Who owns ideas?

Recently CBC’s excellent Ideas program ran a documentary on copyright entitled Who own’s ideas?. The episode provides a really nice overview of the issues and even includes a bit of history which is too often ignored in this debate.

Both a podcast and a direct MP3 download are available.

Free software/copyright conference at UWO

On Monday April 9th and Tuesday April 10th Western Law is hosting a conference at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada called Knowledge Policy for the 21st Century.

Speakers include:

The conference fee is pretty cheap so if you are in the area it may be a great event to attend.

The copyright loby (more of the same)

Just before the last federal election the world found out how cozy some federal politicians involved in copyright reform were with special interest groups. Despite the change of government, it appears little has changed.

Oda and the Copyright Pledge

CRIA’s Lobby Effort: The Untold Story

Michael Geist deserves a lot of credit for not letting this drop.

Transcripts and audio versions of Geist’s Hart House 2006 lecture entitled Our own creative land: Cultural Monopoly and the Trouble with Copyright are available if you are interested in Canadian copyright reform.

RedHat summit videos

Red Hat has posted videos of the keynotes from the Red Hat summit in Nashville. So far, I have only watched two of the three videos. Both were excellent.

Eben Moglen: Discusses the philosophical and political ideas behind free software. He argues that free software is about allowing individual creativity. If you don’t ‘get’ free software you need to watch this speech.

Cory Doctorow: Provides a bit of history on copyright change and how the incumbent industries always try to stop progress. Lots of good DRM discussion as well.

There is no future in which bits will be harder to copy than they are today … Any business model that based on the idea that bits will be harder to copy is doomed. [Cory Doctorow (2006 RedHat summit in Nashville)]

I found both of these speeches to be inspiring. Free software is the start of a wider revolution. As Moglen says in his keynote (paraphrasing), it is an incredible privilege to live through a revolution.