All items about data ownership

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Via @lennysan, this is a great piece on how public, prosthetic memories will change us forever. Humans forget things with good reason: forgetting lets us discard old ideas in favor of new ones, and pain recedes so we can try things like childbirth again. Not so digital memory.

There’s a growing movement to put a statute of limitations on public digital data, even as Google reveals that it’s stored every search since its launch and the Library of Congress is archiving every Tweet.

As this Ars Technica piece points out, “in an age of ever-cheaper storage, the data committed to machine memory requires an act of will to delete.”

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Who owns your digital media?

Shoeboxes of Tapes, on FlickrIn  this episode of NPR’s Science Friday podcast from last year, New York Times columnist Randy Stross talks about how we’re now entering an age where our digital “products” are no longer ours to own.

When you buy music as an MP3 (assuming it’s not protected) you can copy or transfer it freely, to be used as wish, just as cassette tape recordings used to be. But in a world of controlled devices such as the Kindle or Apple’s iPod and iPad devices, it’s no longer to separate the “product” (be it an app, an e-book or an interactive website) from the device you use to consume it. Companies now have the ability to change the content, the experience or your access, after you have purchased it. Sometimes the content will be hosted online, in the cloud, which means you can access it anyway, but you’ll also never truly possess it.

Should we just accept this change, and be happy we won’t be carrying our media around for the rest of our life in shoeboxes, or should we fight to hold onto our rights of ownership so that we can be free to watch, read and listen whenever and however we want?

Read more, or listen to the MP3.


Image credit: draggin on Flickr.

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Peter Serafinowicz: Shooting himself by pirating his own movies?

Once, we only bought movies on VHS or DVD, and books in bookstores. But with the digitization of all entertainment media, there are many reasons why this doesn’t make sense any more – portability, cost, transport. Actor and director Peter Serafinowicz finds himself in conflict as both a content producer and consumer as to what is the right thing to do:

With bandwidth and storage increasing exponentially, getting cheaper, and consumers becoming more tech-savvy, its becoming easier every day to grab free copies of books, movies and albums. This is why Internet users are thrilled. Including me. This is why people in the entertainment industry are terrified. Including me.

It’s clear that the media industry and the law have not caught up with the way people want to access and own their content, and the way technology can be used. Read Peter’s detailed discussion of the moral rights and wrongs of piracy on Gizmodo:
Why I Steal Movies… Even Ones I’m In

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