Posted on June 28, 2007 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

Brian and I will be attending Drupal Camp Seattle 2007 tomorrow. We are looking at migrating our site over to Drupal this summer, so it should be very informative!

Posted on June 27, 2007 in Adam Moore, Informatics, IP, Ischool, RIAA, UW by Brian RoweComments Off

I must apologize for the vagueness of my last post. Now that I have calmed down, I can make a reasonable post on why I am so angry with the University of Washington’s new policy.

To clarify, this Monday UW sent an email to all student notifying them that UW was cooperating with the RIAA by distributing prelawsuit letters to student who have IP addresses that the RIAA claimed are file sharing copyrighted martial. (at this time I am looking for an official copy of the email, if you still have it please forwarded it to me)

My objections to this practice are twofold; first UW is enabling the RIAA to prey on the student they should be protecting.

The RIAA has set settlement amounts at a level where seeking legal advice is more expensive then just paying the settlement.
The RIAA is missing using a law designed to stop mass market commercial infringement against student who are not profiting.
The RIAA is intimidating students to the point of suggesting that some student should give up college saving and drop out of school to pay the settlements.

Second everything I learned thought the Ischool’s Informatics program is in direct conflict with helping the RIAA lock away information.

I was first introduced to John Perry Barlow’s article, A framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Age. (Everything you know about intellectual property is wrong.) Adam Moore’s. introduction to Informatics 300. This same class covered “Intellectual Property: A Non-Posnerian Law and Economics Approach,”(warning pdf version)
by Tom G. Palmer. The Ischool focused on the changes in the information landscape and equipping student to understand shape the future. Finlay my capstone project from 2 years ago identified areas of conflict between Human Rights and Intellectual property including distribution of nonrivalrous goods to people regardless of economic standing.

Now that these conflicts are becoming realities in our society it appears the University of Washington is choosing to entrench antiquated economic models of the past instead of becoming a leader in creating real solution to help all access knowledge.

I have a hard time reconciling the academic teaching for the University of Washington, especially the Ischool, with this new policy.

PS More on this next week including the Ischool’s vision and some responses from UW’s administration.

Posted on June 26, 2007 in IP, RIAA, UW by Brian RoweComments Off

This week Eric Godfrey, vice provost for student life at the UW Seattle campus, informed students of the policy Monday through a campuswide e-mail. It said some students have letters on the way, but he was unable in a later phone interview to say how many.

The university will not pass the students’ names to the association, but it will use its server to identify them and inform them of their settlement options…. read more at The news tribune

As an alumni of the Ischool.
As an alumni of University of Washington I aM


If you are outraged also please contact:

Eric S. Godfrey
vice provost for student life

(206) 543-0128;
Box 355831
Vice Provost, Student Life
476 Schmitz Hall
FAX: +1 206 543-2965
[email protected]

PS I will write more on this when I have calmed down!

Posted on June 26, 2007 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

For those of you in the Seattle area, copynight is tonight (Tuesday) at 8:30 PM at the Elysian Brewing Company, 1221 E. Pike in Capitol Hill.

Topics will include:

Lessig leaving the copyfight for corruption

The Pirate Party – US

Sarah and Brian’s visit to EFF and Creative Commons

We’ll bring lots of free stickers too!

See you there!

Posted on June 20, 2007 in Bo Lipari, IP, microsoft, Source Code, Trade Secret by Brian RoweComments Off

Microsoft moved this week to limit accesses to source code of voting machines in New York. Access to source code is essential to verifying that the voting process is working. Without review and transparency we will not be able to trust that our votes were counted correctly. Please write Microsoft and let them know that this move is contrary to the interest of preserving democracy. This type of action is an abuse of trade secrets and counter to the public interest.

Microsoft’s attorneys drafted an amendment which would add a paragraph to Section 1-104 of NYS Election Law defining “election-dedicated voting system technology”. Microsoft’s proposed change to state law would effectively render our current requirements for escrow and the ability for independent review of source code in the event of disputes completely meaningless – and with it the protections the public fought so hard for.

The full story can be found at:
Written by Bo Lipari

Posted on June 14, 2007 in IP, IPac by Brian RoweComments Off

IPac is a nonpartisan group dedicated to preserving individual freedom through balanced information policy.

We believe that technological innovation and individual creativity are vital to the future of this country. We believe that a prosperous and democratic society depends on freedom for all individuals to pursue scientific invention and artistic expression. Unfortunately, new and proposed laws such as the DMCA and Broadcast Flag threaten to stifle these freedoms and restrict public participation in science, art, and political discourse.

Therefore, IPac will support elected representatives and candidates for public office who fight for these principles:

Posted on June 13, 2007 in Uncategorized by Brian RoweComments Off
Posted on June 12, 2007 in collective licensing, EFF, IP by Brian RoweComments Off

Fred Von Lohmann, of EFF, just released an article responding to congresses letter to universities. He advocates for collective licensing through universities and unlimited file sharing. I have to agree that this is a much better solution than expelling students.

Copyright Silliness on Campus
By Fred von Lohmann

“The only solution is a blanket license that permits students to get
unrestricted music and movies from sources of their choosing.

At its heart, this is a fight about money, not about morality. We should
have the universities collect the cash, pay it to the entertainment
industry and let the students do what they are going to do anyway. In
exchange, the entertainment industry should call off the lawyers and
lobbyists, leaving our nation’s universities to focus on the real
challenges facing America’s next generation of leaders.”