Tomorrow, at the ICA Conference in London, I'll be presenting data from one of my forthcoming journal articles with my friend Mark Latonero. It's got tons of data from two surveys of over 5,000 people around the globe, tracking the changes in their awareness, engagement with, and opinions regarding "configurable culture" between 2006 and 2010.
This weekend, I was fortunate to host a keynote discussion between media theorist (and Moog afficionado) Trevor Pinch and DJ/author Paul D. Miller, a/k/a DJ Spooky. It was part of an excellent conference called "Extending Play" organized by the doctoral students at Rutgers SC&I.
Our panel was a lot of fun -- a freewheeling discussion that ranged from music and tech geekery to broad social theory. You can listen to the audio transcript here:
Last month, I got a chance to give a talk based on my forthcoming book The Piracy Crusade at NYU, as part of the Computer Science department's Computers and Society lecture series. I always love talking to those folks, in large part because the guy who puts it together, Professor Evan Korth, is one of the coolest people I know. At a certain point, I just abandoned the presentation altogether and got into the nitty gritty. Fun ensued.
p.s. Big ups to Joly for recording and posting the video!
Last month, I returned to Moscow to speak at Google's Big Tent Event. My panel, which was entitled "Culture: Create or Copy," was focused on the question of whether configurable cultural practices like memes, mashups and remixes are legitimate and socially valuable, and therefore whether communications and cultural policy should provide a degree of support for them. Obviously, I was there to bang the "yes" drum. This was not an idle "academic" topic; the panel's moderator was Ekatrina Chukovskaya, Deputy Minister of Culture for the Russian Federation.
My new book project, loosely based on my LimeWire expert testimony, is called "The Piracy Crusade." Although it will be published as a paper book next year by University of Massachusetts Press, I'm also publishing draft chapters as I write them on an open, Creative Commons-licensed, comments-enabled platform hosted by the MediaCommons project.
This kind of prepublication is increasingly being used as "peer-to-peer review," a crowdsourced alternative to the traditional academic "peer review" process, in which 2-3 anonymous readers with unclear motives and levels of interest weigh in on your work after 6-12 months of waiting. Obviously, when you're covering something fast-moving like law, technology, culture, or all three, that kind of a waiting process can be deadly.
If you have any interest, experience, or opinions regarding music, intellectual property law, new technologies, or the digital media industry, I encourage you to take a look, and leave a comment. All constructive commenters will get a shout-out in the final version of the book's Acknowledgments section.
The first two chapters are already up, and Chapter 3 is in process. Check it out on PiracyCrusade.com!
p.s. I'm also looking for some cover art -- if you're interested in creating something (I can't pay you, but I'll give you a credit on the cover), let me know.
Truthdig.com just published my new article, "Welcome to Alphaville, Avoid the Ghetto." It's about what happens when smartphones turn our entire life into a giant search engine, and then selectively hide the results without telling us.
...The world we see through our smartphones is a curated world, and its horizons are constricting, rather than expanding. Though they’re often billed as modern-day Diogenes’ lamps, outshining the light of day with the light of truth (or “augmenting reality,” in contemporary geekspeek), they would be better understood as corporate-sponsored guidebooks to our own lives, keeping us on the prescribed path and off the road less traveled....
I do this as a form of protest against the spirit of censorship pervading the regulation of the Internet and other communications platforms -- specifically, the pending legislation known as ProtectIP and SOPA being discussed in a Congressional hearing today. This legislation would criminalize huge swaths of the Internet as we know it today, and put a politically unacceptable degree of censorship power in the hands of government and large corporations. I stand with organizations like Public Knowledge and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as publishers like TechDirt and BoingBoing, in opposition to these measures, and I hope you will as well.