Bar Association Wants ?Pirate? WiFi Regulated


| April 11, 2003


The American Bar Association is looking closely at copyright issues related to wireless Internet use. Trouble is, they don?t seem to know anything about 802.11x networking or the Internet.

Author Cory Doctorow, writing on his weblog, boingboing.com, notes that the report by the ABA?s Committee on New Information Technology may be ?one of the most clueless documents? he?s ever read. The committee, he says, seems to view wireless Internet networks as simply a tool for copyright infringement, ?with a grudging admission that offices find them useful sometimes.?

The group recommends that wireless networks be retooled to accomodate Digital Rights Managment (DRM) schemes, which protect content providers from copyright infringement by restricting how customers may use the materials they?ve purchased, a suggestion that Doctorow says ?is like saying ?to protect the environment, we should get recyclable toner cartridges for our manual typewriters.??

In other words, he concludes, the ABA simply wants to redesign wireless networks and the Internet to prevent copyright infringement, ?even though you?d think that a bunch of lawyers would have some idea of how impractical that is.?
?Craig Cox

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