Digital Copyright on the Road - Three Meetings

Michael Carroll
July 17, 2009

Bogota - Campus Party 2009

On July 11, I gave a keynote on Creative Commons and the principle of copyright neutrality at Campus Party 2009. Many thanks to Carolina Botero of Creative Commons Columbia and the folks at CampusBlog for the invitation. Pictured at the right are Carolina and Jaime Rojas, two of the four founders of CC Columbia.

Below is a scene from Campus Party.










Hong Kong - Age of Digital Convergence Conference  

On June 12-13, I participated in the Age of Digital Convergence conference organized by Peter Yu in conjunction with, and hosted by, Hong Kong University. My talk was on "Copyright and the Role of Machines in Cultural Production." I briefly look at issues concerning the roles of machines as reading tools and authoring tools. Machines as readers has greater impact on copyright practices than on the interpretation of copyright law as such.

As a matter of practice, copyright owners are, or should be, increasingly aware of machines as the immediate audience for their works. These machines may be acting as discoverers, filters, organizers, translators, etc. Machines need rules to perform these functions, and digital works need to be marked up or formatted consistently with the rules used by these machines. In the open access context, the big lost opportunity is that most scholarship is not being published in a manner that enables machines readers to fully assist researchers.

Machines as authoring tools raise a host of interesting legal questions. I use the case of David Cope as an example. His Experiments in Musical Intelligence software composes music in the style of famous classical composers. WNYC has a nice interview with him, in which he explains how EMI works and the kinds of reactions he receives when audiences who find themselves emotionally moved by live performance of the composition learn that it is the produce of Cope's algorithm.



Guangzhou - International Workshop on Copyright Industries

 On June 15, I participated in the 2009 International Workshop on Copyright Industries and Intellectual Property, hosted by the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou. This invitation also was through the good offices of Peter Yu and the faculty at SCUT. My talk was on the role of intellectual property licensing in copyright industries, and teh interrelation between private licenses and public licenses, such as the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses.

Our hosts were very generous, and we were very well fed! I particularly enjoyed the river tour of the city.




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