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[liberationtech] Another loss for the Internet

Gregory Maxwell greg at
Wed Feb 19 15:39:59 PST 2014

On Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM, Jonathan Wilkes <jancsika at> wrote:
> "Now say that the user has installed a third party add-on that either
> accidentally or intentionally (through design or through compromise) blocks
> or otherwise prevents my "TV Web Application" from delivering that EAM to
> the user, and, consequently their house is destroyed, potentially with loss
> of life.

Or what if they looked away from the screen?

The future of web-browsing?

Advertisers would love it.

I don't discount that there are indeed arguments that fringe
liabilities could exist— someone could even, as my silly example says,
sue you because they looked away. But fringe effects are not part of a
reasonable duty of care.

Taking away functionality in the name of eliminating fringe
liabilities is just a form of offloading a cost through externalities.
 The user pays for the loss of freedom and the lack of control and
choice they have over their viewing apertures— arising from market
force enabled by things like patented DRM technology— makes it cheap
and easy to force the costs onto the user.

There are other ways of dealing with fringe liabilities, go insure
against it— for example.  Shackling the users control of their own
devices and their own experience on the internet shouldn't be an
acceptable solution.

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