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A Copyfighter’s Musings by Derek Slater

Derek Slater
last updated: September 22, 2007

Intro to this blog

This blog is about the future of copyright and digital media. I originally wrote this intro in Jan 2003 when I started this blog, and, though much has changed since then, many of the big questions remain the same:

This blog is a place to discuss current copyright/internet law issues. This blog will mostly focus on questions I have about the future of copyright with respect to the Internet and digital media. My posts will point towards one question: “what is the best possible policy for copyright in the digital age?”
My goal is to make this blog more about the prescriptive, normative questions about copyright. For an example of what I mean, I’d really like to see more of these sorts of threads. I have a lot of questions about how to rewrite the copyright balance: how can we protect fair use? Can we do that and allow for strong DRM, ie Palladium? Should we look to more radical proposals? Or just let the market decide?
Mostly, I’ve got questions – hopefully, some of the time, I’ll have some answers. Or maybe you do. I’d love to hear them.

The original version of this blog can be found here.

Intro to me

My name is Derek Slater, and I’m a Policy Analyst on Google’s public policy team.

Previously, I was the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Activism Coordinator, helping the public take action to fight for digital rights. Along with crafting papers, blog posts, and alerts for EFF’s website and newsletter, I coordinated grassroots organizing and helped the organization’s members make their voices heard in regulatory and legislative bodies.

I joined EFF‘s staff after graduating from Harvard College in January 2006. During my time at Harvard, I did research at the Berkman Center, becoming the first undergraduate to be named a student fellow. Papers I’ve written have been discussed by the Washington Post,, and the Boston Globe, and I’ve contributed to other blogs such as

Selection of papers on which I was a lead author or contributor:
Consumer Taste Sharing Is Driving the Online Music Business and Democratizing Culture – a trend and benefit analysis concerning alternative (non-p2p) modes of music sharing and the legal licensing thereof (December 2005)
Content and Control – a report “Assessing the Impact of Policy Choices on Potential Online Business Models in the Music and Film Industries” (January 2005)
iTunes: How Copyright, Contract, and Technology Shape the Business of Digital Media — a whitepaper analyzing Apple’s online music store, iTunes, and its implications for international law (June 2004)

*Disclaimer: Nothing I say on this blog represents the views of my employers, past or present, unless otherwise specifically noted.

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