<-- The Filter --> August 2006

August 1, 2006
[0] From the Editor
[1] News
[2] Berkman Updates
[3] Networked: Bookmarks, Webcasts, Podcasts, Tags, and Blogposts
[4] Global Voices: Digital Dose of Global Conversations
[5] Community Links
[6] Upcoming Conferences
[7] Staying Connected
[8] Filter Facts



[0] From the Editor

This month we've included a Q&A with Berkman affiliates and fellows on the future of the long tail. Berkman fellows Dr. David Weinberger and Ethan Zuckerman, and Berkman affiliate Derek Slater explained how the long tail impacts their work and their view of the Internet. Berkman fellow Bill McGeveran also gives a quick look at the "Digital Learning Challenge," the Berkman Center's Digital Media Project just-released White Paper. You'll find both of those in the features section. Hopefully you're keeping cool this summer --

'Til next month,
-Amanda Michel



[1] FEATURES: a bit of what’s going on and where to read more

Long Tail Impacts
~ Catherine Finn, including Q&A with Derek Slater, David Weinberger, and Ethan Zuckerman

What happens when the market is turned on its head and everything that has held fast for decades no longer applies? People are using the term the "long tail" to describe how the resurgence of niche culture has changed and will continue to change modern business. Businesses such as Netflix, the online DVD rental service, have found that their sales are not from the big blockbuster films but that smaller, lesser-known movies, rented in smaller quantities, make up the bulk of their business. The dialog is expanding, with Chris Anderson recently publishing "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More."

We asked fellows at Berkman how the long tail model relates to their work and what it will mean now and in the future.

Question: Derek Slater, you have commented on the long tail, entertainment industry, and its affect on copyright legislation. What does the long tail mean to peer-2-peer networks? What does this mean for the entertainment industry, and further, copyright law?

Answer: Novel distribution systems like P2P provide new opportunities for "long tail" artists that never had a chance in the traditional music marketplace. They could help promote a broader array of artists, but, all too often, these tools have been strangled by the legal system and attacked by Hollywood's misguided campaign against innovators and music fans. Yet allowing these distribution systems to flourish wouldn't necessarily come at Hollywood's expense. It would force major entertainment companies to adjust their business models more quickly, but there's a veritable pot of gold waiting for them when they truly embrace P2P, implementing a business model that gets artists paid while making file sharing legal. Right now, these companies are not being compensated at all for widespread infringing file sharing, and none of their present tactics -- not DRM or lawsuits against innovators or music fans -- is changing that. If copyright law stopped encouraging this behavior and protecting old business models, the entertainment industry would be forced to adjust more rapidly and society as a whole would be far better off.

Question: Dr. David Weinberger, you are currently writing a book, "Everything is Miscellaneous" (Times Books, Spring 2007) about the effect of new ways of organizing digital information shapes and gives authority to knowledge. How much of your thinking is influenced by the concept of the long tail?

Answer: From the inception of the Web, I've been fascinated by the ways in which we're putting ourselves -- and our ideas -- together now that so many of the artificial limitations have been overcome. What forms will arise when distance doesn't matter, when anyone can talk to the world about what matters to her, when relationships among ideas can be drawn simply by pointing and linking? The long tail points to economic implications of one important aspect of this change. It arises from the same forces that I'm interested in, but watches different aspects of the change.

Question: Ethan Zuckerman, you are one of the co-founders of Global Voices, a non-profit global citizens’ media project in which you put the spotlight on voices of bloggers across the world. Where do your efforts fit into discussions about the 'long tail'? In what respects is your work affected by the development of the long tail? Is your work oriented toward the long tail?

Answer: The exciting potential of the long tail is that, in the explosion of information available online, there's likely to be information on a topic that's interesting to you. There are about 30 to 40 million blogs worldwide, and it would be impossible to follow all of the conversations happening globally. But there are a few being written in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for instance, where elections are currently taking place and where it's really important to have access to perspectives there. You might not be interested in all the conversations happening in blogs, but the explosion of conversation means there's people talking about the sorts of topics we cover on a site like Global Voices, reflections on whether the elections are free and fair. Occasionally, the issues we're talking about on Global Voices do make it into the mainstream - voices from Israel and Lebanon, for instance - but the long tail nature of blogs means we can find and amplify the other
conversations as well.


Derek Slater's blog: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/derek_slater>
Dr. David Weinberger's blog: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/david_weinberger>
Ethan Zuckerman's blog: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/ethan_zuckerman>

The Digital Learning Challenge
~ Bill McGeveran

The DVD should be a boon to film studies on college campuses. This digital format is flexible, manipulable, and widely available. Unfortunately, DVDs are also protected by DRM systems – meaning that film professors who want to show illustrative movie clips in their classes need to crack encryption, and almost certainly break the law as a result.

This example illustrates the central issue explored in a new report from the Berkman Center. “The Digital Learning Challenge” is a foundational white paper that surveys the copyright-related obstacles educators confront when trying to use digital content in the service of teaching, scholarship, and dialogue. It marks the culmination of a year-long project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In addition to substantial research by fellows and students, the white paper draws on input from two workshops where the Berkman Center hosted a diverse range of experts and innovators. Four case studies, including the film example, anchor the analysis. We also studied how:

* A plan to use social networking software to help new social studies teachers interact and share classroom resources confronted copyright problems when teachers incorporate third-party content into their materials;
* An effort to make a digital database of hard-to-find but important American music available on college campuses encountered massive obstacles in the rights clearance process;
* Special statutory provisions intended to benefit public broadcasters have become nearly irrelevant because they are designed for over-the-air broadcast rather than digital distribution.

Building on these case studies, the white paper identifies four types of obstacles to “digital learning”:

* Unclear or inadequate copyright law relating to crucial provisions such as fair use and educational use;
* Extensive adoption of DRM technology to lock up content;
* Practical difficulties obtaining rights to use content when licenses are necessary;
* Undue caution by gatekeepers such as publishers or educational administrators.

The white paper closes with preliminary thoughts about ways to reduce or eliminate these obstacles. The good news is that digital learning is developing fast – in settings from traditional classrooms to newer and more open digital resources like OpenCourseware and Wikipedia. But copyright ought to foster such progress, not impede it.

You can read the executive summary and the full white paper at <http://cyber.harvard.edu/media/files/copyrightandeducation.html>. Berkman Center Faculty Director William W. Fisher III led the project as its principal investigator. I worked with student fellow Jackie Harlow and staff member Arielle Silver to coordinate the research, the workshops, and the preparation of the white paper.

Digital Learning Challenge: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/media/files/copyrightandeducation.html>
Interview with Bill McGeveran about the project: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/audioberkman/2006/08/10/the-digital-learnin...



Net Discrimination is too valuable for Net Neutrality to work
~ David S. Isenberg

Internet connection providers have spent at least forty-two million dollars, and perhaps several hundred million, in a few months of lobbying against Network Neutrality. That's an indication of how badly the telcos and cablecos want legalized discrimination based on content and application. In some industries, price discrimination is accepted; airline seats are priced roughly according to each passenger's willingness to pay. Nicholas Negroponte, in the early 1990s, observed that there's a higher willingness-to-pay for some bits (e.g., the "malignant-or-benign" bit) than for others. Telcos and cablecos want to be able to discover different willingness to pay so they can price accordingly. For example, they see that Google searches are valuable and Google is profitable, so they've singled out Google (and perhaps Google's users) as a target for charging more. Economists Austan Goolsbee and Peter J. Klenow calculate a "consumer surplus" of several thousand dollars per Internet user per year. No wonder the telcos and cablecos are spending millions to establish their ability to price-discriminate!

If Congress were to pass a network neutrality law prohibiting deliberate discrimination, this would not quench telco-cableco desire to discriminate. They'll legislate, litigate, violate and defend until the law is whittled away. In other words, the opponents of network neutrality are correct to observe that any network neutrality law will be unworkable in the long run. What we need is nothing less than a law that forces connection providers to divest of their applications, beginning with telephony and video entertainment, and forbids them to have any interest in the traffic that uses their connection.

[instead of the last sentence, any way to leave it a bit more open?  With the stakes this high and industry commitment being what it is, we may well need to force connection providers to divest of their applications…  For our part, we need to convey our interest as users and producers in net neutrality, and be vigilant about any efforts to encroach upon it, however subtle.


Valuing Consumer Products by the time spent using them: an application to the Internet
Austan Goolsbee and Peter J. Klenow

Privacy, Economics, and Price Discrimination on the Internet Andrew Odlyzko



[2] BERKMAN UPDATES: news from in and around the Center

*** Harvard Law Bulletin-Summer 2006 looks closely at projects examining relationship between law and technology in Asia ***

The latest edition of the Harvard Law Bulletin looks closely at several research efforts which examine the relationship between law and technology in Asia: "The Berkman Center is approaching piracy through its Digital Media in Asia project, which, among other things, promotes a digital media exchange in China. Meanwhile, the Center's OpenNet Initiative is taking a hard look at filtering, aiming to create a body of empirical, legal and technical research showing the extent to which repressive regimes block access to the Internet and practice surveillance online.  And, in its Global Voices Online project, the Center's scholars and students are emphasizing the other side of the surveillance coin, highlighting the independent voices that manage to escape the censors through blogs, podcasts and other forms of "citizens' media."

"As of next year, China will have more people using the Internet than any other place in the world," said Harvard Law School Clinical Professor John Palfrey, the Berkman Center's executive director. "China will be the most important market for Internet users. We believe that a relatively open Internet is helpful to economies, democratic activism, societal development and cross-cultural understanding, and a variety of other good things." And, he said, with the Digital Media Project, "we are looking at how international treaties and legal systems affect the way people consume digital media and figuring out if there are alternatives to the traditional intellectual property regimes which could make better sense for the digital world.""

* Harvard Law School Bulletin: <http://www.law.harvard.edu/alumni/bulletin/2006/summer/feature_2.php>
* Digital Media in Asia Project: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/media/projects/dmia>
* OpenNet Initiative: <http://www.opennetinitiative.org/>
* Global Voices Online: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/>


*** Citizen media project, Global Voices, is one of seven finalists for the 2006 Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism ***

Seven pioneering initiatives that created novel audience participation opportunities, developed new ways to present information and opened the doors to unprecedented transparency are the finalists in this year's Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. The list includes the Berkman Center's Global Voices Online, as well as Transparent Newsroom, HealthNewsReview.org, IBISEYE.com, U.S. Congress Votes Database, Bakersfield California's Social Media Platform, and TCDailyPlanet.com.

""The hallmark of this year's entries was the use of basic technology to add value to the process of journalism and not just the packaging," said Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab (the Institute for Interactive Journalism at the University of Maryland.), which administers the awards program. "Again and again, we saw how technology added significant value to information, extended the usefulness of databases, and gave new opportunities for citizens to participate in gathering, reporting, analyzing and mediating the news."

The winner will be announced Sept. 18 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

* Global Voices Online: <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org>


*** Berkman collaborates with Oxford Internet Institute's Summer Doctoral Programme (SP) ****

The 2006 Summer Doctoral Programme started July 17 and ended July 28, with talented PhD students from more than 15 countries in attendance. This was the fourth year of the SDP in which the Berkman Center has collaborated with the Oxford Internet Institute.  Berkman's Prof. John Palfrey (Executive Director and Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard), Prof. Urs Gasser, Colin Maclay, and fellow Ethan Zuckerman led sessions as part of the program.

If you're interested in furthering your study of the Internet and its implications for society, consider the Oxford Internet Institute's Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP).

Oxford Internet Institute's program details and application: <http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/teaching/dphil/apply.cfm>


*** Prof. Nesson co-hosts inaugural Jamaican Public Broadcasting Corporation broadcast ***

August 1 Prof. Charles Nesson hosted "Emancipation and Independence," Jamaica's inaugural Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) broadcast.  The program invited Jamaican leaders to speak with Nesson about Jamaica's journey to freedom and how the issues of emancipation and independence continue to confront them in their daily lives.  This program and accompanying distribution through public media is a joint production of PCBJ and the Berkman Center in association with Students Expressing Truth (SET).  Run by fellow Kevin Wallen, SET is a rehabilitation program rooted in Kingston's prisons which teachers self-development and digital skills, and which aspires to spread its message to all Jamaicans.  PBCJ, SET, and the Berkman Center will follow today's inaugural broadcast with a series of programs starting in October in which P.J. Patterson and Edward Seaga, two former Jamaican prime ministers from opposing political parties, will work with Nesson to introduce and frame issues confrontingJamaicans.


Links to Berkman conversations happening online

Internet Politics, Governance, and Regulation:

[PAPER] "The Move to the Middle: The Enduring Threat of 'Harmful' Speech to Network Neutrality, Prof. John Palfrey and Robert Rogoyski: <http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=916748>

[REPORT] OpenNet Initiative: Bulletin 012, "China Tightens Controls on Internet News Through Additional Regulations," <http://www.opennet.net/bulletins/012/>

Citizen Media and the Future of Journalism:

[REPORT] “The Hype vs. Reality vs. What People Value: Emerging Collaborative News Models and the Future of News” by Hsing Wei: <http://citmedia.org/learn/surveys/collaborativenews.htm>

[ANNOUNCEMENT] "The Infinite Mind" opens studio in Second Life: <http://www.lcmedia.com/SecondLifePressRelease7-19-06.pdf>

[PODCAST] "Conversation with Brittney Gilbert of Nashvilleistalking.com," Center for Citizen Media <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/audioberkman/2006/07/21/citizen-media-conve...

Digital Media:

[ARTICLE] Harvard Law Bulletin, "Digital Pathways to Asia": <http://www.law.harvard.edu/alumni/bulletin/2006/summer/feature_2.php>

[BLOGPOST] "More on the International Dimensions of Anticircumvention Policy," Tim Armstrong: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/2006/07/27/more-on-the-internationa...

Internet, Education, and Knowledge:

[ARTICLE] "Wikimmunity: Fitting the Communications Decency Act to Wikipedia" by Ken Myers: <http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=916529>

Security, Anonymity

[DISCUSSION] Jonathan Zittrain's discussion about 'generativity' in Groklaw: <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060731223301384>

[REPORT] Stopbadware.org releases first website report, ThemeXP: <http://www.stopbadware.org/blog/articles/2006/07/27/bad-websites-beware>



[4] Global Voices:
Digital Dose of Global Conversations

David Sasaki, Global Voices Latin America Regional Editor, put together the monthly digest below, a collection of links to the most interesting conversations happening in the global blogosphere. Please check out Global Voices at < http://www.globalvoicesonline.org>

One blogger describes what it was like to watch his neighborhood bombed and his grandfather's house destroyed. Another discusses the bombing of a Hezbollah medical clinic just a ten-minute-walk from his house. In Lebanon, everyday citizens continue to document the carnage surrounding them in real time.

Across the border Israeli bloggers document their own responses and stories of a border conflict turned full-blown war. Writing from Tel Aviv, Lisa Goldman takes the national pulse.

In the aftermath of the Mumbai train bombings, the Indian government was apparently convinced that censoring weblogs would help fight terrorism. Indian bloggers, unsurprisingly, weren't so sure. Neha Viswanathan has a thorough report on the world's newest cyber-censoring nation.
<http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/07/17/india-blocking-access-to-bl... >

A contemporary cross-class tragedy of Shakespearian proportions has captured Brazil's media-fed imagination. There is the poor boy, the rich girl, and the murdered parents that were discontent with the couple's relationship. Jose Murilo Junior's compilation of blog reaction is an eye-opening look into Brazilian perspectives on class, family, law, and love.
<http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/07/25/brazilians-debate-an-overex... >

Though not without a few hiccups, bloggers from the Democratic Republic of Congo report that last month's election was a relative success. As ballots were counted, Alice Backer summarized the first round of response, concern, and speculation.

Fidel Castro, who will turn 80 on Sunday, does not gives up easily. Just try sitting through one of his televised speeches. So you can imagine the dramatic response when word got out that the man who has ruled Cuba since color televisions were popularized bequeathed power to his younger brother as he underwent complicated intestinal surgery. Georgia Popplewell has filtered through the tidal wave of surprise to present readers with the most articulate commentary.

In a murder mystery turned blog caper, John Kennedy chronicles the peculiar death of Chinese student Liao Mengjun as he was picking up his junior high graduation certificate and the angry suspicions of his well-known blogging father.

*** Global Voices, a non-profit global citizens' media project, was launched from the Berkman Center by Berkman Fellows Rebecca MacKinnon
and Ethan Zuckerman and is sponsored by the Berkman Center, the MacArthur Foundation, and Reuters. ***



Featuring our friends and affiliates

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Digital Copyright Battle Puts Linking at Risk

The Fair Use Network, Fair Use panel MP3s online

Pew Internet & American Life Project, Bloggers: A Portrait of the Internet's New Storytellers

Creative Commons, Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft® Office

Second Life, New and Improved Linden Blog

PolicyBeta, Seeking Consensus on ICANN




* August 7-9: eLearning DevCon 2006 - Salt Lake City, Utah:

* August 7-10: International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2006) @ Miami, FL:

* August 10-11: Distance and E-Learning for the Future - Vancouver, British Columbia:

* August 19-24: Preserving Photographs in a Digital World: Balancing Traditional Preservation with Digital Access - Rochester, New York:

* August 20-24: IFLA 2006: Libraries: Dynamic Engines for the Knowledge and Information Society - Seoul, Korea:

* August 21-22: Tilting the Global Balance in the Intellectual Property Rights Landscape: The Strategic Implications of the Growth in the Asia Pacific Region - Singapore:

* August 22-25: Digital Libraries à la Carte: New Choices for the Future @ Tilburg, The Netherlands:

* August 29-30:Blogs, Wikis & RSS @ North Sydney, Australia:

* September 3-6: 22nd ICDE World Conference on Distance Education @ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

* September 4: The revolution will not be televised: it is being podcast @ Edinburgh, UK:

* September 4-5: Open DELOS Seminar on Digital Libraries and Digital Preservation @ Tallinn, Estonia:

* September 5-7: ALT-C 2006: the next generation @ Edinburgh, UK:

* September 6-8: The CODESRIA-ASC Conference Series 2006: Electronic Publishing and Dissemination @ Leiden, The Netherlands: <http://www.ascleiden.nl/GetPage.aspx?url=/events/event1142937906>

* September 6-8: 3rd International Conference on Educational Technology (ICET 2006) @ Singapore:

* September 7-8: media in transition conference 2006 @ Munich, Germany:

* September 8: NYCDWeb - Free Technology Presentation @ Albany, NY:

* September 11-12: First International iPed Conference 2006 @ Coventry, West Midlands, UK: <http://www.coventry.ac.uk/iped/events/conference06.htm>

* September 14: DIA/FDA Open Toolbox Initiative @ Potomac, MD:

* September 14-17: Bringing Text Alive: The Future of Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Electronic Publication @ Ann Arbor, MI: <http://www.lib.umich.edu/tcp/conference/>

* September 17-22: 10th ECDL (European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries) @ Alicante, Spain: <http://www.ecdl2006.org/>

* September 18-22: Shared Services Summit 20006, USA @ Scottsdale, AZ:

* September 19-20: Learning on Screen @ Birmingham, UK:

* September 21: Making e-learning More Fun @ London, UK:

* September 25-26: 2006 Communications Policy & Research Forum @ Sydney, Australia:<http://www.networkinsight.org/events/cprf_2006.html/group/6>

* September 25-27: E-Learning 2006 @ Atlanta, GA:

* September 27-28/29: Moving towards open access: A JISC conference for research funders, authors, publishers and librarians @ Oxford, UK & Logan, UT: <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/index.cfm?name=event_oaconf_0906>

* September 27-29: ICL2006 – 9th International Conference on Interactive Computer aided Learning @ Villach, Austria:<http://www.icl-conference.org>

* September 28-29: Podcast and Portable Media Expo @ Ontario, CA:

* September 29-30: SSCEL @ Macon, GA:



How to find out about Berkman's weekly events

* If you'd like to be notified of outgoing Berkman research, please sign up for our report release email list: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/signup>

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<irc://irc.freenode.net/Berkman>. Tune in!

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The Berkman Center’s audio and podcasts are also available through iTunes, ODEO, and Podnova.

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Last updated

January 16, 2008