Next Steps for Radio Preservation Task Force

Just received a comprehensive update on the work of the Radio Preservation Task Force, an initiative announced last year by the Library of Congress to digitally preserve local radio history. About 100 scholars spent last fall scouring libraries, museums, historical societies, and stations around the country looking for recordings large and small. More than 100,000 were discovered, and that impressed the LoC’s National Recording Preservation Board enough to move on to “phase two,” which (in part) will involve more detailed examination of our finds.
The Task Force is also lining up some specific preservation programs in conjunction with other media preservationists. Continue reading “Next Steps for Radio Preservation Task Force”

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Last July, they first went after nine who wore the title “pirate” on their sleeves, and trafficked primarily in music and movies.
Then, they took down 82 more for selling counterfeit goods on the Monday after Thanksgiving (“Cyber Monday”). The net was expanded to include those vending “sports equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel and sunglasses as well as illegal copies of copyrighted DVD boxed sets, music and software.”
On Valentine’s Day, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “muscle” division, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seized 18 more web site domains for marketing fake luxury gifts. Continue reading “Your Tax Dollars At Work”

Evolution Control Committee Drops All Rights Reserved

The Evolution Control Committee, a true pioneer of remix culture (most widely recognized as formative instigators of the mashup music genre), is alive and well as evidenced by its newest release, All Rights Reserved. It’s the ECC’s second album for Negativland‘s Seeland Records, and the first new album in seven years.
With a quarter-century of aural experimentation in the hopper – starting long before the advent of digital audio files and production tools – the craftsmanship of this music is sublime. This is why Girl Talk plays campus clubs and small theaters, while the Evolution Control Committee enjoys an artist residency at Warsaw’s Centre for Contemporary Art: the ECC is old enough to be Girl Talk’s parents. Continue reading “Evolution Control Committee Drops All Rights Reserved”

Fair Use (Partially) Trumps DMCA

Good news on the intellectual property front this week.
First, the Library of Congress conducted its triennial review of intellectual property law and its effect on the sincere sharing of information. This week, the LoC announced some new exemptions in several areas that bode well for fair use. They fall into four basic categories: Continue reading “Fair Use (Partially) Trumps DMCA”

ACTA Bits Leak; Resistance is Fertile

The veil of secrecy over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is slowly beginning to lift. Starting with a leak late last year over proposed restrictions on digital interoperability (ostensibly making it more difficult for devices/programs to work together without “permission” from the device/program creators), more has come to light since then.
Questions of transparency – not just of ACTA, but of the entire negotiating process itself – are now being asked more pointedly. Especially now that ACTA’s “Internet Chapter” has leaked; in a nutshell, it would impose the U.S.’ draconian Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to all ACTA signatories. Continue reading “ACTA Bits Leak; Resistance is Fertile”

Data Privacy Long Gone At U.S. Borders

Remember the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)? It’s not in effect yet, though some 40 countries are secretly negotiating the final details before its endorsement and implementation.
One of the most controversial elements of ACTA would be participating countries’ ability to arbitrarily inspect and, if they deem it necessary, impound electronic devices (cell phones, PDAs, laptops, etc.) at the border of entry. Ostensibly justified to combat terrorism, ACTA’s main function is to turn the hunt for copyright infringement into a new police duty. Continue reading “Data Privacy Long Gone At U.S. Borders”

$100 Million Worth of Copyright Liberation?

My friend Andrew recently forwarded me this message from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales:
Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase copyrights to be made available under a free license. What would you like to see purchased and released under a free license?
Photos libraries? Textbooks? Newspaper archives? Be bold, be specific, be general, brainstorm, have fun with it. Continue reading “$100 Million Worth of Copyright Liberation?”