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Friday, March 23, 2007

A Big Warm Thanks to Creative Commons and EFF

We recently sent emails out to Creative Commons and EFF asking for materials to hand out at our talks.

EFF came through with loads of stickers including "Fair Use Has a Posse - eff.org" and "Come back with a warrant! - eff.org/nsa"

Creative commons sent us a huge package with stickers, buttons, and media kits with CDs and DVDs in them.

We gave one of the media kits recently to a visiting delegate from China. She had been meeting with people in the US about intellectual property for three weeks before she came to Seattle, and she said that this was the first indication she had gotten that anyone would question our current regime and push China to allow its population to share and remix its culture in ways that the US cannot!

So big big thanks to EFF and Creative Commons!
The people of Seattle shall have stickers!!!!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Copyright Society Presents: Can We Save Our Culture? The Future of Digital Archiving.

Copyright Society Presents: Can We Save Our Culture? The Future of Digital Archiving.

On Tuesday April 3rd, 2007, the Northwest Chapter of the Copyright Society is presenting two dynamic speakers; Professor Diane Leenheer Zimmerman of NYU School of Law
Mr. Steve Davis, CEO of Corbis Corporation

There will be a moderated discussion on the legal, social, and economic implications underlying the trend of online archiving, most recently reflected in the Google’s Library project and the You-Tube phenomenon.

Can we meaningfully preserve our increasingly digital history under the current copyright laws?

Do private and public initiatives go too far in using copyright works without consent or compensation?

Is there a solution that allows preservation of culture and history without undercutting protection to copyright owners?

Held at Seattle University School of Law, the event features a reception from 5-6 p.m, followed by the presentation from 6-8 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to participate in a question and answer following a discussion moderated by Professor Maggie Chon. Through the generosity of Seattle University School of Law, The Center for the Study of Justice in Society at
Seattle University and the law firm of Darby & Darby, this event is open without charge, although we encourage a contribution of $10 to enable future presentations of wide ranging interest to our community.

You are requested to RSVP via email in order to insure your space at this popular event. Copyright Society members and non-members are encouraged to invite their business and government clients, particularly in the art, library, and museum communities. The flyer found at http://www.csusa.org/chapters_north_west.cfm has more information.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Petition for Public Access to Publicly Funded Research in the United States

We just signed the Petition for Public Access to Publicly Funded Research in the United States.

Access to Knowledge is a basic Human Right that is needed to exercise Freedom of Speech, ensure Justice and educate a democracy.

-Brian Rowe

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Social Justice, IP and Free Culture

Last year, before becoming a student at Seattle University, I attended the Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) sponsored CLE on the intersection of Antitrust and IP. I was very impressed by the panel of speakers that included Daniel Ravicher of Public Patent and Joe Miller of Lewis and Clark's Law School who challenged the assumptions put forward by many of the other pro-corporate-interest speakers by adding a voice for Social Justice that included alternative views of IP and the social harms of some of the policies being discussed.

This year I attended the IPLS sponsored CLE on video games and IP law, and was disappointed that the CLE did not allocate time to social justice issues related to the topic at hand. The CLE covered several topics that have a potential social justice impact such as user-owned IP in massive multilayer online games, the rating of video games, and file-sharing via peer to peer networks. I was hopping to see at least one speaker address these issues from a user's perspective.

Unfortunately, the CLE not only ignored social justice issues but also artificially portrayed one on the most influential online communities for social justice movements, Second Life. Second Life was painted as a shallow chat and cybersex service that has squandered its IP rights by allowing its users to retain copyright on everything they create. This depiction failed to mention of some of the extremely positive aspects of Second Life. Second Life has become an online community for both academics and nonprofits who wish to reach a wider audience. This last year I attended a lecture in Second Life sponsored by Harvard's Law School as part of their Law in the Court of Public Opinion extensions class. The lecture was free and anyone could register and participate regardless economic standing or geographic location.

On the nonprofit front, Second Life has become a gathering place for organization like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Creative Commons who advocate for users rights online and alternatives to traditional copyright. Their events last year included an interview with the highly esteemed Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner that respectfully challenged some of his proposition in his recent book "Not a Suicide Pact : The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency". Organizations like UNICEF and Global Kids have reached out to users in Teen Second Life as a vehicle to involve teens in community outreach activism on global and local issues.

I hope next year's CLE on IP returns to the thoughtful dialogue about social justice that brought me to SU. To help realize this goal I will be starting a chapter of the socially conscious IP student organization Free Culture. If you have interest in helping balance the prospective on IP and Social Justice that Seattle University puts forward, please feel free to contact me, roweb@Seattleu.edu or Brian@freedomforip.org.

Thank you,

Brian Rowe
1L Seattle University
freedomforip.org

PS this Letter is in the Public Domain, No copyright has been reserved.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Interview with Beth Kanter and Talk with Salmon Bay School

We've been busy getting the Freedom for IP message out on the streets this month!

I did an interview with Beth Kanter this week. It can be found on Blogher and icommons as well as her personal blog.

This morning, we had the fascinating experience of presenting an overview of IP law to a class of middle school students at an alternative Seattle school called Salmon Bay. They were very interested in the topic and had lots of great questions. We should definitely do this more often!

Next week we will be speaking with a delegation from Kosovo at the invitation of the World Affairs Council. Whatever difficult questions they have for us, I'm sure they'll be easier than the middle schoolers!

 
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