[FTC Town Hall] Final thoughts on FTC DRM session

Thinking about yesterday’s FTC Town Hall session on DRM, there was some heat (lots of passion on this issue) but not a lot of light.

My take on the issue is that we need to take a step back and look at what’s really happening with the technology and economics of content in the digital realm.

The digitization of content (interesting how the Kindle has now widened the discussion of content to include books as well as music and video) has made possible vastly more efficient distribution methods. These new distribution mechanisms are, as these things tend to do, putting downwards pressure on prices.

Not all of the results of tumbling prices are good (as we’re learning in other areas of the economy) – less money entering the system means that the superstructure of the industry is not likely to survive in its current form. So it’s not surprising that there’s a lot of energy and effort being put into trying to assert forms of control over distribution, which would help maintain the established order. This is what people meant yesterday when they asserted that DRM “enables new business models”.

As Clay Shirky has recently noted in another, related, context (talking about the fate of newspapers),

That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given experiment isn’t apparent at the moment it appears; big changes stall, small changes spread. Even the revolutionaries can’t predict what will happen. Agreements on all sides that core institutions must be protected are rendered meaningless by the very people doing the agreeing.

I do believe that at the end of the downward pressure on prices is a non-zero price point at which it becomes easier and more convenient for people to obtain content from authorized sources than it is to go get it from other places. Of course price isn’t the only factor here – these sources also have to be comprehensive, reliable, responsive, and easy to use. But I think that’s the lesson of iTunes and Amazon and others dropping DRM from their music distribution systems – at the price point of under a buck per song, it’s just not worth it to them to worry about the wrongful uses and the tradeoff that DRM implies in inconvenienced customers.

As one of the panelists said in the hallway to me at the end of the day, “I wonder if in five years we’ll be saying ‘What’s DRM’?”. I sure hope that’s the case.

Despite several people repeatedly making the point that DRM has utterly failed to deter large-scale piracy, most of the panelists seemed committed to a (perhaps irrational) belief that they can make DRM work.

FTC Town Hall] Digital Rights Management FTC Town Hall – Panel 5 – The Future of DRM

Thierry Rayna, London Metropolitan University (on video, sitting in front of a very nice wall of vintage electric guitars).

There will never be a technology that will eliminate piracy, which is a problem of behavior, not technology. Human behavior is influenced by economic incentives. DRM would work if benefits outweigh costs, but DRM doesn’t bring any benefits to consumers, but appear as destructive. People don’t pirate iPhone apps because they’re cheap. That speaks to what I’ve always thought, that there’s a non-zero price point at which it’s more convenient to get content the right way than the wrong way, and that digital technology has driven that price point way down.

Thierry is in favor of a DRM system that only allows a single user to use a copy at a time. Fighting piracy is mostly a matter of finding new ways of doing business.

George Ou – Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Content providers need the rights and abilities to lease content with conditions, including the ability to disable content. This gives consumers lower prices and wider variety. It strikes me that the whole day’s discussion is based on the underlying assumption that the majority of consumers wants to do bad things with content.

Christopher Levy – CEO of BuyDRM

Three different types of DRM – application DRM, online DRM, physical DRM.

Technological Developments – Silverlight DRM from Microsoft. Support for PCs, Macs and soon, Linux. Support for FMPG4, H.264, AAC.

Adobe is working on Flash DRM improvements.

What’s new is old: download to own; pay=per-view; subscription.
Ubiquity – run content across Xbox live, iTunes, Sony
Ad supported models.

Jan Samzelius – ByteShield Inc

Price point on games is much higher than audio and video, so incentive to pirate is much higher, and the pirates always win. The publishers have been trying to use harder DRM solutions, which makes it increasingly user unfriendly, increasing the incentive to pirate. Have lots of examples of consumers who buy a legal version and then go download the pirated version. DRM stems very little of the piracy. For every legal copy there are ten illegal ones – how many of those ten would actually turn into revenue?

Why has DRM been so ineffective? How could we improve the benefit side and reduce the cost side? It’s clear that free trials should be available for games – does it work on their machine? Do they like it? No non-standard devices, no registry modifications, should be able to store on as many machines as you want, make backups, drm should only run when the game is running. After six months or however long the product lifecycle is, the DRM should be removed so you don’t have orphanware issues. This can all be done if we get acceptance of two things – online activation, and some intermittent phoning home.

Bruce Benson, FTI Consulting

DRM exists to enable an owner to profit from his (sic) works. If that’s the case it’s failing miserably. Need to co-opt ISPs into helping. (ugh).

We should come out with a consumer bill of digital rights.

Unless I infringe, I shouldn’t see the DRM. DVD is a good example of that.

We have a problem because the pirate sites have much greater abundance than legal sites, due to difficult rights clearance issues.

But the real problem is interoperability. When does the market enforce interoperability without government intervention? It’s much more expensive to maintain proprietary DRM than an open one.

Jean-Henry Morin – University of Geneva

The consumer has been forgotten about by industry and the ecosystem. Where did User Experience go? WHere did Superdistribution go? Where are the new innovative Business Models, the Real-time Marketers, etc? Did DRM curb those? Wasn’t DRM supposed to be an enabler?

Assuming – DRM is likely to stay and be needed (managed content), and that absolute security is neither achievable nor desirable, and that given the right user experience and business model, most users would smoothly comply (e.g. iTunes). Most users aren’t criminals (finally someone says it!)

We need to take a step back and redesign DRM.

Paying attention to the central role of the User and User Experience, and a fundamental guiding principle to re-think and re-design DRM – Felten’s Copyright Balance principle – “a user wishing to make lawful use of copyrighted material should not be prevented from doing so by any DRM system.”

Exception Management in DRM – reverse the “distrust” assumption. Allow users to make Exception Claims and be granted “short Lived Licenses”. Credential based, revocable in case of abuse detection/monitoring. Acknowledging the need for Managed Content.

A comment from the audience about game DRM says that the honest customers are being screwed by the DRM in games, and they want the FTC to start policing those producers.

FTC Town Hall] Digital Rights Management FTC Town Hall – Panel 4: Informing Consumers

This is, in many ways, the heart of the issue being discussed today – how to let people know what they can expect when making purchases.

David Sohn – Center for Democracy & Technology.

Informed consumers provide an important safeguard against tensions and problems with DRM. If you have an informed consumer base that can vote with their feet, you create market pressures that push DRM in ways that are more flexible and minimize risk. One other argument for transparency is to enable DRM’s role in educating consumers about what’s permissible and what isn’t.

If DRM violates consumer expectations then there needs to be disclosure. If the DRM is just implementing widely understood aspects of business transaction, then disclosure is less of an issue – e.g. if consumer is aware they’re renting a movie, then it’s not a surprise that the DRM will enforce the rental terms. But there’s a middle ground – expectations are formed based on old models and don’t always translate to new models. When the expectations aren’t clear, a default is to look at open unprotected media formats as the baseline for comparison. People are used to making unrestricted use of content today – not to say that all content will be like that or that consumers will react negatively to all protected content, but you need to start with a baseline that compares the protected content to unprotected content.

How’s disclosure going in the marketplace? Some of the effects of DRM are being disclosed in terms of service or technical specs, but can be very hard to find, and often phrased to sound like legal boilerplate. That’s hard to understand and because users know that a lot of what’s in the terms is not meant for them but to provide legal protection for the company.

Andrea Matwyshyn – Wharton School (U Penn)

DRM Harms –
– Functionality Harms – limits on other programs; secret processes running in background
– Information security harms – enabling data theft for ID theft; enabling compromise of machines for botnets

This isn’t the first context that the law has been used to level information balance. One example would be in land tort law, where visitors to land have a right to inspect, and posessors of unsaffe

Regulatory goals – Improve transparency to fix information imbalance – inspect and test DRM products; warn consumers of hidden limitations, conduct, and risks. Protect consumers from unexpected harms – producers should repair known problems promptly.

Reasonable expectations of code safety
Contract – disclosure based on the understanding of a “reasonable digital consumer” (not like EULA language); e.g. “a small proprietary software program” does not equal warning of possible remote code execution risks.
Warning labels and possible recall – Borrow land-based duty to inspect, warn, protect business visitors and the public and to repair defects Labeling of all digital products with risks of functionality and information security harms; recall for extreme cases.

Lee Knife – Digital Media Association

Reads a prepared statement asserting that DRM can be an enabler of new consumer offerings. Contends that a subscription offering cannot exist without DRM (what about eMusic?). Content owners are reluctant to license content to distributors without some way of assuring license term compliance. He says that consumers might be willing to pay more for DRM-less content, or less for DRM’ed content. He says that easy access to content without additional steps is what consumers really want. His members give notice t to consumers of existence and conditions of DRM on products.

Hal Halpin – President, Entertainment Consumers Association

THey’re concerned about DRM and EULAs because consumer awareness and knowledge is very low. Gamers are far more tech savvy than the usual consumer, but even they aren’t aware of details.

EULAs should be standardized for packaged goods. Would also like to see labeling or other overt disclosure that’s digestible to the average consumer.

Matt Schruers COunsel for Computer & Communications Industry Association

What are we educating consumers about? Important to recognize that DRM is not necessarily co-terminus with protection under DMCA. We will ultimately have copyrights that expire and products that are DRMed but are not copyrighted. We all say DRM enables use, but that’s just wrong – it disables use. In some cases that’s good – we’re enabling transactions that can happen because certain uses are disabled. DRM can be valuable in the consumer experience.

Not just disclosure issues, but also important disclosures that need to be made about the law governing the work. Rights are often misrepresented, and being forthright about this is important.

Competitive issues can’t be addressed by disclosure – restrictions on competitive platforms or use of aftermarket products indicate that there’s a serious problem with the use of DRM to control consumer’s subsequent actions, which is an area that may be as important as disclosure. This is an anticompetitive method, which is part of the FTC’s purview.

Good quote from Matt – “For most people, copyright is the aspect of the law that most regulates their behavior on a daily basis.”

[FTC Town Hall] Digital Rights Management FTC Town Hall – Panel 3: DRM In Action

J. Alexander Halderman – Prof of electrical engineering and CS at University of Michigan

FTC has a role to play in easing burden of DRM. Helping consumers understand what they’re buying, and helping them get what they pay for. Consumers are beginning to expect that products containing DRM will harm them, and that’s not good for either consumers or the content industries.

He researches security of DRM systems. At one time research was primarily around security of content, but there’s an emerging area of collateral damage caused by DRM measures. DRM has a tendency to create security risks beyond that presented by typical consumer software. Brings up the Sony rootkit, and a videogame DRM system called Safe Disk, which had a security bug and the software had kernel-level access to Windows systems. Automatic updates without notification, “phoning home” without notification, are also issues that reduce the users’ understanding and control.

Independent review is necessary to really vet security of programs, but DRM makers hide behind the DMCA – he’s been threatened with legal action against some of his research. He’d like to propose that DRM produces and the FTC to pursue measures to facilitate independent security review of DRM issues by adopting a “mere notice” provision of testing rather than asking permission as is required under current DMCA provisions. Also proposes notice to consumers of risky behavior like running kernel-level code. Also wants to propose technical transparency around disclosure of technical details of DRM systems on manufacturer’s web sites.

Patrick Ross – Exec. Director, Copyright Alliance

Creators are thrilled these days when people are actually willing to pay for content.

Mandatory labeling isn’t the answer – gives example of long information handouts that come with drug prescriptions that don’t get read.

Christpher Soghoian – Student Fellow, Berkman Center

Speaking to longevity issues – some content needs to call home to authenticate, either on use or periodically. Sometimes services go under, which prevents lawful access to content that’s been paid for. So far the large companies that have stopped services (Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Walmart) have been able to provide for refunds or continued services upon outcry, but that might not be true of smaller operations. Consumer cannot predict failures – that’s why we have regulation. Education not sufficient in this area, so proposing action for FTC – force DRM providers to provide source code and authentication keys to be held in escrow by the FTC. “Obviously, this is a proposal that’s a little bit out there”. In the music market we’ve seen DRM fail. But the same companies are moving ahead with DRM in other spaces. Because companies won’t actually act rationally, we need government action.

Debbie Rose – Association for Competitive Technology

Her members are mostly small inventors and innovators. Interested in knowing what the rules are and how they can use them to make cool products. The message is the rules of the road are not that prohibitive and DMCA and DRM are not roadblocks to innovation. Recently written an “innovator’s guide to the DMCA” (not yet published). DMCA has two prohibitions with a host of exceptions – key is it’s a working mechanism. Access control technologies are being used in lots of fields besides entertainment – privacy protection for medical records, as an example.

Rashmi Rangnath – Staff Attorney, Public Knowledge

Harms caused by lack of interoperability – affects both consumers and competition. An example is older BluRay disks not playing at full resolution on older HDTVs because of copy protection technology.

Lock-in – example is iPods linked to iTunes – with FairPlay you couldn’t use the iTunes Music Store with players that weren’t Apple iPods, harming competition in the device market. FTC should investigate lock-in and consider it an unfair trade practice.

Preventing lawful use – DRM on DVDs prevents classroom use of clips. Professors in media studies departments got an exception in the rulemaking process. But consumers have to re-apply every three years and exemptions to not extend to traficking, so if you’re not technically savvy you can’t circumvent because nobody can send you the tools. We should amend the DMCA to allow circumvention for lawful uses, but in the meantime we should grant the Copyright Office more authority to grant wider exceptions.

Bo Anderson – President and CEO, Entertainment Merchants Association

Retailers are at the pivot point of commerce in entertainment goods, delivering product into hands of consumers. Have a brief but costly opportunity to help educate consumers, and get direct feedback from customers when they are displeased – the first to hear when trust is broken. Rebuilding broken trust is more expensive than keeping it in the first place. Retailers are concerned about the use of DRM when it abridges consumers rights of use, transferability, and rights of privacy. They’re concerned whenever DRM is used to require consumers to have a business relationship with the content providers as a condition of use.

When DRM is used to facilitate broad dissemination by facilitating the licensing of exclusive rights, it should be encouraged. When it’s used to restrict, burden or control dissemination beyond limited exclusive rights, it should be discouraged.

A fairly inane, though heated, discussion on business models, DRM, and consumer rights breaks out at the end.

[FTC Town Hall] Digital Rights Management FTC Town Hall – Second panel – legal landscape

The panel is moderated by Carl Settlemyer, Attorney with the Division of Advertising Practices, FTC, who gives a 3 minute overview of US copyright law (whew!).

Rob Kasunic – Principal Legal Advisor, U.S. Copyright Office. The DMCA. There’s always been a symbiotic relationship between technology and copyright laws.

He draws a link between DRM and access controls on files in operating systems. These were just technological methods, without any legal backing. Traditionally, copyright law was supported by practical constraints on physical copying, but with technology the law may not be enough to protect works.

Congress determined that the solution was to erect legal support for technological self-help measures used ot protect copyrighted works distributed in digital form. The current models of streaming subscription services are an example of models made possible by these protections.

Section 1201 created prohibitions for two activities – circumvention of technological measures (a1), and distribution of devices that circumvent measures (a2). No prohibition on fair use and other traiditonal limitations of the exclusive right of copyright – free to circumvent to preserve legitimate use.

Section 1201 rulemaking – Congress created a triennial rulemaking process as a “fail-safe” mechanism- carried out by Copyright OFfice. Library of Congress may create an exemption for “particular classes of works” for the ensuing three-year period. http://www.copyright.gov/1201/

Steven Metalitz – Attorney – Mitchell Sliberberg and Kunpp (Counsel to Pubklishers, Software Alliance, Entertainment Software Association, MPAA, and RIAA) – use of access controls has encouraged more access by more people. (?) Offers more choices to consumers. As DRM evolves, choices broaden. DRM has encouraged rights-holders to make more content available. DRM as a “key enabling technology” that should be encouraged. Copyright owners recognize the issue of disclosure to consumers and are experimenting with different methods to do so. Content companies have a great incentive to match the expectations of consumers to make their businesses live.

Corynne McSherry – Electronic Frontier Foundation

Copyright is not just about protecting the rights of owners to control creative works – it’s a balance of the rights of content owners and the public. Unfortunately DRM can upset that balance in ways that are harmful to consumers and innovation.

User rights – Fair Use – protects basic personal uses. Reasonable consumer expectations include personal and backup copies, time-shifting, space-shifting, etc. Consumers also expect innovation – new tools and uses, e.g. SlingBox, BnetD, Real DVD. Consumers don’t expect to have to repurchase content every time a new technology comes along. Content owners use the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA to shut down innovation. RealDVD tried to play by the rules in licensing DVD technology to make backup copies of DVDs, but they were sued and are now under a restraining order.

There’s also “first sale rights” What about content in the Kindle?

Consumers feel abandoned when services shut down – e.g. Yahoo! Music, MSN Music, etc.

The rest of the story – EULAs – Contract law.

We need disclosures in advance, not pop-ups after you purchase. Disclosures won’t solve the problems with DRM, though.

Justin Hughes – Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University

Ten years after the DMCA, we have a world full of digital locks, but is not characterized by digital lockdowns. We’re now in a better place to understand the impacts of DRM. When the DMCA was drafted, there wasn’t much discussion at all about disclosure. Are we here to engage in substantive regulation of the marketplace, or regulation of information? We do have problems of full and adequate disclosure. But we also have substantive issues – securing consumer rights.

DMCA as an attempt at substantive regulation. If your regulation is sufficiently light, it becomes part of the background environment. That’s been true of the DMCA. We might have ended up in a technological arms race, but we don’t live in that world because of the DMCA. What the regulation did not do was to attempt to determine the relation between copyright and contract law. Other countries have provided for capacity to circumvent the DRM in certain circumstances, but that would not be easy in the US.

We could do more on information regulation, but we just don’t know enough. Government agencies that regulate don’t do empirical research about consumer expectations. But the threat of regulation can help keep content owners doing the right things.

Salil Mehra – Beasley School of Law, Temple University

Common Law Fraud – making an intentional, material misrepresentation to another with knowledge of its falsity, for the purpose of inducing the other person to act. The other person relies upon such misrepresentation with resulting injury.

Something like fraud happens with the way DRM is implemented.

Digital Fraud – differences? Don’t usually see Affirmative misrepresentation, but rather concealment – things that appear whole, but are not. An unfair surprise leading consumers to get less than they bargain for. Technology provides new ways of giving people less than they thought they paid for. People buy digital content but don’t realize what they’re buying.

Nicolas Jondet – PhD Candidate, Edinburg Law School

Can we be informed by what’s happening in French law?

DVD Region coding is an issue outside the US. Another issue is videogames. There’s been a lot of litigation in France around DRM on music CDs, where it was introduced early. The most important issue is private copying – there’s a private copy provision in France. You pay a tax on blank media that is supposed to compensate, and consumers expect they’re allowed to make a copy.

French law wasn’t passed until 2006.

Court held in 2005 that DRM CD sold by BMI was defective because it wouldn’t play on all players. But a court held that Warner was ok having disclosed that a CD wouldn’t play on all players. Under French law (according to a court) if you use the CD logo it must play on all players or else it’s a deceptive practice. Sony was found guilty of deceptive practices for Sony Connect service, because they didn’t disclose that you could only purchase content with a Sony device.

New legal requirement that DRM can’t prevent copyright protections and there must be interoperability between DRM schemes. No cases brought yet, but it has had an impact – Apple called it “state-sponsored piracy”, and US thought it was in breach of WTO. But a few months later, Apple changed to DRM-free music.

Carl asks about advertising – does ad language conflict with terms and conditions when they claim you can “own” or “buy” content? Steve – if it’s a sale then first sale doctrine apply, but if it’s a license, then it depends on the terms of the license. But first sale applies to the copy you purchase, not the copy you’ve made online. DRM may help provide a solution to this problem – could enable someone to make a copy, transfer it to someone else, and then no longer have access to the first copy. Corynne – you don’t need DRM to answer this problem. Just have the consumer delete the original copy. (audience mutters, “yeah, right”). The distinction between a sale and a license has been an important one – and if there’s advertising implying you’re owning or buying, then it’s deceptive. Justin – do not assume that the physical world analogies translate to the online world. Maybe we shouldn’t be using words like own or buy.

In response to a question about whether it’s fair to use terms like “buy” and “sale” to transactions that depend on the continued operation of authentication servers, Steve asks whether people trying to innovate should be held hostage to having to continue business in perpetuity. That seems disingenuous to me – people should feel free to try those business models, but make it clear that it’s a content rental or loan or something.

[FTC Town Hall] Digital Rights Management FTC Town Hall – Intro and first panel

Bill Covington, Prof at UW Law School introduces the session.

Proceedings are being webcast at www.ftc.gov and will be archived and transcribed.

Mary Engle, Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC. FTC is not trying to take sides on whether DRM is good or bad, but they want help in understanding how the technologies affect consumers and how to promote informed consumer choice. There is an avalanche of choices for consumer in procuring digital content, but consumers have a hard time discerning what the bargain implies. What are unfair practices mean with respect to DRM? Case a few years ago against Sony/BMG for putting DRM technology on CDs without adequate notification to consumers. Lesson is that sellers need to particularly careful in advance to disclose all measures taken. Limitations on use right must be conspicuously disclosed by sellers. Consumers and content owners alike benefit from clear disclosure. The marketplace may solve many problems. We’re here today to discuss how content owners can provide adequate information to consumers.

Fritz Attaway, MPAA –

We can’t have a debate about whether DRM is good or bad – without DRM, how can we provide consumers choice (???). He maintains that DRM is “an enabler of consumer choice and innovation”. Consumers should be informed “fortunately, DRM technology is for the most part transparent” – there’s an icon on DVDs showing that consumers can’t make copies.

Jason Schultz – Acting DIrector, Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic, Berkeley School of Law.

How do we make it the best it can be for consumers? It poses a serious threat to consumers, how do we mitigate it? Are consumers surprised when they can’t copy a DVD or play it in another country? DRM doesn’t report back when consumers are frustrated. Uses example of President Obama giving DVDs to Gordon Brown, which wouldn’t actually play in Britian.

Goals of effective DRM notice – meet consumer expectations, lower information costs for understanding consumer value proposition for digital goods, communicate unique risks that digital goods may pose outside of standard value proposition.

Why information costs matter – Value > price + information/transaction costs (the time energy it takes to figure out what’s going on). When Information costs > value = market failure. Consomers either don’t buy or don’t read. Example of CMU study on privacy policies (McDonald & Cranor) – would cost an average of $3k per year per consumer to read all the policies they encounter (200 hours).

3 information costs in DRM market – 1. Limitations on use/transfer; 2. Limitations on interoperability with complementary goods and services; Limitations upon continuation of service.

There are security risks, privacy risks, and legal risks.

IF labeling will help, it will have to help DRM align with expectations, lower DRM information costs, and warn/prevent risks.

Bill Rosenblatt, President, Giant Steps Media Technology Strategies

Plays the role of “informed moderate” in these discussions. What do DRMs govern that users might want to know about? What are the trends for each of these?

DRMs govern: Devices, Identities and authentication, extents of usage, and usage information.

Device trends – more connected, device sets growing and changing faster.

Interesting use of “domain” to define all the devices a given consumer owns and uses.

Subscription services are slowly growing, managed copying rights for DVDs, etc.

Held a poll on his blog “How should the FTC regulate disclosure of content services that use DRM?”

1. Mandatoray disclosure in detail, like food ingredient lists (39%)
2. Mandatory disclosure at a high level (31%)
3. Mandatory simple rating (15%)
4. Keep it voluntary (15%)

[ICPL 2008] Gigi Sohn from Public Knowledge

Gigi Sohn from Public Knowledge was our after-dinner speaker. Gigi talked about the file-sharing provisions in the recently passed Higher Education Reauthorization Act and how the work that the higher-ed community did last year to get those provisions struck from the original bill language didn’t hold up when the language reappeared in a subsequent version. … Continue reading “[ICPL 2008] Gigi Sohn from Public Knowledge”

Gigi Sohn from Public Knowledge was our after-dinner speaker. Gigi talked about the file-sharing provisions in the recently passed Higher Education Reauthorization Act and how the work that the higher-ed community did last year to get those provisions struck from the original bill language didn’t hold up when the language reappeared in a subsequent version. She contrasted that with the success of the copyright-reform community in getting the FCC to censure Comcast for interfering with the use of BitTorrent by their customers.

Gigi noted several differences in the two efforts and came up with some recommendations for future efforts in organizing activity around legislative policy efforts, including keeping constant pressure on telling the story to mainstream media, mobilizing the grass roots, enlisting allies from the commercial sector, and more (wish I had had a note pad with me at dinner).

Gigi also proposed forming a task force of university presidents to work on national IT policy issues for higher education. Sounds like a very timely idea to me. It was a great talk that left me energized about poliy issues for the first time in a long while.

Institute for Computer Policy and Law

I’m here in beautiful Ithaca (not kidding) for the Institute for Computer Policy and Law, where I’m speaking later today. Steve Worona is introducing the Institute. There’s going to be a role play tomorrow where participants are asked to play either an entertainment industry exec, a campus CIO, or a student. The attendees are mostly … Continue reading “Institute for Computer Policy and Law”

I’m here in beautiful Ithaca (not kidding) for the Institute for Computer Policy and Law, where I’m speaking later today. Steve Worona is introducing the Institute. There’s going to be a role play tomorrow where participants are asked to play either an entertainment industry exec, a campus CIO, or a student.

The attendees are mostly either campus attorneys or IT policy people. During introductions people are being aked to name the biggest IT policy issue at their institution – many are talking about having consistently enforced policies and many are mentioning data management policies.

Off to Cornell for ICPL

I’m off today for the Institute for Computer Policy and Law at Cornell University, where I’ll be on a panel tomorrow that’s addressing policy issues for externally hosted email at universities. I’ll try and blog as I go. ICPL, travel

I’m off today for the Institute for Computer Policy and Law at Cornell University, where I’ll be on a panel tomorrow that’s addressing policy issues for externally hosted email at universities. I’ll try and blog as I go.

Barack and Hillary are on Twitter

So both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are on Twitter (I assume they have folks who do their twittering for them. Hillary has 1,486 followers, and is following 0. Obama has 12,953 followers and is following 12,261. Guess it shows whose campaign knows how to relate to the current generation netheads. I didn’t find John … Continue reading “Barack and Hillary are on Twitter”

So both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are on Twitter (I assume they have folks who do their twittering for them.

Hillary has 1,486 followers, and is following 0.

Obama has 12,953 followers and is following 12,261.

Guess it shows whose campaign knows how to relate to the current generation netheads.

I didn’t find John McCain on Twitter.