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


Show #199 — Denise Howell — posted

I am pleased to post Show 199, December 4, my interview with Denise Howell of This Week in Law. Denise is a pioneering podcaster/”netcaster” who founded and co-hosts the outstanding This Week in Law. Up front, I’ll disclose that I am a big fan of Denise and This Week in Law. I’m also a former guest. Thus, I was thrilled to have Denise on the show to discuss our podcasting world. As the subject of podcasting itself is rarely discussed — indeed, the last major discussion that I had about it was Show #3, in June 2006, with Colette Vogele, it was past time to discuss the state of our mutual interest. We had a great discussion and, as expected, I enjoyed it!

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Show #198 — Prof. Alasdair Roberts — posted

I am pleased to post Show 198, November 27, my interview with Prof. Alasdair Roberts, author of The End of Protest. Al’s book addresses a vexing question: why, in the face of an unprecedented financial crisis, have we not seen massive protests in the street? In this study, Al posits that a combination of regulatory, social and technological forces have created this state of affairs. In our discussion, we examined the depths of this problem and what it means for speech and government operations in the future. As always, I greatly enjoyed the discussion!

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Show #197 — Dan Nazer — posted

At the request of several listeners who report that embedding more than one show in a single post screws up their RSS feed, I am going to embed one show per blog post for the foreseeable future. Thus, here’s Show 197, November 20, my interview with Dan Nazer of the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) [Disclosure: I have occasionally made modest (remember: I am a law professor who makes $0 on projects like Hearsay Culture) donations to EFF]. Dan is at the forefront of the legislative battle over patent trolls/non-practicing entities/patent assertion entities, an issue that has been at the forefront of recent intellectual property battles. This highly controversial practice has been a recurring focus of Hearsay Culture, from both sides of the policy argument. In this interview, we discussed Dan and EFF’s efforts to curtail this practice and what it means for innovation and technology on a going-forward basis. I greatly enjoyed the discussion!

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Shows 195-196 — Margot Kaminski and Prof. Victoria Stodden — posted

A busy several weeks pushing for a more accountable and public negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which has brought the concept of legislative secrecy in a democracy to a new level, has not stopped me (but has slowed down) recording and posting of new shows. Thus, I’m pleased to post two new shows!

The first, Show 195, October 30, is my interview with Margot Kaminski of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. We discussed an earlier draft of her forthcoming article The Capture of International Intellectual Property Law through the U.S. Trade Regime. Related to the above, Margot has written an insightful analysis of the administrative law that has arguably created the lack of public input in trade negotiations like TPP. Margot’s article is an important contribution to the growing body of scholarship on trade and intellectual property, and I greatly enjoyed our discussion!

Show 196, November 6, is my interview with Prof. Victoria Stodden of Columbia University on software patents and scientific transparency. Victoria has been doing vital work in this underexplored but critically important area in innovation policy. Having heard a presentation of a draft article on this topic at a recent intellectual property law scholars conference, I was excited to have Victoria on the show. We had a terrific discussion about how software patents impact the flow of information between researchers and educational institutions, and the ramifications of this reality.

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Shows 193-194 — Profs. Anupam Chander, Ian Brown and Chris Marsden — posted

I am pleased to post two more shows for this quarter. The first, Show #193, October 2 is my interview with Prof. Anupam Chander of UC Davis Law, author of the just-released book The Electronic Silk Road. Anupam has written a wonderful study of the impact of the Internet and technology more broadly on trade and the transference of culture. From the role of the Internet in allowing complex transactions to occur to the impact of the shift from goods to services, we had a wide-ranging and fun discussion. Anupam raises and questions many challenging issues and assumptions involving trade and technology, and I learned much from the book and the discussion!

My second interview, Show #194, October 16, is my interview with Chris Marsden of the University of Sussex and Ian Brown of Oxford University, authors of Regulating Code: Good Governance and Better Regulation in the Information Age. Ian and Chris have written a terrific analysis of the impact of “code” (read: technology broadly) on regulations themselves. By examining several “hard cases,” Ian and Chris offer insights into how regulatory and legislative practice might react to and change as a result of technology. We discussed copyright, regulatory processes and other high-profile issues. I greatly enjoyed our discussion!

Look for more new shows throughout November! And stay tuned for show #200!

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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 dave@hearsacyulture.com if you have any comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Thanks for listening!

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Shows 187 and 188 — Prof. David Opderbeck and Ron Epstein — posted

I’m pleased to post the first two shows of the summer quarter. The first, Show #187, July 3, is my interview with Prof. Dave Opderbeck of Seton Hall Law School on FISA courts and NSA surveillance. David recently created a dataset which shows that very few government requests have been denied by the FISA court. While it may be tempting to dismiss this conclusion as obvious, it is useful to explore it in more depth. And so we did, discussing the role of the FISA court and its relationship to the Snowden/PRISM affair, and the implications of the data, political, social and legal. I enjoyed the interview.

The second show, Show #188, July 10, is my interview with Ron Epstein, CEO of EpicenterIP, on non-practicing entities/patent trolls, or as Ron puts it, “patent investors.” Ron is one of the most prominent people in this highly controversial world of patent investing and arbitrage. Regardless of the monicker placed on the activity, the purchase of patent portfolios raises fascinating questions regarding the role of patents in our economy and the limits of permissible use of the monopoly power that it confers. We explored the range of these questions, and I greatly enjoyed the discussion.

Look for more shows to be posted in a week or so, and thanks for listening!

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Shows 182-186 — Prof. Dan Trottier, Oliver Day, Derek Khanna, Virginia Crisp and Prof. Vance Ricks — posted

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 request@help.securingchange.org, 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!

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shows 178-181 — Eran Kahana, Prof. Gabriella Coleman, Dean Anne Balsamo and David Seubert — posted

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 dave@hearsayculture.com. Thanks, as always, for listening!

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Shows #175-177 — Amardeep Singh, Stefan Larsson, Marcin de Kaminski and Prof. Tom Streeter — posted

A semester of much administrative and other work left little time for posting new shows, even though they were “in the can” and even aired on KZSU-FM, Hearsay Culture’s home station. So, as a holiday gift, I’m now posting the last three shows of the fall quarter.

The first show, Show #175, October 17, is my interview with Amardeep Singh, Director of National Programs at the Sikh Coalition. Amar is one of the co-founders of the main organizations representing the Sikh community in the United States. A classmate of mine from Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Amar was class of 1997; I was class of 1998), Amar has focused on increasing awareness and understanding of the Sikh community. In our discussion, we discussed hate speech on the Internet, cyberbullying and other challenges facing the Sikh community post 9/11.

Show #176, November 6, is my interview with Stefan Larsson and Marcin de Kaminski of Lund University. We discussed their work on copyright infringement/piracy and Pirate Bay in Sweden. Marcin and Stefan are two of Sweden’s highly-active scholars examining Sweden’s copyright and technology culture, and their work is unique in its empirical scope and depth. We had a wide ranging discussion and I look forward to more interaction with these dynamic thinkers.

Finally, Show #177, November 20, is my interview with Prof. Tom Streeter of the University of Vermont, author of the book The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism and the Internet. Tom’s book is a phenomenal social history of the development of the Internet, from its well-known inception at DARPA to its lesser-known incarnations in World War II policymaking. Tom’s does a terrific job melding this social history into a highly-readable and thoroughly-researched assessment of what the Internet is, and what it isn’t. I highly enjoyed both Tom’s book and the interview, and I hope that you find Tom and our interview as illuminating as I have.

The schedule for the winter quarter 2013 will be posted soon; look for new shows beginning the week of January 14. Happy new year!

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