May 20, 2008

Berkman@10, WebN.0, CFP

Filed under: events, law, networks — wseltzer @ 12:25 pm

Berkman@10 was wonderfully Twittered, Flickrd, and blogged, with technology enhancing the in-person connections.

Next stop, CFP.

May 15, 2008

Sony BMG Sends YouTube Ads Instead of Takedown

Filed under: Chilling Effects, copyright, music — wseltzer @ 7:08 am

As reported on Valleywag and picked up by Slashdot, Sony BMG has been testing an alternative to copyright takedowns of unauthorized music videos on YouTube: inserting a link to the band’s official page instead.

An eagle-eyed Valleywag tipster with a taste for Modest Mouse spotted an interesting new feature on YouTube. Uploads of music videos from the band by non-official sources now carry a link reading “Contains content from Sony BMG,” which leads users to the official Modest Mouse page on the site.

Commenter Mr. E discovers that the “claim” link is added automatically, by Google’s YouTube Video ID Tool, when a matching video is spotted on upload. Emphasis added:

Dear YouTube Member:

Sony/BMG has claimed some or all visual content in your video Float On. This claim was made as part of the YouTube Content Identification program.

Your video is still live because Sony/BMG has authorized the use of this content on YouTube. As long as Sony/BMG has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video’s page.

Sony/BMG claimed this content as a part of the YouTube Content Identification program. YouTube allows partners to review YouTube videos for content to which they own the rights. Partners may use our automated video / audio matching system to identify their content, or they may manually review videos.

The YouTube Content Identification Team

This sounds like a promising development, a less intrusive means of copyright policing than the flat DMCA takedown. Might Sony be recognizing that fan appreciation is a good thing, to be nurtured into compensation rather than squelched with takedowns? As of Thursday morning, the Modest Mouse channel has been viewed 77,808 times, and this particular “Float On” video, with associated Sony ads, more than one million times. I can only hope the more nuanced approach succeeds without becoming too intrusive to the viewers or the host site.

May 14, 2008

Berkman@10: The Challenge of Openness

Filed under: law, networks — wseltzer @ 3:26 pm

Berkman@10As one of those who knew the Berkman Center before it was “Berkman,” I’m particularly pleased to be helping to celebrate its 10th Anniversary season.

When we launched “The Berkman Center for Internet & Society” in 1998, some wondered whether we were just talking about the “law of the horse,” but the intervening 10 years have shown us that horse has legs. The Internet’s distributed communication systems have taught us something new about speech, creativity, and culture — showing the economic flourishing of all these in a distributed, open network.

Berkman’s founding visionary, Charlie Nesson, recognized openness as a core principle early, and others have gradually caught on: freedom at the core means more opportunities to generate value elsewhere in the network. Free software supports better-specialized hardware, user-optimized development, and electronic commerce. Open-access non-discriminatory networks support both commerce and communities.

The challenge for the next 10 years will be to preserve that openness. Join us in person or online as we work to meet that challenge!

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