30 June 2004
Dick Cheney Booed When Shown On Screen At Yankees Game
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Kicking and squealing Gucci little piggy
23 June 2004
I can't resist linking to this fantastic cover of Radiohead's Paranoid Android. It's an all-percussion version performed by the UMass Front Percussion Ensemble!
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Cory Doctorow on Digital Rights Management
22 June 2004
By now, the text of the speech on Digital Rights Management technologies that Cory Doctorow recently gave to Microsoft's Research Group has been linked to so widely it's made its way nearly to the top of Google's search results for "DRM". I'm mentioning it here in case you haven't heard about it somewhere else. I highly recommend it. The speech offers a very well-put statement on an issue that's hugely important to all of us -- the ownership and control of culture.
(I've linked above to Anil Dash's HTML version of the speech text instead of Doctorow's original text version.)
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Patent Busting Contest
20 June 2004
Help bust invalid patents that threaten tools of free expression!
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Jack Valenti and me: copyfighters
8 June 2004
My explorations into various understandings of intellecutal property and copyright have convinced me that our current system of copyright law is headed in a very dark direction and needs to change course soon. According to Clancy Ratliff (via Copyfight: the politics of IP) that makes me a copyfighter: "a copyfighter is someone who engages in conversations on authorship and intellectual property. [...] Moreover, copyfighters look at our current copyright model -- automatic copyright, life + 70 years as soon as the content is put into a fixed medium -- and express some kind of qualm about it; they think it should change in some way."
But that definition doesn't specify which way the copyfighter thinks our copyright model should change. By this standard, even the infamous Jack Valenti -- the outgoing head of the MPAA who once referred to file swappers as terrorists -- is a copyfighter. Sounds like we'd need to add an adjective to make the label meaningful. But what are the acceptible options? Left-wing copyfighter? Right-wing copyfighter? Progressive copyfighter? Conservative copyfighter? Corporate copyfighter? Indie copyfighter? When one of the most compelling voices on what one might think should be called the progressive side of this fight advocates "free culture" as in "free markets", I'm not sure any of these traditional labels make much sense.
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Surrounded by psychopaths
7 June 2004
I saw the new documentary The Corporation at its San Francisco opening day last Saturday. Overall, the film was excellent, though one image stands out in particular. According to the filmmakers, the contemporary corporation -- because it has the legal rights of a person but isn't subjected to any strong accountability -- is a textbook example of a psychopath: "characterized by absence of guilt and anxiety normally accompanying an antisocial act."
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We looked like giants
1 June 2004
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