CopyNight for Washington, DC

Blog for the Washington, DC monthly CopyNight gathering.

Archive for the ‘Meeting’ Category

CopyNight will be Tuesday, 9/27 at 6:30PM at Ella’s and DCPL

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Hello, CopyNighters!

We’re going to do something a bit different, just for this month. Katie Filbert, through her involvement with Wikimedia especially here in DC, has been working on the LibLab project (http://wikidc.org/wiki/LibLab) at the DC’s MLK Jr. Public Library. She has invited us to check out the space and the project.

Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza (http://www.ellaspizza.com/) is right nearby and both are easy walking distance from the Metro. We’ll gather at Ella’s at the usual time for food, drinks and an abbreviated version of the usual discussion and then make our way from there to the library.

Please reply directly back to me or indicate you’ll be attending on Facebook so I can get a rough head count to call ahead.

CopyNight DC
6:30 PM, Tuesday, September 27th 2011
Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza – 901 F St. NW (Chinatown or Archives Metro)

Written by Thomas Gideon

September 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Meeting

CopyNight will be Tuesday, 1/25 at 6:30PM at Teaism

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Hello CopyNighters!

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable break over the holidays. I hope you are ready and eager to re-join the CopyNight discussion at our usual time and place.

There are many topics we can discuss like the move from three strikes as a counter to piracy to domain seizures and web site take downs, the next bit of copyright policy laundering that may take place in the TPP free trade agreement, and more. Also, I attended PK’s World’s Fair Use Day and would be happy to recap the event for anyone who wasn’t there.

As always, fee free to bring any other stories you wish to discuss. You are also welcome to suggest topics and guests for future CopyNights.

CopyNight DC
6:30 PM, Tuesday, January 25th 2011
Teaism – 400 8th St. NW (Chinatown or Archives Metro)

See you there!

Written by Thomas Gideon

January 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Meeting

Thanks to Everyone who Attended CopyNight DC with Cory Doctorow

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The CopyNight DC event with Cory Doctorow last night was an unqualified success. I want to once again thank our very generous co-hosts, New America and Public Knowledge for provided the space and video streaming and refreshments respectively.

It is hardly any surprise that the event was packed. I have it from James at New America that we received just over two hundred RSVPs for the event, just about as many as for an event New America hosted earlier in the same day with one of President Obama’s economic advisors.

Cory’s talk was engaging and thought provoking. New America has already made the archived video available, which I’ve embedded above. The audience questions were equally as fascinating as the talk and the general feedback I received afterward as folks were waiting to get books signed and at the happy hour was incredibly positive.

I want to thank Cory for giving us a big chunk of his time on a very busy trip. His thoughts certainly enrich the discussion around achieving a balanced copyright and on access to an open network more generally. I appreciate his help in drawing attention to the Open Technology Initiative at New America, to Public Knowledge and to CopyNight, both the one here in DC and the many other instances around the globe.

CopyNight DC for July will be Tuesday, the 27th, and we are once again being hosted by Public Knowledge, this time at their offices.

Written by Thomas Gideon

June 29, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Announcement, Meeting

CopyNight will be Monday, 2/22, at 6:30PM at Teaism

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Hello CopyNighters,

CopyNight for this month will be the 22nd at our usual time and place.
Sorry for the late notice, undoubtedly I am not the only one still
dealing with the back log of work from last week’s massive snow fall.

I’d like to discuss the recent suggestions for copyright reform,
primarily Public Knowledge’s Copyright Reform Act as well as Cory
Doctorow’s latest article for The Independent.

http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/2906
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jan/26/copyright-cory-doctorow

Also, if anyone was at Free Culture X, a recap of that event would no
doubt be appreciated by those that didn’t make it out.

CopyNight DC
6:30 PM, Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Teaism – 400 8th St. NW (Chinatown or Archives Metro)

See you there!

Written by Thomas Gideon

February 21, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Posted in Meeting

CopyNight will be Monday, 1/25, at 6:30PM at Teaism

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Hello CopyNighters,

CopyNight for this month will be the 25th at our usual time and place.
I don’t have a set topic or a speaker this time around but I’m sure
those that were able to make it to Public Knowledge’s World’s Fair Use
Day would be happy to share experiences and impressions from the
event.  ACTA negotiations will also be taking place in Mexico City on
the 25th so there may be some more information and/or leaks to discuss
between now and then.

CopyNight DC
6:30 PM, Monday, January 25th, 2009
Teaism – 400 8th St. NW (Chinatown or Archives Metro)

See you there!

Written by Thomas Gideon

January 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Meeting

Meetup with Carl Malamud

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Some of you may have seen the BoingBoing post recently about Carl Malamud’s upcoming testimony before Congress as part of his work at public.resource.org digitizing government information.  He’s also not surprisingly a fairly active poster on Twitter and mentioned his upcoming trip to DC.

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/12/04/watch-americas-publi.html

This got some of us thinking about asking Carl if he’d be willing to join us for a meetup.  As it happens, Carl liked the idea and would be able to meet with anyone who wants to join us next Thursday, the 17th, at Capital City Brewing at Union Station starting at 6:30PM.

I realize this is short notice but what I need from you is a quick note letting me know if you’ll be there so I can get a head count as soon as possible and can look into get a reservation for a large table ahead of time.

You can comment on this post, respond to the Facebook event, or email me at cmdln@thecommandline.net to let me know if you’ll be able to make it.

Given the upcoming holidays, I’m also going to suggest that this serve
in lieu of our December gatheringl, barring any objections.

Please RSVP ASAP!

Written by Thomas Gideon

December 10, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Meeting

CopyNight will be Monday, 11/30, at 6:30PM at Teaism

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CopyNight for this month will take advantage of the extra Monday in the month and will be the 30th at our usual time and place. Hopefully we’ll see everyone refreshed from the Holiday and ready for a good discussion.

The topic for this time will be the recent negotiations, leaks and analysis of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade Agreement. Professor Michael Geist has been leading the discussion on the net with a series of posts covering both the three days of negotiations in Seoul and the most recent leaked draft.

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4510/125/
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4511/125/
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4515/125/

David Kravets of Wired also has an excellent write up:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/11/policy-laundering/

Professor Ed Felten of Princeton has been posting a series that I suspect will relate back to ACTA in its conclusion. Even the first leaked drafts we saw discussed normalization and coordination of international IP enforcement. He’s been discussing models for more effective enforcement, contrasting sharply to what the content industry has actually done in the name of deterrence.

http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/targeted-copyright-enforcement-deterring-many-users-few-lawsuits
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/targeted-copyright-enforcement-vs-inaccurate-enforcement

I think this are worth consideration as we try to formulate constructive responses to the mounting pressure to implement filtering, three strikes regimes, and other concerning approaches to enforcement.

Feel free to bring news and articles relating to the main topic or time allowing other copyright issues you’d like to discuss.

CopyNight DC
6:30 PM, Monday, November 30th, 2009
Teaism – 400 8th St. NW (Chinatown or Archives Metro)

See you there!

Written by Thomas Gideon

November 13, 2009 at 11:22 am

Posted in Meeting

Notes from September’s CopyNight for Washingon, DC

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The topic for September’s CopyNight here in DC was the Google Book settlement. We had a decent turn out, not as large as the couple of Summer gatherings but respectable. The discussion was excellent, covering many aspects of this story that hadn’t occurred to me, even as closely as I have been following it for my blog and my podcast.

We started by discussing the impact of the DoJ’s letter on the settlement. It is important to note this was just a letter, not a ruling. some sort of broader antitrust investigation may be underway behind the scenes that prompted the letter. The net effect of the input from the DoJ may be to strip the settlement largely back to its original contours. It ultimately may have been sparked by the Copyright Office, though, as the bulk of the letter was consistent with a Copyright Office hearing from some time back. That the case brought against Google was a class action may have also added pressure to the DoJ to comment.

The unfortunate consequence of a scaling back is that libraries may lose out. The settlement would have set up considerable public access resources for which the American Library Association was in favor. The ALA would have preferred greater government oversight than for what the settlement would have initially called but its a tough compromise to think through. Assessing the risks and costs of such oversight, in particular how they may have limited access, is difficult at best.

The impact to orphan works may be a little easier to appreciate. While the settlement wouldn’t give perpetual consideration to future works, limited to just works up through January of this year, scaling back will cost us a useful registry for out of print, hard to attribute works. Adam Marcus clarified that under the original settlement, that registry may not have been as closed as has been represented. The board was supposed to be open. The sticking point though is that the registry would have been one of a kind, no other attempt to scan out of print and orphan works would have gotten a leg up in terms of protections or allowances despite potential further public good.

The conversation then turned briefly to patents. There was some speculation about possible chilling effects on further development of OCR technolofies, more specifically I think physical systems to make book scanning more cost effective. There was of course mention of one of my favorite projects, reCAPTCHA. Luis van Ahn was at least co-inventor of the original CAPTCHA and no doubt has some interesting IP bound up in his latest venture that directly impacts the field of book scanning. We wondered what further implications Google’s acquisition of reCAPTCHA may have other than to beef up their internal spam fighting efforts.

A couple of folks weighed in at this point with some predictions and observations about the possible ultimate outcome. Tim Vollmer of the ALA worried about the settlement being reduced to the least/worst of what we’ve seen so far. Gavin Baker, a regular with a background in open access in academia, commented that most of the NGOs are currently for what we’ve seen of the stripped back, amended settlement. The only holdouts, noticeably, are commercial outfits that may fear Books as a toehold into the traditional publishing space.

The discussion moved on to orphan works, trying to understand why reform has moved so slowly. The degree of stalling seems to vary by medium, photography being perhaps the most contended case. This may be a consequence of the difficulty of consistently carrying attribution. Digital photography may deal with this issue better than printed photographs but it is still trivial for someone to even inadvertently destroy metadata carrying proper attribution of a work. Gavin seemed to think the scope of the orphan works problem may have been worth setting up Google as a benevolent dictator of a central registry, assuming their remit could be kept exclusively to identifying, registering and mediating orphan works only.

Things took a more philosophical turn as we explored a tangent around reform more generally. It was noted that legislation is almost entirely an additive process, rarely are laws removed from the books to address the need for more suitable compromises. Someone, I believe either Adam or Kat Walsh mentioned a recent Cato Institute event whose topic was the criminalization of everything. The idea seemed to be consistent with the solely additive nature of law making.

Gavin asked the group why the suit was pursued as a class action rather than some other kind of complaint. He offered his own theory, that basing it on a class was a form of preemption. He suggested it actually might be a form of carrot, that if Google would settle, the terms would carry farther with a class than an individual action. The implied threat is that if it wasn’t a class, Google would remain open to a potentially unending string of individual actions.

We closed with another tangent, delving into a consideration of why copyright is viewed and expressed differently across multiple types of media. The consensus was that this was a consequence of the norms and expectations arising from the introduction and adoption of each subsequent new form of media rather than anything inherent in each distinct medium. It is tempting, almost a logical trap, to think there are inherent qualities of media that naturally lead to different legal considerations. Law is made without any such notion, though. Just ponder for a moment the average technical literacy of your typical Congress critter and you’ll understand why that is.


I have notes from the October CopyNight, too, and should be getting those posted soon. Hopefully sooner than it took to get these notes out.

Written by Thomas Gideon

November 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Meeting

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