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Re: bit-split, or: the schizophrenia of trusted computing

From: Jonathan S. Shapiro
Subject: Re: bit-split, or: the schizophrenia of trusted computing
Date: Mon, 01 May 2006 09:58:19 -0400

On Mon, 2006-05-01 at 15:29 +0200, Lluis wrote:
> El Mon, May 01, 2006 at 12:28:01AM -0400, Jonathan S. Shapiro ens deleità amb 
> les següents paraules:
> [...]
> > And no, you really *didn't* answer the painting question.
> For me, it is a simple question of _ethics_ (please, don't talk about 
> moral).
> First of all, let's say that we are (as I undestood) basically talking 
> about copyrights.

The question was not about copyrights. Copyrights are a legal
abstraction. The question was about the ethics of controlling or
restricting the propagation of information at zero marginal cost.

My expected outcome was that the ethical issue has nothing to do with
whether the artifact is digital. It entirely has to do with the marginal
cost of reproduction (to the initial holder) being zero, and the belief
that creating artificial scarcity is fundamentally unethical.

I am still not 100% certain, but I think that this is actually where
Marcus and I ended up.

I do not agree with this position, but it is a consistent position. I do
think that it is useful to be clear that the issue centers on marginal
cost of reproduction and not digital encoding. As we move to a world of
nanotechnology, the line between information artifacts and physical
artifacts will become increasingly blurry, but the definition of "cost"
will remain something we can think about clearly.


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