Science fiction author and MacArthur genius grantee Jonathan Lethem had a stupendous article on copyright and plagiarism in last month's Harper's (be sure to read it right through to the end!).
Now, Siva Vaidhyanathan writes in with the news that, "Tonight on the PRI show 'Radio Open Source,' Christopher Lydon will interview novelist Jonathan Lethem, author Siva Vaidhyanathan, and musicians Mark Hosler (of Negativland) and Mike Doughty (of Soul Coughing) about the politics of plagiarism and originality. — Read the rest
Intel's latest business-model takes a page out of Hollywood's playbook: they're selling processors that have had some of their capabilities crippled (some of the cache and the hyperthreading support are switched off). For $50, they'll sell you a code that will unlock these capabilities. — Read the rest
"Google's modus operandi is to step into a vacuum that used to be the function of the state. Think about Google Books as a cheap replacement for libraries, which should be connecting people to all that learning. Or consider the clumsy pseudo-diplomatic role Google played earlier this year in its showdown with China. — Read the rest
The judges in a Dutch copyright case plagiarized a legal blogger in writing their opinion. The case held that framing and embedding is a form of copyright infringement (a maximalist copyright view that I find pretty dubious as a policy matter), and the relevant section from the opinion, "in case law and legal literature it is generally held that an embedded link constitutes a publication. — Read the rest
Wagner James Au sez, "Jonathan Lethem's latest novel Chronic City includes a virtual world inspired by Second Life, so fittingly, this Sunday Lethem is promoting his book *in* Second Life on the Copper Robot show, using an avatar named PerkusTooth Riddler, based on the character Perkus Tooth from the book. — Read the rest
Jonathan Lethem's extraordinary new novel Chronic City tells the story of Chase Insteadman, a washed up, grown up child actor living off his sitcom residuals in wealthy, Upper East Side New York. Chase is caught between two improbabilities: his fiancee, a dying astronaut stranded on a space-station walled off from Earth by a Chinese orbital minefield, from which vantage she commands daily headlines; and Perkus Tooth, a media-obsessed Philip-K-Dickian ex-rock-critic who lives in a weed-smoke- filled cave of a rent- controlled apartment from which he obsessively watches obscure movies and reads obscure books. — Read the rest
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's venerable Ideas programme just aired a fantastic one-hour segment on copyright called "Who Owns Ideas?" with a wide range of interviews with me, James Boyle, Steve Page from BNL, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Eric Flint, Michael Geist and many others. — Read the rest
Siva Vaidhyanathan's book The Anarchist in the Library identifies a theory implicit in much of the copyright wars called, "If value, then right." It holds that if something has some value, then the person who made it has a right to be compensated for using that value. — Read the rest
Siva sez, "In cooperation with the Media Education Foundation and La Lutta, Free Culture @ NYU is screening Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property at 9pm on Thursday, January 31.
Narrated by Naomi Klein, the film features interviews with Stanford Law's Lawrence Lessig, Illegal Art Show curator Carrie McLaren, Negativlandâ€™s Mark Hosler, UVA media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan, and Free Culture @ NYU co-founder Inga Chernyak, among many others. — Read the rest
The folks behind Steal This Film, an amazing, funny, enraging and inspiring documentary series about copyright and the Internet have just released part II of the series. I taught part one (about the PirateBay crackdown in Sweden and the founding of The Pirate Party) in my class last year, and it was one of the liveliest classes we had. — Read the rest
Alek sez, "The boundless archive of the NYT has spat out for me an article about Mark Twain's cunning plan to beat the early 20th century copyright law, with its short copyright terms. In short, Twain planned to republish every one of his works the moment it went out of copyright, with one-third more content in the shape of his serialized bibliography. — Read the rest
I just finished Jonathan Lethem's latest novel, You Don't Love Me Yet, a funny, quiet, improbable book about an art-rock band in Los Angeles that might be making it big.
I'm an enormous Lethem fan, and have been since Gun With Occasional Music, a hard-boiled detective story by way of Philip K Dick, and I particularly love how versatile he is, every book really different from the last. — Read the rest
For today's edition of the NPR News program "Day to Day," I filed a report on internet reactions around the release of a so-called "multimedia manifesto" by the Virginia Tech murderer, Seung-hui Cho. After shooting two people, and before killing 30 more, he mailed a package to NBC News which included photos of himself posing with weapons; videos of him rambling in threatening, narcissistic psychobabble; and a long, written diatribe.
[1:40PM PT] MSNBC is reporting that Cho Seung-Hui, the presumed gunman in Monday's Virginia Tech killings, express-mailed a package of correspondence to NBC News during the two hours between the first and second shootings. NBC has shared the contents with FBI investigators. — Read the rest