Liveblogging the opening Plenary at Museums and the Web 2008. The speaker is Michael Geist, a Canadian professor who writes about copyright issues and internet law on his blog.
9:31 – people still trickling in, Michael’s on stage with Jennifer and David. Looks like we’re about to start. I picked the wrong half of the room to sit in, they’re all on the other side…
9:33 – and we’re off. David Bearman welcomes us to MW2008, our 12th meeting! He says there are 650 attendees from 30 different countries and 360 institutions.
9:39 – Still thanking people. I like the slides showing the #mw2008 stream going by: flickr, twitter, blogs, etc.
9:44 – Just saw my tweet go by, guess it’s as live as it gets!
9:45 – Interesting update from Jonathan Bengston, from the University of Toronto & internet archive Canada on the Internet Archive, a sort of followup to Brewster Kahle’s plea last year to “send us your stuff!”. He’s discussing a book scanning project in Ottawa and which books are most popular. They’re on track to have 200,000 books scanned by the end of the year – these books will all be in the public domain, and he’s hoping to continue to lay more data over this include geolocation and cross linking.
9:52 – Michael Geist: self-titled “law professor and troublemaker.” He begins by bringing us back to the state of the internet in 1997, where the prevailing feeling online was that the internet should remain unregulated and free of government intervention. He feels this idea was actually mostly a myth, that some regulation was always in the works, and even desired: spam, privacy, etc.
Internet 2008: There is a role to play for internet public policy.
Fair Copyright for Canada facebook page: within two weeks, 20,000 members, generating huge volume of feedback re: government bill. More feedback than when they were soliciting it.
Giving several examples of “open” content, sans DRM, and how widely used they are. I.E. Flickr.com just passed the 2 billion mark, including 10s of thousands of CC licensed ones. More and more publishers are using similar licenses now as well: his own book In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law is released free online in addition to a dead-trees version. The publisher has acknowledged this model has been a financial success and is looking into it for future volumes.
(lots of traffic on twitter with the #mw2008 tag!)
Mentions several collaborative sites worldwide: Global Voices, reCaptcha, etc. Global Voices providing a central publishing location for hard-to-read areas of the world, oppressed areas, etc. Translating service included to make sure these voices are available to the broader world community.
(I’m having a bit of trouble keeping up with what’s beginning to feel like a laundry list – great sites, but I hope these slides are available afterwards for more leisurely perusal. Many good resources for open sites: Open Medicine, open science journal, etc.)
Summarizing Internet 2008: basic feeling is people are becoming more aware of the importance of paying attention to internet copyright law, and finding a more active voice in the legislation — at least in Canada. Also mentions a Columbian example, but the subtext is that the US is a bit screwed because the DMCA is already in place…
- Broadband for all
- access to knowledge across the board. Too many people on dialups = actually less access to information these days.
- Network Neutrality.
- Move from 1997’s “dumb pipe” to todays “tiered networks”
- Amazon and Google so far most vocal: they got big because the playing field was level. Now they could afford to pay, but they recognize that the little sites need the same platform they were given.
- Intermediary liability
- Who’s responsible for third-party content that you host? Not your content, but on your servers
- Need better protection for content on your site that’s not “your content.”
- Public Domain
Finishes by advocating for less of a hands-off approach and more of a hands-on but informed internet.