Today is the second day of “Copyright Week!” Talk about a lede. That sentence has all the inherent excitement of “Periodontal Health Awareness Week” or “‘Hug Your Proctologist! No, After He’s Washed His Hands’ Week.” And that’s a shame. Copyright Week is a week devoted to our relationship with our own culture. Hint: things aren’t going well. The relationship is on the rocks.
Academics (and others) arrange conferences. Perfectly normal people are invited to those conferences to speak. Most of them are just as charming as can be… but then there are the special ones. This Top 10 List of the special people one has to respond to is devoted to all conference planners everywhere. Hold your heads up high. After this, purgatory should be a snap.
August 28th, 2013 is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The copyright in the speech is administered by EMI, with the consent of the King family. Thus the speech may not be freely played on video or reproduced and costlessly distributed across the nation — even today. Its transient appearance depends on the copyright owner’s momentary sufferance, not public right. It may disappear from your video library tomorrow. It has even been licensed to advertise commercial products, including cars and mobile phone plans.
Aaron Swartz committed suicide last week. He was 26, a genius and my friend. Not a really good friend, but someone I had worked with off and on for 11 years, liked a lot, had laughed with frequently, occasionally shaken my head over and deeply admired.
An Intellectual Property System for the Internet Age
In November 2010, the Prime Minister commissioned a review of the Britain’s intellectual property laws and their effect on economic growth, quoting the founders of Google that “they could never have started their company in Britain” because of a lack of flexibility in British copyright.. Mr. Cameron wanted to see if we could have UK intellectual property laws “fit for the Internet age.” Today the Review will be published. Its conclusion? “Could it be true that laws designed more than three centuries ago with the express purpose of creating economic incentives for innovation by protecting creators’ rights are today obstructing innovation and economic growth? The short answer is: yes.” Those words are from Professor Ian Hargreaves, head of the Review. (Full disclosure: I was on the Review’s panel of expert advisors.)
A slideshow and downloadable book remembering Keith in words and pictures. You can order a glossy, high quality copy of the book itself here from Createspace or here from Amazon. We tried to make it as beautiful as something Keith would create. We failed. But we came close; have a look at how striking it is… all because of Keith’s art.
The Brookings Institution has organized a volume on “The Future of the Constitution” edited by Jeff Rosen and Benjamin Wittes and featuring articles by me, Larry Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, Tim Wu and many others. How will our constitutional tradition deal with the challenges posed by new technologies? The topics range from possible personhood claims by artificial intelligences, to the future of free speech and the Net, to neuroscience and criminal punishment. The essays are freely available online. Details after the jump.
On November 8th, Cory Doctorow, John Perry Barlow, and numerous other digital luminaries will be gathering at the Minna Gallery in San Francisco for the EFF’s Pioneer Awards Party. Cory is going to be the MC and — when not featured on XKCD blogging from a ballon in a red cape and goggles…
This isn’t a post about intellectual property or the networked society, so if your interests only run that far, cease reading here. In the late 80′s and early 90′s refugees were attempting to escape what was, in a decidedly non metaphorical sense, a hellish situation in Haiti..
Nitya Rajan interviewed me at Orgcon about why the legislative process malfunctions particularly badly on digital policy, and what the creation of civil society groups could do to fix that. Video after the jump.
If one gets a lot of e-mail, one will eventually get very strange e-mail, but there is a frontier; an event horizon of bizarreness, that one doesn’t expect to be surpassed. But life is richer than that.