Off the Top: Law Entries

September 10, 2003

Tee for Creative Commons

A great idea to spread the word and look geek cool at the same time, buy a Creative Commons t-shirt

January 23, 2003

14 Year Copyright Proposed

The Economist recommends 14 year copyright term, which can be renewed once. This is the most same idea I have heard in quite some time. This could be why I really enjoy The Economist as it is a different and often sane view than is purported in the U.S. news. [hat tip Lawrence]

January 5, 2003

Creative Commons license added

I have finally added a Creative Commons license that applies to all content on this site. The bottom of most of the pages contains a link to the license that states how the information on this site may be used.

December 16, 2002

Creative Commons license project

The Creative Commons launched their License Project today. This is the CC's reason for being or a large chunk of it. I dream that this will make a large impact over time as the previous version of copy protection fails in many ways, one is there is no provision for ease of understanding the creators permissions for use. I am very impressed withe work that Matt put into the site.

July 10, 2002

Logical digital media law

I really liked Matt's discussion of a logical digital media law, but it really does not have a chance as there is a lot more money pushing the other side. Maybe "We the People" will get our chance one day.

June 19, 2002

Internet more serious

The Washington Post provides the Internet gets serious article today. The article discusses security and copyright issues that have pulled back on the fun. I do not qutie agree that security has to limit fun, it has put a damper on what can be done on the Windows side of the world (a poor framework for the operating system is part of the problem here). The copyright issue does put a lid on fun, as in many cases it really limits picking up on ideas and extending them. Much of this problem falls at the feet of law makers who have set rules in place that were not well thought through from the perspective of information use. The article gets kudos for bringing up Lawrence Lessig's Creative Commons project.

June 17, 2002

Librarys desire distributing electronic books

On the train in this morning I read the NYTimes article librarians fighting for digital books and copyright free content. Electronic content that is easily available is a great way to access books and information. One of the first things I looked of on the Internet in 1992/1993 was the Magna Carta. I remember that I found it through a set of Gopher links. I though this Internet thing was going to be amazing. It is in many ways, but there are folks out their with poor minds that keep them from seeing the posibilities of the future.

Electronic books are a great find and a seemingly excellent use of public libraries. Being that I read this article from an AvantGo NYTimes download (yes, synched off Windows as I am still waiting from the Mac OS X version or a competitor) of the frontpage, business, and technology news. I have read three or four short books on my Palm during commute time. Now that monitors and software are improving reading on a personal computer much easier. Libraries are on the right track. Bless them.

May 16, 2002

Creative Commons comes to life

The Creative Commons is up for our perusal. This seems to be a much better approach to digital rights management than the Hollywood and music industry approach, and light years better than DCMA.

April 3, 2002

March 27, 2002

I took a step today that I have not done in a long long time. I wrote Congress. Yes, I was a fellow in the U.S. Senate, which was a wonderful experience and gave me a strong coating of cynicism. This EFF Congressional Alert regarding the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA). I have a feeling I will be writing much more to my friends on The Hill (Mike you there and listening?).

To understand more read Matt's using Lincoln to rebut Michael Eisner, Scott discussing not being able to provide his music freely, Rebecca's outlining of the case against the CBDTPA, and Paul's outlining the issue and steps also.

In my note to Congress, using the online form at the Senate Judiciary site I tried to remind those in Congress that America was founded on the pursuit of freedom, the provision of a free competitive marketplace, and a fertile environment for innovation. The CBDTPA essentially is a grossly un-American pursuit as it removes competition, freedom of expression, and grossly inhibits innovation. The law does try to protect those in business that do not have the bright minds to know how to adapt and use technology to their advantage. These business have forgotten how to compete and forgotten how to innovate. The irony is Disney was founded on free content and technical innovation. Eisner is an embarrassment to the Disney tradition as he is trying to pimp Congress into protecting his inadequacy as a business leader and innovator. Congress should not be protecting the powerful that have lost their ability to stay in power.

America was built on innovators like the Edisons, the Wright Brothers, Fords, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, etc. Innovation and competition is what has kept America at the forefront of the global marketplace. Innovation and competition have provided wealth that America should share. Innovation and competition sparked the skills to conquer disease. Innovation and competition gave us great technology that allows us to investigate and advance science and learn how to take better care of the Earth.

The Bill proposed by Hollings should be called, in all honesty, "The Anti-American Way Bill".

March 26, 2002

March 20, 2002

Rebecca shows a great understanding of where the line on digital content should be drawn. We pay for content and we want to be able to use the content in a manner that fits our desired method of information use. Thinking we live in the 1950s still does not work in a digital age. Applying the wrong concepts to problems never did work properly and it never allowed for innovation or brilliance.

Like the previous post, The Digital Consumer gets it. Not only does the Digital Consumer get it they will help Congress get a grip too. Consumers have more votes than corporations, even though corporations have the dollars. While you are at it, go back to the EFF too.

March 11, 2002

I would gladly buy 10 more hours a day from somebody so that I could sleep and still have time to take in everything at SXSW. Last night's entertainment included Fray Cafe 2 which was utterly amazing. The stories were completely moving me to laughter, tears, joy, and understanding. It truely was a wonderful live storytelling event.

The SXSW panel that amazed me yesterday was the first independent content panel, which included Jeffery Zeldman, Derek Powazek, Josh Davis, and the creator of Born Magazine. The interaction on the panel, not only about independent content production, but design understanding pushed my small envelope. I think it was the Josh that opened my eyes farther than they have been in a while. This panel brought to life what I love about SXSW, I grow more comfortable knowing what I do know and that I definately understand more than I give myself credit for knowing, but also it kick my butt with the knowledge that I have only scratched the surface of what is possible.

I want more time to just sleep and time to hang out and absorb in the great conversations and spend more time with friends who view the world very much like they way I do. SXSW provides a wonderful feeling of belonging to a tribe of people that are passionate about this digital connectivity tool of the Web and Internet. Passion is the key and the jam packed rooms yesterday were a testament that the passion is very much alive.

There was another panel, or more aptly a discussion lead by Lane Becker revolving around the understanding of what the Internet has really brought us and how has it really changed the way we do things. The topic also drifted on to the fears of that is great about the Internet being legislated away by folks that really do not have even the most basic grasp of how this medium for interaction, information sharing and gathering, entertainment, and commerce can be moved forward. There was a lot of discussion that we only have hit the tip of the iceberg and that we really do not have a solid grasp of what just happened in the past six years.

Pictures may be up soon, or then again...

February 22, 2002

There may be some hope for the sharing of digital music. I found more new music through Napster and the like then in turn bought the stuff I liked and kept listening to. In the past year I have bought very little new music as the radio stations in my area play little music that is worth buying, IMHO. I have had many friends in bands that received record deals, which in turn ruined their creativity and ability to create music. Most were happiest the day their contract ended. In turn the music I loved to go hear was rarely recorded as the music companies thought they knew best.

February 20, 2002

The Supreme Court to hear copyright extension case. Congress has tried to enact a 20 year extension to the current copyright laws, which would protect Disneys sole use of Mickey Mouse beyond 2003 as well as other properties. Lawrence Lessig has been a strong opponent of these extensions for very good reason, it restricts advancement of technology, culture, and the free flow of ideas. This free flow of ideas is what America is about, but copyrights have hindered the discussion of works and even the ability to satarize works.

February 11, 2002

Lessig to persue a flexible free copyright license. The unveiling of Creative Commons is a week or so time. This could change some of the restrictive practices of code and other copyrighted material.

February 2, 2002

Trying to play music CDs on your computer and they don't work? Neil McAllister explains the music labels don't want you to in the SF Chronicle. Those of us that like our music and believe we do have our "fair-use" rights to record music like we always have, from the days of albums and tapes to CDs and MP3s, should buy as much music that we can (keeping in mind the lack of the notice "Compact Disc Digital Audio"). Then return it and rightly state it is broken, as we can not play it on our computer. Who does not play music on their computer?

January 4, 2002

I was hoping this article would never be written as it is the antithesis of the Web. The Washington Post writes about setting up international boders on the Internet, which includes a digital border patol that denies access. My hope is that while there is a Web there is a way to get arround these restrictions. The whole world does not need to become like China and block content from outside its borders.

January 2, 2002

A benevolent Secret Santa, I believe from the Boxes and Arrows project (using the Secret Santa - Mystery Menorah application I built), dropped of two wonderful gifts today. One was The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World, by Lawrence Lessig, which has been on my highly desired list since hearing him speak at Web2001 in San Francisco. I have been really liking and agreeing with many of Lessig's articles of late, so the book should be quite juicy. The other was Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995, by Bill Watterson, which not only contains many C & H Sunday newspaper strips, but includes Watterson's background on the drawings. Many of the snippets I read this evening make for very good understanding of layout and visual presentation and tie directly to Web design. This seems to be similar (or a lite version of) to Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, which Peter likes.

November 29, 2001

This is completely disturbing news, California sells birth data to Web site. Law makers seem insanely behind the times with technology and what wrath it brings. Looks like it is time to write the law makers.

November 5, 2001

Lawrence Lessig has a new book, The Future of Ideas, in which he discusses the freedom of information flow that drive innovation and commerce. He also discusses the hinderance that some industries try to place on this flow of information and the direct and indirect effects this has on growth of ideas and expanding markets.

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