Thursday, October 14, 2004

WiFi neighborhood free-for-all (for now) 

Well, it turns out a guy living right here in Toronto has harnessed the airwaves, using WiFi to distribute his Internet connection as well as a massive library of recorded content, including digitized broadcast television.

"Now most of Andrew's neighborhood is watching digital TV with full PVR capability, making unmetered VoIP telephone calls, and downloading data at prodigious rates thanks to shared bandwidth. Is this the future of home communications and entertainment? It could be, five years from now, if Andrew Greig has anything to say about it."

As my hero Ali G asked so eloquently in one of his interviews, "What is legal?" Well, I could answer that I bet this set up is NOT, even though it seems ridiculously convenient, inexpensive and cool. Signal retransmission is allowed in Canada, but the CRTC said that permission doesn't extend to Internet rebroadcasters (Q: is a WiFi LAN/WAN the Internet?). Moreover, doing the PVR thing and providing it to neighbors (Q: are his neighbors the general public, or only his close friends?) Seems to fall on the side of copyright law where you get your butt hauled into court by the Canadian Recording Industry Association or some other such group of Darth Vader's friends.

Sure, sure, you say, this is so awesome that Canadian lawmakers would have to be on the MPAA's payroll not to try and find a way to encourage this sort of innovation that efficiently uses our technological resources, eh? Well, time to come up with a good argument about how all this might actually not fall foul of CRTC regulations and the Copyright Act- but that's for another day.

LINK: I, Cringely (from wirelessbandit)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?