NPR just aired a piece on bittorrent including interviews with Bram Cohen (who we met at FOO Camp) and Larry Lessig (Bram wrote it; Larry defends it) and a more or less nameless Motion picture operative (it promotes evil) followed by a more or less nameless BBC guy (who loves it). Examples of legal use of bittorrent abound in the story — most all of them ibiblio does. Books (check), CDs by bands that agree to share (check), radio shows (check), show from the Dead etc (check), Linux distros (check). ibiblio didn’t get mentioned tho. bittorrent is one of the largest consumers of internet bandwidth (supposedly). You can find the story near the end of this page.
The NPR site gives us a completely misleading and completely inane headline:
File-Sharing Program Could Boost Illegal Movie Trading
BitTorrent, the current hot program for sharing files on the Internet, combines the computing power of several file sharers to ease the transfer of large files — such as movies. Is it the next phase in the arms race between the entertainment industry and file sharers, or the future of legal distribution? Hear Joel Rose of member station WHYY.
[I write a lot about bittorrent in the context of etree.org in the upcoming Library Trends journal -- The Commercialized Web: Challenges for Libraries and Democracy, Edited by Bettina Fabos, 53(4), Spring 2005]
Original Air Date: May 24, 2004
Blood Done Sign My Name: Host Melinda Penkava talks with Timothy Tyson, the author of “Blood Done Sign My Name” (Crown/2004). Tyson, a professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grew up in the small North Carolina town of Oxford. In 1970, when Tyson was ten years old, an African-American man named Henry Marrow was killed outside a store in broad daylight by a white man. The incident enflamed racial tensions and touched off rioting in the town. Tyson remembers the event in his book, which is part historical account and part memoir. (54:00)
Just back from the WUNC State of Things show on Webcasting and Internet Music (more or less). The show will replay tonight on air then be available from the State of Things Archives (on ibiblio).
David (on the phone from Asheville), Michael, and I were joined by Paradise Radio‘s Bill Goldsmith (on phone from the Left Coast), Little Brother’s MC Phonte (in studio) and his collaborator Nicolay (on the phone from Amsterdam).
Since you can hear the show, I’ll only say a few things. First, my earphones kept dropping one channel but the engineer was right on it after I made some funny faces and pointed to my head a lot. I got a different headset. Frank Stasio kept us going fine and every one behaved our Sunday Best.
I was a little concerned that Bill Goldsmith was saying that everything was hunky dory with him and the DMCA/CARP rulings so I questioned him about the playlist restrictions. He said, “Oh I don’t like to play a lot by the same performer in the same hour any way.” Then I asked about the detailed reporting that is required. “Oh I’m under a separate agreement so I don’t have to do that.” I am assuming that he also has negotiated a different rate but I’m not sure. His concern about having a lot of listeners was more about bandwidth than about having to pay for each listener. The upshot is that he’s not under the same compulsary license as others so his situation is not a general one. Glad he’s had up to 7000 listeners at once tho. The thing is that law and interpretation of the law is still restricting Internet Radio and creativity.
I didn’t get to mention Koleman’s paper or etree.org or bittorrent or community radio. I did get to say that this might not be radio at all, but something else expecially since if it were radio the FCC might use that analogy to apply laws and restrictions to it (whatever it is).
I did get to say a little about podcasting, Mercaro, Negativland, McGuinn, Creative Commons licenses, and a couple of other things.
The time passed quickly and soon MC Phonte and Nicolay were talking about their collaboration that created their partnership called “Foreign Exchange” on their “Connected” CD. To be followed by an NPRster talking about her Thanksgiving experiences. And we were out of there.
Keith and Corrie, if you are reading this: I left my WXYC Bandwidth CD and my Creative Commons/Wired CD there. One with Frank. One with I think Keith. May I have them back? You can rip and burn them if you like — it’s legal to do so. David McConville send this bootleg recording of our WUNC show. UPDATE The show is posted at the WUNC archive now, but the text summary doesn’t mention everyone who was on the show — like Bill Goldsmith and me.