Category Archives: Licences


Argentine philosophy professor Horacio Potel faces criminal charges and a possible jail sentence for posting  translations of Jaques Derrida’s work to his website for his students. Via Boing Boing and More

New Zealand scraps Controversial ‘3 Strikes’ Anti-Piracy Law which would have led to alleged copyright infringers being disconnected from the internet

A major new report published by the Rowntree Trust on the database state via Open Democracy

guardiantech: Channel 4’s 4ip fund invests in discussion tool Yoosk  ‘famous people. you ask. we connect. they answer’ Based in Warwickshire and Vietnam. About Yoosk . Download pdf

Music Week on Digital Rights Agency Geoff Taylor of the BPI would like government  enforcement against filesharing, but cheaper.

“…the [digital] rights agency is ‘an answer looking for a question’…without a clear remit or responsibility.”

No case for copyright extension on sound recordings. Academics’ letter to Times.

Downloadable font formats for the Web (article): An example of thinking about how the rights of creators can be respected without  resorting to DRM.  Exactly the kind of pragmatic discussion we should be having about other forms of creative work.


Newspapers: Seattle Post-Intelligencer ends printing. Staff cuts, continues as web-only publication

iPod headphones aren´t DRMed, just controlled by a proprietary chip that you have to license

Guardian Tech OFCOM sets out challenge of broadband Britain

More James Boyle and ‘How extending copyright term in sound recordings actually works’ with link to PDF

Guardian Tech Richard Smith. Good summary of James Boyle’s case for The Public Domain.

UK IPO office: since July ISPs issuing 1,000 notifications a week on behalf of copyright holders to P2P users

No extension of copyright exemption for mashups

“The Government has responded to a consultation paper published by the European Commission on copyright reform. That consultation asks whether the European Union’s Copyright Directive should be amended to introduce exemptions for ‘user-created content’. User-created content can include individuals’ use of professionally-produced music, film, video or images for a new or different purpose to the original.

The Government rejected proposed changes that would exempt such users of copyrighted material from restrictions in copyright law.”

The response cites Creative Commons and the agreement between MCPS-PRS (now PRS for music) and YouTube to license use of music.

Government’s recommendation is for improved forms of licensing by copyright holders which allow for re-use, rather than a reduction in the scope of copyright.

UK opposes copyright exemptions for mash-ups

via, with link to the response PDF

PRS for music

Show us a better way update

The show us a better way competition, which invited proposals for better ways of communicating public information, reports back on the winning entries

Lots of interesting mashups with public data. Sadly the Ordnance Survey only temporarily freed up data they control for use in the competition. Shortly afterwards

“Ordnance Survey has emailed local government organisations waving its copyright stick. And it’s quite a bit stick. One which, in effect, could prevent many – perhaps all? – of the SUABW winners (Free Our Data announcementBBC announcement), and certainly those which might rely on local authority data that is in any way geographically related – from being implemented, certainly on Google Maps.”

Are the Show Us A Better Way winners safe from Ordnance Survey?

Free our data is the Guardian Technology campaign for free public access to data about the UK and its citizens.

SoundExchange and NAB agreement

Radio and Internet Newsletter reports

SoundExchange and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have reached an agreement on webcast royalties for commercial broadcasters’ simulcast and Internet-only online streams.
NAB members get a discount for 2009-10 on rates previously announced by the Copyright Review Board. Rates increase @ 10% a year thereafter.

Some background: The NAB represents traditional over-the-air commercial radio stations. Increasingly they offer internet streams as well. NAB have opposed attempts to introduce royalty payments for broadcasting music (such as we have in the UK).
The March 2007 CRB ruling gave FM radio and Sirius XM lower royalty rates than internet radio.

No news yet on Small Commercial Webcasters or Digital Media Association (DIMA) whose members include Yahoo, Real networks, Live 365 and Pandora.

The Pirate Bay on trial

Trial of The Pirate Bay interests a readership estimated at 22 million.
Plaintiffs in the case include Warner Bros, MGM, Colombia Pictures Industries, 20th Century Fox, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI.


Paid Content UK

The Register

BBC coverage includes the claim by a lawyer representing media firms, also aired on Channel 4 News, that “four individuals have conducted a big commercial business making money out of others’ file-sharing works, copyright-protected movies, hit music, popular computer games, etc.”

Features an audio clip from the World Service, in which Rick Falkvinge makes a case for regarding file sharing as a public lending right, like libraries. Also, that the online surveillance required to enforce copyright holder’s property rights leads to a police state.

BBC coverage

Get Carter reports:

‘The Government’s Digital Britain plan is a failure that gives favourable treatment to the music business and props up failed business models, a software trade body has said.

‘The Federation Against Software Theft and Investors in Software (FAST IiS), which promotes the legitimate use of software, has launched a stinging attack on the Digital Britain report and on the way the music industry has approached the threat of digital piracy.’
“The entertainment sector appear to have lobbied the Government to consider establishing a ‘pirates tax’ on all of us as well as yet another quango to oversee it, meaning more cost, and more hassle,” said FAST IiS chief executive John Lovelock.”

TV on the web. Find it, watch it.

TV on the web. Find it, watch it.

Bobbie Johnson, Guardian Tech on some new playlist features for the Blinkx video search service:

Blinkx ‘inform me’ service

Some people are very excited about Boxee, which gives users a single interface to access all the photos, video and music on their hard drive

“on a laptop or connected to an HDTV, boxee gives you a true entertainment experience to enjoy your movies, TV shows, music and photos, as well as streaming content from websites like Hulu, Netflix, ABC, CBS, Comedy Central,, and flickr.”

Works with BBC iPlayer. Includes social networking features: Twitter, share with friends.

Quick introduction to Boxee on Vimeo

New York Times article

Inside BBC: How we make websites

Michael Smethhurst Information Architect @ BBC radio labs
How we make websites

A Slideshare presentation of the text. Inevitably, a bit technical: the BBC build database driven websites which handle a huge amount of content. Also, and understandable by anyone interested in building any sort of website, some of the sketches and diagrams they use to communicate.
Some extracts

“Concentrate on modelling real (physical and metaphysical) things not web pages.
Run focus groups and speak to users. Get them to sketch their understanding of the domain and again sketch back at them.
Try to think of your website as a coherent whole; not as a collection of individual products. And as ever, don’t expose your internal organisational structures through your website. Users don’t care about departments or reporting lines.
Data licensing is one of those areas that often gets ignored in project planning.

At Audio and Music we tend to use large walls and lots of post-its to design our URIs… It’s important not to confuse URI design with site structure and user journeys…URIs are your promise to the web and your users.

Never stop testing.”

Openness in Higher Education

Presentation on Openness, Localization, and the Future of Learning Objects

David Wiley, Director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University.

This  36 minute presentation discusses how tags, blogs, RSS and Google have usurped much of the earlier work  done with repositories.

Much of the case he makes about the challenges and opportunities higher education faces in an increasingly digital, mobile, connected world is contained in  a statement to the US Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Available as a 7 page pdf

“How, specifically, is higher education to respond to its changing environment and the changing nature of its core areas (content, research, expertise, and credentialing)? “E-learning” (at least as commonly conceived) is not the answer. The university experience must align more closely with its societal context and participant base. Higher education must continue its efforts to become digital and mobile, while working to become significantly more open, connected, personal, and participatory.”

He argues that the move to greater openness, exemplified by initiatives like OpenCourseWare at MIT rather than closed, proprietary systems, shows the way forward.

“In order to realign itself with changes in society and in its student base higher education must find the will to innovate in the areas of openness, connectedness, personalization, and participation. I believe that openness is the key to enabling other innovations and catalyzing improvements in the quality, accountability, affordability, and accessibility of higher education.”