Jul 31, 2009

1984 in 2009 Cloudy DRM Brave New World Controversy

A quiet Friday night in Wollongong after a busy week - the pizza finally delivered - footy is on TV (husband is a long time St George tragic) & a glass or two of red wine. Hardly intending to think about a serious novel like "1984".

"1984", of course has always been a provocative text for high school students - along with Animal Farm, Brave New World & Lord of the Flies etc - enjoyed reading it years ago, then left it behind and buried it

So to be honest, initially I found the latest furore over Amazon deleting "1984" from Kindle just too much Twitter and RSS hype ... until @RossDawson "tweeted" on a legal action by a Michigan teenager midway through Friday night footy.

Justin Gawronski had saved notes on Kindle - which he'd obtained

"because he knew he’d be reading a lot of books for his Advanced Placement English class. “If there’s something that catches my eye as I am reading, I just place a note there” using the Kindle’s keyboard, he said. Those notes are useful, he said, because “every 100 pages we have to write a 1-page summary and reflection of everything that we read,” he said.

But on July 20, when Gawronski turned on his Kindle, he watched his copy of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” disappear right before his eyes. “It was a bit ironic,” he said.

Amazon didn’t delete the file containing Gawronski’s notes on the Kindle device. But since the book text “no longer exists, all my notes refer back to nothing,” he said. “I can’t really use it for much.”

When he e-mailed Amazon’s customer service department for help, he received a message from the company saying they were sorry, but there was a copyright issue with the original book."

Then there was Michel Bauwen's provocative post - "Is Cloud Computing Dangerous for Innovation ?" where he quoted Jonathan Zittrain :

"This freedom is at risk in the cloud, where the vendor of a platform has much more control over whether and how to let others write new software. Facebook allows outsiders to add functionality to the site but reserves the right to change that policy at any time, to charge a fee for applications, or to de-emphasize or eliminate apps that court controversy or that they simply don’t like....

If the market settles into a handful of gated cloud communities whose proprietors control the availability of new code, the time may come to ensure that their platforms do not discriminate. Such a demand could take many forms, from an outright regulatory requirement to a more subtle set of incentives — tax breaks or liability relief — that nudge companies to maintain the kind of openness that earlier allowed them a level playing field on which they could lure users from competing, mighty incumbents

eek ... I had started to ponder Cloud type apps last November - finally pulling my head out of the sand ... now I even have Cloud metadata'd in my GoogleReader and Delicious social bookmarks. I'd quizzed my IT geek husband (manages a PMO & develops virtual private clouds when he's not doing WOW in his "downtime"). David filled in few gaps for me back then - and basically it is still a very dry Records Management issue. But then look at the furore over whether Barak Obama was born in Hawaii or Kenya - then the implications of Records Management begins to crystallise ... imagine the implications of records like that disappearing in a Cloud "oops" ?

So when I quoted a few lines from Justin Gawronski's "1984" Kindle debacle - distracting him from Friday night Footy'n' Pizza .. a few terse IT Geek comments followed ....

"Always make sure you have your own downloaded copy of data (information /reports etc) - because you never never know ..." interesting from a guy who is often more "don't you worry about .. it'll be all ok".

Couldn't agree more ... and some of my fellow engineering types thought I was overreacting to environment monitoring data being stored on a 4th party Cloud site. However my org's IT folks were a little more cautious.

But I guess that sadly we are going to need a few more Justin Gawronski's, before Digital Rights (DRM) associated with the "Cloud" get fully sorted. And some folk are going to have heads in the sand like I used to ... but then maybe it's an ISTJ vs INTJ thing ?

Posted via web from kerrieannesfridgemagnets's posterous

No comments: