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REVIEW: "Darknet", J. D. Lasica

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKDRKNET.RVW 20050603 Darknet , J. D. Lasica, 2005, 0-471-68334-5, U$25.95/C$33.99/UK#16.99 %A J. D. Lasica %C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25, 2005
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      BKDRKNET.RVW 20050603

      "Darknet", J. D. Lasica, 2005, 0-471-68334-5, U$25.95/C$33.99/UK#16.99
      %A J. D. Lasica
      %C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
      %D 2005
      %G 0-471-68334-5
      %I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
      %O U$25.95/C$33.99/UK#16.99 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471683345/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471683345/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 308 p.
      %T "Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation"

      The introduction defines a darknet as a collective system for sharing
      media files, especially those involved with the removal or
      circumvention of copy protection technologies. As such, it is
      basically what is also referred to as a file sharing or peer-to-peer
      (in the non-technical sense) network, and later the book says that
      *the* "Darknet" is the merging of all such networks. Lasica also
      notes other possible implications of the term Darknet, such as the
      fear that excessive copyright and digital rights restrictions may
      having a chilling effect on creativity and free speech. (Neither the
      consistency of capitalization nor the usage of the term darknet become
      any more definite as the book progresses.)

      Chapter one provides some stories from the world of "personal media":
      works created by individuals. There is not much analysis of the
      content, although there are lots of anecdotes and quotes. Gambits,
      particularly by movie producers, to extend copyright protections and
      restrict use, are covered in chapter two. "Release groups," discussed
      in chapter three, break copy protection and distribute new movies over
      the net. Personal media gets more coverage in chapter four. Chapters
      five and six review various new technologies, first for compression
      and transmission, then for modified usage, such as systems that
      automatically "G-rate" restricted movies. The point of chapter six is
      somewhat confused, and this turmoil is even more evident in chapter
      seven, where accounts of people doing "good works" with pirated
      material seems to be intended to raise some kind of issue with respect
      to copyright. (Lasica has a brief mention of a new kind of fair use
      which he calls "digital rights," but the topic is abandoned
      undefined.) Chapter eight is back to personal media (with personal
      broadcasting), and nine has more modified use technologies such as
      TiVO, ad skipping, and modified pay-per-view. Music gets special
      attention in chapters ten and eleven, first with collections and
      playlists, and then with modified use. Chapter twelve provides some
      historical notes on early file sharing networks. Gaming, and the
      trading of game "content," is discussed in chapter thirteen. And
      there is yet one more run at "personal media" in chapter fourteen.

      As can be seen by the outline, the same themes and topics tend to be
      repeated several times. The stories are easy to read, but the social
      ramifications promised in the early parts of the text do not
      materialize. The narratives are fun, but there is nothing here that
      hasn't been said before in the mass of magazine articles that have
      been written on the subject.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2005 BKDRKNET.RVW 20050603

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      The things that count most in life, usually can't be counted.
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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