<-- The Filter --> February 2007

January 31, 2015
[0] From the Center
[1] Features
[2] Networked: Bookmarks, Webcasts, Podcasts, and Blogposts
[3] Global Voices: Digital Dose of Global Conversations
[4] Community Links
[5] Upcoming Conferences
[6] Staying Connected
[7] Filter Facts



[0] From the Center

This month's installment of the Filter explores select elements of what might be termed a collectively ambivalent response to emerging technologies and business models.  It should come as no surprise that the enthusiasm shared by many over the Net's capacity to enable economic and social change is matched with concerns over what the change means for existing businesses and society as a whole.  We focus on what appears to be vested interests striking out at exciting emergent models for purposes of self-preservation, rethinking the skills we need to survive and thrive in the new media environment -- and how we acquire them, and also consider some of the many challenges for government, business and civil society to anticipate the complex ethical questions that accompany the knowledge society.  And so it goes in this exciting time, with our emotions constantly shifting between enthusiasm, outrage, curiosity, reflection, and much much more.

-- Colin Maclay, Managing Director, Berkman Center --



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

Internet Radio on Death Row
By Doc Searls

Internet Radio has been sentenced to death.

In a move that recalls the Vogons' decision to destroy Earth to clear the way for a highway bypass in space (from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), the judges comprising the Copyright Royalty Board have decided to destroy the Internet radio industry so the Recording Industry won't be inconvenienced by something it doesn't know, like or understand.

The sentence is detailed in a 115-page .pdf titled "Determination of Rates and Terms for Webcasting for the License Period 2006-2010 in [Docket No. 2005-1 CRB DTRA] Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings and Ephemeral Recordings". (Here's the URL: http://www.loc.gov/crb/proceedings/2005-1/rates-terms2005-1.pdf).

It begins, "This is a rate determination proceeding convened under 17 U.S.C. 803(b) et seq. and 37 CFR 351 et seq., in accord with the Copyright Royalty Judges’ Notice announcing commencement of proceeding, with a request for Petitions to Participate in a proceeding to determine the rates and terms for a digital public performance of sound recordings by means of an eligible nonsubscription transmission or a transmission made by a new subscription service under section 114 of the Copyright Act, as amended by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), and for the making of ephemeral copies in furtherance of these digital public performances under section 112, as created by the DMCA, published at 70 FR 7970 (February 16, 2005). The rates and terms set in this proceeding apply to the period of January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010. 17 U.S.C. 804(b)(3)(A)."

Daniel McSwain of Kurt Hanson's Radio And Internet Newsletter (RAIN), summarizes the findings this way: "The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has announced its decision on Internet radio royalty rates, rejecting all of the arguments made by Webcasters and instead adopting the "per play" rate proposal put forth by SoundExchange (a digital music fee collection body created by the RIAA).

"RAIN has learned the rates that the Board has decided on, effective retroactively through the beginning of 2006." They will escalate from $.0008/performance in '06 to $.0019/performance in 2010.

"A 'performance' is defined as the streaming of one song to one listener; thus a station that has an average audience of 500 listeners racks up 500 'performances' for each song it plays.

"In the FAQ unpacking that, Kurt Hanson adds, 'According to the comScore Arbitron ratings report for November 2006, the AOL Radio Network had a average audience ("AQH") between 6AM and Midnight of 210,694 listeners. Multiplied by about 16 songs per hour, 18 hours per day, and 31 days per month, plus adding an additional 10% to account for overnight (Mid-6AM) listening, suggests that AOL played about 2.1 billion songs that month. At the CRB's royalty rate ($0.0008 per play), I'm guessing that would create a royalty obligation to SoundExchange for the month of November of about $1.65 million. Annualized, that's about $20 million for 2006.'

"Here at RAIN, we're guessing that Pandora has an audience approaching that size. (Pandora founder Tim Westergren claims that Pandora now accounts for 1.5% of all Internet traffic.) Such a royalty obligation might exceed the total proceeds of all their recent rounds of venture capital plus all their sales revenues to date."

Kurt Hanson was one of the Parties to the Proceedings, making arguments before the judges on behalf of webcasters.

On the Rebuttal side was SoundExchange, which describes its background this way: "SoundExchange®, Inc. is a dynamic, 501(c)(6) nonprofit performance rights organization embodying hundreds of recording companies and thousands of artists united in receiving fair compensation for the licensing of their music in the new and ever-expanding digital world. Modern technology makes all of our lives a little bit simpler and SoundExchange takes full advantage of its accuracy and efficiency to license, collect and distribute public performance revenues for sound recording copyright owners (SRCOs) and artists for noninteractive digital transmissions on cable, satellite and webcast services."

"The Digital Performance in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 changed payment practices by granting a performance right in sound recordings. As a result, copyright law now requires that users of music pay the copyright owner of the sound recording for the public performance of that music via certain digital transmissions. The U.S. Copyright Office recognized the benefits of SoundExchange's administration of these royalties, and so has designated SoundExchange as the administrative entity for subscription services' statutory license fees. You may find SoundExchange's Notice of Designation as Collective Under Statutory License here."

The Rebuttal side -- the RIAA, essentially -- won, hands down. And then some.

Here's the problem. Absurd as it may seem on the face of things, what you see above is the re-framing of music on radio as "public performances". How come? Well, when the recording industry (that is, the RIAA) saw the Internet coming along in the mid-1990s, they knew radio would move there. And they took advantage of the opportunity to do with Internet radio what the industry failed to do with terrestrial over-the-air analog radio: charge fees for every "performance" for every listener.

They also smartly saw in digital broadcasting an advantage that analog broadcasting never had: accountability -- at any level of granularity. If they could get that, one of two things would happen: A) the new business would pay them money; or B) the new business wouldn't happen and its threat to the status quo would be squashed.

So they wrote requirements for per-performance fees, and highly granular accounting, into the DMCA. Fees were not specified, however. The DMCA left that up to something called the Copyright Arbitration Royal Panel, or CARP. When the CARP process ended in a victory for the RIAA in mid-2002, the imposed fee structure (which was retroactive, even) was so steep that many Internet radio stations were quickly silenced. Only a last-minute intervention by retiring senator Jesse Helms (whom I believe was acting on behalf of friends in the religious broadcasting community) saved the industry from being killed outright. A compromise fee structure still killed many station streams (including KPIG, the first commercial station on the Web, which is now available only by subscription through Real), but allowed others to live. In other words, the RIAA managed to cripple but not quite kill the Internet radio baby in its cradle.

Perhaps chief among the survivors is Radio Paradise, the creation of Bill Goldsmith, who also presided over KPIG's streaming from its birth to its death-by-CARP. Bill was a primary source for the many pieces I wrote for Linux Journal about the fight between Internet radio and the RIAA. (To find them, just search for CARP or Goldsmith in Linux Journal here: http://www.linuxjournal.com/search.) Today the Linux-powered Radio Paradise is a paragon of Everything Radio Ought to Be. It is loved by its listeners, by the artists it plays, by the many communities of interest and passion it serves.

And now it too is now sentenced to die. As Bill Goldsmith told Kurt Hanson, "This royalty structure would wipe out an entire class of business: Small independent webcasters such as myself & my wife, who operate Radio Paradise. Our obligation under this rate structure would be equal to over 125% of our total income."

Naturally, the Save Our Internet Radio Blog quickly appeared, at http://saveourinternetradio.com. Please follow it. Read the FAQ, and The View From Paradise: Bill Goldsmith's detailed and eloquent plea for help.

An Exciting - But Fragile - New Era for Radio

I read through the CRB's lengthy decision and came away with two conclusions:

1) The problem isn't with the CRB. They aren't the Vogons here. Those would be the RIAA, which was behind the insane and market-hostile copyright laws on which the CRB judges base their decisions. Those laws date back to the 1930s and beyond, but are most out-of-whack ones are in the terribly ill-considered DMCA.

2) There are two ways to fight this. One is to yell loud and hard at congresspeople about What's Wrong with this whole thing. The other is to amend or rescind (or whatever -- I am not a lawyer, but a lawyer will know what I'm talking about) the DMCA so the familiar practice and business of playing music on radio is no longer unrealistically mischaracterized as "performances". We need to work with congressfolk on that one too. And for that we'll need big help from the legal community.

I listen, every day, to dozens of online stations from all over the world. I'm sure I'll continue to listen to music stations from the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Japan and elsewhere. But right now I see little hope for continuing to listen to music stations from the U.S., unless the laws here are changed.

Internet radio is a canary in the coal mine of the insane Net-hostile Regulatorium that stretches from the cableco/telco duopoly to the copyright oligarchs who are strangling what Professor Lessig calls Free Culture. That Regulatorium should be the enemy of every free-market Republican free-speech Democrat. It's slowing down the U.S. and its businesses as competitors on the World Wide Marketplace we call the Net. And it's killing the values and cultures that keep our people free.

Will this decision to execute the Internet radio canary motivate us to do what we should have been doing more of for the past ten years? That's up to you and me.

Because if we don't do something, she's gonna die.

"Internet Radio on Death Row" will appear in full in Linux Journal's SuitWatch Newsletter.

The full article is available online:
Doc Searls' Blog:

Rethinking Media Education
By Dan Gillmor

The university where I'm co-teaching a course this semester is one of several in the nation currently engaged in a ritual that comes around to all such institutions from time to time: finding and hiring a new journalism dean. These searches will, I hope, engender some even broader discussions.

The Digital Era has upended business models for traditional media and has created vast new opportunities for creating better journalism. But it hasn't, so far, sparked enough of something we also need: a broad rethinking of journalism education itself.

I'm not attacking traditional methods. They served reasonably well in a time when professional journalists delivered “the news” via a somewhat limited number of outlets in any given place or about a given topic.

In an age of media saturation - when we are all becoming creators of media, using technologies that, in turn, help us become digital collaborators on work of various kinds - the traditional methods no longer suffice. Many J-schools fully recognize this; few have fully adapted to it.

The same issues apply to PR and advertising education, which are often housed in schools of journalism and communications. But those industries have been considerably more innovative, as pros, than journalism in recent years. I have little doubt those fields' leaders are making their needs clear to educators.

Lots of journalism programs still teach courses like "Beginning Newswriting" or some such thing as part of the core curriculum. How vital is that, especially when personal audio and video are becoming at least as much a part of the storyteller’s toolkit as text? I'm not certain.

In some online educational mini-courses for would-be citizen journalists that I’m helping prepare for a journalism-oriented foundation, we’re not focusing on the how-to. We’re looking at core principles: accuracy, thoroughness, fairness, independence, and transparency. Exploring those, it seemed to me, was the most important first step.

Those principles and related skills are among the ones people will need to be media literate in a media-saturated world. I’d like to see every student take a basic media course at every level of education - not just college, but also grade, middle, and high school.

What would it include? Skepticism, for starters: Children need to learn to be independent thinkers and not take for granted that what they see, hear, or read is necessarily true or real. (Of course, in today’s timid and authoritarian society, teachers who try to help students think for themselves may be pilloried as radicals; this doesn’t help.)

J-schools will need especially to incorporate the conversational-media shift into their work. I hope they'll become leaders in training would-be professionals on how to engage the audience in journalism, to help communities (of geography and interest) have broad and deep conversations about their futures.

New journalists will have to be entrepreneurs in coming decades. Can the J-schools teach product development in a Web world - and not lose sight of the journalistic principles and practices so vital to a self-governing society? Is there an alternative?

Originally appeared as “New media necessitates new course to teaching journalism” in the February 19th, 2007 issue of PRWeek

Center for Citizen Media Blog::
Dan Gillmor's Blog:

Foreword to "Ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies: A Survey"
By Abdul Waheed Khan, Asst. Director-General, UNESCO
Report by Berkman Fellow Mary Rundle and Berkman Clinical Student Chris Conley

Embracing coherent ethical guidelines is essential for building inclusive knowledge societies and raising awareness about the ethical aspects and principles is central for upholding the fundamental values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance and shared responsibility. Thus, UNESCO encourages the definition and adoption of best practices and voluntary, professional guidelines addressing ethical issues for media professionals, information producers, and service providers and users with due respect to freedom of expression.

The quickening speed of technological evolution leaves little time to decision-makers, legislators and other major stakeholders to anticipate and absorb changes before being challenged to adapt to the next wave of transformation. Lacking the time for reflection, the international community is often faced with immediate policy choices that carry serious moral and ethical consequences: Increase public infrastructure or permit preferential use by investors? Allow the market to oblige people to participate in digital systems or subsidize more traditional lifestyles? Let technology develop as it will or attempt to programme machines to safeguard human rights?

The Infoethics Survey of Emerging Technologies prepared by the NGO Geneva Net Dialogue at the request of UNESCO aims at providing an outlook to the ethical implications of future communication and information technologies. The report further aims at alerting UNESCO's Member States and partners to the increasing power and presence of emerging technologies and draws attention to their potential to affect the exercise of basic human rights. Perhaps as its most salient deduction, the study signals that these days all decision makers, developers, the corporate scholar and users are entrusted with a profound responsibility with respect o technological developments and their impact on the future orientation of knowledge societies.

It is our hope that this study will impress upon the policy makers, community, producers and users the need to carefully observe evolutions in ICTs and, by so doing, to comprehend the ethical and moral consequences of technological choices on human rights in the Knowledge Societies.

The complete study is available online:
Net Dialogue website:



Links to Berkman conversations happening online

Internet Politics, Governance, and Regulation:

[BLOGPOST] William McGeveran points out new "fair use" standards.

[BLOGPOST] John Palfrey addresses Viacom's cease & desist letters.

[BLOGPOST] David Weinberger invites discussion on whether Internet can save Democracy?

[PAPER] Mary Rundle and Paul Trevithick: Interoperability In the New Digital Identity Infrastructure.

Citizen Media and the Future of Journalism:

[BLOGPOST] Dan Gillmor and Jason Crow debate the "Future of Public Access."

[BLOGPOST] Ethan Zuckerman calls for the release of Kareem Sulaiman.

[BLOGPOST] Rebecca MacKinnon describes Open Source Translation Blogging.

Digital Media:

[ONLINE] Prof. Charles Nesson and his Evidence course hold a mock trial in Second Life.

[PODCAST] Steve Schultze explains the hypothesis for Beyond Broadcast 2007: from Participatory Culture to Participatory Democracy.

[PODCAST] Lewis Hyde discusses his research on the "privatizing of cultural commons."

Security and Anonymity:

[WEBSITE] StopBadware.org's New Clearinghouse.

[BLOGPOST] Ethan Zuckerman defends Tor.

[BLOGPOST] Urs Gasser's response to identity presentation.



[3] 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 here:  <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org>

Exactly 16 years after amateur videographer George Holliday filmed African-American Rodney King being beaten by Los Angeles police officers, France’s Constitutional Council passed a law which criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/03/07/march-of-the-censors-france...

On February 19, three Salvadoran politicians were found murdered in Guatemala along with their driver. One week later, the four Guatemalan police officers arrested for the homicides were executed in their jail cell. The strange details of the connected killings have left Salvadoran bloggers with a feeling of impotence regarding the extent of corruption and narco-trafficking in Central America.

"The situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated sharply in the past few days,” writes Zimbabwean blogger Eddie Cross in a post that portrays the country as on the verge of collapse. But will the various protests and strikes combine to bring Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party to its knees?

Violence has broken out yet again in East Timor as international security forces attempt to capture rebel leader Alfredo Reinaldo. Preetam Rai sums up the reactions from Timorese bloggers, one of whom likens watching the country's return to chaos to "observing a piece of bean curd slide slowly down a slanted plate, inching downwards. . . "

As the country approaches its 50th anniversary on March 6, bloggers in Ghana lament their ignorance of local languages, deconstruct the doings of cellular service providers and praise the president's state of the nation address — while wondering whether beautification projects in the city of Tamale are just skin deep. Emmanuel K. Bensah tunes into the buzz in his country's blogosphere, while remaining a little doubtful about some of the conclusions drawn about it in a European Union blog.

In such a multi-ethnic, multilingual, and multi-religious country like Sudan, it’s no wonder that area bloggers are using the internet as a medium to collectively question their national identity. Discover why one blogger comes to the conclusion that Sudan is an Afro-Arab nation.

The International Court of Justice declared that the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre was an act of genocide, but that the pattern of the atrocities committed by Bosnian Serbs during the 1992-1995 war (which claimed more than 100,000 lives) was “too broad” to qualify for the definition of genocide. The ICJ also decided there was no sufficient evidence to pin the blame on Serbia.” Here is how bloggers in the Balkans responded.



Featuring our friends and affiliates

PRX Public Radio Talent Quest

Harvard University's Internet & Society 2007 Conference (IS2K7)

Psiphon's "User Guide"

The Cross-Cultural Partnership working group


Beyond Broadcast 2007 - Working Group Notes

Open Enducational Resources (OER) Commons

Planet 02138: Harvard University Aggregator




*March 5-6: Ohio Digital Commons for Education (ODCE) 2007 Conference: The Convergence of Learning, Libraries and Technology - Columbus, OH:

*March 6: F2C Freedom to Connect: The Wealth of Networks - Washington, DC:

*March 7-9: International Association for Technology, Education and Development Conference - Valencia, Spain:

*March 8-9: The European e-ID Card Conference - Leuven, Belgium:

*March 12-17: Amazing e-Learning International Conference and Workshop: Edutainment - Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, Bangkok

*March 14-16: The Sixth IASTED International Conference on Web-based Education - Chamonix, France:

*March 17-18: BarCamp - Boston, MA:

*March 21-23: European The Alternative Authoring Conference eLearning - Randers, Denmark:

*March 22-25: The International Conference On Cross Media Interaction Design - Hemavan, Sweden:

*March 26-28: American Association for Artificial Intelligence Conference on Interaction Challenges for Intelligent Assistants - Stanford University, CA:

*April 7: The New(s) England Revolution: From Politics to Courtroom to Classroom - University of Massachusetts, Lowell:

*April 9: Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) as Democratic Principle - University of Western Ontario, Canada:

*April 10: Digital Copyright in a User Generated World - University of Western Ontario, Canada:

*April 11-14: Museums and the Web 2007: The International Conference for Culture and On-line Heritage - San Francisco, CA:

*April 16-18: Computers in Libraries - Arlington, VA:

*April 18-20: Second International Conference on Interactive Mobile and Computer Aided Learning - Amman Jordan:

*April 23-24: Webinale: Business, Design, Development - Suntec City, Singapore:

*April 25: 10th International Conference on Business Information Systems BIS 2007: Workshop on Social Aspects of the Web - Poznan, Poland:

*April 26: EconSM Conference: Economics of Social Media - Los Angeles, CA

*April 27-29: Media in Transition 5: Creativity, Ownership, and Collaboration in the Digital Age - Cambridge, MA:

*April 30-May 4: The Learning Consortium Presents: Learning in the 21st Century

*May 7: The Berkman Center and Harvard Business School's MediaTech Club Present "Content Production in a Web 2.0 World"

*June 1: The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University: Internet and Society 2007 (IS2K7) - Cambridge, MA:



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Last updated

January 16, 2008