inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #76 of 95: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Mon 22 Aug 05 07:10
#75 hidden for length and possible diversion of the conversation.
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #77 of 95: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Mon 22 Aug 05 09:30
I'm fascinated by the psychological facets of Bruce Forest.

There are a lot of "collectors" like that, i'm sure. How many are pushing
that sort of marketing approach, though? It's a very serious buzz that could
be built that way....
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #78 of 95: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Mon 22 Aug 05 15:34
John Adams writes from off-Well:

A bit off-topic for J. D. Lasica's discussion...
....but I thought I'd let you make the call. This'll be going up at my
weblog at O'Reilly shortly (I'm going to let my editor glance at the
sentence in another section where I refer to someone as ruthless). If this
is on-topic enough, it's postable; if it's slightly off-topic but worth
seeing, or if you want it in all its linky marked-up goodness, I'll send you
a link when it's up; if you think I've veered pretty far off, let it go.

Garth Brooks: Now we get to the scary stuff. Garth Brooks has changed
labels. He's dropped EMI Capitol in favor of...make sure you're
fact, let me ROT-13 it for you: Jny-Zneg.

That's right. If you want your new Garth Brooks multi-disc set, you have to
go to Wal-Mart. From Anita French's story:

Wal-Mart's deal with Brooks marks the first time an artist has aligned his
entire catalog with one chain. Although neither Brooks nor Wal-Mart would
comment on the first arrival under the pact, industry sources say that it
will be a multiple-disc box set including previously unreleased material.
As Ebeneezer Scrooge's old business partner, Sam Marley, used to sing as he
counted the day's receipts:

If you are a long tail
Then I am a short axe
Sharpened to cut off your head
Ready to cut off your head

I haven't done the calculations, but I'd guess there are two or three
hundred acts for whom a deal like this would make sense strictly on their
numbers. Probably a third of them are too tied to their current contracts to
make such a deal, and of those remaining, probably half of them aren't
suitable for reasons of demographics, content, or philosophical
disagreement. (Survey question: Who is more hated, the recording industry or
Wal-Mart?) That leaves around a hundred top acts ready, willing, and able to
divert those obscene profits away from the record companies. Isn't that
great news?
Is Amazon cut out of the deal? Apparently so. The deal covers Wal-Mart,, and Sam's Club. What about Apple--will Garth Brooks downloads
come from only? That's not yet clear.

Wal-Mart related? What isn't?


      John A
      see me fulminate at
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #79 of 95: JD Lasica (jd) Mon 22 Aug 05 17:25
Wow, a lot of subjects here to contend with.

First, check out nukem777's Hidden Response, well worth reading. In
which he aptly describes the changing of the cultural guard as we
transition from the analog age of scarcity into a cut-and-paste digital
world where bits are abundant. 

In a agree that a wakeup call and blowback are going to a blosophere
near you, courtesy of Hollywood and the entrenched media, who are going
to use all the laws and regulations they so lavishly paid for. I don't
think it will be the EFF that defines the rules of the cyberroad --
instead, I think it will be the hundreds of thousands (soon millions)
of us participating in citizen media sites like,, Odeo, Brightcove, Akimbo, Bayosphere and other places
where this intersection is happening most directly. 

It's nice to think that we'll be able to come to a meeting of the
minds about these new societal realities in order to form a more
perfect holistic union. But I think politics is about power, and that's
why in the short run we're at a disadvantage. Until we mobilize
ordinary users of digital technologies and educate them about what's at
stake, the advantage will lie with Hollywood and big media, and it
will take 10 or more years for "our" side to level the playing field.
(The hostility on Capitol Hill to many of the views we take for granted
is palpable.)

As for Garth Brooks, Wal-mart, Amazon, iTunes and the major record
labels: I think we're seeing the beginning of an epic battle for
artists' hearts, minds and wallets. Once a few first movers blaze the
trail and show that such a move can be financially lucrative, get off
the street because you'll see a stampede. 
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #80 of 95: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Mon 22 Aug 05 18:11
Welp, then, I guess we need to tie our agenda into our new media-savvy
type politicos running under the progressive banner the next few
elections. And support those who actually are tech-savvy and aware of
some of the issues already representing us or someone like us in
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #81 of 95: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 22 Aug 05 19:18
JD, how has the Digital Millennium Copyright Act gone beyond issues of
infringement, and been used to stifle competition?
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #82 of 95: JD Lasica (jd) Mon 22 Aug 05 22:48
Corporations are increasingly using the DMCA to protect their brands
and their bottom lines from assault in cases that have nothing to do
with traditional infringement:

- When financial hardship led Jose Avila to build furniture from FedEx
packing materials and to post photos of his works on his website, FedEx's legal department came after him
under the DMCA.

- When the company Health Advocate was upset that users could unearth
web pages dating back to 1999 using the Internet Archive's Wayback
Machine, it filed a suit, partly under the DMCA.

- Lots of other examples involving garage door openers and the like.

In "Darknet" I focused not on these absurd examples of corporate
hijinks, but on the ways in which the DMCA empowers corporations -- at
the expense of the public -- to lock down their products, gadgets and
content in ways that have never been possible before, adding the layer
of federal law on top of technological restrictions. Princeton Prof.
Edward Felten (who writes the Freedom to Tinker blog) says the DMCA
essentially turns the gizmos we buy into "black boxes" that we are
forbidden to take apart or tinker with, a dramatic departure from what
society has been doing for generations. He's right.
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #83 of 95: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Tue 23 Aug 05 07:48
Europe just disallowed Microsoft's ability to use their thousands of
patents to stifle competition and free trade. Can you talk a bit about
the way Europe and Asia approach free trade and how their business
practices will both be taken into account and influence the development
of these issues once we break out of our own economic/political

Another way of looking at this is that there is a battle going on here
in the homeland (Hollywood, etc. and all their various proxies and
minions in Congress) and then there is the rest of the world. On the
one hand we intend to influence the rest of the world by what we
temporize in Congress regarding fair use, file trading, etc. On the
other, the world is doing business in fairly different and creative
ways and just may not play ball, rather may have the final say or at
least a large influence on what finally results.

File traders, purchasers, and content providers are now without
borders, so just because Washington says it's got to be their way does
not make it necessarily so. Hollywood seems to want to take the old
road and tie everyone up in court, but the sheer numbers of new sites,
files and users will eventually overwhelm even their lawyers and make
it economically disadvantageous to pursue that course of action. It
will take a while, but one strategy is to feed that fire.
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #84 of 95: JD Lasica (jd) Tue 23 Aug 05 12:31
I intentionally avoided discussion of patents in "Darknet" because
other authors have covered the topic and copyright was a tough enough
subject to make accessible to a general audience without delving into

You're quite right, nukem, that U.S. laws stop at the border and the
rest of the world may not way to play ball. But more and more countries
are surprisingly caving in to the U.S. government's approach to
intellectual property, alas, and ignoring their own traditions. The
Berne convention and WIPO treaties seek to "harmonize" IP laws across
borders, which is just another way of saying that the U.S. is bullying
Europe, Australia and other regions to extend the length of copyright
protections to meet the U.S.'s criteria (95 years for a corporation, or
70 years after the death of an author). 

Here's a recent Wired News story about the Europen Union's efforts to
make indirect copyright infringement a crime across Europe:,1283,68418,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstori

As for "feeding the fire" ... while I don't advocate darknet activity,
I think it's inevitable that millions of people will be doing
precisely that if the laws become unreasonable in their countries. 

What I do advocate is people taking up the tools of digital creativity
to rip, mix and burn their culture. The more people who do that, the
less likely legislators will be to try to turn back the clock on what
we're becoming accustomed to doing in the digital age.
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #85 of 95: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Wed 24 Aug 05 22:30

well, apparently someone at Warner Brothers Music is getting it.
Interestingly, they are allowing the artists to retain ownership of the
recordings and copyrights, pretty much what you have been talking
about (jd).
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #86 of 95: JD Lasica (jd) Thu 25 Aug 05 12:34
That's welcome (and unexpected) news, nukem, thanks for pointing it
out. It will take years, but all the music companies will eventually
pursue a similar path.
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #87 of 95: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 25 Aug 05 16:52
We've talked a lot about the legal and technical implications of
digital distribution, but what are the cultural implications? Assuming
we "win" and IP is seen more realistically for the digital world we're
sloshing around in, what will that world look like, ultimately?
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #88 of 95: JD Lasica (jd) Thu 25 Aug 05 20:23
Great question, Jon. I think we're in for a transitional decade
immediately ahead, with the digital culture wars heating up for several
years before the kids who are growing up with this technology today
and internalizing it come into positions of power and influence.

When that happens, it will be a world where ubiquity trumps scarcity,
openness wins out over closed proprietary systems, digital content and
media are not device-dependent, and content moves fluidly from one
manifestation (a handheld device) to another (a 50-foot projection
wall). We'll carry around libraries of media with us, on keychains or
as fashion accessories. And we'll be able to access media that are not
in our personal collections on demand, some of it paid, some of it

I like the comment of pho founder Jim Griffin, whom I quote in the
book verily:

"The kind of media world our kids grow up in will be so different from
our own, but to them, it will just be the natural order of things.
They’ll grow up in a world where entertainment and most art and
intellectual property will be fluid and friction-free. The idea that a
song could be recorded and moved effortlessly over a network or even
wirelessly to a cell phone will seem normal. And the idea that this can
be stopped—through legislation or a piece of software code or a
shrink-wrap contract or a misleading educational campaign—will be
preposterous to them.”
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #89 of 95: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Fri 26 Aug 05 07:09
Great overview (jd)...something quite basic will be changing as well,
the collective consciousness...this new remix, digital post-human
generation will not only live within a completely new and assumed
technological model, but also a new eidetic (way of knowing) model...a
collective consciousness, rather than the traditional model of each
individual absorbing and integrating as much or as little knowledge as will be readily available, easily searchable - by bot!
-and as easily shared; collaboration and an assumed global connectivity
will be simply a given. So one big shift will be the individual's
intuitive understanding that (s)he is a part a shared consciousness,
rather than the more existential situation of the past 200 years or so.

I think that's how it's going to go? This will lead to all sorts of
new models regarding learning, vocation, social organization, etc. We
are already seeing it in the new social models like Omidyar and many
others. Now that blogs are using RSS feeds and back tracking this borg
-like model should develop fairly quickly.

This is more of a sense of what's up, there's no way for us old dogs
to really get a handle on it, one, because we just don't think that
way, and, two, because as the new post-human generation comes into
their own they will define and develop the models as they go, so it's
too early to get a fix.
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #90 of 95: Hal Royaltey (hal) Fri 26 Aug 05 11:56
I'll just slip in here to thank JD and Jon for a great interview.

Our two weeks have passed far too quickly.   Luckily the conversation
can, in typical WELL style, go on for much longer.   Off-WELL
posters may continue to submit comments to the hosts (
and WELL members may post away.   

Thanks again guys!
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #91 of 95: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 26 Aug 05 11:59
Fascinating stuff. Thanks!
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #92 of 95: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 26 Aug 05 13:28
Thanks, Hal, and thanks to JD and everyone who joined the
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #93 of 95: It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Fri 26 Aug 05 15:26
thanks (jonl) for your excellent moderation and (jd) for a great look
at an some important issues facing the digital world.
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #94 of 95: JD Lasica (jd) Sun 28 Aug 05 01:47
Always an honor to engage in an elevated discourse with members of the

Yes, let's continue the conversation, on the WELL and, by
contributing your own works to citizens media sites like, and, and by supporting groups fighting the
good fight, like and!
inkwell.vue.252 : JD Lasica "Darknet"
permalink #95 of 95: Emily J. Gertz (emilyg) Mon 29 Aug 05 01:02

Thanks jon and jd, for the excellent interview.

Members: Enter the conference to participate. All posts made in this conference are world-readable.

Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

   Join Us
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook