Corante

AUTHORS

Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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Elizabeth Rader
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Jason Schultz
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Wendy Seltzer
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Aaron Swartz
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Alan Wexelblat
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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

COPYFIGHTERS
a Typical Joe
Academic Copyright
Jack Balkin
John Perry Barlow
Benlog
beSpacific
bIPlog
Blogaritaville
Blogbook IP
BoingBoing
David Bollier
James Boyle
Robert Boynton
Brad Ideas
Ren Bucholz
Cabalamat: Digital Rights
Cinema Minima
CoCo
Commons-blog
Consensus @ Lawyerpoint
Copyfighter's Musings
Copyfutures
Copyright Readings
Copyrighteous
CopyrightWatch Canada
Susan Crawford
Walt Crawford
Creative Commons
Cruelty to Analog
Culture Cat
Deep Links
Derivative Work
Detritus
Julian Dibbell
DigitalConsumer
Digital Copyright Canada
Displacement of Concepts
Downhill Battle
DTM:<|
Electrolite
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
GrepLaw
James Grimmelmann
GrokLaw
Groklaw News
Matt Haughey
Erik J. Heels
ICANNWatch.org
Illegal-art.org
Induce Act blog
Inter Alia
IP & Social Justice
IPac blog
IPTAblog
Joi Ito
Jon Johansen
JD Lasica
LawMeme.org
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
miniLinks
Mary Minow
Declan McCullagh
Eben Moglen
Dan Moniz
Napsterization
Nerdlaw
NQB
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
Slapnose
Slashdot.org
Stay Free! Daily
Sarah Stirland
Swarthmore Coalition
Tech Law Advisor
Technology Liberation Front
Teleread
Siva Vaidhyanathan
Vertical Hold
Kim Weatherall
Weblogg-ed
David Weinberger
Matthew Yglesias

LINKABLE + THINKABLE
AKMA
Timothy Armstrong
Bag and Baggage
Charles Bailey
Beltway Blogroll
Between Lawyers
Blawg Channel
bk
Chief Blogging Officer
Drew Clark
Chris Cohen
Crawlspace
Crooked Timber
Daily Whirl
Dead Parrots Society
Delaware Law Office
J. Bradford DeLong
Betsy Devine
Dispositive
Ben Edelman
EEJD
Ernie the Attorney
FedLawyerGuy
Foreword
How Appealing
Industry Standard
IP Democracy
IPnewsblog
IP Watch
Dennis Kennedy
Rick Klau
Wendy Koslow
Kuro5hin.org
Elizabeth L. Lawley
Jerry Lawson
Legal Reader
Likelihood of Confusion
Chris Locke
Derek Lowe
Misbehaving
MIT Tech Review
NewsGrist
OtherMag
Paper Chase
Frank Paynter
PHOSITA
Scott Rosenberg
Scrivener's Error
Jeneane Sessum
Silent Lucidity
Smart Mobs
Trademark Blog
Eugene Volokh
Kevin Werbach

ORGANIZATIONS
ARL
Berkman @ Harvard
CDT
Chilling Effects
CIS @ Stanford
CPSR
Copyright Reform
Creative Commons
DigitalConsumer.org
DFC
EFF
EPIC
FIPR
FCC
FEPP
FSF
Global Internet Proj.
ICANN
IETF
ILPF
Info Commons
IP Justice
ISP @ Yale
NY for Fair Use
Open Content
PFF
Public Knowledge
Shidler Center @ UW
Tech Center @ GMU
U. Maine Tech Law Center
US Copyright Office
US Dept. of Justice
US Patent Office
W3C


Copyfight

Category Archives

February 24, 2014

Pay for (Broadcast) Play Rally

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

If you're in NYC tomorrow you may want to attend a (free) Content Creators Coalition event promoting their effort to get the United States to add pay for (broadcast) radio play royalties to the mix. It's headlined by David Byrne, from whose email list I got the notice. The event invite has more info on the performer list and event location.

If you've been reading this blog for a while you know that royalties have been a major sticking point for Web radio. Pretty much every form of digital transmission involves royalty payments, but terrestrial broadcast radio has had an historic exception to this requirement, which the CCC and others want changed.

In theory I'm sympathetic to this effort. It's undeniable that people whose music has seen heavy airplay have not been compensated for that play. However, the imposition of royalties on other forms of broadcast/streaming have not served artists well. See the ongoing attempt to drive Pandora out of business by playing royalty shell games. The simple notion that adding royalties to broadcast radio will automatically mean money for artists obscures the vast mechanisms of the Cartel, which have proved adept at extracting money from all and sundry, but have a much worse track record in paying out to anyone. I'd like the CCC - or anyone else who supports adding broadcast royalties - to spell out how this money is going to be different and how it will actually flow to the performers. Once I see that, I'll be more likely to support.

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October 10, 2012

FOMC Annual Summit, Washington DC Nov 13

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Our friends at the Future of Music Coalition (FOMC) sent out a reminder that their annual Summit is happening next month (November 13th). This will be their 11th annual conference and this year it's free to attend. In addition it'll be streamed live online for free.

Speakers and event info for the one-day affair, as well as online registration, can be found here: http://futureofmusic.org/events/future-music-summit-2012

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October 2, 2012

Two Upcoming Events - NELA and Arisia

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

I will be speaking at two events in the near future.

October 15th I'll be part of the New England Library Association's annual conference, a three-day affair that will be in Sturbridge MA this year. I've been invited to talk on the topic of e-books and libraries and I've tentatively titled my spiel "Why E-Books Suck (unless your name is Amazon)".

Arisia will once again be MLK weekend in January (18-21) and there will be a couple of panels on intellectual property. Topics and panelists aren't final yet - I'll update once I know for sure. I know that a couple of my co-panelists from previous years are planning to return this year and we're hoping to have some discussions focused on IP and creative folk (e.g. authors and artists).

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January 2, 2012

Intellectual Property Panels at Arisia

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Last month I noted I would be speaking at the Arisia SF convention on a couple of IP panels over MLK weekend in downtown Boston. Convention details are linked from the previous post.

The schedule is now up and the winners are:
* SF/F, Prior Art, and Patents, Fri 5:30 PM (I'll be playing the role of the creative type in a sea of legal opinions.)

* Copyright, Satire, and the Public Domain, Sun 1:00 PM (this one will also feature Richard Stallman. Me, Stallman, and three IP lawyers. Should be a hoot.)

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December 14, 2011

Me, Talking About Copyright And Patents

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Once again I'll be doing a couple of intellectual property panels at the annual Arisia science fiction convention in Boston next month. At least one of them will also feature Richard Stallman. The con is January 13 - 16, 2012 at the Westin Boston Waterfront. Plus we have Phil and Kaja Foglio as Guests of Honor this year, so that should be pretty awesome right there.

I still don't have a final schedule for when the Copyfight-relevant panels are taking place. I'll post that once it comes out.

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July 2, 2009

World e-Book Faire

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Project Gutenberg and the World Public Library are co-promoting a month-long event with that name. Their theme is one of "public access" and they're offering something like two million eBooks for download.

I haven't investigated completely but it appears that all the offered downloads are in PDF format without any DRM or other electronic encumbrances. (One can argue that PDF isn't as good as text, for any number of reasons, but that's a separate issue.)

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May 14, 2009

Interstitial Arts Foundation Event

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

After my post about new art forms I got a pointer to this event: Interstitial Salon, June 11th in New York City.

I don't know anything other than what I've read on the Web about this Interstitial Arts Foundation - anyone have any contact or experience with them?

My first response is that, no, interstitial doesn't really describe what I was after - I'm looking for something that is more broad-brush and definitive of new forms, not something trying to fit itself into the spaces between existing forms. Still, this might be an interesting event. If you go, please send me a trip report.

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December 30, 2008

IP and Me at Arisia 2009 (Jan 16, Cambridge MA)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

I just got my panel schedule for Arisia 2009, one of the big local science-fiction cons. As in past years there will be panels on things of interest to fans, including intellectual property. At the moment it looks like I'll be on a panel Friday night on the "Future of Intellectual Property" that will also have Richard Stallman as a participant.

That should be interesting. The last time Stallman saw me he had some unkind words to say, but it's not entirely clear he remembers who I am.

 

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December 15, 2008

Creative Commons Turns 6 (NYC Party, Dec 16)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Sorry for the last-minute-ness of this. I just got a mail saying the event has moved to a larger venue to handle the bigger than expected crowd:

Creative Commons' Birthday and Salon NYC
Come celebrate CC's 6th Birthday and our December Salon
Host: For Your Imagination / CC
Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: For Your Imagination Loft
Street: 22 W. 27th St., 6th Floor (between Broadway & 6th Ave.)
City/Town: New York, NY
Contact: Fred Benenson
Phone: 9178267819
Email: fred@creativecommons.org

(I'm told that if you are very hip, which is to say not me, you can RSVP on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=50435427568 )

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August 19, 2008

A CBLDF Benefit Mashup Thu Aug 21, 7:30P

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Cory Doctorow and DJ Spooky on stage together in NYC to benefit the CBLDF.
Details here: http://www.cbldf.org/pr/archives/000367.shtml

Two very interesting and thoughtful people. Benefiting a great charity. What more could you ask? (except to be in NYC this Thursday night)

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August 6, 2008

Future of Music Coalition Events (Fall 2008)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Our friends at the FMC sent me a couple pointers to upcoming events, primarily their fall seminar series. Here are the pointers of interest:
Monday, September 22, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL: http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/Chicago08/
Monday, October 6, Public Theater, New York, NY: http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/NYC08/

Seminars cost $25 and are primarily targeted at musicians and other people involved in the business of making, selling, or distributing music.

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June 25, 2008

Pi-Con 3

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

I've been invited to be a panelist/guest at the 3rd annual Pi Science Fiction Convention being held in West Springfield, MA this August.

Given that the guests include Cory (boingboing) Doctorow and Randall (xkcd) Munroe I doubt most anyone will notice I'm there. On the other hand, I can't imagine putting Cory and myself in the same place and NOT having discussions of intellectual property arise. As I've noted before, Cory has been putting some effort into educating SF writers on the status and realities of modern copyright practices. As Guest of Honor at the con he'll have lots of chances to air his views and talk about his different projects

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January 14, 2008

Pre-MPAA Films Being Shown (MA Fri Jan 18 & on)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

I seem to be all about the events this month. In addition to talk about copyrights and open-source nerd rap, there's a showing this Friday that local folk might want to check out:

The Harvard Film Archive is showing two historical "edgy" films this Friday. Both were made before the first production code was enforced on movie content. Back in the pre-MPAA days filmmakers explored the racy and seamy undersides of Depression-era America. The results led to outrage, outcries, and the start of enforcement of the Production Code in 1934. That lasted until 1967, when the censorship system we know today was first put in place.

The Archive will show the films all weekend - see their posted schedule for details. On Friday the films will be preceded by a talk by Thomas Doherty, author of Hollywood's Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration.

(Thanks to srl for the initial pointer and for corrections to this posting.)

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January 9, 2008

Open-Source Beats Coming to Boston

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Speaking of Boston-area science fiction and comics conventions, I've noticed that Open-Source Beats nerd rapper MC Frontalot is scheduled to appear at Anime Boston in 2008, nominally Saturday the 22nd of March.

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January 8, 2008

Talk at Arisia (Boston, MA, Sun Jan 20)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Pimping my own event for a moment...

I'll be on a panel at the 2008 Arisia Science Fiction Convention on Sunday night the 20th at 8PM, talking about science, IP law, and creativity. I'm certainly no Cory Doctorow but I'll do my best. I'm not yet sure who the other panelists will be, probably local science fiction/comics writers and other creative types.

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July 25, 2007

FMC Policy Summit (Washington DC, September 17-18, 2007)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Courtney Bennett from the Future of Music Coalition sent me a pointer to their 7th annual Future of Music Policy Summit. Registration is now open at: http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit07/

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June 22, 2007

The Day The Web (Radio) Went Silent - June 26, 2007

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

RAIN, the Radio And Internet Newsletter, is organizing a "Day of Silence" on Web radio for June 26th.

So far a number of big participants have signed up, including Live365, AccuRadio, and RadioParadise.

Most interesting to me is the broad spectrum of participants, ranging from the Christian-rock conservative Born Again Radio to the aggressively liberal Head-On Radio Network. This really is a case of the big corporate purse-holders crushing the small and independent, across the political spectrum.

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May 31, 2006

Negativland on the US West Coast June 10/12

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

A pointer from friend docbug says that IP-rights-fighting appropriated-sound artists Negativland will be performing live in San Francisco on June 10th and in LA on June 12th. More info at http://www.gamh.com/artist_pages/negativland_061006.htm and http://www.silentmovietheatre.com/

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May 16, 2006

FMC + Pop Montreal

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Kristin Thomson of the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) sent me a copy of their announcement for this fall's 6th Annual Policy Summit which will be held this coming October in Montreal in conjunction with the local Pop Montreal festival..

The FMC summit will be October 5-7 at McGill University's Schulich School of Music, Montreal, Canada. At this point there's not much information up, but we'll update you as the program (or is that 'programme'?) takes shape.

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February 9, 2006

Cory at MIT, Feb 13

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Down and Out at MIT: An Evening with Cory Doctorow
February 13, 5-7pm, Bartos Theater (E15).
617/253-5038

Lecture/booksigning by noted copyfighter Cory Doctorow, writer, public speaker, co-editor and blogger for BoingBoing, and European Affairs Coordinator for the EFF. Sponsored by MIT Office of the Arts Student and Artist-in-Residence Programs and Comparative Media Studies. Reception follows in E15 lobby. Free and open to the public.

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November 17, 2005

Cultural Environmentalism and the Digital Commons -- 10 Up

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Posted by

Stanford's Center for Internet and Society has just announced Cultural Environmentalism at 10, a conference to gauge the progress of the "cultural environmentalist movement," as defined ten years ago by uber-copyfighter Professor James Boyle. It brings together a remarkable brain trust of leading thinkers on the digital commons to consider whether, as Boyle proposed, using lessons from the environmentalist movement has helped us to valorize the public domain and expose the social, cultural, and economic harms caused by its increasing enclosure. Given what's happening right now on Capitol Hill -- that is, IP maximalists arguing before Congress that fair use has outlived its usefulness -- the conference could not possibly be more timely.


On March 11-12, 2006, Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society will host a symposium to explore the development and expansion of the metaphor of "cultural environmentalism" over the course of ten busy years for intellectual property law. We've invited four scholars to present original papers on the topic, and a dozen intellectual property experts to comment and expand on their works.

Molly Van Houweling explores voluntary manipulation of intellectual property rights as a tool for cultural environmentalism. Susan Crawford extends Boyle's analysis to the age of networks. Rebecca Tushnet looks at the ways in which the law's impulse to generalize complicates the project of cultural environmentalism, and Madhavi Sunder looks at how the metaphor affects traditional knowledge. Professor Boyle will also offer some remarks, as will Stanford Law School's Professor Lawrence Lessig.

Comments on the papers by: Terry Fisher, Harvard Law School, Jack Balkin, Yale Law School, Arti Rai, Duke Law School, Pam Samuelson, UC Berkeley School of Law: Boalt Hall, Neil Netanel, UCLA Law School, Julie Cohen, Georgetown University Law Center, Jessica Litman, Wayne University, Mark Lemley, Stanford Law School, Peggy Radin, Stanford Law School, Yochai Benkler, Yale Law School, Siva Vaidhyanathan, NYU School of Law. [Hyperlinks are mine.]


Extraordinary. And remarkable, as well, for avoiding the "male information society" disease. I think it's safe to say this one will go to 11.

Bonus: Courtesy of Peter Suber @ Open Access News, the webcast of the recent MIT Communications Forum presentation, The Future of the Digital Commons, featuring Nancy Kranich, Ann Wolpert, and Steven Pinker. For those of you to whom the concept of the digital commons is brand new, it's a lucid, engaging introduction.

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September 19, 2005

Future of the Digital Commons - MIT Communications Forum

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Thursday, September 22, 2005
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
32-155 (Stata Center) (see http://whereis.mit.edu for how to find places at MIT)

Speakers:
Nancy Kranish, former President, American Library Assn
Ann Wolpert, Director, MIT Libraries

Respondent: Steven Pinker, Harvard University

Arguments and legal confrontations over the control of music, writing and visual materials have become a permanent feature of contemporary life and will almost certainly enlarge and intensify in future years. As corporate producers and distributors - including some universities and private libraries - move aggressively to claim ownership of digital content of all kinds and as some industries lobby for building surveillance principles into the operating systems of computers, others defend an alternative vision. This alternative embraces ideals of sharing and civic community and warns that recent extensions of copyright threaten creativity and the free exchange of ideas. Is there a future for this idea of a digital commons? Is the American tradition of free public libraries a valuable precedent for the digital age? Is the commercialization of cyberspace already a problem for those seeking reliable information? Are there features or tendencies inherent in digital technology that will always challenge and even undermine efforts to control information or charge a fee for accessing it?

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August 26, 2005

Yet Another Reason to Go to the FMC Policy Summit

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Posted by

It'll feature Berkman Fellow/copyfighter extraordinaire Derek Slater speaking about his research and vision for the future of music-sharing tools:


Many have boasted of the community-building aspects of P2P and the independent value of the sharing that goes on there. But those aspects shouldn't be exaggerated - I would be surprised if most of what happens on P2P is more than simply dumping music into a shared folder and then searching and downloading what one seeks. Perhaps I am wrong. In any case, if I am right, part of the reason P2P never evolved into a richer experience is because we sterilized it.

My hope is that these burgeoning taste-sharing tools can help restart a conversation about how technology can unleash a richer musical culture. We should be celebrating what technology can do for music. Who could object to consumers enjoying music more, enjoying a greater diversity of music, being more creative, engaging music more deeply, and coming together with each other because of music? That's the positive vision I'd like to explore in relation to these tools.


The summit takes place in Washington, DC on September 11-13; registration information is here.

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July 28, 2005

Future of Music Policy Summit 2005 (Sept 11-13)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Kristin Thomson from Future of Music Coalition wrote to let us know about the FMC's upcoming Summit event. There's an impressive list of attendees (Senator Maria Cantwell, Michael Geist, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein) and the sponsors include ASCAP, BMI and the EFF. They've even got a nice discount attendee rate for students.

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July 11, 2005

Copyfight - the Conference

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Posted by

First it was a weblog (and shortly afterward, a bona fide meme), then a documentary -- and now "Copyfight" is a Barcelona conference, featuring copyfighters Cory Doctorow, Larry Lessig, John Perry Barlow, and the folks from Illegal Art, Wikipedia, and Downhill Battle, among many others. Tagline in the flash advert: "Happy Birthday. $2 million each year in royalties. Who knew?"

Here's a snippet from the description:


Digital technologies for distribution such as p2p networks, projects rewriting copyright and author's rights such as Creative Commons, or movements such as the one behind free software are turning this cultural period into a moment that demands a revision of the system regulating culture for the last three hundred years. COPYFIGHT is a series of activities about the unstoppable crisis of the contemporary model for intellectual property, and the emergence of free culture.

Fascinating. And it's look like there's even more from the "COPYFIGHT Project" to come. Very cool.

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May 3, 2005

These Aren't the Nodes You're Looking For

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Posted by

bayff-callout2.gif Speaking of anonymity on the Net, there's an upcoming EFF event you may be interested in. On May 10th, the guys from Tor will be at 111 Minna Gallery in downtown San Francisco to answer any and all questions you may have about Tor -- including how you can help protect privacy and freedom on the Internet by setting up your own Tor node.

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April 22, 2005

The Revolution Is Thirsty

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Posted by

My EFF colleague and fellow copyfighter Ren Bucholz sends details about this month's CopyNight (hyperlinks, mine):


April's CopyNight is upon us, and we'll be celebrating alongside WIPO's "World Intellectual Property Day" on Tuesday, April 26th. CopyNight is a monthly social gathering for fans of free culture, and conversations range from filesharing to IP reform to whatever else is on your community's radar. This month we've got events scheduled in:

San Francisco, CA
Chicago, IL
Toronto, Ontario
Austin, TX
Raleigh, NC
Washington, DC
New York, NY
Cambridge, MA

Don't see your community on the list? Volunteer to host a future CopyNight by sending a note to info@copynight.org! You can also read more about last month's CopyNight in this article from InfoWorld and the Industry Standard.


Thanks, Ren!

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April 18, 2005

When Are You Going to Sue the President? - Transcoded

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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Transcoder has generously transcoded "The Download Debate Strikes Back" for people who cannot abide RealMedia: "Hot off the presses... transcoded using ffmpeg and lame into non-toxic media formats; packaged with matroska. Enjoy the debate."

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April 15, 2005

When Are You Going to Sue the President?

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Posted by

That's what Siva Vaidhyanathan promised he'd ask RIAA President Cary Sherman at "The Download Debate Strikes Back," a Cornell University debate that due to sheer enthusiasm clocked in at nearly 3 1/2 hours. Did our fearless leader follow through? Find out by watching the freshly posted video here.

Update: I'm now watching; as one audience member says, it's "deeply entertaining" -- in large part because of the sheer magnitude of disingenuousness on display. The audience often giggles and sometimes openly laughs in response to the assertions being made by the industry representatives. Alec French, whose expression throughout is a disturbing, dead-eyed near-sneer, argues with a straight face that DRM benefits consumers because it gives them more choice.

Does Siva indeed address the issue of the potentially infringing music files allegedly transferred onto the First iPod? Yep. Mr. Sherman's answer: "We're only suing uploaders, not downloaders."

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April 8, 2005

Conferences: Signal or Noise, Cyberlaw in the Supreme Court

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Posted by Wendy Seltzer

Today, I'll be at Harvard's Signal or Noise?, joined, I expect, by a cohort of bloggers. The first installment helped kick off the study of music and the law five years ago. Join us to see what we've learned (and not yet learned) since.

Switch coasts in a few weeks for the Stanford Center for Internet & Society's Cyberlaw in the Supreme Court, to hear how the Supreme Court might change the debate with its ruling in MGM v. Grokster.

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April 5, 2005

Chronicle of a Birth Told

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Posted by

And with that belabored allusion to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I give you the story of the conference that begat the Future of Music Coalition. The conference, hosted by the Berkman Center and featuring Kembrew McLeod and Wendy Seltzer among others, will have its second incarnation this Friday (hyperlinks, mine):


It was back in February 2000 when Jenny and Kristin took the overnight train to Boston to attend the first Signal or Noise conference. When they arrived they wrote "I know Ben Morgan" on their nametags, which they hoped would assist them in meeting two people they only knew from their postings on Ben's Musictech email list: Brian Zisk and Walter McDonough.

Brian was easy to find. In attendance with his father, he cheerfully introduced himself and we had a lively discussion about his webcasting company Green Witch. But it wasn't until the end of the first round of panelist presentations that we figured out who Walter was. After what sounded like informed statements from various record industry folks, moderator Charles Nesson looked around the room for questions from the audience. A tall redhead asked for the microphone, who then delivered a blistering critique. Then, instead of dismissing his argument, Professor Nesson invited this provocateur to JOIN the panel, where he then proceeded to shred the other panelists to pieces with his legal knowledge. It was none other than Walter McDonough.


The driving force behind the conference was Glenn Otis Brown, who went on to drive another force.

Registration is still open; if you're in the Boston area, check it out. Who knows what will come of it?

Update: More about the conference -- and Glenn -- from Derek Slater.

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April 1, 2005

No Joke: Grimmelmann Live-Blogs 'Global Flow of Information' Conference

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@ LawMeme. More about the conference, which features John Palfrey, Siva Vaidhynathan, and Michael Froomkin, among others, here.

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March 25, 2005

Copyright, Copyfight

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...CopyNight.

CopyNight isn't only a wholeheartedly endorsed dilution of the "Copyfight" trademark ;-), it's a fun, non-pressureful way to meet other copyfighters in person and talk about how we can work together to defend and protect copyright's original function -- spurring innovation. Via fellow copyfighter/EFF activist Ren Bucholz, who is hosting the San Francisco gathering, the following details:


* CopyNight Reminder: Mashups & Martinis, March 29

This is a reminder that there will be CopyNight parties on Tuesday, March 29 - the night of the Supreme Court arguments in MGM v. Grokster. Join us in a toast to innovation in these six lovely cities (or add your own at the bottom):

Austin, TX
* Club De Ville
* 900 Red River (between 9th & 10th)
* 6:30 p.m. onward
* Hosted by Clay Bridges, austin(at)copynight.org

New York, NY
* Bar Nine
* 807 9th Ave (between 53rd and 54th Sts), in the
back room
* 7:00 p.m. onward
* Hosted by David Alpert, nyc(at)copynight.org

Providence, RI
* Mo Joe's Bar and Grill
* 166 Broadway
* 5:30 p.m. onward
* Hosted by Joshua Backer, pvd(at)copynight.org

San Francisco, CA
* 21st Amendment Brewery & Cafe
* 563 2nd St (between Bryant and Brannan)
* 7:00 p.m. onward
* Hosted by Ren Bucholz, sf(at)copynight.org

Santa Monica, CA
* The Mor
* 2941 Main Street
* 7:00 p.m. onward
* Hosted by Michael Hart, santamonica(at)copynight.org

Washington, DC
* Timberlake's
* 1726 Connecticut Ave NW
* Metro: Dupont Circle
* 6:00-9:00 p.m.
* Hosted by Cory Smith, dc(at)copynight.org

For more information and to sign up for email updates,
check out the website.

See you there!

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March 7, 2005

Rebirth of a Nation + Q&A at Harvard this Friday (Mar 11)

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Harvard Friends of Amnesty International and The Office for the Arts at Harvard present
DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation

Followed by a Q&A with DJ Spooky, aka Paul D. Miller, moderated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Chair of Harvard's Dept. of African and African American Studies and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard.

MARCH 11, 2005
8 PM
Sanders Theater

$10 Harvard undergrads (2 per ID)
$20 general public
Tickets available at the Harvard box office: 617-496-2222

For more info, contact HFAI at amnesty@hcs.harvard.edu

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January 30, 2005

Myth(TV) Becomes Reality

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Here are photos from the HDTV Build-in Wendy announced below, plus the unfortunately titled Steal This Show, an NYT article that reports on how people are racing the clock to create their own fully enabled, 100 per cent legal Me2Me TV before the FCC can stop them:


The build-your-own-TV advocates say they're not looking to steal content; they're just looking for a reasonable amount of flexibility to watch the same recorded program in different rooms, or on the train to work; to lend friends a TV recording the way they used to lend videotapes; to bring the same set of recordings from their city home to their vacation house.

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January 29, 2005

Build-in Against the Broadcast Flag Mandate

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Posted by Wendy Seltzer

With just five months left until the broadcast flag, EFF is staging a build-in: Build your own high-definition video recorder that lawfully ignores the broadcast flag.

We're using MythTV, a remarkably full-featured platform that can manage not only live and recorded television, but also music, movies, photos, weather, even VoIP phone calls. Because it's all Free Software, if you don't see a feature you want, you can code it yourself or find a friend who will.

While the broadcast flag mandate threatens to make TV back into a one-way, watch-only medium, open PVRs like MythTV give control back to us. Cut the commercials and watch only the show; or cut out the game and watch only the commercials, as some I know do for the Super Bowl. Re-mix television to make a point. Build your own Google video.

Watch for photos from throughout the day, and let us know the unexpected ways you use your PVR.

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December 15, 2004

Title 17 v. Reality

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Frank Field, whom I miss dearly living out on this coast, is at Freedom v. Control, Rights Management in the Digital Age, where Jonathan Zittrain, Wendy Seltzer, Hal Abelson, and Siva Vaidhyanathan are speaking today. He's blogging as much of it as he can, and captures a few nice bits from Jonathan right off the bat:

"[In] the language of current copyright debate, libraries are bastions of organized piracy -- an organized conspiracy to share a book, rather than buy one; note that this [concept] runs up against yesterday’s Google search announcement in libraries."

"[We have] two copyright regimes - title 17 and reality - collision between these two regimes continues to shape everything that goes on in this."

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November 17, 2004

Copyright Wars 101

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Edward Felten, who can make any complex, obscure technical topic lively and accessible, has posted a new lecture that aims to do the same for the current battles over intellectual property online. It's entitled "Rip, Mix, Burn, Sue: Technology, Politics, and the Fight to Control Digital Media," and it was delivered on October 12 at Princeton:
RealPlayer 56K; RealPlayer 350K; WinMedia 56K; WinMedia 350K


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August 19, 2004

Ninth Circuit Affirms Grokster v. MGM Ruling

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Posted by Jason Schultz

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals just affirmed that Grokster and Morpheus P2P programs do not violate copyright law. Still reading the opinion, but thought I'd post it ASAP.

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August 4, 2004

Freedom Fest 2004

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Posted by



Freedom Fest 2004


That's where I am today. If you're in the San Francisco area, come to the Yerba Buena Gardens from 5-8 p.m. for an outdoor concert to celebrate the "F-word" -- freedom.

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July 27, 2004

IP and the Internet Meltdown

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Posted by Wendy Seltzer

I'm at PFIR's "Preventing the Internet Meltdown", where today kicked off with a discussion of intellectual property (the other IP). It was a happy surprise to share the stage with Thane Tierney, of Universal Music Group, who shared our horror at the Induce Act and joined a genuine dialogue about the collision between the Internet and the recording industry. He was willing to think about a world in which the record industry shifts its role from controller and distributor to that of filter. I hope we'll be able to continue that conversation with Thane and others in his business, to move toward a solution that leaves the Internet open to innovation and pays artists and copyright holders.

Also on the panel, Ed Felten commented on the one-way ratchet of copyright legislation; Michael Froomkin called on technologists to spec and build speech-enabling technologies (like Tor); and Carrie Lowe of the ALA called our attention to the copyright-driven inaccessibility of material to libraries and the public they serve. I talked about reclaiming the Internet from amid the copyright-dominated debate in Washington.

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July 13, 2004

Online Colloquy: Fair Use & Academic Publishing

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Chronicle of Higher Education (hyperlinks and emphasis, mine):


Indiana University Press's withdrawal of a scholarly reader on the Anglo-American composer Rebecca Clarke is just the latest example of scholarship bowing to the assertion of copyright claims. The case law on fair use is decidedly murky, but increasingly aggressive assertions of copyright are affecting the willingness of publishers to include any material that asserts a right to "fair use" of copyrighted materials. So just what use are "fair use" provisions in copyright law if presses lack the wherewithal to challenge copyright claimants? Do such cases create a "chilling effect" on scholarship and in academic publishing? What steps can be taken by scholars and other groups interested in copyright law to protect the shrinking arena for fair use? When, indeed, can such claims be asserted?

[...]


Wendy Seltzer[,] a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School[,] will respond to questions and comments on these issues on Wednesday, July 14, at 1 p.m., U.S. Eastern time. Questions and comments are welcome and may be posted now.


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June 8, 2004

BlogOn

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Posted by Ernest Miller

BlogOn: The Business of Social Media - a conference at UC Berkeley's business school in late July. More on the conference by one of its organizers (Mary Hodder) via Napsterization (BlogOn -- A Conf I'm Organizing at UCB).

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June 7, 2004

WIPO - Notes from Day One

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The Union for the Public Domain has notes from the first day of the 11th meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, taken by Cory Doctorow, Wendy Seltzer, and David Tannenbaum.

The upshot so far: many representatives appear to be skeptical about extending copyright-like protection to databases (PDF). It's not yet clear what the thinking is on the proposed new rights in the broadcasting treaty, but there may be support for removing webcasting from the menu.

Stay tuned.

Later: A few personal observations from Cory @ BoingBoing: "There's no transparency into this process for most of the world. The doors are locked, the minutes are sealed, and you need to be accredited just to sit in the room."

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May 19, 2004

The DMCA on (Mock) Trial @ Caltech

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This just in: the California Institute of Technology and Loyola Law School are presenting a mock trial this Friday, May 21st, to play out a scenario in which a student creates a distributed computing application to crack DRM systems, leading to the criminal prosecution of everyone involved under the DMCA.

The trial will have many realistic touches: a real federal judge will hear the case, the prosecution will be advised by real federal prosecutors, and the defense by EFF 's Fred von Lohmann. Brad Hunt of the MPAA will provide expert testimony for the prosecution, while EFF Staff Technologist Seth Schoen will provide testimony for the defense.

Even cooler: the event is free and open to the public. If you're in the Los Angeles area and can get away from work or study mid-day, stop by and check it out.

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May 14, 2004

Lessig on Free Culture, Squared

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Frank Field has the closest-to-verbatim transcript of Larry Lessig's talk on "Free Culture" here @ ILAW; click on the "Continue reading..." below for my rough running notes.

An especially intriguing exchange, from the Q&A session with Charlie Nesson as moderator:


Nesson: You recognize that Terry's solution [compulsory licensing] depends on trust of the government. The same people who have bloated copyright almost beyond repair. In effect you conclude that's not the solution. Let's say an alternative compensation solution won't work. What's your solution now?

Larry: We're in the middle of a transition in the way people get access to content. The natural way now is to hoard. If the FCC doesn't screw it up, we could imagine that people in the future are persisently, ubiquitously connected. People would no longer need to be database managers. In that world the incentive to hoard goes away. Structure of access changes dramatically.

For political reasons I suggest a modification of Terry's proposal. Slightly higher chance the recording industry would be willing to take a step if they think it's part of a transition period. Here's the formula: set up an economic counsel to calculate loss. Write them a check, in exchange for giving up B-flag and DRM. We pay them off for ten years. Then see what's changed.

Nesson: But we're here, we're now. You have a series of critiques. If you had the opportunity, which of the threads should we pull back on to deal w/preserving the rule of law?

Larry: Small changes w/significant effect. Bill we proposed after Eldred case, for example: the Public Domain Enhancement Act. [...]

We also need to show Congress more people who are engaging in positive uses of work. Go out to schools and encourage extraordinarily creative work. Have a show for parents and ask the lawyers to give a critique.

Nesson: That's not funny. [Big laugh.]

Larry: Parents will look at this creativity and be amazed. Then have the lawyers go through and list the violations. By the end people would revolt.

Our problem is that when people think about copyright, they think about ripping off Britney Spears. They don't think about this. That's the challenge.

...continue reading.

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ILAW Field Notes

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Frank Field wins the laurels today for reporting live from ILAW: check out his running notes on the future of copyright.

A few words from Yochai Benkler, during the Q&A session:

"Music wasn't born with the phonograph, nor will it die with peer-to-peer. The record companies might, though.

Both of these presentations [Terry Fisher's and Charlie Nesson's] are conservative with regard to the current record industries. The pushback is definitely about the question of why shouldn't the record companies just die? ...[Artists] have existed without record companies. Why should we be attracted to sustaining them with these conservative proposals?"

Nesson's response: "So you would favor eliminating the copyright clause altogether?"

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May 13, 2004

Internet "Governance" - Is There a There, There?

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An unexpected moment of alchemy occured during an ILAW session yesterday: a discussion about domain name conflicts suddenly became about something larger than squabbles over who owns what.

Jonathan Zittrain began the talk with a peculiar proposition: despite all the fuss over ICANN, Zittrain argued, it may be that domain names don't really matter that much. "Cyberlaw" itself is hard enough to defend as a topic; fellow legal scholars once told Larry Lessig that a legal subfield focusing on the "law of cyberspace" was about as silly one focusing on "the law of the horse."

"That was before the field self-identified," said Zittrain, "yet the puzzle remains, and nowhere is it better demonstrated than when discussing the domain name system. The thing is, it's hard to know why we should care."

Zittrain went on to explain step-by-step how the domain name system was created and originally "governed" by one man (Jon Postel); then one man and a government contractor (NSI); then by the new "private"-yet-government-annointed organization/corporation (ICANN) forged through unhappy/hostile compromise between the two.

A lot of people got very involved in ICANN, said Zittrain, because it seemed to represent something called "Internet governance." But does it? "The 'story of ICANN' gets harder and harder to tell," he said. "Is it about shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic -- or just a canoe?"

...continue reading.

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Lessig & Zittrain on Regulating Speech

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Greetings from the Internet Law Program #6. Below are my rough notes for the opening session -- an introduction to what things regulate the Internet, using efforts to control speech (pornography) as a case study. The back-and-forth between Larry and JZ is, as usual, in equal parts amusing and illuminating.

[Update: Frank Field is here as well, catching what I'm missing -- do check it out.]

...continue reading.

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May 7, 2004

Copyfighters @ ILAW

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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:

...continue reading.

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April 22, 2004

CFP, Take 2

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I posted some very rough notes on two panels yesterday @ CFP -- so rough, in fact, that they were nearly unintelligible.

Here's the corrected version of my running notes on "Tapping the Net Revisited: VoIP and Law Enforcement" (be sure to hit "reload"); notes on "Gatekeepers of the Web: The Hidden Power of Search Engine Technology" to follow.

In the meantime, Jason has nice nutshell description of Lee Tien's talk on the VoIP panel; there is conversation aplenty @ the CFP blog about "Gatekeepers," which focused on Google; a good mix of running notes & personal commentary, by Bruce Umbaugh & Co. over @ Salon; and an OPML file of all CFP blogs, generously set up by Joseph Lorenzo Hall.

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April 21, 2004

Start Your Engines

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The blogging of the 2004 Computers, Freedom & Privacy conference has begun.

A quote to start off the day, via a blogger @ yesterday's Network Surveillance HOW-TO: "It might shock users to realize that there are no functional barriers to third-party monitoring on all network activity. It is only the programmed good behavior of systems to ignore data packets addressed to others and only view those addressed to them. Palmer put it simply, quoting a 19th century statesman, who, in response to a proposal to construct an NSA-like agency, said, 'Gentlemen do not read each other's mail.'"

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April 19, 2004

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

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Another excellent post I missed while otherwise engaged: James Grimmelmann's conference overview/wrap-up for Yale's recent "Digital Cops" conference.

My favorite part is the bit on Jonathan Zittrain's presentation:

"Jonathan Zittrain

Is an extraordinarily funny speaker."

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April 18, 2004

Blogging CFP, ILAW

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There are two conferences right around the bend that I consider must-attend-if-at-all-possible: the Berkman Center's Internet Law Program and the venerable Computers, Freedom & Privacy conference.

The good news for those who may not be able to attend: both conferences will be well blogged.

CFP, which takes place T-F of next week, is providing blogspace for attendees who wish to blog sessions at the conference. Yep, I'll be there to blog a number of Copyfight-pertinent panels, as will fellow Copyfighters Wendy Seltzer and Jason Schultz (who are also panelists). We'll keep you posted on details.

...continue reading.

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April 13, 2004

Copyright Education Done Right

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Posted by Ernest Miller

The RIAA, MPAA and other copyright organizations frequently talk about how there needs to be more education about copyright in the schools. Unsurprisingly, their idea of "education" doesn't really include much about fair use and other limitations on copyright. Creative Commons shows how copyright education at schools should be done (School of Rock).

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March 28, 2004

Wish I Were There

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Cardozo law professor and brand new Yale ISP Fellow Susan Crawford is doing a remarkable job today live-blogging day 2 of Yale's Digital Cops in a Virtual Environment--a conference featuring a number of people familiar to Copyfight readers. Among these: Jonathan Zittrain, Michael Froomkin, Lee Tien, Eddan Katz and Jack Balkin.

For those of you who, like me, wish you were there, below is a quick tour of the action:

...continue reading.

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