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Current Topic: Intellectual Property

A Tendency To Flow The Other Way
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:09 am EST, Nov  8, 2010

Jasper Rees:

Known to its creators and participating artists as the Underbelly Project, the space, where all the show's artworks remain, defies every norm of the gallery scene. Collectors can't buy the art. The public can't see it. And the only people with a chance of stumbling across it are the urban explorers who prowl the city's hidden infrastructure or employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

That's because the exhibition has been mounted, illegally, in a long-abandoned subway station.

Steven Johnson:

When you share a civic culture with millions of people, good ideas have a tendency to flow from mind to mind, even when their creators try to keep them secret.

The Ministry:

Dear citizen, according to received information, you have been influenced by the destabilizing propaganda which the media affiliated with foreign countries have been disseminating.

Anonymous Official:

It's essential to remember that given the will and the relevant orders, WikiLeaks can be made inaccessible forever.

danah boyd:

Carmen is engaging in social steganography. She's hiding information in plain sight, creating a message that can be read in one way by those who aren't in the know and read differently by those who are.

Marlo Stanfield:

You want it to be one way. But it's the other way.

A Tendency To Flow The Other Way

Is the DMCA a scam?
Topic: Intellectual Property 8:27 am EST, Nov 16, 2009

To get the page backup, I have to swear under penalty of perjury that I think the takedown was a mistake (yet the sender of a takedown does not have to swear that they think the takedown is valid!), consent to a lawsuit if the sender disagrees, and wait two weeks. Two weeks!

In short, the DMCA lets you get any page taken off the Internet for two weeks. This isn’t just a law itching for abuse; it’s a law being abused.

The problem, which isn't limited to the DMCA, is that our justice system is not blind to wealth. If you are wealthy, its not expensive to send out C&D notices such as DMCA "takedowns." In fact, you can make legal threats of every sort and variety, no matter how unreasonable, essentially without consequence, as long as the people you are threatening are not wealthy. Most people who live in our society do not have the means to defend themselves against legal claims in our justice system, no matter how unreasonable or illogical or downright fraudulent those claims might be. The consequence is that wealth makes right - always - unless you're lucky enough that some public interest law firm takes an intellectual interest in the case.

There ought to be financial consequences associated with fraudulent legal threats. Its the only thing that I can see that would balance the scales. Its not about recovering the money wasted complying with a fraudulent claim - its about ensuring that people don't file fraudulent claims in the first place.

Is the DMCA a scam?

Wikipedia adopts Text Coloring for Trust Idea that I helped develop
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:20 am EDT, Aug 31, 2009

Hadley Leggett:

Starting this fall, you'll have a new reason to trust the information you find on Wikipedia: An optional feature called "WikiTrust" will color code every word of the encyclopedia based on the reliability of its author and the length of time it has persisted on the page.

Called WikiTrust, the program assigns a color code to newly edited text using an algorithm that calculates author reputation from the lifespan of their past contributions. It's based on a simple concept: The longer information persists on the page, the more accurate it's likely to be.

"They've hit on the fundamentally Darwinian nature of Wikipedia," said Wikipedia software developer and neuroscientist Virgil Griffith of the California Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the project.

Noteworthy writes: It's pretty egregious that neither Wired nor the WikiTrust folks bothered to mention the Puppy Smoothies paper, which was published in 2006, a year before the earliest citations on the WikiTrust site. (Why didn't Virgil mention this?)

The reliability of information collected from at large Internet users by open collaborative wikis such as Wikipedia has been a subject of widespread debate. This paper provides a practical proposal for improving user confidence in wiki information by coloring the text of a wiki article based on the venerability of the text. This proposal relies on the philosophy that bad information is less likely to survive a collaborative editing process over large numbers of edits. Colorization would provide users with a clear visual cue as to the level of confidence that they can place in particular assertions made within a wiki article.

Decius: Noteworthy later points out that the Wikitrust people did reference my paper in their first paper. I'm really happy to see these ideas making it into practice regardless of how much credit I'm getting. I pushed the ball a little bit forward but these guys have taken it all the way and thats awesome. Congrats Wikitrust!

Wikipedia adopts Text Coloring for Trust Idea that I helped develop

Obama Poster Debate - David Ross and Ed Colbert | February 12th |
Topic: Intellectual Property 6:45 pm EST, Feb 26, 2009

David Ross and Ed Colbert debate the copyright issues surrounding Shepard Fairey's Obama poster. (06:37)

This segment on the Colbert Report is one of the most clued discussions about a copyright matter I've ever seen on TV. If you follow copyleft issues, this is pure candy.

Obama Poster Debate - David Ross and Ed Colbert | February 12th |

How Copyright Restrictions Suppress Art: An Interview With Nina Paley About "Sita Sings The Blues" |
Topic: Intellectual Property 2:50 pm EST, Jan  6, 2009

A classic example of how today's copyright system suppresses art, effectively forcing artists to make creative choices based on licensing concerns rather than on their artistic vision.

How Copyright Restrictions Suppress Art: An Interview With Nina Paley About "Sita Sings The Blues" |

CBP Releases Intellectual Property Rights Seizure Statistics for Mid-FY2008
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:08 am EDT, Jul 22, 2008

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of International Trade announced today that the domestic value of counterfeit and pirated products seized by CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement increased by 2.7 percent in mid-fiscal year 2008 to $113.2 million compared to $110.1 million in mid-FY 2007.

The number of large-scale seizures also increased: rising from 296 IPR seizures with a domestic value equal to or greater than $100,000 in 2008 compared to 266 such seizures in mid-FY 2007. The first half of the fiscal year extends from Oct. 1 to March 28.

If you are looking for the general financial motivation for our customs search policies...

CBP Releases Intellectual Property Rights Seizure Statistics for Mid-FY2008

Here's Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They're Banned -
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:10 am EDT, Jun 17, 2008

So here's our new policy on A.P. stories: they don't exist. We don't see them, we don't quote them, we don't link to them.

Hard to say if this is bold or timid under the circumstance. It sure talks bold. I'd be more impressed with WaPo if they had the guts the take AP to the mat on their IP claims, but at least they are sending a clear message that they aren't going to join them.

Here's Our New Policy On A.P. stories: They're Banned -

Associated Press expects you to pay to license 5-word quotations (and reserves the right to terminate your license) - Boing Boing
Topic: Intellectual Property 9:01 am EDT, Jun 17, 2008

I suggest it’s better described as yet another attempt by a big media company to replace the established legal and social order with with a system of private law (the very definition of the word “privilege”) in which a few private organizations get to dictate to the rest of society what the rules will be.

Welcome to a world in which you won’t be able to effectively criticize the press, because you’ll be required to pay to quote as few as five words from what they publish.

People are basically fucking pissed about the AP's announcement.

Associated Press expects you to pay to license 5-word quotations (and reserves the right to terminate your license) - Boing Boing

Drudge Retort Episode Highlights 'Fair Use' Uncertainties | Threat Level from
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:12 pm EDT, Jun 16, 2008

Rogers Cadenhead tells THREAT LEVEL on Monday he has taken down works from his Drudge Retort blog that The Associated Press has deemed an infringement of the nation's oldest and largest newsgathering operation's copyrights.

The AP recently sent seven takedown notices to his social news site for the offense of reposting a few sentences or more and reprinting their headlines, sometimes linking those sentences and headlines to the full stories generated from the New York-based media concern.

Drudge Retort Episode Highlights 'Fair Use' Uncertainties | Threat Level from

Copyfighters beat down Tennessee bill - Boing Boing
Topic: Intellectual Property 5:23 pm EDT, Mar 19, 2008

Copyfighters in Tennessee have scored a massive win, defanging a crappy, RIAA-written state bill:

I agree. The final text of the bill was far more reasonable than the one originally proposed. If you called, wrote, or joined this protest thank you for making a difference.

Copyfighters beat down Tennessee bill - Boing Boing

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