There is a great deal of discussion in the press on DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the fair use doctrine. I want to talk about some design patterns that depend upon capability technology and support DRM.

I want also to appeal to the idea that property rights that are easily understood and “enforced” are to be preferred, other things being nearly equal. Towards this end I will speculate about what property rights for bit patterns are feasible in our new world of bits and atoms. I concentrate here on capability software patterns for I understand better what thay can provide.

In a libertarian spirit I explore what voluntary contracts might be feasibly technically enforced between owners and users of such works (bit patterns).

Other Commentary

The Death of Digital Rights Management?
(define (ShowOnce flic)(lambda () (screen flic) (set! flic '())))
; the procedure 'screen' is presumed to be trusted by the caller of
; ShowOnce to put the image on the screen in a way that is not “screen scrapable”.
; ShowOnce merely defers presentation until it is convenient to the holder
; of the yield of ShowOnce.

; The IP owner performs (Send (ShowOnce film) “Customer”)
; The Customer invokes the received message. 
“Uniqueness” under general lattices refers obliquely to guarantees that backups will not duplicate certain data. Much needs to be filled in, however.
See this.