August 21, 2004

Copyright items round-up - Junger (code/speech), Skala (law/tech), Crawford (info commons)

"Little people" deserve link-love too:

Peter Junger's Samsara blog for August is full of interesting yet unremarked copyright/code/speech items. It ranges from Is Source Code Like a Machine Gun? to Why All the Fuss About Source Code? Copyright, Machine Code, and Compilers. Disclaimer: He's also posted, ahem, Seth Finkelstein's Contribution.

Matthew Skala has a follow-up piece on Colour, social beings, and undecidability. Basically, writing from the tech perspective (which I share) that law is about political/social rules, not physical/mathematical rules.

Walt Crawford's library 'zine "Cites & Insights" (not blog - but there is now a Cites & Insights Updates Blog) has come out with the September 2004 issue. There's a long, informative, discussion of open-access publishing But not at all obvious from the capsule, buried deep toward page 20, is an interesting skeptical discussion of the Information Commons Report:

Will I become an advocate for the information commons? Not directly, not until the mental model makes sense to me--but that could change at any time. ... I was hoping that [the report] would convince me that "information commons" was a well-defined concept and one that I should support. That didn't happen--and I'm not sure whether it's because I'm unable to recognize the grand vision or because I don't buy this particular aggregation of concepts.

While I'm actually not in agreement (being mildly subject to the grand vision), the analysis is complex and subtle enough to be worth pondering, as non-polarized criticism.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight | on August 21, 2004 08:38 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Thanks for the comment. And you're responding in a way that I'd (somewhat) hoped for--after all, if I wanted to discourage other people from buying into the Information Commons concept, I would have either ignored the policy report altogether or trashed it in a dismissive summary. (I wouldn't have done the latter, but you know what I mean.) This really is one of those cases where I personally find the concept unconvincing, but am not satisfied that my own findings are correct or that others should agree.

There's a lot of that going around these days.

Posted by: Walt Crawford at August 22, 2004 03:00 PM