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Berkman Buzz, week of August 18

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations. If you'd like to receive this by email, just sign up here.

What’s going on…take your pick here or browse below.

* Derek Slater argues against stronger entertainment copyright restrictions.
* David Weinberger defends anonymity online.
* Bill McGeveran responds to his "Digital Learning Challenges" white paper.
* Berkman Blog shares Beyond Broadcast video.
* Center for Citizen Media announces training for citizen journos.
* Dan Gillmor blogs about Citizen Media video.
* Derek Bambauer thinks about online implications to ACLU v. NSA case.
* Urs Gasser talks about EU Copyright Guide.

The full buzz.

"They can't convince consumers that restricting compatible devices is a good thing -- heck, the record labels won't even defend the iPod-iTunes tie, though they reluctantly go along with it.  And if the major entertainment companies' best argument for price discrimination is that they'll get to take away your ability to freely burn CD copies of purchased music, then they'll be doing my job for me. Consumers don't want fair use taken away so that it can be sold back to them bit by bit..."
Derek Slater, "Bring on the PRM Wars"

"Anonymity (including pseudonymity) does much good online. It also allows bad things to happen, but so does free speech. Before we tinker with the defaults, we ought to at least recognize what we may be giving up in the realms of (1) the political, (2) the social, and (3) the personal.
1. Anonymity allows people to say and do things that those in power don't like. It enables dissidents to speak and whistleblowers to blow their whistles.
2. Anonymity allows people to say and learn about things from which social conventions otherwise would bar them. It helps a confused teen explore gender issues.
3. Anonymity (and especially pseudonymity) enables a type of playing with our selves (yes, I know what I just said) that may turn out to be transformative of culture and society.
Anonymity also allows some awful things to happen more easily, but we can't fairly decide what we want to do about it unless we also acknowledge its benefits. Just as with free speech..."
David Weinberger"Anonymity as the default, and why digital ID should be a solution, not a platform"


"In addition, one of the security measures NLS puts in place to pprevent such infractions in the future is "a monitoring procedure to track all access to the Web-Braille system." Most librarians will fight tooth and nail to ensure the privacy of patron records, but it seems that blind patrons now will have their selections monitored. (If there are appropriate safegaurds on the data this might be acceptable, like tracking overdue books - but again, it is hard to tell and NLS has not been forthcoming.) So, even with a quite broadly written special copyright provision that immunizes conduct intended to help disabled people read, it seems that key gatekeeprs are unduly meed in their behavior. It is a cautionary tale for those (myself included) who believe a more robust statutory exception for educational uses of content might insert some spine into educational institutions that currently adopt overly conservative positions..."
Bill McGeveran, "Web-Braille and Cautious Gatekeepers"
Check out the White Paper

"Martin Lucas at the Center for Social Media has produced a 13-minute video from Beyond Broadcast, a conference on the future of public media in a participatory culture. According to Lucas, "The 13-minute video features interviews with several conference speakers including: Peter Armstrong of, videoblogger Jay Dedman, Berkman fellow Jake Shapiro of Public Radio Exchange and others. The video provides some of the flavor of this event, including the ‘shadow conference’ on Second Life, an online, three-dimensional virtual world."
Berkman Blog, "Check it Out: Beyond Broadcast Video"
Check out the video

"The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, an organization that has been helping train journalists for decades, understands the need. We’re happy to announce that the foundation has awarded a grant to the Center for Citizen Media to create five online training modules for citizen journalists. Those modules will cover 1) thoroughness, 2) accuracy, 3) fairness, 4) transparency and 5) independence. We hope you’ll help us. The foundation believes this kind of training will be increasingly important because a fast-growing way in which citizens influence public issues and affairs is through publishing their thoughts and observations on blogs..."
Center for Citizen Media"Help us Create Training Modules for Citizen Journalists"

"Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) of Cambridge, MA, has released the final version of their 15 minute short on citizen journalism online. It’s called “Citizen Journalism: From Pamphlet to Blog,” and it features interviews with Ethan Zuckerman of Global Voices, videoblogger extraordinare Steve Garfield, and many others..."
Dan Gillmor"Citizen Journalism mini-documentary now available online"
Check out the video

"Second, most of the discussion by plaintiffs in tehse cases (see also Hepting v. AT&T, 2006 WL 2038464 (E.D. Cal. 2006)) has focused on telephone monitoring, not e-mail. This ironically makes the case easier for the government. It's relatively straightforward, in a circuit-based system like telephones use, where the caller is and where the recipient is - effectively, the phone system creates a direct link between the two parties. With e-mail, though, the sender's location can be determined with reasonable accuracy, but the recipient's location is not clear - and neither is the path that the message takes to the recipient. If a phone call between two people - whether U.S. citizens or not - is entirely within the U.S., then domestic wiretap rules apply.  Once it's outside the U.S., though, the rules change. Email isn't so simple, though. The "location" of the recipient may be uncertain, or it may not clarify what legal rules should aplly. A message from me (in Michigan) to Bill (in Minnesota) might conceivably route through China. What about a message from me to someone who might be affiliated with al Qaeda, but who stores his email on a Hotmail account here in the U.S.? How can we determine, based on an email address, where a recipient is located and, in some cases, even who the recipient is? E-mail is a new ballgame for some of the legal aspects of surveillance and surveillance control, and I would be very glad indeed to see the courts address this angle..."
Derek Bambauer, "ACLU v. NSA and E-mail"

"It takes a closer look at four important clusters of legal issues typically associated with EUCD-implementation. First, in a cross-sectional manner, it provides recommendations regarding the implementation of the EUCD’s anti-circumvention provisions (i.e., legal protection of technological protection measures). Second, it suggests a series of principles in areas of copyright law that shape the ways in which we – as peers – can produce and distribute information. The third section deals with universal access issues, including teaching and research exceptions, exceptions for libraries, archives, and the like, and copyright exceptions for disabled people. Third, the document provides recommendations with regard to selected copyright provisions that have an impact on political and cultural participation..."
Urs Gasser"EUCD Implementation Guide: Call for Participation"