<-- The Filter --> January 2006

January 12, 2006
No. 8.01 < -- The Filter -- > January 2006

[1] News
[2] Berkman Updates
[3] Networked: Bookmarks, Webcasts, Podcasts, Tags, and Blogposts
[4] Community Links
[5] Staying Connected
[6] Filter Facts

***We are currently redesigning the Filter's format and content so  that it's easy to read and more informative.  If you have ideas for  new features or if there are changes you'd like to see made (or not  made!), please send an email to amichel AT cyber.harvard.edu.  We  welcome all feedback.***

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


MSN Spaces took down Chinese blogger Zhao Jing's blog on New Years  Eve.  Zhao Jing, who blogs under the pseudonym Michael Anti, blogged  in support of editors at the Beijing Daily News who were fired for  their recent investigative reporting, including such stories as the  recent police shootings of village protestors in southern China, and  of the Beijing Daily News reporters who quit thereafter in support of  their editors.  His blog disappeared a few days after he published  his posts that were critical of the newspaper. On January 3rd Berkman  Fellow Rebecca MacKinnon blogged that Anti's blog was deleted  entirely by MSN staff and not blocked by Chinese authorities.  Since  then the blogosphere has been on fire, asking why MSN staffers took  down the blog and whether they should have that authority.

In the wake of recent challenges faced by a variety of online service  providers, hardware and software companies, this adds to the growing  concern over how technology companies interact both profitably -- and  responsibly -- with repressive governments.

Keep reading:
* Jan. 3 Rebecca MacKinnon, Berkman "Microsoft takes down Chinese  blogger": <http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2006/01/microsoft_takes.html>
* Jan. 3 Robert Scoble, Microsoft "My opinions on that":
* Jan. 4 Ethical Corporation "Internet Censorship - When In Rome?":  <http://www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=4040>


In September 2005, John Seigenthaler Sr., former assistant to Robert  Kennedy and now a retired journalist, discovered that an article in  Wikipedia contained false claims about his past, including that he  may have had a role in the assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and  Robert F. Kennedy.  In October 2005 Seigenthaler contacted Wikipedia  founder Jimmy Wales, who removed the inaccurate information.   Nevertheless Seigenthaler then published an op-ed detailing his  attempts to identify the source of the inaccurate information and  criticizing Wikipedia for hosting false claims by an anonymous user.

While Wikipedia took steps to avoid a repeat, debate ensued about the  virtues of anonymity (and an IP address) versus persistent online  identity, and what standards Wikipedia ought to be judged by. As  explained by Berkman Fellow David Weinberger on his blog: "With  Wikipedia, the balance of knowing shifts from the individual to the  social process. The solution to a failure of knowledge (as the  Seigenthaler entry clearly was) is to fix the social process, while  acknowledging that it will never work perfectly. There are still  individuals involved, of course, but Wikipedia reputations are made  and advanced by being consistent and persistent contributors to the  social process. Yes, persistent violators of the social trust can be  banished from Wikipedia, but the threat of banishment is not what  keeps good contributors contributing well. Wikipedia is obviously not  the first and only instance of this type of knowing in our history.  But the balance of heroic individual knowers and persistent,  pseudonymous social processes is sufficiently different that the  media generally have gone wrong with this story. After all, reporters  are held accountable when they get something wrong, so why shouldn't  Wikipedians? A: Because Wikipedia isn't a newspaper and newspaper  practices aren't the only way to knowledge."

Keep reading:
* John Seigenthaler's USA Today op-ed: <http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-11-29-wikipedia-edi...
* David Weinberger, Berkman Fellow, took on this question in his last  Hyperorg journal piece, titled "Why the Media Can't Get Wikipedia  Right":
* Daniel Terdiman (C|Net), "Newsmaker: In search of a Wikipedia  Prankster": <http://news.com.com/In+search+of+the+Wikipedia+prankster/2008-1029_3-599...
* Wikipedia entry "John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipeda biography  controversy": <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Seigenthaler_Sr._Wikipedia_biography_c...


In April and June 2006 the World Intellectual Property Organization  (WIPO) will consider the Broadcasting and Webcasting Treaty. If  adopted, the new treaty would give broadcasters copyright-like  control over their broadcasts, even if the content of the broadcasts  is in the public domain.  Worse still, if controversial webcasting  provisions are included, anyone who serves up material online "will  be granted the right to authorize or prohibit anyone from copying  their data, or republishing or re-using the webcast in any form,"  again, regardless whether they own the rights in the underlying  material. The US and European Union support the creation of this new  Internet-based right, while others, particularly developing countries  such as Brazil and India, oppose it.  Proponents say they're  advancing "parity" for webcasters and broadcasters.  Opponents point  to lack of evidence that new rights are needed, suggesting that added  layers of rights and clearances would actually stifle innovation and  creative development.

Considering the explosion of user-generated material that is  weblogged, podcasted, Flickr'd, or Wikipedized (and already protected  under current law, including by various Creative Commons copyright  licenses), it seems unlikely that "webcasting" is threatened without  new rights.

For the full picture:
* James Love, Huffington Post, "A UN/WIPO Plan to Regulate  Distribution of Information on the Internet":
* James Boyle, Financial Times, "More rights are wrong for  webcasters": <http://news.ft.com/cms/s/441306be-2eb6-11da-9aed-00000e2511c8.html>

-Wendy Seltzer, Berkman Fellow, contributed to this news item.

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

*John Palfrey Appointed Harvard Law School Clinical Professor of Law*

At the end of last semester the Faculty of Harvard Law School voted  to appoint John Palfrey as a Clinical Professor of Law. This  appointment recognizes the enormous contributions John has made since  becoming the Berkman Center’'s Executive Director in 2002.  Everyone  at Berkman - its faculty, fellows, staff, and friends - is extremely  proud of John'’s extraordinary achievements and wish their intrepid  leader, known for his equal measures of brilliance, commitment,  kindness, and modesty, the best in this exciting new phase of his  career.

Keep reading: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/home?wid=10&func=viewSubmission&sid=883>

*Undergrad Berkman Fellow, Derek Slater, Co-Author of Industry Paper  on Playlists*

On December 13 Berkman Student Fellow Derek Slater and Gartner  Research Director Mike McGuire released "Consumer Taste Sharing Is  Driving the Online Music Business and Democratizing Culture," a  report that documents the extent of peoples' use of consumer-to- consumer recommendation tools, like playlist sharing.
Drawing from an early-adopter survey conducted through Gartner, Derek  and Mike found that consumer-to-consumer recommendation tools, like  playlists, enable consumers to actively present their individual  tastes to each other and are becoming increasingly common.  According  to survey results, nearly 20 percent of online music listeners  reported listening to music via playlists at least five days a week.

Keep reading:
* Report: <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/uploads/511/11-consumerTasteSharing.pdf>
* Berkman Blogpost "Playlists, Podcasting, and Other New Forms of  Sharing": <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/home?wid=10&func=viewSubmission&sid=879>
* Derek Slater's "A Copyfighter's Musings" Post:

*Clinical Program Semester Overview*

A favorable decision in a case with important implications for online  free speech capped off a busy and exciting fall semester for the  Berkman Center's Clinical Program in Cyberlaw.  The case, Gentle Wind  Project v. Garvey, involved a defamation and civil RICO lawsuit  brought by a fringe religious group against two former members who  posted a web site recounting their abusive experiences in the group.   Their web site was linked to, and discussed by, operators of anti- cult organizations.  The religious group charged that the links and  discussions between the defendants and other anti-cult organizations  was tantamount to an ongoing criminal enterprise.  A federal district  court, however, strongly disagreed, and granted summary judgment for  the defense on both the RICO and defamation claims.  Berkman Center  clinical students assisted defense counsel with research and drafting  of the dispositive summary judgment memoranda.


For more information on the Clinical Program, or to determine if the  Clinic might be able to assist with a particular high-tech legal issue:

    Links to Berkman conversations happening online
======================================================================== =


ARTICLE: "Without a Net," Jonathan Zittrain:

PAPER: Beyond Internet Governance: The Emerging International  Framework for Governing the Networked World, Mary Rundle:

PAPER: Regulating Search? Call for a Second Look, Urs Gasser: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ugasser/2005/11/30#a382>

THREAD: The Commonwealth's ODF Forum, Dec. 14, Berkman Blog:

BLOGPOST: ICANN: How to listen to the individual Internet user, Wendy  Seltzer

BLOGPOST: What a Network Neutrality Rule wants, David Isenberg :  <http://isen.com/blog/2005/12/what-network-neutrality-rule-wants.html>

PLAYLIST: Free Culture and Municipal Wi-Fi, Jonah Bossewitch: <http://h2obeta.law.harvard.edu/73538>

WEBCASTS: David Weinberger and David Isenberg at Oxford Internet  Institute, <http://webcast.oii.ox.ac.uk/>


BLOGPOST: Why the media can't get Wikipedia right, David Weinberger :  <http://www.hyperorg.com/backissues/joho-dec29-05.html#wikipedia>

BLOGPOST: Global Voices Summit: Emergence of a Conversation  Community, Rebecca MacKinnon

BLOGPOST: Thoughts on the Future of Journalism, Rebecca MacKinnon

LINK: Toot, <http://www.itoot.net/>


PAPER: Consumer Taste Sharing Is Driving the Online Music Business  and Democratizing Culture, Mike McGuire and Derek Slater:

PLAYLIST: A Playlist About Music Playlists and Other Taste-Sharing  Tools, Derek Slater: <http://h2obeta.law.harvard.edu/74724>

PAPER: Catch-As-Catch-Can: A Case Note on Grokster, Urs Gasser and  John G. Palfrey, Jr.

BLOGPOST: Getting OPML, John Palfrey:

    featuring our affiliates and friends

"Will Fair Use Survive?" (Free Expression Policy Project at NYU's  School of Law) by Marjorie Heins and Tricia Beckles:

CC in Review: Lawrence Lessig on Final Thoughts:

Open Internet Discussion Paper, Public Knowledge: <http:// www.publicknowledge.org/content/papers/20051201-open-internet-summary>

Public Knowledge Policy Blog: <http://www.publicknowledge.org/blogs/policy>

Electronic Frontier Foundation Action Center: <http://action.eff.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ADV_homepage>

Center for Social Media "Future of Public Media Project": <http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/future.htm>

Stanford Center for Internet & Society blog: <http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blogs/>

Oxford Internet Institute: <http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/>

Generation PRX, PRX's youth project: <http://generation.prx.org/>

Global Voices Online World Blog Aggregator: <http://www.bloglines.com/public/globalvoicesonline>

    how to find out about Berkman's weekly events

* We webcast every Tuesday Luncheon Speakers event. Luncheon Series  events start at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time. The webcast link is  <http://harmony.law.harvard.edu/luncheon.sdp>  The Berkman homepage  features next week's guest speakers every Thursday. Tune in!

* The Berkman Center sends out an events email every Wednesday. If  you'd like to be notified of upcoming events - virtual and otherwise  - please sign up by emailing amichel at cyber.harvard.edu.

* Future events are listed on the Berkman public calendar. It is  available here: <https://cyber.harvard.edu/calendar/month.php>


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Filter is a publication of the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School.
Editor: Amanda Michel

Last updated

January 16, 2008