The Null Device
The Australian government moves to extend its grip on internet content in Australia, introducing a new law which will require interactive forums to meet TV-style classification criteria. Which sounds like it could mean that forums (such as blog comments, chat rooms, and so on) will either need to employ Chinese-style chaperones to actively police content or be put behind an age verification firewall.
Providers of live services such as chatrooms must have their service professionally assessed to determine whether its "likely content" should be restricted.Were this enforced literally, it would mean the end of non-corporate user-generated content in Australia. (Joe/Jo Blogger, with a full-time job, would not be able to meet their obligations by themselves.) Which could be just what the government (who have been aggressively moving to aggregate the Australian media into the control of as few proprietors as possible) could want. Then again, they may not need to enforce it completely, only to drag it out to take down any troublemakers who step out of line, and/or occasionally beat up someone out of line with mainstream community opinion to score culture-war points.
A US broadcasting executive has called for the industry to ditch digital rights management (DRM), because of the bad reputation it has with consumers. From now on, instead of DRM, the industry should use Digital Consumer Enablement (DCE), which does much the same thing, only sounds nicer. You see, instead of restricting what you, the potentially thieving consumer, can do, it enables you to enjoy the content in ways that your benevolent corporate elder siblings want you to:
Digital Consumer Enablement, would more accurately describe technology that allows consumers "to use content in ways they haven't before," such as enjoying TV shows and movies on portable video players like iPods. "I don't want to use the term DRM any longer," said Zitter, who added that content-protection technology could enable various new applications for cable operators.Though as someone pointed out in the comments, every time Hollywood come up with a freshly sanitised name, someone will come up with a more honest acronym for it, like, for example, Digital Captivity Enforcement.