Copyright Is Like QWERTY: Locked-In and Retrospective

The term ‘path dependence’ is generally used to describe the development of technological standards and how they ‘lock in’ a given technical solution. The QWERTY keyboard is often given as an example of path dependence – the fact that the costs of changing the keyboard to a better, more efficient solution, hinders change. The same can be said about much of the copyright legislation today, but then at the expense of privacy and other rights.

It is no surprise that the companies making and selling QWERTY keyboards have never been eager to switch standards, as they would then lose their market advantage. In a similar sense many of the legal solutions embedded in how copyright is regulated have become path dependent and locked-in too.

Copyright laws keep on being ‘copied’, even though there are seemingly better solutions out there. The industries that depend on copyright are not in favor of change because this would mean that they would lose authority and power, and possible revenue. The worst consequence of this “path dependence” is that copyright interests gain at the expense of everyone’s privacy.

Let me explain how. Continue reading…

Related Posts

The FBI and Service Provider Wiretapping, or What’s In Your Wallet? The FBI’s apparent desire to require all communications service providers to design a means for law enforcement to access encrypted communications i...
Mozilla Leads the Way on Do Not Track Earlier today, Mozilla announced plans to incorporate a Do Not Track feature into their next browser release, Firefox 4.1. Google also announced a new...
Does disk encryption really protect your data from unauthorized access? Disk encryption is one of several physical security measures that could be used to protect data on your computer from unauthorized physical access. An...
EFF’s Guide to Protecting Electronic Devices and Data at the U.S. Border Amid recent reports that security researchers have experienced difficulties at the United States border after traveling abroad, we realized that it's ...
Why I will not buy Google’s Cr-48 Chrome Notebook The Cr-48 is Google's cloud-based notebook computer. It was announced just this week, and is being made available to a select few. In computer-speak, ...
10 Reasons for Developers to Love HP webOS There comes a time in a Linux-loving geek’s life when he or she needs a new challenge. Making desktop apps isn’t hacking it anymore and building yet-a...

We Recommend These Vendors

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*