Posted on January 25, 2008 in Uncategorized by Esther BensonComments Off

I’m Esther, I’m an MLIS student at UW and I’ll be doing some work on the FreedomforIP website. Basically, we are adding wiki functionality to the site, starting the caselaw and philosophy pages. We’re still in the development stages, and we’re planning to unveil the new wiki in mid-March.

We’ll keep you posted as we update the site.

Posted on January 14, 2008 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

Little BrotherI got an advance copy of Cory Doctorow’s new book Little Brother last week from a coworker at ACLU. I happened to be taking care of my disabled father that night, so I read it all in one night. Then I took it home and read it out loud to my partner. Now it’s being passed between my friends and office-mates.

It’s strange to read a book about people like myself, my “tribe”. There are some things in the book (like the shock at getting paid to write code for the first time), that my friends and I have all experienced, but reading them in a novel is a bit surreal. In that sense, the novel does speak for my generation. Although I’m certain that not everyone in my generation would agree with the values or morals promoted in Little Brother, the book does accurately capture our culture and our communication style, as The Catcher in the Rye and Ulysses did for previous generations.

The message in the book is a hugely important one. Although it’s theoretically set in the near future, since I’ve read it, I’ve noticed pieces of the surveillance society in the book coming true in real life currently. I worry a bit that when the book comes out in April, it will be closer to current events than futuristic possibilities.

The book is very readable for young adults, and still layered and engaging for old adults. I’m not sure a lay-person could grock dual-key encryption from Cory’s explanation, but it’s not an easy concept to communicate, especially in a young adult text. Overall, I think it’s an essential book for young adults to read. I especially liked the bibliography, which efficiently brings together several different books and blogs that together give a decent picture of our tribe’s culture and beliefs.

I think that current young adults will engage with and be inspired by this book because it speaks to them and their lives. Whether the book will hold up over time is another question, as many of the technologies in the book will become antiquated and obscure. Watching the characters interact with technology was half the fun for me (but my passion connecting people with technology to accomplish a greater good, so maybe I’m not the best judge). I wonder whether that piece will be lost on future generations.

The book has a clear unapologetic theme of civil disobedience which resonates with me as a hacker and a young person. Civil disobedience is critically important in this society where the traditional reigns of power are held by an increasingly small segment of our country. My generation sees technology as an extension of ourselves, and many of us feel that it is our duty to use technology to wrest power from that minority and give it back to the people. Cory’s book tells a passionate story about a member of our tribe doing just that.

Cross-posted to my personal blog – Civil Disobedient.

Posted on December 28, 2007 in Uncategorized by Riana PfefferkornComments Off

DLA Piper’s Mark Radcliffe blogs about the Top 10 FOSS Legal Stories of 2007. Hat tip: Eric Goldman (lots of interesting stuff in his link roundup for this month).

In other news, you have 3 days left to make donations to charity that you can deduct from this year’s taxes. Wendy Seltzer has a few suggestions.
Posted on October 4, 2007 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

Jammie Thomas owes $220,000. $9250 per song.

It is sad and wrong and pathetic that our politicians have been bought off by the RIAA so many times that the legislation that has been building in favor of big business for centuries has come to this.

It needs to stop.

It needs to change.

We’ve had a reasonable coherent solution to this problem ever since William Fisher’s Promises to Keep came out in 2004.

In the wake of today’s ruling, EFF has promoted a “voluntary collective licensing” proposal. It’s essentially exactly like Fisher’s proposal without giving any credit to Fisher. I guess better late getting on the bandwagon (or claiming you invented the bandwagon) than never…

Posted on September 27, 2007 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

Looking for an excuse to dress up and hang out with lawyers? No? I don’t blame you. But if you are, ACLU is having a $60/plate Bill of Rights Celebration Dinner on November 3rd.

More information is here (I built this site, isn’t it sexy?):

The speaker this year is Helen Thomas (remember the old lady in the Steven Colbert skit when he talked to the press corps in front of Bush?). Our Event Coordinator called her on the phone last week and Helen apparently went off on how outraged she is at today’s media and how she can’t wait to get up on stage. If you just want to see Helen Thomas, and not pay for dinner, show up at 8, and they will seat on a first come first serve basis for FREE (they’ve never run out of seats in years past, so you shouldn’t have to come early).

See you there!

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 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 13, 2007 in Uncategorized by Brian RoweComments Off
Posted on May 28, 2007 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

Yesterday we did a panel in Portland on Creative Commons and the Future of Digital Freedom. It went very well. We met musicians, photographers, zine producers, and general tech junkies.

We decided to give a broad ten minute overview of IP and then open it up for questions. We had prepared a lot more material in case they didn’t have questions, but they were well informed over the topic and the panel became a two hour discussion of how to open up content and where technology is headed. It was fabulous!

We gave out lots of stickers and buttons too!