Impedance Mismatch: Technology Outpaces The Law (Yet Again)

Impedance mismatch is defined as a term “which describes an inadequate or excessive ability of one system to accommodate input from another.” With the pace of change in technology exceeding that of many other areas in society, there is plenty of opportunity for impedance mismatch between what technology enables and how the rest of the world is prepared to accept it. The legal system is particularly prone to having interface issues with technology.

The recent federal ruling against Cablevision’s network DVR is a good example. Jason Fry has a somewhat scathing analysis in the WSJ.

U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin’s decision is remarkable for hitting the trifecta of digital-age frustrations: It fetishizes technology at the expense of common sense; points out, once again, how out of step copyright law is with our digital world; and raises the question of who, if anybody, will speak for consumers.

So let’s break this down. If the bits that make up your recording of “The Sopranos” go to a hard drive in your living room, everything is (presumably) legal. But if the bits that make up your recording of “The Sopranos” go to a hard drive in a Cablevision data center somewhere, that’s illegal. Got that?

Jason continues to outline a trend of using legal means to promote the rights of content owners and restrict fair use. He uses lots of examples from the NFL to YouTube. Worth reading.

About Simeon Simeonov

I'm an entrepreneur, hacker, angel investor and reformed VC. I am currently Founder & CTO of Swoop, a search advertising platform. Through FastIgnite I invest in and work with a few great startups to get more done with less. Learn more, follow @simeons on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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One Response to Impedance Mismatch: Technology Outpaces The Law (Yet Again)

  1. Pingback: Living Lonely » Impedance Mismatch: Technology Outpaces The Law (Yet Again) [HighContrast]

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