Posts Tagged ‘berkman’

Charlie Nesson's trip

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

L.S.and D.

Has Charlie Nesson been at the magic mushrooms again? The hippy head of the Berkman Center, the influential New Age techno-utopian think tank that’s attached to Harvard Law School, wants to enlist Radiohead in his fight against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Nesson, a long-time opponent of creator’s digital rights, is contesting the statutory damages in infringement cases. A Boston graduate student called Joel Tenenbaum was ordered to reach a settlement with the record companies after being sued for copyright infringement, having shared files using the Kazaa P2P network back in 2003. Nesson’s strategy in Sony BMG Music vs Tenenbaum is to put the music business on trial. That’s fine – suing freetards isn’t going to stop P2P file sharing and it isn’t going to save the music business. It only adds to the anoraks’ persecution complex. Even the RIAA has now concluded it’s the wrong strategy.

But is Nesson the man to fight The Man? Nesson’s novel argument is that unlicensed P2P file sharing is “fair use”. Even his Harvard students, who are doing the work for him, think that’s stretch. And maybe he doesn’t want to win, just preen about in front of a camera. He wants it televised, he Arse Technica, because:

“It’s like a reality show that we can all be participants in as we go along… It’s an incredibly powerful expansion of the idea of teaching.”
(more…)

Creator haters at the LSE

Friday, March 21st, 2008

“one last fag, then bop, bop, bop”

– Wolfie Smith

London School of Economics I saw one of the most disturbing of all. If you thought people don’t behave in real life like they do online, think again. Here were all the most unpleasant aspects of online behaviour – ignorance, rudeness, groupthink, and a general sneering moral superiority – but made flesh. By the end, it had degenerated into farce. So what was it all about?

The event was billed as “Music, fans and online copyright”, and hosted in co-operation with the British Berkman clone, the Oxford Internet Institute.

Music and copyright are subjects that everyone has a stake in. But the speakers had been hand-picked by a fanatical anti-copyright Jacobin, Ian Brown. Brown drew from a narrow, ideologically homogenous group of friends. That didn’t make for an enlightening debate, but it made for a good lynching party – and the afternoon would culminate in a ritual lynching, with Mr John Kennedy of IFPI lined up for the noose.

With a selection like this, unpleasantness was guaranteed.
(more…)