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Why I’m a tablet fanboy

05 Apr

About a month back, my man Jesse Brown wrote a rather provocative post on his Maclean’s blog titled “The iPad sucks.” I was on vacation at the time so I didn’t really have a chance to respond, so now seems as good a time as any.

Ordinarily, I’m very much on Jesse’s wavelength as we agree on many things, like copyright and broadband. If you don’t know him, he’s the host of the great Search Engine podcast for TVO and co-founder of Bitstrips.com, a website that features online comic strips.

As far as the iPad is concerned, though, our mindsets couldn’t be more different. His main beefs are that it’s a product in search of a solution, that it doesn’t really do much new and that it is a closed device that Apple hamfistedly controls.

On all of those accounts, to quote Thor, I’d say thee nay.

True, when the iPad was first released, no one really knew what it would be used for. Analysts and journalists speculated that it would kill netbooks and revitalize newspapers and, as Jesse points out, it has probably done neither. But the same could be said for just about any technology product. There is always the use cases that its manufacturer intends, but then people figure out how to use it in different ways. The PlayStation 3, for example, was intended to play video games and movies, yet astrophysicists have used them to calculate black hole effects.

That’s an extreme example, but the point still stands. In many cases, if you build it, they will come – and each person figures out their own way to use it. The iPad has sold a gazillion units, which is proof that it’s actually a highly versatile device. While Apple suggested a few ways to use it, the millions who bought it – and the app developers who created for it – figured out their own use-case scenarios.

The one that has me totally sold is how the iPad allows users to completely eliminate paper from their lives. If you’re a regular reader, you may remember my recent rant about the exorbitant cost of printer ink. When my HP Photo Smart printer recently ran out, I resolved to go paper-free, which seemed like it might be a bit tricky given that I was getting ready to go on vacation to Thailand. Normally, I’d print out my hotel reservations and plane tickets and make photocopies of maps or relevant sections of my guide book.

This time around, I copied all my tickets and reservations onto the iPad as PDFs, where I could read them using a number of apps (I use Comic Zeal, which is ordinarily for reading digital comics books). I got a few weird glances from front-desk clerks at hotels when I handed them my reservations on an iPad rather than a piece of paper, but nevertheless, they were just as good. And rather than tote photocopies around, I downloaded a few apps that gave me maps and all the information I needed about the places I was going. Moreover, with the good and ubiquitous Wi-Fi I found in Thailand, I was able to find nearby restaurants and navigate with the GPS, not to mention get all my email and stay up to date on stuff.

Could I have done all that on a laptop or smartphone? Sure, and I did actually bring a phone along. I didn’t really use it though – in cases where I needed an internet connection, the iPad and its larger screen was always more convenient and better to look at and far more convenient than whipping out a laptop and firing it up.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve found myself strangely inundated with contracts to sign. Having banished my printer to the closet to await its eventual violent destruction (don’t worry, I’ll record and share that), this proved to be a bit of a problem and seemed to be the last obstacle in my quest to achieve printer-free bliss. Then I discovered a great app, SignMyPad, that lets you open PDFs and sign them by drawing your signature with your finger. You can also add in text and check marks, so you can fill out all manner of contracts and application forms. That’s something I surely wouldn’t want to try on a smartphone and it’s simply not possible on a regular computer. As it stands, I can’t see a situation in which I’d ever need a printer again. I can’t express enough how happy that makes me.

Many people – myself included – were initially concerned about how restrictive Apple would be regarding the content and apps that could go on the iPad. I was worried that if you wanted to put a movie on the device, for example, you’d have to purchase it from iTunes. Not so. The VLC app, for one, lets you copy over any movies you may have – ripped from DVDs or acquired in other ways – and completely bypass iTunes. That was a life saver when I discovered the earphone jack on my airplane seat was faulty. Rather than sit and listen to crackly sound for 15 hours, I was able to watch my own movies and TV shows on the plane.

Apple is known for being a very closed and secretive company, which are characteristics that manifest themselves both in the way the company does business and its products. And, as I’ve pointed out many times, the company is also very hypocritical when it comes to sex and pornography on its products. But so far, as it pertains to what can or can’t go on the iPad or any of Apple’s other mobile devices, fears of censorship and micromanaging control haven’t come to pass. That’s not to say they won’t, but there doesn’t seem to be any sort of media or content – porn included – that you can’t easily get on to the iPad.

Other companies’ tablets are sure to be just as good, if not better, and some will even be more open. Indeed, I played with the Motorola Xoom last week and it looks like a nice competitor. The iPad isn’t the be all and the end all, but it certainly isn’t all those things Jesse said it is. In my own experience, it does do new things and it does solve problems I have and it’s as open as I need it to be. Those who like to tinker with the guts of a device will surely figure out how to do so, but that’s something that just doesn’t concern me. I just want the thing to work and to do what I want it to do. Running Linux on it just isn’t high on my priority list.

I’m already hard-pressed to think of situations where my laptop is better than the iPad – viewing websites that use Flash is one obvious case, as is any situation where extensive typing is required. As such, the laptop is starting to gather dust from all the disuse of late. The trend is only going to increase as tablets, whether they’re Apple’s or someone else’s, are going to continue getting better.

UPDATE: I didn’t actually know VLC got pulled from the app store back in January. That said, there are other apps available – these may get pulled at some point too if they similarly run afoul of Apple’s app store policies. Even still, in a worst-case scenario there are many types of converting software out there that will translate your DVDs into formats that can be copied onto the iPad. It’s nowhere near as convenient but still completely doable.

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20 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2011 in apple, computers, ipad

 

20 responses to “Why I’m a tablet fanboy

  1. Russell McOrmond

    April 5, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Don’t worry about the man behind the curtain — he hasn’t stabbed anyone in act one, so that can’t possibly change by act 3 :-)

    The fact that Apple has keys to the locks on devices which allow them to override the owner’s software choices should be a concern. You shouldn’t have to go through the lists of times they have abused this already to know that the abuse is possible.

    They are also dealing with a marketplace where there are currently options, so they won’t fully exercise the power that having the keys to the locks on someone else’s property will give them. Changes in the law to make those other options slowly fade away is already underway.

    I have to repeat what I said in my intervention in front of the Bill C-32 committee, especially in the context of a federal election where the (yawn) gun registry came up yet again.

    http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=5024520&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=3#Int-3788397

    ” Any time you hear the word “lock”, you must always ask who manages the keys. It is not the owner that is in control but the entity who manages the keys. In most real-world examples of technical measures, copyright holders do not control the keys to locked content. They are sometimes but not always given the choice about whether it is locked or not, but not much control beyond that. In the case of locks on hardware and software, the keys are specifically denied to the owners of the hardware. The purpose of the lock is to lock the owner out of what they own.

    For no other type of property would this be considered. We would never legally protect non-owner locks to all guns in a country where many are uncomfortable with the mere registration of long guns. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our homes, alleging it was necessary to protect the insurance industry from fraud. We would never legally protect non-owner locks on our cars, allegedly to ensure that automobiles could never be used as a getaway vehicle.”

    I know this isn’t about tablets in general, but non-owner locked tablets, but it is an issue that Jesse brought up that you glossed over as if it didn’t matter.

    Please don’t try to suggest that this is a separate conversation from Apple or their products. It is Apple, Sony, Microsoft and a few other players in the technology sector that are behind non-owner digital locks appearing in “Copyright” legislation. It is true they have pawns from the recording, motion picture and other content industries being the faces in front of the cameras, but these folks don’t control the keys and thus don’t control the technology.

     
    • Chris

      April 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

      I totally agree with you, Russell. There has been a global trend for about a decade to take away user freedom in the technology fields, be it in devices, software or content.

      Pete, the same tyranny you object to with such eloquence about Canada’s Telecommunications Industry is much nastier and runs much deeper in the high technology field.

      Because of its extreme tyrannical ways, Apple will never get my money, no matter how good their products may be, and Microsoft only gets it because it found a way to come preinstalled on my computers.

      The copyright issue is one prime example that should help you understand why society is revolting against the tyranny of Corporatism and Institutionalism that is so well personified by Apple, Microsoft and Adobe.

      Enough is enough! What I do with the products and services I buy for my personal use is nobody else’s business, especially not any entity or institution, and if you are going to put a lock on them, I will either not purchase them or promptly break the locks.

       
      • petenowak2000

        April 5, 2011 at 11:19 am

        Hey Chris, I completely disagree because high-tech is waaaaay more competitive than telecom.

         
  2. Eric Hacke

    April 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I had one for about 6 months before selling it. Obviously it works pretty great for you, but let me explain why it didn’t work for me.

    I liked the interface, I liked the responsiveness. I liked reading books and comics on it. My girlfriend and nephews liked the games. But that’s about where it ended. It was a book reading device for me, and game device for my friends.

    1. The resolution is low, so video and text doesn’t look as nice as it could. They could have easily bumped up the resolution in the iPad 2, but chose to save that upgrade for iPad 3 to make people buy that one.

    2. The complete lack of a file system means that getting anything on or off the device is a pain. Files used in one app are not accessible in another. There is no reason you couldn’t just have a setting that made the file system visible for those that wanted it.

    3. No multitasking. App switching is not multitasking. I constantly found myself wanting to grab the corner of an app and shrink it to use something else while keeping the first one visible.

    4. The browser is like going back to a world without tabs. When was the last time you only had one browser tab open in Firefox for any length of time? Never. And as a result, browsing the internet on the iPad is painful. Even using multiple windows, the ones in the background don’t load, and take too many clicks to look at.

    5. It’s too big to be portable, and too small to be useful. I can’t just grab it and go like a cell phone, you need a bag to put it in. But then it’s too small to display HD resolution video.

    After a lot of agonizing I’ve decided not to try the iPad 2. Instead I’m just going to get a 4.3″ phone and use that for reading. That way I only have to carry one device instead of two.

    And that VLC application you mentioned? Got pulled from the App Store because the open source license doesn’t allow for Apple’s DRM.

     
  3. petenowak2000

    April 5, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Russell: believe me, I understand where you’re coming from but I also think we’re currently experiencing a fundamental shift in content ownership. We’re moving to a world where the consumer doesn’t “own” the content, nor do they want to, to one where all that’s purchased is access to it. It’s a big shift and naturally there’s resistance to it but ultimately it’s not being driven by the content producers but by the consumer. People are starting to change how they think about owning media – I had a conversation with my fiancee the other day about the many shelves of books and movies we have in the living room and we both agreed: we’ve only re-watched or re-read about 5%, so why don’t we get rid of them? Most of the movies are on Netflix anyway.

    Of course there will be situations where we still want a copy – you can’t bring Netflix on to a plane for example (yet), but there are options there too. I interviewed a guy from Rdio the other day and the service let’s you cache copies of songs to use offline on your mobile device. Moving content access to “the cloud” isn’t just a marketing ploy, it’s happening and for the most part it’s a good thing. I’m not concerned about Apple “stabbing” anyone because history shows they usually end up as a bit player in whatever business they get into. Have they done anything nasty with iPods, the sole are in which they dominate.

    Eric – we’re still in the early days of tablets. I think existing models are already great for what they DO do, not what they don’t, so I’m even more excited to see what future models will be capable of. (Tabbed browsing is nice, but I did get by before it.) As for VLC, the key point is that it wasn’t Apple that objected to it. There are many alternatives anyway.

    I agree that the first iPad is too heavy and big to carry around, although the second one is somewhat better. The Xoom is quite heavy, I found, so no luck there.

     
    • Russell McOrmond

      April 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Peter,

      Please go to the archived video from the C-32 committee where I do my “I am holding 4 things in my hand” presentation.

      I don’t disagree with what you are saying about content. I agree with what you say about the changing ideas about ownership of physical media, as we move more and more to scenarios where that physical media (and thus the ownership rights that existed with them) no longer apply. This relates to the changing dynamics between copyright owners and audiences for that content

      That is all about the stuff in my left hand in my presentation.

      But I wasn’t talking about content. I was talking about the things in my right hand in my presentation.

      I’m talking about the property rights of owners of information technology.

      This is why the petition I’m hosting that is most dear to my heart and politics is the “Petition to protect IT property rights”. http://BillC32.ca/petition/ict/

      Apple is also not all that concerned with locks on content. They are perfectly willing to sell unlocked content through the iTunes store, but when you talk about removing the non-owner locks from the devices they sell their true colours come forward (IE: see the exceptions rounds for DMCA in the USA).

      TPMs have little to do with content — that is an interoperability/competition issue. The digital locks we are primarily talking about are on our devices, and allow the manufacturer rather than the owner to control that device. The impacts are *FAR* beyond content, even if we could agree it had much impact on content at all.

      Again — answer me during this election why the Conservatives, who think that long gun owners shouldn’t even have to register them, are perfectly willing to legally protect non-owner locks on our information technology. Yes, the claim is that this has something to do with copyright, but that is like saying that applying non-owner locks on all guns has something to do with protecting fish stocks (IE: barely a connection). Sure, guns can be abused to shoot fish, but they have many more lawful and unlawful uses we need to be aware of.

      And we aren’t talking about non-owner locks on long guns, only registration!

      Please don’t get distracted by the idea that these changes are being made in the “Copyright” act that the impact will only be in relation to copyright-related activities. This is about companies like Apple circumventing abusing confusion by policy makers to circumvent the traditional contours of contract, e-commerce, privacy, trade, and consumer protection and property law.

       
      • petenowak2000

        April 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm

        Yes indeed, I do believe we’ve discussed the issue of content locks versus device locks before. The point I was making in the post above is exclusively about the content side of things. Like I said, for purposes of this post, I care only about whether I can get my movies on to the iPad and not so much about whether I can run Linux on it. That’s not to say that’s not an important issue, but it is different. Perhaps a topic for another post…

         
  4. Hub

    April 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Remember that PS3 you say was used to do computation? No more. Sony went to the next stage to remove the feature and sue whoever tried to unlock it. Don’t forget that.

     
    • Russell McOrmond

      April 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      They didn’t just retroactively removed a feature from someone elses property, something far more analogous to “theft” than any form of copyright infringement ever could be. They also sued PS3 hacker George Hotz for making tools available to allow other owners to remove these foreign locks.

      We would never tolerate this for any other type of property, so why are we excusing this behavior from Sony and Apple? Once they sell you some information technology they should be mandated by law to hand over to the owner any keys to any locks that were applied to this property.

      If these companies wanted to retain the keys, they should have to retain ownership and rent them to other people. Like home rental agreements which have entire landlord/tenant acts regulating them, there will need to be appropriate regulation of these relationships.

      Anything else is dishonest, and should be clearly illegal.

       
      • petenowak2000

        April 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

        Okay, so that’s what Sony has done. Now, for anyone who this sort of thing is important to – will they ever buy a Sony product again? Probably not. Who cares if what Sony did was legal or not? The company has burned its bridge with that particular market segment, which is an opportunity that some other tech company will happily take up.

         
  5. Russell McOrmond

    April 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Peter,

    This isn’t about whether you can run Linux on your hardware.

    It is about the question of whether the rights of owners of information technology are protected in the same way as owners of other private property.

    Without that protection of basic private property rights for owners of IT, what you can or can not do with this technology from a content (creator or audience) or any other perspective is out of your hands.

     
  6. petenowak2000

    April 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Again, the success of Android seems to counter what you’re saying. If one company is too restrictive, another will address that opportunity.

     
    • Russell McOrmond

      April 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Are you suggesting that as long as there is consumer choice, we don’t need property or other laws?

      When consumer choice is not enough: Dishonest Relationship Misinformation (DRM)
      http://BillC32.ca/5130

      Sorry if I seem aggressive on this, but I find it very frustrating when people so quickly dismiss what appears to me to be a pretty simple property rights issue. Our society would never tolerate people saying “Oh, you can just go to a competing home builder” if there were property rights issues with a home, so why are so many so quick to dismiss IT property rights?

      This is a legal issue that is currently an active political battle. Companies like Apple and Sony are political opponents to property rights activists in a policy making process, not simply vendors of products.

      If all they did is sell products that I had no interest in buying, there wouldn’t be an issue — but they are actively manipulating political discussions to have laws radically changed.

      The media (with you being a very important part in Canada) dismissing the importance of IT property rights plays right into their hands.

      Dismissing this issue is what you did with the paragraph that includes, “There is always the use cases that its manufacturer intends, but then people figure out how to use it in different way”. This section of the article wasn’t about content. It is about activities that happen to be activities where these vendors are actively trying to change the law against property owners. The law should clearly protect owners who decide to use *their* technology in ways not intended (or opposed) by the manufacturer.

       
      • petenowak2000

        April 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

        Don’t worry Russell, I know you’re very passionate about the issue and don’t mind discussing it. I’ll try to get into it further with a follow-up post tomorrow. In a nutshell though, I do think that consumer choice combined with rapidly advancing technology do make laws in this regard irrelevant. I’ll try to expand tomorrow.

         
      • Jason J Kee

        April 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm

        Russell, this is well-trodden ground, but as you’ve raised some of your old saws, I feel I must raise a few of my own.

        First, your concept of “IT property rights” (a version of which was recently espoused by such luminaries as Ric Falkvinge of the Pirate Party: http://torrentfreak.com/the-copyright-monopoly-is-a-limitation-of-property-rights-110320/) is predicated on an absolutist conception of property rights that does not actually exist at law. In fact, the very first lesson law students learn in first year property law class is that property as a legal concept is not absolute, but is frequently subject to limitations that operate to balance one party’s property rights with another’s rights (we also learn that the old saying “possession is 9/10ths of the law” is crap).

        For instance, most real property is subject to easements, rights-of-way or other limitations on title that apply to all purchasers of the title. Such limitations are frequently imposed to balance the owner’s property rights with another’s property rights or even sometimes the interests of the state (for instance, in the case of municipal rights-of-way). In either case, they operate to limit what the owner can do with their property… and the ability of the owner from excluding others from their property.

        Similarly, a property owner can agree to a negative covenant (a promise not to do something) that will “run” with the property and bind future owners of the property. Or a party can register a security interest in real or personal property that will bind and be effective against future owners. Or one can lose one’s legal property rights by failing to exercise them over a period of time (referred to as adverse possession or more commonly “squatters rights”).

        Again, the fundamental reason we accept such limitations on property rights is because we collectively recognize that there are circumstances where we must balance one party’s property rights against another’s rights.

        Accordingly, while you claim that people are treating “IT property rights” as different and are dismissing them, or are accepting limitations they would otherwise not accept, I would argue that in fact there is well established precedent on the limitations of property rights which, when coupled with a competitive marketplace that provides a variety of alternatives, is precisely WHY many people in the general populace (as opposed to those in technology fields who tend towards are more absolutelist and libertarian bent) are willing to accept limitations.

        And for the sake of breivity, I’m not going to go into other areas of laws that impose limitations on what one can do with one’s property, such as nuisance, etc.

        Second, as you yourself point out during your aforementioned “4 things” presentation, devices consist of hardware and software. Even if one accepts your absoluteist view of property rights, your simplistic “I bought it, I own it” model often does not apply to the device firmware/software, which is often subject to a license agreement. While you and I can debate the circumstances under which such agreements may or may not be enforcable, it is simply undeniable that such agreements significantly complicate the legal relationship between seller/licensor & buyer/licensee.

        Third, and perhaps most importantly, I agree with Peter that the most important thing to most people is that something works as they expect it to. As he astutely pointed out, we’re in the midst of a transition from product to service based models, and from an “ownership” to “access” paradigm for content. Personally, I see an increasing level of acceptance to the concept of being “licensed” content as opposed to “owning” it, and along with that an increasing acceptance of “limits” on devices (provided that they know what they’re getting when they buy the device). I think Peter illustrates this well when discussing the iPad; anyone who follows technology at all knows how Apple operates, and one buys their products expecting they’ll be things one can’t do with it and understand that there are both benefits and drawbacks to Apple’s “closed” model. If you want something more “open”, well there are plenty of tablets on (or coming on) the market to satisfy those demands too… and if “open” really is a superior model over “closed” then the “open” models will “win” now won’t they?

        In light of this, I find it comes across as disingenuous when someone yells about how their property rights are violated because they can’t load a piece of software on their iPad when they KNEW this was going to be the case when they bought it and there were other options available that would permit them to do this. It’s kind of like opting to buy the house with the smaller yard because it’s cheaper and then complaining that you can’t put in a pool because the yard is too small.

        And finally, I don’t think suggesting that a competitive marketplace operates to discipline bad actors and thus provides a degree of consumer protection is the same as suggest we don’t need laws. In fact, I think most would agree that property laws form the basis of the market… without them, the market wouldn’t function.

         
  7. Chris

    April 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    petenowak2000 :
    Hey Chris, I completely disagree because high-tech is waaaaay more competitive than telecom.

    Pete, I can’t believe you said that! How can you call the hegemony of Microsoft and Apple over the majority of all, not of Canada, but the World’s computers, a “competitive” situation?! When users have lost the ability to do what they used to just 10 years ago, when Microsoft’s hold on computer was simply an operating system, an arbiter instead of the be all and end all it has become today? When Apple was an actual innovator and a creator’s friend instead of the greedy tyrant telling what they can and cannot with their devices like it it has become today? Perhaps all artists should only make their songs using that app from the Apple Store?

    Are you so satisfied with the the state of freedom promoted by the software giants that you find it acceptable to be restricted to the list of options they have decided your freedom should consist of? Would you buy a car that you could not open the hood of?

    Have you not noticed the large corporations have been waging war against the ordinary person to take away the rights we gained through the personal computer revolution, and bring us back into unquestioned, obedient consumerism? It’s not just happening with Big Telecom, where have you been?!

    Man! It’s not April 1st anymore!

     
    • petenowak2000

      April 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Chris, I’m afraid I see things from a very different perspective. I’ll have some more about all this stuff in tomorrow’s post, but for one thing, aside from my Xbox I haven’t used a Microsoft product in ages. I just don’t have to. Anyone who doesn’t want to be boxed in to using Microsoft or Apple software on their computer doesn’t really have to either – Linux is a perfectly viable alternative. Furthermore, more and more computing is going mobile with phones and tablets and there you have Android, RIM and Palm as options. I don’t see how Microsoft is the ultimate arbiter you say it is. For many people, myself included, it’s an irrelevant company.

       
      • Chris

        April 6, 2011 at 12:40 am

        petenowak2000 :
        Chris, I’m afraid I see things from a very different perspective. [...] Linux is a perfectly viable alternative.

        Unfortunately, as much as it is ideal, it is not practical, there are just too many incompatibilities between the operating systems and, for many including myself, as it has taken us decades to make our computer to work exactly the way we want, to be told, especially by Linux fans, to abandon it all and start over from scratch is unthinkable.

        In other words, as bad as Microsoft has become, because of the huge investment many of us have put in software over the decades, moving to Linux and Open Source just won’t happen.

        As for myself… The best OS by far is still Windows 98, it’s the last OS that gave full control to the user, the last OS that allowed complete user access to the file system, on which the smartly coded, efficient software I’ve become proficient with over the years works perfectly and without a hitch. Unfortunately, as I’ve had to upgrade several years ago as computer manufacturers have been forced, under Microsoft’s iron hand, to remove support for previous OSes, it’s been an uphill battle that has significantly reduced the efficiency I had gained when I first computerized my operation, and I can’t imagine what will happen when I will finally have to let go of the 12 year old machine that has served me so well and, to this day, is the only one that can run ALL my software flawlessly.

        And don’t get me started on ‘upgrading’ and the cloud paradigm! Any company who works on the principle that software control has to remain in their hands and that users are sheep who will automatically consider the latest to be the greatest is delusional!

        That being said… Love your articles and the stimulating discussions it sparks. I’m sure you have much more influence that some would think you have from the responses you get here;)

         
  8. Chris

    April 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Jason J Kee :
    Russell, this is well-trodden ground, but as you’ve raised some of your old saws, I feel I must raise a few of my own.
    Third, and perhaps most importantly, I agree with Peter that the most important thing to most people is that something works as they expect it to. As he astutely pointed out, we’re in the midst of a transition from product to service based models, and from an “ownership” to “access” paradigm for content. Personally, I see an increasing level of acceptance to the concept of being “licensed” content as opposed to “owning” it, and along with that an increasing acceptance of “limits” on devices

    The problem with this assertion is that you assume that those whose rights are revoked by this new system (the users) are not going to be abused by those who retain and gain more control on these rights (the copyright owners).

    With the present trend of copyright enforcement, eventually most people will lose their rights to do anything with the content, which will concentrate them in the hands of the rich and powerful (witness the case of some artists whose songs are owned forever by their distribution company).

    The reason this is unsustainable is as rights are concentrated in the hands of the few, creativity will be suppressed and so will productivity of humanity, until those who have clung to those so-called rights realize their foolishness and that the only way for prosperity to flourish again is abolish them altogether.

    Hmmm… Wasn’t that what Gene Roddenberry predicted about the world in the 23rd century?

     
  9. Justin Esgar

    April 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Peter – just wanted to say thanks for the shout out about SignMyPad – we try to make it better everyday for people just like you!

    Thanks
    Justin Esgar
    CEO

     
 
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