June 20, 2005  ·  Lessig

darknet_jacket_550p.jpgJD Lasica’s fantastic book, Darknet, has now been published. It is a wonderful collection of stories and analysis around new media issues. He says some nice things about me in the book (some at least) so I won’t go on about it. But his publisher has allowed him to prime the reading with some mini-chapters.

June 16, 2005  ·  Lessig

openDemocracy, an independent online magainze for debate about global politics, has adopted CC licensing. From the press release: “Past contributors include Todd Gitlin, Mary Kaldor, Kofi Annan, Anne-Marie Slaughter, John le Carré, Ian McEwan, and Siva Vaidhyanathan.”

June 14, 2005  ·  Lessig

Michael Geist is a professor at University of Ottowa. He’s certainly one the most prolific and effective advocates for all things good. Among the million things he does is write a weekly column for the Toronto Star. That writing, along with his other work, has angered those with whom he disagrees.

Of course, I know well what it’s like to be, let’s say, not liked. But I’ve been astonished by the means deployed by our friends in the North for dealing with people they don’t like. So too have I been amazed at the rhetoric. Check out Michael’s post, Groundhog Day to get a flavor. I guess this is as good a measure as any of effectiveness. Bravo, Michael.

June 10, 2005  ·  Lessig

We (Creative Commons) just upgraded to Apple’s Tiger to get the benefit of some cool new iCal features. I’m regretting the decision already. I had moved to Mail.app a while ago, after being frustrated with Entourage’s bloat. And after some tinkering, I had crafted a series of hotkeys to automatically move mail from the inbox to different folders. I have always been astonished that this function wasn’t integrated into mail applications — do you all really drag and drop the hundred of emails you file, or do you just not file email?

Anyway, though Apple proudly lists all the improvements to Mail as an inducement to upgrade, it doesn’t list the things it broke — in particular, scripting. No longer can you script within Mail. And while you can script at the system level, hot-key support for those scripts doesn’t work right now.

This is a bug, no doubt. I imagine they’ll fix it. But meanwhile, they’ve also changed the naming convention for such scripts (used to be ctrl, now ctl, etc., or something like that). All of which makes me wonder: who is it that thinks changes like this are improvements? How could you ever imagine that there’s more good than harm done by a change like this? Just part of an endless conspiracy to disable the ability to automate life in macland. Why work to automate when some genius will change a convention to force you to recode every time you “up”grade a system?

Update: I thought I had posted this update last week. Sorry for the delay. Just about an hour after I posted this, a modest coder sent along his work which solves the problem. Check out Red-Sweater’s Fastscripts. See also this free plug-in.

June 10, 2005  ·  Lessig

I’ve been a fan of the OECD’s “Working Party on the Information Economy” reports. Though I don’t agree with everything they’ve said, they’ve been extraordinarily balanced and informative. This is the latest — a report on “Digital Broadband Content: Music.” It promises to be interesting and valuable weekend reading.

June 8, 2005  ·  Lessig

After notice and a period for comments, Creative Commons has versioned the attribution clause in our licenses. The new clause does something cool I wanted to flag. The essence of the change is to permit the copyright holder to specify what the attribution should be. Thus attribution can be to the author, or to another entity (e.g., the Wiki, or the journal in which the article was first published), or both, as the licensor specifies.

The motivation for this change was both to formalize the CC-Wiki license, which is a rebranded CC Attribution-ShareAlike licenses. With this new attribution clause, a wiki can now specify that attribution is back to the wiki. A second motivation was to help open access publishing: Now the author can require a citation that would include the original journal in which the article appeared — something many journals we eager to have in return for permitting open access publishing.