I look at some of the code that's out there and wonder if anyone bothers to give the codes of ethics by the ACM, IEEE, and SEI a second thought, or if most people even know these things exist.

    As for laws, the quality of statutes and court decisions is directly affected by the input of computing professionals. Without input from the computing community, those who draft and enact the law are operating in a vacuum. If legislatures enact bad laws and judges make bad decisions, we are all partly to blame for not educating them as to the issues.

  • I agree with your statements. About the code of ethics, I believe in being ethical (what I also might call professional and responsible). I remember a project I was almost involved in which rang of unethical practices. I talked over the project with my boss and asked him whether he thought what the client was proposing was ethical. He said "what?" I restated. He said "oh, I don't know. Why?" I sighed because he didn't give a rats ass about ethics. Good thing is we didn't end up doing the project, and I'm not sure I would have stuck around to do it anyway. How spammers and information thieves can sleep at night, I'll never know. I guess in any profession, country, and race there's good people and bad people.
  • I am a newcomer. could some one tell me how to post and delete the file on this page?? thank you yours, roy

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.