Berkman Buzz: April 5, 2013

April 5, 2013

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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Dan Gillmor: "if it's digital, we don't own it"

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A federal judge has reminded us of a fundamental reality: if it's digital, we don't own it. In an unfortunate but unsurprising ruling, District Judge Richard J Sullivan sided with the Copyright Cartel – specifically, Capitol Records in this case – against an innovative startup that was providing a marketplace for used songs.

Had the users of the startup, ReDigi, been selling used CDs via any number of online stores, there would have been no issue. But the music in this case was stored in computer files, so the doctrine of "first sale" – your right to resell what you've bought – didn't apply.

From Dan Gillmor's post for The Guardian, "In our digital world you don't own stuff, you just license it"
About Dan | @dangillmor

David Weinberger joins Nicholas Carr & DPLA Executive Director Dan Cohen for the Digital Campus podcast

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The latest podcast in the Digital Campus series focuses solely on the current state of the Digital Public Library of America. The discussion includes Dan Cohen who has just accepted the position of Executive Director of the DPLA, which is just wonderful news. Not only does he have a rare combination of skills and experiences — ever hear of Zotero, hmm? — but he is also — and there’s no other way of putting this — nice.

From David Weinberger's blog post, "Podcast about the DPLA’s status and its relation to public libraries"
About David | @dweinberger

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DID YOU KNOW that you can watch the @cms_mit thesis presentations LIVE? Check them out, we're going all day:
Molly Sauter (@oddletters)

Ethan Zuckerman liveblogs a conversation between Bruce Schneier and Jonathan Zittrain

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Bruce Schneier is one of the world’s leading cryptographers and theorists of security. Jonathan Zittrain is a celebrated law professor, theorist of digital technology and wonderfully performative lecturer. The two share a stage at Harvard Law School’s Langdell Hall. JZ introduces Bruce as the inventor of the phrase “security theatre”, author of a leading textbook on cryptography and subject of a wonderful internet meme.

From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "Schneier and Zittrain on digital security and the power of metaphors"
About Ethan | @ethanz

The Future of the Internet: Five Years Later

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Since the publication of The Future of the Internet, the ethos of strict appliancization has taken a new turn. In 2011, Professor Zittrain wrote an update on the book’s message: “at the time of the book’s drafting, the alternatives seemed stark: the “sterile” iPhone that ran only Apple’s software on the one hand, and the chaotic PC that ran anything ending in .exe on the other. The iPhone’s openness to outside code beginning in ’08 changed all that. It became what I call “contingently generative” — it runs outside code after approval (and then until it doesn’t).” This trend towards contingently generative models continues into the present day, and represents a shift similar in many respects to the one The Future of the Internet predicted.

From Ben Sobel, Kendra Albert, and Jonathan Zittrain's post for EdTech Researcher, "The Future of the Internet: Five Years Later"

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The Museum of the Invisible Hand: coming your way in 2014 from metaLAB
Jeffry Schnapp (@jaytiesse)

28,000 Rivers Disappear from Chinese Map

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A popular Chinese folk song tells of “a wide river with strong waves, where the wind blows the fragrance of paddy fields to the banks.”

But such idyllic rivers in China may be becoming a thing of the past. As public frustration brews over the country’s many polluted waterways, a recent nationwide water census seemed to reveal that some 28,000 rivers previously recorded in the government database have vanished.

From owen's blog post for Global Voices, "28,000 Rivers Disappear from Chinese Map"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

April 5, 2013