Shows #189-192 — Valentin Dander, Profs. Deven Desai and Michael Rich, and Tim Jordan — posted

New semester, and new projects, means that I’m only now posting the last four shows from the summer quarter. They are:

First, Show # 189, July 17, is my interview with Valentin Dander, PhD candidate at the University of Innsbruck, on open government data. I met Valentin at MIT8, a wonderful conference where this law professor got to meet with and learn from many fascinating communications scholars, some of whom will be future guests on Hearsay Culture. Having heard Valentin’s talk on open government data, I thought it would be a great topic for the show — and it was! We discussed the theory underlying and need for open data structures in government, and their ramifications. I greatly enjoyed the interview!

The second show, Show #190, July 24, is my interview with Prof. Deven Desai of Thomas Jefferson Law School, on 3D printing. Deven’s work focuses on the implications of 3D printing — the ability to “copy” physical objects — in the intellectual property sphere, particularly patents. The dramatic impact of 3D printing is only now beginning to be felt and weighed by scholars, policymakers and society, so I was very excited to have Deven on the show to discuss his early insights. I very much enjoyed the interview!

Additionally, I’m pleased to post the third show, Show #191, August 14, my interview with Prof. Michael Rich of Elon University School of Law, on technology and crime. Mike, who is not only a colleague but a friend, has been doing cutting-edge work on the question of how technology can be used to prevent crime, and the ramifications of using such technology. During our discussion, we focused on two of his articles examining the contours of this issue, from what we mean by “perfect prevention” of crime to the technological limitations of such efforts. As always, I greatly enjoyed by conversation with Mike and consider myself fortunate to work with him at Elon.

Lastly, I’m thrilled to post Show #192, August 23, my interview with Tim Jordan of King’s College London on hacking. Tim is (and has been) doing fascinating work on the question of how the Internet has changed communication practices. Drawing on the worlds of 19th century Australian pioneers and modern-day virtual world gamers, Internet, Society and Culture: Communicative Practices Before and After the Internet, published by Bloomsbury, was a terrific book from which to draw many enlightening and fun points of discussion. I learned much and loved the interview.

I am now in the process of setting the schedule for the Fall 2013 quarter, so please look for the schedule by the end of September (I am excited to note that the first guest will be Prof. Anupam Chander of UC Davis Law, author of the just-released book The Electronic Silk Road). In the interim, please email me at if you have any comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Thanks for listening!


shows 170-174 — Profs. Woodrow Hartzog, Fred Stutzman, Dr. Deborah Peel, Profs. Madhavi Sunder, Chris Sprigman and Shubha Ghosh — posted

At long last, I am posting several new shows from the end of last quarter and the beginning of this quarter.

The first show, Show 170, August 7, is my interview with Prof. Woodrow Hartzog of Cumberland School of Law, Samford University and Fred Stutzman of UNC on their article, The Case for Online Obscurity. In their article, Woody and Fred conceptualize “obscurity” as an area on the information flow spectrum from publicity to privacy. Although people often interact with technology from the perspective of something other than complete privacy or publicity, Woody and Fred note that the parameters of that activity — obscurity — has not been theorized. In our discussion, we explore the theory and practice underlying obscurity. They were great guests.

Next, Show 171, August 21, is my interview with Dr. Deborah Peel. Deb is one of the nation’s leading advocates on patient privacy rights and the rights associated with the distribution of health information. In our interview, we discussed her work and views on the challenges facing both patients and the healthcare industry as we confront the explosion of information stored in electronic format. I greatly enjoyed the discussion.

Show 172, August 28, is my interview with Prof. Madhavi Sunder of UC Davis School of Law, author of From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice. Madhavi has written a fascinating book arguing that the process of production, and not just the outputs, should be a value that intellectual property law encompasses. In her book, she explores the implications of such a shift on communities in developing economies and other groups who are not generally considered in intellectual property’s utilitarian scheme. I learned much and we had a fun interview.

The fourth show, Show 173, October 3 is my interview with Prof. Chris Sprigman of Virginia Law, co-author of The Knockoff Economy. Chris and his co-author Kal (who did not join us on the interview) have written a fascinating account of industries and communities, like fashion and comedy, where intellectual property law is non-existent and/or unenforced. They found, somewhat surprisingly to those who view intellectual property law as a necessary requirement to spur innovation and economic activity, that these industries thrived despite the absence of intellectual property rights. We had a broad and high-energy discussion.

Finally, Show 174, October 10, is my interview with Prof. Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, author of Identity, Invention, and the Culture of Personalized Medicine Patenting. Shubha is a prolific scholar who has written a study of the law surrounding and implications of personalized medicine from a patent law perspective. Given the advances in technology that allow for a vast array of data to be used in the treatment of patients, patent law is at the center of the questions as to the parameters of this activity. Shubha was able to discuss a challenging area in a clear and concise way, and I greatly enjoyed the interview.

A final note: since the show began in May 2006, Joe Neto, Stanford Law School’s wonderful creative services specialist and Funkranomicon lead vocalist, was responsible for posting the shows onto CIS’ server. After six years and 170 shows, he has handed that job over to CIS’ Elaine Adolfo. Thanks much to Joe for his work, and to Elaine for taking over the reigns!


shows # 166-169 — Prof. Brett Frischmann, Prof. Francesca Coppa, Prof. Tisha Turk, Michael Masnick and Berin Szoka — posted

I am pleased to post the first four shows of the summer quarter.

The first, Show #166, July 10, is my interview with Prof. Brett Frischmann of Cardozo Law, author of Infrastructure: The Social Value of Shared Resources. Brett has written a thoroughly-researched and thought-provoking account of the benefits and challenges of viewing our infrastructure, from the energy grid to the Internet, as a commons/shared resource. Drawing on his (and others’) writing on the topic of the cultural commons going back over 10 years, Brett’s book was a great topic and I very much enjoyed the discussion.

The second show, Show #167, July 17, is my interview with Profs. Francesca Coppa of Muhlenberg College and Tisha Turk of the University of Minnesota at Morris on vidding. Vidding is a massively creative effort on the part of many artists who reinterpret video to reveal/highlight/interpret their political and social moorings. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the purpose, meaning and technology of vidding, and I learned much in a fun conversation!

The third show, Show #168, July 24 is my interview with Mike Masnick of Techdirt. Techdirt is one of my go-to news sites for all issues surrounding technology law policymaking and challenges, and Mike’s reporting is always well-cited, sharp and entertaining. Indeed, he regularly covers a number of technology issues that are simply ignored in almost all other technology news sites, like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. I learned much from the interview!

The fourth interview is Show #169, July 31, my interview with Berin Szoka of TechFreedom, co-editor of The Next Digital Decade. Berin is a leading thinker on technology policy and writes from a libertarian perspective. He amassed a stellar group of commentators for his book, and we discussed several of the questions that he posed to his contributors. I’m a fan of Berin and his work and was excited to have him on the show!

Look for the last three shows of the summer within the next week or two, and please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions for future guests!


Shows #156-158 — Profs. A. Michael Froomkin, Jorge Contreras and Derek Bambauer — posted

In this incredibly busy semester (i.e., I’ve posted my most recent draft on SSRN, The Social Layer of Freedom of Information Law, which focuses on information formatting issues in the Freedom of Information Act, and I’m still facing multiple writing deadlines), I am pleased to (finally) post the first three shows of the quarter. The first, Show #156, January 27 is my interview with Prof. A. Michael Froomkin of the University of Miami Law School on Internet kill switch legislation. Amidst the furor surrounding SOPA and PIPA, this legislation has flown under the radar. Its focus is to allow the government, under certain circumstances, to shut off Internet access — a scary proposition without significant oversight, due process and accountability. This legislation has ramifications from speech to criminal law, and Mike and I had a wide ranging discussion that I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

The second show, Show #157, February 17, is my interview with Prof. Jorge Contreras of American University Washington College of Law regarding his draft article Wait for It … Latency, Copyright and the Private Ordering of Scientific Publishing. We have focused on issues of open access to knowledge on several occasions on Hearsay Culture, but never in the context of scientific publishing. Jorge and I discussed the impact of copyright law on traditional sharing of research among scientists and what can be done to address its impact. Given its import in forstering scientific advancement, I was thrilled to have Jorge on the show and I greatly enjoyed the discussion.

The last show, Show #158, February 24, is my interview with Prof. Derek Bambauer of Brooklyn Law School, author of Orwell’s Armchair. Derek has written another very insightful and forward-thinking article where he makes a counter-intuitive suggestion regarding government censorship of speech: we should establish rules and procedures for government censorship. At the core of Derek’s argument is a realist view that the US government is censoring, so rather than do it through a variety of indirect and obscure methods, we should have a policy so that censorship can be done in the open. We discussed his views on censorship, his solution and potential criticisms and concerns. Derek is always a great guest and this interview was no exception.

Enjoy (and now I’m back to writing).


shows #150(!) and 151 — Jen Nails and Prof. Lewis Hyde — posted

What a busy semester — aside from doing Hearsay Culture, I’ve been teaching my two classes (Contracts and IP Survey), writing an article on social media and the Freedom of Information Act that I’ll be presenting at North Carolina Law Review’s symposium on social media and the law on Friday, working on other research projects, IP law advocacy efforts, and administrative matters, and applying for promotion and tenure. Hence the two week delay in writing this post.

I am humbled and honored to be posting my 150th show, October 13, my interview with Jen Nails of the Peoples Improv Theater. Jen is an accomplished actor and author, and I was excited to have her on the show to discuss her perspectives on technology as an author. We discussed a range of issues, from how technology is weaved into Jen’s works to her perspective on technology as a tool to market books. I greatly enjoyed the conversation.

The second show, show #151, October 27 is my interview with Prof. Lewis Hyde of Kenyon College, author of Common As Air. Lewis has written a compelling work about and defense of the cultural commons based upon his wealth of experience as an author and teacher. We had a detailed discussion of the import of the commons and how we should conceive it as a cultural icon and marker. I have been an admirer of Lewis’ work and was thrilled to engage him in conversation. I hope that you enjoy this set of author interviews!


shows 145 and 146 — prof. peter galison and kevin kelly — posted

I am pleased to post two more shows for this summer quarter. The first is Show #145, July 27, my interview with Prof. Peter Galison of Harvard University, discussing his documentary Secrecy. Peter’s documentary takes a visually and substantively striking look at the secrecy state that exists (it seems) in the entire Western world post-September 11. The first documentarian on Hearsay Culture, Peter’s work allowed me to take a close look at the role of secrecy not only in national security realms but those of informational sharing more generally. Peter’s interview closes the three-part summer secrecy series (the other guests were Prof. Archon Fung and Micah Sifry).

The second is Show #146, August 3, my interview with Kevin Kelly of Wired Magazine, author of What Technology Wants. Kevin’s book takes technology seriously and examines the “wants and needs” of technology in its interactions with humans. In other words, what attributes of technology mesh well and not so well with humans and how humans interact with each other? In our discussion, we spanned several technological challenges facing society and Kevin’s insights, based on decades around and in the tech sphere, were explored. I greatly enjoyed both interviews!


shows 138-141 — profs. pamela long, mario biagioli, kevin werbach, andy haile and scott gaylord — posted

I am pleased to post the last four shows of the spring quarter.

The first, Show # 138, May 10, is my interview with Pamela Long, co-author of Obelisk: A History. Obelisks are not a common topic on Hearsay Culture — in fact, they had never been mentioned before. But Pam’s book is right up Hearsay Culture’s alley, as we discussed the engineering and technology surrounding these ancient Egyptian monuments. From a technological standpoint, these objects are a fascinating symbol of human ingenuity, and the discussion allowed for an insightful analysis of their import and meaning, technologically, politically and spritually.

The second show, Show #139, May 17, is my interview with Prof. Mario Biagioli of UC-Davis School of Law, Director of the Center for Innovation Studies. Mario is a historian who has spent much time studying the role of secrecy in innovation, along with other varying topics, in a long and distinguished career. In this discussion, we focused on his work examining the role of the patent specification (descriptions of the proposed patentable invention in a patent application) in the political and social history of the United States. Mario’s work is critical in the burgeoning field of secrecy studies and I very much enjoyed our discussion.

Third is Show #140, May 24, my interview with Prof. Kevin Werbach of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In this interview, we focused on Kevin’s article The Network Utility. This article, drawing on Kevin’s background with and knowledge of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), examines some forgotten early technology caselaw that treated computers and computer communications as utilities. We discussed this caselaw, as well as the role of the FCC in regulating the Internet and the “cloud.” I greatly enjoyed our chat.

Finally, Show #141, May 31, is my interview with Profs. Andy Haile and Scott Gaylord, my colleagues at Elon University School of Law. Andy and Scott have written a comprehensive analysis of the problems facing state taxation authorities in collecting owed revenue from e-commerce entities like Amazon. In their article, they examine this issue and propose solutions. In the course of our discussion, which was the first in-studio recording that I’ve done since I left Stanford (physically) in 2007, we discussed the speech and privacy concerns attendant with this issue, as well as their proposed solutions. I enjoyed the talk!

The next quarter on KZSU will begin at the end of June. I’m looking forward to an exciting schedule of guests! Thanks, as always, for listening, and enjoy the month!


show #109 — Prof. Chris Kelty — posted (with explanation)

It has been a busy few months! I am delinquent posting Show #109, February 17, my interview with Prof. Christopher Kelty of the University of California Los Angeles, author of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. For that I apologize, but, as consolation and explanation, I have writing to show for it, as I continue to wage war on the inappropriate use of trade secrecy in a variety of contexts (I welcome comments on the draft posted on MSU’s site, whose conference I’m honored to be attending). While I’m at it, I should add that I’ll be moderating a panel on IP and the Internet at FutureWeb 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 29, 2010. I’ve put together a great panel so I hope that you can make it!

Now that I’ve offered some explanation for my tardiness, on to my interview with Chris. Chris was a great guest, focusing on what we can learn from the free software movement beyond its mere revolutionary use in the technology context. Chris’ writing on this topic is startling for its breadth, and we were able to extend its application well beyond the technological sector. I was thrilled to have Chris on the show and hope that you enjoy the interview!


Letter in support of FCC’s Open Internet Proceeding

I signed on to a letter drafted by Profs. Adam Candeub and Brett Frischmann (Brett has been on the show in the past) in support of the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) regarding protecting the Internet as a free and open network.

As the letter states:

We believe the NPRM is a laudatory next step. First, from a legal perspective, it is the appropriate regulatory mechanism to evaluate the central substantive and procedural issues regarding discrimination, network management, innovation dynamics, transparency, implementation mechanisms, and so forth.

Second, and more generally, it is an appropriate public forum to gather and evaluate competing claims and relevant evidence. The public debate on these issues often is poorly framed and polluted with broad hyperbolic claims lacking theoretical or empirical support. A notice and comment rule making process is a useful forum to sort fact from fiction. The FCC has already launched a website and blog to promote discussion and comment on these important issues. It has also initiated a series of public workshops on questions about broadband deployment. The FCC deserves credit for initiating such open and participatory processes, which this proceeding builds upon.

Third, sound regulatory policy in this area depends critically on expertise from different disciplines. There is a tendency in public debates about regulation to gravitate toward antitrust and regulatory economics, to the exclusion of other factors. There are strong reasons to resist that pull in this debate. The issues being debated are not only legal or economic or technical or social. In the Internet context, the interdependence of legal, economic, technical, and social factors has produced the powerful market and non-market benefits of open infrastructure.

I have significant concerns about the broad range of policy decisions being made regarding public infrastructure without full and real public participation. It is a topic about which I have written and continue to write. The transparency aspects of this proceeding are critical, as too many decisions in the areas of infrastructure and technology have been made without full public involvement; thus, the FCC deserves these accolades. Thanks to Adam and Brett for drafting the letter!


Shows #59 and 60 — Profs. John Willinsky and Brett Frischmann — posted

I am pleased to post two new shows: Show #59, my interview with Prof. John Willinsky of Stanford University discussing his book The Access Principle; and Show #60, my interview with Prof. Brett Frischmann of Loyola University Chicago School of Law on infrastructure and commons management.

John has written a wonderful book, The Access Principle, making the case for open and free access to scholarship. As I mention on the show, I do not regard this as terribly controversial, but I’m biased. John addresses the arguments that may be raised against such a goal and makes a strong case for its immediate implementation.

Brett is a prolific scholar (and, I should mention, generous with his time when new professors — like me — ask for advice), and writes in two areas in which I have a strong interest: commons and infrastructure. In this interview, we discuss the former through the lens of Brett’s view of what we need to expand the public’s knowledge of the importance of the commons, as well as through discussion of Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks.

I enjoyed both interviews, which are certainly related in both guest’s embrace of public and open dissemination of knowledge (among, I imagine, other similarities), and hope that you enjoy both shows!