Lawyers may like the idea of more secure documents. Wouldn’t it be nice to know your password-protected documents were uncrackable? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to remotely make a document which was e-mailed by accident unreadable by the recipient?

But noted writer and pundit Cory Doctorow asks us to examine "How Vista Lets Microsoft Lock Users In." Here’s the sub-head from his Information Week essay: "Technology called ‘Information Rights Management,’ combined with copyright law and Windows Vista, give Microsoft the tools to hold users’ data hostage in Office, says Cory Doctorow." His premise is that combination of those factors may allow Microsoft to claim in the future that it is illegal for competitors to build applications that will open protected Word or Excel files, even for authorized users with the password. Many lawyers will appreciate this short analysis of the interaction of law and technology.

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author and co-editor of the blog Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things, which is consistently ranked as the most popular blog on the Internet by Technorati.

Hat tip to Tulsa lawyer Jody Nathan for the link.