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Berkman Buzz, week of April 2

BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
Week of April 2, 2007

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

*Derek Bambauer critiques shield from adult content.
*Wendy Seltzer discusses implications of EMI’s decision.
*Ethan Zuckerman explains journalism in Zimbabwe.
*Rebecca McKinnon considers Hong Kong web development.
*David Isenberg confronts other online selves.
*Derek Slater decries assault on digital freedoms.
*Dan Gillmor compares mapping programs.
*Dave Winer on balancing Internet social systems.

The full buzz.

“At a conference … at Michigan State (run by the indefatigable, immensely connected Peter Yu), I cam across a proposal to help Internet users avoid porn. Intrigued, after years spent working with the ONI on filtering issues, I gave the Web site (at a read. The purported solution incorporates both legal and technical elements. My analysis: it’s not only a terrible idea, but it won’t work on either front. I’ll go through the problem statement, the technological proposal, and the legal proposal, then give my own thoughts.”
Info/Law, “Sandwich Meat or How Not to Protect Kids from Porn

“For the copyright-watcher, the move suggests that EMI management is cooling to the standard "piracy" line for DRM and the claim that it "keeps honest people honest." They've seen that DRM'd tracks end up fileshared just as quickly, while inconveniencing the honest users who want to move beyond the iPod. Moreover, they've seen the chief effect of DRM has been to lock both listeners and record labels to Apple's sales chain, since only Apple offers FairPlay and no other DRM plays on the popular iPod. Perhaps EMI recognizes its music is most valuable if listeners can choose their own playback technologies, rather than being restricted to the complements EMI determines and licenses.”
Wendy Seltzer, “No-Fooling: EMI to Offer DRM-Free Music

“I’m sad to report a tragic reminder of just how dangerous journalism in Zimbabwe can be. Edward Chikomba, a freelance cameraman, who frequently worked for state-controlled ZBC (the sole terrestrial television network in Zimbabwe) has been found beaten to death on a roadside 50km outside of Harare. Chikomba is believed to be one of the cameramen who shot footage of Morgan Tsvangarai emerging from the courthouse showing evidence of his injuries while in police custody for Mighty Movies Zimbabwe, a production company that sells footage to international broadcasters.”
Ethan Zuckerman, “Rest in Peace, Edward Chikomba

“[C]ountries need to find a middle ground between too little and over-zealous copyright protection. If there is too little (which has been China's problem) everybody steals everything and there is no incentive for creation. If there is  over-zealous copyright protection (which many believe is now the situation in the U.S. and in Hong Kong) the law is used to reinforce powerful monopoly control over what is or isn't a "legal" creative work, making it more difficult for individual and entrepreneurial innovation to take place.”
Rebecca McKinnon, “Web Innovation: Why Hong Kong Lags Behind Mainland China and Taiwain

“I calculate, using name frequencies in the 1990 U.S. Census, that there are about 150 David Isenbergs in the U.S. I suspect I could find them all with a reasonable search engine. But woah! Suppose there were a David Isenberg that acted so badly that he besmirched the reputation of all us other David Isenbergs. The other 149 of us would be out of luck. There'd be nothing we could do but endure the embarrassment or change out names -- and no guarantees that a new name would be immune from other bad actors with that name.”
David Isenberg, “Identity Questions

“Last week, a California Superior Court judge ruled that Kaleidescape did not violate its contract with the DVD DRM licensing authority by distributing a home media server that rips and plays DVDs. This is an important victory for consumers, but it’s also a sad reminder of how your ability to make personal use of digital media is under attack. As the LA Times’ Jon Healey nicely explains, this suit had absolutely nothing to do with stopping “Internet piracy” and everything to do with controlling innovation.”
Derek Slater, “Taking Away Your Personal Use Rights One Anti-Innovation Lawsuit at a Time

“Google Maps personal version is going to be a huge change in the mapping market. It lets people annotate their own maps in rich ways, using the Web the way it was possible to use the application Google Earth before. It’s not new in concept. A startup called Platial has been doing this already, and has created a terrific community of users (including my class at Berkeley this spring). What Platial does that Google doesn’t is crucial, however.”
Center for Citizen Media, “Google’s My Maps

“There's a theory of social systems, a theory that has yet to be written, that will eventually group them into two distinct sets: balanced and imbalanced systems. Neither one is better than the other, both have strengths and weaknesses. It's generally assumed that the balanced systems are democratic and fair, and the imbalanced ones are not, but I think that's too crude. Let me make a prediction. It won't be long, if it hasn't already happened, that there will be an eruption of angst about the A-list in Twitter, just as people grouse about the A-list in blogging.”
Dave Winer, “The Theory of Twitter