It turns out that I'll be attending and reporting on portions of the Berkman Center's always fascinating Internet Law Program in Cambridge next week (May 13-15) -- as will two other weblog writers likely to be familiar to Copyfight readers: Frank Field and Clancy Ratliff.
Frank, Clancy and I will also be leading dinner discussions on Friday night, so if you're a Copyfight reader planning to attend, you'll have your choice of Copyfight-related themes. Check them out below -- we hope to see you there!
My dinner: What's the Next Step? Mapping Out Battle Strategy in the Fight for Semiotic Democracy
We're seeing (multiple) battles for control of the networked world at the physical, logical and content layers. For every thrust, there is a parry. What are the winning strategies so far in the fight for semiotic democracy and free culture? How can we build upon the promise embodied in "code"-oriented projects like Creative Commons or H2O? How do we bolster the effectiveness of transparency-enhancing projects like the OpenNet Initiative or Chilling Effects? What's working -- or not -- in the courts? How about on Capitol Hill? Finally, what's the best way to make the case to the general public that unless balance is restored to copyright law, culture, education and innovation suffer?
Read on for descriptions of Frank and Clancy's dinner discussions -- both of which I would attend if I weren't leading my own:
Frank's dinner: Getting Out Of The Box: Reforming/Reframing The Rhetoric Of Copyright
The language of the copyright debate is dominated by words ("pirate," "theft")
charged with negative connotations that are factually and legally irrelevant to the issues at hand. The words have (so far) successfully defined the debate in such a way that many of the ideas presented at ILaw have little chance of being heard, much less debated. Much of this derives from the use of metaphors to explain technologically sophisticated notions to a lay audience -- metaphors that have served us badly. What can we do about it? How might we reframe the language of this debate? Or is it already too late? And, if so, is there another battlefield to try?
Clancy's dinner: Scholarly Publishing, Weblogs and the Digital Commons
Right now, we are in the midst of a shift in scholarly publishing from print to online and, some might argue, from a proprietary model to an open access model. A profusion of scholars are keeping weblogs, and many are licensing the content under Creative Commons licenses. Moreover, several online academic publication are publishing under Creative Commons licenses. As one who frequently converses with scholars about alternative publishing models, I will explain the resistance I have encountered to Creative Commons licenses, particularly those that allow derivative works. I hope to facilitate a fruitful discussion of ways that the current face of scholarly publishing can be changed, especially to the benefit of the public interest, libraries, and webloggers, who, I would argue, are making a significant and as yet unacknowledged contribution to knowledge-making in the academy.