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Berkman Buzz: Week of March 17, 2008

March 21, 2008

BERKMAN BUZZ:  A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations.  If you'd like to receive this by email, just sign up here.The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law

Week of March 17, 2008

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

*The OpenNet Initiative looks at the digital information gap in China and Tibet
*David Ardia celebrates the court victory of community journalism site iBrattleboro
*John Palfrey examines risk and moral panic in the context of Internet safety
*Perhaps the Harry Potter Lexicon lawsuit can be resolved with a game of quiddage. Let's ask Derek Bambauer
*The Internet & Democracy project discusses implementing a human rights policy at the World Bank
*Weekly Global Voices: "China: Patriotism triggered, though under censorship"
*Weekly Berkman@10: Registration for our 10th anniversary conference is now open and the agenda has been updated

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The full buzz.

"Despite the approaching Olympic Games, it should come as no surprise to most observers of China that information about the spreading protests in Tibet (Autonomous Region) and other far western provinces is subject to vigorous censorship. YouTube enables certain actors actors to determine geolocational filtering by country, but the Chinese government chose to block the entire site on March 15. Some Western media outlets and various other websites, have reportedly become inaccessible in the week since the protests began..."
OpenNet Initiative, "Tibet, China and the information gaps between"

"A Vermont judge has dismissed the libel lawsuit filed against Chris Grotke and Lise LePage, co-founders and owners of, a widely acclaimed community journalism site based in Brattleboro, Vermont, ruling that Grotke and LePage are immune from liability under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ("CDA 230")..."
David Ardia
, "iBrattleboro Victorious, Court Dismisses Libel Lawsuit Under Section 230 of Communications Decency Act"

"The MacArthur Foundation’s Series on New Media and Learning, published by the MIT Press, includes a book called Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected (2008); open access version here. I opened this book first when I was writing a chapter on Innovators, for Born Digital, a book I’m co-writing with Urs Gasser. I had reason to come back to this book again in thinking about the Task Force we’re chairing, called the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, as there’s a chapter that centers on risk and moral panic in the context of Internet safety..."
John Palfrey, "Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected"

"No, it’s not the eighth installment of the Rowling series - rather, it’s the latest installment of the ongoing legal fistfight over RDR Books and Steven Vander Ark’s attempt to publish a book version of the on-line guide to the Harry Potter wizarding world. (I posted briefly on this earlier, when I was annoyed by clueless coverage of the case by the NY Times and Joe Nocera.) The trial in the case starts..."
Derek Bambauer, "Harry Potter and the Lexicon of Fair Use"

"Galit Safarty gave a talk at Harvard Law School today titled: Why Culture Matters in International Institutions: The Marginality of Human Rights at the World Bank. Sarfaty obtained her JD from Yale and is a lawyer and anthropologist. She is a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program and writing her dissertation based on 4 years of field work at the World Bank. She is studying why no mandate for human rights has been incorporated into the organizational culture at the Bank..."
The Internet & Democracy Project, "Implementing a Human Rights Policy at the World Bank"

"Tibet is in commotion, people’s life in danger. Looting and shooting and destroying have been on street. The situation there climbed to the front pages of many foreign papers. But when I walked in, through the massive gate of Great Firewall of China to the domestic blogshpere, I found the turmoil and gory images largely gone, a wind of peace, richness and harmony greeting me. It is supposed to be brought by the succession of the country’s president and premier, and the glorious closure of People’s congress..."
Global Voices, "China: Patriotism triggered, though under censorship"

"The second day of the [Berkman@10]conference will consist of more intimate break-out sessions led by specialists in certain areas including security, censorship, intellectual property, and innovation. The purpose of these breakouts will be to address the specific issues facing the Internet over the next ten years and how we can address them to preserve the values upon which the Web was founded. There will be four concurrent tracks with plenary sessions at the beginning and end of the day..."
More information on the agenda for day 2 of the conference can be found here

Last updated

March 22, 2008