February 17, 2003
This article does a great job of spelling out the “for-good-or-evil” element of Palladium. One part notes, “Indeed, Microsoft says it is listening to its critics. It has been talking with academic researchers about the new technology far earlier than usual in Microsoft’s product-development process.” I really hope MS is actually consulting academics, technologists, et al on how to make Palladium great in security without completely obliterating the public’s rights in copyright.
Later: It’s worth noting that Professor Felten is disappointed by the article, and he has good reason to be. The article only gets as far as the threat to fair use and only a little on interoperability – it doesn’t get into how Palladium won’t really help protect our medical records, for instance (do you think any hospital will let you determine how you send them your information?).
I guess I’m less disappointed with it simply because any discussion of the conflicts and disagreements is better than none. It’s a good intro that clues the reader in on a subject they (ie, most people) probably know nothing about. It doesn’t advance the debate a lot, but it does do a good job of summarizing in clear, non-technical language what a lot of the debate has been about.