Is copyright reform on the way?

Torrentfreak has a thoughtful piece about copyright reform. As you can imagine its swings towards a very liberal reform, which sounds about right to me.

Let’s take a look at what happened when the compact cassette arrived. It was sort of an analog removable hard drive with music, that you plugged into an analog music player – the new thing at the time being that you could also write to it. Cassette players popped up everywhere, in particular in a form called ghettoblasters, where you’d carry a rather large box with loudspeakers and two cassette slots around, not to mention quite a few batteries.

Note that I wrote two cassette slots. All of these players also advertised how good they were at copying cassette tapes. You’d pop in the source tape, put a blank tape in the recording slot, and hit a gigantic button named “copy”. This was a feature that was heavily advertised – the better the blasters were at copying, the more music its owner would be able to collect.

The record industry at the time went absolutely ballistic, and said “home taping is killing music” in a largely ridiculed campaign. The bands at the time gave them the finger and printed that logo with the text “home taping is killing record industry profits” instead, adding “we left the reverse side [of the tape] blank, so you can help”. Nevertheless, this was the start of the war against ordinary people copying, something that has only escalated to ridiculous levels today. (Can you imagine a two-slot DVD player being sold today that would have a huge red button marked COPY on it?)

Nice example which later goes on…

When today’s teenagers have grown up enough to be pulling the strings, do you really believe they’ll buy the fairytale stories of how the monopoly construct that all of them saw as plainly abusive, oppressive, and extortionate is needed “for the artists to get paid”? When all they saw – when all everybody saw – was a monopoly construct that silenced artists, silenced challenges to the establishment’s status quo, killed technological innovation, and made sure that rich multinational corporations could buy the power they wanted?

There’s not a chance they’ll buy the fairytale stories from the copyright industry. They’ll all remember their own firsthand experiences. And they’ll kill the monopoly entirely, to thunderous applause.

I certainly like to imagine this to be true, but it doesn’t seem to include the fact people, the average slide of people towards a conservative outlook.

Of course this is nothing compared to the works of Lawrence Lessig’s thoughts, which must be read if your interested in this area.

What is BarCampEdu?

Campus Panorama

Remember a couple of times in the past I have said this will be the last barcamp I will do.

After BarCampLondon3, I stood up and said no more from me. Others took it onwards and upwards. A similar thing happened with BarCampManchester2 and BarCampMediaCity.

Anyway I’m at it again.

BarCampEdu or BarCampManchesterEducation is a 1 day barcamp held at the Sharp Project in East Manchester on Saturday 16th November.

In the North West of England there has been BarCampManchester, BarCampBlackpool, BarcampLiverpool, BarCampPreston, BarCampMediaCity and that is just the start…

The power of unconferences can be applied to all types of subjects and in BarCampEdu, we’re applying it to further education in Manchester. Bringing together the next digital generation with those in industry now to better understand each other and the opportunities available.

BarCampEdu takes the concept of BarCamp and adds a level of education to the proceedings. When I say eduction, I do not means its a barcamp about education, rather the most of the people in the venue will be students from the major Manchester universities. MMU, Manchester University and Salford University will be all working together and contributing to a great day of talks.

It came about when I attended the barcamp about barcamp (encampment london) Kate a lecturer from City University talked about how BarCamp ticks a lot of the boxes she needs to cover in a year. When I was lecturing, I remember some of the points shes talking about. Each university will get a selection of tickets for there students and staff. The rest of the tickets will be open to the general public.

We are seeking sponsorship to go along side the supporting universities and a few surprises coming soon.

To know more the event, check out the website at Tickets to the public will go live soon.