Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
GNU is Not Unix The Internet Your Rights Online Technology

Take Part In The Internet Commons Congress, Mar. 24-25 19

Jay Sulzberger (of New Yorkers for Fair Use) writes: "The Internet Commons Congress 2004 will start at 8:45 am on 24 March in the University of Maryland's Shady Grove campus complex. It will run until the evening of 25 March 2004. Dan Berninger and New Yorkers for Fair Use organized the ICC 2004 because we are extreme optimists: We believe that if we pull together more than we have so far, and if we organize better than we have so far, we can explain to regulators, to U.S. Congressfolk, to reporters, and to most citizens, the most basic facts of our situation. We want more people to know what we know; we want them to know of the world wide culture of freedom and enterprise and engineering that created home computers and that made the Net." (Read on for more.)

"This means conveying some 'technical' facts about the boot process for home computers, and also some 'technical' facts about copyright law in the United States of America, and much more.

In the next few days, descriptions of various projects we need help with will go up on the ICC web sites. Right now, we need places for people to stay near the ICC site, which is in Shady Grove, Maryland. We also need at least one person who can show us a free operating system running on the Xbox, and we'd like to see a St. Ignucious-certifiable OS running on Apple hardware. We need some adepts to help with the gavel-to-gavel audio coverage. We are going to need folks to write to their Representatives and Senators, and more, visit with them and talk with them. If you want to help, write to, and include the string 'ICC Volunteer' in the subject line." Here's NYFU's page on the gathering.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Take Part In The Internet Commons Congress, Mar. 24-25

Comments Filter:
  • by jezor ( 51922 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @01:32PM (#8600364) Homepage
    While I applaud the increased awareness by technology professionals about the legal and regulatory environment in which we all must work, I wonder whether NYFU is perhaps confusing politics and commerce in its Call to General Assembly []. After all, while there are legitimate political discussions to be had on the jurisdiction and scope of the FCC and its actions, as well as the balance between national security and personal privacy, do these key questions really deserve to be joined with a debate about Microsoft's contracting practice or SCO's IP claims? I would argue that they do not, and that joining them threatens to weaken legitimate discourse and overgeneralizes about the "Internet community" to which this Call to General Assembly is directed.

    Looking at this Call to General Assembly, I find myself pondering exactly what NYFU is trying to be. Is it based upon a political view of overreaching and naive governmental officials, and if so, is this limited to Internet issues? Are they espousing a belief in the technical superiority of open source over closed source software and, if so, what relevance is the "Bio-Medical Cartel" and similar hyperbolic language? Are they objecting to the substance of SCO's IP claims, with some broader conspiracy theory involving Microsoft? If their answer is "all of the above," I think they are being counterproductive. Each of these views is certainly worth discussing, but they seem to have little relationship among them beyond the fact that some technology professionals hold them as true.

    For myself, as an attorney and law professor [] interested in issues of technology rights and risks, I am turned off by the exaggeration and mix of issues presented in this Call. I also believe that NYFU is doing both itself and its cause(s) a profound disservice by presenting its ideas as a conspiratorialist rant filled with references to "tyrannical governments", "barratry and red-baiting" and cartels and oligopolies.

    What do the rest of you think? {Professor Jonathan}
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It seems to me that this conflation is not all that nonsensical. While I do agree with you that they are mixing the issues and that they are taking a definite stand on them I see nothing wrong with discussing all of these at a single event. All of the issues that they list are real and, even though they all may require different means to address them they should still be addressed.
    • by krysith ( 648105 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @02:53PM (#8601490) Journal
      While I agree with you that some of the language ("Bio-Medical Cartel" etc.) is perhaps hyperbolic and inflammatory, I can see how there is a natural interest in combining these subjects into a single conference. Essentially they are all about what one might call 'stealing from the commons', or privatizing public property or rights, esp. with regards to intellectual property and rights. That is what NYFU are arguing, whether it is the right of a person to control what happens on a PC they own, or the IP land grab which has occured as a result of copyright extension.

      Saying that they should be dealt with as separate subjects is like saying that the founding fathers should have held separate conferences for each of the amendments in the Bill of Rights:
      "Well, I can see how a well regulated militia might be necessary, but we shouldn't muddy that with the issue of the soveriegn quartering soldiers in our houses".
      • The Bio-Medical Cartel are mentioned because they everyday impact fair use and the public domain in a negative way. Bio-Medical reesearch is done with public funding by way of government grants to university research labs. This work that was paid for by tax payer dollars is then often sold off to the BM Cartel who lock it away from public use with either patents or copyright depending on the work. The company that has a lock on the technology then sells it at a high price to the public.

        Since the public

    • Hi, Jonathan!

      We would love to have you come down to Shady Grove next week on the 24th and the 25th to talk with us about your doubts as to the strict accuracy of all our claims. Today you and I can boot a free OS on a computer we paid money to take out of CompUSA. No one one will say us nay, not by law, and not by electronics, and not by any interaction of law and electronics. Admittedly, we both know Aproned Masters who would help us, else perhaps we'd not succeed in this paradigm of private ownership
    • In many ways, there is no difference between politics and commerce. The government is well on its way to increasing technology regulations. If a regulation comes down that "for the good of the industry" we all have to conform to .NET, it would have a major impact on commerce. That's just a far-fetched example. As more minor regulations are handed down, minor negative impacts are experienced. Computer technolog has benefited greatly from limited government intervention. Don't mention computer/internet origin
    • It's expensive to hold lots of separate conferences, for the attendees and organizers. All of the topics relate to intellectual property and technology, or a new term I've been seeing pop up, "Law of Information."

      Regarding the rhetoric, all of these groups tread a little bit on the side of radicalism - they overstate their side in order to make a point. I chalk this up to the maxim "openers aren't closers."

      Unfortunately I have a number of other things to be doing on those two days, or else I would go.

  • Frankly, if you want to impress the meat world, hacking together a flash conference [] isn't the way to do it. Proper organization, proper presentation, and proper appearance are the keys. If they can pull it off, it'll be a neat hack, but will look like what it is, a mob gathering with no center, no purpose, and guidance.

    Legislators and public opinion aren't swayed by such.

  • #1 If you want to appeal to Americans at least try to act like one. We write dates in the format of MM/DD/YYYY. Putting the date before the month makes you look like a euro wannabe. I was put off immediately. You are not better than anyone; you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

    #2 What's a 'technical' fact? Are these facts or not? A 'technical' fact sounds like something Comic Book Guy would pop in to point out. "Well technically Spider-man is a mutant, but not the same as the X-Men." WTF?

  • by Facekhan ( 445017 ) on Friday March 19, 2004 @04:25AM (#8607698)
    Finally something cool happening at Shady Grove.
    We should have a geek get together. I have lived 5 minutes away for most of my life and not one thing has ever happened there cause its just a small satelite campus with a handful of majors.

    Easy directions: points North West I70 to I270, get off at Shady Grove heading South and continue 3 miles till you see a sign for the campus after crossing Darnestown Rd.

    points South, North-East, I95 to I495 to I270 get off at Shady Grove heading South and continue 3 miles till you see a sign for the campus after crossing Darnestown Rd.

  • See also...
    fair use
    Historical off air recordings


    at [] s/arsclist/ []
  • For those that can not make it to the Internet Commons Congress [] in person New Yorkers For Fair Use [] will be transmitting streaming Ogg audio of the whole event. You can get a streaming audio player that plays Ogg streams at [].

    Check this page [] on conference day for a list of icecast servers. In the mean time you can test your player on one of the below streams.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.