Donna Wentworth
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile)

Ernest Miller
( Archive | Home )

Elizabeth Rader
( Archive | Home )

Jason Schultz
( Archive | Home )

Wendy Seltzer
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile )

Aaron Swartz
( Archive | Home )

Alan Wexelblat
( Archive | Home )

About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

a Typical Joe
Academic Copyright
Jack Balkin
John Perry Barlow
Blogbook IP
David Bollier
James Boyle
Robert Boynton
Brad Ideas
Ren Bucholz
Cabalamat: Digital Rights
Cinema Minima
Consensus @ Lawyerpoint
Copyfighter's Musings
Copyright Readings
CopyrightWatch Canada
Susan Crawford
Walt Crawford
Creative Commons
Cruelty to Analog
Culture Cat
Deep Links
Derivative Work
Julian Dibbell
Digital Copyright Canada
Displacement of Concepts
Downhill Battle
Exploded Library
Bret Fausett
Edward Felten - Freedom to Tinker
Edward Felten - Dashlog
Frank Field
Seth Finkelstein
Brian Flemming
Frankston, Reed
Free Culture
Free Range Librarian
Michael Froomkin
Michael Geist
Michael Geist's BNA News
Dan Gillmor
Mike Godwin
Joe Gratz
James Grimmelmann
Groklaw News
Matt Haughey
Erik J. Heels
Induce Act blog
Inter Alia
IP & Social Justice
IPac blog
Joi Ito
Jon Johansen
JD Lasica
Legal Theory Blog
Lenz Blog
Larry Lessig
Jessica Litman
James Love
Alex Macgillivray
Madisonian Theory
Maison Bisson
Kevin Marks
Tim Marman
Matt Rolls a Hoover
Mary Minow
Declan McCullagh
Eben Moglen
Dan Moniz
Danny O'Brien
Open Access
Open Codex
John Palfrey
Chris Palmer
Promote the Progress
PK News
PVR Blog
Eric Raymond
Joseph Reagle
Recording Industry vs. the People
Lisa Rein
Thomas Roessler
Seth Schoen
Doc Searls
Seb's Open Research
Shifted Librarian
Doug Simpson
Stay Free! Daily
Sarah Stirland
Swarthmore Coalition
Tech Law Advisor
Technology Liberation Front
Siva Vaidhyanathan
Vertical Hold
Kim Weatherall
David Weinberger
Matthew Yglesias

Timothy Armstrong
Bag and Baggage
Charles Bailey
Beltway Blogroll
Between Lawyers
Blawg Channel
Chief Blogging Officer
Drew Clark
Chris Cohen
Crooked Timber
Daily Whirl
Dead Parrots Society
Delaware Law Office
J. Bradford DeLong
Betsy Devine
Ben Edelman
Ernie the Attorney
How Appealing
Industry Standard
IP Democracy
IP Watch
Dennis Kennedy
Rick Klau
Wendy Koslow
Elizabeth L. Lawley
Jerry Lawson
Legal Reader
Likelihood of Confusion
Chris Locke
Derek Lowe
MIT Tech Review
Paper Chase
Frank Paynter
Scott Rosenberg
Scrivener's Error
Jeneane Sessum
Silent Lucidity
Smart Mobs
Trademark Blog
Eugene Volokh
Kevin Werbach

Berkman @ Harvard
Chilling Effects
CIS @ Stanford
Copyright Reform
Creative Commons
Global Internet Proj.
Info Commons
IP Justice
ISP @ Yale
NY for Fair Use
Open Content
Public Knowledge
Shidler Center @ UW
Tech Center @ GMU
U. Maine Tech Law Center
US Copyright Office
US Dept. of Justice
US Patent Office


Monthly Archives

May 27, 2010

Typekit, Bad Language, and Good Fonts

Email This Entry

Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Last August I wrote about Typekit, which was supposed to help us untangle some of the mess around licensing and use of fonts on the Web. Then a friendly reader pointed me to a story about Typekit on Readable Web.

In the blog entry from March, Richard Fink points out some clear evidence that Typekit either isn't working as designed or is putting up misleading copyright information. Fink uses the word "fraud" but in the comment back and forth with Typekit's Jeffrey Veen, Fink admits that he may be guilty of unnecessary hyperbole. Veen's defense, that he (and Typekit) don't know how to write licenses and so may be guilty of bad wording at worst, may be true but seems like sloppy work. Is there no one at Creative Commons or other organization that could help out here?

One other tech link I saw in Fink's post is worth surfacing here: The League of Moveable Type, an organization dedicated to the production and distribution of free and open fonts for use on the Web and elsewhere.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Tech

May 26, 2010

It's a Fine Tradition, Charlie Crist

Email This Entry

Posted by Alan Wexelblat

The Talking Heads, from the Little Creatures album
Following in the footsteps of the US Air Force and before that Presidential candidate John McCain, the Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, is using the Talking Heads' song “Road to Nowhere” in an ad for his Senate campaign. And David Byrne is going to sue him for it.

Byrne's blog post notes that he has always maintained a no-ad use (though I seem to recall him appearing in some non-US ads possibly without Talking Heads music) and makes the point that the use of a person's music may imply some kind of endorsement. Ironically, Byrne notes that when McCain got sued by Jackson Browne part of the settlement (McCain lost) was an agreement by the RNC to obtain licenses in the future. I guess Crist forgot about that part of upholding law and order.

According to a piece in Billboard magazine on the suit, Byrne has retained the same attorney who represented Browne and who presumably was part of those settlement negotiations. Byrne is asking for USD 1 million in damages, a symbolic amount to be sure, but (again, according to Billboard) it's representative of the amounts Byrne has been offered in the past for use of his material.

If the Cartel had any soul at all it would be filing amicus briefs on Byrne's behalf. But I'm not holding my breath.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:

May 21, 2010

Walking On Eggshells

Email This Entry

Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Boingboing pointed me to this really excellent example of how the new generation feels about the remix culture it is bringing to live. The example comes in the form of a three-part video posted to YouTube (under a Creative Commons license of course).

This video, called "Walking On Eggshells: Borrowing Culture in the Remix Age" is a documentary produced as a final project for a Yale course titled "Intellectual Property in the Digital Age". In the documentary, the three student filmmakers interview a variety of creative types (artists, writers, and lawyers) and muse on the society and technology of the remix. In a way it's a paean to the art form, and it's also a plea to the forces of the Cartel please to leave this form be, to let it nurture and grow.

Everyone in the film seems quite aware that remixing is appropriation and appropriation is at best questioned and at worst punished. And yet, it's what they do. It's what's expected. It is, as I've said before, the culture of the next generation. It's the background assumption. The only question to be answered is how long will people like this have to walk on eggshells before the law and business learn to adapt to this mode of doing and treat it with cooperation rather than trying to exterminate it. The "mystique of authorship" is not just unnecessary, it's counterproductive.

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Big Thoughts

May 20, 2010

It's In The Times, So It Must Be Respectable Now

Email This Entry

Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Back in January, Seth Fischer dropped by to point out that if you want to escape the slush pile, small press is where it's at. Self-publishing has always had the taint of untalented egotism on it - they don't call it 'vanity press' for nothing.

But as Virginia Heffernan explains in a New York Times Magazine piece from last month, the size and quantity of self-published material is now more than double that produced by traditional (big) publishing houses. And the trend strongly favors the self-publishers, with a 180%+ rise in volume produced year-over-year while the big guys are down another fraction. Vanity it may be, but it's gotten cheap enough, easy enough, and dare we hope popular enough that it can be done by anyone with something to say.

Heffernan points to CreateSpace (still one of the most popular Copyright posts for the past few years) and a couple other outfits/imprints that are trying to help people preserve, create, and disseminate their own work. I confess I was surprised to see the degree to which the industry has grown in just the past two years.

The question now is whether the self-publishing industry will be a victim of its own success. One of the things that publication from a major house gets you is at least some level of review and editing, which people take as at least a first-order measure of quality. What will become the markers for quality in self-publishing? Every social media site has some kind of populist like/rate system but how useful is that?

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Markets and Monopolies

May 12, 2010

For There Will Be Musicians

Email This Entry

Posted by Alan Wexelblat

detail from illustration The Atlantic article
...even if the (current) music industry dies the death it seems so richly to deserve. So assures us Marc Weidenbaum , publisher of the online electronic 'zine Disquiet. Normally, Disquiet only has things to say about its musical topics, which are primarily ambient and electronic music.

However, in the May issue of The Atlantic, editor Megan McArdle took to task the current generation of "freeloaders", complaining that "...a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment." Are we, now? Responding to the news that last year was yet another dismal year for the recording portion of the Cartel, McArdle recites figures that lament the aging of the music acts that pull in big bucks. She's apparently completely unaware of the club scene, the DJ scene, the remix scene or - frankly - anything that someone under 30 would consider modern, new, interesting music.

It's true that if your concert tickets are $200 each then you're not going to get a lot of young people at your shows. But really is that something wrong with the audience, or with your ticket price? It seems that McArdle is confusing a couple of different concepts here.

Weidenbaum points out another fundamental contradiction in the piece - the conflation of "the music industry" with "musicians." And to point out that contradiction he wrote a response and commissioned something very much like a musical (ambient) score to go along with that response. He asked ambient musicians to riff on the illustration that accompanied the Atlantic piece (which itself might have been technically a copyright violation) and then he goes to town on McArdle.

The result is a mixed media piece called "Despite the Downturn: An Answer Album" that you can read and listen to (for free) on Ambient music is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition for me, but I really enjoyed playing the album while reading Weidenbaum's thoughtful response. I encourage you to do the same.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Counterpoint