December 02, 2005
A long strange trip...
And another blow struck for free content on the web.
For those of you old enough to remember, throughout their touring career the Grateful Dead allowed fans to record their concerts and encouraged them to swap tapes of those concerts with one another. It was a business model that flew in the face of the standard recording industry model of controlling all content--recorded or performed--but one that worked for them (as long as they were touring).
The Internet made it oh so easy to trade those recordings and, with the death of their leader Jerry Garcia, the band stopped touring, vowing that the Grateful Dead would never tour again. Well, sort of. Now they tour sans Garcia as "The Dead." But, as Reuters reporter Michael Kahn reported on today's wire (okay, Reuters used to be a "wire service"), the band failed in its attempts to limit the sharing of fan-made concert recordings online:
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1 -- Facing a revolt by its famously faithful fans, the Grateful Dead backed away on Thursday from a move to block "Deadheads" from downloading the jam band's concert recordings free of charge.
The San Francisco Bay-based band had asked an independently run Web site to stop making thousands of the group's recordings available as free downloads. But the founder and director of the Web site (http://www.archive.org), Brewster Kahle, said in an online posting Thursday that free bootleg audience copies of the band's concerts had been restored.
Fans had reacted angrily to reports of the halt in free downloads, since the band had always encouraged fans to tape its concerts and then trade the tapes without charge. Some also threatened to stop buying merchandise in an online petition that quickly garnered more than 5,000 signatures.
"It appears doing the right things for the fans has given way to greed," the fan petition said.
"There was a consensus to address this issue and it got addressed," said band spokesman Dennis McNally. "We are confronting an entirely new set of circumstances with moving new music around."
In other words, their fans had grown far too accustomed to sharing these files, starting back when the files were audio tapes, and to block that sharing now turned out to be a breach of trust in the eyes of their fans.
Could this be a lesson for others who let people have content for free for years and then start trying to charge?
Another review of the Google presentations
Here's a review of the Monday evening program from Rebecca Tushnet, who is married to Zach Schrag (in our department) and is an attorney who specializes in these sorts of things.
Also, I just created a new category, "copyright", and have gone back and recategorized some of our postings that deal with this issue so you can search back through the blog on this topic later on.
Posted by mills at 09:12 AM
November 30, 2005
More on the law
Here is a link for a series of short articles about the legal issues of frames(yes, we already know they're a crime...sorry a bad pun, but I couldn't resist), images, and hyperlinking. The articles are a few years old so maybe the laws/legal reasoning has since changed, but they still provide an interesting alternative way to think about web design.
November 29, 2005
Images and copyright
This is a response to Tai's question about images for her wiki entry. This image comes from the American Memory project of the Library of Congress and is drawn from one of McKenney's books (published in 1859 and so out of copyright).
The LOC obtained it from the Filson Historical Society. Their rights and permissions listing on the LOC site says:
The Filson Historical Society owns the materials from its holdings presented online in The First American West. The Filson encourages the use of these materials for educational and scholarly purposes, but any use requires that a credit line be included with each citation.
Suggested Credit Line:
The Filson Historical Society.
The use of these materials in commercial publication projects requires the permission of the Filson Historical Society and is subject to a use fee. For permission to copy or use any materials from the Filson Historical Society in The First American West for any commercial purposes, please contact the society at the address given below.
Because I've just republished it in a blog that is clearly "educational", I'm well within their policy. But what about posting it into the Wikipedia? What do you think about that? One could argue that it is a non-commercial enterprise and so therefore within the policy. And, one could argue that because the image is from 1859 it is way out of copyright and so clear in any case. But one could also argue that some people, and they know who they are, use Wikipedia content in commercial enterprises. So, what if someone took Tai's entry, or just the image she might post, and used it for commercial purposes? Who's to blame there? And even if blame starts getting thrown around, can it stick to anyone, given that the image is from 1859?
Ain't copyright fun?
November 28, 2005
What do i find staring at me from my mailbox when i arrive home today. "The Chronicle Review" (The B section to the Chronicle of Higher Education) front page article entitled "The Google Gamble" by Siva Vaidhyanathan. It is the December 2nd Issue. You'll be able to access it through LexisNexis in a couple of days.
The article pretty much says that we are gambling that Google will keep the information free and egalitarian.
See my Wiki posting Thomas L. McKenney
I was actually shocked at how easy it was to contribute to Wiki. I have a great picture I wanted to upload of His Hotness - Mr. McKenney, but then I felt marginally guilty about the fact that it may or may not be legal for me to do so. I didnít figure out the bulleting some of you used. Now Iím going to give a shout out to Ammon because you were my inspiration on the format of the posting.
Posted by tgerhart at 03:15 PM
November 18, 2005
Copyright, blogs, and syndication
One of my hobbies is to follow the development of a movement in the Christian Church called the emergent conversation kind of like how other people follow sports. The other day, a controversy brewed that I think relates to our class. The rest of the story is in the extended entry, but please know that I am not endorsing any of the religious content in the links I provide. I'm just a spectator in the debate!
So on with the story...
Because the rise of emergent, I think, has largely mirrored the digital revolution, it has generated hundreds (thousands?) of blogs that debate the pros and cons of the movement. Recently, the writers on one blog, Emergentno.blogspot.com, had to ban some commenters and delete may other people's comments because they were deemed highly inappropriate. The response? One reader bought the domain name, Emergentno.com, and started copying the full text of the original site with the comments open and uncensored. Well, the folks at Emergentno.blogspot.com were really mad and you can read their reaction here and here. For the other side of the debate click here. Be sure to read the comments since they have the best discussion of the issue. Does syndication constitute fair use if they credit and link to the original? How much of the original posts can Emergentno.com use? What about the issue of the domain name? Is it too close? Should there be less overlap? Give me your thoughts.
Posted by miles at 08:42 AM
November 07, 2005
Copyright....some rights reserved.
Here is a link to the David Rumsey site copyright page.
I especially like how they call it a "human-readable summary."
Posted by kknoerl at 01:16 PM