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Re: Risks of insufficient concept design

>> I do not claim to understand the product fully, but my contention is
>> that the entire concept on which it is based runs counter to the
>> strengths of the online medium.
> Does this mean then that people who have copyrighted material are better 
> off not placing that material online?

If theft of the material is their biggest concern, then yes, they are
vry probably better off not placing it online.  Thumbnails or previews
might be more suitable.

> Because if what your saying, that openness and linking is the most
> important thing, I contend that people who have copyrighted material
> will decide not to place their information online.

I agree, and believe that there are an enormous number of people and
organisations reluctant to put their content online for exactly these

> This fear, whether founded or not, IMHO, runs counter to the 
> strengths of the online medium.

I don't think that fear itself runs counter to the strengths of the
medium, but action or lack of action motivated by that fear might do so.

>> As far as I am aware thre is curently little or no legal precedent to 
>> clarify under what circumstances images have been copied legally and under 
>> what circumstances they have been copied illegally.
> Correct.  And that is where I think products like SiteShield help. 
> Unfortunately, it will ultimately be for courts to decide, by why 
> shouldn't sites be given the opportunity to protect their content?  If they 
> choose to pursue legal battles with someone who may be profiting in 
> whatever manner from their content, they would at least be able to contend 
> that they've made an attempt to protect the content.  As it stands now, I 
> don't think they would have much chance because of the way caching works.

I agree, and I belive that caching technology will continue to improve and
will make SiteShield even less effective in the future.

>> However, if you prevent these users from making a link to your
>> original content, you immediately lose the ability to track new uses of
>> your content.
> Don't misunderstand what we're trying to do here - we don't prevent links 
> (nor would we want to), but rather the *unauthorized* use or referencing of 
> content.  It's funny how people seem to misinterpret that.  If sites want 
> to grant permission, not a problem.  And while the use of an image could 
> also be a link to the original site, it seems most prevalent that people 
> who reference images don't make them link back and to top it off, don't 
> give credit to the original author.

This is true, and is what we are trying to overcome with transcopyright.
It is currently not always easy to define exactly what uses are or
indeed should be unauthorised.  Transcopyright clarifies a whole class of
authorised usage - most online usage would be pre-authorised.  If we can
agree on technical standards enhancements to improve the back-linking it
will, I believe, almost totally eliminate the need for a product such as
SiteShield.  "Second-generation" hypermedia systems such as Hyper-G (now
HyperWave) incorporate bi-followable and bi-visible links inherently.

> Another point to make about SiteShield is that if sites want to use it they 
> can, but they don't have to.  And they don't have to protect their entire 
> site, maybe just one or two key images.

This is certainly true, but I would argue that if they have one or two
images of such value that they feel the need to purchase SiteShield in
an attempt to defend them, they would be far better off to consider
alternatives which would increase their revenue stream sufficiently to
offset any theft or else keep their valuable property offline altogether.

>> Finally, I did not see a technical explanation of the security measures 
>> which would allow independent scrutiny.  Security by obscurity is of 
>> little use.
> Point taken.  BTW, I'll be reading Xanadu information today to gain a 
> better understanding of your approach to copyright issues.

Thank you for your gracious and thoughtful response.

	*** AVATAR ***
mailto:xanni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx                     Andrew Pam
http://www.aus.xanadu.com/xanadu/               Coordinator, Xanadu Australia
http://www.glasswings.com.au/GlassWings/        Technical Editor, Glass Wings
http://www.sericyb.com.au/sc/                   Manager, Serious Cybernetics
P.O. Box 409, Canterbury VIC 3126 Australia     Phone +61 3 96511511