Thursday, July 28, 2005

Personal Memory Assistant


Jamais Cascio projected the always on scenario of the existence of a personal memory assistant where
what we see, what we hear, what we experience will be recorded wherever we go.

Once upon a time, on a sunny evening with a distant rainbow in the east, sitting on the wet green lawn near the roses, Albert and Trebla went into an argument AGAIN...

Albert: Have you read my comment of the Participatory Penopticon impact on learning?

Trebla: Yes, but I don't agree that "those in intellectual property business" are in trouble.

Albert: Why?

Trebla: Do you notice that every now and then, people put up the idea of user-pay for education? building toll way instead of free way?

Albert: Yes, but what has those to do with the IP issue we are discussing now?

Trebla: Do you think government will get elected by raising tax?

Albert: No, but what's your point?

Trebla: How expensive is the election?

Albert: OK, very expensive, so...?

Trebla: Who has money?

Albert: Big businesses. I have enough. If you are not interested in this topic, we will switch topic.

Trebla: Brother, the future depends on the politics. Free content is only wishful thinking by the little people.

Albert: Please explain.

Trebla: If I were the boss of the big company owning a lot of IP, I would start planning to collect IP fees via tax. Everyone who buy a PMA will have to pay a tax levy on the assumption that they are capturing IP.

Albert: OK, that will make the PMA more expensive. That may push back the introduction of such devices for a few years.

Trebla: Brother, remember that businesses are greedy. That won't satisfy they appetite! Then businesses will ask for charging content on per-use basis. Every time the PMA captures any content, the user has to pay for it. Every time the PMA replays the content, the user has to pay for it.

Albert: WHAT! Don't you think that kind of law can be passed?

Trebla: 100%. Big businesses have money. Money get people elected. The law will be made in the interest of the these businesses.

Albert: Trebla, you are so negative! There are a huge movement against digital right, e.g. Electronic Frontier Foundation and open source movement. If we don't want to see the scenario you describe, I need to act now to stop IP limitations on content today.

Trebla: Albert, I hope my scenario will not happen too! But the odds are just not on your side.