Jana | TED Talk: Larry Lessig on laws that choke creativity

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Larry Lessig shares three stories:

Lessig begins by examining the 20th century fear that user-generated content will soon be obliterated with the rise of infernal “talking” machines, a concept propagated by John Phillip Sousa who felt the machines would ruin artistic development of music in the country. This read only culture became a serious threat as we deviated from a read-write culture where people participated in the creation and recreation of content. Creativity became top down, where readers were no longer creators. It appeared that we did indeed “lose our vocal chords.”

Secondly, Lessig comments on the ludicrous components of the trespassing land law that granted private ownership of land all the way below the property and indefinitely upward. Such a doctrine had no place in the modern world, and appeals to this law (air traffic example) made no “common sense.”

Thirdly, Lessig discusses broadcasting and how it introduced a new way to spread content. However, ASCAP, the company that controlled broadcast music, inflated their rates to ridiculously high levels. This prompted the formation of a new method of broadcasting, exemplified by BMI, where arrangements of public domain works were distributed for free.

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Legions of the Underground will do little to alter the existing conditions and much to endanger the rights of hackers around the world. Declaring ‘war’ against the country is the most irresponsible thing a hacker group could do. This has nothing to do with hacktivism or hacker ethics and is nothing a hacker could be proud of.
- 2600, the Chaos Computer Club, L0pht, Heavy Industries, Phrack, Toxyn, Cult of the Dead Cow, Pulhas, and !Hispahack (1999)

We quickly discovered while studying hacktivism that a coherent and consistent definition is an enigma. Maybe this is a reflection of the decentralized and deeply individualized medium that plays host to it, or maybe it’s due to its sheer newness. In our research, we were able to identify two major motivations in work that self-identifies as hacktivism: the values of activism and street protest and the ethics dominant in hacker culture. In their book Hactivism and Cyberwars: Rebels with a Cause?, Tim Jordan and Paul Taylor identify these two strains as mass action hacktivism and digitally correct hacktivism, respectively. We will explore this terminology further in later sections, but it is important to note that Jordan and Taylor base their distinction on the hacktivist’s relationship to an inherently disembodied cyberspace. In their view, digitally correct hacktivists embrace this feature of cyberspace, whereas mass action hacktivists counter it by attempting to populate this space with embodied agents. To be clear, the two aren’t meant to be hard and fast divisions, nor could they be. In fact, most hacktivist activity could be argued to demonstrate elements of both. However, these categories do provide a useful analytical framework for examining hacktivist actions.

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We quickly discovered while studying hacktivism that no two people ever have the same thing to say about it. Maybe this is a reflection of the decentralized and deeply individualized medium that plays host to it, or maybe it’s due to its sheer newness. It’s most likely come combination of the two. In our research, we were able to identify two major motivations in work that self-identifies as hacktivism: the values of activism and street protest and the ethics dominant in hacker culture. In their book, Hacktivism and Cyberwars: Rebels with a Cause?, Tim Jordan and Paul Taylor identify these two strains as mass action hacktivism and digitally correct hacktivism, respectively. We will explore this terminology further in later sections, but it is important to note that Jordan and Taylor base their distinction on the hacktivist’s relationship to an inherently disembodied cyberspace. In their view, digitally correct hacktivists embrace this feature of cyberspace, whereas mass action hacktivists counter it by attempting to populate this space with embodied agents. To be clear, the two aren’t meant to be hard and fast divisions, nor could they be. In fact, most hacktivist activity could be argued to demonstrate elements of both. However, these categories do provide a useful analytical framework for examining hacktivist actions.
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In a world where image is everything, Dump.fm fits right in. Co-founded by Internet Archaeology‘s Ryder Ripps, Scott Ostler of the publishing framework MIT Exhibit and core social bookmark programmer for Delicious, Tim Baker, Dump.fm is an outlet for real-time image communication. Says Ripps, “In a way, it is an iteration of both the chat room and the image board, as it uses pictures to create conversation.” The site allows users to upload images from their hard drive, post from their webcam, or paste URLs of images from anywhere online into single chat room.

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This week’s assigned readings came at an ideal time. After a few phone conversations with marketing teams for the Met and ABT and extended research on how companies are making use of new social media, I was still unable to find specific answers to all of my questions. These conversations and readings about building community however caused me to look at Facebook in a new way, and find a new angle for this travelogue.

College students love Facebook. It is truly a website made for the people, by the people. Since its founding in 2004 however, Facebook is no longer a website dedicated solely to college students. It is a global community used by students, parents, and professionals. College students originally went onto Facebook because, as the film The Social Network puts it, “Facebook is cool.” Now Facebook is not only who your friends are and what party you went to, but your identity.  It was your social life, online; now it is your entire life online.  As Facebook continues to play more and more of a role in defining individuals, users are more cautious about how they present themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

I had started with the idea of looking at the relation between ticket sales and arts organizations’ Facebook popularity, but as you all pointed out in class that seems like a huge task and maybe an impossible one. On one arts marketing blog I was able to find that studies in this area have actually been done already. Yale Repertory Theater did a study on the relationship between their Facebook activity and ticket sales. I have tried reaching out to them to get their results, but no luck yet. Check out the blog post here: http://bit.ly/n5RiP and Yale’s Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/yalerep.

Since I’ve been having trouble finding any information in regards to ticket sales, I started to look at how non-profit arts organizations use their Facebook pages, and why they seem to be so successful compared to other companies. To keep my focus, I’ve stuck with the Metropolitan Opera and American Ballet Theatre as my non profits and Le Poisson Rouge and Madison Square Garden as my commercial venues. Here’s a breakdown of their Facebook stats:

  • Met Opera: 87,996 fans
  • ABT: 132,921 fans
  • Poisson Rouge: 6,806 fans
  • MSG: 373 fans

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