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March 2003

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


culture¦ Noble cause. The Alexandria Library, which picks up where its ancient forbear left off, hopes eventually to put a digital copy of every book ever published online. [reg.req]

©¦ Among a slough of other things this interview with the EFF’s Cory Doctorow, has some interesting observations about the state of wired culture, and its impact on attitudes about intellectual property.


©¦ has been extensively blogging a west-coast debate on the allocation of spectrum for wireless; one of the issues being, is it better off privately owned or given to the commons. (That one’s a general link to the site — permalinks follow.) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

©¦ Here’s a page dedicated to the Campaign for Digital Rights.


©¦ Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) claims that “There is a tremendous consumer-rights movement building … still in its very early stages,” and thinks that companies should fully disclose any use-compromising copyright-protection features of their products.

©¦ [reg.req] has an article ‘Pondering Value of Copyright vs. Innovation’ in which they report on conferences going on in California, attended by scholars and policy makers to debate the issue.


©¦ Artist Perry Hoberman has posted three wry commentaries on the state of IP, which he calls his “Infringement Series”.

©¦ Newsfeed., reporting on a DRM conference held this week in Berkeley, reports that experts have expressed their view that Copyright law hurts technology. It appears that Apple Computer has impressed the big labels with their scheme for selling downloads of music: Apple online music service wins kudos. (From the user standpoint, it’s non-ideal, incorporating DRM and eschewing mp3 for AAC.)


©¦ Paul Simon attempted to pass on $16,000 in royalties to a Ghanain composer whose work was used on one Simon’s albums. As you can read here, all sorts of issues cropped up relating to the copyrighting of folklore, as well as the use of Third World culture in First World products.

©¦ CD burners are now ubiquitous, and DVD burners exist, but haven’t caught on yet. Will Hollywood let them?


©¦ Richard “free as in free speech” Stallman is keynoting at the South By Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas. Here’s a ‘rough transcript’ what he had to say. His talk was called “Putting the Free in Freedom.”

©¦ Dan Gillmor’s current column begins: “One of the most alarming effects of federal copyright law has been the turning of crucial electronic devices into ‘black boxes’ — machines that are closed to scrutiny even when a great deal rides on their robustness and accuracy,” and it’s about Edward “freedom to tinker” Felton.

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Conheim Appears in Prague,
Brings ‘Booper’

Peter Conheim with the Booper

Tape-beatles Host
Evening Salon

His Berlin commitment for Negativland finished, Peter Conheim accompanied Lloyd Dunn on the evening Berlin-Prague train for a two-day visit. Accompanying them were fellow tourist and Negativland sound man Tom Koch, as well as long-time friend and Prague resident Patrick Keegan. In addition to collaborating with Negativland, Conheim is also a member of Wet Gate, the “The All-16mm Projectionist Ensemble” and Mono Pause, an instrumental combo that uses found sound.

• Links to the Wet Gate and Mono Pause sites

In Conheim’s luggage was stowed a whimsical electronic device known as “the booper,” a gizmo created by the Negativland member “the Weatherman.” The instrument consists of a clever alteration of the electronic circuitry inside of an ordinary radio, turning it into a kind of sound synthesis device. By twiddling and flipping a few added knobs and switches, the booper can be made to excrete a remarkable range of rich sounds.

Aside from two days spent tromping the city’s cobbles, Conheim honored us with an impromptu demo of the booper at an informal “salon” hosted by the Tape-beatles in their Tachovské Naměstí atelier. For added color, a 16-second excerpt from the demonstration follows.

In addition to Conheim’s demo/performance, Lloyd Dunn screened his 1985 experimental cinematic thinly-veiled self-portrait of communication anxiety, the 16mm tray-developed film Buz, explaining, “It was this work that set me on the road to becoming a Tape-beatle.”

There were eight people in attendance.

Tape-beatle Attends Negativland Premiere in Berlin

Negativland in Berlin

Fun Had;
Contacts Renewed

The blurry snapshot above was the best Tape-beatle Lloyd Dunn could get from his mid-auditorium seat in Berlin’s Sonic Arts Lounge for the world premiere of Negativland’s new live show entitled “No Business.” Presented as part of “MaerzMusik: Festival for Contemporary Music,” Negativländer Mark Hosler, Don Joyce and Peter Conheim whipped through an at times dazzling hour long set of found film footage mixed with plundered audio, in the trademark Negativland style. It is fair to say that the presentation partially drew upon themes from their latest, and tremendously excellent, CD Deathsentences of the Polished and Structurally Weak.

Visit Negativland’s web site

The next day found Joyce, Conheim, Dunn, as well as members of the Negativland entourage, ambling away the fresh early spring day down the streets of Berlin, stopping to dirty their hands at one of the city’s many flea markets and enjoying tasty dönner kebabs from a street stand. By nightfall, Conheim, Dunn, Negativland’s sound man Tom Koch and Patrick Keegan (an old friend of Conheim’s who had accompanied Dunn to Berlin for the show) boarded a train south to Prague for a two-day visit.

Dunn and Keegan were guests in Berlin of Florian Cramer, whom Dunn first met at the Glasgow Festival Of Plagiarism in 1989; the two have kept in touch ever since. Florian, a lecturer in Comparative Literature at the Freien Universität Berlin, is a strong Open Source advocate, as well has possessor of possibly the most extensive archive of Neoist material in the known universe.

Find out more about Florian Cramer

Street, Bratislava

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