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In the digital age, your files and memories are not truly yours any more. They belong to the cloud

KYLE GOODWIN wants his stuff back. One day, he decided to set up a company in Ohio to film local sports events. For a while, business was good, but then he got a shock.

To keep his valuable footage safe, Goodwin had placed it in a popular storage facility. On 19 January last year, all those assets disappeared without warning. As did everything put there by more than 150 million others. When he asked for his livelihood back, he was refused. So he decided to go to court.

Goodwin's experience represents a much deeper problem – and it is at the heart of the way we use technology today. "This is about internet users and the future of internet usage," says Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is providing Goodwin with legal help. Why? Goodwin's video footage was digital, and stored on a computer server in "the cloud". The US government, who confiscated his material, is essentially claiming that he forfeited his rights to his property the minute he uploaded it.

What's at stake affects you because almost everybody online now uses cloud computing in some way, whether it is for webmail, social media or reading ebooks. Clusters of servers thousands of miles away now hold our favourite music, photo memories and vital correspondence. We are headed for a world in which we will live our entire digital lives in the cloud, but these developments are poised to change our basic assumptions about ownership in surprising ways. Are we ready?

Read the full article at New Scientist

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Replies to This Discussion

Interesting. Part of proving ownership for copyrights is the publishing of what is your intellectual property. I don't think the government can claim ownership of that property.

He forfeited his rights to his property the minute he uploaded it.

The cloud is like a bank with a network of ATMs.
Here's my data, please keep it (safe) for me.

When I deposit my cash, I'm not fucking publishing it!

I don't use the cloud, and not understanding the comment. =(

Google docs (now Google Drive) is a good example the cloud. So is our GMail mailboxes. This website is technically on the cloud. 

I have a DropBox folder, it is on the cloud. Some of my videogames are on the cloud and so are my YouTube playlists, and more than a few images on Picasa. Protected from local system failures (painful - trust me), easily shared for distributed work and accessible from anywhere, what's not to like about the cloud?

That's if I retain ownership of what I deposit.

If it's not that, then it's everything you store there becomes their property to do with as they wish. Probably the best solution to off site storage is to install an internet accessible drive at someone's house that you trust.

I guess this can become tricky;  suppose a song or an article that already have ownership's rights is on the net, is there a battle between the goverment and the individual (s) ?

The Eagle is fouling its own nest just as the Dragon is stirring and the bear is looking back in time!

Also by putting in that back door also works both ways!

As I have said before you lot bomb the hell out of totalitarian states only to become one yourself. When the citizens of a democracy have no idea what their government agencies are doing then you have a totalitarian state! Actually you are worse than Communist Russia because the people knew what the government agency were doing, only they didn't have the protest option you lot have!

This also goes for any Democracy that is following your lead and not really telling the people what their Secret agencies are really doing!


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