Art and Open Source Panel Discussion Liveblog


Description of this panel discussion:

Once the nearly exclusive purview of lawyers and librarians, questions of copyrights, freedom of information, and open source programming now reach into the lives of everyone. From the knock-off Prada bag, to the distribution of music, to question of privacy that could impact national security–all of these issues and more come to the fore with currently available technologies. Previously accepted precepts and practices are being challenged from all sides. Moderated by students from the blog, this panel of Wesleyan faculty and students will explore these engaging issues with audience participation invited.

This panel today includes Assistant Professor of Sociology Greg GoldbergDean of Social Studies Joyce JacobsenMax Dietz ’16Isabella Litke ’12, and Music Librarian Alec McLane.

alt, sneeze, and AbSynth liveblog this panel after the break!

sneeze February 11, 20145:46 PM

Thanks, folks!

AbSynth February 11, 20145:45 PM

The panel has concluded.

alt February 11, 20145:45 PM

Alt out.

alt February 11, 20145:45 PM


alt February 11, 20145:45 PM

Thanks to the panelists!

alt February 11, 20145:43 PM

Big companies use cultural capital to hijack works.

sneeze February 11, 20145:42 PM

“Everything’s a recipe now”– Joyce Jacobsen.(In reference to how people share recipes and never really hear about the person who first made it.)

alt February 11, 20145:42 PM

Last questions now.

alt February 11, 20145:41 PM

“Everything is a recipe but I made the ingredients!” –audience member

AbSynth February 11, 20145:41 PM

Jacobsen remarks on the analogous of this situation to recipes. Someone creates a recipe, other people make the dish…

alt February 11, 20145:41 PM

Another audience member – “it’s difficult to find that fine line.”

AbSynth February 11, 20145:40 PM

Jaocbsen: Performers used to make money form performance. Recorded music gave performers another way to make money, but the internet seems to be bringing about a possible return to this early era of performance as occupation.

alt February 11, 20145:40 PM

Another audience member likes her work being sampled which differs sharply from be previous.

alt February 11, 20145:39 PM

Jacobsen talks about how producing the music isn’t the ownership or how you make money, but that is from performing it. this goes back to what it was like in the 18th century.

sneeze February 11, 20145:38 PM

Audience member remarks on both how contracts regarding intellectual property have decreased while the proliferation of this property has increased exponentially.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:37 PM

Goldberg: The only way to prevent this is to not put your work online, though this doesn’t necessarily ensure anything, someone else may do so.

alt February 11, 20145:37 PM

“The train has left the station. It’s the world and it’s not going back.” Saying that if you put yourself online content wise you can’t really control it anymore.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:36 PM

Same audience member: Many pirated versions of my work are now showing up, often without my name. As my name is disconnected form my work, many possible connections have been lost.

alt February 11, 20145:36 PM

Goldberg wants to separate between the consumer and the producer.

alt February 11, 20145:35 PM

Audience member who creates music: He’s observed that a lot of hacking and pirating sites are wrongly attributing things and not connecting back to him anymore yet the stuff is out there and multiplying. The info is there for people but it’s being taken away control wise from him.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:32 PM

Jacobsen also answers, the consumer is also concerned with the form of media consumption. IMAX is different from Netflix, is different from opera. The user is still willing to pay for spectacle, if they want it.

Also, the importance of authenticity of events in relation to others is discussed. The immediacy of an event that can be attended live is still felt and profitable. –sneeze

alt February 11, 20145:31 PM

Jacobsen mentions that there is still something about the immediacy or grandeur of a production that they would still pay for.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:31 PM

It might be too early to tell, but change is definitely looming.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:30 PM

Goldberg attempts to answer.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:29 PM

Audience Member: Right now we live in a culture in which most of the media we see is promulgated by those with capital. On the other hand the average user now has more access….. How will this change the way the average person consumes media?

sneeze February 11, 20145:27 PM

Jacobsen– there is the radical argument that one may not have individual ownership over intellectual property.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:25 PM

Jacobsen answers and presents this radical notion:Once you put forth intellectual property, it is no longer yours,

sneeze February 11, 20145:24 PM

Brendan asks question regarding the risk of disseminating information freely, especially unbeknownst to the creator.

alt February 11, 20145:24 PM

BZOD: Is there a way we can give people more of a choice on how they put their stuff out there? Should we do something to give people more of a choice outside the traditional copyright structure?

alt February 11, 20145:24 PM

BZOD asks: An issue with sampling is that we lose the agency to make that choice for yourself to put [intellectual property] out there.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:23 PM

Movement away from research (i.e. this panel is a form of research) is a danger.

alt February 11, 20145:22 PM

Questions now!

sneeze February 11, 20145:20 PM

Wikipedia is much more than a sum of all its parts due to the mass of linkages and reaching beyond the open-source internet encyclopedia itself.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:19 PM

The big payoff– the exhibition of your art, the contract, tenure as an art professor– also motivates artists to create.

alt February 11, 20145:19 PM

There might be enough out there money wise outside of copyrights and patents.

alt February 11, 20145:18 PM

Wow guys she talks so quickly my palms are sweating because I can’t type fast enough.

(And because we want all of the points she’s making to be passed onto you!)–sneeze

sneeze February 11, 20145:18 PM

Graffiti exemplifies some of these points– it’s not a lucrative business to go into but people are doing it anyway. And they still ultimately need to buy paint.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:18 PM

Graffiti exemplifies the notion that people are creating art to create art.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:17 PM

Jacobsen: How many undiscovered geniuses are we missing out on?

alt February 11, 20145:17 PM

There is a winner take all nature in the art market.

sneeze February 11, 20145:17 PM

We may have missed many a Mozart for lack of exposure or training.

alt February 11, 20145:16 PM

Jacobsen: We used to use patronage to get art. The church for example commissioned art.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:16 PM

People would still create art without subsidies, rent capture.

sneeze February 11, 20145:16 PM

If you neither allow for rent capture or subsidize art, the gross loss is far less.

alt February 11, 20145:16 PM

It’s unclear how to measure the quality things.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:15 PM

She poses the question of whether open source lowers the quality of intellectual property being produced.

alt February 11, 20145:15 PM

To get more art for example, we could subsidize art.

sneeze February 11, 20145:15 PM

Joyce Jacobsen remarks on being both the last speaker and the economist in a discussion in which economics drives it all.

alt February 11, 20145:14 PM

The trade of this is what costs money.

sneeze February 11, 20145:14 PM

I just want you all to know that there are many brilliant, relevant thoughts being discussed here more quickly than our fingers move.

alt February 11, 20145:14 PM

Information is marginal cost zero as it’s mainly free to distribute.

alt February 11, 20145:13 PM

Joyce Jacobsen talking about the economics of open source.

AbSynth February 11, 20145:13 PM

Joyce Jacobsen is up.

sneeze February 11, 20145:13 PM

Current “fair use” provisions are vague– some see as more detrimental to copyright holder.

alt February 11, 20145:12 PM

There is a vagueness in fair use regulations.

alt February 11, 20145:12 PM

Litke: We put the author above cultural influences and their predecessors.

sneeze February 11, 20145:12 PM

Compensation may be in the form of reputation or monetarily in the form of grant funding, donors, etc.

alt February 11, 20145:11 PM

There are alternative ways to get compensated other than through these copyrights.

alt February 11, 20145:10 PM

Recent copyright rhetoric talks about how artists can be compensated for their work.

sneeze February 11, 20145:10 PM

Authors in question don’t necessarily want to do away with copyright. Rather, they wish to redefine what ownership entails.

alt February 11, 20145:10 PM

Alternative copyright schemes requires the existing copyright regime to work

alt February 11, 20145:09 PM

Litke: Creative Commons gives creators a common ground between copyright and no copyright.

sneeze February 11, 20145:09 PM

First, automatic copyright conferral– wasn’t built into original copyright clause.

alt February 11, 20145:08 PM

She argues that open source projects “can be used as leverage … The current copyright regime.”

AbSynth February 11, 20145:07 PM

Isabella Litke ’12 is up.

sneeze February 11, 20145:07 PM

Perhaps we balk at the market, because the market forces us to face market differentials we would like to ignore… Perhaps we don’t want to engage in markets with those who oppress us.

alt February 11, 20145:06 PM

Okay it really is Goldberg asking all these questions by the way!

alt February 11, 20145:06 PM

“To insert something is to render it open. But not all openness is equal.”

AbSynth February 11, 20145:05 PM

Can openness lead to selling-out?

alt February 11, 20145:04 PM

What if open source is not outside the world of capitalism?

sneeze February 11, 20145:04 PM

“Should everything be open?… It is important to question the way open-ness affects regimes of power. How should we make sense of open-ness in a capitalist world?”

alt February 11, 20145:04 PM

Goldberg: Art is difficult to exist outside the reach of capital.

alt February 11, 20145:03 PM

“Open source software… Bypasses intellectual property.”

alt February 11, 20145:03 PM

Goldberg’s making so many apt observations right now how openness can extend regimes of power in context of gender or race.

alt February 11, 20145:02 PM

“Ethnicity becomes spice… To mainstream white culture.”

–a far less eloquent version of a brilliant bell hooks quote I would link to if the internet was more functional.

sneeze February 11, 20145:02 PM

“Nothing turns a white artist colorblind more quickly than this criticism”

alt February 11, 20145:01 PM

“What if instead of going after graffiti and gaming we go after mom and dad instead?”

sneeze February 11, 20145:01 PM

Professor Greg Goldberg: Power differentials among races, classes, etc., can be affirmed or broken by access to information (or lack thereof).

Note that we’re paraphrasing (Greg Goldberg is far more eloquent than I)

alt February 11, 20145:01 PM

“Roth takes the low brow and mundane and turns it into high art.” – Goldberg

AbSynth February 11, 20145:00 PM

Goldberg mentions the TED installation in Evan Roth’s exhibit,– by stepping in front of the TED logo, anyone can become an expert.

alt February 11, 20145:00 PM

Goldberg makes a joke about his boyfriend and chuckles resonate.

alt February 11, 20144:59 PM

“We live in a world of power differentials… Cultural openness can reinforce these…”

alt February 11, 20144:59 PM

Goldberg mentions the current interest in cultural openness.

alt February 11, 20144:58 PM

Greg Goldberg up next!

AbSynth February 11, 20144:57 PM

McLane explains that when they deal with requests for native music they are asked to take into account the intentions of the listener.

alt February 11, 20144:57 PM

McLane: “Librarians are in the middle ground” caught between getting information out and copyrights, etc.

alt February 11, 20144:57 PM

McLane notes the Navajo recordings we have here at Wesleyan and that sampling would be welcomed if it’s to be used in it’s original context and to celebrate the culture.

alt February 11, 20144:56 PM

Question of preserving culture from McLane and respecting things in their original context.

alt February 11, 20144:55 PM

“audio sampling is like hacking.”

alt February 11, 20144:55 PM

Opposition of viewpoints between free flow of information (like audio sampling) and being against that.

alt February 11, 20144:54 PM

He’s talking about a song that samples from indigenous music and playing samples.

alt February 11, 20144:50 PM

Alec McLane is up next.

alt February 11, 20144:49 PM

Open source helps prevent the attempts to stop the flow of information with things like DRM.

AbSynth February 11, 20144:49 PM

Dietz concludes that information is impossible to hide in the 21st century.

sneeze February 11, 20144:49 PM

Dietz remarks on pressure to change toward open source, as open source software is far more reliable.

AbSynth February 11, 20144:49 PM

Open source not only promotes community driven development and the independence form vendors who want your money, but helps keep everything more secure.

alt February 11, 20144:48 PM

Apologies again as sneeze mentioned—wifi is spotty. Hopefully the flow of our updates will make sense!

sneeze February 11, 20144:48 PM

Dietz keeps it accessible: if Flappy Birds were open source, we’d all be able to play despite the current fame.

alt February 11, 20144:47 PM

Benefits of open source: community driven development, quick fixes making it more secure, and does not depend only on vendors focused on your money.

sneeze February 11, 20144:47 PM

For some context, here’s the link to CFA’s page for the exhibit Evan Roth//Intellectual Property Donor being referred to in this talk/liveblog.

alt February 11, 20144:46 PM

It’s super popular and successful after courts forced Linksys to release it to be open source.

alt February 11, 20144:45 PM

OpenWrt is the most popular router source code OS out there.

sneeze February 11, 20144:45 PM

Dietz currently describing that hackers exist to disseminate information which should be free (note: we’re not talking about credit card and identity info here).

AbSynth February 11, 20144:45 PM

Dietz talks about the role of hackers in this movement.

alt February 11, 20144:45 PM

Dietz says that after you pay for the information or content it should be yours and not bound.

alt February 11, 20144:44 PM

Linux, Chrome, Firefox, JQuery, OpenWrt, Android—all open source examples. And they’re all huge/popular.

AbSynth February 11, 20144:44 PM

DRM restricts this freeness. The open source movement works to combat restrictions to information.

sneeze February 11, 20144:44 PM

Note: Internet in Zilkha is shaky, so apologies in advance for any lag or bloggers cutting out.

alt February 11, 20144:43 PM

Dietz: “Open source is to bring information back to the community.”

AbSynth February 11, 20144:43 PM

Dietz explains that essentially information is essentially free, but–

alt February 11, 20144:42 PM

GNU Public License (GPL) any use of this license requires you to make your entire project open source.

alt February 11, 20144:41 PM

Dietz now defining DRM, DMCA, GPL.

alt February 11, 20144:40 PM

“Art and Open Source: The Nature of Information” is the title of his 5 min talk.

AbSynth February 11, 20144:39 PM

Max Dietz ’16, winner of both Wes Hack competitions speaks first

alt February 11, 20144:36 PM

5 panelists with 5 min talk each on open source first.

alt February 11, 20144:36 PM

BZOD noting that open source was originally associated with technology to make code and such available to others. “Promotes universal access via free license to a product.” (via Wikipedia)

sneeze February 11, 20144:35 PM

Our well beloved editor BZOD is now introducing the panel.

alt February 11, 20144:34 PM

We’re being reminded that this is apart of the Evan Roth gallery in Zilkha—it’ll be open until six today!

sneeze February 11, 20144:27 PM

Panelists include Max Dietz ’16, Assistant Professor of Sociology Greg Goldberg, Dean of Social Sciences Joyce Jacobsen, Isabella Litke ’12 (Ph.D. Candidate at Princeton University) and Wesleyan Music Librarian Alec McLane.

sneeze February 11, 20144:26 PM


alt February 11, 20144:25 PM

Come down to Zilkha Gallery 106 if you want to attend this panel discussion in person! Otherwise we’ll be live-bloggin’ for you in just a bit.