RE: Privacy implications of automatic alternative selection (Re: Acessibility of <audio> and <video>)

Sorry to belabor a point that, is probably viewed as off-topic by most,
and has probably, for the rest, reached tedium by now.  If you're in
that category, hit DELETE right now, please (read: I bear no
responsibility for your blood pressure should you read further)

 ... but....


The "privacy is dead" concept has become so commonplace that folks may
not realize the existence of alternative viewpoints:

So long as the Berne Convention (and signatory nations) recognizes that
copyright subsists in "original expressions fixed in a tangible medium,"
then privacy is largely protected by copyright. Though many seem to have
an interest in seeing privacy go away, few would share that enthusiasm
about eliminating intellectual property.  In most earthly (as opposed to
theoretical) systems of mores, ethics, and laws, property has usually
trumped reason, so even if you did want to argue away my copyrights, it
is likely to be very difficult given the momentum of extant legal


See ,
whence I come on this.


University students seem to have become particularly unconcerned about
their own privacy. When I ask if they would consent to have my Babel
fish installed in their brain (at zero cost and zero medical risk) many
say they'd be willing. When I tell them there is a 4 page EULA, still no
concern, and most admit they would not read it (who can understand those
things anyway?). When I tell them that after signing it, they've
assigned rights (now known or later discovered and throughout the
universe) to my corporation for all intellectual property that their
brain might ever construct, so that I might not only broadcast their
thoughts whenever I wish, but also keep all proceeds, then suddenly,
privacy seems to become important. 


David Brin, who gave the keynote at SIGCHI a few years ago, has some
interesting essays on the subject, well worthy of reading by the




(who might just claim - you never know -- copyright and all other rights
now known in perpetuity and throughout the universe on all my behavioral
byproducts, unless explicitly granted by donations to the public domain
or voided by pre-existing legal agreements into which I have knowingly



From: [] On
Behalf Of William Loughborough
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 11:39 AM
To: Justin James
Cc: Henri Sivonen; Charles McCathieNevile; HTML WG; W3C WAI-XTECH; Dave
Subject: Re: Privacy implications of automatic alternative selection
(Re: Acessibility of <audio> and <video>)


Scoping "privacy" is no longer, in any practical sense, feasible. As the
man said: "privacy is dead, get over it!"


On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 7:49 AM, Justin James <>

(note that I am not minimizing the privacy issue here,
just trying to get it scoped properly)


Received on Friday, 12 September 2008 17:35:34 UTC