"ACTA" entries

Four short links: 27 February 2012

Four short links: 27 February 2012

Science Needs Open Source, ACTA Wrongitude, iOS Layout, and Mobile Make Lab for Schools

  1. Open Science Requires Open Source (Nature editorial) — Our view is that we have reached the point that, with some exceptions, anything less than release of actual source code is an indefensible approach for any scientific results that depend on computation, because not releasing such code raises needless, and needlessly confusing, roadblocks to reproducibility.
  2. What’s Still Wrong With ACTA — the fist-sized jewel in the crown of hypocrisy is USTR has repeated assured Congress that it is not bound by ACTA, and that no changes in US law will be made to comply with ACTA, even in those areas where ACTA conflicts with US law, such as our many limitations on damages from infringement for copyright and trademarks. The US government does intend for ACTA to be binding on developing countries, as part of a “do as we say not as we do” foreign policy.
  3. WeViews — open source library for laying out UIViews for iOS. (via Hacker News)
  4. SparkLabWith your help, we’ll find and outfit a delivery truck with cutting-edge maker tools and software (like laser cutters, 3D printers, and hand tools) and drive from school to school bringing teachers and students the resources and equipment they need to create engaging, educational activities. A KickStarter project made of solid Maker awesome. (via Dan Meyer)

The Wellington Declaration

This week marks the start in Wellington New Zealand of the next round of ACTA negotiations, nominally the US-led Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The scope of the agreement, however, has extended well beyond trade in fake medicines and knock-off Gucci handbags into the technical realms of file-sharing, ISP liability, disconnection, and DRM. Such issues have been contentious where they've arisen in New Zealand, France, the UK, USA, and elsewhere, yet negotiators seem ignorant of consumer and technology concerns. To correct this, the open PublicACTA conference two days ago drafted and released the Wellington Declaration.

Four short links: 9 April 2010

Four short links: 9 April 2010

ACTA, Librarianship, HTML Magic, and Understanding Data

  1. PublicACTA — conference to critique the ACTA draft and offer better principles for the negotiators. It will be streamed online, and you’ll be able to watch Michael Geist, Kim Weatherall, and other speakers as well as follow the issues and drafting process. Raw notes and drafts will be on the web site throughout the day. I’m MCing.
  2. The Library is the Machine — article about the relationship of libraries to catalogues, errors, authoritative information, and the lessons for this new world of data we’re building. (via staplegun on Twitter)
  3. Parchment — all-Javascript z-code interpreter. Z-code is the basis of Infocom-style text adventures (“interactive fiction” to aficionados). Impressive for the decoding, interpretation, and speed. The web still surprises me with what it can do and how well it does it. If only it had an app store *cough*.
  4. Fixing the Budget — the Economist polled Americans on the budget deficit. Overwhelmingly they want to cut spending and not raise taxes. When asked where to cut spending, the only agreement was on topics responsible for a few percent of the overall budget. This is why Budget Hero is so important: we need more SimCity-like exploration tools that let you say “what if we did (my favourite policy)?” and see what it does to not just next year’s deficit but those that our children will inherit.
Four short links: 30 March 2010

Four short links: 30 March 2010

ACTA, Google Books, and APIs vs Data

  1. PublicACTA — New Zealand is hosting the final round of ACTA negotiations, and InternetNZ and other concerned technology-aware citizens will also host a PublicACTA conference. The goal is to produce a statement from the citizens, one which can be given to the negotiators ahead of the final round. If you can’t make it to NZ for April 10, the site has an interesting blog and the conference itself will be live streamed.
  2. Submission on Copying in the Digital Environment — ahead of the ACTA round, New Zealand negotiators invited submissions around certain questions. This fantastic response from an artist and author reminds me why the fight is so important. 2. The idea that all copying must be authorised (or else be illegal) makes no sense in the digital environment. The internet works through copying – that’s how the technology of it functions, and it’s also how its power to promote and market ideas and art is unleashed. For example, when my work “goes viral” – i.e. is copied from website to blog to aggregation site to tweet to email (and so on) – I benefit enormously from that exposure. This is not something I can engineer or control, and when it has happened it has always come as a pleasant surprise. I have benefited from these frenzies of “unauthorised” copying in a number of ways, from international commissions to increased sales. I have learned that such copying is in my interests; in fact, it is essential to my success in the digital environment. (via starrjulie on Twitter)
  3. Jon Orwant of Google Books — Jon’s an O’Reilly alum, and engineering manager for Google Books. David Weinberger liveblogged a talk Jon gave to Harvard librarians. Google Books want to scan all books. Has done 12M out of the 120 works (which have 174 manifestations — different versions and editions, etc.). About 4B pages, 40+ libraries, 400 languages (“Three in Klingon”). Google Books is in the first stage: Scanning. Second: Scaling. Third: What do we do with all this? 20% are public domain.
  4. We Have an API — Nat Friedman asks for a “download all the data” link instead of an API that dribbles out data like a pensioner with a prostate problem (my words, not his). I loved Francis Irving’s observation, buried in the comments, that A “download data” item is just an API call that can return all the data..

The fate of WIPO, ACTA, and other intellectual property pushes in the international economy

Intellectual property wars are fiercer than ever, although the institutions most affected (including the media) prefer not to talk about them. But we may be in for a pendulum shift. I recently put out a tweet on this topic and was asked to expand on it. The issues are too big and complex for me to give them a proper…