Again, I do not have the time to provide commentary on Ernest Miller’s latest additions to Hatch’s Hit List, but I want to ensure you are aware of them:
- Hatch’s Hit List #9 – Darknets
For a number of reasons, some people don’t want to share certain files with the world. They would prefer to have private networks that restrict membership and are cryptographically obscured against prying eyes. For example, some may wish to share home videos solely with family and friends. Or perhaps the darknet can be used for ad hoc business collaboration. There are many, many legitimate uses (otherwise known as “substantial non-infringing” uses) for such darknets. Of course, there are just as many illegitimate uses, such as copyright infringement.
- Hatch’s Hit List #10 – 3D Scanners
Of course, that is the problem with new technology, people don’t see how, in a few years, they might come to be seen as irreplaceable: how did we ever live without it? Not every technology ends up being useful, of course, but plenty of them went through a stage where their ultimate promise wasn’t quite clear…
Sounds pretty good to me. Lots of people are doing animation at home, as well as creating models for 3D game mods. Some of them would likely love to use a consumer 3D scanner to make creating such models easily (think about what you could add to “The Sims”!). And, of course, if you have a 3D Printer as well, watch out – the potential uses are unlimited (Hatch’s Hit List #2 – 3D Printers)!
Who knows what other great uses people may come up with for 3D scanners? Sizing for mail order clothes? It doesn’t really matter, however, because, if the INDUCE Act passes, many of the initial uses are clearly going to involve copyright infringement.
- Hatch’s Hit List #11 – Virtual Jigsaw Puzzles
Who hasn’t put together a jigsaw puzzle at one point or another? Of course, physical puzzle pieces have a tendency to get bent through enthusiasm, or even lost. So why not a virtual puzzle on your PC, where pieces can’t get lost? Alright, so maybe it isn’t as fun, but it sure seems popular given the number of virtual puzzle programs out there.
- Hatch’s Hit List #12 – FreeCache
Basically, the system reduces bandwidth by caching large files nearer the users. Unlike other caches, the various “FreeCaches” distribute information among themselves. This means that bandwidth required for the original site is minimized. This is an excellent means for those without lots of spare bandwidth to distribute larger files.
Of course, if the INDUCE Act as currently written becomes law, lawyers are going to start asking some very disturbing questions regarding why the notorious copyright scofflaws at the Internet Archive developed such a system they knew could be easily abused by infringers. Heck, anyone can come along and make infringing material available via FreeCache.
- Hatch’s Hit List #13 – Disaster Relief Communication Systems
Well, one of the goals of the project is:
Using off-the-shelf hardware and software, including some technology developed in Silicon Valley, the team will install the system under deliberately harsh circumstances. It will be designed to help get crucial information where it’s needed, securely and reliably, but not in a way where it’s subject to central control….From the standpoint of tomorrow’s communications, Strong Angel has enormous potential. If it’s possible to create what amounts to a cheap, ad-hoc, reliable and secure information network under difficult circumstances, human freedom itself could get a boost. Such a system could help bring a freer flow of information to places where dictatorships or lack of a standard infrastructure have kept information in the hands of a few.
Again, sounds good. However, any such system will likely have many copyright infringing possibilities, especially if a cheap and reliable version is made readily available to the public.