Posted on September 19, 2008 in DMCA, Drupal, IP, privacy, UGC by Brian RoweComments Off

I have submitted two panels to this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco. Please take a moment to look them over and vote for them if you’re interested:

Is privacy still important in the age of public social networks, GPS, microblogging and how do we protect our members?

With web applications and location based application gaining popularity, what obligations do we have to our members concerning their privacy and data.

Fair Use, User Generated Content, Terms of Service and the DMCA Safe Harbor

Panel discussion with professionals from NPOs and the legal profession to help answer your questions and provide access to best practices around User Generated Content.  This session will include 3 short presentations and lots of time for Q&A.  Samples best practices and hands on resources will also be provided.

Our volunteer web guru, Sarah, has also submitted a technical panel on Drupal:

Start to Finish Drupal Redesign

This will be a detailed technical case study of the ACLU of Washington website redesign using Drupal and Convio.

Posted on August 22, 2008 in IP, privacy by Brian RoweView Comments

The panel the discussion focused on the change in generations, it covered everything from work life to the value of high school.  One issue stood out to me was Privacy.

Francine Hardaway Q: Does Gen Y.5 care about Privacy?

Mark Bao A: Most don’t care at all.  Maybe 20% care at most.

This is one of the largest rifts between generations.  Many Non-Profits (ACLU, EFF, EPIC to name a few) are currently focusing on privacy issues and we have a whole generation maturing that do not see privacy as an issue.    How do you reach out to users of BrightKite and Twinkle about privacy?

The answer may be that you can’t.  Once you start living 24-7 in the public eye, privacy becomes mute.  Issues like data portability and non-discrimination laws will take precedence over privacy concerns.

Posted on October 22, 2007 in Fair Use, privacy, UGC by Brian RoweComments Off

This week CBS, Disney and Viacom among other(who I call media middlemen) drafted and published “Principles for User Generated Content Services.” They want to require “Identification Technology” be used to limit your rights on User Generated Content sites (UGC’s.) Identification Technology is notoriously bad if not entirely unable to identifying Fair Use.

Beyond the obvious fair use problems which are explained in more detail by Kevin Donovan at Student for Free Culture. I am also bothered that the principles request that UGC’s to for keeping record on their users and turning them over to Media Middlemen if a take down occurs or if content is filtered by . Users privacy rights should be protected at least until there is a court order. UGC’s should be protecting users from baseless litigation and threating settlement letter by anonymizing user specific data like IP’s not handing it over to sue happy companies with lawyers that make predatory lenders look like your friend.

Here is the section that violates privacy:

“10. Consistent with applicable laws, including those directed to user privacy, UGC Services should retain for at least 60 days: (a) information related to user uploads of audio and video content to their services, including Internet Protocol addresses and time and date information for uploaded content; and (b) user-uploaded content that has been on their services but has been subsequently removed following a notice of infringement. UGC Services should provide that information and content to Copyright Owners as required by any valid process and consistent with applicable law.”

UGCs should refuse to use Identification Technology until it effectively identifies Fair Use 99.9% of the time. Other wise identification technology will just be a censorship tool that prevents us, real users from exercising our first amendment rights.

A full copy of the principles is available at: