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True Sharing and Fake Sharing of Information

What is the difference between true and fake sharing? Lawrence Lessig addresses the question on his blog this week:

What is the relevance to government information? Lessig points out that YouTube, a company that was built upon sharing of information “freely” to everyone, is threatening legal action against someone for simply enabling people to save YouTube content to their own machines. There is an irony there! And the irony leads us to wonder how GPO will “freely” distribute government information without prohibiting full, easy, access to complete content.

GPO can do this in a number of ways such as using DRM technologies (GPO has never said they will shun DRM). But an even easier way is to make government information “viewable” (as they promise in their strategic plan) but not make the document easy to download. (Have you ever tried to download more than one page at a time of the Congressional Record)?

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