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


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!

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shows 143 and 144 — prof. archon fung and micah sifry — posted

The focus of much of my research and writing is the role of secrecy in intellectual property and its impact on governmental operations and society. Thus, I’m very pleased to post two more shows for the summer quarter, part of a three-part secrecy series for the summer. The first show, Show #143, July 13, is my interview with Prof. Archon Fung of the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, discussing transparency and technology. Archon has written extensively on transparency, democratic governance and technology, and we focused on some of his recent writings in the area, including his book chapter Open Government and Open Society in Open Government, edited by Daniel Lathrop and Laurel Ruma. Archon’s insights on the role of technology in transparency and the current state of open government were among the topics of this wide-ranging and fun discussion.

The second show, Show #144, July 20, is my interview with Micah Sifry of the Personal Democracy Forum, author of WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency. Micah has written a wonderful study of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and its role in government operations and our view of government as a whole. We focused not only on WikiLeaks but more broadly on how government can and should operate in the face of massive technological changes in the power of governments to both share and control information. I hope that you enjoy the conversation as much as I did!

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show # 142 — prof. michael risch — posted

I’m pleased to post the first show in the summer quarter, Show #142, June 29, my interview with Prof. Michael Risch of Villanova University School of Law. Mike discussed his article Patent Troll Myths, forthcoming in Seton Hall Law Review. Patent trolls are getting increasing attention as the parasite of the patent world, entities that buy patent portfolios for the express purpose of bringing actions for patent infringement. We discussed the empirical research that Mike did to identify the who and what of patent trolls, which lead to some surprising findings. I enjoyed the conversation and expect to see more of patent trolls in future shows!

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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!

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shows 136 and 137 — prof. david post and kevin poulsen — now posted

At long last (end of semester craziness, primarily, caused the delay), I am pleased to post two new shows! The first, Show #136, April 12 is my interview with Prof. David Post of Temple University Beasley School of Law, author of In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace. David’s book analyzes the writing of Thomas Jefferson and applies his writings to today’s Internet law challenges. This unique contribution to cyberlaw literature produces many insights into how the Internet might be regulated, and we discussed several in this fun interview.

The second, Show #137, April 19, is my interview with Kevin Poulsen of Wired Magazine, author of Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion Dollar Cyber Crime Underground. Kevin has written a fascinating account of Max Butler, a notorious hacker who went from “white hat” to “black hat” over the course of several years and wound up masterminding a major criminal operation. In our discussion, Kevin shares his insights, based upon his own background as a hacker, not only on the story of Butler but the state of technology today. As a leading technology journalist, Kevin’s insights are valuable and I enjoyed the discussion!

More shows coming soon!

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Show #135 — Prof. John Tehranian — and Spring Quarter schedule posted

I am pleased to post Show #135, March 15, my interview with Prof. John Tehranian of Chapman University School of Law, author of Infringement Nation. John has written an insightful book that examines the different ways that modern users and creators of technology can (and do) violate US copyright law. In the process, John also takes on several standard views of copyright law, like the idea that the fair use defense is a strong defense to copyright infringement and has the right values in place, and proposes reforms to copyright law in the process. John’s book was a pleasure to read and I enjoyed the interview!

I am also pleased to post the Spring Quarter schedule for the show. Look for the show at a new time, Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30pm pacific time. It promises to be another exciting and insightful quarter!

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shows 132, 133 and 134 — Michael Madison, Jamais Cascio and Siva Vaidhyanathan — posted

I am pleased to post three more shows for this quarter. The first, Show 132, February 15, is my interview with Associate Dean Michael Madison of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Mike’s work on the cultural commons and its parameters is critical to our understanding of how knowledge is shared and under what conditions it can be disseminated efficiently and optimally. We focused on a recent article, Constructing Commons in a Cultural Environment, and I very much enjoyed the discussion.

The second show, Show 133, February 22 is my interview with Jamais Cascio, discussing Hacking the Earth. Jamais’ work is among the most readable and insightful books on climate change that I have read. Jamais’ focus is on geo-engineering, hence the title. We spent the hour discussing the myths and realities of geo-engineering and its ability to address the massive consequences of global climate change. Given the recent (and ongoing) tragic events in Japan, this conversation could not be more timely. I very much enjoyed the conversation.

The third show, Show 134, March 8, is my interview with Prof. Siva Vaidhyanathan of the University of Virginia, author of The Googlization of Everything. Siva’s book focuses on the topic of “googlization,” rather than Google exclusively. While we did discuss Google’s role in technology and society at large, we focused more on the implications of Google’s influence on how we organize and disseminate information generally. Siva’s book is among the best to navigate the waters of search, and the conversation was fun.

One more show, today, March 15, with Prof. John Tehranian of Chapman University School of Law, author of Infringement Nation, before the interim break. Please look for the new schedule posted by the end of the month!

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show #131 — prof. ramesh srinivasan — posted

I am pleased to post Show #131, February 1, my interview with Prof. Ramesh Srinivasan, Department of Information Studies and Design|Media Arts at the University of California Los Angeles. Ramesh studies the code — the ontology — of new media. His work is a cross-section of the interests of many guests that have been on Hearsay Culture, from technologists to experts on the commons. We discussed Ramesh’s cutting-edge research in rural communities, as well as his insights into the state of new media in 2011. I very much enjoyed the interview and look forward to having him back on the show in the future!

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shows 129 and 130 — ryan calo and sarah rose — posted

I am pleased to post two more shows for the Winter Quarter. The first, Show #129, January 11, 2011, is my interview with Ryan Calo, Director, Consumer Privacy Project at Stanford CIS. Ryan focuses on issues revolving around privacy and technology, and I was pleased to have him on the show discussing his article Privacy Harms . In this article, Ryan seeks to delineate the boundaries of what we might call a privacy harm, and what the ramifications are for such line-drawing. His work advances our understanding of what we mean by privacy, and I greatly enjoyed the conversation.

The second show, Show #130, January 18, is my interview with Sarah Rose, author of For All the Tea in China. Sarah has written a very readable and enjoyable account of the British effort to export (read: steal) tea from China (read: trade secrets) in the 18th Century. As a significant and largely unknown event in the history of the tea trade, and trade secrecy, I very much enjoyed having Sarah on the show to discuss her work.

More shows to be posted soon!

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