Wendy Seltzer is a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. A Fellow with Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, she founded and leads the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse. ChillingEffects.org collects and analyzes cease-and-desist notices sent to Internet users, and provides information to help these users understand their rights in response. She was also an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law this past fall, teaching Internet Law. Wendy is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.
Seltzer outlines her point of view on the panel: "I've been a technology geek longer than I've been a lawyer, so it disturbs me when the blunt tool of the law gets in the way of cool new toys. I wanted to explore how copy controls affect media devices and user experiences by talking with people who have been designing, testing, and using the latest media tech.
"We're trying to cut through the hype about DRM. To some people, 'rights management' is the greatest thing since sliced bread; to others it's the devil incarnate. Do the two groups see eye-to-eye at any point? Are they even talking about the same 'DRM'? We'll look at where rights management is being used now, and to what effect. Lots of business models are built around delivery of locked-up audio and video content. Are these models more likely to add value or to alienate customers? Companies strike different balances trying to accomodate both rights managment and consumer demands -- which ones work?
"I hope technologists and content providers will come away from the presentation with ideas about how to serve their customers better, and that end-users will leave with clearer demands for and expectations from new technologies they use. As technology becomes deeply ingrained in our lives, we need to think hard about who controls our technology. Do our computers obey us or our software vendors; will our speakers lock us out at the behest of the record company? Technological innovation will come from those who focus on the needs of their customers first."