Monthly Archives: August 2008

from the what-passes-for-lawyering department

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Posted in just plain silly | 8 Comments

CIS needs a Constitutional Law/IP fellow

On your way to legal academics? Need some time to write, as you do some good? The Stanford CIS (fresh off of a string of incredible victories) needs a new fellow with a particular fondness for the First Amendment and IP. Specs in the extended entry below. Continue reading

Posted in Stanford CIS | 1 Comment

Hey Dems: Yes You Can (from the please-get-consistent-department)

Obama has famously (and rightfully) refused money from lobbyists and PACs. After he became the presumptive nominee, the DNC did the same. But both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee still accept money from lobbyists and PACs.
As this issue of reform is (sadly) increasingly invisible in this campaign, we at Change Congress are launching a campaign to get the Dems to be consistent about this.
Ideally, the DSCC and DCCC should follow Obama’s lead, and swear off lobbyists & PAC money. Or at the very least, both should promise to do so if the Republicans do.
We’ve started a petition. Please help spread it. Continue reading

Posted in ChangeCongress | 10 Comments

vCool CC news — Caterina Fake joins Creative Commons board


A FreeSoul by Joi

Creative Commons License

Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, has joined the Creative Commons board. News at CC. Continue reading

Posted in creative commons | 3 Comments

a plea to the press: Please just cover the convention(s)

The Democrats have a HD broadcast of their convention, but only on some platforms, through a Microsoft product. Those fortunate enough to own the most modern technology (and (contrary to the norm) fortunate enough to have fast broadband) can get full convention coverage.
The rest of America (to the extent they care, and the point may be related) are stuck with broadcasters coverage. From NPR to the networks, “coverage” means some ridiculous unprepared interview with a party has-been, while a prepared speech by someone currently significant is being given in the background. (e.g., Jim Leach, former GOP Congressman from Iowa, speaking in the background as NPR interviews Walter Mondale. Leach’s speech was fantastic. Mondale’s, well, you get the point.)
Please, networks, and especially, NPR, can you please just cover the convention — both the Democratic and Republican. Obviously, it is party propaganda. But it is also American politics. It is ridiculous that the only people who actually get to see what each party believes it should say are those who are at the Convention, or those with powerful computers and fast technology. Continue reading

Posted in politics | 15 Comments

More on broadband numbers

As I said about my McCain on Technology video, the opening graph is not well defined. Others said the same thing. Neither are the data provided. If I had all the time in the world, I would correct both in the video. I don’t. So here’s a clarification:
I am using a hybrid of the ITU data (2000-2007) and OECD data (1997-1999) in my analysis, but only the latter in the chart. You can see a spreadsheet with both here. The numbers (#5, #22) refer to the U.S. ranking for broadband penetration over that period. OECD doesn’t have exactly the same analysis, but because there are relatively few countries with broadband penetration of any significance, it is easy to calculate that broadband penetration for the US goes from #2 to #22 from 1997 through 2007.
The Communication Workers of America have a new site and study to bolster the embarrassing state of US broadband quality. You can download their 50 state survey here. Far as I can tell, the simplest explanation for broadband speed is this: How close are you to DC regulators. The closer you are, the better your broadband. Not a perfect predictor, but pretty good. Continue reading

Posted in NetNeutrality | 7 Comments

FCC on Comcast: Bravo!


Free Press (and others) alleged that Comcast was blocking the BitTorrent application. We’ve known for sometime the result in this case (because of the weird practice of the FCC to release the results of an order without necessarily releasing the order). But at the crack of dawn (California time) today, the Commission released its 34 page order.
It is fantastically well done. So much so that I felt compelled (in that weird lawyer like way) to blather my own 5 pages of thanks in a letter to the Commission that will be mailed today. Continue reading

Posted in good code | 8 Comments

Free the Airwaves: Whitespace campaign

My contribution to the “Free the Airwaves” campaign, a push to free spectrum “whitespaces.” Continue reading

Posted in good code | 10 Comments

Me on McCain on Technology

A reaction to McCain’s recently announced technology policy. (Stupidly unclear in the video: the initial graph is U.S.’s global ranking in broadband penetration — so starting high (#5) in 2000, and declining to #22 by 2008. The rankings are based on OECD data.)
There’s also a version at YouTube (but please watch in “high quality”).
(I resisted the cheap shot “[sic]” at “and free to chose among broadband service providers.” Will someone please get them to fix this?)
[Update: Here’s a slightly edited transcript of the video (which steals Michael McDaniel’s brilliant title) Continue reading

Posted in bad code | 15 Comments

And another big win today for the Stanford CIS project

As if the decision upholding free licenses wasn’t enough for one day, a New York Supreme Court (the highest trial court in New York) has denied Yoko Ono an injunction to stop the distribution of a film that uses a clip of Lennon’s Imagine. Wonderfully, the Court explicitly refuses to follow the 6th Circuit’s “no de minimis” rule sound recordings, and holds that there is fair use under New York’s common law copyright regime. Read the more good news here. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 5 Comments