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Re: Retracting the term ownership (was: Re: Separate trusted computing d

From: Marcus Brinkmann
Subject: Re: Retracting the term ownership (was: Re: Separate trusted computing designs)
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2006 20:34:20 +0200
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At Fri, 01 Sep 2006 13:32:45 -0400,
"Jonathan S. Shapiro" <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-09-01 at 19:16 +0200, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> > At Fri, 1 Sep 2006 17:44:54 +0200,
> > Pierre THIERRY <address@hidden> wrote:
> > > 
> > > I must admit I'm a bit confused here: what argument shows that the
> > > technology fundamentally doesn't work in the long run? And what do you
> > > mean exactly by this?
> > 
> > "Trusted computing" is the attempt to put information into a box,
> > providing only restricted views on the data inside it.  It is the
> > attempt to turn information into something material, that only exists
> > once, and that can be alienated by giving it from one person to
> > another.
> > 
> > However, the nature of information is very different.  As Thomas
> > Jefferson pointed out:
> > 
> >   If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of
> >   exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an
> >   idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he
> >   keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself
> >   into the possession of every one...
> I love the quote, but it isn't very relevant. What TPM shows is that the
> nature of divulgence can be altered through technical means. Given such
> technical means, it is not obvious that Jefferson's words (or any of
> those who preceded them) remain true today and in the future.
> If I am correct, it is certainly not the only thing universally believed
> in Jefferson's time that is now recognized to have been mistaken.

Well, it would be an interesting trick if you could change the nature
of information by mere postulation of a believe about it.  Of course,
TPM shows nothing of that sort, at least not in any obvious way.  Do
you have any argument in support of your theory?

BTW, Jeffersons arguments were certainly not universally believed.  In
fact, monopolies on ideas already existed in England, and where
included in the US consititution.  Since around that time (and
somewhat longer) there has been a poitical struggle about control over
ideas, so the controversy is by no means new.  The latest attempt with
TPM is only different in the scale of its attack on society, not in
the principles of its ideas.

As a corollary, this explains why the business models around TPM are
anything but innovative, but in fact the application of old business
models for property transfered to information.  It's really very
backward, old-school economical thinking.


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