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Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 SPARC Awards for Student Activist

SPARC has started their own Innovator Awards to recognize students who are helping move scholarly communication towards an open access model. SPARC, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. This years SPARC awards were heavily pervaded by students in the Free Culture movement.

Here are this years winners:


* "The Technologist," Benjamin Mako Hill, Graduate of the MIT Media Lab, current Researcher at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Fellow in the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, and engineer of the 2007 "Overprice Tags" project at the MIT library.





* "The Professional," Gavin Baker. Political Studies graduate of the University of Florida, Open Access Director for Students for Free Culture, and co-mastermind of the National Day of Action for Open Access, February 2007.






* "The Politician," Nick Shockey. Current undergraduate and Student Senator at Trinity University in San Antonio and author of the second-ever student senate resolution in favor of public access to publicly funded research results.






* "The Diplomat," Elizabeth Stark. Student of Law at Harvard University, Affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, founder of Harvard Free Culture, and architect of one of the first student free thesis repositories.





* "The Evangelist," Nelson Pavlosky. Law student at George Mason University, co-founder of Students for Free Culture, and ally of the Student Global AIDS Campaign and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.






Read the full Story at SPARC:
http://www.arl.org/sparc/innovator/students.html

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lawrence Lessig in Seattle Tomorrow

Professor Lessig, an inspiration for Students for Free Culture, is Speaking at University of Washington

Title: Is Google (2008) Microsoft (1998)?
Date: Nov . 2, 2007
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: in room 130 of Kane Hall.
Cost: Free (tickets available at UW book store)

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a Professor at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Professor Lessig represented web site operator Eric Eldred in the ground-breaking case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

Professor Lessig is the author of Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). He chairs the Creative Commons project, and serves on the board of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge. He is also a columnist for Wired.

If you are interested in corruption scholarship or the copyfight I would recommended reading Lessig's blog.

Related Links:
More information on the talk
Students for Free Culture

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Seattle PI coverage of Students for Free Culture

The Seattle PI made two blog posts regarding Seattle Student for Free Culture last week. The discussion related to the recent RIAA suits and the local copyfight at Seattle University School of Law and at University of Washington. It appears that SU Law is acting to Free Culture while UW has not taken action yet. This is surprising considering both the RIAA suits at UW and UW's recent speaker of Brewster Kahle and up coming speech from Larry Lessig. Where are the librarians and the Ischool in the fight to open up access to all knowledge?

I recommend checking out the articles, I will be reposting here the comment we made on how to get involved in the copyfight in Seattle.

Original article about Seattle Students for Free Culture
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/123408.asp

Follow up article with interviews with Brian Rowe and Scott Shawcroft
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/123426.asp

Disclosure: I am the student leader behind SFFC at Seattle Univerity Law and a Graduate of University of Washington.

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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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