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Berkman Buzz, week of March 12

BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
Week of March 12, 2007

What's going on... take your pick or browse below.

*Wendy Seltzer criticizes ICANN's attitude.
*Doc Searls reframes a net neutrality critique.
*Ethan Zuckerman discusses dangers of fictional blogging.
*David Weinberger gets booed – twice – at cable TV conference.
*Derek Slater reveals US push to institute DRM abroad.
*Rebecca MacKinnon applauds Global Voices' latest accolade.
*Dan Gillmor counters columnist's views on Viacom suit.

The full buzz:

"ICANN denies that the public is a third-party beneficiary entitled to demand enforcement. The Registerfly debacle shows why this view is wrong as a matter of law and policy. ICANN was told more than a year ago of customer service problems at Registerfly, but did nothing to respond to those complaints, including escrowing data, leaving the company's 200,000 registrants at risk of losing domain names or the ability to update them when Registerfly's business troubles escalated early this year."
Wendy Seltzer, "If ICANN't Keep a Contract Let the Public Enforce It."

"While I agree with him that more rules may not be necessary, I disagree with the framing of his argument. The Net is not just a service, users don't just consume it, the market is hardly competitive, and many choices are overpriced or just not there. First, the Net is a vast set of connections on which countless services can be deployed. Telephony and television are just two."
Doc Searls, "Whatever It Is, It Ain't Neutral"

"Whether it’s group projects like Lonelygirl15 or solo efforts, taking on another identity to write fiction has a long path, including my friend Ben Franklin, who wrote many of his works under psuedonyms, sometimes posing as a woman which might have given his words a credibility to female readers that they might have lacked if they'd seen his bald pate. Fiction, Liz points out, is lying as an art form - how does writing fiction in a form that is often used as a journaling or citizen media form complicate that line between lying and storytelling?"
Ethan Zuckerman, "Fictional Blogging -- Fascinating and Just a Bit Terrifying"

"I spent the bulk of my time taking blogs as my example, going through about ten different common misunderstandings of them. I ended by saying that in the P2P era, we're taking back our culture, pointing out very quickly some ways in which we're making it ours, which has become a magic word for me. In the course of listing things that are ours, I had a slide that showed 'Support Network Neutrality' sprayed onto a brick wall; in preparing, I thought that those 8 seconds would be all that I spent on the Net neutrality topic. Well, it didn't quite go that way."
David Weinberger, "Among the Cables"

"Hollywood’s desire to force DRM on TV fans doesn’t stop at the U.S. border — an international consortium of television and technology companies is devising draconian anti-consumer restrictions for the next generation of TVs in Europe and beyond, at the behest of American entertainment giants. EFF is the only public interest group to have gained entrance into the secretive meetings of the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB), a group that creates the television and video specifications used in Europe, Australia, and much of Asia and Africa. In a report released today, we show how U.S. movie and television companies have convinced DVB to create new technical specifications that would build digital rights management technologies into televisions."
Derek Slater, "American Studios' Secret Plan to Lock Down European TV Devices"

"As a result of their creativity, energy, and hard work GV was praised by this year's report one of the most "interesting experiments in new journalism" and scored as one of four "High Achievers" in an analysis of a broad range of news sites (broadly defined) including the NYT, Washingtonpost, CNN, Daily Kos, Digg, and many others."
Rebecca MacKinnon, "Global Voices Praised in State of the News Media"

"Second issue first: Viacom's lawsuit is basically saying that Google has to police itself to ensure that copyrighted material on YouTube — beyond a fair-use clip (though Hollywood even denies the right of fair use with video) — not be there. The law is pretty clear that Viacom has to notify YouTube about infringements, not that YouTube has to be the cop on the beat. But never mind that: Clearly, YouTube boasts lots and lots of video that does infringe copyrights. That has zero to do with what Google and other headline aggregators — Lazarus cites the Huffington Post and Drudge — do with newspaper stories. Zero. The aggregators don’t begin to violate copyright."
Dan Gillmor, "Newspaper Columnist Hauls Out 'Make 'Em Pay' Fix"