I think some friends and family wonder why I am so enthralled by copyright law. Others may also wonder how it applies to my wider interest in technology law. For some time, I wasn’t quite sure myself. Indeed, over the past few years I’ve sometimes found myself discouraged by the seemingly wonky nature of the subject. Looking back, for example, at my grandfather’s legal career in civil rights, I wondered if I was being too selfish with my interests.
I’ve recently come to understand that this isn’t the case, that copyright law (and its reform) is an important matter for the American public to understand and discuss. Why? Because copyright presents a fundamental conflict between capitalism (or, profit) and freedom of speech, with nothing less than the fate of our creative culture at stake. The way we go about resolving this conflict says much about America as a liberal democracy and cultural leader in the world. And right now, we’re not doing so hot.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter have seen me retweet or otherwise link to some posts from Techdirt. The blog covers the very topic I’m most passionate about: the intersection of law and technology. If you have any interest in copyright, privacy, or anything else as it relates to our digital world, then you definitely should check it out.
Mike Masnick is the lead blogger for Techdirt, and he is a machine. Quite literally, I do not understand how he does what he does. Since 1997, he has personally published over 30,000 individual posts. He publishes at least 10 posts a day (including today, and it’s only 2:30pm on a Friday). Now while his posts are usually very brief (no longer than a paragraph or two) and mostly editorialize around a third-party link, he is somehow able to very expertly summarize and contextualize the points at hand. He even manages to recall previous Techdirt posts on the same topic, linking them from the new post to give us the history of his analysis.
Though reviled by some for his contentious views on copyright and the industry it has spawned, Mike never fails to impress me with the rare combination of volume, quality, and uniqueness that he brings to the table. And that is why, on this day, I give him a tip of my hat.
Apparently, a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price hit the stores today. It would be a massive lie for me to say that, at some primal level, I don’t want one. But I’ve danced this dance before. Three years ago (has it really only been three years?), I swore that I didn’t want or need an iPhone. I had a perfectly good clamshell phone, and I was fine not having the web or my email in my pocket.
Then I went to the Apple Store and played with one. Read on →
In the summer of 2006, Taylor and I were research assistants for Davidson political science professor Dr. Patrick Sellers (also our academic advisor). We were essentially reading transcripts and press releases from different congressional political figures and “coding” them based on how they framed a certain topic.
Pat has finally had his book, Cycles of Spin, published by Cambridge University Press. He was kind enough to give us a shout out in the acknowledgements section (see below, end of second paragraph). What’s more, the bibliography includes citations to two of Taylor’s writings: one of his papers (co-authored with Pat)… and one of his posts from Tropophilia!
As mentioned below, Taylor and I discussed Rework in a 10 minute video dialog. This was our first time trying the fabulous free tool provided by Wetoku. There was a slight reverse delay (it sounds like I’m interrupting Taylor at times), but otherwise it worked extremely well.
I’m embedding the video here. Expect more of these from us in the near future.
All opinions that I express online are entirely my own. They do not necessarily reflect the positions of any organizations with which I am or have been affiliated. I am not a lawyer (yet): nothing I post here is intended to be legal advice, nor should it be taken as such.