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August 2003

o-blog  an i.p. blog o-blog: an i.p. blog


©¦ On open content. devotes its current dispatch to the topic of open content. As usual, the article is substantial and interesting.


©¦ On copynorms. The Legal Theory Blog has an interesting piece on copynorms, “…the informal social attitudes about the rightness or wrongness of duplicating material that is copyrighted.” (No direct link. Scroll down to Friday, August 01, 2003. Along the way, see other interesting IP topics discussed by legal minds.)


©¦ Newsfeed. Results of a Pew survey suggest that “two-thirds of adult file traders couldn’t care less” about copyrights. • Jonathan Zittrain, writing at on The Copyright Cage, concludes that “copyright law needs to change.” • The preceding article has a Slashdot discussion, in case you’re interested.


©¦ Newsfeed. Declan McCullagh on the future of the RIAA’s scare campaign against file sharers. • BBC News comments on some real criminals who are actually guilty of something: CD pirates and organized crime. • This commentary worries that the RIAA have become more powerful than the police.

©¦ Downloading is good for music. Owen Gibson writes in The Guardian that file sharing may be “music’s savior.”


©¦ Newsfeed. The RIAA is getting aggressive against those who should be its biggest constituency: music lovers. Meanwhile, a columnist asks, “Can it happen here?” (in Canada). • The Public Library of Science aims to make access to medical and scientific research free. Of course, the publishers don’t like the idea much.

media¦ State of the internet. Though you might not accept the argument, it’s at least important to know that it’s being argued: the attacks on file sharers may be “…part of a larger plan to fundamentally change the way the Internet works.” And they don’t mean making it more free.

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“Sonic Outlaws” Tickets Scarce at 38th Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Husovka Theatre, Karlovy Vary

Festival Report by Roving Reporter Lucie Heck

I arrived at Karlovy Vary on Tuesday afternoon at 13:00, and walked through the streets, filled with festival-goers, directly to Hotel Thermal, the heart of the festival. I dropped off my heavy back-pack at the baggage-claim, picked up my accreditation, glanced at the film schedule, and then went to the mineral springs for a curative spring water. The “Svoboda” (“Freedom”) spring was the first I drank from — a 56°C mineral water.

I had lunch with my sister Jana and her boyfriend Libor, and then we listened to live music on the plaza at Hotel Thermal. The festival atmosphere was pleasant, well organized, and despite being increasingly commercial, it was still laid-back and a little bit rough, allowing room for surprises. There were young people wandering about and rolling around in the grass on the bank of Tepla River, which runs through the city.

Tickets for Sonic Outlaws were sold out already on Thursday at noon, but luckily my friends Miša and Petr got the last ticket and were nice enough to give it to me. They decided to try to get in with their festival accreditation. Others were able to get tickets that were available one hour before the screening, leftover from press and V.I.P. reserved seats.

On Friday, after climbing the hill to Husovka Theater through the winding street made out of kočičí hlavy (“cat heads”, or cobble stones), I arrived at the turn-of-the-century neoclassical house with two great wings which had been converted to a theatre and club with workshops and studio spaces. People were already lined up to get in, with hope that they would somehow get in without tickets. Like many sold-out films, ticket holders were let in, filling the seats, and then people with passes were allowed in to sit on the floor, and fill in any empty space in the theatre.

The showing was packed. The film was introduced by program director Pavel Klusak of the section in the festival “2003: A Musical Odyssey” which Sonic Outlaws appeared. He remarked that the time the film was made there were only a few persons and groups who were concerned with the re-use of media, older films, and such work by such groups as Negativland. That it wasn’t until the emergence of the internet that these issues became of wider interest in the world.

The film was subtitled in Czech with some kind of modern system where the text was projected below the screen. For Czech speakers the subtitles were essential to understanding the complex set of issues and new landscape of fair use. For most people, I think, it’s easier to see how these things work because of the internet. People seemed to enjoy it, many laughing quite a lot because of the absurdity of the Island Records lawsuit, that it is obviously common sense to share these things and that the lawsuit went too far. A great roar of laughter came at the end of the film as Negativland unrolled a “N©” banner. As the lights came up I could hear many discussions between people in the theater continue as they went out into the streets.

Praha Nadrazi Holesovice

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