The digital dilemma essay

Are we to deprive ourselves of the help and guidance of that vast body of knowledge which is daily growing upon the world, because neither we nor any other one person can possibly test a hundredth part of it by immediate experiment or observation, and because it would not be completely proved if we did? Shall we steal and tell lies because we have had no personal experience wide enough to justify the belief that it is wrong to do so?

The digital dilemma essay

The stakes are high in terms of both ideology and economics. Not surprisingly, much discussion of these issues has occurred in the Congress, among stakeholder groups, and in the press. But the effects of the information infrastructure extend beyond these institutions; as never before there are also important and direct effects on individuals in their daily life.

The information infrastructure offers both promise and peril: Providing an appropriate level of access to digital IP is central to realizing the promise of the information infrastructure. Ensuring that this appropriate level of access becomes a reality raises a number of difficult issues that in the aggregate constitute the digital dilemma.

This report articulates these difficult issues, provides a framework for thinking about them, and offers ways of moving toward resolving the dilemma. Intellectual Property in the Information Age. The National Academies Press. Some stakeholders see the issues in economic terms; some in philosophical The digital dilemma essay others in technological terms; and still others in legal, ethical, or social policy terms.

Knowing about the full range of forces may open up additional routes for dealing with issues; not every problem need be legislated or priced into submission. Individuals exploring these issues are well advised to be cognizant of all the forces at work, to avoid being blind-sided by any of them; to avail themselves of the opportunity to use any of the forces when appropriate; to be aware of the process by which each of them comes about; and to consider the degree of public scrutiny of the values embedded in each.

The committee believes that the issue of intellectual property in the information infrastructure cannot be viewed as solely a legal issue as it was, for example, in the white paper Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure, IITF, 1 or through any other single lens.

Such an approach will necessarily yield incomplete, and often incorrect, answers. The first two sections of this chapter focus on the implications for society and individuals that arise from the everyday use of the information infrastructure, with an emphasis on intellectual property that has been published in the traditional sense.

The last section offers guidance on and principles for the formulation of law and public policy.

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For some of those issues, a summary of alternative perspectives is provided, with the intent of exposing the core issues to aid future discussion. Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: Implications for Public Access Public access to published works is an important goal of copyright law. There is also a long-standing if not always explicitly articulated understanding that this social and cultural record will continue to accumulate, be preserved, and be available for consultation.

At least since the modern era of public libraries, broad access to a college education, and mass media, such information has become increasingly available.

Yet there are aspects of the information infrastructure that, although vastly increasing access in some ways, also have the potential to diminish that access, which is a valuable component of our social structure. The Value of Public Access Public access, and the social benefits that arise from it, may be an undervalued aspect of our current social processes and mechanisms.

The digital dilemma essay

An individual, library, or other entity is free to give away, lend, rent, or sell its copies of books and many other materials 17 U. There may also be some countervailing effect, because some people who get access to a book through borrowing are motivated to buy it; lending is in effect a form of advertising.1 THE DIGITAL DILEMMA: A Perspective on Intellectual Property in the Information Age* by Pamela Samuelson, University of California, Berkeley, and Randall Davis, MIT.

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.

Rent-Seeking, Public Choice, and The Prisoner's Dilemma. Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess, or may assume.

Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

A digital essay is a coherent whole. Unlike the open-ended form of blog, to which you can always add a new post or page or link, the elements of a digital essay need to work together as parts of a cohesive structure.

The ethical dilemma of computer downloads, namely music downloads, has been under great scrutiny in the last few years. Napster, if any one symbolizes the new technology, was the front runner in developing the new digital trading.

The ethical issues seem to revolve around the all mighty dollar. Some. Back in , the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain began investigating piracy of Dave Barry’s popular column, which was published by the Miami Herald and syndicated widely.

» Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable Clay Shirky