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Current Topic: Intellectual Property

Everything is a Remix, Part 1
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:49 am EDT, Oct  6, 2010

A film series by Kirby Ferguson.

David Foster Wallace:

After the pioneers always come the crank turners, the little gray people who take the machines others have built and just turn the crank.


All the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door.

On the Johnny Cash Project:

As people all over the world contribute, the project will continue to evolve and grow, one frame at a time.

William Gibson:

The means of production, reproduction and distribution of recorded music, are today entirely digital, and thus are in the hands of whoever might desire them.

James Lewis, CSIS:

Some argue that strong IPR is no longer important as there are alternatives that will create equal or greater amounts of innovation. The problem with these alternatives is that they tend not to work.

Everything is a Remix, Part 1

A History of Rap
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:49 am EDT, Oct  6, 2010

A musical medley by Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, and the Roots.

Did you know?

Discover Hip Hop is sweeping the nation!

Millions of people are catching onto this new thing called Hip Hop. Discover Hip Hop is To The Max! Tell your friends you are Hip Hop and see what happens!! Everyone else is doing it! Now you can too!!!!! Buy the Discover Hip Hop Set.

There are 260 million people in America, and you are one of them.

Get With The Program!

Louis Menand:

Ideas are produced not by individuals, but by groups of individuals -- ideas are social.


I'm MC Rove!

A History of Rap

Right Wing Radio Duck
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:49 am EDT, Oct  6, 2010

Ask yourself:

What hidden potentials exist within YOU?

Perhaps you're a wholly reasonable person, with the potential to become an irrational fool?

Paul Graham:

I'm not saying we should stop, but I think we should at least examine which lies we tell and why.

Jon Stewart:


Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.

Mark Kingwell:

What is the only thing worse than un-civil discourse? No discourse at all.

David Lynch:

Ideas are like fish. Originality is just the ideas you caught.

Jean-Luc Godard:

It's not where you take things from -- it's where you take them to.

Be on the lookout:

The Hong Kong government has unveiled a plan to use 200,000 young people from organizations like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides as watchdogs for internet copyright infringement. Many civil liberties advocates question the use of teenagers in state-sponsored law enforcement.

Right Wing Radio Duck

Versions, 2010
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:28 am EDT, Jul  7, 2010

Oliver Laric:

How an incident happens may reflect nothing about the incident itself, but it must reflect something about the person involved in the happening, and supplying the how.

Five people interpret an action, and each interpretation is different, because, in the telling, and in the retelling, the people reveal not the action, but themselves.

David Shields:

The world exists. Why recreate it?

David Shields / William Gibson:

Who owns the words?

Who owns the music and the rest of our culture?

We do -- all of us -- though not all of us know it yet.

Jim Jarmusch:

Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.

Jean-Luc Godard:

It's not where you take things from -- it's where you take them to.

Versions, 2010

The Free-Appropriation Writer
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:11 am EST, Mar  1, 2010

Randy Kennedy:

A child of a media-saturated generation, she presented herself as a writer whose birthright is the remix, the use of anything at hand she feels suits her purposes, an idea of communal creativity that certainly wasn't shared by those from whom she borrowed.

Helene Hegemann:

There's no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity.

Jim Jarmusch:

Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.

John McWhorter:

In many Amazonian languages, when you say something you have to specify, with a suffix, where you got the information.

Louis Menand:

Authenticity is a snark -- although someone will always go hunting for it.

An exchange:

A: "You know, we have a lot in common because personally one of my favorite activities is to hunt, too."

P: "Oh, very good. We should go hunting together."

David Lynch:

Ideas are like fish. Originality is just the ideas you caught.

Jonathan Lethem:

Bob Dylan's originality and his appropriations are as one.

The same might be said of all art.

The Free-Appropriation Writer

Up and to the Right: The Recent History of the Global Usenet Feed
Topic: Intellectual Property 8:02 am EDT, Jun 19, 2009

Edward Henigin offers a window into Giganews. Presented as a Lightning Talk at the latest NANOG in Philadelphia.

Up and to the Right: The Recent History of the Global Usenet Feed

Copyright Holders Challenge Sites That Scrape Content
Topic: Intellectual Property 7:11 am EST, Mar  3, 2009

At what point does excerpting from an article become illegal copying?

The prevailing wisdom is that content should roam widely online, but lackluster digital advertising of late has called that into question.

Copyright Holders Challenge Sites That Scrape Content

Viral Spiral
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:38 am EST, Jan 11, 2009

A world organized around centralized control, strict intellectual property rights, and hierarchies of credentialed experts is under siege. A radically different order of society based on open access, decentralized creativity, collaborative intelligence, and cheap and easy sharing is ascendant.

A new book, praised by John Seely Brown, DJ Spooky, Yochai Benkler, and others:

... thoroughly delightful ... penetrating ... masterful ... weaves a rich tapestry ... wonderful detail ...

Naturally the book is freely available for download. (It's also on sale in hardcover.)

From the archive:

If I had to name one high-cultural notion that had died in my adult lifetime, it would be the idea that difficulty is artistically desirable.


History suggests that, all other things being equal, a society prospers in proportion to its ability to prevent parents from influencing their children's success directly.

Viral Spiral

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
Topic: Intellectual Property 8:14 am EDT, Oct 16, 2008

Amid the news of McCain's DMCA woes, Lawrence Lessig's new book is now on sale.

Lawrence Lessig, the reigning authority on intellectual property in the Internet age, spotlights the newest and possibly the most harmful culture war—a war waged against our kids and others who create and consume art. America’s copyright laws have ceased to perform their original, beneficial role: protecting artists’ creations while allowing them to build on previous creative works. In fact, our system now criminalizes those very actions.

For many, new technologies have made it irresistible to flout these unreasonable and ultimately untenable laws. Some of today’s most talented artists are felons, and so are our kids, who see no reason why they shouldn’t do what their computers and the Web let them do, from burning a copyrighted CD for a friend to “biting” riffs from films, videos, songs, etc and making new art from them.

Criminalizing our children and others is exactly what our society should not do, and Lessig shows how we can and must end this conflict—a war as ill conceived and unwinnable as the war on drugs. By embracing “read-write culture,” which allows its users to create art as readily as they consume it, we can ensure that creators get the support—artistic, commercial, and ethical—that they deserve and need. Indeed, we can already see glimmers of a new hybrid economy that combines the profit motives of traditional business with the “sharing economy” evident in such Web sites as Wikipedia and YouTube. The hybrid economy will become ever more prominent in every creative realm—from news to music—and Lessig shows how we can and should use it to benefit those who make and consume culture.

Remix is an urgent, eloquent plea to end a war that harms our children and other intrepid creative users of new technologies. It also offers an inspiring vision of the post-war world where enormous opportunities await those who view art as a resource to be shared openly rather than a commodity to be hoarded.

From the archive:

All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. ...

-- John Donne

Jonathan Lethem wrote this 'remix' in the February 2007 issue of Harper's Magazine.

He elicited a response from Larry Lessig in the April 2007 issue:

In his beautifully crafted February criticism, "The Ecstasy of Influence", Jonathan Lethem teaches more about the importance of what I call "remix" than any other work I have read. Certainly more than my own work.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy

In Defense of Piracy
Topic: Intellectual Property 12:44 pm EDT, Oct 13, 2008

Lawrence Lessig, in WSJ:

Digital technology has made it easy to create new works from existing art, but copyright law has yet to catch up.

Adapted from his new book.

In Defense of Piracy

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