A Tech/Law Talk Show designed to cover modern technology and Internet issues with host Dave Levine.


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!

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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!

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shows #163-165 — prof. lea shaver, chris soghoian, stephanie pell and marvin ammori — posted

I’m pleased to post the last three shows of the spring quarter.

The first, Show #163, May 22 is my interview with Prof. Lea Shaver of Hofstra Law regarding her article Illuminating Innovation. Lea focuses on the story of Edison’s invention of the lightbulb, but draws some surprising conclusions about its import to intellectual property law and, through discussion of less well-known aspects of the story, reaches some surprising results. Drawing on Lea’s deep knowledge of the issues surrounding one of the seminal inventions of the modern era, I very much enjoyed the discussion.

The second show, Show #164, May 29, is my interview with Christopher Soghoian and Stephanie K. Pell, co-authors of Can You See Me Now?: Toward Reasonable Standards for Law Enforcement Access to Location Data that Congress Could Enact. Chris and Stephanie discuss the largely unknown (and not understood) issues surrounding the use of technological location data (think, GPS on your cell phone) by law enforcement. Their combined knowledge, drawn from the worlds of technology/security and law enforcement, respectively, makes for an unusually thorough examination of this challenging issue. We discussed the technology, how its used, and what to do about it. I learned from and enjoyed the interview.

Finally, the last show of the spring quarter, Show #165, June 5, is my interview with Marvin Ammori, author of First Amendment Architecture. Marvin has written an exhaustive analysis of how architecture, be it technological or physical, or as Marvin calls them, “spaces,” play into the law surrounding the First Amendment. This important but under-theorized issue is critical to the ability to maintain and protect the ability to speak in a technologically unstable time. The issue of spaces is thoroughly analyzed in Marvin’s article, and we discussed his theories and their ramifications going forward in this fun and enlightening discussion.

I am in the process of finalizing the schedule for the summer quarter, so look for that on Monday!

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Shows 159-162 — Profs. Julie Cohen, Jennifer Holt, Hamilton Bean and Daniel Margocsy — posted

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!

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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).

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shows #152-155 — David Perlmutter, Ethan Leib, Saul Levmore, Martha Nussbaum and Helen Nissenbaum — posted

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.

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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!

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show # 149 — Prof. Susan Shirk — posted

I’m pleased to post the last show of the summer quarter, Show #149, August 31, my interview with Prof. Susan Shirk of the University of California – San Diego, editor of the book Changing Media, Changing China. Susan has edited a book comprised of essays about China’s media landscape by some of China’s leading journalists and academics, as well as other experts. As a scholar with decades of experience living in and studying Chinese media, Susan was an outstanding guest with whom to discuss the complex and somewhat counter-intuitive relationship between the Chinese government and the media, which ranges from government to private entities. I greatly enjoyed the conversation!

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shows 147 and 148 — profs. marcus boon and ann bartow — posted

I am pleased to post two more shows for the fall quarter. The first, Show 147, August 17 is my interview with Prof. Marcus Boon of York University, discussing In Praise of Copying. Marcus has written a unique contribution to our notions of what it means to copy and imitate by examining copyright law through the lens of Buddhism. A new focus on Hearsay Culture, our discussion examined what Buddhist teachings might tell us about copying as a human behavior and, more broadly, whether western conceptions of intellectual property mesh with Buddhist beliefs. I learned a lot both from the book and our discussion. [Apologies for some audio issues in this recording].

The second show, Show 148, August 24, is my interview with Prof. Ann Bartow of Pace University School of Law, author of the forthcoming article Copyright Law and the Commoditization of Sex. Ann examines how copyright law potentially incentivizes the creation of pornography that is illegal and/or harmful to the performers. It may be a surprise to many that copyright law does not carve an exception for such works; Ann proposes that such exceptions should be considered and outlines a system for such considerations. Ann is a prolific scholar and exciting thinker and I greatly enjoyed the discussion.

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