Note: I pulled this up from the archives today when I read this.
Can I Get An Amen?, 2004
recording on acetate, turntable, PA system, paper documents
total run time 17 minutes, 46 seconds
Can I Get An Amen? is an audio installation that unfolds a critical perspective of perhaps the most sampled drum beat in the history of recorded music, the Amen Break. It begins with the pop track Amen Brother by 60’s soul band The Winstons, and traces the transformation of their drum solo from its original context as part of a ‘B’ side vinyl single into its use as a key aural ingredient in contemporary cultural expression. The work attempts to bring into scrutiny the techno-utopian notion that ‘information wants to be free’- it questions its effectiveness as a democratizing agent. This as well as other issues are foregrounded through a history of the Amen Break and its peculiar relationship to current copyright law.
This is why this blog talks about music, DRM and copyright control. If you have 20 minutes, check it out. Especially the Judge Alex Kozinski quote at the end.
“Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it. Culture is impossible without a rich public domain. Nothing today, likely nothing since we tamed fire, is genuinely new: Culture, like science and technology, grows by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection stifles the very creative forces it’s supposed to nurture.”
* Dissenting in the White v. Samsung Elec. Am., Inc., 989 F.2d 1512 (9th Cir. 1993) ruling.
Michael Tiemann is a true open source pioneer and Red Hat’s VP of Open Source Affairs. He recently spoke to the BBC about open source principles applied to government.
So just how receptive will the 44th President will be to the idea of a implementing the workings of a new government around open standards?
“The concept of open source is going to become an undercurrent to almost everything this administration does,” declared the OSI’s President Michael Tiemann.
“The American concept of democracy is not just of the people and by the people but with the people.”
He said we have already seen a commitment to this open philosophy throughout President Obama’s election campaign.
“I think what we will see now is a maturation in America and around the world of an understanding of the open source model.”
This is pretty cool.
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In Malaysia, it is estimated that the number of companies opting for Linux-based solutions will experience about a 15% compounded average growth rate between now and 2012, said Daniel Ng, director of marketing for Red Hat Asia Pacific.
“Even now, there is a total of 936 implementations of open-source solutions in Malaysian Government agencies,” he said in a press briefing in Kuala Lumpur recently. Government support
Michael Tiemann, Red Hat’s vice-president of open-source affairs said Malaysia is one of the top countries that have implemented open-source solutions well.
He said the Malaysian government has taken open-source technology seriously by setting up the Open-Source Competency Centre, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Administration and Modernisation Planning Unit Mampu.
“There are individuals taking responsibility for specific initiatives in the open-source circle and the initiatives are strengthened with strong promotion by the Government and the players in this sector,” he said at a press briefing after a meeting with Government officials in Kuala Lumpur.
Want to sample some Bob Dylan in your hip-hop track? Not so fast: A Duke law professor’s new book explains how copyright, patent and trademark laws have made most of 20th century culture legally inaccessible. James Boyle joins host Frank Stasio to discuss his book, “The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind” Yale University Press/2008.
On Tuesday a consortium of technology companies, including IBM IBM, will launch a new initiative designed to help shield the open-source software community from threats posed by companies or individuals holding dubious software patents and seeking payment for alleged infringements by open-source software products.
The most novel feature of the new program, to be known as Linux Defenders, will be its call to independent open-source software developers all over the world to start submitting their new software inventions to Linux Defenders Web site due to be operational Tuesday so that the group’s attorneys and engineers can, for no charge, help shape, structure, and document the invention in the form of a “defensive publication.”
Linux Defenders will then also see to it that the publication, duly attributing authorship of the invention to the developer who submitted it, is filed on the IP.com Web site, a database used by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and other patent examiners throughout the world when they are trying to determine whether a proposed patent is truly novel, as any patentable invention is supposed to be.
In effect, the defensive-publications initiative mounts a preemptive attack upon those who would try to patent purported software inventions that are not truly novel — i.e., innovations that are already known and in use, though no one may have ever previously bothered to document them, let alone obtain a patent on them, a process usually requiring the hiring of attorneys as well as payment of significant filing fees.
“The idea is to create a defensive patent shield or no-fly zone around Linux,” says Keith Bergelt, the chief executive officer of Open Invention Network, the consortium launching the site. The core members of that group, formed in 2005, are IBM, NEC, Novell NOVL, Philips, Red Hat RHT and Sony.
The lack of clear boundaries in software means that even law-abiding software developers who intend not to violate another’s patent have no clear means of avoiding it. The authors point out that there are around 4000 patents on e-commerce and around 11,000 patents on online shopping. Add to this the fact that getting legal opinion on each software patent can cost around USD 5,000 and we have a vexatious, if not impossible, task at hand. For most software developers, doing a patent search in connection with their work is simply not economically feasible. Even leaving aside the cost of a search, the results are seldom conclusive. Thus it really is not possible to eliminate the risk of a patent infringement lawsuit.
But Open Source has much more to deliver to this President and to the nation, in terms of reforming Washington and our Federal government. One of the strongest criticisms made against Barack Obama during his campaign is that he consistently said that he would go through the Federal budget “line-by-line” and cut wasteful spending, but he never gave any specifics. The open source-based application http://USAspending.gov was implemented after Congress passed a law in 2006 saying that by the start of 2008, every government contract for every government agency (except those that are classified) had to be online, with information disclosing costs, sponsors, contractors, etc. By using open source software and an open source-friendly governance model, the program was delivered ahead of schedule and under budget. And everybody in the world can now inspect the Federal budget on a line-by-line basis.
Since we have been encouraged to participate in this great new democratic experiment, with a President who welcomes our participation, I suggest that we use this great application to help our incoming President identify some of the spending that might best be cut. It’s something we can all do, and it’s something that we should all do. With many eyes, all (budget) bugs are shallow…
Last week the Federal Circuit issued a major decision, In re Bilski, concerning the subject matter limits of patent law. The case presented questions relating to software patents, an issue of great significance to the free and open source software community, and so Red Hat filed a brief in Bilski to educate the appeals court about FOSS and its problems with the software patents. In the new opinion, the court cited Red Hat’s brief, but declined to settle the issue of when, if ever, software based inventions should be patentable. Even so, the new test in Bilski will probably limit the patentability of software. The war is not over, but the odds of success for FOSS just got better.