Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Friday, January 10, 2003day link 

 Cities for Peace
picture Cities for Peace is a growing effort to get U.S. City Councils and other civic bodies to pass resolutions against a war on Iraq. Civic and religious leaders, educators, peace activists, business leaders and individuals are coming together across the country to say "no" to Bush's call for war. We the people of the U.S. are wary of a military venture against a country that has not attacked us. Apparently 34 cities so far have passed resolutions against the war.
[ | 2003-01-10 23:59 | 16 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 We Media
Dan Gillmor writes in 'Here comes We Media' about two-way media. Knowledgable readers don't want to just sit and read what other people are writing - they want to talk back, and add in what they know. Journalism is evolving away from a lecture mode, towards being a conversation. Weblogs illustrate that, of course. It requires that the writer has the humility to realize that his readers probably know more than he does. Or, rather, collectively they absolutely, certainly know more than you do.
"In 1999, Jane’s Intelligence Review, the journal widely followed in national security circles, wondered whether it was on the right track with an article about computer security and cyberterrorism. The editors went straight to some experts — the denizens of Slashdot, a tech-oriented Web site — and published a draft. In hundreds of postings on the site’s message system, the technically adept members of that community promptly tore apart the draft and gave, often in colorful language, a variety of perspectives and suggestions. Jane’s went back to the drawing board, and rewrote the article from scratch. The community had helped create something, and Jane’s gratefully noted the contribution in the article it ultimately published."

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 What lawyers can learn from comic books
picture In Copy cats and robotic dogs Lawrence Lessig talks about a Japanese phenomenon that lawyers all over the world could learn from. Lessig is a U.S. law professor currently staying in Japan. The phenomenon is dojinshi, which is a type of comic book that forms a huge and growing market in Japan. But, technically speaking, it is founded on copyright 'violations'. Amateurs are copying and incorporating original art, and everybody benefits, including the original artists who experience more demand from their work. And so it is in many areas. People and companies who create something unique and useful will often benefit from all the creative uses and tweaking and copying that the customers come up with, if they're in a mind to realize it. The lawyers are often the ones who put a stick in the wheel, and make everybody lose, except for themselves.
"Lawyers (save those from Chicago) are not typically trained to think about the business consequence of their legal advice. To many, business is beneath the law. When a Sony lawyer threatened a fan of the company's Aibo robotic dog, who had posted a hack online to teach the dog to dance to jazz, he or she no doubt never thought to ask exactly how making the Aibo dog more valuable to customers could possibly harm Sony. Harm was not the issue, a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was: consumers should be banned from hacking Sony dogs, whether or not it was to Sony's benefit.

Management should begin to demand a business justification for copyright litigation. How does this legal action advance the bottom line? How will it grow markets or increase consumer demand for our products? Will calling our customers criminals increase consumer loyalty?"

[ | 2003-01-10 23:59 | 15 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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