Bits Are Not Atoms: Why Counting Copies Is No Longer Right
A lecture by Steve Worona, Director of Policy and Networking Programs, EDUCAUSE
June 19, 2008
From sheet music to piano rolls to LP's to CD's, music has been distributed as tangible artifacts. As "things" that you can see, touch, mark, and move from place to place. Things that you can count. And so it's been natural to monetize intellectual property by counting these things, by counting copies. But in the digital world of the Internet and magnetic storage, we're dealing with bits, not with atoms, and bits are not just smaller atoms. In this talk, we'll explore how the laws of physics undercut traditional business models for intellectual property and how legislation and public policy are struggling to cope with this new reality.
Events sponsored by Cornell Information Technologies, University Computer Policy and Law Program, Computer Science Department, College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Institute, and Cornell University Library.