April 30, 2009  ·  Lessig

As you may have read me tweet, the organization that hosted me for this talk:

Received a notice that Warner Music had objected to its being posted on copyright grounds. Apparently, YouTube’s content-ID algorithm had found music in the video that they claimed ownership to. The organization is apparently responding by disputing the claim. I’ll report back when I hear more.

Meanwhile, Keith Irwin (site) has kindly gone through the talk and identified all the music that is used in the talk. All of that use is, imho, fair use. But here’s the list. Thanks to Keith for the work:

Danger Mouse – The Grey Album
DJ Mystik – Inspector Gadget Techno remix (no idea what record label)
The Muppets – Mah Na Mah Na (Muppets Holding Company <- Disney)
Diana Ross and Lionel Richie – Endless Love (Motown <- Universal)
DJ Unk – 2 Step (Koch Records)
Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – Crank Dat Soulja Boy (Stacks On Deck <- Interscope <- Universal)
Girl Talk (IllegalArt)
will.i.am – Yes We Can (not released by a label)
Kutiman-Thru-You – Mother of all Funk Chords (not released by a label)

UPDATE: Apparently the protest filed by the uploader to the block was successful. This was the segment that was blocked. We’ll see if it sticks.

UPDATE II: I now have received the text of the block on YouTube. It said: “Your video, Part 2: Lawrence Lessig – Getting a Network the World Needs at OFC/NFOEC 2009, may have audio content from Mahna Mahna by The Muppets featuring Mahna Mahna & The Two Snowths that is owned or licensed by WMG.”

April 27, 2009  ·  Lessig

I’m a big believer in carbon offsets (not so much the cap and trade game, but in the simple internalize-your-externality-sort). I talk about it in my Green Culture talk. IMHO, we all have an ethical obligation to offset our carbon footprint — now. My wife and I have been doing so for a couple years. We’re a couple months late buying credits for last year.

One reason we’re late (other than the obvious) is the insane complexity in calculating it well. I travel way too much. That’s the biggest chunk to cover. But to calculate it accurately requires churning through a pile of flights. I could estimate, no doubt. But I want something more accurate.

So I was really happy to see on the United page an announcement of a “Carbon Offset Program.” What I expected it to be was a simple way to at least know what the total carbon footprint from your flights for some period was (after all, they have all the data), and ideally, a simple way to buy offsets.

No such luck. United has simple linked to one of the million places where you can calculate a per flight carbon cost. It allows you to input total miles flown, but its Mileage Plus page doesn’t give you total miles flown, it gives you the total added to your account (included bonuses, etc.)

Looking forward to version 2.0.

April 27, 2009  ·  Lessig

Looks like novelist Mark Helprin is back. You might remember that in 1997, Helprin published an oped in the New York Times praising, as Peter Jaszi put it, perpetual copyright terms “on the installment plan.” (Helprin insists he doesn’t support perpetual terms; he just likes extending terms now to assure that grandchildren get the benefit of an authors work.) At the time, I invited the lessig-wiki community to pen a response. And amazing even to me, an extraordinary response they penned.

NPR retells the story today because apparently Helprin has a book which will be released on the 28th — “Digital Barbarism: A Writer’s Manifesto.” (Note: if you buy Helprin’s book from that link, Creative Commons will get the money.) The NPR page includes an interview with me (in my flu-ridden, 102 degree fever state, I’m terrified to listen to it again). But I am eager to read the book, and even more eager to read the review on the wiki.

April 26, 2009  ·  Lessig

Some scholars have been arguing that the architecture of the internet, its embrace of openness as a design principle, might revolutionize science if we could apply the same principles there — if we could break down the legal and technical barriers that prevent the efficient networking of state funded research and data. Imagine a scientific research process that worked as efficiently as the web does for buying shoes. Then imagine what economic growth a faster, leaner, and more open scientific research environment might generate.

James Boyle, What the information superhighways aren’t built of, FT (April 17, 2009). (Not that the FT is the perfect architect of openness. You’ll have to give away some personal information to read this wonderful essay. Don’t worry. You can give it away “for free.”)

April 25, 2009  ·  Lessig

Mich Kabay of Norwich University (VT) reports his class has just completed 3.5 weeks with CODE v2 in his Politics of Cyberspace course. As he writes,

the files in the LECTURES section include more than 100 specific questions for discussion and exams that they may find helpful in preparing their own courses.

You can download the entire set here.

Thanks for the work making my own more useful.

April 14, 2009  ·  Lessig

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The amazing folks at the Center for Responsive Politicsopensecrets.org have released (under a Creative Commons license) 200 million records to help the world understand how influence in Washington works. This is enormously good news.

Even better is that today they were nominated for a Webby. Here’s where you can vote to thank them in the best possible way.

April 14, 2009  ·  Lessig

I can’t begin to describe how rewarding it is to see the voting start on the question whether WIkipedia should exercise an option granted to it by the Free Software Foundation to relicense Wikipedia under the CC-BY-SA license. I am very hopeful the community will choose to exercise that option.

This is an issue that has been close to my heart for years now. I have been pushing the idea of license interoperability explicitly since about September, 2005. The argument is a simple one: We need a guarantee that free culture lives on a stable, interoperable licensing infrastructure, so the weakness of any one won’t bring the whole enterprise down. To that end, we initially began conversations with the Free Software Foundation to see whether we might make the FDL directly interoperable with the CC-BY-SA license. For perfectly legitimate reasons, the FSF didn’t want to do that.

But critically, they also didn’t want to weaken the Free Culture movement by forcing Wikipedia to live with a license that was not originally drafted with the full range of relevant culture in view. So the FSF amended the FDL to permit wikis licensed under the FDL to relicense. Wikipedia is now deciding whether to do just this.

My dream is that this will start in a serious way the process we scoped out 3 years ago. We’ve already been in discussion with the Free Art License community about making their license interoperable. I’d love to see that happen generally. In my view, the critical question is what freedoms the license supports, and whether it supports it well, not who wrote the license. We’ve got a long way to go to getting there. But it would be a critical first step for the Wikipedia community to support this crucial change.

Again, as Stallman said in a different context:

“If we don’t want to live in a jungle, we must change our attitudes. We must start sending the message that a good citizen is one who cooperates when appropriate….”

Vote here (if you’ve made more than 25 edits to Wikipedia).