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No cache meta tag and intellectual property.

Music: Copyright Law Book

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Music: Free Music Book

Responsible Web Caching

by Hal Berghel in September 2002 Full Article

While the world recognizes a difference between perusing the intellectual property of others on the one hand, and making and distributing copies of it on the other, this distinction seems to have completely escaped the attention of the creators of the Internet Cache Protocol. When a teacher provides their students with perusal copies of written work, designs, computer programs, artwork, etc., there is no implication that they surrender any ownership rights. Nor is there any implication that the teacher has given the students a license to copy, distribute or sell copies. To claim that there is such an implication would be patently absurd. Artists don't automatically surrender rights when they agree to have their paintings displayed in a gallery. Neither does the owner/author of Web content.

Internet Cache Protocol: Cache Busters [no- store]

under HTTP 1.1, "no-store" is the only option available for those who want to control the dissemination of their intellectual property. Under the current Web caching scheme, the author has no protection against copyright infringement at all.

Benign DNS Caching -

Benign caching takes place at the lower, physical network layer through the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), only there the bindings are from IP addresses to actual physical addresses of the computer built into the hardware of the motherboard or network card (type ipconfig /all> at a command prompt to find yours).

Malignant Caching

Web caching goes beyond the benign. In its extreme form, it routinely violates the principles that modern societies routinely use to manage intellectual property up to and including overt copyright infringement. For want of a better term, we'll refer to this as the malignant strain of Web caching.
"The optimization side of Web caching is indispensable to the successful deployment of the Internet. The intellectual property side is a disaster.
The solution to the problem is the engagement of people who are sensitive to intellectual property issues, not just those interested in improving network efficiency, in a complete overhaul of the Internet Caching Protocol. The new version should explicitly contain Cache-control directives that are socially responsible when it comes to authorship, providing appropriate credit, delineating just how much latitude the owner/author has licensed regarding subsequent distribution, whether royalties are required, definitive versions, copyright, and so forth." Server-caching and browser caching are both (a) ephemeral, and (b) directly linked to the original source. Such is not the case with the potentially pernicious form of Web caching on proxy servers.

The International Web Content Caching and Distribution Workshops have been held annually since 1996. Program information and proceedings are online at The focus of these workshops is technical, with no evidence that I can find that there is much attention paid to underlying ethical issues.

Many caching programs for a wide variety of Unix and Windows NT/2000/XP servers are available. These include: