Welcomed home by Stanley Jordan (and Bob Edwards)

Joi Ito invited me to be a speaker at the 2008 Ars Electronica Symposium and Festival, held each year in Linz, Austria. I chose to speak about Music, Software, and Sustainable Culture, tying together my free software and free culture sensibilities. But after discharging those responsibilities, and after meeting tons of new people and sharing lots of new information, it was time to come home.

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Ars Electronica 2008: Music, Software, and Sustainable Culture

The following blog posting is an electronic version of the paper I presented at the Ars Electronica 2008 Symposium.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!  You can also download the pdf file.

Music, Software, and Sustainable Culture

Michael Tiemann

“A Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.”

—President Franklin D. Roosevelt
A letter sent to Governors on February 26, 1937

If we are to discuss the limits of intellectual property in the age of a new cultural economy (or vice-versa, the question of what new cultural economy can exist within the limits of modern-day intellectual property), we must first define the nature of these two subjects. Only then can we describe and then reason about their relationships and interactions with one another.

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Should the US write the laws controlling world culture?

“If Hollywood could order intellectual property laws for Christmas, what would they look like? This is pretty close.”

ACTA is short for Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and, “that’s how David Fewer, staff counsel at the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), summed it up,” said p2pnet.

In another article, “America isn’t becoming a police state,” we said. “It’s turning into a massive entertainment division run by a handful of corporate dinosaurs fronted by groups of corrupt executive politicians.”

Text of the full article.

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Seeds of Shakti grow in Durham

John Heitzenrater teaches sarongPage counts and advertising revenues may be down at our local newspaper, the News and Observer, but we still subscribe because it still brings us a lot of good news, reporting, and commentary.  This morning I read a particularly inspiring article about John Heitzenrater, an expert in South Asian instruments.

The article begins by noting that Heitzenrater’s roots are Swedish, his accent American, “[but] when John Heitzenrater fiercely strums the sarod, the music resonates, transcending geographical and ideological boundaries.”

It turns out that Heitzenrater was inspired by one of the great boundary-trascendents, John McLaughlin

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Week 36 (RPG blocks delivered, prep for grading process)

20 pallets of RPG blocks arrived late last week, 12 pallets of 12″ blocks (which will become the frieze and the columns in the Music Room) and 8 pallets of 8″ blocks (which will provide diffusion below the soffits in the control room, booths A and B, and below the control room window in the Music Room).

8″ RPG Blocks 12″ RPG Blocks

Meanwhile, we’ve begun the concrete task of grading the blocks, which is a bit like playing a game of duplicate bridge…

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