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 Wesleying.org, 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 Goldberg, Dean of Social Studies Joyce Jacobsen, Max Dietz ’16, Isabella Litke ’12, and Music Librarian Alec McLane.
alt, sneeze, and AbSynth liveblog this panel after the break!
The panel has concluded.
Thanks to the panelists!
Big companies use cultural capital to hijack works.
“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.)
Last questions now.
“Everything is a recipe but I made the ingredients!” –audience member
Jacobsen remarks on the analogous of this situation to recipes. Someone creates a recipe, other people make the dish…
Another audience member – “it’s difficult to find that fine line.”
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.
Another audience member likes her work being sampled which differs sharply from be previous.
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.
Audience member remarks on both how contracts regarding intellectual property have decreased while the proliferation of this property has increased exponentially.
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.
“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.
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.
Goldberg wants to separate between the consumer and the producer.
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.
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
Jacobsen mentions that there is still something about the immediacy or grandeur of a production that they would still pay for.
It might be too early to tell, but change is definitely looming.
Goldberg attempts to answer.
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?
Jacobsen– there is the radical argument that one may not have individual ownership over intellectual property.
Jacobsen answers and presents this radical notion:Once you put forth intellectual property, it is no longer yours,
Brendan asks question regarding the risk of disseminating information freely, especially unbeknownst to the creator.
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?
BZOD asks: An issue with sampling is that we lose the agency to make that choice for yourself to put [intellectual property] out there.
Movement away from research (i.e. this panel is a form of research) is a danger.
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.
The big payoff– the exhibition of your art, the contract, tenure as an art professor– also motivates artists to create.
There might be enough out there money wise outside of copyrights and patents.
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
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.
Graffiti exemplifies the notion that people are creating art to create art.
Jacobsen: How many undiscovered geniuses are we missing out on?
There is a winner take all nature in the art market.
We may have missed many a Mozart for lack of exposure or training.
Jacobsen: We used to use patronage to get art. The church for example commissioned art.
People would still create art without subsidies, rent capture.
If you neither allow for rent capture or subsidize art, the gross loss is far less.
It’s unclear how to measure the quality things.
She poses the question of whether open source lowers the quality of intellectual property being produced.
To get more art for example, we could subsidize art.
Joyce Jacobsen remarks on being both the last speaker and the economist in a discussion in which economics drives it all.
The trade of this is what costs money.
I just want you all to know that there are many brilliant, relevant thoughts being discussed here more quickly than our fingers move.
Information is marginal cost zero as it’s mainly free to distribute.
Joyce Jacobsen talking about the economics of open source.
Joyce Jacobsen is up.
Current “fair use” provisions are vague– some see as more detrimental to copyright holder.
There is a vagueness in fair use regulations.
Litke: We put the author above cultural influences and their predecessors.
Compensation may be in the form of reputation or monetarily in the form of grant funding, donors, etc.
There are alternative ways to get compensated other than through these copyrights.
Recent copyright rhetoric talks about how artists can be compensated for their work.
Authors in question don’t necessarily want to do away with copyright. Rather, they wish to redefine what ownership entails.
Alternative copyright schemes requires the existing copyright regime to work
Litke: Creative Commons gives creators a common ground between copyright and no copyright.
First, automatic copyright conferral– wasn’t built into original copyright clause.
She argues that open source projects “can be used as leverage … The current copyright regime.”
Isabella Litke ’12 is up.
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.
Okay it really is Goldberg asking all these questions by the way!
“To insert something is to render it open. But not all openness is equal.”
Can openness lead to selling-out?
What if open source is not outside the world of capitalism?
“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?”
Goldberg: Art is difficult to exist outside the reach of capital.
“Open source software… Bypasses intellectual property.”
Goldberg’s making so many apt observations right now how openness can extend regimes of power in context of gender or race.
“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.
“Nothing turns a white artist colorblind more quickly than this criticism”
“What if instead of going after graffiti and gaming we go after mom and dad instead?”
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)
“Roth takes the low brow and mundane and turns it into high art.” – Goldberg
Goldberg mentions the TED installation in Evan Roth’s exhibit,– by stepping in front of the TED logo, anyone can become an expert.
Goldberg makes a joke about his boyfriend and chuckles resonate.
“We live in a world of power differentials… Cultural openness can reinforce these…”
Goldberg mentions the current interest in cultural openness.
Greg Goldberg up next!
McLane explains that when they deal with requests for native music they are asked to take into account the intentions of the listener.
McLane: “Librarians are in the middle ground” caught between getting information out and copyrights, etc.
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.
Question of preserving culture from McLane and respecting things in their original context.
“audio sampling is like hacking.”
Opposition of viewpoints between free flow of information (like audio sampling) and being against that.
He’s talking about a song that samples from indigenous music and playing samples.
Alec McLane is up next.
Open source helps prevent the attempts to stop the flow of information with things like DRM.
Dietz concludes that information is impossible to hide in the 21st century.
Dietz remarks on pressure to change toward open source, as open source software is far more reliable.
Open source not only promotes community driven development and the independence form vendors who want your money, but helps keep everything more secure.
Apologies again as sneeze mentioned—wifi is spotty. Hopefully the flow of our updates will make sense!
Dietz keeps it accessible: if Flappy Birds were open source, we’d all be able to play despite the current fame.
Benefits of open source: community driven development, quick fixes making it more secure, and does not depend only on vendors focused on your money.
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.
It’s super popular and successful after courts forced Linksys to release it to be open source.
OpenWrt is the most popular router source code OS out there.
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).
Dietz talks about the role of hackers in this movement.
Dietz says that after you pay for the information or content it should be yours and not bound.
Linux, Chrome, Firefox, JQuery, OpenWrt, Android—all open source examples. And they’re all huge/popular.
DRM restricts this freeness. The open source movement works to combat restrictions to information.
Note: Internet in Zilkha is shaky, so apologies in advance for any lag or bloggers cutting out.
Dietz: “Open source is to bring information back to the community.”
Dietz explains that essentially information is essentially free, but–
GNU Public License (GPL) any use of this license requires you to make your entire project open source.
Dietz now defining DRM, DMCA, GPL.
“Art and Open Source: The Nature of Information” is the title of his 5 min talk.
Max Dietz ’16, winner of both Wes Hack competitions speaks first
5 panelists with 5 min talk each on open source first.
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)
Our well beloved editor BZOD is now introducing the panel.
We’re being reminded that this is apart of the Evan Roth gallery in Zilkha—it’ll be open until six today!
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.
GREG GOLDBERG HAS ARRIVED
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.