Monthly Archives: May 2004

a candidate who doesn’t get privacy in the digital age

So how you reconcile privacyin a world where almost everything you do is “public” is hard. E.g., every click you utter on the net is in a sense “public”; every place you go on the web is “public” — both in the sense that you transmit to the public information about you as you do it. Yet all of us have the strong (and right) sense that there should be a limit.

Here’s a candidate running for U.S. Senate who doesn’t get that: Jack Ryan. (Warning: if you click on his website you get a pop-up asking to contribute.) (Disclosure: I’ve contributed to his opponent, Barak Obama). According to Joshua Marshall, Ryan has a campaign worker following Obama every moment of the day, video taping absolutely everything he does “in public.”

Not only does he record Obama’s public appearances, he tails Obama in his car; he follows him into restrooms; he stays a couple feet behind him when he’s walking in public; he waits outside his office and pesters his secretary. And he heckles Obama at public appearances.

Technically, of course, ok. And even maybe more than technically — after all, Obama is running for Senate. But do we really need another politician who lives by what is technically ok, to further erase any boundary of privacy?

Wonder how Ryan will vote on cameras monitoring every movement of citizens in “public places”? (Thanks to Tom Barger). Continue reading

Posted in politics | 6 Comments

untangling the tangled web woven

There’s lots about the conflict between SoundScan’s reports about increasing album sales in the US, and the RIAA’s claim to have been hurt by “piracy.” This piece by Moses Avalon does a very nice job reconciling the numbers. Here’s a summary paragraph:

Forget the confusing percentages, here’s an oversimplified example: I shipped 1000 units last year and sold 700 of them. This year I sold 770 units but shipped only 930 units. I shipped 10% less units this year. And this is what the RIAA wants the public to accept as “a loss.”

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Posted in free culture | 1 Comment

Golan goes forward — with your help

As reported, we survived the government’s motion to dismiss in Golan v. Ashcroft. Thanks to the excellent work of lawyers at Wheeler, Trigg & Kennedy, we’ve now convinced the court of the importance of discovery to demonstrate the actual harms caused by “restored” copyrights.

Aaron has built a site to help us collect stories, some of which may become part of the suit. Please help spread the link: the beginning of an archive to the public domain. Continue reading

Posted in good law | Leave a comment

the only politician protected by IP

So according to the governor, you can’t make a parody doll of him. His rights of publicity trump any public right to parody. Amazing. Continue reading

Posted in just plain silly | 16 Comments

the $$$ of creativity in the digital age

Tarnation is the talk of Cannes (or so the BBC says; as if I talk to anyone who talks to Cannes). This autobiography of abuse by Jonathan Caouette cost $214 (video tape; one set of angel wings) to make. Cost to clear the rights for a public distribution: $400,000. (Thanks to Josh Cogliati). Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 1 Comment

more illegal (according to the RIAA) stuff you can do in Holland

Those radicals in Holland have protected the right of a search engine to search for MP3. (Thanks to Branko Collin) Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 7 Comments

is it statistics that lie?

Alas, whether record sales have fallen (which is a different question from whether sales have fallen BECAUSE OF quote-piracy-unquote) continues to be contested. Continue reading

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the modesty of Bill O’Reilly

WHYY reports that Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor, will not authorize Fresh Air to relicense segments from his amazing appearance on Terry Gross’s amazing show. Speculation why he’d ban the repeat of his worlds elsewhere is growing. But it is obvious to this writer that it is nothing more than a flash of modesty by this engaging figure, no doubt motivated by a desire to drive traffic to Fresh Air’s site (again, it is here). Yet another example of commercial media reaching out to help noncommercial media.

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Posted in free culture | 47 Comments

honoring Creative Commons

Creative Commons has won a Prix Ars Electronica Award.

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paul’s rhythm

Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky)’s new book Rhythm Science just came in the mail. Cool form, cooler words, amazing tunes.

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Posted in free culture | 3 Comments