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Daily Archive for Wednesday, April 11th, 2007


lewis hyde writes:

Dear Berkmanites,

Pat McKiernan sent a note around yesterday alerting us to a Chronicle of Higher
Education discussion to be held at noon tomorrow (Thursday). The announcement
for this is at:

Here is the gist of it:

Last fall the Recording Industry Association of America sent letters to about
700 colleges, announcing that it would soon let students accused of music
piracy settle their claims out of court before it officially filed suit. In
February the trade group made good on its promise: It sent batches of
“pre-litigation notices” to 13 universities and asked those institutions to
pass the messages along to students identified only by their Internet-protocol
numbers. The notices direct recipients to a Web site and a telephone hotline to
which they can pay lump sums to record companies….

Cary H. Sherman, the association’s president, will answer your questions about
the recording industry’s new antipiracy endeavor….


There’s something bothersome in this; what exactly? Well, here is the question
I am sending in:


The recording industry regularly asks colleges to police their students in
regard to copyright infringement. My question has to do with the proper roles
of each institution: Why is it the task of colleges to do this police work,
rather than the police?

Sharing files over the internet is not illegal per se; that depends on what’s in
the file and on what it is being used for. An accusation of music piracy is not
a proof of music piracy: questions of evidence, and of fair use, and of
educational exceptions to infringement come into play.

If colleges “pass along messages” that direct students to “pay lump sums to
record companies,” colleges become an arm of the recording industry, bypassing
their educational role (teaching about fair use, for example) and bypassing due
process, if in fact there is a criminal charge to be made.

For these reasons I believe that colleges should decline this RIAA request. How
would Mr. Sherman respond to the background assumption here, that the industry,
the colleges, and law enforcement are distinct institutions, and that there is
good reason to keep their separate roles clear?


thank you lewis.

i spoke at the user-generated-content conference convening at american university law school in d.c. to the group that did the work with generating norms with documentarians that you, lewis, recommended to me. i am hoping they will join in the is2k7 effort to reify university as client. i spoke last night of the costs of university compliance with riaa, the slave labor aspect of copyright, with the example of nebraska sending riaa a bill.

In this issue you raise so well RIAA has given us high ground on which to stand and fight!!

no copyleft lynching is2k7 guarantee

larry and pam
please come
you are cordially invited to is2k7

please come
bring your friends

here’s email from henry


We (i.e., Elsevier) are willing to contribute $10K to the conference, provided we get some sort of appropriate sponsorship acknowledgement.

In addition to inviting me (I’ve received and happily accept), I would be grateful if you could get invitations issued to YS Chi, Vice Chair of Elsevier, Mark Seeley, General Counsel of Elsevier, and Nick Fowler, Director of Strategy of Ellsevier.

We are still discussing the conference with a number of people in the industry who we feel would make a contribution to the event. We have encountered a degree of reluctance to engage in this sort of discussion, but I hope to be able to get back to you soon with quality names.

Best Regards,


i wrote back asking the obvious question, to which henry further replied:


The fear we’ve heard is that this will be yet another copyleft lynching party such as periodically staged by Larry and Pam.

I do think that a list of the tentatively commited university representatives (which I would use discreetly and with appropriate disclaimers), would be very helpful in showing that this is not at all the same old-same old.

Best Regards,


to which i replied:
henry, i give assurance that is2k7 will not be a copyleft lynching. the idea of the conference is to recognize the tremendous potential generativity of university in internet space and the opportunities of all involved to profit. the idea of a library of university of the future is one in which users (students) have access to information both copyrighted and open. derek bok is our honorary chair. sid verba is our honoree. our premise is that we (university) needs a symbiotic relationship with the corporate world. our attendees include librarians, museum curators, archivists, presidents, provosts, deans, counsels, professors, students. the tone and civility of the conversation engaged in between Y.S. Chi and Stuart Shieber will continue. We are looking for ways through to a new paradyme.

colin maclay chimes in:
hi henry,

to that end, if you have ideas on framing, format, invitees, or other means we can use to help us towards the reset of these relationships and the development of the new paradigm, we are ALL ears!

best regards,


are you following this?


seymour pappert – nicholas negroponte – mitch resnick

i am sitting at an open rectangular table listening only partly to discussion of fair use hearing mention of second life.

letter to seymour pappert
carried by bob massie
homage to nicholas negroponte and mitch resnick
thinking from scratch

this is harvard this is mit
this is university

Dear Seymour
we hear you. we take your message and carry it forward.
kids like to learn by discovery. xo opens a magical world to them, except it’s real. this is second life.

i ask other teachers to join with me to teach the children of all the nations all the wisdom we have learned

think seseme street on youtube
access to bits with tools to mix
programs and puzzles and questions
to delight and amuse and lead along a path
seseme seed on the net

peace corps come alive
prison a state of mind
program from scratch


annie duke we love you

she’s coming. what would you think of seeing if there are women who would help organize a gathering of women law students and their friends to talk with annie duke and perhaps with others in the evening of april 24 in a venue like langdell south about the plusses for women in playing poker. i believe that women law students can hardly get better training to win in the professional worlds of law and business than to learn to hold their own and win at the poker table.

when appropriate (in my judgment) to an open project and not sensitive (in my judgment) in terms of privacy, i may post email to my blog. all privacy requests respected.