IT Trends :: Thursday, November 30, 2006

Opinion

Smashing the Shackles of Intentionally Dysfunctional Technology

By Terry Calhoun

Until last week, it hadn’t “clicked” inside my head that the Library of Congress could or would make specific exemptions to copyright laws. That might be because it d'esn’t do that very often, and it might be because the rulings can be pretty specific to defined groups of people. For example, one of the new exemptions permits film professors – only film professors – to legally break the CSS copy-protection technology on film DVDs in order to copy snippets for instructional use.

No, the ruling d'es not give professors permission to use such snippets under the fair use exemption that we already know about. They already had that right. This new exemption lets them, and only them, specifically break the copy-protection if they can. Even though fair use had previously let them use snippets, they were technically breaking the law by taking the snippets from protected DVDs. So they were in a catch-22 situation; able to use the materials for instructional purposes, but kept from actually doing so by technological Gordian knots...

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IT News

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Oklahoma State All Out for Energy Savings

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New Michigan Classrooms Go Interactive

How about those “dinner theater” classrooms at Michigan?...

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Deals, Contracts, Awards

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This take sees the Arab world as desperately in need of information technology and connectivity in order to tap the best future for its populations...

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Georgetown University Secure Network Delayed Until Spring

The delay is not due to institution of higher learning bureaucracy, but to an incompatibility in some Intel chips found in some recent laptops…

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New Technology

Wireless Energy? Look, Ma – No Wires!

Of course it was an assistant professor at MIT who came up with this one...

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Company Rents Out Robot as Temp Worker

Ubiko, short for “Ubiquitous Computing,” is a 44-inch tall robot that can greet customers and hand out balloons...

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Oh, No! I Should Not Have Sent That. Hit the Destructo Button!

Did you ever send an e-mail and wonder...

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