I’m pleased to post Show # 212, May 14, my interview with three-time Hearsay Culture guest Larry Downes, co-author of Big Bang Disruption, on disruptive technology and business strategies. Larry and his co-author Paul Nunes (who was not on the show) have written an insightful and enjoyable book looking at both the causes of and reaction to disruptive technologies by new and traditional businesses alike. Like the book, which is bifurcated between descriptive and proscriptive analysis of rapidly-disruptive technologies, we talked about the meaning and impact of “big bang” distruptive technologies and how companies can both react to and create environments that create disruptive technology. As always, I greatly enjoyed our discussion!
I’m pleased to post Show #206, March 5, my interview with Prof. Orly Lobel of University of San Diego School of Law, author of Talent Wants to Be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free-Riding. Orly has written a timely account of the benefits of mobility of labor and ideas in the modern economy. Examining a range of issues from the impact of trade secrecy on employee mobility to new forms of innovation that rely on sharing, Orly has written an insightful examination of the under-explored area. As I see it as a wonderful and valuable extension of pioneering work by AnnaLee Saxenian, I greatly enjoyed the interview!
The summer brings five (5) new shows (and a welcome effort to catch up on two months of backlogged emails and other work). So, here they are.
The first show, Show #182, April 17, is my interview with Daniel Trottier of the University of Westminster, author of Social Media as Surveillance. Dan’s book, which is now particularly timely given the PRISM and other NSA/governmental surveillance revelations over the past several weeks, looks at social media as a surveillance technology. Using a variety of angles and insights, Dan examines the impacts and implications of social media as users volunteer to interact (knowingly and unknowingly) with other users and the technology itself.
The second show, Show #183, May 8, is my interview with Derek Khanna of the Yale Information Society Project on copyright reform, jailbreaking cell phones and CISPA. Derek’s name became known after he wrote a controversial memorandum for the Republican Study Committee (RSC) urging reform of existing US copyright law. Since he left the RSC, he’s written on a variety of topics including cell phone jailbreaking. We discussed his current work, as well as his perspective on his experience at the RSC and insights derived from the political response to the memorandum.
Third is Show #184, May 15, my interview with Oliver Day of the new non-profit Securing Change. Oliver is a repeat guest on Hearsay Culture as well as the wonderful volunteer who has helped me combat the endless attempts at hacking of Hearsay Culture by spammers. Oliver has founded an organization designed to offer the same services that Hearsay Culture has received to a wider audience of non-profits [disclaimer: I’m a huge and grateful fan of Oliver’s efforts and am on the Board of Securing Change]. We discussed his efforts and Securing Change’s goals, as well as the nature of hacking and website security threats today. [Note: the email address to use to request help from Securing Change is email@example.com, not the email address mentioned in the show].
The fourth show, Show #185, May 23, is my interview with Dr. Virginia Crisp, Lecturer at Middlesex University, on Kim Dotcom and copyright infringement. I met Virginia at a conference at MIT in May and found her presentation on the implications of Kim Dotcom’s activities and behavior insightful. On the show, Virginia discusses her research and perspectives on Kim Dotcom, as well as the larger issues involving the social and regulatory aspects of copyright infringement en masse and in New Zealand, where Kim Dotcom has rebranded himself.
Finally, and at long last, the last show for the spring quarter is Show #186, June 13, my interview with Prof. Vance Ricks of Guilford College. Vance has written an insightful article about the nature of gossip online, drawing on sociological and philosophical views of gossip and rumor-mongering applied to social media. We discussed the nature of gossip and reputation in the social and online spheres, as well as the role that technology plays in both amplifying and diminishing these age-old practices. As a bonus, this show was recorded in KZSU’s East Coast Studios, my euphemism for a live recording in my basement studio!
I am in the process of setting the schedule for the summer quarter, which commences in the first week of July. Stay tuned, and look for the schedule to be posted by the end of June. Thanks as always for listening!
At long last, I’m posting four new shows. Thanks for your patience — teaching nine credits (for a law professor, that’s a lot) on top of writing, advocacy and administrative duties = slow to post shows! The good news: I should have more time (and timeliness) to devote to the show beginning in May, which will nicely coincide with the early part of the spring quarter.
On to the new content: the first show, Show #178, January 31, is my interview with Eran Kahana of the Maslon law firm, on artificial intelligence. Eran focuses on how the law should react as artificial intelligence becomes commonplace in the everyday lives of consumers. Because this technology is awash with speculation about its potential and risks, Eran was a great guest with whom to cut through much of the debate, especially as he has the practical perspective of a practicing attorney. I enjoyed the conversation.
Next, Show #179, February 14, is my interview with Prof. Gabriella Coleman, author of Coding Freedom: The Aesthetics and the Ethics of Hacking. Biella has written a groundbreaking anthropological study of free software hackers. Immersing herself in that community over the course of several years, Biella was able to unmask many morees and practices within the community that have received scant (if any) attention. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the demographics of the community, particularly the notable absence of a significant female presence, and I greatly enjoyed our discussion. Her’s is a wonderful contribution to our understanding of anthropological study and method.
My third show, Show #180, March 7, is my interview with Dean Anne Balsamo of the New School for Public Engagement, author of Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work. Focusing on culture as an iterative process, Anne has written a first-hand account of the creation of digital media through the eyes of a scholar and “maker.” Drawing on extensive experience in the field, Anne outlines how innovation occurs in a field that seems loose in organization and structure. Anne’s book dispels that notion (and others), and I greatly enjoyed the depth of our discussion and Anne’s probing insights. I look forward to her return to the show.
The last show for the winter quarter, Show #181, March 14, is my interview with Dave Seubert, head of the University of California Santa Barbara’s Cylinder Digitization and Preservation Project. I have been a fan of David’s cylinder project — the effort to digitize thousands of recordings made on cylinders between roughly 1890-1920s — since its inception several years ago (I’m not just a fan; I have cylinders on my iPod). David’s efforts, which include not just digitizing cylinders but preserving the legacy of Victor recordings, places his projects among the world’s most important recording preservation efforts. A huge fan of David and his work, we discussed these projects interspersed with recordings from UCSB’s collection. Lots of fun!
I am in the process of setting the schedule for the spring quarter, and will post it by the end of the second week in April. As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, as always, for listening!
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!
May brings the combined professor’s pincer of grading and writing deadlines. So it is that I submitted my 3L grades yesterday and now I’m posting (finally!) four new shows.
The first, Show #159, March 16, is my interview with Prof. Julie Cohen of Georgetown Law, author of the book Configuring the Networked Self. Julie has written a fascinating and forward-thinking critique of our relationship to technology and the primary challenges facing consumers of technology as they navigate the increasing intrusions of technology into our everyday lives. We covered a variety of topics in this discussion, from social constructs to secrecy, and part two (to be scheduled) will focus on a major portion of the book that was not covered here: privacy. I greatly enjoyed the interview.
Show #160, April 17 is my interview with Prof. Jennifer Holt of the University of California Santa Barbara, author of the book Empires of Entertainment. Jennifer looks at the period just prior to the explosion of the commercial Internet, 1980-1996, and focuses on the changes and consolidations that occurred during that tumultuous time in the history of the entertainment industry. Jennifer examines not just the business environment during this era, but also the legal and social contours that lead to where we were at the dawn of the Internet, and in that way has made a unique contribution to the literature on this era. We covered not just that recent history, but also some current events like the battle over SOPA and PIPA. The interview was fun and I hope that you enjoy it as well.
The third interview, Show #161, April 24 is my interview with Prof. Hamilton Bean of the University of Colorado Denver, author of the book No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence. Hamilton has written a first-of-a-kind analysis of the use of public information (i.e., open source) in the collection and analysis functions of the US intelligence community. Drawing on many first-hand interviews, he focuses on the mystique and myths around secrecy in the intelligence community and the challenges of institutionalizing the use of open source information. Given the increasing study of “secrecy” as a field, I was excited to have Hamilton on the show and enjoyed the interview.
Finally, Show #162, May 1 is my interview with Prof. Daniel Margocsy of Hunter College, co-editor of States of Secrecy, a new volume of the British Journal for the History of Science. Daniel has brought together many great contributors, including several former guests on Hearsay Culture like Mario Biagioli and Peter Galison to analyze secrecy as a political, legal and social construct in the scientific community. Drawing on the history of the theory of secrecy, we (in some measure) continued the discussion from the previous week to focus on what secrecy means to the continued flow of knowledge and information to and from the scientific community. This was yet another interview that I found personally illuminating and fun.
Thanks for your patience and look for more new shows on the way soon!
Happy new year! A hectic December has led me to the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting, where I’ll be discussing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement tomorrow. Meanwhile, posted are the last four shows of the Fall 2011 quarter.
The first show is Show #152, November 3, my interview with Prof. David Perlmutter of the University of Iowa, author of Blogwars and Tenure and Promotion Confidential. We discussed the media industry surrounding blogs as well as a more provincial topic of interest to a narrower range of Hearsay Culture listeners, namely, how to get tenure. David’s work spans a variety of areas, and I greatly enjoyed the interview.
Show #153, November 10 is my interview with Prof. Ethan Leib of Fordham Law School, author of Friend V. Friend. Ethan has written a fascinating book about the regulation of friendships and whether the government should play a role in encouraging friendship. The obvious relevance of this issue as manifested in social networks is explored, as well as more nuanced questions like whether government has a role in this fundamental area of private ordering. A great discussion.
The third show, Show #154, December 1 is my interview with Dean Saul Levmore and Prof. Martha Nussbaum of The University of Chicago Law School, co-editors of The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation. Saul and Martha have edited and contributed to an excellent volume on the impact of the Internet on one’s ability to protect and control one’s reputation and identity. As eminent scholars I was thrilled to have them on the show and they offered their unique perspectives on wide range of topics, from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to social media.
The last show of the quarter, Show #155, December 8 is my interview with Prof. Helen Nissenbaum of New York University, discussing Privacy in Context. Helen’s newest book focuses on her idea of “contextual integrity” that conceives privacy through the prism of its social constructs. An outstanding guest and scholar, I greatly enjoyed the conversation.
The schedule for the next quarter, which begins during the week of January 16, will be posted next week.
I am pleased to post three new shows in this hectic semester. The first, Show #123, October 27 is my interview with Fred Stutzman, doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. Fred is doing cutting-edge work on the impact of social media and, as a software designer, has also authored an application that kills social media on your computer for a fixed period of time. In our interview, we discussed Fred’s work and the role that social media plays in the life of current teenagers. I greatly enjoyed the interview.
The second, Show # 124, November 3 is my interview with Prof. Peter Lee of UC-Davis School of Law, discussing technology transfer and innovation. Peter focuses on issues involving the murky world of university research and regulation. Our discussion focused on the competing values of the traditional university and modern commercialization efforts and the law surrounding this complex dichotomy. Peter shed light on a number of considerations key to this issue and I enjoyed having the discussion.
The final show being posted today is Show #125, November 10, my interview with Prof. Tim Wu of Columbia Law School, author of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. Tim’s book focuses on the environments in which entities can control the flow of information. We discussed a variety of topics ranging from the role of the FCC in information regulation to the threat posed by Apple. I enjoyed Tim’s book and our broad discussion.
Three more shows coming soon!
I’m very pleased to post Show #121, September 1, my interview with Prof. Oded Shenkar of Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, author of Copycats. Oded has written an outstanding book that explodes a myth often found in business literature, namely, that copying is not a successful business plan. Oded’s book challenges this assumption by examining a number of different industries to prove the assumption wrong. Highly relevant to many concerns found in intellectual property law, Oded shared his assessment about and suggestions for building a business around copying successful business models. I highly enjoyed the book and discussion, and hope you do as well.
I am pleased to report that, in September, Hearsay Culture will be an “intellectual sponsor” of Innovate/Activate, an intellectual property and activism unconference sponsored by New York Law School and Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. I am very much looking forward to participating in what should be a great discussion of two of Hearsay Culture’s primary themes: intellectual property and theories of innovation, and the intrusion of intellectual property concepts and ideas in areas where it may not belong. I hope to see you there!