« March 2007 | Main | May 2007 »

April 30, 2007

Network Neutrality means you pay!

Network neutrality means you pay!

. . . . .can we blame them. Perhaps Whitacre, CEO At&t, should not be categorized as the following rephrased statement from the Orlowski article: the Southern gentlemen who would be so charming that he could had you back your guts on a plate and that you would thank him. (Orlowski, 2007) Perhaps he is nothing more than his title: a CEO. A company’s leader that is there to maximize potential, creating hysteria as a marketing tactic, and taxing other companies as a way to use At&t created capital resources.

Ok, this is one perspective. Monopolies are illegal but in the effect that government has allowed this domination of mergers such as the BellSouth merger potentially they have kept in mind the interest of the people. I found it interesting that democratics became blamed for this so-called allowance of mergers and domination.

In conclusion, whether net neutrality is either in existence or simply a made-up hysteria the government needs to take action to ensure individuals of no threat. I personally am not concerned with threats of net neutrality and believe that the grandma trying to attend her doctor appointment via streaming media should relax as well. I appreciated the videos but believe people should allow the government to regulate potential monopoly threats with these big businesses and not focus on allowing this “mumbo jumbo? to be of much concern.

Intellectual property for Viacom or Google?

Viacom is pursuing a $1bn lawsuit against Google and YouTube for infringement on intellectual property. This is a few weeks after the chapter in the course but I think it will be an interesting battle without any clear winners.

Here is the article from Reuters today.

Mike

UPDATE 1-Google says Viacom lawsuit threat to Internet use
Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:59 PM ET

(Adds Google attorney interview, Viacom response, byline)

By Eric Auchard

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 30 (Reuters) - Viacom Inc.'s copyright infringement suit against Google Inc. and its YouTube video-sharing unit strikes at the heart of how the Internet works, Google argued on Monday in a U.S. federal court filing.

Responding in the filing to Viacom's more-than-$1 billion lawsuit, the Web search leader denied virtually all the claims, including that the popular video-watching site was engaged in "massive intentional copyright infringement."

"By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom's complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment and political and artistic expression," Google said in answer to Viacom's March 13 suit.

Google demands a jury trial to respond to allegations in the media conglomerate's lawsuit, according to legal papers filed on Monday with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and provided to reporters by the company.

Philip Beck of law firm Bartlit Beck, who argued President George W. Bush's side in the Florida vote-counting case following the 2000 election, is one of the attorneys from two outside firms named to represent Google. The Chicago-based attorney also defended Merck in the Vioxx drug case.

Wilson Sonsini, Silicon Valley's best-known law firm, and a frequent outside counsel for Google, is also joining the team.

DEFENSE: "ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT LAW REQUIRES"

As expected, Google's defense against allegations of failing to prevent YouTube users from pirating hundreds of thousands of clips from Viacom programming hinges on legal protections afforded by a 1998 copyright protection law.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) limits liability for Internet service providers that act quickly to block access to pirated online materials, once the copyright holder notifies a Web site of specific acts of infringement.

Viacom's suit challenges the "careful balance established by Congress," Google responded. "The DMCA balances the rights of copyright holders and the need to protect the Internet."

During its controversial nine-year history, the DMCA has acted as the legal standard defining U.S. copyright law in the digital age, offering a defense widely relied upon by Internet companies to protect themselves against copyright actions.

"Google and YouTube respect the importance of intellectual property rights, and not only comply with their safe harbor obligations under the DMCA, but go well above and beyond what the law requires," Google's legal response states.

But a Viacom spokesman countered: "This response ignores the most important fact of the suit, which is that YouTube does not qualify for safe harbor protection under the DMCA."

Michael Kwun, Google's managing counsel for litigation, said in an interview at its Silicon Valley headquarters that the company already offers copyright holders several technologies to identify pirated video. But he declined to specify a timeline for when Google will make so-called "video fingerprinting" technologies available to media rights owners.

Google's filing takes a technical approach to questions raised by the lawsuit, leaving aside questions of precedent or indications of eventual legal strategy for later proceedings. Motions for summary judgment and other legal moves would only occur at a later stage, Kwun said.

However, Kwun told reporters that Google intends to cite a series of decisions in favor of Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. which have upheld the DMCA's "safe harbor" protections for Internet services hosting third-party content.

The next round will be a case management hearing in the Manhattan court of Judge Louis Stanton on July 27, he said.

In public forums over the past month, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has repeatedly labeled Viacom's suit as a "negotiating tactic."

Kwun said high-level contacts between the two sides' legal teams had taken place in recent weeks, but he denied the companies have held settlement talks since the suit was filed.

"This is a lawsuit we think should never have been brought," Kwun said. "We think Viacom will conclude the same thing."

Not Neutral Now

The web isn't neutral, as long as we view the web as the use of individual websites. First, there is a cost associated to using the internet. We can't read blogs, hear podcasts, or watch YouTube videos produced by the homeless. The best sites have the most money, plain and simple. There are exceptions here and there, but for the most part the popular main-stays are profit-driven, even if they do not start out that way.
These profit-driven sites are always looking for consensus, as the more people there are visiting, the merrier the advertisers. Google is a fine example, and as mentioned in Orlowski's article:

[Journalists] are rarely aware they're buying consensus reality
. Google is not the power to sit at your home and be an individual, it allows other to make up your mind for you. Only about a year ago Googlebombing or linkbombing was a popular way to influence people. Typing "failure" would provide George W. Bush's biography, "liar" would produce a link to Tony Blair. As stated in Google's Official Blog,
We don't condone the practice of Google bombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we're also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up. Pranks like this may be distracting to some, but they don't affect the overall quality of our search service, whose objectivity, as always, remains the core of our mission.

It was fun while it lasted, but Google has upgraded their algorithm to limit the effect of Googlebombing.

The reason I think that the big phone and cable companies should not be making massive profits (along with gas, electricity, railroad and other sectors that have been monopolized over the years) is that they are selling commodities disguised as qualitative products. We can argue which phone company has the best customer service, and there is a fine argument as far as service and dropped calls with cell phones, however these mass-produced technologies could be done well very fast by one overseeing government agency that worked efficiently and reduced overlap. Of course because of lobbying, fear of big government, and the tendency that the government doesn't always do the best job this will not happen.

Net neutrality is much more possible than TV or radio neutrality at this point, because of non-neutral sites like search engines and link-providing blogs. I just want people to realize two things. One, the net is not neutral, get over it, but wikipedia tries to be if you need an outlet. Two, utility companies are be just that, utilities. Sure, they put a lot of time and money into creating or buying our current systems, and profits can develop (or buy) new technology, but they are selling quantitative commodities as qualitative products. These utilities are commodities everyone needs (or at least needs to to fit in with the advanced part of society) to have a good living. It is hard to get a job, receive an income or have friends without a phone (Can I have your number? Actually no, I can't afford one.).

I don't have a solution, but I see a need for reform. A phone call is a phone call, and transferring a packet is transferring a packet, but I think it is unethical to purposely put the world at different speeds. Tar roads are not built to speed profits, but to enhance efficiency over gravel. This should be the same for the net. When and where it is used, ample service should be provided. Hype or no hype, the hardware of the net should be neutral. The content should be left up to the users.

Is Net Neutrality an issue?

What is net neutrality? Depending on which side of the fence you are on, the definition and meaning differs. From the Wikipedia entry on Net Neutrality, Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu stated, "Network neutrality is best defined as a network design principle. The idea is that a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally."

What does that mean? I think it means that everyone has a fair chance at using bandwidth. There aren’t any favorites dominating the internet pipeline.

In the article from The Register, AT&T ran a misdirection play in order to consumate their merger with BellSouth. They received so much attention and scrutiny from their adversaries, that they quietly became the entity that was viewed as David in the battle. Poor little AT&T. As they gobbled up their competitors they became a $115bn revenue jaugernaut.

Why isn’t that fair? AT&T has invested time, money and research to upgrade and install their network. They are a government regulated entity but they are a for profit corporation. Aren’t they entitled to protect their investment? Because the internet travels from point A to point B on AT&T equipment, that should allow them the right to make a profit somewhere. Their model suggests that the consumer is already paying access fees so they shouldn’t be the one with the burden. Without the content providers we wouldn’t have a need for ISP’s. Maybe the ISP should bear some of the cost as they also make a profit through their access points.

Is this scenario any different than any of the other government regulated utilities? What about the oil companies? They really deal in pipelines. Do they discrimiate between gas guzzler vehicles and hybrids? The answer is no. They treat every customer the same. Do we worry about gas neutrality? I don’t think so.

April 28, 2007

A First Stab at the Podcast Revolution


powered by ODEO

I apologize this is so late, I was having some trouble getting everything to work. A good first experience!

April 27, 2007

The podcast as a tool.

Here it is to download.

I'm going to figure out how to embed this and get it posted. But the download is there for now.

Kate Rambles about Podcasts


powered by ODEO

Silent Blathering

Hi everyone. I tried to do the podcast as well to no avail. What do they say about radio? "You have a face for radio."? I guess I have a voice for silent movies. I don't think my work computer has a mic, but Odeo did not NOT detect one, so I am stumped.

I liked the comment that spurred Mr. Curry (the first lame host of Headbanger's Ball?) to pocasting glory, "..what people really want is the ability to take the Internet away with you and listen to it on headphones." Podcasting seems to be kind of a guerilla on-demand radio; low-tech (though too high-tech for me, evidentally!), low-cost, under-the-radar of the FCC (which must be frustrating for them--I'm looking at my watch to see when they will step in), and through its nimbleness, very versatile.

Drawbacks? For me, sound is not what draws me to a computer, and is not what I would sink good money into. So I don't think it is a good use of this particular medium. I'm stuck with thinking of computers as a visual medium. Maybe because I don't have an iPod, I don't see the value of downloading to another vessel that will sound better. As my 16 year-old-nephew has said, "If you want to talk to someone, just call them on the phone!"

Educationally, I think podcasting would be especially good for language (no more having to go to nasty language labs of my college years) and English literature, as the article by Campbell suggests. I guess I fail to see the point of having a professor discuss outside reading in a podcast when I am on my way to her class, as the student in the Campbell article was doing. From the administrative side of things, I am kind of skeptical. It is hard enough to get professors to provide us with usable syllabi each term, which, by the way, are the single best and least expensive ad for any course. Could we ask them to also post blogs or podcasts?

I do like the idea of expanding the 'reach' of the classroom with podcasts and other course materials. Does that make education less personal? Yes, but I think that is preferable for some students, especially when the information is free. Go MIT! When I was starting my undergrad here, there was controversy about a beginning psychology course that featured videotaped lectures from the professor. Now there are dozens of distance learning courses, with taped lectures from the teachers.

I have listened to podcasts posted on Bravo websites or from the BBC. Sometimes it is kind of relaxing to listen and work on something else at the same time. Radio does have its allure, and Campbell did have good points about making engaged listening a skill. Will I be going to the trouble to subscribe podcasts or transfer downloaded podcasts from my computer to the MP3 player that I do not as yet possess? I will when my computer sounds as good as my boombox.

Something’s in the AIR!

I have also been having problem with my podcast over the few days so I gave up and decided to write out my thoughts instead. So, here it is;

Podcast is a great way for individuals to access course lectures and enhance their education. As it is shared with everyone, not only classmates learn but others who have never before. Like mentioned in the paper, “There’s something in the Air,? after Jenny heard the speech from the professor, she wanted to join the course because how it impacted her and also shared the education to others such as her parents. This could potentially better the education of others, although I would not prefer it as a primary means of accessing course lectures. Perhaps if it is used as a secondary course lecture and students can overview lectures again later on if they have missed the lecture. I liked how the article stated “not to give away intellectual property but to plant seeds of interest and to demonstrate the lively and engaging intellectual community created by its faculty in each course.? (Campbell, Gardner. There’s something in the air.) Why wouldn’t it enhance people’s education when they can listen over and over again through different methods; ipod, headphones, computers, and all done on their personal time. I think it would be a great idea if some of our courses materials were offered via podcast.

After reviewing MIT, it too is a great thing to educate others even if they choose not to get a degree in the materials. It does mean the access of free and a non-paying learning but that gives the opportunity for many others to perhaps pursue the degree in the future.

The Podcasting world doesn't want my input!

Hey everyone~

Well, I've tried and tried, and for some reason can not get Odeo to work. When ever I hit the record button, my internet browser just freezes up. I've tried both Internet explorer and FireFox. I've also tried serveral different computers. So, I noticed a few of you are doing things the old fashioned way, and just writing your feelings in regard to podcasting. Like most of you, I think that podcasting is really a great and new technology. As Annalee Newitz quotes Adam Curry, "People want to download blog content, and listen to it on their head-phones." I completely agree with this comment in the sense that PodCasts really do allow people more power in terms of what they want to hear, and when they want to hear it. It's a great tool for people with busy life-styles to use in the sense that they can download something they like, and listen to it whenever it is most convenient for them.

However, while it is obvious that Podcasting has really taken off as of recently, I do not think it will remain a sustainable technology over the next 10 years. The main reason for my thinking is that people like to see content as well as hear it. As technology becomes more and more advanced, this option becomes more and more feasable. For instance, it is only a matter of time before 95% of the population has some type of content enabled "screen" on them at all times. Once this happens, I believe that the option of video will decrease the amount of podcasts immensly. A similar trend would be how we went from radio to television. Now, if any of you disagree with this, don't be too harsh! :) This is just my opinion of what is to come, and I'll be the first one to admitt that I could be completely wrong!

I'm coming out of my Pod!

This was quite an experience. It helped that I created a script for my podcast. It's really amazing how people can talk for such a long period of time on a single subject. I think Campbell puts it well when he says, "the implications of Apple�s embrace of podcasting are both exciting and troubling. The development is exciting because students will have a free, easy-to-use, dual-platform (Windows and Mac) audio-content manager that will help make podcasting pervasive and effective."


powered by ODEO

attack of the pod people


powered by ODEO

Presenting! My first (and very likely last) podcast of life.

Podcasting...why not?

My odeo podcast didn't work.. so I'm just going to comment a little about podcasting. Podcasting is becoming more and more popular everyday. I believe that offering schools online via podcasting is a good idea. I think the idea of getting information this was is just like taking this online class. You learn a lot and it's becoming more and more popular. I think that you get more out of it. I think it's sometimes a better alternative than not going to class. A lot of people have busy lifestyles with work and all and that's what makes taking courses this way so much easier. I feel like I learn more because it's on my time to do the work. I know that I have to do it and I will do it. Where as if you have to be in class at 8am everyday, your bound to miss a few days.

From reading the article, Still, “ease of publication? may overstate the case just a bit. A few intricacies that lie behind the notion of publishing a podcast deserve consideration. One is that you have to produce a podcast before you can publish it. It is true that one can produce a podcast very simply. So is publishing a podcasting considerd a real publication? I think that it does show validity.

I Love pods....and there fun to listen to!

This was definitely my first time podcasting. I found it quite interesting and entertaining. Now how I conducted this podcast was to have my buddy interview me and ask me some of the more pertinent questions for this weeks blog. I conducted it in this manner because it feels a little more natural to have someone asking me the questions rather than just address them. So hopefully this works and have fun!!!!


powered by ODEO

iCasts


powered by ODEO

iCasts


powered by ODEO

Podcasts aren't just for iPods?


powered by ODEO

Podosphere Blues

This week, for some variety, and since we had some extra time, I decided to write a song about podcasting. It is called "It Might Take Awhile for Me to Warm Up to You, Podosphere"
Also, here's a link to the mp3 because ODEO's been a bit temperamental.

Here are the lyrics (besides what I ad-libbed at the last moment):

I used to think podcasting implied ipod and sort it does
But I agree with Gardner Campbell that the term is unjust
This misdirected belief has kept me up to this point
From looking to podcasting as fad I’d like to join

The wired article by Anallee Newitz
Spoke of the podosphere’s humanistic nuance
Close-knitted and personal, something we miss on pay-per-view
But for a newcomer, inside jokes could be lost and unfunny
To what are they referring? It might take a while for me to warm up to you

Podosphere

Another point of stress in the Wired online press
Was that podcasts could go anywhere I want to go
But I don’t have an i-pod, and I don’t have a zune
So to me it’s still just stuck inside my room
It might take awhile for me to warm up to you

Podosphere

Steve jobs you must be grinning now
Adam Curry you must be grinning now
But I feel sorta left out


powered by ODEO


Podcasting and the future of radio


powered by ODEO

RIP Valenti

Jack Valenti died yesterday. The CNN obit focuses much more on his work in the White House and with the movie rating system than his fight against piracy. He was quite a multifaceted guy.

It was only a matter of time

A school has banned iPods in class to combat cheating during tests. The article follows.

Mike

Schools banning iPods to beat cheaters

By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press Writer
Fri Apr 27, 5:23 AM ET


Banning baseball caps during tests was obvious — students were writing the answers under the brim. Then, schools started banning cell phones, realizing students could text message the answers to each other. Now, schools across the country are targeting digital media players as a potential cheating device.

Devices including iPods and Zunes can be hidden under clothing, with just an earbud and a wire snaking behind an ear and into a shirt collar to give them away, school officials say.

"It doesn't take long to get out of the loop with teenagers," said Mountain View High School Principal Aaron Maybon. "They come up with new and creative ways to cheat pretty fast."

Mountain View recently enacted a ban on digital media players after school officials realized some students were downloading formulas and other material onto the players.

"A teacher overheard a couple of kids talking about it," said Maybon.

Shana Kemp, spokeswoman for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said she does not have hard statistics on the phenomenon but said it is not unusual for schools to ban digital media players.

"I think it is becoming a national trend," she said. "We hope that each district will have a policy in place for technology — it keeps a lot of the problems down."

Using the devices to cheat is hardly a new phenomenon, Kemp said. However, sometimes it takes awhile for teachers and administrators, who come from an older generation, to catch on to the various ways the technology can be used.

Some students use iPod-compatible voice recorders to record test answers in advance and them play them back, said 16-year-old Mountain View junior Damir Bazdar.

Others download crib notes onto the music players and hide them in the "lyrics" text files. Even an audio clip of the old "Schoolhouse Rock" take on how a bill makes it through Congress can come in handy during some American government exams.

Kelsey Nelson, a 17-year-old senior at the school, said she used to listen to music after completing her tests — something she can no longer do since the ban. Still, she said, the ban has not stopped some students from using the devices.

"You can just thread the earbud up your sleeve and then hold it to your ear like you're resting your head on your hand," Nelson said. "I think you should still be able to use iPods. People who are going to cheat are still going to cheat, with or without them."

Still, schools around the world are hoping bans will at least stave off some cheaters.

A teacher at San Gabriel High School in West Covina, Calif., confiscated a student's iPod during a class and found the answers to a test, crib notes and a definition list hidden among the teen's music selections. Schools in Seattle, Wash., have also banned the devices.

The practice is not limited to the United States: St. Mary's College, a high school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, banned cell phones and digital medial players this year, while the University of Tasmania in Australia prohibits iPods, electronic dictionaries, CD players and spell-checking devices.

Conversely, Duke University in North Carolina began providing iPods to its students three years ago as part of an experiment to see how the devices could be used to enhance learning.

The music players proved to be invaluable for some courses, including music, engineering and sociology classes, said Tim Dodd, executive director of The Center for Academic Integrity at Duke. At Duke, incidents of cheating have declined over the past 10 years, largely because the community expects its students to have academic integrity, he said.

"Trying to fight the technology without a dialogue on values and expectations is a losing battle," Dodd said. "I think there's kind of a backdoor benefit here. As teachers are thinking about how technology has corrupted, they're also thinking about ways it can be used productively."

April 26, 2007

Podcast... not such a blast!

Hi everyone. Well this weeks approach to discussing the content was quite interesting and frusterating at the same time. Lets just say I didn't have the easiest time with my first podcast experience! So hopefully this works. =0)



Subscribe Free
Add to my Page

No longer a virgin blogger..no longer a virgin podcaster

This week has been a technological challenge but I think I have succeeded! I now have accounts at Odeo, Gcast, switchpod. I have downloaded Audacity (Great tool!) and LAME.

Who would have thought I would have been embedding a podcast into a blog.

Mike


powered by ODEO

WIkipedia Update..

I was out on Wikipedia and decided to check on my edit. No responses or additional edits. Has anyone had any luck? Just being curious....

$100 Laptop ends up costing more

Looks like the original story ended up being false, as the laptops are going to be almost twice as much as originally thought.

Sorry for so much posting by me, I didn't just go searching for this, it came to me on my Google Desktop's news. I thought some of the people with strong arguments for a laptop for everyone would see that it's just too early to do something like this so inexpensively. In a lot of countries $175 could be a good sized investment on a small business, I wish I could find a website to back me up on this, but I'm pretty with relative GDPs and PPPs, $175 can go a really long way.

Gcast to the rescue!

Hey all,
William here to try to help. I feel really bad for everyone, because I just got lucky that my computer had a microphone, so I did a little searching and found Gcast! It should help a lot since you can record from your phone. Honestly I never tried it, but it looks ridiculously easy.

Also, Krista asked that I go into explaining how switchpod works, but as I said, I found it just a few seconds before I started podcasting for the first time ever. Since most of you also figured it out that tried, and I haven't seen any complaints, I will not go into it unless asked. To the rest of you, I would use Gcast. No promises, but I will try it tomorrow if I get a chance.
Big Will

A factory that produces apple pies for whales?!?!

What I’ve learned this week…I am not as computer savvy as I thought I was. I have never made a podcast before and at this point I still have never made a podcast! But trust me I’ve been trying! I just don’t get it. I don’t have a microphone so the directions didn’t help me much, I’ve heard you can do it using the phone…but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. I’m going to try again later, but for now I have finals to study for. In hopes that I will get a couple points I’m going to do this old fashion style.

The whole idea of podcasting intrigues me. I’ve heard about other universities incorporating podcasts into their classes. I think it is a great idea. As a commuter student it would make it so much easier to be able to watch lectures online as opposed to driving 30 minutes to and from campus to sit for a 50 minute lecture. It would also be so awesome to be able to listen to certain lecture material over again to fully retain the information. It would make my drive to and from school much more productive. I don’t think podcasts would diminish the value of university education, but instead enhance it. Podcasting is just another way to reach out to people with different learning styles. I think we should embrace new technology in our classrooms.

I think it is awesome that MIT is offering course material to the public free of charge. Some people are just looking to further their education and since you can not get a degree from taking these classes or use them to get a job I don’t think it dilutes the value of a university education. It is possible for some people to want to learn just to learn. If you are simply interested in learning something you can on there and learn it at your own pace on your own time. I think this site would also be a great tool to use as a study aid.

All in all I think this whole podcasting thing is cool…I just wish I could figure out how to make one!

An iPod Rado Star? No Thanks!

Wow! Finally got it. In my excitement of finally getting the podcast to work, I forgot to change my category. Sorry about the double entry,,,,


powered by ODEO

Update on DRM from Jobs... Renting?

Related to our discussion from a few weeks ago from CNN:
Jobs: Apple customers not into renting music

My first ever attempt at podcasting


Wow, I sound so amateurish. Anyway, here it is. I think I must've redone the recording about 5 or 6 times I was so nervous. Oh well, enjoy.

All Things Pod (racing, people, I, etc.)

Hi all
Here's my podcast. I had a hard time dealing with Odeo. You can't upload files to them. You also can't link to a podcast on another site like Switchpod. VERY FRUSTRATING!! So far I've tried a bunch a different settings and operations. I give up. It might be easy for people with microphones, but it's a royal pain trying to link up to a podcast on another site.

I tried Switchpod. It seems to work! Well I hope you enjoy my ramblings.

http://www.switchpod.com/users/blenderski/InternetTools.mp3

All Things Pod (racing, people, I, etc.)

Hi all
Here's my podcast. I had a hard time dealing with Odeo. You can't upload files to them. I tried Switchpod. It seems to work! Well I hope you enjoy my ramblings.

http://www.switchpod.com/users/blenderski/InternetTools.mp3

My Odeo Podcast

All Things Pod (racing, people, I, etc.)

Hi all
Here's my podcast. I had a hard time dealing with Odeo. You can't upload files to them. I tried Switchpod. It seems to work! Well I hope you enjoy my ramblings.

http://www.switchpod.com/users/blenderski/InternetTools.mp3

April 25, 2007

Podcast : Casting quite the spell on the populace.

Here is my podcast. I thought this week was really entertaining.
I believe this is how you post it on the blog:
My Odeo Podcast

Or if you would like the direct link I think this will work:

powered by ODEO

iPodcast!


powered by ODEO

Radio activities

http://www.switchpod.com/users/dj_crok/podclass.mp3

I hope it will work...

Pierre

Podcasting Killed the Radio Star

First time podcasting! I have never subscribed to a Podcast- but probably will in the future.



powered by ODEO

A Quick Odeo How-To

First, go to the Odeo Studio page. It’ll look like this:

Odeo Studio page

It’ll think for a minute, and then ask permission to access your computer’s mic and camera:

Odeo - Mic Permission Box

Click on “allow”, of course. Then record your podcast. When you’re done fiddling with it, click the “save” button. The next screen you see will look like this:

Odeo1.jpg

Fill in all the necessary fields, and make sure you choose a podcast for it to place it in — that’s the very last pull-down menu. Then click “Save” again. Odeo will generate some code for you:

Odeo - Code to Paste

Copy and paste this code into a new post in MovableType:

Odeo - Pasting Code into MT entry

Title it, put it in the correct category, and then hit “Publish.” Et voila! A podcast embedded in the blog! Like this one, which is a few seconds of me wondering why in the world I haven’t done podcasting before, since it’s so easy.

Have I ever mentioned to you guys before that I’m rather deaf? Because I am. (Not so deaf that I don’t also teach in regular, f2f classrooms, though.) I think that’s been a mental barrier to podcasting for me, since the sound quality on amateur podcasts is often poor (as it is on this one), and therefore harder to understand. It’s much quicker for me to read text than it is to listen to something. I’m glad this exercise has made me push past that.

April 24, 2007

William's News:My Views

My First Podcast
I didn't embed it because switchpod has it on autoplay... I hope it works for everyone.

Podcasting Unplugged- Global Network Style!

So Sue Me!

If anyone is doing their project on patents/copyright, this story might help. Sounds a little ridiculous to me. Hmmm, well Apple had screens on their monitors first, Gateway, Dell and everyone else should be sued! Oh, pens that come to a point??? BIC needs some money or a lawsuit is coming. Ridiculous, really.

Doing the Math

Reading back through the entries on DRM, I again came across Andrew’s comments about what the average artist actually gets paid. If you’re interested in reading more about this, take a look at this 2000 Salon article by Courtney Love, which details exactly how artists are treated. (And remember, this is 2000 Courtney writing, not 2004 Courtney. There’s a difference.)

April 23, 2007

Debate for the few?

In today's Star Tribune there was an article about the 2008 election. Go figure...

There is a new media partnership between the political blog Huffington Post, Yahoo and Slate Magazine. This group will host online-only debates for the Democrats and Republicans early next fall. These debates will begin sometime after Labor Day with PBS host Charlie Rose as the moderator. Voters can submit questions or the can blog in real-time to share their views and opinions.

We are seeing the huge growth of streaming media and this is another example of the attempt to go mainstream with a cyber event.

What about society without computers? Or the necessary tools needed to listen to a streaming debate? Are the technology laden, young cutting edge PC and Mac users the core voters in a presidential election? Only time will tell.

It may be a debate heard by a few...

Mike

April 22, 2007

GodTube- Broadcasting Him

When I was reading the paper this morning, on the front page there was an article about GodTube.com, a new site that "Broadcasts Him". It is a site that reaches out to nonbelievers. Check out the article http://www.startribune.com/614/story/1136125.html

Evolution of a Facebook Pic

This one’s been making the rounds.

April 20, 2007

The Landlord...SOOO Funny

April 19, 2007

Web 2.0 is a bust?

I came across this article in Reuters about the success of Web 2.0. In the article it states that only 0.16 percent of visitors to YouTube are there to upload video and .02%, (two-tenths of one percent) of visitors to Flickr are there to upload photos.

The rest of us are just there to be couch potatoes and browse.

Here is the article:

Participation on Web 2.0 sites remains weak
Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:55PM EDT
By Eric Auchard
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Web 2.0, a catchphrase for the latest generation of Web sites where users contribute their own text, pictures and video content, is far less participatory than commonly assumed, a study showed on Tuesday.
A tiny 0.16 percent of visits to Google's top video-sharing site, YouTube, are by users seeking to upload video for others to watch, according to a study of online surfing data by Bill Tancer, an analyst with Web audience measurement firm Hitwise.
Similarly, only two-tenths of one percent of visits to Flickr, a popular photo-editing site owned by Yahoo Inc., are to upload new photos, the Hitwise study found.
The vast majority of visitors are the Internet equivalent of the television generation's couch potatoes -- voyeurs who like to watch rather than create, Tancer's statistics show.
Wikipedia, the anyone-can-edit online encyclopedia, is the one exception cited in the Hitwise study: 4.6 percent of all visits to Wikipedia pages are to edit entries on the site.
But despite relatively low-user involvement, visits to Web 2.0-style sites have spiked 668 percent in two years, Tancer said.
"Web 2.0 and participatory sites (are) really gaining traction," he told an audience of roughly 3,000 Internet entrepreneurs, developers and financiers attending the Web 2.0 Expo industry conference in San Francisco this week.
Web 2.0, a phrase popularized by conference organizer Tim O'Reilly, refers to the current generation of Web sites that seek to turn viewers into contributors by giving them tools to write, post, comment and upload their own creative work.
Besides Wikipedia, other well-known Web 2.0 destinations are social network sites like News Corp.'s MySpace and Facebook and photo-sharing site Photobucket.
Visits by Web users to the category of participatory Web 2.0 sites account for 12 percent of U.S. Web activity, up from only 2 percent two years ago, the study showed.
Web 2.0 photo-sharing sites now account for 56 percent of visits to all online photo sites. Of that, Photobucket alone accounts for 41 percent of the traffic, Hitwise data shows.
An older, first generation of sites, now in the minority, are photo-finishing sites that give users the ability to store, share and print photos.
© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Not perfect but shows the future!


This Apple TV isn't new compared to other converters like slingbox but for those of you who are unfamiliar with this item it's a transition into only needing one device for all your media. I am showing this because currently my computer time coincides with my television time and eventually I believe we will have the best of both worlds. I can't wait to just get one huge screen and be able to do everything on it.

Don't Hit That Taser One More Time!

Well I'm not going to lie. I definately missed the boat on this story in the fall of this year. I had never seen any images of the student at UCLA receiving such a questionable confrontation with the law. It is amazing to think of trying to recreate that account had it not been for amateur video shot from a cell phone. Time magazine hit the nail right on the head when they named us the people of the year for 2006. I could have never imagined the networking capabilities we have today even 5 years ago.
When we dealt with intelectual property and the concerns associated with it I think of situations such as the one at UCLA. If we weren't allowed to share user created media along with mainstream media we would blind ourselves from truly seeing the whole story. I see the hand held video shot of the student as he begs for the officers to stop and the gathering of students surrounding him and I imagine myself in a similar situation. These shots aren't coming out of the tv screen this is REALITY.
The issue of reality is confronted with the story of Lonelygirl15. People would argue that the directors manipulated their audiences by using an person assumed to be real and creating a fictious show. This is no different than reality television. I know that The Real World isn't a real life example of how those people live their daily lives. Issues are created and presented by the producers who want to make a profit. We see through Web 2.0 that anyone can make news or create news if they want to. Maybe now we will finally be able to present each other around the world with the truth and not the truth that is presented to us by the media.

I want my money! (Pearl in "The Landlord"

I do not see anything wrong with technologies like cell phone cameras and YouTube documentation of events. I think that if people have the time to browse the internet for these types of things, then more power to them. On the other hand, I do not think it is fair for something private to be published to the web without some type of approval from the people that might be in it. But, this brings us back to the copyright issues on the internet. An anonymous person could post an image or video and pretty much be breaking some type of law, but not even know it. Grossman says, “But that's what makes all this interesting. Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment, and like any experiment worth trying, it could fail.? There might be a breaking point, an instance, somebody going over the edge of breaching privacy rights or copyright laws and the internet could fail. I do not know how, but that is the nature of the beast. Everyday the internet is evolving, both in its usage and content, so we cannot possibly predict what will happen as a result of this “experiment..?
As for the lonelygirl portion, I am intrigued! After watching the interview with the two producers, I thought to myself, “What a great idea!? I think it is just another way the internet has changed how easy it is to publish what you create—at a very low cost. It really delivers what people want to see, and immediate feedback is given.
The taser case did not seem that relevant or interesting to me, but I do think what happened at Virginia Tech (the cell phone video where shots can be heard) is very disturbing but also very interesting. I guess I do not know where I stand on the issue of taking a video of an event without people knowing. It really does seem wrong, but at the same time, people should know that someone could be doing it!
My video has less to do with technology and more to do with how the internet can carry out comedy skits never thought possible or that don’t have a place on TV or a movie. This skit has Will Ferrell in it, yet it really focuses on the little girl (the daughter of the other man in the video) and her young talent. I think that it is pretty sad that they get her to swear, but it may just be a sign of the times. Additionally, I just think it is a plain old funny video! Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVcjPuVnbFU

April 18, 2007

My video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ahlduhEXQY

YouTube; the new CNN???

Within the past few days, I have had a completely different view of YouTube and other video displays that has been brought up because of the massacre at Virginia Tech. If it wasn’t for the latest technology we would have not been able to view many of the sights that were posted on YouTube curtsey of videos on cell phones. It was posted on CNN as well as MSNBC, however it is also posted on YouTube which will attract more of the younger crowd which they would think to go look there first. As I was reading each of the readings, I felt as though the same postings would have occurred if we had the same technology that we have in the present day.
As stated in the Time article, “Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana?? (Grossman) However, more and more each day, conversations revolve around Facebook and the “latest? YouTube video that was posted each week. So people do now go home and instead of watching TV they watch the clips from the night before because they were unable to watch the particular show that they had planned on watching. However, on YouTube, anyone can post things which in the long run skew with reality. I know numerous friends that are on YouTube as well as create videos for YouTube. I personally have never watched the hanging of Saddam Hussian but I have heard that it has been altered with and there are many different versions so which one do you believe- If you believe any of them.
With the Virginia Tech incidence that happened this past week, there will be many videos posted of what “really? happened however, with news articles I always just look at CNN of MSNBS for the real versions such as the video clip that did make it on to YouTube as well that a college student took from his camera of the building where there are shots being taken. This type of video I can handle because unlike the Sadam video, it was aired on credible sites as well as YouTube and nothing was actually shown. My next post is the particular video because I feel as though without this video pieces of the puzzle would not be solved.

Look what the net has done for gaming!!!!

I am showing this because with the ability to post in youtube and google. The professional gaming industry has exploded. More in particular "Halo 2". Yeah sounds kind of geeky, but the point is marketing that has taken place and turned this game into a national event and brings us the tournament action to us if we could not make. On other sites they actually pipe in the games live!

Little is Better than None

Personally, I believe that the use of new technologies such as cellphone cameras that can be used to document anything, be it something controversial such as the execution of Saddam Hussein or the UC Berkeley taser incident, is of greater benefit to society than something such as the evening news. The benefits of such technology are of benefit for the same reason in which they are controversial: they can uncover things that a regular news team is unable to uncover. Much of what is shown on the news is either shot after the fact, or videos sent in by someone who did happen to see something. In the case of the UC Berkley taser incident, it would have been impossible for footage to have been captured if it hadn’t been caught on a camera. Sure, the students who were there would still probably get quoted in a newspaper or two, or perhaps even be interviewed on the television news, but the impact that it has on the readers and viewers is not the same as being able to actually witness the events that took place. Karl Roves quote that “Not all the events Tuesday night can be heard or viewed on YouTube,? (Thacker) is really misleading, as without YouTube and the videos shot from a cellphone, none of the events would be able to be heard or viewed.

You Tube Trash and Treasure

Hi, folks. This video is not rated PG 13 or higher, but some of you may find it offensive all the same. I have been intrigued about how technology has affected our war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In some ways it has been great. Soldiers can send videos to loved ones and vice versa. E-mail records everyday life consisely. Photos can be transmitted in an instant. No longer does a soldier have to wonder what her child looks like.

The advent of video phones and digital cameras allowed the Abu Ghraib scandal to be discovered almost immediately. However, as in the taser case in UCLA, that does not mean footage always carries context. With every claim of atrocities comes a lot of cross accusations and finger pointing. What exactly did the student for Iran do to attract the police in the first place? When footage of the Rodney King video made it to every news station in America the LA police officers were tried and found guilty before they were charged. So indelible were those images that there were riots in many areas of LA when the police were found not guilty of excessive force several months later. Jurors maintained that the events leading up to Kings beating warranted the force, but the public who saw the footage couldn't buy it.

Context, context, context. However, with Abu Ghraib there seems to be a dearth of rationalizations, just an abdication of responsibility--why are the lower level soldiers being tried first--I guess that is how hierarchies work. In an earlier time, we probably would not have heard of these conditions and this abuse. Is that a good thing? Can we have too much information about a sensitive subject? During WWII, John Huston (I think!) made a docmentary commissioned by the War Dept. that ended up never being shown as it was considered too 'dark' and 'anti-war' for American audiences. If that is happening now to some extent, is that all righ? For example one does not want to see an exploded carcass on the cover of the newspaper every day, however we do hear about it.

There is an argument that Congress should not be attempting to direct foreign policy, in part because the process of government tips our hand to the enemy.

Lonelygirl seems to go a lot deeper that I originally gave it credit for. It almost looks like an occult version of '24.' Maybe hindsight is 20/20, but didn't the sophistication of mulitple narrators kind of give the story away? Also, she was a little too hip to be considered a nerd. Finally, if one were in the suffocating grasp of a cult, would your parents really let you buy a web cam?

To the future in vlogging and Beyond!!!!

I can definitely appreciate Grossman's article if only for the reason it helps point out the progression that we have made not just as individuals or community, but globally. Stated, "We're looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation, and it's just getting started, as millions of minds that would otherwise have drowned in obscurity get backhauled into the global intellectual economy. " There was quite a bit of negative instances that took place in 06, but our strides in cyberspace has brought in a new era. I cannot really look at cell phone cameras and our ability to relate our video findings to the public with just a few clicks negative. People will always find ways in which to use new found technologies or ways of communicating in a not so healthy way. I am glad a student/ students were able to capture the UCLA incident on camera. This was not a harmful thing. It brings on a different aspect that really gets people involved. Yes I believe there are instances that have been posted where it can be harmful to a person or an orginization, but harmful to the entertainment industry? Not necessarily. I think you can classify these in almost two completely different genres. With the abilities the net is providing were are still making foward progress even if the content is questionable. If not it might keep people on their toes more. I am not trying to project this statement as one of paranoia, but as of awareness with those keen on watching for creative opportunities. A prime example can be seen with the new hit "Lonelygirl15". What an idea! Now figuring out how to properly monetize and create profit presents a slight challenge, but what doesn't in this day and age. The two gentlemen who produced this series are tredding in uncharted territory so to speak. The world of TV and the silver screen will and has to change with the internets ever expanding population and the freedoms that come with it. I don't find anything wrong with a music video airing or being viewed over the cyberwaves before MTV gets their paws on it. This what the internet brings and it will become even more prolific as technology expands and the internets user base continues to grow exponentially.

Mythbusting new Fingerprint Identification Scanners

This video is a clip from one of my favorite shows, Mythbusters. It involves the attempt to break into a door that has a fingerprint Identification scanner on it. The fingerprint identification scanner will completely change many aspects of our everyday lives. Eventually, all computers will have one for purchasing goods online. However, this video shows that they might not be completely fool proof.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZncdgwjQxm0

YouTube....oh SWEET YOUTUBE!!!!!!!!

First of all, let me start this post off by saying that I was completely disgusted by the treatment of the student. I showed all of my roommates, and they were actually really upset; I can only imagine how I would feel as a student who went to UCLA. However, this point shows exactly how powerful of a tool youtube.com is becoming. The combination of cell phone technology and youtube has given anyone the ability to be a producer, and many more things are being caught on camera and being broadcasted over the internet. Years ago, this would not even been an issue, because there would be no proof. However, today because of the videos taken by students, there was an investigation held on the matter in which there was evidence that couldn’t be denied.

This amazing tool affects all aspects of society, and is not just being used for human rights. Instead, there are many instances where people are showing things without any regulation, and I can see this as a breeding ground for material that is overwhelming for many.

As far as the entertainment industry is concerned, I do not believe it affects them negatively at all. So what, a music video is released on Youtube.com a couple days earlier than it normally would be. All this does is give the video more visibility and buzz. I feel the same way about old television episodes being uploaded. While many feel that this hampers DVD sales, I disagree. It is no guarantee that youtube will have the program you want, and with the consistency that people will be able to watch it anytime, whenever they want; which is the core value of many DVD owners. Also, I believe that it allows the shows to gain visibility by allowing people to see shows that they normally wouldn’t see. If they end up liking what they’ve seen, the will be that much more apt to tuning into the program during its regular televised time and place.

I am a little slow today

From my entry above, here is the embedded video....I think

Life isn't fair

Joichi Ito of Creative Commons discusses the inequalities where editing of multimedia is becoming easier with the popularity of video and music services. The opportunities by remixing music and video on a personal level isn't as protected as written publications. Independent film makers are able to modify video without fear of copyright problems. There is a site where you can send in your video and the people will edit and modify your original video to create a humorous video.

I thought this video from YouTube was pertinent in our discussions in the recent weeks.

Hopefully the video will be embedded.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jREbdqVx5xs

Media Transforming the Telling of Events

The link below is one of a man beating another man at a Pizza Parlour in Akron, Ohio in 2005. The footage is of a fight that broke out after a woman tried to cut in line at the Pizza place. The man who she cut in front of made a comment to his fiance on his cell phone about how it would take longer for them to get their pizza. The lady became insulted at the comment and started to yell at the man. She then spit on the manager of the restaurant after he tried to get her out of the parlour. At that moment, the woman's boyfriend stepped in and started to hit the man got cut in line and was sent to jail for 4 years.
I think that such footage really is only necessary in a court of law. There really is no benefit to having anyone watching it. The only other exception would the plaintiff's and defedant's families so that they would know what really happened.

Technological Communication Transformed Media

I liked how Grossman described the process of how people on the web tend to reach out to one another and help out without wanting something in return. I agree with how he said "We're ready to balance our diet of predigested news with raw feeds from Baghdad, and Boston, and Beijing" (Grossman). I also agree with him how he said that we are "seizing the reins of the global media, for founding, and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating pros at their own game" (Grossman). I thought his hypothesis very interesting about how this is the way that global communities will be established. I think that this plays really well into participatory journalism because this type of journalism thrives on the cooperation and collaboration of ideas from people all over the world. Wikipedia is an example of participatory journalism that has its advantages and disadvantages. One on hand, the fact that so many people are willing to take part in putting together an informative document without putting their name on their sections, shows that it's important for people to make a contribution to the world. On the other hand, the fact that Wikipedia has a huge traffic flow increases the likelihood that some information posted may be false, whether intentional or not.

I think that having cell phone pictures, and using other sorts of technological devices to capture incidental moments is a great thing. As in the example of the UCLA student being tased by the cops, I think that it was great that it was caught on camera. I think the fact that people can actually show others what happened without the confusion of "he says, she says" is really great. It shows what clearly happened. I have to say that it's a different feeling watching the incident on YouTube happen and reading about it from the articles we read this week. The fact that I was able to hear and see what happened made me feel a lot worse for the student that got tased. The fact that such a small device as a cell phone can capture a police tasering a college student would be viewed as evidence in a court of law. It is also a great way to show moments that capture great injustices. Instead of speculating about what happened, people are able to actually witness it for themselves. I also don't see anything wrong with watching clips of flims or music videos before they premiere. The fact that there is such a high interest in those features before they premiere will only help fuel its success.

Me, Technology, Monday.

Not me but that's how I felt when my laptop started blue-screening on me a few weeks before my wedding. That was unpleasant ha ha.

Sorry about it playing when you load the page. For some reason I'm suddenly having trouble connecting to Youtube and Google Video.








YouTube, Replacing the Boob Tube

I think that Flinders is right on when he states, "(his show) illuminates the future of television" (Wired, The Secret World). Because of time constraints, commercials, and the lack of quality shows, I hardly watch TV anymore. I usually download (upload?) my favorites like Lost and Heroes and then log on to YouTube for some mindless entertainment. Quite often my friends will forward me a clip or a "hybrid form of storytelling" (Wired, The Secret World) compliments of YouTube. My life is busy, so YouTube and TMZ give me the quick fix that I need.

Back when I lived in LA (1998-2002), YouTube didn't exist and my friends and hair clients didn't have a medium to showcase their work. Now when I type in a search on YouTube I can find my friend the casting director's commercial, my hair client the writer's sitcom pilot, my friend the editor's movie trailer- even the music video that I did the hair styling on.
It is a whole new ball game and it looks like Flinders has covered all his bases by partnering up with a lawyer who gives free legal advice on copyrights and false advertising. He also seems to know how to play Hollywood execs and has a pulse on what his audience wants. Whether or not Lonelygirl15 lives a long life, he will be remembered as a pioneer of the new age of Web broadcasting.

It is amazing to me the things we can capture on our cell phone these days. It'll be interesting to see how the videos, "shot with cell phone cameras" (Inside Higher Ed) will hold up in court. While I believe the security guards are guilty of abusing the student, I do see how a video that only shoots a portion of the scene can be misleading and by posting it nationwide, creates a huge and somewhat unfair bias. But hopefully the truth will prevail, video or no video, and justice will be served to Duren.

YouTube and Movie Trailers



I have a friend who edits movies and produces movie trailers (he lives in Los Angeles and works at the Ant Farm, www.theantfarm.net ).
I have posted some of his work (found on YouTube)- and have included an article from March 2006 about YouTube’s role in the motion picture industry.

YouTube Promotes Movie Trailers

YouTube and Deep Focus, a digital agency to film studios, have agreed to promote movie trailers on the popular video portal, ClickZ reports. The first trailer to be so promoted - Dimension Films' "Scary Movie 4" - has been viewed nearly half a million times in less than four days, more than on Yahoo, where it's been offered for two weeks or so. For now, no money has exchanged hands; instead, YouTube benefits because it is seen as copyright-friendly, and the studio is seen as working with rather than fighting a peer-to-peer site.


Users will be able to embed the trailers in their blogs, MySpace profiles and other webpages, and the studios will be able to measure how many times the trailer has been viewed no matter where it resides, because YouTube provides the number for all to see.

YouTube had some nine million unique visitors in February, second only to MSN Video's 9.3 million, according to Nielsen/NetRatings numbers.

-http://www.marketingvox.com/archives/2006/03/17/youtube_promotes_movie_trailers/

DO YOU HAVE THE ENERGY AND PASSION?

“The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.? (Grossman, Lev. Person of the year.)

Although information can be shared wrong, technologies such as cameras, YouTube or cell phones can be beneficial for those who spend more time online, rather than watching television. It can also be dangerous because of video manipulation and videos of Saddam Hussein’s death. Overall, as mentioned, I agree that it is definitely “a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new version of some old software. But it's really a revolution.? (Grossman, Lev. Person of the year.) One thing, it has definitely allowed people to take control and express themselves, which is through their videos. When it comes to the entertainment industry, it can affect it either way as well. I don’t personally use YouTube either (I know, I’m WAY behind everyone! ? ) but I can see how it would affect music videos posted early, because then people would depend on YouTube to search for new videos, rather than watching MTV/BET or whatever it may be. It could also harm TV shows as well in the same aspect, but I would say less severe because people are having the opportunity to see a show they recently missed.
Here’s a perfect example of an OLD TV show clip that someone thought was quite funny to put up. It’s Heather Miller falling at the end of her dance on Dancing with the stars. I love this show and didn’t get to see this clip, so I thought this was great!



myphone? no...iphone

This video talks more about the iphone. I figure since it is expected to come out later this year, I feel I should show people more about it, like the interview says, this will revolutionize cell phones. It will be the ultimate media device. It's just amazing just how much technology that they have put in this phone. Not only is it an ipod, but it's a cell phone that is touch screen and syncs in with your computer as well! Crazy!

How a journalist lost his job because of Youtube

You may not know that but France is electing a new president next week end. It's a pretty important time for the country after 12 years of Chirac, we'll finally get a young one. The campaign is very hard in France and I have a great example of the importance of people filming with their cellphones and putting videos on Youtube.

As it's in French, I'll explain and translate everything before you can watch it... Alain Duhamel is a very famous and important political journalist in France and also the director of the politic section of the first television group. During the campaign, he has been invited in a University in Paris to give a conference to some students in political sciences. Students could ask question, and the whole conference wasn't supposed to be filmed. At one point, a student asks to Duhamel what he thinks of one of the candidates, and the journalist answer that he likes him (well, the answer is longer than that and that's what it meant) but also that he would vote for him.

A student was filming with his cellphone and put that online :

The journalist has been suspended the day after, for the whole time of the campaign.

I think this is a good example of what people would never get exposed to, and which finally reach them thanks to random people and not the "normal" media.

Congratulations to us.

I'm not generally a big fan of the Time magazine and I rarely agree with their person of the year. However, I bought the magazine this year because I liked the cover, I thought it was a good idea. Instead of the traditionnal picture of the man of the year, they put a "mirror" on the cover, and a big YOU.
The article is right on many points. I like the idea that the great men from yesterday now have to work together. In other words, the great men don't exist anymore, or we are all a great man together.

However, as Grossman says in the end : "Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment, and like any experiment worth trying, it could fail." This technology is very new for everyone and we are now enjoying the good parts of it. At the same time, I'm sometime afraid of what the Web 2.0 could become, and we had an example in the readings this week.
If I agree to say that thanks to people posting of sorts of videos on Youtube, we may be exposed to information that would never be given in the traditional media (the Taser case is an example), I don't really like the fact that everyone tend to consider himseld or herself a journalist or a photograph or whatever. It's the same problem that I described with Wikipedia a few weeks ago. Everyone is not a specialist, everyone is not a journalist, and making a video does not automatically mean delivering some good information.

Videos are easy to manipulate (and I don't mean to manipulate on the computer with a program), and the truth can be easily "worked on". That does not mean that people should not photograph or film what they see, it's often very interesting, but viewers should not trust ALL the things that they see. The example of the Lonelygirl is a good one. If here, it's not very dangerous and funnier than everything else, it's an example of someone manipulating thousands of people making them believe that they really watch a video blog. If something like that happens in another field (politics...), it woul be much more problematic.

You Tuber's beware......What you R doing may end up on there!

I beilieve that people documenting and posting events that happened all over the world is something that is apart of life when a new technology is introduced to the public. It means that anyone at anytime and at any place can record anything that is going on and post it for others to see. Just recently with the VT incident, a student recording things on his cell phone and the media got a hold of it to show viewers. The media wasn't there at the time when it happened, and if others where there and took video of an incident, I think it's ok. It's just crazy how many people log on to YouTube on a daily bases, I got my friend hooked on YouTube when I told him you could type up anything on there and you can watch a video for it. Like the Grossman article says, "The tool that makes this possible is the World Wide Web. Not the Web that Tim Berners-Lee hacked together (15 years ago, according to Wikipedia) as a way for scientists to share research. It's not even the overhyped dotcom Web of the late 1990s. The new Web is a very different thing. It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new version of some old software. But it's really a revolution. (Grossman, 1).

I think sharing clips of old tv shows and other shows is ok. It's media, it's supposed to be seen. I can see that people put money into the shows for you to watch on tv and it might be a form of stealing, however corporations are learning that there shows can be manipulated into another form of media for others to watch for free. They are paying attention to this and ABC, NBC, and others offer free full shows to watch online after they air, and even offer other things like behind the scences type of things as well, I think this is the way to go.

I think that music videos that are played before they air doesn't really hurt the music industry too much. MTV only plays music videos late at night or during TRL or something so I don't think it makes a big difference.

Linking this YouTube topic with what I read outside of the reading is from the following website, http://www.projectopus.com/node/5202...here is a little snipit from it, "Until lately, videos were always seen as a promotional tool for the song, and therefore the industry didn't see sharing of videos as any sort of threat. The viral aspect of videos was encouraged to help promote the sales of the songs themselves. Recently, though, the videos have found value, mostly proven with Apple selling digital music videos at $1.99 as part of the larger move which also includes TV shows. (Abbott, 1)

The Changing Medium of Media

It's hard to argue that the media has changed significantly, even in the last 5 years. As we can see clearly by Time Magazine's crowning "you" as person(s) of the year, the inception of the internet has had a similar effect on the media has it has on the music industry, in the that it puts the means of production in the hands of viewers. However, in the case of television, things aren't quite as widespread. It seems that something the internet has done across the board is put more control in hands of people rather than forcing consumers and viewers to go through media outlets. It's interesting that these means are brought about at a time when the media seems to be increasingly criticized for its ability to really cover news without regard for corporate or broadcasting interests. It's clearly already had a huge impact with the Saddam Hussein execution video and the UCLA Library tasering incident. Now people are able to find their own news and spread it around, rather than reacting to news presented to them. In this regard, I think the transformations that the media is undergoing are positive ones. It’s interesting to consider how this shift in control to the users will affect media some years down the line.

This is a CNN report about the verichip, an identification device that goes inside beneath your skin and holds identification and medical and various other kinds of information on it. Actually it relates to matters of privacy we mentioned before: all the information is on a website and it doesn't appear things are very secure.It strikes me as kind of offputting, but judge for yourself. There's a lot of videos that contend the chip is for complete control of the nation and may actually be the "mark of the beast" mentioned in the Bible book of Revelations (those seemed pretty heavyhanded, so I posted this one instead).

Embed with YouTube

Clever....ok no. Anywho, here is the video that I am posting. It is a video that someone took the time to play and record the 1986 World Series Game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. The lineups, pitchers, plays, and the call of the game are almost perfectly aligned. Oh...they did it on Nintendo. This is both amazing and makes me wonder how people have so much time on their hands.

YouTube Video Fun

Here are two videos I found on YouTube. The first video is more serious and the second video is more for fun, but both videos deal with intellectual property.

"Patent Wars"

"Beat Police"
“This video was removed from Youtube on 2nd February 2007 because Viacom claimed copyright on the content. Viacom withdrew this claim on 9th February and the video has therefore been reinstated.?
value="http://www.youtube.com/v/GGXD6Sz9im4">

Does "Deadwell" toe the line?

I've found that it's been really impressive how the use of video clips has really grown over the last five years. In the past, I usually avoided trying to play videos online because it took forever to load them. At home I had a simple dial-up connection, so that made it difficult. The computer network at my old workplace had barely enough bandwidth to play clips in a quick manner.

Also, there were not too many websites that actually specialized in hosting people's amateur video clips. Most of the time I would try to skip the video that was included with a news story for fear of freezing up my connection. But now, I have a cable internet connection and have a lot of fun seeing what crazy ideas people come with on web sites like Youtube and Google Video. It really helps when I want to take a small break from homework. I can look up a band that I like or I can see what funny animal videos have been posted.

Now people can even record video on their cellular phones and digital cameras. I've recorded little videos with my wife's small camera. It's fun. At my wedding last year, my dad's video camera broke after the wind knocked it over. He quickly though to use his small digital camera to record the ceremony. You can see his arm holding up the camera in a number of photos that people took. He had to change batteries and a memory card during the recording of the event. What a guy! It was kind of funny.

Then there’s the other type of videos that bystanders record. Nowadays normal citizens have more of an ability to capture events on video. In the case of the UCLA tasering incident, I think that this is a great help. I hadn't seen the video before yet, and I was shocked at the way the police officers behaved. From what I've gathered about that event, I think that those police officers were very much out of line. They have training to deal with people so they don't have to use force. From what I saw, they resorted to tasering that poor guy right away. They then proceeded to taser him after he was handcuffed. Isn't that a little excessive? I saw at least three officers there. As Paul D. Thacker reported, "NBC reported that students claimed that Tabatabainejad was stunned with a taser at least five times." Was that really necessary?

They could have easily carried that guy out of there after putting the handcuffs on him. How sad. I'm big on catching people abusing their power. I believe that the students that were in that library did a great thing in recording that event and posting it online. I think that recorded video evidence can be much more convincing to people. Especially when the accused party is someone that is supposed to be upholding the law. Web sites like Youtube can be very useful tools when trying to spread the word about something important. But then there are the more questionable reasons that people post videos online.

I was surprised to here that someone had posted the hanging of Saddam Hussein online. Usually you'd think that kind of event would have heavy security to prevent just that from happening. It almost seems symbolic of the United States' bungling of everything over there (Just my opinion). Then there was the video that was posted that showed masked men killing their hostages. How sick is that?? Showing such gruesome videos online is really wrong. What if young kids were to see those videos?

In my opinion showing such horrible video is a step in the wrong direction. When you have such easy access to gory content, there's a chance that people could become desensitized to it. That's the exact opposite of how people should regard those types of events. When presented as a sort of novelty or entertainment, the seriousness of it seems to diminish.

On a lighter note, a professor from one of my classes last semester showed us a Youtube video that was a parody of the movie called Grizzly Man. Grizzly Man was a documentary about a guy named Timothy Treadwell that lived among Alaskan Grizzlies for over ten years. Sadly, He and his girlfriend were killed by a Grizzly. The director of the film took Treadwell's video footage and used it in the film. Though their end was a tragic one, the footage showed how odd Treadwell could be a times. I wrote in a paper for that class that I thought that Treadwell must have been mentally ill. It was more of a film about Treadwell's life, and not his death.

The parody Video was called Hedgehog Man. I'm going to look like a big hypocrite here but I thought it was pretty funny. They were mainly making fun of how goofy Treadwell acted, but I think they were pushing it when they named the main character "Timothy Deadwell." However I think that the justification for the parody might become a little more apparent after you see Grizzly Man.

Asides from all that fun, I was happy to see that Time Magazine named "You" the person of the year. In a way, I think that the internet and Web 2.0 has really helped the world’s population. As Time stated, "The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game...? The term "digital democracy" really struck a chord with me. It seems to suggest that people's opinions are now unhindered by the borders of their own countries. Now people can bypass the mainstream media and the official watered down talking points. They can express themselves through any of the available digital mediums available like Youtube and Flikr. I think that this could possibly be a great tool for social change.

I am Time's Person of the Year!!!

I think technologies such as cell phone cameras and digital cameras along with YouTube will allow people to see more of what is really happening in the world. Sites such as Yahoo and Reuters are “introducing a new effort to showcase photographs and video of news events submitted by the public? (Hansell). I agree with Grossman that "we are so ready for it." So if you have a cell phone camera or a digital camera start paying attention to what is happening around you, because you could have the potential to capture news. You could even get paid for what you post on Reuters. According to Hansell's article (see link above) it is also possible to receive payment for your photos and videos if they are selected for distribution to Reuters clients.

Check out Yahoo's You Witness News Here

I think it can definitely harm the entertainment industry when music videos are posted before their premier. If people can see the video before it premiers they are probably not going to tune into MTV to actually watch the premier. This can cause MTV to lose viewers who would have previously tune in to watch music video premier (not that they actually show music videos an MTV anymore anyways). I don’t think uploading clips of old TV shows is going to harm the entertainment industry very much. Generally old TV shows are not on TV anymore so there will not be a loss of viewers to YouTube.

Me, Myself, and YouTube

The way we see media is changing. Instead of people are getting their news and entertainment from television, magazines, and radios, we are now replacing print media and radios with the Internet. We can get almost anything on the Internet. The Internet now contains both print media and the radio with stations now streaming their broadcasts online people around the country can listen to programs that they would otherwise not get. We also entertain ourselves by seeing things that the public would have no first hand knowledge of happening if there were not sites like YouTube or Google Video. A great example of this is the tasering incident at UCLA.

A student was able to use his camera to record the incident. "One video is carried by the Los Angeles local NBC affiliate. In the video, officers can be heard shouting numerous times, “Get up! Stand up!? The video is shot from behind a table with computers, but Tabatabainejad apparently pops up briefly before falling. A Taser can then be heard buzzing" (Thacker). The reason why so many people have seen this is the closeness one can get to the situation. Amateur video makes it seem like you are closer to the action. A recent example is the home video taken by the student at Virginia Tech. One can hear yelling and gunshots in the background. It is one of hte most viewed things on YouTube. It is a frightening and chilling video and people watch it because we can see from an actual student how they react to the situation. I think when civilians become journalists it benefits everyone. We get to see things that news programs would not show. Also, civilian journalism can uncover things that journalists do not investigate. Many time bloggers have uncovered scandals without any help from any news organization. An example of this is at the University of Arkansas where a blogger uncovered text messages that the coach had sent to boosters and to a female sportscaster (there were over a 1,000 in a month and he's married. If you even remotely care heres the link: http://deadspin.com/sports/arkansas-razorbacks/?view=full). This proves that no one in the public eye are safe because with the Internet anyone can be a journalist and I think it means that we are moving towards a different type of reporting, one that recognizes the contributions of bloggers and other people who do not have a journalism degree.

Next, I believe that it benefits the entertainment industry when people post things online. As the Time article says, "Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals... Who has that time and that energy and that passion?" (Grossman). By allowing people to put clips online, it lets people hear a new sound, maybe generations who have not had the opportunity to hear the fabulous sounds of Queen will become curious and look for their music. Some corporations have accepted the sites like YouTube and Google video are here to stay. NBC puts clips from Leno, SNL, and Conan online; the NHL posts 2-5 minute clips of all the games from the previous night online. These two vloggers are two of the most subscribed videos on YouTube. This should prove to the rest of the entertainment industry how valuable the Internet really is and to accept that it is here to stay. Because if corporations begin to mess with vloggers, they will be sure to let these corporations know that they are not pleased.

Real Life As Seen By The Many

In the past, much of the technology used to make and distribute video on a worldwide scale was limited to TV cameras and expensive broadcasting equipment that no one aside from large corporations (television networks, in other words) had access to. I think what we're starting to see now is the beginning of that kind of technology becoming cheap and easy to use. Many of these incidents getting caught on video, uploaded to Youtube, and in some cases gaining worldwide exposure are being filmed by normal people with cell phone cameras. Because of these very low budget clips (often caught by college students no different from myself), I've seen these scenes caught firsthand that otherwise would have been just another story on the news to me. Saddam's execution and that tasering incident from UCLA are examples, as well as the video that was on CNN just a couple days ago of gunshots at Virginia Tech.

However, taking the taser incident from the reading as an example, the perspective you get from these do it yourself videos isn't always the whole story. "Not all the events... can be heard or viewed on Youtube." (Taser Case Continues To Reverberate). The video linked to from that article was quite shocking, but also out of context. On one hand, sites like Youtube allow videos like that to be released to the general public without the restrictions from ordinary network TV, but it can also paint a biased picture of things.

Another consequence of things being taken out of context is that sometimes, something that looks real may just be an imitation. The creators of the Lonelygirl15 video blogs essentially did just that by taking the archetype of the teenage blogger, creating a character who fit that archetype, and posting their videos on Youtube without even a hint that Bree's whole image was false. However, when the ruse was inevitably exposed, fans of the video blog simply "took it in stride" without feeling betrsyed or otherwise giving up on the project (The Secret World of Lonelygirl). Essentially, they had given birth to a brand new form of entertainment, one which could recieve input and be directly influenced by its fanbase. On one hand, this form of entertainment could easily blur the line between fantasy and reality if done properly, but it can also provide a level of immersion that isn't possible in any other medium.

Fair and Balanced (yeah, right.)

"We made Facebook profiles and Second Life avatars and reviewed books at Amazon and recorded podcasts. We blogged about our candidates losing and wrote songs about getting dumped." (TIME's Person of the Year, p.1) Grossman’s comment reminded me of another article I read about a recent study that sort of questions whether we really benefit from celebrating ourselves so publicly. A commenting psychologist cites Myspace and YouTube as examples of the way technology can promote attention-seeking and contribute to a self-centered society. I feel like it’s pretty easy to look around and see examples of the narcissistic behaviors this article mentions, but I also see this sort of mass personal empowerment as positive in that is opens the discourse to a wider segment of society. There are fewer reasons to be a passive consumer, and more options for media participation.

"… videos of police using force, while troubling to watch, can sometimes give a distorted view of what officers are doing. Unfortunately, many times there is no context to see what led to it." (Shock and Anger at UCLA. Thacker)
Of course, any video footage is shaped by the camera people, editors, etc. who determine what to show and what not to show. We accept this on TV news, but when it's on YouTube, what is not shown becomes a reason to doubt the accuracy of what we’re seeing.

“An early sticking point in the search for online investors was exclusivity…If (LonelyGirl15) couldn't be shared – if hard borders were put around it – how different was it from TV?.? (Secret world of LonelyGirl, Davis p.4)
I think it’s interesting that the creators of LonelyGirl are so committed to breaking away from the TV format, even if it means they aren’t making money yet (you’d think Target would at least want to work that product placement opportunity). Sharing is of primary importance to those involved with the project, quite a different approach to the possessiveness we’ve been reading about these past few weeks.

Here's the video I found about Verichip, the RFID chip that is becoming more and more commonly implanted in humans. Some people think it's the mark of the beast, others think it's no different than a social security card.

April 17, 2007

Could it be...I'm Time's Person of the Year?

The improvements in the digital world, has made it that much easier to capture just about anything and post it onto the Internet. Whether the moment be caught on video camera or now telephones, just about anything and any point in time can be captured and displayed to millions and millions of viewers within a matter of minutes. Has the improvements in the digital world caused more harm than good? I think in the case at UCLA where the cop tasered a student without identification can show what good can come from catching something like this on a new technological device. A camera or even a phone can be just as good as another set of eyes, in this case—and capture things that we are unable to reproduce a second time ourselves.

My personal opinion is that people are very curious in nature. We are always wanting to know about the unknown. Just reading about something, isn’t enough for people now a days. A site like YouTube and GoogleVideo have allowed average Joe people to post videos pertaining to all different sorts of topics, including actual news stories. Take for example, the shooting massacre that occurred at Virginia Tech on Monday. Hundreds of YouTube videos have been documented and posted, on people’s thoughts and tributes to the individual’s who were taken. You are able to get a glimpse at many people’s view of this particular and unfortunate incident, first hand. In this particular instance, I think YouTube has been a way for some of these students to cope and gather their thoughts about what had happened, and pay tribute to their fellow students.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PCr8CyG1Sg

The clip above shows an interesting clip of 9/11 plane crashes into the World Trade Center. With the improvement in technology we are able to take a closer look with more explicit details, as you will see in this clip.

I do believe there are some people creating videos to get recognized and make so $$$ in the process. Look at the success LonelyGirl is having, even after the audience knows that it’s all pretend! Obviously there are some sound marketing tactics, behind the scenes in a few of these videos.

In conclusion, I was quite confused with the whole Time Magazine nominating you as the 2006 Time’s Person of the Year, but after reading the article a few times in made sense. The digital world has opened the doors for all individuals to bring out their creative edge and do the unthinkable! Like Grossman (2006) points out, “It's a chance for people to look at a computer screen and really, genuinely wonder who's out there looking back at them. Go on. Tell us you're not just a little bit curious.? (2).

This week on youtube

First off right before I started this assignment I got distracted with the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqfFrCUrEbY I love that video, it makes you think about how we sadly abandon our elderly. Anyways.

Before reading this Time magazine article I have to admit I thought the whole "person of the year" being "you". I mean comon, the spot is supposed to be reserved for people who "shape our collective destiny as a species". (Grossman). I have to say after completing the article I fully understand why Time Magazine chose "you" as the "person of the year". Through the development and large scale implimentation of web 2.0 we really have collectively bonded together to mold our world. Through collectively editing Wikipedia (a topic we have discussed in great detail), posting news events on youtube, or blogged our thoughts regarding politicians we have each done our part in contributing to the advancement of mankind.

Regarding the UCLA incident. I really do not have as much sympathy for Mostafa as most. Hasn't he ever watched an episode of Cops? If you don't listen to the police and cause a fuss like that, then your going to either run into the use of force (ie they usually push the person to the hood of the car and handcuff them, sometimes mace is used, and occasionally the taser is used) and/or the police will charge you with resisting arrest. In the insidehirered article the use of a taser is condone by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center as for "dangerous individuals and never on individuals who are passively resisting arrest." (Thacker). I am not sure that he was dangerous but he was certainly resisting arrest/not complying. All he had to do was simply leave and none of this would have happened. Regarding his lawyers statement that the police selected him because of his racial background, I kind of doubt it. They were checking for ID's and asked him to leave but he resisted. I don't doubt that racial profiling may exist in the American Police forces but not everytime an officer uses force is it because of race. For example, I have personally witnessed a pair of police officers literally tackle a caucasian female (and knocked her square to the ground in which she did a faceplant to the cement) who tried to run off on them when she similarly refused their requests. I do have to admit the video was kind of shocking but it's hard to say that there isn't bias in it.

Regardless, I am glad that the police force and other task forces are investigating the matter as it is a matter of concern. This was just my opinion on the matter based upon what I saw and what the officers saw and the students there saw could have been much different.

Also, my cousin is an MP for the Marines and during training they subject you to various things such as mace and tasers and he said it wasn't as painful as Mr Mostafa makes you think it is. I really don't think this is anywhere near what the Rodney King Video was like. Hey I think I'll use that for my youtube video selection as it really is the analogue version of what we see quite often with cell phone uploads on youtube. I must warn you the people who post comments for this video are quite offensive:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH-nal6PkQo

Lee Harvey Oswald shot by Jack Ruby

I think this is one of the you have to see it to believe it moments. One of the most important murder suspects in American history is shot, in a jail, surrounded by press and police. I don't think I could imagine it by just reading...

You Heard It Here First

I think it is every persons duty to relay important information. No matter what it is, if its news, it can and may be reported in my opinion. This is because when something is reported, it can be left up to debate. When things are classified and secret, no other opinions are included in the decision making process. America was founded on people being critical of a situation, and by the looks of the way the forefathers of this country acted during their time, is the way it was intended to remain. While some of our freedoms were at times taken away and later restored, some would even argue we are still missing a lot of our freedom.

Personally, I think the more freedom of press, the better off the country will be. The full inclusion of all information and knowledge leads to better informed decisions. A court case without all the facts can hardly be called a situation where justice is served. As technology advances, this allows for more distinguishable proof. For example, in yesterday's video of the horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech., the first video we had was one from a cell phone. We could hear the sounds of the bullets being fired, and it brought to life just how horrible the situation was.

Writing is writing, it can paint pictures and be influential, but it isn't as valid as undoctored video. I think an example of how video is more effective than sound alone can be seen in the money and time spent pertaining to televisions over radio. Superbowl parties don't revolve around radios, as long as television is an option.

The UCLA situation offers this kind of debate I was talking about, this example from me:

After reading the initial story, I saw this as a horrible abuse of police power. Then I saw and heard the young man not making an effort to leave after he was tazed once already. I do not think I could make a distinction whether he deserved the initial taze or not, but if the initial taze was worthy, I think the next four were needed. The kid did not move. I can imagine that it hurt, and hurt bad. But wouldn't you leave? I would. Again, whether the initial taze was deserved is doubtful in my mind, as it was for simply leaving a library. The student seemed to be causing no harm to anyone.

Had I not seen the video, I could really have no opinion, as there I would have no take as part of an "eyewitness" account. So record everything you can and use your cellphone as you like. Freedom is great as I have explained above, but there is one thing I haven't really touched on: One's freedom impending on another person's freedom. This is where the regulation should come in, but the line cannot be drawn by me yet. I need to see more evidence.

April 16, 2007

Only Mostafa knows for sure.....

It is tough to get away with anything. Cameras are everywhere and there is no place to hide. For my 2nd post later in the week, I will try to embed the cell phone video of the awful shooting in Virginia today. A student’s cell phone captured some of the melee including the sound of gunfire.

There are a few conflicting events during the taser episode. Mostafa was in the library without his Bruincard, the student ID for students at UCLA. As was policy at the library, there were random checks of ID’s to ensure that only students were in the library. It is said that the campus security announced that night that they were checking ID’s and if a student didn’t have their ID with them they would have to leave. Sources state that this was standard procedure. Mostafa was a 3rd year student pursuing a double major. He should have known the procedure. The police were called to evict him from the premises when he didn’t comply and he didn’t feel he should be forcibly removed. When the officers tried to remove him he passively resisted. He went limp and fell to the floor. That is when he was “drive stunned?. The drive stun is a milder jolt of electricity and it doesn’t involve penetration of the skin. The problem is when a person is tased they lose the ability to stand and walk. The behavior of the police contradicted the end result they were looking for.

The flip side of the event is the aggressive nature of the police. Did they have a potential riot on their hands? Were they attempting to remove Mostafa as quickly as possible? The cell phone video shows Mostafa kicking and screaming as the police tried to remove him while he was handcuffed. He was tased five times before he was removed from the library. Was that a little excessive? Perhaps

Was Mostafa looking for trouble? Was it a set-up to make a statement? Why wouldn’t he just stand up and leave when requested? He knew the rules and he had probably seen other students asked to leave the library in his three years at the school. Only Mostafa knows for sure.

The UCLA Taser case continues with Mostafa Tabatabainejad filing a complaint in January against the school and the officers. He is attempting to sue the parties for excessive force during his arrest.

The downs of Utube, and the ups of file shareing.

What does it mean when technologies like cellphone cameras and YouTube allow one person to document and post an event like the UC Berkeley taser incident or the execution of Saddam Hussein?

I think that the ability to post such things is a bad thing for society in general. To put it this way, I believe that just because something can be done, doesn’t mean that it should be done. Saddam’s execution is such an incident in my opinion. I believe that no legitimate media outlet would have aired his execution had it not been released on the internet. Basically, I think that sometimes, the self censorship the major media outlets impose upon themselves protect the legitimacy of intelligent media. Basically, ask yourself a question, “do I really need to see Hussein hung to know he is dead?? Furthermore, because of his execution being aired, people can now use him as martyr. This is because there is an actual image that his supporters can use, and use to connect his execution to injustice. Because of this, I believe that the ability of people to just release such information is irresponsible, and can have consequences that far outreach the scope of posters’ intent. Intent that I believe tradition media has a better grasp on due to their experience.

In the case of the Berkley taser incident, I believe that this officer is being sentenced before he it tried (if he’s guilty he should be in jail). This is a fine example of where people are being tried in the court of public opinion, when they should be being tried in a court of justice…or at least by their own superiors.

Taser Case Continues to Reverberate. Nov. 22. http://insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/22/taser

Does it harm or benefit the entertainment industry when music videos are posted before they premier on MTV or when clips to old TV shows are uploaded?

I believe that having a song debuted before its’ intended start date is not major risk to the entertainment industry. This is because often, if people here a song and like it, they are often inclined to buy the album. This was outlined in detail in last week’s reading by Barlow, where he specifically outlined how sales have been rising over the last years, even with the onset of file sharing, and that he attributes this rise to the availability of their product. Therefore, I belive, as Barlow does, that having their product available, makes it more popular, and people will pay to hear it, and see the artists as well.

Barlow, John Perry. The Next Economy Of Ideas. Issue 8.10 | Oct 2000. Wired.com.

Survey Question #2







Scam Question #2

Have you ever viewed a potential Internet scam?
(i.e. pop-ups, emails, 'free iPod' banners on your browser)

Yes
No





April 15, 2007

Machinima: Text 100 in Second Life

Here is an advertisement for business on SecondLife. Text100 is the first public relations company to do so. It is an interesting and quick overview of how business can utilize Second Life. (I've never worked in a place where everyone is so perfect looking like at Text100!)

HappyStudent29

“Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred.? (Grossman) This is certainly a statement I agree with. It’s not just YouTube, but blogs, websites, and emails. But, an entirely different subject…

The taser incident at UCLA is something else. It did not appear to be handled properly or with much thought by the officials in charge. The technologies that allow us to view these incidents are increasing. Before this, if someone happened to have a camcorder while an incident was going on, it made the nightly news. Now, anyone with a cell phone can record anyone anywhere at any time. Once it is recorded, it can be easily uploaded to the Internet. The people in the videos, in particular the bystanders, do not give out permission to be on the Internet. That video is on the Internet for a while. Also, how do the viewers know if the film was altered? It’s difficult to know if the film was posted by a credible source. Also, I’m not a big fan of executions or personal disasters being shown on the Internet (or television for that matter). I guess I don’t understand why someone would feel the need to see that. From what I’ve learned this semester, information on the Internet appears so permanent and can be so damaging to someone in the future. It’s removal is difficult.

I found the videos to LonelyGirl entertaining. It was interesting (although I’m not surprised) that viewers believed Bree was a real person doing a personal vlog. “A Hollywood movie is understood to be fictional. Vlogging on YouTube is not.? The producers of LonelyGirl were pretty clever in admitting to the users that the characters are not real but they could communicate with them. Guess it always helps to have a lawyer as one of the team members. “It's all the more engrossing because viewers can correspond with the characters and even affect the plot.? (Secret World of Lonely Girl) I think they found something fun and entertaining (without the commercials) for those who are soap opera maniacs. The interaction with the audience is also a clever twist. Everyone wants to give out their 2-cents of advice and now they can. I'm sure some of those emails are very interesting to say the least!

UFO's Must Be Real - I Saw One On YouTube

This weeks readings about the UCLA Taser case have made me really angry. I’m angry in both the talk show sense about the incident and I’m also angry as I think critically about the influence participatory journalism has via the speed and reach of the Internet and the availability of user-created content - I’ll spare you all from my talk show opinions here.

Having been a photographic interpreter in the U.S. Navy working for Naval Intelligence for six years where we used photogrammetric methods to analyze various kind of imagery (photographic, infrared, video, etc.), I learned that an image is literally worth a thousand words, but if you don’t know the language the words may be gibberish. Photogrammetry is a method of thinking critically about what you were looking at and not simply jumping to conclusions about what something looks like.

User created content from cell-phone cameras may be useful and it may not be useful in documenting an event. In the case of the UCSL Taser incident, in my opinion, the quality of the video was so poor that the video raises more questions than it answers. Technologies like digital imagery from cell-phones on YouTube can be misinterpreted or only show one perspective of an event. Furthermore, the imagery may have been edited prior to being posted on YouTube to show only a particular perspective of an event that the creator of the content wants you to see. There isn’t a chain-of-custody of the video content on YouTube and so very little credibility. You can’t really know what to believe. If we could trust that the content on YouTube was always the raw video that we could draw our own conclusions from, then I see great benefit in the video content on the Internet.

I don’t think that music videos or clips of old TV shows uploaded to YouTube hurt the entertainment industry. The quality of the video clips I’ve seen on YouTube are so poor that if I wanted the clip I’d be more than happy to pay the entertainment industry for the quality I desire.

If I take anything away from this course it is how powerful a tool the Internet is and at the same time how dangerous the Internet has become. Only our ability to think critically about the content on the Internet is what makes the information useful.

Need I say more:

April 14, 2007

YouTube Post: CBS Coverage of iPhone Introduction

I chose the YouTube video of the CBS News coverage of the Apple iPhone introduction at the MacWorld Conference and Exposition in San Francisco in January 2007. I selected this video as my post because this new technology excites me on several different levels. I also selected the video because it is from a credible source. As my text post states this week - credibility is a major issue with video we find on the Internet.

We have lost a great writer.

Kurt Vonnegut died recently. He was one of those amazing, larger than life people that has left a lasting mark. If you ever read any of his books, make sure you read chapter one of the novel Slaughterhouse Five. In it he explains why he wrote the book in the way that he did. The story is autobiographical yet he chose to portray the main character as a frail Army Chaplain's assistant, not the brave Army scout that he actually was during WWII.

Just like with the loss of JFK, John Lennon, The Pope, or even Dimebag (anyone? anyone? hee hee) you can practically feel the collective loss felt by many.

To get a sense of it, check out this Google News link.
http://news.google.com/news?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&tab=wn&q=kurt+vonnegut&sa=N&start=10

I thought I'd post this as a way to honor the guy. Even though he doesn't have a lot to do with the internet, I thought it was important in a way because a lot of us are training to be some type of writer.

April 12, 2007

The Second Life of Geeks

Here is something you probably do already know about, but I thought it was worth mentioning as we are looking for paper topics. The Geek Squad via Best Buy has planted a flag in Second Life.

Will they actually give advice? What will they charge? Will your computer need an avatar to be fixed?

geek

American Airlines Gender-Specific Search

Remember our Week 4 discussion about gender on the Internet? Take a look at this, via The Consumerist:

American Airlines Gender-Specific Searches

When I clicked over to AA’s Women Travelers Connected today, the searches no longer looked like the one pictured on the left. Perhaps enough women wrote in to tell them that um, we kinda like having tools.

Internet Scam Survey







Scams

1. Have you ever been a victim of internet crime?

Yes
No

Next >>




Current Results





The Repeat in History, and Ownership.

The Issue

The real question is seems to be centered around ownership. Jack Velenti, who runs the MPAA is the head of the music and movie industry’s attempt to retain ownership of their content, while John Perry Barlow seems to be an intellectual that is behind an idea of “Cyber communism,? where ownership and creativity are shared amongst the masses.
The man who seems to be walking the line between the two is Steven Jobs, who has to license his products, but wholly acknowledges that his product is being used to play stolen material.

Reaction.

I think that this event is a repeat of history, only this “revolution? has Steve Jobbs at the center of it laughing himself silly every night (because he’s placating the music industry, appeasing his Mac lovers, and cornering his market all with one stone). File shareing on the Internet is a classic repeat of the enclosement of the commons in England 500 years ago. On one hand, you have business (rich people) that seek profit, and use ownership as a means to accomplish this end. One the other side of the battle, you have the techno-robbinhoods, who are using the Internet as a common place to share intellectual property. Just as English peasants/freemen shared graze land with the landed gentry in England 500 years ago. This time however, it seems as though the rich people are having a harder time defining ownership in cyberspace. Most likely because it is so new a medium, and until recent years, no one has owned the Internet. I mean, I think this is a very interesting event in this time and age where everything is changing so rapidly. The most interesting thing I ran across was Barlow’s thoughts on ownership in his “Next Economy of Ideas.? There he states that claiming ownership to theories (and other non-tangible mediums) is what has caused the internet to be so popular, and up till this point mostly free. This is according to him; because our entire economic model is based upon tangible, and tradable goods. He contends that ideas, while tradable, are not tangible enough to have a profit made upon them. Especially because theories and the like, can be reinterpreted and recreated by those who encounter them. The reason why I think this to a groundbreaking idea is because this theory attacks the entire system of ownership that brought down the English commons 500 years ago. I states that ideas, “like land used to be,? are to serve the public good, and not necessarily meant to serve an individual interest.

April 11, 2007

Mute

Has anyone heard of Mute software? It's free software that "that provides easy search-and-download functionality while also protecting your privacy." It protects you from getting 'found out'. Read how:

http://mute-net.sourceforge.net/howPrivacy.shtml

I came across this website by doing a search on my favorite band, Metallica-which is funny to me since they were the biggest voice to oppose Napster (but now have changed their minds and are available to download on iTunes, yeah!).

DRM= down right maddening

I was most struck by Barlow’s comparison of voluntarily paying for music to tipping a server. “In an environment of dense connection... ethical behavior becomes less a matter of self-imposed virtue and more a matter of horizontal social pressure.? (The Next Economy of Ideas, p. 3) The reason we tip is possibly because we want to feel generous, we want to hear the person say thank you, or we want to avoid confrontation with the server or our peers. We’re right there to see all their faces. Social psychology studies on deindividuation have demonstrated that feeling disconnected from our identity encourages us to act in selfish ways. Being chastised over the Internet is nothing compared to being yelled at by a waiter in front of an entire restaurant full of people. I think that for consumers to feel any measure of social pressure through the Internet, there would have to be a way to attach users to their real names and hold them personally accountable for their actions-- not that this is something I'd like to see happen.

“At the end of the day, DRM is the biggest impediment to a legitimate music market. Apple doesn't sell music because of DRM -- it sells music in spite of DRM. The iTunes Store proves that you can compete with free.? (Doctorow, p. 2) Mysteriously, according to Jack Valenti, “There is no business model... that can compete with free. It can't be done.? (Spring, PC World)

We should not be surprised to discover that Jobs is a major shareholder in a media company like Disney Pixar, and that he stands to gain from DRM: “Every movie you buy from Apple is a tax down the line of switching from Apple to a competing product.? Jobs will profit from the arrangement of paying 30 cents extra for non-DRM music from iTunes, profits that will surely offset the cost of people NOT buying iPods or guiltlessly copying music. It seems like such an obvious double standard for Apple to expect users to respect copyright while refusing to honor Creative Commons licenses themselves, but as Doctorow points out, “If you buy DRM, you end up being part of someone's business model....? (p.2)

In the Service of Art

I have to admit I have been torn on the copyright issue for films. Films are generally more expensive to produce than music, and there are more people to pay than the band or the artist. I was kind of shocked when my sister told me about a fundamentalist neighbor who would rent DVDs from the library, then make copies on some sort of homemade DRM breaker. But after reading Barlow's article, I am now thinking that films SHOULD be treated more like music. Barlow's statement "Art is a service, not a product." (p.4) really hit me where I live. I think he is right that film and music industry executives are using the wrong models by which to measure commercial success. Sharing does create popularity and demand.

Perhaps I was brainwashed by the FBI warnings that we all saw growing up and in the YouTube film. In addition, there is a 'digital' factor of the digital revolution to consider. When some misguided friend did *perhaps* make you a copied VHS tape the quality was invariably awful. The same conundrum existed then (as it does now) with TV and recording as Jobs mentions with CDs--there is no protection on recording TV programs. My dad was constantly recording movies on the VCR from TV ( and that was before we had cable--so the commercials are really priceless). I vaguely remember the film industry getting in a lather about VCRs--but never knew until now that they wanted to limit recording so much. Now DVD rentals and sales are what are factored into a film's profits--about half, according to Barlow. I think the film industry was, as the music industry is now, just hamstrung by fear and its cruel companion, an utter lack of imagination. True, only a true visionary would have figured that people would want to KEEP copies of films they love.

I also like Doctorow's slant that DRM and other protections treat the consumer, who is after all buying or renting the product, like a potential criminal--which is not a good way to do business. Sadly I am unable to load iTunes onto my computer as it is too old, and the computer at work will not allow such actions (more protections), but I never truly understood the limitations of DRM. I guess 5 computers and unlimited iPods would kind of be enough for me as far as sharing music, but I see the problem with depending on a single manufacturer in perpetuity once one has made the investment. That is kind of like having to choose betwen Betamax and VHS in the early 80s--my dad put all his eggs in the Betamax basket and paid the price--he was looking for beta tapes in video stores for years.

I don't know much about Apple, but it has always seemed like a strange and cool company by turns. The DRM flap seems to be a typical page from their playbook. Be there waiting for the fall of Napster, be all about creating a loyal following and forcing the exclusivity of the product (remember that Macs and PCs were not compatible at ALL until a few years ago. ) Then either create a cool new product that makes you forget the last toy, or turn everything on its head and tell everyone that the truth they knew for so long was a big lie.

Still, I like Jobs willingness, no matter how much after the fact, to create inconnectivity with other systems. He seems to realize the industry is about cooperation. He just wants to establish Apple as top dog.

Cant We All Just Share Along?

I have some strong issues regarding this topic. First, the artists are millionares. This is a fact. Fact, instead of the millionares selling 3 million records, they are going to be selling 2.8 million records. Still enough to eat and keep food on the table I think. Third, a lot of the artists, I'm just focusing in on the artists for now, make more money from indorsements, commercials, and other business adventures aside from the music. My perspective is obviously different then lets say a band like Metallica, or from a different artist. This is because it's not "my" stuff. If I put out a record and I felt that a lot of my music and things were being shared for free, I would be angry.

As for the ipod, there DRM system seems to need some work. The article "Thoughts on Music" says that there needs to be an alternative to just using itunes because only 3% of all the music on ipods are downloaded from itunes, one possible solution, that I liked the best, "Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat." I think this would be the best thing for us to do in the future.

I think that trying to protect and copywrite music and other things is going to be hard to do and someone somewhere out there will find a way to copy it, break through it, and tell other people how to break the copywrite. On a side note, there is already, don't quote me, software out there that can burn dvd's that have copywrite protection on them. I mean the technology is out there to break even the protections. The Wired article was very interesting and talks about how free would't be so bad after all for the companies, "The last time technical copy protection was widely attempted - remember when most software was copy-protected? - it failed in the marketplace, and failed miserably. Earlier attempts to ban media-reproduction technologies have also failed. Even though entertainment execs are exceptionally slow learners, they will eventually realize what they should have understood long ago: The free proliferation of expression does not decrease its commercial value. Free access increases it, and should be encouraged rather than stymied." (Barlow, 1).

Steve Jobs also said that he wanted to uplift the DRM services, "DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy," and offered to embrace a DRM-free music-sales environment "in a heartbeat," if only the big four music companies would let him. (Doctorow, 1).

We are headed into a new world, a free world, this is what I see. Already there are many, many different software companies out there located out of state and charging $20 for a whole year to use there software and download as many songs, even movies, until your full! And when someone shuts one down, 5 others open up. It's crazy. For companies to capitalize on this, they need to do something about the whole system. Instead of trying to restrict the music, offer us consumers something better, or we will go out and get it for free instead of paying $15 for a cd.


Copyrighting the copyright?

As we speak right now, millions of people are illegally downloading music, pictures, videos and so much more. However, so many of these people do not think that this act is actually illegal. I would relate it to speeding; people know subconsciously that they are breaking the rules; however people do it all the time because they do not get caught and charged for their actions. Piracy has been the hot topic for the past decade or so with the rise and the amount of efficiency that technology brings to each home. Steve Jobs did a very good job about sitting on the fence about the topic of illegally downloading information.
While watching the movie, I thought that it was very interesting the concept. I kept waiting for an actual movie to appear until I realized that the FBI slides WERE the movie. I found it interesting, along with everyone else probably that there were so many variations of the same thing. I don’t know if that is illegal or not, however they all stated the same information so I didn’t feel as though it was copywriting because I feel as though it is a Monopoly of a company to run each of the warnings during each movie. However, now watching that movie, I have no idea. It also brought to my attention now when I watch movies to notice and not a single warning has been the same yet. It is kind of ironic that the movie industry is having problems with the warning of a copyright law being copyrighted.
Also, according to one of the other articles, it stated that the artist itself will only receive $.80 per record that they sell so my whole rationale behind buying CD’s to support the artist doesn’t really work out the way that I thought it did. Because the artists don’t get as much money as I thought they did, I don’t see why the artists are so upset about illegally downloading music. I know that most of the anger comes from the record labels itself, there is still enough people buying CDs in the stores because like me, they do not know that the artist does not get as much money as they are supposed to.
I also found it interesting the statistic that only 3% of the songs played on an iPod are correctly downloaded through iTunes or other paid subscriptions. I know many people that do illegally download through various other peer to peer such as Napster, Lime Wire as well as Ares. However, I feel as though many people still do it though because there are so many peer to peer websites that they just won’t get caught anymore.
Overall, I like to see that people are trying to catch the problem while they can, however I feel as though its like a virus. Once one p2p sharing network is caught, another one will grow and the cycle continues.

eMusic Wallmart

After last weeks articles on intellectual property, it is almost painful to read through this weeks articles. It seems that the actual concept of intellectual property is left behind, forgotten and what is left are money hungry companies attempting to twist the definition to maintain with an idea that might return a profit. Assuming that all of the accusations Doctorow places on Apple are in fact true, then the idea of intellectual property means nothing. Intellectual property would maintain that the artists and other copyright holders have say in what is done with their music, but in this quote: "innumerable copyright holders have asked Apple to sell their work as open MP2s instead of DRM-locked AACs. Apple has always maintained that it's DRM or nothing." (Doctorow, 3). This in itself I could handle, if the DRMs did only what they were put there to do; to prevent illegal copying. Locking the music to Apple products is too much. I bought an album off of iTunes once when it was getting popular. I bought it for the purpose of listening to from my computer, only to find that I couldn't add the songs to my Windows Media Player library. A wasted ten dollars.

I Heart Apple

Let's face it, Steve Jobs is a genius. Sure he's looking to make Apple the leader in the world of technology and to gain more shareholders, but I truly believe he is the digital 'hippie' in the sense that he views filesharing like free love, rejecting the conventional standards of other competing companies.
He also proves to be extremely influential and persuasive. In February of 2007 Jobs stated, "the third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely" (Thoughts on Music).
But now, just a few months after the controversial memo that had journalist Cory Doctorow reeling, saying, "I doubt Jobs' sincerity. I suspect he likes DRM because it creates an anti-competitive lock-in to Apple. I think he's trying to shift blame for the much-criticized DRM to the music industry, whose executives are twirling their mustaches and declaring DRM to be the only way forward for their industry." (Steve Jobs iTunes Dance), Jobs prophecy has come true, with a deal with EMI "selling songs online that are free of copy-protection technology through Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store" (CNN.com).
The Beatles music is not included in the deal - which may have to do with Jacko and Sony- a force to be reckon with and one that Jobs and EMI probably doesn't want to deal with.

I agree with Jobs when he states, "the problem, of course, is that there are many smart people in the world, some with a lot of time on their hands, who love to discover such secrets and publish a way for everyone to get free (and stolen) music, " (Thoughts on Music). My only modification to that statement is that you don't have to be smart to get around encryption- you just have to know the right people to do it for you. For instance, I just found out that a friend of mine (who will remain nameless for his protection) burned pirated DVD's and then encoded them onto iPod. Did I know this was illegal? I had a hunch. Could I have done it myself? Probably, but I am computer illiterate and it would have taken me a while to figure out how to get the decryptor software to be able to copy the DVDs.

Even with FBI warnings that are blurry and unreadable on our TV screens (YouTube video), and legal warnings that flash up on our computer screens, it won't stop us from getting what we want.
I am with Jobs- I am a digital hippie.
But if I were to come up with an alternative, I'd choose the RIAA's idea of software that would "sabotage the computers and Internet connections of people who download pirated music" (Tom Spring, PC World). Why not blow up someone's computer? That'll teach 'em.
Until then, I love my iBook, my iPod, my iTunes, my iMovie, anything that begins with an 'i'.

-Apple Lifer

Stop Trying to Protect Music!


Wow! I guess I didn’t realize that there was so much talk around this subject. I think my opinion on it all is this: Each younger generation is smarter than its elders and will find workarounds for any DRM protection system. Thus, Jobs’ third recommendation for the future of protecting rights over the Internet is probably the best. The big four music producers should stop trying to DRM their music and focus their time, energy, and money on increasing CD sales. From the associated press article I learned, “Some analysts suggest that lifting the software restrictions could boost sales of online music, which currently account for around 10 percent of global music sales.? If online music only accounts for 10% sales, then I would really recommend focusing their energy on increasing CD sales. Likewise, “ . . . the dream of a copy-proof song or movie is a logical absurdity.? At least if a consumer is buying the CD at full price, then the companies are profiting even if the music is shared after that. Somehow, they need to allow customers to see the benefit of owning a CD.
Furthermore, Barlow asserts, “The free proliferation of expression does not decrease its commercial value. Free access increases it, and should be encouraged rather than stymied.? Sometimes, allowing music to be shared increases how many people can hear it and increase other things related to music: like increased concert going, increased collateral sales, etc. I found this quote from Jack Valenti hilarious, “We are testing new kinds of protective devices and technology like encryption, and [digital rights management] tools from Real Networks and Microsoft. If both or one of those is workable, and if customers want to use either, we'll try it right now? (Spring 1). This just proves that either the article is outdated and he is very under informed or not up-to-date, or he just really doesn’t understand the nitty-gritty of how easy it is for smart “geeks? to breakthrough these types of protection tools.

My Mom Taught Me to Share

As an avid filesharer myself I understand both sides to this story. Obviously, I have already made the decision that intelectual property should be shared freely. Out of all the articles pertaining to this subject I think Barlow hit the nail on the head. Physical property is something that can be maintained through ownership. I wouldn't steal my neighbor's car or his tools because those objects, once gone, are no longer in his possession and he can no longer enjoy them. But, if my neighbor had music that he was willing to share with me and still maintain its quality. Why not? Walter Benjamin discussed the idea of "aura", the touch of the divine creator. This works for pieces of art because the original is the only one that was touched by the brush of the creator. Media however, is meant to be recreated and distributed. Music doesn't lose its value or "aura" by being shared. In fact, as Barlow discusses, it increases the aura by allowing others to be a part of it.

Imagine the social advancements we could make if we removed the red tape and allowed artistic and intelectual ideas to flow smoothly from person to person. This is already happening and will happen inevitably, it's just a matter of how long we are going to prolong the process. Apple making a deal to distribute music without controlling the amount it can be distributed is a step in that direction. Another interesting advancement comes with a commercial I saw the other day. Apple is coming out with a station that will allow you to play movies and other media from your television. This is another example of how intelectual property can be shared and put into our everday lives.

Filesharing... is there an end to this madness!?!?

File sharing has taken a new spin over the past few years. With the Internet growing and developing as rapidly as it has, it’s only made it that much easier for millions of individuals to exchange music and video files on all these various forums that have been developed. I think that Barlow (2000) explains the situation well by stating, “To put it mildly, the geriatrics of the entertainment industry didn’t see this coming.? (p.1) This fad, in my opinion, spun off so quickly and people reacted just as fast, that it was near impossible for the entertainment industry to try and put a stop to things.

DRM, in my opinion, is a strategic business move by Apple to implement this into their iPods. They are going to lock individuals into purchasing music from their iTunes Store, and potentially prevent millions of individuals from accessing unauthorized sharing and copying. Personally, I would much rather purchase music digitally and by a per song basis, verses going to the store and purchasing a CD by one artist, and end up only listening to 2 out of the 18 songs on the disc. According to Jobs, “If a copy of a DRM protected song is posted on the Internet, it should not be able to play on a downloader’s computer or portable music device.? If this actually really does work, I think it will be a great thing. However, I have little doubts that this will be effective, because of the number of hackers out there. I am a strong believer of the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.? I think that someone, somewhere, will be able to find a way to get DRM protected music to another individuals’ device.

I think Valenti brings up some very good points in his interview. One of the questions Valenti was asked is “Why can’t people who legally purchase DVDs make one backup copy?? In my opinion, people always find a way to use and abuse privileges they are given. If you allow one back up copy to be made, what’s going to stop these individuals from making a second, third, fourth, etc. When you purchase a DVD, you are legally purchasing that one copy of the DVD, you aren’t purchasing and owning rights to copying this DVD for further distribution.

Another thing I found interesting in the Valenti interview was about how the RIAA has forced Verizon to hand over the names of customers who were swapping copyright-protected content. I guess my question is, why isn’t the Verizon company being targeted for creating and implementing devices that allow this swapping to take place in the first place??

stealing free music

I personally have not dowloaded any music off the Internet, nor have I ever used iTunes. However, I do own a burned CD that my friend made for me that features five songs. I feel really bad about owning that CD because that music was downloaded on Napster. I'm really big on not dowloading music for free off the Net, and the fact that I have a CD that was downloaded makes me a little bit of a hipocrit. But I digress, I think that pirating DVDs and downloading music off the Internet are not really hurting the film and music industries; however, there is an issue of ethics that is brought up. I think that even though the music and film industries have seen an increase in DVD and CD sales, it still doesn't change the fact that a lot of the material was "stolen." If the material was taken but not paid for, obviously it was stolen. I don't really think that industries have much to worry about because as Barlow stated "In the long run it's more convenient to enter into a relationship with Microsoft if you hope to use its product in an ongoing way. It's certaintly easier to get technical support if you have a real serial number when you call. And that serial number is not a thing. It's a contract. It is the symbol of a relationship." (Barlow).

In response to the conflicting viewpoints between Jobs and Doctorow, I have to say that I'm agreeing more with Steve Jobs. Jobs believes that "DRMs haven't worked and may never work, to halt music piracy." (Doctorow) I think that DRMs in the future will be completely bypassed and will become useless. The fact that people are able to get free music is going to be more appealing than having to pay for it. Surprisingly, CD and DVD sales have only increased over time. Many "artists believe that the answer to selling more music is cooperating with fans, not treating them as presumptive pirates and locking down their music." (Doctorow) There are, however, limitations to downloading music. "Once you put music on your iPod, you can't get it off again with Apple's software." There is also "no recovering your music collection off your iPod if your hard drive crashes." (Doctorow).

I like my ripped files! But I still buy....

This debate or fight if you might call it has been raging for quite some time. I guess if I were to take sides i would definitely be leaning more towards the side of ethics rather then trying to just follow the laws of copyright because we have some execs getting their underwear all up in a bunch because of basically free advertising. Im not entirely sure as to why these companies or big wig record companies are really getting all that upset. Barlow makes the statement, "The RIAA is unalterably convinced that the easy availability of freely downloadable commercial songs will bring on the apocalypse, and yet, during the two years since MP3 music began flooding the Net, CD sales have risen by 20 percent. " The issue is not that record companies are struggling to make money, but there just seems to be a stubborn scent floating through the laws of copyright and those acts passed by congress to these related issues that they are just finding it hard to actually jump into the reality of what the net has become and where it is going. Barlow also makes a fantastic point when he states, "No law can be successfully imposed on a huge population that does not morally support it and possesses easy means for its invisible evasion." This is quite an issue that cannot be won in court. It is not feesible to try and prosecute 20 million plus users of persay illegally downloaded content. "Even though entertainment execs are exceptionally slow learners, they will eventually realize what they should have understood long ago: The free proliferation of expression does not decrease its commercial value. Free access increases it, and should be encouraged rather than stymied." This one ideal that I think will take quite some time to come into its own. As Barlow also pointed out we will just have to be dragged through litigation until something extremely proactive in cryptology occurs or the laws become a moot point and the system actually does fall back onto some kind of ethical cushion. "It's captivating to think about how much more freedom there will be for the truly creative when the truly cynical have been dealt out of the game." Once again an ideal that will take some time to come into effect. The reason why there will always be pirated content is because of the creative geniuses that exist and in reality are actually in the business of free advertising for big record mogul cynics.
Now to try and adress this wonderful issue of DRM' sand the role they are playing. In my opinion the lack therof in effectiveness. After reading the articles with regards to these DRM's it seems as though apple and even the rest of the companies that employ these wonderful hurdles are just prolonging the inevitable. This DRM media is only accounting for 3% of total content sales, the rest of the 97% of content are mostly generated by users or pirated, or P2P sharing. "With regards to the DRM..... If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies." This mindset has to be embraced by american companies. Oversea distributors of mp3's over the net will be taking over sales sooner or later if American content generators don't start working together with the creative people of this internet day. I get all of my music through russian mp3 sites because its 8 times cheaper than itunes and can be placed into any format you like and copied as many times as you want. We are just slightly behind on the bandwagon of internet file sharing. It is still viewed as a negative when it should be seen as a positive.

Reach more people thanks to Internet

The issue of downloading material on Internet is very interesting to me and I really enjoyed going through the articles. I may have said that before, I am a big consumer of music in general, in every way. I download music (probably to much), I buy music (certainly too much) and I see too many concerts.

I started downloading with Napster and continued with all the new programs that followed and I never stopped. At the same time, I never stopped buying records, but downloading helps me to make a selection and buy the one I really love. I started being close to the music industry a few years ago (working for a music venue, then a label, and then DJing myself) and Internet has been in the middle of every conversations since that. I met people with all kinds of theories, pro or against Internet, and I think the attitude of the people I met often depended on the money they could make or they could lose. Not so many consideration for the music itself in general.

I think that Internet is a great opportunity for the artists to emancipate themselves from the labels and the music industry in general and a great opporutinty for the public to be exposed to bands they would have never heard of. In this configuration, the big losers would be the major companies and they don't like it, obviously.

In a very good article written in 1993 (The Problem with Music : http://negativland.com/albini.html ), Steve Albini described the situation of the industry and it was obvious that this could not last. To present the character, Steve Albini played in many bands and is also a producer who produced over thousands of bands including Nirvana / Pixies... He knows the subject pretty well. His point was that the record labels have so much power over the bands they signed that the artists were almost deprived of any of their rights over their artistic production, and generally don't earn much money. It is still the case.

On this point, I think that Internet, if it is well used by the bands, can be a great way to avoid this and reach their audience directly. That does not mean the record labels are useless and will disapear (which would be quite unfortunate for me, as I should work for one of them back in France) but Internet can equilibrate the power between them and their artists.
As I said, for the industry, which have been over-ruling the market for years, it's a tough pill to swallow but in the end, I really think that the music will be safe and stronger, over the pure business.

I know I derived a bit from the articles and I may have not been clear on some points. If you disagree and / or want me to clarify some things, I'll be more than happy to debate about it.

I give the link again for the article : http://negativland.com/albini.html
It is very interesting and impressive when we know it was written 14 years ago.

Should Apple go to the Dentist??

Honestly, I don’t know much about downloading music online since I have never taken part of it. I choose not too and prefer getting an actual CD from the store. Sadly, I still don’t have an IPOD nor have I ever used ITunes. I usually leave that up to my sister. ? After reading more on CEO Steve Job’s statement, I learned more about DRM technology which basically locks music, including video games, books, etc. and controls distribution. It’s wrong that people can take music freely and crack into DRMs. Therefore, “since the passage of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it's been illegal to break DRMs in this country? (Doctorow, Cory. Steve Job’s iTunes Dance.) after many attempts by others to crack into the system.

There’s a reason why I am a little happy I don’t own my own IPOD. I am most positive that I would overspend, purchasing new music. Not to say, I would prefer the actual CD, even if there is only a few songs I like on it. Not to mention, with an IPOD, I think it’s ridiculous that “if you'd bought just one iTunes track every month since the launch in 2003, you'd have rung up $82 in lock-in music. Throw in a couple of $9.99 albums and maybe an audio book or two and you can easily find yourself in $150 down the lock-in hole.? (Doctorow, Cory. Steve Job’s iTunes Dance.) Also, it’s incredible the way it’s set up where one must pay to put music on their IPOD, computer, etc. individually. I agree that if you have the music and legally bought it, you should be able to manage it on all the devices you wish to. With this said, I don’t think DRM is necessary for Apple use. Without much knowledge of Apple, it seems that it does exceptionally well without DRM already. To sum it up, it seems as “iff you buy DRM, you end up being part of someone's business model, and a slave to the lock-in.? (Doctorow, Cory. Steve Job’s iTunes Dance.)

Forget about the Greeks, Beware of Music Sites Bearing Gifts!

Oh boy! This is great timing. I've recently had some unpleasant experiences with downloaded music. For my birthday last month, my wife bought me a Sansa (Sandisk) media player. Previously, I had a Memorex mp3 player that was the cheapest, most basic mp3 player that Target had to offer. It only had 256 megabytes of memory, but it was nice to have, especially when flying. A couple of years ago, I needed something to help me escape during a flight to Europe. There's nothing like flying eight hours in the coach section. With the old Memorex mp3 player, I usually just loaded music files that I had "ripped" off of my own compact discs. At the time, I didn't feel the need to download music.

I was excited to get the new player because it was such a technological improvement over the old one. This new player has much more memory, I believe that I can load around 230 songs onto it as compared to the paltry 20 song capacity of the older player. It even has a fairly high definition display screen that I can use to view stored pictures and video. It's fun! The only problem that I have had during the time with my new toy was when I decided to try out the Rhapsody music offer that was included with the purchase of the player.

I decided to sign up with Rhapsody because I was excited about the prospect of downloading specific songs instead of having to buy a whole album. I found that the Rhapsody program was a tad temperamental. While trying to learn how this whole deal worked, I ran into problems that forced me to restart the program. Sometimes I even had to restart the whole computer.

Then there's the whole "syncing" function that THREE programs would try to perform after I plugged in the player. Since neither Sandisk nor Rhapsody saw it necessary to provide me with any coherent instructions, I had to call various companies and use my "techy sense" to figure it out. Then just recently, my player started insisting that I hook it back up to the computer (and Rhapsody) so the licenses for the downloaded songs could be reauthorized.

This simply made me angry. I (again) had to mess around with the Rhapsody program for an hour. I'm a little insulted by this. I paid for the damn songs and I'd like to be able to use them without having to deal with this stupid DRM (digital rights management) feature on the music files. What if this happens while I'm away from home? I wouldn't be able to refresh the DRM license until I returned home. That's terrible!

I have enough things to worry about and keep track of as it is. If I'm paying 99 cents per song, which is similar to the price per song on a store bought music CD, why do I have to deal with the DRM software tag on the downloaded song?? Am I not able to put the songs from the store bought CD onto my computer's hard drive and burn as many copies as I want? I think that the use of the DRMs is a tactic meant to simply improve the chances of the songs being lost over time.

The music files from Rhapsody aren't even a common music format. It's Rhapsody's own software. I called Rhapsody and asked them if there was any way to convert these files to an mp3 format. They told me that the only way to convert the files was to burn the files onto a compact disc. So I gave it a shot, and for some reason the piece of junk Rhapsody program wouldn't work. It kept instructing me to put a blank CD in the drive. I tried different discs but it still would not work.

I think that the entertainment industry is yet again crying that "the sky is falling." As John Barlow pointed out, people like Jack Valenti thought that the introduction of VCRs to the world would "...kill the film industry." It in fact did not and has made the film industry a lot of money over the years. There are countless occurrences throughout history that mirror Valenti's assertions. When the mainstream internet came into existence, people cried that it would mean the end of the newspaper. They feared that newspaper sales would plunge if people were able to get the news from their computers. This of course did not happen. You would think that people would have learned by now.

Regarding Tom Spring's article, I found a flaw in Jack Valenti's argument. Spring asked Valenti "Why can't people who legally purchase DVDs make one backup copy? How come the same fair use rights that let you make a backup copy of other media do not extend to DVDs?" Valenti skirted this question and instead said "Do you know anything else in the country that if something is abused for any reason they'll give you a backup? If I go down to the hardware store and buy an electric lawn mower and I take it home, and three weeks later my wife runs over it in the driveway, I can't take it back and get a new one. I can't get a backup."

Springs asked Valenti about being able to make a copy of the purchased product, not about getting a free replacement after that product gets damaged. In actuality, though impracticable, a person could make an exact copy of their lawnmower if they wanted to. It would only be illegal if that person then tried to sell the lawn mower. (I think that's correct. Any lawyers out there feel free to chime in.)

Though I am not for total informational anarchy, I found the following assertion from John Perry Barlow to be very interesting. He states that, “...after giving up on copy protection, the software industry expected that widespread piracy would surely occur. And it did. Even so, the software industry is booming."

So come on you stingy music industry people, give it a chance!

The Enema of the State

The music industry has changed drastically over the past few years. With the invention of mp3 players and the ability to put music that YOU want to hear on it people are of course moving toward using these devices instead of using CD players where you have to skip through songs to hear your favorite one. However, music industry officials have now found a way to screw the music consumer. I understand the point of DRM, it supposedly helps people from stealing music. But what happens when the technology is hurts the consumer more than benefits them?

The DRM is now forcing people to choose which company they love the most. I have an iPod and love i. I have had it for three years and it keeps on ticking. Because of this, I would buy another iPod again in a second. I currently have over 2,500 songs on my iPod and how many have I bought from the iTunes store? 21. (The only reason its 21 is because I bought an album that I really enjoy). If I would ever want to change mp3 brands, I could because most of my music comes from either CDs or from an illegal downloading site. I realize that I should not be doing this but if Apple is trying to screw me? Why can't I screw them right back by putting .wavs on my iPod? Jobs is correct when he states, "DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy." But he states that he has to continue using them. However, why would record companies want to continue to use them if people can hack them so easily? The experience of stealing music is nothing new. First, we recorded mix tapes by recording CDs, then people recorded mix CDs by trading mp3's, now we want to put mp3s on different systems. As long as there is music, people will want to get it for free.

Doctorow makes good arguments but I do not understand his statement that, "If you rip your own CDs and load them onto your iPod, you'll notice something curious. The iPod is a roach motel: Songs check in, but they don't check out. Once you put music on your iPod, you can't get it off again with Apple's software." This may have changed since I bought an mp3 player but I am able to remove music from my iPod. I delete the song from my computer and if iTunes cannot find it, it erases it. Does anyone have a problem with getting their music off their iPod?

Movies are the next frontier of stealing entertainment. I have tech savvy friends who used the University HUB for their years at college. I never used it but I was able to attain numerous movies and television shows from them. I don't know why, but for some reason, I feel worse about stealing movies than music. I can really see Jack Valenti's point when he states, "If you're allowed to make up one backup copy of a DVD, all of a sudden somebody makes two and gives one to a friend. And next thing you know file-swappers are trading that film online." We have to buy CDs and DVDs for a reason, we enjoy the entertainment. If we really enjoy the entertainment, we should purchase it rather than steal it.

In the case of the Apple-EMI deal it just shows how Apple could better serve its consumers. Why is it that you have to pay more for songs that do not have the DRM? I could just buy EMI's CDs, put them on my iPod, my Zune, or burn as many CDs as I'd like. The deal, which will sell, "songs by the Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Coldplay and other top-selling artists for $1.29, or 30 cents more than the copy-protected version. The premium tunes also will be offered in a higher quality than the 99-cent tracks." While copyright is important I believe Apple has taken its power too far and hurt the music industry in the long run.

A Diatribe on File-Sharing

I'm a musician, so I've spent a lot of time considering and reading about the effect of File-sharing and DRM has had on the music industry. First of all, I think it's important to note that any way you want to shade it, downloading music online is theft. What it comes down to is the fact that you're getting music without paying for it like you would normally have to do. That said, I've definitely downloaded my share of music over the years. In fact, my love of music came about just as Napster was blowing up, allowing me to find music by favorite bands and allowing me to find new ones by not having to go through the radio, which I had long since dismissed, and MTV, which stopped focusing on music about 10 or 15 years ago, and in this way I credit Napster in no small degree with the love of music I have today. With all the advances in technology since then, it's just as easy to now download full records or even entire libraries of artists songs in hardly more time than it took to download a song back then. I've also spent my fair share of time with torrents, but I've realized that downloading music hurts musicians a considerable degree. For every person that downloads an album, thats an album that they're not getting paid for. When artists already get a preposterously low amount of money from record companies, it hurts their already strained pocket books. It also hurts their sales figures, which is still the yardstick in the industry when considering how much time and effort and money will be spent on the artists. So now, I try to only download releases from big name bands that already have a lot of money, or aren't around anymore.
But the real advantage to file sharing is that it turns an industry with a ridiculous price structure on it's ear. For every $10 CD sold in a store, the artist who created all that music gets 80 cents, while the record company gets 4 dollars (iTunes, while a step in the right direction, doesn't have much better of a price breakdown). This, to me, is utter madness. I think the single most important aspect of file sharing and the advancement of technology in the last 10 years is that it puts the means of distribution in the hands of the artists themselves. When a band can sell their CD's online to anyone around the world, it just cuts out the middleman. In this case, the middleman is the record companies who've grown fat and powerful off their massive profits, and the RIAA (which only represents the five biggest record companies, not independent labels) is fighting tooth and nail to keep their already laughably huge peice of the pie. Of course in doing this, they've launched a blanket of lawsuits against their consumers which is only suceeding in alienating them and driving them further away. Now, they're even lobbying the government to make sure they are able to lie about their indentity in the search for pirates.
File sharing definitely has its pros and cons, but I think it's most important aspect is (hopefully) the ushering in of a new era in music, where it's not controlled by five companies concerned only with profits. At a time when real musicians have long been struggling to be heard while celebrities get multi-million dollar recording contracts based on their popularity and sex appeal (paris hilton, ashley simpson, hillary duff, lindsey lohan, the pussycat dolls, the list goes on for days) when they have no musical talent, inclinations or ambitions, a change is in dire need.
When it comes to DRM, I remember reading Steve Jobs' open letter to the RIAA and applauding him for it. But I never saw the Doctorow article, and he makes some very good points about Apple's DRM benefits and history. I was happy to see that EMI agreed to offer its music on iTunes DRM free, and can only hope (though I won't hold my breath) that the other big-five record companies will follow suit. It's hard to argue with Jobs' point that putting strict DRM on online music while 90% of a catalog is available in stores DRM free is kind of goofy. It's just an issue of what constitues fair use, and of course, consumers have a much different perspective on it than the record company CEO's.
I, along with nearly everyone save the big record companies, welcome file-sharing with open arms. And for every time I read about some grandmother or college student getting sued for thousands of dollars for having (presumably) downloaded some songs, I take comfort in the fact that file sharing, in no uncertain terms, is destorying the music industry as we know it. And the longer they waste time on lawsuits rather than embracing file sharing and using it to their advantage, the more likely we are to see a new music industry, hopefully this time built around music, rather than the bloated corporations who make up the RIAA today.

Who really owns the music I buy?

Remembering the readings from last week and many of the other blog entries on them, it's pretty clear that the legal ramifications of these issues are meant to protect the profits of the corporations who sell products, not the artists who originally created them. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the music industry. First off, let me start by saying that I love my iPod and iTunes. I can carry my entire music collection in my pocket now without having to worry about stacks and stacks of CDs, and if I ever decide I like any other songs, I can just go on iTunes and download it without buying a whole album with maybe 2 or 3 songs I'll ever really listen to, and best of all, it's all 100% legal. But even as I'm enjoying the benefits of being able to do all that now, it bothers me to think what would happen if I ever decided to upgrade my iPod or get a new laptop. What would happen to all my songs? Would I have to go back on iTunes and spend all that money again if I wanted to have them on my new computer? According to the readings for this week, yes I would. First of all "iPod is a roach motel" for music (Steve Jobs' iTunes dance, 2). There's essentially no way for me to back up any of my music files, so if they were ever to disapear off my hard drive for some reason, they're gone for good. This just gives the most rights over to the record companies, not the consumers or even the original artists, who have apparently pleaded with Apple to make their music available without these restrictions, according to the article.

Given the alternative of simply buying all this music on CDs, I really don't see why all these restrictions need to be in place. After all, the record companies have never placed restrictions of where hard copies of their music can be played. I don't need to license separate copies of the same album to play on a portable CD player, on a home theater system, and in the car. With all these restrictions in place, it's almost more like they're letting consumers borrow the music without really letting them own it. Treating all consumers as untrusted parties is the wrong way of thinking, and all it'll do is encourage people to find ways around it. While outright stealing the music is wrong, record companies at least need to account for normal problems the average consumer might encounter owning a music file without constantly looking out for their own interests.

The Web 2.0

Explained in a video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE

Check that out, I like the conclusion.

I Want My Back-up Copies

I think DRM says it all. The intellectual property is stored and distributed in digital form on various media. Who gets paid for creating the intellectual property and who has the rights to enjoy the intellectual property they have purchased? How does the individual that purchased the intellectual property manage the digital property? I know my last sentence doesn’t really fit with the “management? in DRM, but I think it is the key issue - Information Management.

Napster was created because Shawn Fanning, a college freshman had a roommate that always complained that he could never find his MP3 music files and that he wanted to share his music with his friends. I think the key concept was that Shawn’s friend could never find his mp3 music files because they had become unmanageable.

Then came along DVDs and the digital movie files were simply larger than mp3s depending upon how they are ripped. Ripping DVDs to mp4s or other formats take differing amounts of space. However, with cheaper, larger storage devices, storing your personal library of digital movies is no longer an issue other than the original problem Napster tried to solve of course – making it easy to organize the mp3 files – Information Management.

I strongly disagree with Valenti that we should not be allowed to rip our own DVDs (make back-up copies) and manage and enjoy the files as we like for our own private use. In my opinion, the intellectual property is no different than that of computer software that we can copy and use depending upon the license agreement for that software. I also do not agree with his argument of buying a lawn mower and wanting another one if I broke it. If I could create a digital copy of my lawn mower, then yes, I would want to have a back-up copy!

iTune makes it very easy in my opinion to manage several thousand songs (mp3s) or movies (mp4s). I think Steve Jobs is reacting to pressure from consumers to remove DRM on iTunes music. It’s a win win for Apple to do so. Originally DRM certainly helped the explosion of the iPod and iTunes by locking in consumers and Apple could hide behind the record labels saying that DRM was required. Removing iTunes DRM for those individuals that want to pay the extra thirty cents can only help build iTunes sales as well.

Clifford the Big Red Entertainment Industry

If Clifford, the big red dog that he is, ever decided to run when Emily Elizabeth (his young owner) wanted to walk, I doubt she could stop him. He stays with her though, I'm assuming, because she provides him with love, some kind of monster-chow, and a place to live. Not to mention adventures by the dozens. This is getting a little sidetracked by my love for Clifford...let me recontextualize for a second. The analogy is hopefully pretty clear, though I could never come up with one quite as fitting as Mr. Barlow in his "The Next Economy of Ideas" article. And although he seems a bit eager for anarchy on the web, in my opinion, I feel his case was extremely well-supported. I especially liked his notion of selling nouns versus ideas, and the inverse relationship their business models seem to take. It was as if he had anticipated Valenti's argument in this week's featured interview, "If I go down to the hardware store and buy an electric lawn mower and I take it home, and three weeks later my wife runs over it in the driveway, I can't take it back and get a new one. I can't get a backup" he says. And that is true, if you're in the business of selling nouns. Personally, I have always had a problem with the sale of digital music. Quite obviously, it is the direction everything is moving, and who am I to hold on to my nouns?
My main qualm with the disappearance of physical music vehicles (i.e. albums, cassettes, etc) is the malleability of value in digital goods. It would be naive, I feel, to blame this on increasing technology. Rather, it is the application of conventional business models on contemporary services and venues. The internet has torn apart all we know about ownership, so who is Jack Valenti, or now Dan Glickman to hold on to their nouns?
However, getting back to my point, the ability of a business with distribution rights to alter value at whim is what I fear the most about this revolution. Whether or not we're all pirates and whether or not Steve Jobs tries to straddle the fence in tribute to his fanboys and girls, the files are still owned by someone. Someone, more than likely (not, by any means always) with a boatload of cash to sink our ships and desecrate our skull flags. Perhaps the most disturbing quote that rings in my head from this week is the one Krista posted earlier regarding the new, un-DRM'd tracks available on i-tunes. Not the fact that they are free of the nuisance that is DRM, but that fact that they are offered in "a higher quality than the 99-cent tracks." This frightens me because it seems that a song and its digital representation should be altered by the artist and no one else, unless for artistic purposes (I don't want to slam hip-hop artists that sample tracks, or the internet superstars famous for their mashups, I'm all for recycling). Why should a middle-man, like EMI, or the jobber Jobs, be able to alter a product that should, in all rights, be direct communication between the artists and those that choose to listen. Did Shakespeare's benefactors offer his works with some of the poetry slightly marred? Or include King Lear's third daughter for a couple more ducats? Just the fact that Valenti was 82 when he finally retired stands as testament to the established entertainment-industry's distance from its consumer base, or distance, for that matter, from reality.
I truly want to believe Barlow's case for the future, and his declaration that the war is already won, but I have serious fears about the post traumatic stress disorder that will undoubtedly leave the arts and entertainment section of our culture shell-shocked and shaking for awhile.

April 10, 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE

“Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment.? I remember reading this article at the end of 2006 and wondering, “What is Web 2.0?? Unbeknownst to me I would be taking an internet tools course and delving into the true meaning behind Web 2.0, online communities, online alias’, and much more. The words that continue to stand out while reviewing this article are “community and collaboration.? I believe that Web 2.0 is so revolution because it brings people together. People are working together with a form of democracy to bring meaning to words such as Wikipedia and are finding a sense of community through sites such as Facebook and MySpace. YouTube gave individuals the opportunity to communicate further than just text. In the way that the taser video was distributed and overviewed at UCLA individuals have become instant celebrities through online television like The Secret of the Lonely Girl. Behind this article in TIME magazine there was much controversy. The American public thought it was a “cop out? for TIME chosing “you? or us as the people of the year. They believed it should have been a political figure or a top business developer. Nonetheless I think it was a great abstract approach to show the American public appreciation and celebration for collaborating and community.

I believe this online freedom has given people a more detailed approach to expressing themselves. Whether online videos help or hurt music artists is not much of interest to me but the simple fact that people feel more represented and can have a means to clearly express themselves is beneficial. I do believe that events can be over dramatized but feel that video online has positives that outweigh the negatives.

Is Jobs Jobbing us?

Steve Jobs does an excellent job of sitting on a fence. He states that only 3% of the music on the average ipod is purchased from itunes with DRM. How could he be affecting the freedom of the music lover if only 3% of the songs are affected? His reasoning is based on the number of iPods purchased (90 million) and the number of songs purchased through itunes (2 billion songs). What kind of figures would he see if there wasn’t protection on all songs purchased from itunes? Would the figure climb to 10 billion or 20 billion songs? Where is the balancing point for Apple dollars and anti-piracy protection? I think Jobs has done a marvelous job in selling the major studios on his DRM venture even though it isn’t working. It is almost like the ipod is functioning on a different format when it comes to itunes. Look at what happened to the Sony video format of Betamax vs. VHS. I think the industry will shake out and adopt some standards for music.

Our second article in two weeks from John Perry Barlow was again very entertaining. I enjoyed his history references of the masters and their lack of anti-piracy concerns many centuries ago. He states that the future will win and there will be no property in cyberspace. Behold DotCommunism. As formats and technology changes, the rules and regulations have to change too. We are looking at the internet and piracy as if it is something new and different. Valenti references the questions the MPAA had with VCR’s and duplication problems. They believed that the act of copying a VHS tape would kill the motion picture industry. As the industry grew, safeguards were put in place to attempt to protect the creative license of the industry and actors. The internet isn’t any different from the video questions of 30 years ago. We just haven’t solved the problem of piracy yet. Maybe it will become a non-issue. By the time we find a solution, we will be on to the next big technological breakthrough and the internet will be very “has been?.

Too Much of a Good Thing

If this were a recess time baseball game, I would pick Barlow first, and not take Valenti if he were the last man standing. Steve Jobs could play, but he would have to play right field or left bench until he toughened up a bit.

Music is everywhere. People pay for music to add to their iPods, play on the radio (the stations do directly) and add into commercials to help build an atmosphere for the product or service they are selling. But when we can get it free (i.e. the radio, file-sharing programs) why do we pay for it? Personally, I pay just 10-15 cents for music from www.gomusic.ru which is basically the cheaper version of iTunes, but still works on my iPod. I didn't scour the web looking for alternatives to iTunes as Napster and related sharing programs were being shut down, but instead talked to a friend from Sweden who said he had used it ever since he wanted cheaper music. It was not a moral reason for me to not use file-sharing sites, but instead a "I don't want to pay thousands of dollars or get in trouble with the law" reason as I had read the news about the unlucky few who were taken to court by RIAA and lost. There was nothing moral to do with it because I feel I could listen to music on the radio anyway. Yes it is a different order, but music just isn't that valuable in my mind. I do not feel like artists are being at all underpaid when I can see them on MTV's Cribs even AFTER they complain about copyright laws.

The non-commercial use of music is exactly what we did when we would put in a tape and record straight from the radio. The pirate producing thousands of copies of ripped DVDs and CDs without paying a cent is not hurting from the current copyright laws, he can still profit and is a hard-to-catch criminal. The person who hurts is the average American with no intent to reuse the music other than for running or getting through the day by driving up costs to pay for music our already well financed entertainers and labels that is becoming more of a commodity.

One good example of why we shouldn't pay for music is baseball:
Radio and TV: free with commercials, the team makes money, the product reaches a large audience
In person: Even though there are 81 home games many teams are able to make money at each one. This is proof that although the "game" is repeated, the differences in a live performance are worth the money.

I like Barlow's talk of verbs and nouns and the role ethics play into this whole scheme. When you have something useful and give it to people, humans have a natural reciprocity to give back. I learned this in Psych 1001. Sure there are people who have other needs and decide not to, but look at Wikipedia's recent fund drive that raised about $12,000 per day. To me that sounds like quite a success, and it included both $1 donations as well much bigger amounts.

It sounded like Jobs was on the right track, but wasn't saying what he should say. Valenti sounded like he was getting paid a lot of money and trying to keep things how they were so he could keep getting paid a lot of money. I think the EMI-Apple deal will wind up lowering costs of all music as the other companies will have to follow EMI's lead as consumers shift to copyright-free music. I hope that all copyrights are eventually gone, except for the exact blatant copying of another work or product. Things get better faster when people are allowed to simply improve things that are already great.

MINE MINE MINE!!!

First off I wanted to say that I don't really feel that bad for the RIAA and all of their woes over file-sharing programs and copyright infringement. To me, they took an entirely incorrect path by suing everyone who was using file-sharing programs. Instead of attempting to find out what your market is doing as Apple did with Itunes, the RIAA just pushed their customer base away. By using such ruthless tactics, the RIAA had effectively alienated the people who were the source of all their income. I remember when this happened that many of my other friends and I decided to avoid purchasing music cd's for a while until Itunes came around with their song purchasing system. In final, I do not necessarily condone downloading illegal file sharing but I definitely do not agree with the way that the RIAA handled that whole situation. Also, I fully applaud Apple for being a reasonable company and seeing that their customers demanded something and fully supplying it. I find it to be simple economics, consumers found another source besides the RIAA's oligopoly on music and they responded by suing them for it, instead of behaving in free market manners as Apple did. The Victor Hugo quote in the Wired 8.10 article best sums up my beliefs on that matter, "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come".

In a response to DRM I believe that Apple just created this concept to appease the oligopolies (yes, the they own 70% of the market share in the music industry so its hard to argue that they hold unfavorable oligopolistic properties) of the big four when they created the Itunes store. In Job's statement on Apple's website, he even states that Apple, "Apple does not own or control any music itself, it must license the rights to distribute music from others, primarily the 'big four' music companies: Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI." (Jobs 1). I really think Jobs was smart for doing this as it makes the step for consumers switching to Itunes from CD purchases much easier for the big four. While this was largely political and I don't really agree with it, sometimes you need politics sadly as in this case. If Apple hadn't had DRM I think they might have ran into more problems with their Itunes store and possibly the concept might not have even got through. In other words it was a baby step towards what we see with EMI and their introduction of copyright free songs.

If anybody has noticed I think highly of the whole Apple store thing and I again applaud EMI for their introduction of copyright free songs. It is sad that the Beatles, who have already made insane amounts of money in their lifetime are one of the few groups to not allow this. I really don't think this will decrease record companies or recording artists' profits and they just need to learn to have a little faith in the everyday consumer.

I had to end with the quote that Jack Valenti said of the VCR, of which I compare to the current situation with copyrighted music, "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." (Wikipedia). Also note that if you read Wikipedia's article on Jack Valenti after the quote they state that shortly after he stated this (in 1982) the home video industry became the mainstay of movie studio revenues in the 80s. I can give Jack a little credit however with his quote in the PC World article, "If I go down to the hardware store and buy an electric lawn mower and I take it home, and three weeks later my wife runs over it in the driveway, I can't take it back and get a new one. I can't get a backup." (Valenti). That makes a lot of sense but I still feel that these are entirely different industries.

So would there be a difference with the video industry than with the music industry?


I crashed my car...where's my back-up?

First and foremost, that video was hilarious…and so true.

I personally don’t think it is okay to make a back-up copy of a DVD, or anything for that matter. I agree with Valenti’s statement: “Do you know anything else in the country that if something is abused for any reason they'll give you a backup? If I go down to the hardware store and buy an electric lawn mower and I take it home, and three weeks later my wife runs over it in the driveway, I can't take it back and get a new one. I can't get a backup.? Just because it is easy to make a copy of something doesn’t mean it is okay to do so. You run the risk when you purchase anything that something could happen to it, if you run over your lawn mower you will have to either buy a new one or PAY to repair it. If something happens to your DVD you should have to pay to replace it. Maybe people should just be a little more careful with there possessions?

I like the idea that for a higher price iTunes customers can purchase an EMI song that does not have a DRM (EMI-Apple pen deal to sell songs). This way the people who feel like they are being tied down to the MP3 player they currently have can rest easy. If in the future they purchase a different brand MP3 player they will be able to keep their music library. According to Jobs “under 3% of the music on the average iPod is purchased from the iTunes store and protected with a DRM.? I agree with Jobs that it seems a bit silly to think people are feeling locked into buying from only that provider in the future. I personally don’t have an MP3 player and don’t download music online; I still buy CDs to support the artist I like.

April 9, 2007

Secrets of the DeadHeads

The video was very interesting. Was that music in a number of shows from the late 60’s to early 70’s? The first show that came to mind was “I Dream of Jeannie?…I may be way off since my memory for television & movies is poor. Or, was I just influenced by Barlow’s question of “Is the genie out of the bottle?? (page 2)

I, like a previous poster, was not impressed by Jack Valenti’s interview. He has some good points and I imagine that to gain lobbying ground, it is better to push for stricter laws. I was not aware of the VCR issues (“unhappily, by a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court said no .? As a consumer though, I do think I have the right to make a back up legally, whether it is software, music, or a movie. Yes, if I bought a lawnmower and someone ran over it, I don’t have a backup. But, I do have the option of repairing it.

The DRM issue sounds like a corporate fight without regards to the artists making the music. The music company wants to make a profit as well as Apple. I believe Job’s statement “DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.? As a consumer, I should not be locked into one type of device to play music I legally purchased. If the CD is purchased from a retailer, I have the option of playing and downloading that song to any device I own. Why can’t I do that if purchase it from iTunes or Microsoft? “Apple doesn’t sell music because of DRM—it sells music in spite of DRM,? is a great summary statement. Personally I don’t buy music online or even download it (I actually purchase CDs). My kids’ friends don’t do that. They do a more P2P thing. They’ll each buy a different CD and then pass it around to whoever wants a copy. They find it’s faster and easier than downloading from the Internet. Others just get if from the P2P sites. Like Doctorow writes, many people have their iPods full of the 10,000 songs. How many spent $9,900 (or even half) for those songs? I would venture to say very few. Which leads me to wonder, how many people will truly pay more for a DRM-free song (from the EMI Group article). The analysts say “lifting the restrictions could boost sales of online music, which currently account for around 10 percent of global music sales.? I don’t think the increase will be that much. Most consumers of music are young and don’t necessarily have the money (or want to spend the money) to pay for music. This is especially true when there are P2P sites where music is free and downloadable. As Barlow writes “…there were kids who don’t give a flying byte about the existing legal battlements, and a lot of them possess decryption skills sufficient to easily crack whatever lame code the entertainment industry might wrap around “its? goods.? Besides, “free access increases it, and should be encouraged rather than stymied.? “It? can mean music as well as software. Artists are aware of this concept. Get their product out in the public so it is recognized. Consumers can’t copy the experience of going to a concert, buying a T-shirt or other items. Barlow tells us this experience of taped concerts and the filling of auditoriums with lots of Deadheads. Maybe the Grateful Dead and their followers should be given more credit....they both seem to be in a win-win situation.

fair use?

Mills asked an interesting question in his comment on Nicole’s post:

Being a photographer, what would you feel about people using an image that you shot as a personal background?

The backgrounds on my computer and my phone are pieces I found on websites maintained by artists I like. This is the phone:

Phone "desktop"

The squid is by R. Stevens, who creates the webcomic Diesel Sweeties. His site explicitly said it was okay to use this as a background or icon.

White MacBook desktop

This critter is from one of Steven Burke’s several art sites — all of which state “all rights reserved.”. I enjoy the piece, I don’t publicly display it, I don’t profit from it, and when people occasionally ask me what it is I point them toward his work. He’s gained a tiny bit more traffic because of it, and perhaps one of those people will tell someone else who might commission a work for actual money.

So the questions for you folks are: Is my use of this piece a violation of copyright law? Am I morally wrong to use this piece as a background? (Take note: those are not necessarily the same question.)

April 8, 2007

Facebook + TV = New Reality Series?

As I was watching TV this weekend and relaxing, I saw a commercial for a new reality TV series that MTV (I believe) and Facebook is now taking videos for. This series is called Facebook Diaries, and people send in this video about a life in a day for them and viewers then vote on which video, or person they would want to see on this show. Feel free to check out the website at www.facebook.com/diaries. Thought it was very interesting how now Facebook is choosing a different channel to target to.

Casting Calls via PodCast?

I was reading through one of my magazines and noticed that "casting calls" aren't necessarily done via face-to-face auditions or mailed in videos (way too old fashioned I guess). This particular ad from Lifefitness calls participants via a pod cast....Podfitness.com/castingcall. Interesting and most likely less time- and money-consuming for Lifefitness. Is this new or am I just late noticing?

April 6, 2007

example of Wikipedia vandalism

Wikipedia vandalism

Here’s an example of vandalism to the “Plato” page. To view in a readable size, click here.

random relevant news items

The MPAA names its Top 25 movie piracy schools. UMN didn’t make the list.

Creative Commons charts the growth of CC licensing on Flickr over the last eleven months. Up. Way up.

An extensive piece in New York Magazine about the Viacom v. Google suit.

The “first” iPod virus has been spotted. Most of you don’t need to worry about this, since it only affects Linux machines. And secondly, this is not the first iPod virus. A number of video iPods shipped with a factory-loaded Windows virus last September.

April 5, 2007

Sweet! Whats yours is mine!

Well this going to be short blog because my entire blog was deleted....well about 30 seconds ago. The idea of intellectual property seems to be such a sensitive case for many people. You posed the question, "What if lots of people are working on the same project or using parts of other projects to make their own original work?" I am not sure how one could call something there own original work if they are just piecing together a collaboration of ideas from many others into something they put together and call it there own. Barlow made very accurate statement about these original ideas, "Thus, the rights of invention and authorship adhered to activities in the physical world. One didn't get paid for ideas, but for the ability to deliver them into reality. For all practical purposes, the value was in the conveyance and not in the thought conveyed." This happens all the time in our world. I might not call something my own original, but if I am the person who put the idea into action and start reaping benefits from it, then so be it. You are responsible for putting your own unique niche into affect. The problems that are on the rise though because of the crazy growth from the net is that free information is limitlessly at our fingertips. As Barlow states, "The Third Wave is likely to bring a fundamental shift in the purposes and methods of law which will affect far more than simply those statutes which govern intellectual property." We are dealing with the need to develop a new completely redefined set of rules or laws that need to be considered quite hastily. The third wave isn't just arriving, its here. We have already been hit!
What i posted to wikipedia was not my original idea. I have a broad knowledge base about what I posted on turbos because I have learned these things from others intellectual properties and now have shared them. The problem that i can see as being a persistent issue as the net grows and more people are jacked into it is that people will just start claiming information as there own. I appreciate what Barlow commented on that all hope is not lost he stated, "In most cases, control will be based on restricting access to the freshest, highest bandwidth information. It will be a matter of defining the ticket, the venue, the performer, and the identity of the ticket holder, definitions which I believe will take their forms from technology, not law." The intellectual property that is flowing over the net will be placed in order from valued highest to lowest. Law might not have anything to do with how intellectual property is defined because it is so hard to draw up a concrete case that someone stole someone else's intellectual property rights over the net.

parody, interpretation, or theft?

I found this blog of examples of businesses copying street art/independent designers' images without crediting the source: You thought we wouldn’t notice.

And here's one specifically about Urban Outfitters "re-interpreting" others' designs and selling them:
Urbancounterfeiters

Finally we have this article , about Banksy and Dangermouse altering and restocking Paris Hilton CDs.

Are these violations of intellectual property rights? Is it more acceptable to use someone else's idea if it's for art's sake, or for making money? Or are they equally wrong (or not wrong)?

I said it first!

Intellectual Property, as this week's readings have described, is a growing concern for many individuals. How are we supposed to give credit where credit is due if we are unable to limit the usage of our creations. The answer, I believe, will not be found using our current sociological system. Capitilism is about creating enterprise and oppurtunity through your own or combined works. The credit is given to the individual and therefore the individual is rewarded monitarily. I don't deny that individuals should receive credit for their own works. However, as my college days have shown me, we are all in this world together. The creation of the internet and the ability of intellectual property to be spread throughout the world in a blink of an eye sheds light on a new coming of age. Global expansion has given many countries the opportunity to create growing economies and with that, increased knowledge. We need to look at the use and recreation of our intellectual property as a way to better our own quality of life. Yes, someone may elaborate on your budding idea, or someone may remake your invention. But, if that helps in lifting one man up from the depths of poverty, who could deny that it isn't for good.

Is it possible to have a original idea anymore?

In regards to “intellectual property? and the Internet, I agree with Barlow that we will have to “develop an entirely new set of methods as befits this entirely new set of circumstances.? “Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted, or expanded to contain digitized expression? (Barlow). It’s hard to say what “intellectual Property? means when you are participating in collaborative work online, such as what we did on Wikipedia. Theoretically, the minute you write something down it is yours, you own it. But when working in a collaborative setting when people are constantly changing, adding to, deleting, and/or editing your work online does it then who owns that work? I am an amateur photographer and there I have certain photographs I won’t put online. I don’t want someone to take my image and change it into their own work. However, in the long run this decision may hurt me as a photographer. It is becoming more and more popular and common for photographers to put their profiles online so people can see their work to either buy it or decide if they want to use that photographer. The only way to try to deter people from taking your images is to splash text over your image stating “this image belongs to…? which can take away from the image and defeat the purpose of having it online for people to see.

I really like the idea of Creative Commons. I am now very curious to find out more about it. I really hope this is utilized more in the future. I think if the creator is willing to share their work with other people than it should be available for their use. I personally do not download music online, but I think it should be up to the artist, not the record label if the music is available online for free download.

“It can be that easy when you skip the intermediary.?

Wow! This week is, by far, the most interesting group of readings we have read (in my opinion of course!) I really never think about how the Internet creates such a dilemma for so many artists, writers, musicians, professors and other professionals. For example, the book Bound By Law can be found online at http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/digital.html. Wasn’t this a textbook that we were to purchase? Why would I pay money when I can get it for free online?
Even though I think intellectual property rights are important and should be respected, I do not know a solution (better than CC) for those who want to protect their work. Because, even with CC those creating a work still have to check every single work they want to use to see what rights are reserved and which are not. As well, what if you come up with an idea that you think is yours, but someone else already thought of it and “CC?ed it or even “C?ed it. Barlow hit the nail on the head with “If our property can be infinitely reproduced and instantaneously distributed all over the planet without cost, without our knowledge, without its even leaving our possession, how can we protect it?? The answer or solution maybe in the videos I watched about CC, but I do not think enough people know about this and there will always be individuals who do not know they are using someone else’s idea. Likewise, there are also those individuals who just pretend like none of this is happening. Again, Barlow hits it right on with “Legal efforts to keep the old boat floating are taking three forms: a frenzy of deck chair rearrangement, stern warnings to the passengers that if she goes down, they will face harsh criminal penalties, and serene, glassy-eyed denial.? I love the serene, glassy-eyed denial. Managing this effort is a bear and I don’t think enough politicians are actively involved or care enough about it.
I don’t download music myself, but I do know people who use limewire or other programs to download music. It just doesn’t seem right to them to pay a dollar or more for a song when it is free somewhere else! Obviously this logic is bad because they are still stealing, but when it is so anonymous online, it doesn’t feel as wrong.
I think collaborative work is so great and wouldn’t want the threat of breaching copyright laws to stop individuals from sharing their thoughts. It is my firm belief that the Internet is where shy people can work together more freely because of the anonymity, access to so much information and ideas, and ability to communicate quickly. The creative commons videos cracked me up, but I like the quote that went something like “we can stand on the shoulders of our peers. Like I stated before, this helps the collaboration process. The other tagline was something like from Creative Commons was “It can be that easy when you skip the intermediary.? The middleman is so unnecessary in this IP battle and CC is probably the best solution to it. Creative Commons has created a solution (although not perfect) to avoid the government’s copyright policies. Remember, “If a C is like a red light, a CC is like a green light.?

since you brought it up...

Since Kelly mentioned the Vanilla Ice copyright scandal from way back in the day, I’ve dug up the videos for you. The similarity of the intros should be pretty immediately obvious once you start playing them.

The immortal “Ice Ice Baby”:

“Born Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie:

(This is such a flashback to my 9th grade year!)

April 4, 2007

creative commons: copyright's cool younger sister

I think that on a collectively authored thing like Wikipedia, a contributor is knowingly putting their work out there with the expectation that people are going to use, alter, and benefit from it without compensation. My sense is also that if these authors were capable of/interested in trying to make money from their writing, they would pursue that rather than writing for a wiki.

Copyright seems to be used mostly to protect profit rather than motivate creativity. How strange that there was not an easy way to opt-out of this before Creative Commons, the assumption being that every creator wants to profit from, or take credit for everything s/he does. The only similar thing I’ve seen is in zines (little homemade magazines); sometimes authors put an anti-copyright sign on the inside cover. Creative commons does a good job of publicizing the idea that it’s okay to not make a buck at every possible opportunity. As a character in Bound By Law explains, “Demanding payment for every use can hinder the very creativity that copyright is supposed to encourage.? (Aoki p.58)

Barlow tells us that the digital age has changed the way we ought to think about "owning" information. He argues that old intellectual property laws are neither sensible nor enforceable (since they’re centered around the physical manifestation of ideas rather than the ideas themselves), and that an entirely new set of laws is what’s needed to protect/ support "soft" products. Barlow points out that freely-moving information can be just as lucrative, if not more so, than tightly controlled information: “Information that isn't moving ceases to exist as anything but potential...at least until it is allowed to move again…The practice of information hoarding… is an especially wrong-headed artifact of physically based value systems.? (The Economy of Ideas p.6)

Who is protecting the wine?

Hi everybody. Unfortunately I do not yet have a copy of Bound by Law, so I am going to have to punt this week. Luckily, Mr. Barlow's article is coherent enough to make sense of some law for me, which is no small miracle.

As the article suggested, the problem with copyright law and the Internet is that both are moving at different paces. I thought the analogy of using real estate law to protect broadcasting was a good one. (p.2, Barlow) Some copyright law has never really worked well for the creators--witness Barlow's comments on ASCAP and radio royalties, " I can assure you this is not a model that we should emulate.The monitoring methods are wildly approximate. It really doesn't work. Honest."

So obviously, some rethinking needs to be done, and apparently has been done even since this article was written. In our discussions of Web 2.0, it seems like new mediums are being developed all the time. New sites for blog creation, My Space etc. Who owns the information on a blog page then? The site provider or the blogger? Is the blogger the wine and the site provider the bottle? (p. 3 Barlow) The writer of a popular blog however, always has the power to stop creating product, however.

I think in considering intellectual protection, the norms and practices of everyday people should be taken into account, as Barlow mentions, like common law. Do we read the fine print or ignore it? Is it our impulse to share software, or to obey the package warnings? (I think the answer to this is obvious, since we are seeing less and less 'physical' software and more downloading from the Internet. I received a new version of Adobe for Professionals at work, and the whole process was done online--try copying that!)

I like the idea of a commons, as we have been discussing all semester--that is what the Internet is really about for many people. When there is a lot of collaboration, who owns the product (if there is one)? In film, television, and theater there is a tremendous amount of collaboration, with each participant (actor, director, screenwriter) being paid up front. The studio owns the film in the end, though. In theater, since there is no physical 'final product' more ownership goes to the creators (playwrite, composer). If there is money to be had in collaborating on the Internet, you can bet there will be a conflict, and soon.

It seems funny to me that some bloggers end up wriitng books. Is the physical manifestation of the blog the only way a bogger can get paid? Historically, the Internet seems to be following the model of the physical world--those who invent the application--be it eBay, My Space, etc, make the money, while those who populate the application are the true 'creators' of it. So it has been for writers. Screenwriters are notoriously underpaid, even when the material is an original story. Writers have to work hard at protecting work.

That is why a site like Triggerstreet intrigues me. This site asks people to submit screenplays for critiques and ratings. Some people can submit short films. Screenwriters are continuously warned NOT to share ideas with others, in case they are stolen. Does that affect the material on the site--are people not posting their best efforts? Who owns the material once it is on the site?

In thinking about the law and the Internet, we would be well served (no pun intended) to remember that computers have long memories. Deleted and forgotten e-mail can be harvested from hard drives. Maybe there is a way that the Internet can use this memory for protective service. Maybe streaming or satellite radio does a better job of paying songwriters, for example.

I got your rights right here...

The idea of ownership on the internet is mind boggling as Barlow points out. The root of the problem however comes down to greed. Most of the content on the internet is written with the simple hope that someone will read it. With distributed authorship and Web 2.0 taking over what we read, it is only natural for something such as the Creative Commons license to come about. Anything else would be nearly impossible to manage. And when it comes down to it, most people don't care who is reading or using their work until they discover the ability to make money from it. Very few think about copyright until they already see their work being used elsewhere. It is in my opinion that if you don't know or care enough explicitly say that your work is copyrighted than you really have no right to expect money from it down the line. If you don't see the potential for profit enough to add a simple line of text, chances are no one else does either. If someone comes along later and puts extra work into what you started to make it a money making venture, then you must have missed and opportunity and well.....people miss opportunities every day. Suing someone who happens to see potential that you didn't, even enough to type one sentence, is not a way to make up for lack of ingenuity.

When I started making web sites, I would add to the bottom of each page "©". This was a move to simply protect myself from the consequences of doing nothing. I have never had a client EVER ask me to be sure to preserve their copyrights on content they create but I don't want to find myself in the middle of America's favorite pastime, litigation.

On to the topic of music. The copyright battles going on over recorded music right now are what is really killing the record industry. No matter what stats they flash around or how many subpoenas they hand out claiming to protect the work of the artist, the bottom line remains that they only care about their bottom line. They are alienating both their customers and their talent. The internet is finally making it possible for an artist to get their music heard without having to sell out to a label to pay for CD production and distribution. Artists know that what drives profits is buzz and a fan base. The best way to build both is get music out there for people to hear. I think there are enough decent people in the world who realize that if they want to hear more music they like, the artist needs to get paid. The world is changing and the record companies are in the past. Instead of changing with the times they are clinging to the past in the courtroom.

Mine, Yours, Ours?

I agree with Barlow when he states, "We will need to develop an entirely new set of methods as befits this entirely new set of circumstances." (In reference to the Internet and intellectual property.)

We need to throw out the old law books and start making new laws to mediate intellectual conflicts on and because of the Internet.

The government seems to be open in doing this, appointing a specific committee, The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, to handle Internet issues.
(http://judiciary.house.gov/committeestructure.aspx?committee=3)

In recent news, MaryBeth Peters stood in front of the committee in hopes to reform Section 115 of the Copyright Act.
She states, "the reform of the digital music licensing system is the most important music issue currently before Congress."
(http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat032207-1.html)

Congress might be at a standstill with some of it's laws- but other companies are finding solutions.
Creative Commons is be headed in the right direction, creating an alternative 'copyright' "to build a layer of reasonable, flexible copyright in the face of increasingly restrictive default rules." (CC website). As a side note, I wish all informational videos were that entertaining to watch.

BitLaw is a comprehensive Internet resource on technology law, covering subjects such as patent, copyright, trademark, and Internet legal issues. BitLaw was developed locally by Beck and Tysver, a law firm in Minneapolis. (www.bitlaw.com)

Finally, if you Google 'internet intellectual property solutions", a whole bevy of websites come up to help people learn about their rights in the digital age.

It will be interesting to see how our laws will evolve because of the Internet, maybe we'll turn into some sort of Uptopian society where no one cares anymore...nah probably not.

I wrote that online....didn't I?

Sharing images online from various different sources should be thought of differenlty as intellectual property rights. I'm sure if it was a picture of you or me and it was used in a bad way or in a way that could hurt us or to make money off of us then we would be worried. Then we would think more about what pictures we use and take off the net. I believe that there needs to be some kind of line drawn. However, in cyberspace, that's virtually impossible.

I personally haven't bought a cd since 1999, so 7 years now. I use a pay site to get my music or have my friends make me cd's. Do I think this is wrong? A little, if I was an artist I would be a little mad, but how much is actually being copied and shared without paying for it? Instead of an artist selling 2.5 million copies, they may sell 2.3 million copies. They are still going to be able to put food on the table. Buying music the old way is out these days and the norm will be to just make your own cd's. Which I see happening more and more everyday, or even people using there mp3 players where ever they go. Now you really don't need to buy cd's.

I believe that if lots of people are working on a project, website, blog or anything online, intellectual property needs to be shared. It's a tricky thing online, I mean anyone can use anyone elses information, change it up a bit, add to it and then call it there own. It's pretty impossible to give people credit where credit is due online. The Walker article had a good quote about this, "That doesn't mean we don't have to worry about regulating access to those resources. The question is, How do you create enough incentive to produce that resource if everybody can take it without paying for it? That's where excludability becomes important. Once I give a bit of information to the world, it's hard for me to exclude anybody from getting access to that information." (Walker, 1).

If I put something out on the Internet, it can be shared all over the world instantaneously. Someone could cut up what I wrote and change the whole meaning of what I was trying to say about a point I was trying to make. And when it comes back to me, I wouldn't even know who wrote it. It's a big game of telephone that we played as kids, it's just gotten grown up! The Barlow article gives a good insight into this, "I refer to the problem of digitized property. The enigma is this: If our property can be infinitely reproduced and instantaneously distributed all over the planet without cost, without our knowledge, without its even leaving our possession, how can we protect it? How are we going to get paid for the work we do with our minds? And, if we can't get paid, what will assure the continued creation and distribution of such work? (Barlow, 1).

Pandora's Box

We are approaching a Pandora’s box with intellectual rights. This isn’t a new phenomenon that we are facing but it is becoming unmanageable with the current distribution system available. In the ‘60’s and ‘70’s I copied my albums onto reel to reel and cassette tapes. The reel to reel provided 4-6 hours of continuous music while the cassettes offered portability. We didn’t pay an additional fee to copy the music and the artists lost revenue from missed cassette sales. In the late 70’s I worked for K-Tel records. At the time they were the 3rd largest record company in the world and they made their money in licensed compilations from original artists. Every 4th quarter they had sales in excess of 10 million records. The rights for each song were negotiated with the artists for a period of two years. It was a very profitable time for the company at the time.

Flash forward 30 years later and we have access to almost every song on the internet, some free and some for a modest price. Are the artists compensated? How many copies are available for the $.99? Are the musicians compensated or are the fees going to a holding company that has purchased the music catalog from the artist?

I enjoyed the article by John Perry Barlow and his experience as a lyricist for the Grateful Dead. I think the ability to increase revenue by offering Dead music for free is a unique situation. Not many bands compared to the Grateful Dead in a live concert atmosphere and their history is magical. I don’t think many other bands could see the same success as the Dead.

Barlow’s comment about information being like farm produce (page 9) is a novel way to categorize our current situation. Most information is perishable unless it is used when it is fresh. Barlow also talks about the physical aspect of information. If you can hold it and regulate the dissemination, you are in control. But now information is a fluid product. It can be reproduced and distributed without ever leaving the creators possession. Where are the stopgaps and regulations? Can we even monitor and regulate the intellectual property on the internet? I think there will be many changes in the next few years for intellectual law.

I edit video using Avid software on a PC. I know I should be Mac oriented for any creative endeavors but I am too old and too PC entrenched to change. Avid has an anti-piracy system that prevents the ability to easily to reproduce their software platform. In order to use their software, you have to attach a “fob? to a USB port on the computer. It is like a physical key to enable the software. I think it would be difficult to duplicate the hardware for the key unless you broke the fob and duplicate the hardware. I am also sure they have plenty of safeguards to protect their hardware and software.

Computer software and music are only the tip of the iceberg. The waters are getting murkier and murkier.

CONFUSION in the world of Copyright!

The Internet has opened the doors to many opportunities for all its’ users. We are now able to do, what the unthinkable was 10-15 years ago, by simply connecting on to the Internet. The information one can obtain is endless. However, where do you draw the line of what is intellectual property and fair game? I think this distinction has become more difficult to define as the Internet has become so endless with its’ capabilities.

I know that throughout my highschool and college experience, I’ve been told over and over again by my teachers to “site your sources, and give credit to the person who’s ideas you use that aren’t your own?. Copyright has always been a very confusing matter for me. It’s difficult to determine, in my opinion, what is classified as copyright work and what is not. The clip on “Creative Work? helped to clarify the matter for me a bit clearer. In this clip, it discussed how complex copyright became in 1980, when laws were passed which claimed that works become copyrighted automatically, the moment that they are made. Hence, any scribbling done on a cocktail napkin, is copyright work; the moment the individual places the pen down. These laws made it more difficult for individuals to know how to allow other users to use their work. That is when creative commons was developed. Creative commons was developed to complement copyright. Basically it allows co-authorship to take place. What I took from this is that every piece of information posted on the Internet, in books, on napkins, etc is copyright work. Fair game is what is referred to as creative common. However, when someone comes up with an idea, and doesn’t put it in writing, how is one to justify if that idea is copyright or not? I think this is where things begin to become too complex and confusing.

However, it becomes unclear to me where you draw the line of “intellectual property? when you are on an online forum such as Wikipedia. Obviously, there has to be some leeway as to what is considered copyright material on this site, since anyone and everyone is allowed to edit any particular subject or topic. I think that if a site wants their materials to be copyrighted, they should use some of this built-in copy protection system that you are unable to interfere with, as Lessig mention in his interview.

MP3 downloading sites, in my opinion, definitely are jeopardizing the artist’s work and “intellectual property?. However, I think that there needs to be some regulation, made from a legal standpoint, to stop this from happening. It would take far to long to try and fine, every individual downloading free music; therefore, they need to start by going after the people that are creating these sites, for thousands of users to exchange music.

A whole new Ball Game

The internet has definitely caused a lot of chaotic matter when it comes to copyrighted materials. I think that John Barlow summed it up perfectly in his introduction of, “… everything you know about intellectual property is wrong,? because it has chanced so much over the past years due to the internet. Now-a-days, when people want to find information, the internet is for many, the number one place to search. But, as we all know, this is not limited to text based information, but rather all sorts of different types of intellectual materials. MP3 files have caused a lot of chaos within the music industry within the past five years. Today, when people hear a song on the radio that they like, instead of going to buy the album that they know the song is on, they download it off the internet instead. I know that on a personal level, it has completely changed the way that I value music. I haven’t bought a CD since my 7th grade year in school. Since then, I have continued to find ways to download music for free. While this is technically illegal and even seeing as I’m usually a law abiding citizen, I have no problem downloading music for free, simply because everyone does it. If I were the only one who had MP3 files on the internet, it might be a different story. But instead, in comparison to others, I have a minimal MP3 downloading record in comparison to others. I agree with Barlow’s comment that, “The source of this conundrum is as simple as its solution is complex. Digital technology is detaching information from the physical plane, where property law of all sorts has always found definition.? It’s a completely different ball game.

In terms of Wikipedia, I feel that people should realize that it is collaborative material without even having to read the fine print. They are contributing to the definition of something, and should expect that to possibly be re-used by other people in the future. However, there are other areas of the copyright business that are much more complicated in terms of having no distinct boundaries. For example, when people are doing collaborative work online, who gets the credit? If this blog that we write into every week suddenly became a huge hit for some reason, who would reap the profits it created? Would it be split between all of the contributors equally, or would Krista receive it all because she prompted us with the questions? And then it could even become more complicated as to who owned the material after that? Although I know that this situation would never happen, there are other similar copyright problems such as throughout the internet. I found that the movie we watched on creative commons was very interesting, but for some reason, I do not feel that it will completely take off. I just don’t think that business will take the time and necessary effort in order to make the work accessible for others to use.

Wikiliving

Wow, lawyers get really creative. After going through everything throughly, because I was honestly interested, I came up with two things:
1. I am happy this class is "educational" otherwise I do not know how I could possibly defend my current ideas for my upcoming final project (I know, the ideas are protected, but I'm talking about the completed ideas).
2. Could a lawyer sue a lawyer for copyright infringement for infringing on his or her copyright of a previously argued copyright case? I quickly Googled something similar (minus the extra complications) but haven't found anything about a lawyer being sued for mimicking another's argument.

After I made it through all the material, things are little clearer. I had always wondered how documentaries and shows like the Colbert Report got away with what they did. While I am opposed to the current laws that seem to revolve around Disney extensions of historical story tales, it is great to see that we still live in a nation where we can be satirical and criticize.

Personally I feel intellectual property is anything that can be used to create more knowledge. As Barlow explains:

Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted, or expanded to contain digitized expression any more than real estate law might be revised to cover the allocation of broadcasting spectrum (which, in fact, rather resembles what is being attempted here).

Whatever your definition of intellectual property is, it is wrong if used for the digital world. In the past, copying a quality picture literally meant finding the original or negative, and making a copy using photography equipment. This process was both time consuming, and the product was closer to the author. Now that we have digital video, pictures, and sound (along with text, graphics, etc.) it can take seconds for this media to get half way around the world and back again, with the author possibly never knowing it was taken.
I had heard a few excerpts about Creative Commons before, but their idea helps create more intellectual property. OpenSource software has been one of the great successes in the technology sector, serving as a public participant in many markets competing against the best of the web-browsers, email organizers and document creators, and doing very well. Mozilla is a great example of this, and I currently use it's web browser Firefox.

What is interesting to me is this concept of what kind of developments societies go through. In agrarian societies everyone worked together to help each other out so much as possible. It was the perfect kind of communism if done right, where everyone did their own work to contribute to the community. Then the American Industrial Revolution came around, we had to create the New Deal to reset our structure for helping our citizens. People seemed to distance themselves from each other (every man for himself), and we ended up with people suing each other for borrowing or even at times improving on what they did. While these protections are needed for the creators of works, it would not have happened in the agrarian societies. Then the digital world came, and now we have cross-cultural merging and re-creation of programs as they mature. We are now dealing with this cross culture of people trying to help each other, but fighting against the government, the system, the "man".

What I'm getting at is that I think Lessig hits it dead on. OpenSource is great, but filled with a bunch of "political slugs". We live in a world of extremes, and I think we can see this in this digitally-collaborative world. Those that are politically involved, generally spend too much time on policy and do not have enough of the best ideas. Many of the people that have great ideas, don't spend any time to talk to people about it.

I am looking forward to these next few weeks. Looking at the court cases near the end of "Bound By Law?" makes me glad I'm having a class on this now, and not learning about it through a lawsuit.

Copy... what???

After reading all of the articles on copywriting, I received a huge headache because of so many different steps I should say that one has to follow in order to be able to use someone else’s picture or “idea? either on a website, research paper, or other types of media. I thought it was interesting that the short movie “Creative Commons: Get Creative? stated that as soon as your pick up your pencil from a cocktail napkin, you own those dootles. When reflecting about that statement, I always assumed that it was “your napkin? but for a case to happen in order for the copyright company to have to determine that, boggles my mind. What was so important on that napkin, in which you had to make a law stating that it was yours?

Like every teacher, many of them tell us that you can use other peoples work as long as you give them credit where credit is deserved. For the most part, in all papers, we all know that you take a quote from someone, you obviously do not get into contact with the specific person who wrote that, because at times it would be nearly impossible, so instead you cite where you found the information and the details of the specific article, paper, or picture.

When I was reading about “mashups?, it reminded me of one of my favorite artists from when I was younger, Vanilla Ice. I remember there was a big to do because one of his beats that he took for his hit single “Ice, Ice Baby? had his background sound very similar to another beat from another artist. However, he never got sued because he added ONE extra beat to the rhythm therefore making it his own. It is a really horrible position to be in when you are the underdog, but I feel as though there is nothing that you can do except to get over it because most of the times they DID change it, but many times it is ever so slightly, but it is enough for them to claim it their own. When watching the movie, “Creative Commons: Get Creative? if The White Stripes did not give verbal consent like they supposedly did, I do not feel as though it was right because the new band clearly took vocals from the original band.

It is very hard to put a copyright on an idea. With many other copyrights such as medicine or products, there is a tangible item that the companies can say they own that particular item. However, with ideas it is very hard to copyright that. I personally, have a peer of mine trying to copyright a method of marketing and is in the process of formally copyrighting it and talking with Apple and other big corporations to see if it would work which is very interesting to hear what the process is that he has to go through in order to successfully copyright and patent his idea.

The mess of the copyright

I had a class about copyright laws last year and I did not imagine it would be so complicated. I have to admit I forgot half of it right now, but I was amazed by the number of different cases and the precision with which everything is planned (after all, it is of course normal and reassuring).
Reading the article, I remembered about the difficulty of that class and that our teacher told us that many details change in different countries. With Internet, the notion of countries is so flouted that I wonder how this can work. If a French person breaks a copyright of an American brand, will he be judged under the French law or this American one? (I actually don't know, and the teacher told that these kind of conflicts can last years just because of fights between lawyers.

Before getting into the articles and the CC website, I was thinking that every laws concerning these subjects should be actualised because many of them were written such a long time ago. If everything did not change, I was happy to see the principle of Creative Commons and that people try to deal with the new technologies in an interesting way, and not always trying to repress more and more Internet users. A domain where the changes have affected very much an industry is music and I think that this industry should completely re-think its way of functionning instead of blaming and threatening people online. I don't want to get to deep into this because I think we'll talk about it next week.

Anyway, I don't have the answer of how the copyright should evolve in the future but I strongly believe that many laws should be adapted to the new technologies, and people should start realizing that Internet is not only a threat to the products they invented but also a great way to involve them, collectively.

Such Complicated Protections!

Where to start? After going through all the readings and the video, I am amazed at how complicated the protection and regulation of intellectual property is. Although there are laws that help protect an artist from having their works stolen without permission, the artists have to equally show consideration to whatever idea or pictures or videos that they use in their own creations. While there are some situations where it's OK to show someone else's material if it was not intentional, there are other situations where you must "clear the rights" for use of material if you intended to add it to your work (Aoki, Boyle, Jenkins). I found that the authors of Bound by Law? did an excellent job explaining how the whole system works. I'll have to read it about 50 more times to get it all straight, but it was great.

I enjoyed the story of the artist Tom Forsythe. An artist, Forsythe was taken to court by the Mattel Corporation because they didn't like his artistic renderings of Barbie which were in fact legal. Forsythe had the right to present Barbie in the context of parody. Mattel's lawyers obviously knew this but their aim was to apply pressure on Forsythe. Legal representation is expensive and many people in this situation would have to settle for fear of bankruptcy. I was happy to read that the Judge saw through this scheme and threw out the case. He even ordered Mattel to pay for Forsythe's legal expenses (Aoki, Boyle, Jenkins). How great is that?

I have heard many a story of a powerful person or corporation that sues someone to simply apply financial pressure. They know that their case is weak but they are able to either keep the case tangled in the legal system or scare the person into settling because they fear financial ruin. My friend's boss experienced this first hand. He owns a boat dealership and also does a lot of service work on boats. A big-shot lawyer had brought his boat in to have some work done. After the work was completed, the lawyer claimed that the dealership had damaged his boat. The boss checked and found that the damage was present when the boat arrived. The lawyer then tried to intimidate the boss by saying, "Do you know how deeply I could sue you?" That's an abuse of power if I've ever seen it. It's heartening to see that there is some protection from such monsters.

In regards to what happens to someone's creation after it’s uploaded to the internet, I am confused. I think that a person's works should definitely be protected, but what happens when someone in a different country uses those works without permission? That seems to be quite a murky situation. John Perry Barlow description of this situation fits well. He states that, "In cyberspace, no national or local boundaries contain the scene of a crime and determine the method of its prosecution; worse, no clear cultural agreements define what a crime might be."

China is a great example. I worked for a company that produces power generators. A competitor of this company decided to outsource the production of one of its generators to a contract manufacturer in China. At the time, Chinese companies were (without permission) shamelessly copying anything they could get their hands on. Someone over in China decided to copy the competitor’s generator and sell it for themselves. I’m sure our competitor was not pleased.

The ownership of the content that people create online on various websites is also a touchy issue. In a recent paper of mine, I wrote about that famous website/corporation known as Yahoo!. As the Yahoo! Corporation grew, they bought up new web services that would complement their web site. Users of the acquired web sites took issue with the Yahoo! Corporation’s practice of changing the relevant terms of service. After taking over a service, Yahoo! would claim intellectual property rights on the content of their servers (Answers.com. History of Yahoo!).

This makes me think twice about what I upload or create online. If I get into writing on these nifty blogs, or if I upload my precious photos to any site, I want to make sure that I own that media.


Skipping the Intermediaries?

It sounds to me that the current rules for intellectual ownership take rights away from the original creator as well as anyone who might want to use that work. Obviously, we don't want a system where anyone can just take anyone else's ideas and use them however they want since we'd reach a point where integrity doesn't exist and no one could be sure if all those random ideas out there were original or copied from something else, but it's also not right for ideas to exclusively belong to the people who created them since that takes away creative integrity as well. The system used in the past, copyright vs. public domain, gave people some limited control of how their ideas could be used, but even those two options left no room for specific restrictions. However, it's still better than saying any piece of creative work is the creator's property as soon as they're done creating it. At the very least, people need to be able to include instructions with their work controlling its use without necessarily totally restricting it, which seems to be what Creative Commons is trying to do. Otherwise, the current system puts a lot of pressure on the people compliling the creative works to track down the people who own the rights to those works, and even then, they still might not be able to use those things because of some legal precedence in effect.

In any case, ideas and copyrights are so pervasive in modern culture, especially now that we have the internet, that it's next to impossible to track down every last owner and ask them for permission. It makes sense to have laws protecting people using these ideas in this case. For instance, "the appearance of products bearing well known trademarks in cinema and television is a common phenomenon" (Bound by Law, 49). Laws similar to this should be in effect for other fair use examples, like The Simpsons and the Rocky theme being incidentally captured in other documentaries (Bound by Law, 13, 14). In both these cases, it was corporations who made a big fuss and asked for huge amounts of money in compensation, even going against Matt Groening in the Simpsons example. Worse yet, it ruined the integrity of those documentaries since the filmmakers were only trying to capture reality. Corporations need to understand that the things they own exist in a large context, and they can't go nickel and diming every last appearance of everything. After all, you can't honestly say 4 and a half seconds of The Simpsons caught in the background of some documentary is really going to significantly hurt ratings or DVD sales, can you? These things nees to be judged on a case by case basis.

It's Easy When You Skip the Intermediary

As of now I am giving permission to use this blog entry for their own works. Isn't it amazing how the laws of this country have changed? With the creation of the Internet it became easier to take and use copy written materials and use them to your own benefit. It makes sense that corporations, musicians, movie studies, etc...were angered because it was easier to take their stuff. However, mixed in this was the problem of people putting things online with the intent of people using them and putting them into works.

It is so easy to mistakenly steal others stuff these days I believe that we should change the way we should think about intellectual property rights. This is evidenced in the interview with Lessig, "00, the magazine, which had been prosecuted for posting links to technology to circumvent the encryption that protects content on DVDs. There were basically two claims here. One was that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was overbroad because it prohibited uses that were perfectly legal. Second was a much more direct challenge to the idea that you could prosecute a magazine for linking to content that might be deemed illegal." This case is a classic First Amendment case. Companies are trying to protect their goods but are infringing on people's First Amendment rights. As this issue grows, we are going to see more and more lawsuits brought by companies that are trying to protect their product. A recent example of this is how hackers have found a way to put new songs on the Playstation 2 game Guitar Hero. On a blog there is a very complicated and tedious process but those who are technologically savvy will be able to do this. Is this an example where people are stealing from Guitar Hero or because people were smart enough to figure out how to hack it should they be left alone?

From my freshman year in college I have never been that worried about stealing music. I took precautions from being caught and talked to some of my computer literate friends to see what the best downloading software was. I was sick of paying for music where there was only one good song and the rest of the CD was crap. I believe that iTunes saved the music industry. People are feeling more compelled to pay for music and stay away from downloading illegally. A friend of mine who started a band actually put his music online for people to download for free to get the music out there. He also asked me and a few others to post the music too. This is an example of going with the current trend and allowing the public to discover new, cool bands. I believe Barlow puts it well when he says the Internet is, "The place where information dwells, the holy moment where transmission becomes reception, is a region which has many shifting characteristics and flavors depending on the relationship of sender and receiver, the depth of their interactivity."

If people give their word that it is fine to use their works I do not see why lawyers or other legal proceedings need to get involved. We need to realize that there are things that corporations need and want to protect but that does not mean that the regular consumer who puts a paper online needs to copyright it so no one else can use it. If he did that, there should be a law in place that pays royalties to anyone who has their things used. Libraries would become useless and so would the internet. We need to be careful where our laws are headed because it could ruin how the Internet is used.

Let's Get Creative

Whenever the issue of copyright is brought up, especially with all the changes in the digital age, I'm always brought to remember that copyright is a pretty new idea in human history. Before the last few hundred years or so (if memory serves me) everything was free of copyright. Most of Shakespeare's plays relied heavily on the use of sources for plot lines, which is something that I was somewhat surprised by when I found out, because I assumed the greatest playwright in history would have been the sole creator of all his work. But it's interesting to consider the fact that back then everything created was part of public domain. In many ways, of course, current copyright laws protect the creators of whatever is copywritten, but sometimes they can also heavily restrict the use of pretty much anything. I found it interesting that in the creative commons video that the bass player just added things to the White Stripes album without prior consent. I'm not that surprised that Jack White consented to the album and everything, but if it were me, and someone took a record that I had spent so much time writing and recording, taking months to get everything to sound the way I want it, and someone took my recordings and added stuff over the top of them and called it their own, I would file a cease and desist order. But to get to the reason why the story is relayed, if consent is given it's a completely different matter (Again, if it were me, if a person asked permission to use my recordings first, I would be much more willing to see what they had in mind). I do think consent should be able to be given by a simple "Is it ok if I do this?" and cutting down on red tape and legal jargon. But I think to keep everything in the clear, consent should be given BEFORE posting things online so that as many people as possible can hear them.
When it comes to mp3's on blogs, again I just think it's a matter of getting consent beforehand. The artists and bands so popular that they are impossible to get a hold of except by way of managers or what have you are groups that wouldn't appear on music blogs anyways, becase everyone already knows them. Since music blogs are for lesser known bands that are easy to get ahold of by email (and everyone is much easier to get in contact with in the digital age, of course), it shouldn't be much of an issue to get consent for posting or remixing or mashing up songs before posting them for the world to see. Paying for music as opposed to downloading it is a whole issue unto itself, and it looks like we'll be talking about that next week .
In the case of something like Wikipedia, which is designed to be a communal work, I think any claims to copyright should be negated for use within Wikipedia and similar programs. Especially when it comes to Wikipedia, because it's such a massive collective of people that really have little contact with one another, aside from moderators or people who spend a lot of time on the site. It's almost impossible to know who you're collaborating with, so any claims to copyright are completely unrealistic.
That said, I like the idea of the Creative Commons CC copyright. It seems like a good way to allow more free access of creative property should you choose to allow it. I was wondering if there are certain terms built in the CC license or if it's something that the creator is able to determine him or herself. In my mind, the ideal function of all these copyright laws is to protect people who don't want their intellectual property used in a way they don't want it to be while allowing a fairly easy way to waive those protections if they want to allow a little more free use of their ideas. It seems like the CC is a good step towards that.

The Age of Free Information

"While the Internet may never include every CPU on the planet, it is more than doubling every year and can be expected to become the principal medium of information conveyance, and perhaps eventually, the only one." (Barlow, 2).

While I disagree that computers and the internet could eventually become the only medium over which information is conveyed, the fact that computer and internet usage is doubling on a yearly basis is enough to cause some confusion when it comes to intellectual property, and thus a call for change. In all honesty, I do not want to see changes; I do not want to see "free" music disappear. Piracy of intellectual property such as music and pictures is not the only call for change, though. If I create a website using my own design, it is protected according to the rule that any intellectual property that I create is automatically protected. However, all someone would need to do is open the source code page in their web browser, and copy and paste it somewhere onto their own computer for use in their own website. If this were to happen (and it does, often I'm sure) it would be difficult to ever know, let alone to find the new website that is a rip of my own. Unless there are changes in how online intellectual property is dealt with, I cannot see the internet becoming the information medium (unless of course all information is free).

As far as collaborative intellectual property such as Wikipedia, I believe that when you agree to take part in such a project, you are acknowledging that the only credit you will receive is some notice, and not of your real name but instead of your username. The idea of Wikipedia would be congruent to the principal medium shifting to the internet, with the pursuit of free information.

April 3, 2007

The time of listeners choosing pleasures versus fillers

The Next Economy of Ideas, John Perry Barlow
"Free access increases it, and should be encouraged rather tan stymied."
This article was biased to a listeners perspective that appreciates free file sharing. Given that they even go to the extent to suggest that free access to files increases commercial values of specific music property. They discuss the battle between the white collars of the music industry versus this idea of music file sharing that was not successfully predicted. The other presents the idea as if whether music file sharing is ethical or not, it is so large that there is nothing that copyright policies could overcome.

Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative, John Oswald

Copyright is not a new phenomenon within American music as the first US copyright began in 1976. Given that I found it interesting that the first copyright policies only affected written music. I think this articles begins to introduce the vagueness of today's music and what qualifies as music versus the authors stated "noise." If music is so vague I think it becomes the responsibility and sole judgement lies on the individuals creating this policy. In this case I don't know that copyright laws will ever put up enough barriers nor will it be thoroughly fair.

"Listeners now have the means to assemble their own choices, to seperate pleasures from the fillers." This quote is the best statement that applies to my participation with file sharing. File sharing gives the power to the users. The internet is the opportunity to have unlimited resources by the push of the button. I am in control and I feel that I can modify my online communities and file sharing in accordance to my likes and preferences.

Three Minutes w/ Jack Valentini
I did not appreciate this article in depth, nor respect the attitude given by Valentini. The largest dispute I had regarding his answers was when he compared encrypted DVDs to a lawn mower suggesting that it is technical property and if destroyed should not be able to be recovered. When challenged to compare these DVDs to like software he didn't see a connection. Again did not find his answers to be very entertaining.

Ruckus and Napster
Essentially I see benefits to both Ruckus and Napster. I agree that people should pay slight fees for musical property. In the case of Ruckus, I am assuming the U of M pays of big fee to be able to provide free files.

Speaking of Copyright...

What's in a name?
Well...
Swedish couple fights for right to name their baby 'Metallica'

C vs. CC

Before watching the Creative Commons video, I had no idea that once a work is created and finished, it is automatically copyrighted. I thought that the only way that something can be copyrighted was if it had the "c" symbol. In relation to intellectual property rights and re-use of images as well as any other kind of information, I think that everything needs to be cited. Since we have new laws that say that any work that is finished is automatically copyrighted, we need to respect the creator of the information or image and cite where we took our information from. People shouldn't claim other people's work as their own, that's stealing. As far as music downloading is concerned, I think that it shouldn't be free unless the artist intended the music to be free. I think that people should be paid for their craft. I think that we should keep paying for music according to the old model of physically purchasing it.

The work that is collaboratively placed online such as on Wikipedia should also be copyrighted. The fact that many people wrote on one page does not mean that those people do not own their words. If someone else wants to come in and use their information, they need to say the general cite on which they got their information, since the individual authors are not listed.

I don't think that just because a work is placed online that it should be ripped off. The problem right now is that people are making a transition from taking information from physical literary sources to intangible online cites. "Books froze their contents into a condition which was as challenging to alter as it was to reproduce. Counterfeiting and distributing counterfeit volumes were obvious and visible activities - it was easy enough to catch somebody in the act of doing." (Barlow) The problem with online articles, music, and images is that it is so easy to just cut and paste, or download information without paying for it or citing it. "Unlike unbounded words or images, books had material surfaces to which one could attach copyright notices, publisher's marques, and price tags." (Barlow) I think that the Creative Commons' "cc" idea is a very good step forward in figuring out how to copyright online information. Users can easily identify the information that the website creator or whoever wanted the users to use the information that they provide. I think that we're in a transitional place in figuring out how to properly copyright online information and let the users know what information they can take, and that with time, we'll be able to set up new policies that regulate this process.

CC for Everyone!

Intellectual property is a murky area, to say the least, especially when the Internet is involved. I work for a manufacturing company (that is world-wide) and every few years they have meetings on the importance of patents and employee rights to patents. After reading the articles for this week, I’m surprised we haven’t had information regarding the use of materials from the Internet. But as mentioned in “The Economy of Ideas,? proprietary (companies) assertions of thinkers are not focused on ideas but on the expression of those ideas (through objects).

Barlow’s statement “Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted, or expanded to contain digitized expression any more than real estate law might be revised to cover the allocation of broadcasting spectrum,? is a nice summation of where we are at with this issue. To complicate matters, the Internet is a global tool. With various cultures using this, who is to say which law is appropriate. In some cultures, it is very respectful to use other’s property but in the U.S. is considered plagiarism. Barlow talks of the metamorphosing tales of prehistory and information was orally passed from person to person, culture to culture. Folktales are a prime example. We do not know who the authors are but these stories were passed around and modified with each passing; most cultures have some version of Cinderella. Is that why Western countries think they have legal rights to the “music, designs, and biomedical lore of aboriginal people without compensation to their tribes of origin since those tribes are not an “author? or an “inventor??? How sad is that?

Information does want to change with each passing. In printed media, it takes much longer and there is a source (author) associated with the change. Printed media moves much slower than digital information. Our Wikipedia exercise shows how easy and fast digital information changes. My userid is associated with my change but who am I? Not a credible source that should be updating data used by millions? Scary. But, as Barlow mentions the evolution of a “settled West?, order will eventually be maintained. If it is not maintained, who will put works on the net? Encouragement of intellectual development will slowly decline. Ideas need to be free so that others can build upon them (T.Jeffereson). Ethics will need to play a huge role in the order of intellectual property. "Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it." (Judge Alex Kozinski "Bound by Law")

I actually enjoyed the comic on public domain. I was aware of the copyright issues but didn’t realize the “fair use? issue. I assumed most products in films were strategically placed for advertisement purposes. It seems the “fair use’ line is hazy at best. Some of the cases and the resolutions were surprising to me. I was surprised how the judge ruled against Mattel. Another issue is the use of public figures; I assumed that if you are a public figure, speeches and other public appearances would be considered public domain.

(I tried to insert the creative commons symbol but my Word only has ® © ™. Maybe it's on the next version?)

just COPY and PASTE

“If our property can be infinitely reproduced and instantaneously distributed all over the planet without cost, without our knowledge, without its even leaving our possession, how can we protect it? How are we going to get paid for the work we do with our minds? And, if we can't get paid, what will assure the continued creation and distribution of such work?? (Barlow, John. The Economy of Ideas)

The internet definitely has made it easy for one to find and re-use images for their own creation. With that said, it should not change the way we think about intellectual property rights. Once you post your work online, there is no set boundary for what the crime is if another decides to use your work. Last week my teacher spoke about China and the problem of recreating products to be sold (bags, watches, textbooks, etc.) that can not be done in the U.S. There is no law whatsoever and it has become out of control. It’s even gone to the extreme where professors are making a copy of the whole textbook because of shortages. The internet is not as extreme because as Jesse Walker mentioned, “there is more control.? (Barlow, John. The Economy of Ideas) He used the example of Adobe eBook which controls what you print and how many times you do. As for music and the concern of buying it like the old model, I believe we should keep buying. Just like other people who go into a store and buy the actual CD, it’s only ethical that everyone else should because the artist is not receiving credit for their work. Although I don’t care to download music online or whatnot, I don’t have much feelings towards it because I know others have mentioned how they’ve been able to find music that they can not find elsewhere and they do spend quite a lot downloading music online too.

I think intellectual property can be seen in many different ways. I agree that “Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted, or expanded to contain digitized expression any more than real estate law might be revised to cover the allocation of broadcasting spectrum? and “intellectual property is very different from physical property and can no longer be protected as though these differences did not exist.? (Barlow, John. The Economy of Ideas) This goes the same for Wikipedia, which I learned to use last week. It’s open to everyone and information is received through different minds and ideas. The information given is open to all. This is different when speaking in terms of doctors, lawyers, consultants who are being paid for their intellectual property.

What's Mine is Yours (for the taking)

I have never worried about paying for music. I pay for the music I listen too. I have bought a lot of vinyl albums in my day, and then reel-to-reel tape came along, then cassette tapes, then CDs, and now MP3s and downloading from iTunes. Beginning with reel-to-reel tape decks I could record music from my vinyl albums. Exchanging MP3’s is no different, only the speed of duplication and reach has changed. I personally have never been concerned about DRM (digital rights management) on music I have purchase from iTunes. I don’t mind paying for the convenience of Apple’s model of buying, downloading, and playing on my iPod because it’s so easy. The selection on iTunes is wonderful and I don’t have to hunt all over the Internet to steal music from blogs. I consider downloading music I didn’t pay for as theft. The same holds true with the software I own. I have paid for it. I’m not a fool, I shop around for the best deals I can find, but I do purchase the software for the same reason I purchase my music. I’m a strong advocate of intellectual property. I wouldn’t want anyone stealing my intellectual property. This week Apple and EMI announced they would offer DRM free music for 30 cents more on iTunes with a little extra value added. The DRM music is fine with me and I’ll save the 30 cents.

I had written and published a software program for the Apple II in 1980 and copyrighted it with the Big C (Aoki, p. 9). I had no idea of how complex copyright law has become since then (Aoki, p. 10-11). Creative Commons is a unique approach to some of the intellectual property rights issues as is Fair Use. I certainly have no faith that our elected officials will resolve any of the problems filmmakers and other producers of intellectual property that incidentally uses others work face that were pointed out in Bound by Law. I only hope that common sense will prevail.

un-DRM'd songs on iTunes for $.30 more

From CNN today:

Breaking from the rest of the recording industry, EMI Group said Monday it will begin selling songs online that are free of copy-protection technology through Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store. The deal, however, doesn't include music from the label's biggest act, The Beatles.

ITunes customers will soon be able to buy songs by the Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Coldplay and other top-selling artists for $1.29, or 30 cents more than the copy-protected version. The premium tunes also will be offered in a higher quality than the 99-cent tracks.

(This has everything to do with next week’s topic.)

April 2, 2007

OWN'D!

Intellectual property rights is a difficult issue that can go to the extremes. Sometimes people can carry it too far and deem one thing someone's property when theres no reason that it should be. This was even shown in the Bound By Law book in the case where Terry Gilliam used various images for his Monty Python series. Twenty years after one of his movies was put out he was forced to pay for using a copied image of a Xerox of Da Vinci's "Last Supper". (Page 20). I think that would be a perfect example of going too far. Another good example of this that exists in the music industry: The Danger Mouse case in which it was the record labels and not the individual artists who were breathing down Danger Mouse's neck for use of Jay Z's work (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastard_pop). I think that if an individual artist dosn't seem to have an issue with another person using their creations (note THEIR creations and not the record labels who were not involved in the creative process at all) then there shouldn't be an issue. This issue was discussed in the White Stripes case which is shown in the second Creative Commons video. In this case an individual added bass tracks to the White Strips copyrighted material and asked Jack White personally if he could put the completed works on the internet. The creative commons video called it avoiding the intermediaries which I think is a very important issue.

Another case of property rights going to far is the case of encrypted DVD's. Somehow somewhere down the line it became illegal to create software to read encrypted DVD's so that you could play non region DVD's or possibly even copy them. While I am not advocating this, it seems funny how this is illegal but it is not illegal for people to publish how-to's or instructionals on how to create high explosives or other hazardous activites. These instructionals are protected under free speech but someone who wants to play a DVD they are out of luck. The Reason magazine article discusses this and comes to the same conclusion as I have that there is no logical explanation for this. (Walker 4).

On the other hand there can be times when these rights do not go far enough and an artist's work is exploited for someone else's personal benefit. I can see where it would be harmful if someone was completely stealing another's works and making much more profits than the original person was. If you think about it, this would be like a retailer stealing semi-trucks full of goods and selling them in their stores instead of purchasing them from manufacturers.

For me personally the abundance of MP3 blogs and other forms of media which could theoretically aid in my avoidance of purchasing music has no effect on me. I remember when I first got a job I never purchased CD's because I thought they were too expensive. I think from the years from when i was 14-17 I purchased about 4 CD's. When high school ended I began downloading music and using amazon.com and other forms of music streaming. Around this time my CD collection skyrocketed as my music interest began to peak and now I could tell whether i was wasting my money or not.

As a sidenote I nearly split my sides in laughter when Creative Commons was discussing their copywrite licenses in that they, "wrote these licenses so that lawyers and courts could read them, then we translated them into a language you can read, and then we translated them into a language that computers can read".

Owning One's Labour

When it’s so easy to find and re-use images, does that change the way we should think about intellectual property rights?
Legally, I would have to say no. This is because people still have a right to own their labor. This belief that we all have a right to own our own labor is a very own idea, and is the bases of our democracy (read Hobbes). To question this theory is to go against the very idea of self. This is because people taking other’s work and making it their own, even in the most minutest way, takes away from the creativity or the original mind which conceived the idea. For example, imagine a world where no one got credit for their work. I would imaging that the level of creativity would plummet.

Has the abundance of mp3 blogs made you worry less about paying for music, and should we keep buying music according to the old model?
I most certainly think we should. This is because it is illegal to steal music. Is it easier to take music off the internet, yes. However, it does not make it right. This is further outlined thus, “I [Barlow] refer to the problem of digitized property. The enigma is this: If our property can be infinitely reproduced and instantaneously distributed all over the planet without cost, without our knowledge, without its even leaving our possession, how can we protect it (wired.com April 2007)?? This quote outlines a reasonable worry about protecting an idea. However, Barlow’s quote lends credence to my argument, that an idea is still owned, and whether it is easy or not to steal it, the idea is still owned. Therefore, we aught to keep buying music, because we owe it the music’s conceiver to give them credit for their work.

What does “intellectual property? mean when we’re doing collaborative work online, particularly the sort of work you did last week on Wikipedia?
In the case of Wikipedia, intellectual property is given freely. Due to the fact that one owns their own work, then I would say that one can also freely give it away in a collaborative work.


What if lots of people are working on the same project or using parts of other projects to make their own original work, or mashups ?

For me it all depends. This is because ideas once again belong to the conceiver. If one person involves themselves in a group, as this scenario insists, then the still own the ideas they share. That means that when someone uses another’s idea and incorporates it into their finished product, that person still owes credit to the person they originally took an idea from. Much in the same way an automobile company makes money on their cars, but owe money to others who own patents on the automobile’s components. Ford makes money on the car, but still pays a royalty to a break maker they use for their cars.
This all has a precedent in the disinagration of the commons in renaissance England. There was once, common land that was used by commoners and nobility alike for agricultural purposes. However, as the growth of ownership gained provenance in the more current era, the commons were bought up. The internet will ultimately become this way, because people will always seek to own their work, just as Englishmen sought to own the land they worked over 300 years ago. (in reaction to the article , “Cyberspaces Leagle Visionary?

April 1, 2007

Wikipedia pleads the fifth

I discovered this article today, which talks about Middlebury College HIstory department's recent decision to disallow Wikipedia as a scholarly source in student papers. I've never had a U instructor comment on the value of Wikipedia as a source; I'm curious whether any of you have. There are also some good comments from professors, many of whom say the problem is not only Wikipedia, but the fact that it's inappropriate for college students to use tertiary sources in their research-- another "rule" I've never heard.

Taking a seemingly opposite view of Wikipedia's credibility/usefulness, this article from the New York Tmes claims that Wikipedia has been cited in over 100 court rulings in the last few years. Strange, no?