Anderson! Lessig! Smackdown!

Great discussion at the New York Public Library. Professor Lawrence Lessig from Stanford (author of Free Culture, CODE and other laws of cyberspace) and Chris Anderson (author of The Long Tail and Editor of WIRED magazine) were going to sit down and discuss “The Rise and Fall of the Blockbuster”.

I left my voice recorder and my camera at home (sitting on the desk where I would remember to bring them) so here is a brief play-by-play:

Professor Lessig is smarter than me. WAAAAAY smarter. Geometrically smarter. And he gives good deck.
Chris Anderson wrote a pretty engaging book that is keeping people talking

Synchronization is a large part of why our media sphere, content and media diet are what they are

Does the increased access cause an increase in volume of media? Are there more books being written now (think it is a 2/3 increase from 10 years ago) because there are more ways to get access to the books – more bookstore chain stores, more wall marts, Amazon and Barnes and Noble online?

In the 50’s a huge % of people watched I Love Lucy. Now the best rated show on TV has a fraction of that audience

Anderson thinks Net Neutrality wont happen because the telecoms arent that competent

One of Lessig’s previous appearances inspired a member of the audience. He went to Law School (not sure if that is a good thing).

It wasn’t really a smackdown.

Best question of the night (and paraphrasing due to too little sleep and not enough RAM):

If you write a blog about the topic of the book and spend the time and conversations and listening and engaging the audience, is having the book printed the ultimate form of DRM?

Lawrence Lessig has the greates powerpoint decks.

Hopefully Toby will throw me some of the photos from the event.

Power Laws and the Long Tail are interesting, but the conversation (pro and con) are all-the-more interesting.

Audience member asks if long tail will be the cayalyst for micropayments? (ed. note =UUUGGGHHH the concept has been tried and failed – please kill it) – Anderson feels the micropayment in this case is ATTENTION – we are paying attention, giving our attention and our time, participating or lurking in the conversation is a payoff in and of itself.

A fun evening was had by all – unfortunately I had to go to the office (4 days in a row) to finish some work

good times man, good times.

Outstanding! – NYPL Battle Over Books Event

So I went to the Battle Over Books event at the New York Public Library. What a great time. Lawrence Lessig was in rare form and the debate over the Google Print project was outstanding. Allan Adler, who held his own during the discussion, even recieved some applause from 5 or 10 people in the room (packed house like the Who Owns Culture event). Special guests included Steven Johnson, who moderated the Who Owns Culture event and Emily, who recently returned from another amazing trip to the Far East.

Battle Over Books

But there were two big highlights of the night:

1. I saw Krista P who I used to work with at K2. I haven’t seen her since 2000 when I ran into her at a restaurant while I was working at Deutsch. We caught up a little bit. Krista – my email address is sean at

2. I got to hang out with Emily, Toby, Ace, David and Salim. I have been developing a reputation as a flake lately thanks to the ridiculous amount of work I am doing. Leaving events early, not showing up for BBQ’s, etc. I haven’t had a chance to hang out with Emily and Toby since the summer, so it was fun to see a good debate and then grab a drink and just talk. Advertising, structured content, identity, credit, context, disaster preparedness, tennis… we were all over the map.

And it was cool to meet Salim, a fellow gnomedexer and the CEO of PubSub (search the future!). He is working on some really cool stuff (very web2.0-y) with a big announcement in the future.

Ace, as usual, is full of advice: “You gotta get out more”.

I hate it when he is right.

Cory Doctrow release his new novel via RSS????

PSFK has a great post (how did I miss this one???) about Cory Doctrow releasing his book Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town as an RSS feed. Basically the feed releases a chapter of the book on a regular basis, starting with the first chapter when you subscribe to the feed. Subscribing to a comic book, a novel, a podcast radio serial…

Of course, I already subscribed, just to see if it works out (reading a book thru the feed) . I am not sure if the book would be better released as an OPML file (structured data – see Marc Canter’s post). But it is still another pretty cool application of RSS.

Doctrow is a big proponent of Creative Commons (he has released all of his books under a creative commons license) and is a European rep for EFF. He is also one of the authors of BoingBoing.

Link from BoingBoing

Surfarama’s post (which PSFK pointed to)

Four Docs from PSFK

Thanks to PSFK for the following:

Four Docs is launched today as a new opportunity and avenue for anyone to make and upload a four minute documentary. Hosted and run by Channel 4 (in the UK) the website also offers many guides for people planning on making their documentary.

FourDocs represents the democratisation of documentary film-making. Everyone can join in, not just those who are already making films.

This fits in with the citizen media ideas I have rolling thru my head and the really cool stuff Marc Canter and JD Lasica have been sharing on their blogs.

Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia Guest-blogging

Jimmy Wales (who founded the wikipedia and my buddy Ace met at TED Global) is guest-blogging

I will be presenting the ten things over the next ten days, but I will let you in on a little secret. I haven’t finished the list. In true collaborative style, I want to invite you to participate in the finalization and formation of the list.

Watch this space.

Book Review – Darknet by JD Lasica

Darknet : Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation
JD Lasica

First heard of this book at Gnomedex2005. While there I watched JD speak on a panel about tomorrow’s media and talk about participatory culture, user generated content and how the smarts are with the audience, not with the people on the stage. He is so passionate about the subject, and was having such a great time talking about the personal media revolution that I picked up a copy of his book that night.

The only problem with this book, like a roller coaster when you are a kid, is that it ended too soon. 267 pages of fun, and interesting people and WTF? moments of corporate and legislative stupidity. JD isn’t pro-piracy. JD isn’t pro-RIAA/MPAA/MS. He lays out an excellent argument for why we need more moderation and common sense and why it is more important that we the people and our legislators have an understanding of historical record behind innovation and copyright and culture.

Lasica tells a cautionary tale about what might happen if we let the regulators (business, MSM, govt agencies) have their way without our say. They want control over their content, and more importantly, their sources of revenue.

He balances that with a strong warning to the big players: there are more pirates than there are lawyers, and they are fighting back against the limitations. Without being silly or sci fi, he takes the reader through a short tour of the darknets, giving the reader a peek into the people and motivation inside.

This book touches on copyright, free culture, software, file sharing, business, Hollywood, professionals and amateurs. Lasica’s writing style is fast and clean and very direct. It is a fun and fast read with a great set of footnotes at the end the user can follow up on.

Get the book here
Check out JD Lasica’s site
Check out OurMedia at

Students: Downloading not unethical:- – Business News –

Students: Downloading not unethical:- – Business News –

The link above, which is a UPI feed on shows that the BSA is framing the debate:

Downloading music is a gateway to downloading software, the survey found. Among students who say they would always download music or movies without paying for them, 27 percent said they regularly download software from a peer-to-peer network.

Generation Y has largely grown up using the Internet and the majority of this group is extremely comfortable with technology, said Diane Smiroldo, BSA’s vice president for public affairs. Unfortunately, this survey shows students who engage in these illegal behaviors are likely to continue after college and when they enter the business world.

The genie is out of the bottle. BSA/RIAA/MPAA are trying to plug holes in the dam with various appendages.

I believe artists should get paid for their work, as a matter of principle. There needs to be engagement on both sides, not just framing music downloading a “gateway” to downloading software (like marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs).

Patronizing isnt the answer.

Denise Howell, Buzz Bruggeman, Jason Calacanis on Today’s Digital Legalities

Buzz Bruggeman
30 yrs practiving law
bg with technology
built activewords

Denise – appellete and IP law
programmers of the legal field

Buzz – huge friend of mind manager
lead the discussion and your things

law is static – wrong – very dynamic
lots of people blog about the law
Howard bashman – aappelete law blogger who keeps up to date on all the app courts in the US
broad readership w/ lawyers but even broader with judges
blog has been cited in a SCOTUS opinion
notion of participatory law

thinking about the audience – we have to confront issues in daily life
comparing the notion of locked silos of info (westlaw, lex-nex)

Jason C
weblogs inc
106 paid bloggers
use the soapbox you have to impact the pragmatic and practical
things to discuss:
1. rss
2. fair use for bloggers
3. attribution – blogs and apple and suing
4. picking your fights – what to do when MS, motorola, and lawsuits
5. blogger contracts

patent mojo – rss enabled sit ewhere you can sub to patents that are being granted to ms, apple, ibm etc.

MS internal policy – we dont want you lookign at other peoples patents

all the guys who came up with patent mojo are bloggers

inc availability of information – pr people dont go to tech or lawyers

law firms wising up

delicious tag – at lawnow

JC – more serious bloggers inc. for protection
legal letters – yell out
extend the discussion – take it down or else

good technique

quote of the week – “what do you guys think, am I stupid?”

if the lawyers letters are wrong, they look stoopid when you put them online

stuck to their guns and the truth came out

go thru the ed process withthe bloggers

EFF pubbed valuable legal guide for bloggers
another ex of the kind of detailed qual info you cant get 5 yrs ago

would you hire a lawyer b/c he is a blogger

need to have a bloggin policy
if you are gonna write aboutit, blog first

take a balanced approach

Havent seen lawyers who worked for pub traded companies blogging – SOX? SEC?

Denise Howell – scary smart, gets it

one of the many people who ran for gov, hamidi – intel sued him
sent 40000 emails tointel employees – trying to get them to rally around org/union – accused of tresspassing on intel servers

JC – inc as a level of protection for their personal assets?
BB – inc doesnt reduce the risk of litigation

BB the more you write the better you write – dont get fired for being stupid (google guy and delta guy) – violate code of conduct, “there are no first amendment rights protcting stupidity.

ex of Davezilla (toho – people who own godzilla tradmenark) sent him a leter – community provided all the legal support and info he was able to resopond

relatioship with people who do the segway, do we need to piss these people off? do what you think is right? Non competes with bloggers, trying to stop them,

know when it is unneccessaryt to go all the way
alot of time to see what happens – dont get scared when you see the letters – talk to them

BB – morganstanley-pearlstein lawsuit – document retention – last line says dont throw anythign away – play it stragihtl tell the truth
MorgS played cute – couldnt find email or docs, then found some – midway thru the drama – this is bullshit, default judgement – trial will be about damages.

pearlstein 1.4billion – booyah!

JC – do a project or biz and believe enought in it – document it – leave the lawyers out or let them negotiate – go direct – work out the ‘prenup’ conv early… before i go thru legal contract with you lets do bullet by bullet in email – bring it all up in the fresh air – send a letter of agreement – ‘what we are discussing doing legal doc – not gonna debate going forward – fax back intitial items – fax back – go thru the motions and dont do deals w/o everyhting in writing, oral agreements – do it right or dont do it

how participatory law has a relationship to part-journo and part-media – rewrite copywrite law for compulsary licenses to make it more streamlines, do away with comp license – link at top of delicious list

anything that streamlines is a good thing – this media is bubbling up out there

pushing the issues bmi and ascap are interested –

if the ? is you have a ? to the guys who are blogging about it it will be a great conv.

even if you are within fair use – respect it

talk and communicate – talk about whats fair – solve both problems

where are the boundaries with fair use? See wikipedia – too long a q to answer here