Larry Lessig and friends have founded Open Government, a movement to pressure the Obama administration to dismantle the barriers to free and open access to government and its data. Boing Boing/Happy Mutants are proud signatories to the petition -- I hope you'll sign up, too.
Principles for an Open Transition
2. No Technological Barrier to Sharing
A merely legal freedom to share and remix, however, can be thwarted by technological constraints. Content made publicly available should also be freely accessible, not blocked by technological barriers. Citizens should be able to download transition-related content in a way that makes it simple to share, excerpt, remix, or redistribute. This is an essential digital freedom.
For example, while content may be posted on a particular site such as YouTube, because YouTube does not authorize videos on its site to be downloaded, transition-created content should also be made available on a site that does permit downloads. Just as it would be unacceptable for government websites to block the copying-and-pasting of publicly accessible text, making video accessible in a manner that does not allow easy or authorized excerpting and reuse blocks access and engagement.
We would therefore strongly encourage the transition to assure that the material it has licensed freely be practically accessible freely as well. There are a host of services – such as blip.tv – which not only enable users to download freely licensed content, but which also explicitly marks the content with freedom it carries. However else the transition chooses to distribute its content, it should assure that at least one channel maintains this essential digital freedom.
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
Kids’ author/droid builder Kurt Zimmerman created “Artoo Deco,” an Art Deco take on R2-D2, capable of movement under radio control, and with an in-built sound-system that makes cool, droidish noises.
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Courtesy of our friends at Boing Boing, this is Negativland speaking to you. Thank you for reading about all of our deaths over the past year and a half!
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