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March 2003: o-blog history

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©¦ Newsfeed. Scientific American ( on Lawrence Lessig’s Creative Commons: Some Rights Reserved. Here’s Tech Central Station’s take on the Supreme Court’s Eldred decision of some weeks ago, trying to figure out its significance going forward. And Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and her take on Digital Rights, attempting to mitigate some of the damage of the DMCA.

www¦ In case you were curious, here’s “What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else,” a piece called World of Ends by Doc Searls and David Weinberger. Notably calls for business to stop thinking of it as “slow television.”


Stan Brakhage 1933-2003

©¦ A piece called tellingly “” opines on the various ways that “Whatever some musicians say, the Internet will devalue music.” Of course, that all depends on where one thinks the value of music lies.


©¦ Hypothetical description of some (optimistic?) future world where common sense rules the day, and copyright policy finds itself in alignment with a rational reality. There are some good ideas here for content providers seeking an revenue model that doesn’t require the support of illogical legalisms.

©¦ John Perry Barlow is interviewed at telepolis, addressing specifically the move to bring the EU in line with the US’ ill-considered copyright scheme, the DMCA. One concern of his: “I fear that Digital Rights Management today is Political Rights Management tomorrow.”


©¦ is running an article by David Weinberger which explains how bandwidth scarcity is a myth brought about by a combination of bad science and the desire to turn something potentially limitless into private property.

©¦ A Dutch company, with technology it calls “The Honest Thief”, proposes to borrow your unused computer processing cycles in exchange for free music downloads.


©¦ Today’s has a piece by tech reporter Bill Thompson about Lawrence Lessig, “who is leading the fight for creative freedom.” Says Thompson, “Although [Lessig] has widespread support from the net community, he is far from optimistic about winning the argument.”

©¦ Chipmakers are wavering on their support for building anti-copying technology into every chip, as reported in this article. “In the past we've invested in hardware security that has not borne fruit,” says one technologist.


Dissent Protects Democracy by Milton Glaser

war¦ Another Poster for Peace is a site that gives away “copyright free art for public use,” (like the image by Milton Glaser, above) each in protest of Bush’s threatened war on Iraq.


art¦ “Musicians and sound artists of all kinds are invited to join the Opsound project. Opsound is a record label using an open source, copyleft model, an experiment in practical gift economics, a laboratory for new ways of releasing music.” Find out more.

art¦ “Open Copyright Action (Opcopy) encourages action and debate in response to the current shrinkage of the public domain and the increasingly restrictive direction of copyright law.” Find out more.


©¦ If you want to wade in and read a long, rambling (and often insightful and informative) text about DRM, then this LawMeme report from the Boalt DRM Conference is for you.

©¦ It seems that someone is making the stupid and amazing claim that file sharing might be helping to fund terrorism. The rhetoric is really getting out of hand as another idiot from Texas is expressing the need to imprison file-sharing college students as a deterrent example to others.


war¦ If the whole idea of broadcast deregulation disturbs you, where one company (Clear Channel) can own more than 1,200 radio stations nationwide, then this article will make the scenario even more worrying. Clear Channel is organizing pro-war rallies across the country. Is it a matter of a media company manufacturing news? Or are they trying to curry administration favor to gain an upper hand in the upcoming legislative discussions on further deregulation?


©¦ In the article “Broken Links and Broken Laws: Copyright Confusion Online,” is interesting because it goes into the history of copyright to some extent (beginning with St. Columba in the 6th century), but it also lays out some of the complications of the electronic age, as well.

©¦ Lawrence Lessig blogs about a gutsy stand that MIT is taking on fair use in one of its newly-published books: making use of fair use. (Publishers often don’t argue for fair use, feeling it’s somehow risky.)


©¦ Newsfeed. The DMCA is getting reviewed, and the public can weigh in on the debate. And, Lawrence Lessig’s notion of defining a cultural commons is not just about the wired world, it’s also about the wireless world.


©¦ The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that college media centers are concerned that two laws passed in recent years, the DMCA and the “Teach Act” might be due for a head-on collision, inasmuch as one permits what the other disallows.



©¦ Mexico wants to extend its copyright law from 70 years past the life of the author to an unprecedented 100 years plus life. In addition, the Mexican government would, under the proposed bill, collect royalties on the public domain.

©¦ Corante’s “Copyfight” offers a transcription of an address given at the Internet Law Program concerning IP on the Internet.


war¦ At the blog makinglight, “Officer X” holds forth on why America’s seige on Iraq isn’t working and, further down the page, reveals further stunning incompetence.

war¦ Saddam Hussein once received the key to the city of Detroit.


war¦ Where some see chaos and incompetence, others find the dim outlines of a nefarious plan. Among the more persuasive of these latter is this article Practice to Deceive, which maintains that “Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks’ nightmare scenario — it’s their plan.”

war¦ Named in the best tradition of George Orwell’s Newspeak, the “Patriot Act” is worth the scrutiny of civil libertarians, in fact, all citizens. There are many troubling observations to be made. What’s more, more and worse is on the way. Since they seem to hope to get this passed while we’re distracted and not looking, we’d better start looking!

©¦ Newsfeed. A recent report by Declan McCullough on Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who is calling for consumer warnings to be affixed to any music, software, or other media that incorporate copy protection; and Freedom to Tinker’s Ed Felton is warning of state-level DMCA-like legislation cropping up all over.


©¦ And, the AP states: “Free peer-to-peer music file-sharing has become larger than the multi-billion dollar recording industry with a growth trend that has become ‘fundamentally unstoppable,’ a media analyst told a state Senate committee exploring Internet piracy on Thursday.”

art¦ An interesting proposal for a sound commons has appeared, seeking to use “peer to peer networks as catalysts for collaboration and experimentation.”


war¦ reports on troubling recommendations that hired media consultants are making to radio stations nationwide. Apparently, reporting on anti-war protests is bad for ratings, and “…may be harmful to a station’s bottom line.”

©¦ Newsfeed. Declan McCullough: “Quietly, opponents said, with few people paying close attention, state legislators are considering bills that would be even broader than the controversial DMCA, which restricts bypassing copy-protection measures.”


©¦ Newsfeed. Though commonplace in Europe, so-called “copy-proof” CDs have not really made many inroads into the U.S. market — until now. Nice to see mainstream media taking notice — a interview with the ACLU “cyberchief,” with special attention on his concern that privacy is being eroded by increased surveillance. A federal court and EFF both now seem to agree that you cannot copyright facts.

war¦ Moore on war. Due to his acceptance speech at last week’s Oscars ceremony, Michael Moore has become a lightning rod for criticism lately. Moore himself justifies his actions in print, saying “the church made me do it” or words to that effect. Nonetheless, Bowling for Columbine gave good box office, so he’s apparently having no trouble securing funding for his next project: an exposé on the “murky” connections between two families: the Bushes and the Bin Ladens. For the sake of balance, here’s the contrarian view.

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