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


Show # 233 — Pedro Roffe and Prof. Xavier Seuba on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and intellectual property in trade agreements — posted

I’m excited to post the last show of the winter 2015 quarter, Show # 233, March 18, my interview with Pedro Roffe of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and Prof. Xavier Seuba of the University of Strasbourg, co-editors of ACTA and the Plurilateral Enforcement Agenda. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was the first modern effort to address copyright piracy on the Internet in the international lawmaking arena. It was a failure in no small part due to the excessive secrecy of the negotiations; nonetheless, there is more to learn from the experience than merely procedural failure. In our discussion, we spanned procedure and substance, including lessons to be learned for ongoing trade negotiations like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Given the ongoing battle over fast tracking the TPP, this show is particularly timely. I greatly enjoyed the discussion and hope that you do as well!

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Show # 232 — Jack Rabid on The Big Takeover, the music industry and online publishing — posted

I am pleased to post Show # 232, March 11, my interview with Jack Rabid, editor-in-chief and founder of the legendary music magazine The Big Takeover. Jack is one of the pioneers of modern music writing and criticism, having launched The Big Takeover in New York in 1980 as a critic and fan of punk music. Since then, he has developed a loyal subscriber base, including your host! I’ve been an admirer of Jack’s and his writing for some time; indeed, his magazine clued me in quite a bit of great music that I’d have never heard about otherwise (kind of like my goal for intellectual property and technology issues on Hearsay Culture). On the show, we discussed his experience launching a music magazine, the conversion to electronic publishing and the status of the music industry. Given his unique perspective as a music critic, publisher and musician himself, I enjoyed having him on the show and hope that you find this wide-ranging interview enlightening.

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Welcome to HearsayCulture.com 2.0 (thanks to Brandon Frye and William Moner!)

In May 2006, I launched the Hearsay Culture radio show because I missed doing radio (after a 16 year hiatus) and wanted a way back in. I also sought a way to force myself to read the articles and books that I thought I should be reading as a new academic and putative scholar (and after eight years of practice as a commercial litigator, much of it in the intellectual property and entertainment space, I really needed to get up to policy and theory speed). Much to my delight, the show was successful, and by early 2007 I had launched Hearsay Culture’s website (with webhosting recommendations from early guest Colette Vogele).

Until today, I had used the exact same design and functionality as was available to my rookie brain in 2007. Given time constraints — teaching, writing, committee work, service, travel, family, biologic need for sleep and exercise, fantasy baseball, etc. — almost all of my Hearsay Culture time has been devoted to identifying, scheduling, preparing for interviews, recording and interviewing, and posting shows. Whatever extra time that I had was monopolized by a multi-year effort to fend off hackers (thanks to the wonderful Oliver Day of Securing Change for all of the expert help and ingenious patches).

Today, I’m thrilled beyond words to unveil the new hacker-free Hearsay Culture website. You should not only see a clean and exciting new design, but much more robust functionality, from expanded social network linking to an embedded audio player for each show post. The Listen link now corrects my early error by clearly identifying the year associated with an interview (who knew that the show would run for nine years and counting?) The site is now mobile-friendly. You’ll even see a new logo! Play around with site and let me know what you think at the new Contact link. What else would you like to see?

Just as the show is about the guests, the fact of a new site is also about others. I am proud to say that I can thank two Elon University colleagues, iMedia graduate student Brandon Frye and his professor William J. Moner, for the complete overhaul announced today. It would not have happened without them. Brandon and William have spent many volunteer hours on this project, including Brandon’s design of the website and logo under William’s guidance. I am extremely grateful for their creative, expert and professional work, and the results speak for themselves. Aside from being honored to call them Elon colleagues, you can now call me a reference and a client.

I hope that the new website augments and streamlines your listening experience. Look for tweaks in the coming weeks, including integration with popular podcast streaming applications, an updated Resources page and perhaps some additional blog content beyond the shows. Others may follow depending on your comments.

Thanks so much for listening — you’re the reason that I continue to record new shows. In fact, in tandem with this announcement, I’ve posted a new show with Stanford’s Jonathan Mayer on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and hacking. Two more new shows will follow over the coming two days.

Finally, check out the upcoming schedule for this quarter and the future. The first show of the new quarter, with Prof. Danielle Citron of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law on her book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, airs tomorrow, April 22, at 4pm pacific on KZSU. Here’s to another 230 shows!

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Show #231 — Jonathan Mayer on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), cybersecurity and hacking — posted

For the first show posted to the *new* Hearsay Culture website, I am very pleased to post Show # 231, March 4, my interview with Jonathan Mayer, Stanford Ph.D. candidate in computer science, author of Terms of Abuse: An Empirical Assessment of the Federal Hacking Law, and How to Fix It. Jonathan’s work focuses on one of the paradigmatic, and troublesome, laws in the Internet law canon, the CFAA. Designed to address unauthorized intrusions into computer networks, it has morphed into a catch-all law that potentially ensnares all forms of computer network access, from the seemingly-authorized, to computer network research efforts, on down. In our discussion, we examined Jonathan’s empirical findings regarding CFAA litigation, as well as the prospects for reform of this flawed and ambiguous statute. In part because Jonathan is in the process of producing a comprehensive analysis of how the CFAA operates in the world, which could (or should) impact the pending efforts to create Federal trade secret law, I was delighted to have him on the show. I hope that you enjoy the discussion.

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Show # 230 — Prof. Elizabeth Townsend Gard and Ron Gard on The Durationator and social entrepreneurship — posted

I’m thrilled to post Show # 230, February 18, my interview with Prof. Elizabeth Townsend Gard of Tulane University Law School and Ron Gard of Limited Times LLC, on The Durationator, an online tool to determine whether any work of authorship is covered by copyright, and social entrepreneurship. I have been a big fan of Elizabeth’s copyright duration work for a long time, and had her on the show in 2009 to discuss her amazing project entitled The Durationator. Now, after many years of work, The Durationator is a reality and publicly available through a partnership with Thomson Reuters. Having formed an entity, Limited Times LLC, with her husband Ron Gard to run The Durationator as well as focus on their social entrepreneurship efforts, we had a wide ranging and celebratory discussion about social entrepreneurship, as The Durationator launched on February 18, 2015, the day that the show aired on KZSU! I hope that you enjoy the discussion and learning about Elizabeth and Ron’s fascinating and useful work. Congrats Elizabeth and Ron!


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Show # 229 — Prof. Stephanie Pell and Chris Soghoian — on cell phone surveillance and StingRay

I am pleased to post Show # 229, February 11, my interview with Prof. Stephanie Pell of the Army Cyber Institute and Chris Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union on StingRay and their newly-published Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article entitled Your Secret Stingray’s No Secret Anymore: The Vanishing Government Monopoly over Cell Phone Surveillance and Its Impact on National Security and Consumer Privacy. Stephanie and Chris have taken on the fascinating and disturbing problem of intentional exploitation of known security flaws in cell phone operations by governments (and, if you’d like, the private sector) to monitor private individuals (i.e., StingRay). From law enforcement on down, the issue is as much about the technology itself as it is about the lack of discussion about that technology, exploits and its implications. Based upon their backgrounds in law enforcement and the security worlds, respectively, they approach this issue with a deep depth of knowledge and balance. We discussed StingRay from policy and technological perspectives in this broad discussion. I hope that you enjoy it!


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Show # 228 — Prof. Lisa Lynch on information leak websites, leakers and Julian Assange — posted

I’m pleased to post Show #228, January 28, my interview with Prof. Lisa Lynch of Concordia University, on WikiLeaks and information leakers. Lisa has written extensively about the nature and role of information leakers in society today. Having interacted with Julian Assange for several years — including before he was the infamous figure that he is today (she’s even benefited from his editing suggestions) — her insights regarding the role of WikiLeaks draws on both scholarly and personal experience. Because the notions of “secrecy” and “democracy” are in a massive state of flux, Lisa’s work and insights are sorely needed, timely and unique. We had a wide-ranging discussion on information policy and leaking; Lisa’s candor and humor made for a terrific interview. I hope that you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed the discussion.


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Show # 227 — Solon Barocas on algorithms and employment discrimination — posted

Happy new year! I’m pleased to post the first show of the winter quarter, Show # 227, January 14, 2015, my interview with Solon Barocas, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, co-author of the article Big Data’s Disparate Impact (with Andrew D. Selbst). Algorithmic computing and decision-making have entered our world much faster than our understanding of it. In Solon’s article, he takes a close look at the massively under-explored impact of algorithms on traditional forms of employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (think discrimination on the basis of race or gender). Identifying both the technical and legal issues involved is a challenge, but this article does a wonderful job exposing the risks of algorithms in this space, which often (although not exclusively) includes embedding human prejudices in the code itself. We examined these and other ramifications of algorithmic computing and civil rights discrimination in our discussion. I greatly enjoyed it (recorded at Princeton!) and hope that you find it illuminating.


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Thanks to Securing Change

Those of you paying attention to the website have undoubtedly noticed the theme change. That change is part of the effort to thwart the incessant hackers who have targeted Hearsay Culture over the past three years. I’m pleased to report that the site appears to have stabilized.

How did this happen? As a wannabe geek, I did not have the chops to handle this on my own, so a few years ago I turned to Oliver Day. Oliver began working, but soon wrapped his work into his new non-profit Securing Change, on which I am a board member. [Note: with proper citation to the Hair Club for Men, I’m also a client!] Securing Change “offers security services, consulting, and information for organizations that foster social good, such as non-profits, NGOs and B-Corps.”

If you’d like more information about Securing Change’s efforts, Oliver has been blogging about it. I can tell you that his descriptions are modest, as he’s spent many hours working on this issue gratis. Thus, as a small token of appreciation, I offer this blog post and unsolicited and unqualified endorsement of Securing Change. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at dave@hearsayculture.com for more details.

On that web redesign, please look for a revamped and redesigned website in the first few months of 2015. I’ll write more about that as the day approaches, and am very excited about what’s in the works!

And now, I return to grading and writing, grading and writing. Happy holidays and new year!


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Upcoming Guest

Upcoming Guest Show # 227, January x, 2015: Prof. Lisa Lynch of Concordia University on WikiLeaks and information leakers.

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