While I was in DC, I somehow managed to sell a poem in Raleigh. The Creation of Heaven, which has a giant squid and a whale in it, will be in the Sunday Journal section of the News and Observer. I’ll add a link once Sunday has come. Now I will have published 5 of the 6 Rule of Seven poems in NandO. Each poem has seven stanzas of seven lines each of which have seven syllables. There’s more than that but that the framework.
Why I didn’t type anything much today: I left on the 7 o’clock plane to DC and am just home at 10:30. I did catch this most interesting (and probably most blogged about) set of links from Dave Winer who was selected to leak a Bill Gates memo on Microsoft’s new direction (hint web services and things like Google maps that other may use to innovate and build) lead by the newly more powerful Ray Ozzie. Ray Ozzie’s followup email, The Internet Services Disruption, is also on Dave’s site — this is a more important read than even Gates’ memo. There is a lot of harping on how wonderful and successful .Net is which sorta makes you wonder what planet they are living on, but beyond that…
Ric Swiner and Brian his camera came by and we did a little chat outside Manning Hall about filesharing systems. I explained how bittorrent has many legal uses just like your car or Brian’s camera — even though folks can use any of those things for evil. I explained briefly how Grokster was found in violation of the law but that BitTorrent should not be. Grokster was even marketed as an inducement to illegal behaviors while BitTorrent is a content neutral protocol (I was simplier than that).
In no way did I advovate illegal behavior or illegal sharing, but I did point out examples of legal behaviors using BitTorrent.
Probably I’ll be on a few seconds. But I’ll likely not be watching tonight; it’s election night in Chapel Hill and I leave for DC early tomorrow morning.
I got a frantic series of calls during a meeting (a day of meetings but that’s a sadder story) on my cell. Finally I went out in the hall to at least listen to the voice mail. A producer from WLFL WB 22 (got all that) wanted an expert on p2p, copyright, and file trading. I am listed on the UNC experts pages as knowing about technology and copyright. Since I did put together the panel (and part of the audience/attendees) for the UNC Symposium on Intellectual Property, Creativity and the Innovation Process last week and I paid attention to what the folks were saying, I guess I am.
The story they want to do is about Grokster being shutdown. Okay. But “Have you heard of this other thing out there that’s even worse? BitTorrent?” Err. It’s not worse, only worse if you wanted to be anonymous. It uses a tracker that remembers who had been trading. And we use it for legal downloads at torrent.ibiblio.org. “I guess you are an expert. Ric Swiner will come by at 11:30 tomorrow and we’ll talk with you.”
I do a lot of this but if you have suggestions and advice, do sent it my way.
I asked Roger McGuinn if he would come to town a little early for the UNC Symposium on Intellectual Property, Creativity and the Innovation Process and talk to/play a bit for Joselyn Neal’s History of Country Music class. There are about 200 students in the class which meets in a large auditorium (Hanes Art). Naturally the word got out a little and a bunch more folks showed up which was fine. The class went very well and all had a great time.
The News and Observer (Anne Blythe writing) did a good story with pictures that was on the cover of the City & State section and jumped to the center of the University section.
Edward Tyndall’s documentary airs tonight at 10 on UNC-TV
Confederate Goliath, produced by Edward Tyndall and Kenneth Price, chronicles the battles to capture Fort Fisher and close the port of Wilmington, NC during the American Civil War.
Late in 1864 and again in January of 1865 Federal troops attacked Fort Fisher with a massive naval armada and a large contingent of ground troops. Fort Fisher was the largest earthen fort in the Western Hemisphere at the time of the attacks. The campaigns to capture the fort boasted the heaviest naval bombardments seen during the Civil War. The fort fell during the second battle but only after brutal hand-to-hand fighting that lasted into the night. With the fall of Fort Fisher, the port of Wilmington, NC was effectively closed and the supply line to Robert E. Lee’s Army in Virginia was cut. Lee surrendered his army three months later and the American Civil War came to a close.
Food and culture expert, Marcie Ferris has a blog based on her book, Matzoh Ball Gumbo.
My favorite review quote:
“It may sound trivial, but no doubt the invention of Crisco was the answer to the prayers of some Jewish women in the South. . . . The miracle of Crisco is just one of the fascinating facts presented in Matzoh Ball Gumbo. . . . Ferris . . . tell[s] the history of the Jewish South from a cook’s perspective.”—Raleigh News & Observer
Upcoming on November 9th from 6-8:30 PM is a Southern Season Cooking Class here in Chapel Hill, NC with a promising dinner menu of Matzoh Ball Gumbo and creole matzoh balls, Temple Israel Brisket; Simmered Black-Eyed Peas and Tomatoes; Rosh Hashanah Jam Cake and Pecan Kugel. Call 919-913-1241 to participate or sign up online.
Sally and I went down to the dedication of the Unsung Founders Monument this morning. On the way we stopped by for early voting. There was no waiting. Well, almost no waiting. We ended up chatting with my former collegue Bert Dempsey and his wife Molly as we all walked in. Bert who travels quite a bit with his tech company says that early voting has allowed him to participate in elections like never before. Even at that, we were in the 700s of those who voted early in this election.
On 1604 on November 5, a man was found hiding in a woodpile in the basement of the House of Lords. With him, were 36 barrels of gunpowder — dry and ready. Guy Fawkes had intended to blow up the building at the start of the session of Parliment. The Guardian explains in an interactive (sorta) brief feature.
It’s too dry for bonfires here in Chapel Hill; our English friend John Ager has been looking for one and having no luck. There is a rumor that somewhere in Carrboro there will be a burning.
MisterSugar writes to invite is all to:
Triangle Bloggers Bash
A social event for Triangle-area bloggers to meet and greet each other at Durham’s American Tobacco Historic District.
Bloggers, podcasters and anyone who wants to socialize with us.
A reception at the new WUNC studios and a happy hour with free drinks.
American Tobacco Historic District, Durham (across from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park)
* Start at new WUNC studios for tour, talk about podcasting and reception with catered food. Short welcome messages from Joan Siefert Rose and Keith Westin of WUNC, Michael Goodmon of ATHD, Stephen Fraser of Lulu. Then move next door to Tyler’s Speakeasy for drinks and socializing. Short welcome messages from John Conway of WRAL.com and Henry Copeland of blogads.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005 7-9 p.m.
[more at link above]
Note: ibiblio is one of the sponsors of this event.
Gerry Cohen notices, in a comment on this blog, that Fred Stutzman and his work on Facebook are quoted in a Daily Tar Heel OpEd called “Danger, Danger.” The article is full of Facebook Fear warning students that pictures on the Internet can lead to unintended consequences. Fred was amused to be identified as “local resident” as in Research by Fred Stutzman, a local resident, indicates that more than 90 percent of UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduates have a Facebook account[.]
Jamie Boyle writes in his Financial Times (London) column on the “Web’s never-to-be-repeated revolution” which begins:
The web is having a birthday. This month, we will have the 15th anniversary of the creation of the first web page. It is the birthday of Tim Berners-Lee’s amazing idea that there could be a world wide web, linked not by spider silk but by hypertext links and transfer protocols and uniform resource locators.
How should we celebrate? We are too close to the web to understand it. And those who lost money in the dotcom boom greet any celebration of the web the way a person with a hangover greets a mention of the drink of which they overindulged. The knowledge of shameful excess produces a renunciant puritanism. No more tequila or web romanticism for me!
That is a shame, because there are three things that we need to understand about the web. First, it is more amazing than we think. Second, the conjunction of technologies that made the web successful was extremely unlikely. Third, we probably would not create it, or any technology like it, today. In fact, we would be more likely to cripple it, or declare it illegal.
Cory begins with talking about John Phillips Sousa and his opposition to to recording devices. “If the infernal talking machines were not curtailed, we will surely loose our voice boxes just as we lost out tails when we came down from the trees.”
Instead of requiring clearance of rights, we got compulsary licenses.
Next radio as pirates, they played recordings on the air for many many listeners.
Next p2p. We are taping this and will have it digitized in about a week or so.
John Buckman of Magnatune, Gene Hoffman founder of eMusic, Edward Klaris of New Yorker, Adam Toll of Big Champagne, Sam Yagan of MetaMachine (eDonkey), Tor Hansen of Yep Roc, Roger McGuinn and hosted by Koleman Strumpf, economist.
Quite a variety of voices here as you might guess from the affiliations.
In the audience, Cory Doctorow, Robert Kaye, Chris DiBona, Scott Adams, David Bollier, Marybeth Peters, Roy Kaufman, Chris Evans, Laurie Racine, Jocelyn Neal, Stephanie McGarrah (see this page for ids).
Michael Tiemann of Red Hat chairing. With Marshall Phelps of Microsoft, Chris DiBona of Google and David Hustace of open NMS.
Active audience discusses how to measure innovation. Robert Kaye says innovation should not be patents but patents and discoveries that are actually used and built on. Southhampton guy working on openNMS points beyond R&D budgets as does Sam Jelinek of College of William and Mary (who actually kicked on this line of discussion). Gene Hoffman founder of eMusic talks about not only the rate of change but how change accelerates and then stablizes.
Phelps and DiBona and Tiemann discuss the iPod as an innovation. What is the diff from orginal mp3 players and the iPod? How does innovation fit in here? Is business model the innovation or the design or what?
MT Try to access the option equation of the internet say. Cites: Massive Change.
David Bollier talks about making things free. MT says that more stuff is free now or is it?
Does capital serve society or does society serve capital? Bollier and Phelps and Hoffman are now into it over commerciality. David B talks about the changes in the market. David H talks about innovation in a smaller project and the relationship to his contributors and customers. (sorta the Eric von Hippel talk)
Next topic Google as a word and an innovation. Is the principle meaning of Google a noun or a verb? (MT) Innovation principally a property to be managed or as an activity?
DiBona says working at Google we have an idea about this. Engineers can take their 20% for innovation to scratch their itches. Surprises of innovation by not managing
Marshall says innovation can be directed and companies do that with R&D budgets. Serendipitousness (ouch i can’t spell) is not the only
David H says innovation might not be finding a new molecule but in finding new ways to find new molecules.
Marshall discusses innovation of Microsoft and says the experimental
John Buckman asks about how innovation works at MSFT. Do they use the same metheods as Open Source. Phelps talks about the culture of MSFT. MT talks about the 2 new open source-ish licenses. (not every once agrees that those licenses). End of Certainty (cited by MT). What draws the line between determinism and choice?
Robert Kaye – the good chaos of open source won’t work within a corp
Hoffman – says well known companies are structure models for successful open source projects
MT – customer satisfaction? what happens when enablement is a necessary component of customer satisfaction.
Andy Oram – Open Source is never finished. But windows is expected to be solid.
Wales – what is the danger of closed with protection
Hoffman – some business men would rather beat to market than to patent.
Phelps – hasn’t sued anyone but is defending 40+ suits against MSFT. why can we innovate despite IBM patents? MSFT wasn’t stopped from innovating by that.
Wales – open source cannot license in the same way
MT – space ship one vs the nasa shuttle. space ship one doesn’t explode thanks to fuel design.
MT – cites Montessori: The Genius behind the Science
MP – on software patents. some are good and some bad. he thinks that some things should definitely no patentable. Would MSFT be better off without software patents? Better than trade secrets. Great IP theft by employee story about IBM disk patents.
Having trouble keeping writing here. Discussion getting hot on software patents. Codec research should be patented says Hoffman. He also wants crypto patents. MT says that GH missing the third leg (ouch michael) how to include the community and the relationship in distributed colaborative models.
MP says there is a romantic vision of software about software development.
CDiB – is not happy with codec patents.
Chris Evans – talks about his companies and their experiences with patents. He was earlier on and dodged the IP bullets. Now he’s leary of patent holders who might come in on him.
James Besson – attacks the property model. that you can’t find who owns what is the barrier.
MP – 50% of all patents are overturned on appeal
Sam J – asks where is the failure point?
Shift from patent quality to quality of software says MT
Dan Bricklin – how to make software last 200 years.
Software postmortems mentioned.
What should happen in the next 6 months at the Center? (Center at the Law School)? Dubai’s innovation is a race over their wells going dry. They needed to transform their future without oil and to have it thrive.
Intro by Lolly Gasaway. Four ways to ruin a technological revolution. Jamie say he now has 7 ways. Three more for free. First it’s hard to ruin a revolution in tech. Law is particularly good at ruining tech advancement. Decentralized nature of innovation is fueled by copyright, patent, and trademark in the marketplace (when it works well). To do so the Public Domain must be protected. Patents are about disclosure. Copyrights used to expire (in the old days). This refuels the pubic domain.
IP Law distorted not only kills innovation but also once distorted also kills the relationship between public domain and ownership.
US law has always been atuned to balancing the rights and the public. Jefferson writes about that and especially the Isaac McPherson (spelling) letter.
1) policy should always be made without empirical evidence. before or after implimentation. don’t compare copyright in different countries for successes. without database protection, the US out performs Europe (which has strong protection) in the market.
public information policies. all public info in the USA from the government, is open and free creating a secondary market. in Europe tries to recoup public expences. US gets 39:1 and Europe gets 9:1
patents. better than trade secrets.
2) we must adopt a world view in which overprotection. totally abolishing protection would also kill the revolution. BTW. raising cost of outputs raises the cost of inputs. software copyrights worked well to screw up the recolution, but judges took them down.
a) impose the logic of control. whereever possible close things up. VCRs are a failure of this. Silicon Valley vs. Boston area. Weaker worker rights in Boston actually killed knowledge circulation whilst SV with more allowable employee mobility actually grew.
b) confusing IP vs physicial property.
c) 20-20 downside vision.
d) prejudice against destablizing technologies
3) the real number 3. don’t revise the copyright law to allow for new tech. have the current holders write the law.
4) vital to ditch the tech of the internet and go instead to “trusted computing.” open platforms are nothing but rights violating devices, spam sources and security holes. clamp down controls and hand controls to a monopolist. get back to minitel!
5) always make policy in international venues and harmonize upwards. WIPO is great for this as it closes out other voices in the policy formation.
6) critics should be apathetic. activists should be selfdestructive. screaming, not washing, no alternatives, etc.
7) avoid the creation of a broad environmental like movement.
Matthew Szulik talks about Facebook and IM, podcasts and wikis. The global instances of differences in education and access. After a much more tentative approach to IP law by NC First Lady, Mary Easley, Matthew takes a stronger support of Open Source. Matthew is wondering why there is more reception of openness internationally than say in the USA.