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The Internet

Is Copy Protection Needed or Futile? 392

Hugh Pickens writes "Columnist Saul Hansell is hosting a debate about copyright issues and technology on his blog at the New York Times . On one side Rick Cotton, the general counsel of NBC Universal, says that anyone who is intellectually honest must 'acknowledge, confront and speak to the tidal wave of unlawful, wholesale reproduction and distribution of copyrighted content that is currently occurring in the digital world' and that we should be 'identify workable, flexible and effective approaches that reduce piracy without being intrusive and that fully respect other interests such as privacy and fair use.' Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, responds that 'locks will be broken, and so a business model that depends on locking is very vulnerable' adding that locks may form a part of certain successful business models but 'too much reliance on locking can seriously backfire.' Wu and Cotton will respond to each other and to comments by readers today." As for the man on the street, Panaqqa wrote us with word that the Question Copyright site has posted an interesting video of ordinary people explaining why they think copyright exists. It's pretty clear that most people don't understand it at all.

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