Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Should Programmers and Content Contributors Be Licensed?

The blog directory is not showing all of the older entries. Here are the older entries:

Student Profiles, Teacher Blogs and Schools

Parsing Grownups and Kids on the Web: COPA: The Child Online Protection Act of 1998

Sensible Policies to Solve the Spam Problem

A Simple Way to Reduce Identity Theft

Log on Major Internet Issues

Blogs and campaign finance reform

Trademark Dilution Act of 2005

Inducing infringement of Copyrights Act

Jonathan Zittrain wrote a long article, “Without a Net: The Internet is vulnerable to viruses so lethal that they could gravely damage the online world—unless we upgrade law and technology now” in Legal Affairs, Jan-Feb. 2006. The main threat is a new destructive worm spreading catastrophically before anti-virus companies can catch it. Zittrain discusses the idea of licensing programmers and licensing the software that they create – an anathema to libertarians, except that this would be done by software vendors and distributors—which could expose contributors to business prejudices and to turf protection. An author whose software included a virus would lose his license. (Could this concept apply to general content creators like me?) He discusses concepts like end-to-end neutrality, which places more responsibility on untrained endusers than is desirable, and encouraging ISPs to take more responsibility for quarantining zombies themselves, which they are often loath to do.

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