WUNC highlights the creative importance of the Public Domain

WUNC is a fantastic resource for all manner of news and analysis, and I’m not just talking about the excellent NPR programming they carry.

The State of Things is one of North Carolina’s local treasures—valuable because it uncovers daily the local treasures of our state.  Professor Jamie Boyle is one of the great thinkers, writers, and speakers about the topic of copyright, culture, and the Public Domain.  Here’s the blurb for today’s show:

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Scott Simon gets the truth from Terrence Howard

Check out this quote that Scott Simon gets from his interview with Terrence Howard on October 18, 2008.

When I first started acting, I thought it was about the best liar.  I thought the best liar was the best actor. But it’s the best truth-teller. To find the truth on those pages of black and white and to believe in it so much. It has to be honest; it has to be truthful.

Didn’t Wynton Marsalis just say the same thing about Jazz?  Remarkable…

Why Dissonance is the new Harmony (a lesson in Authenticity)

I’ve always had a soft spot for Youth Radio on NPR, but What’s is the new What? has taken that affection to a whole new level.  The story Dissonance is the new Harmony prompted me to set a bookmark that day and commit to blog it when I had the chance.  Now I have the chance…

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My first five minutes with James Taylor

James Taylor -- Covers James Taylor has been a blessing to me since hearing his records in high school more than 20 years ago.  While I did also listen to music that was louder (Jimi Hendrix) or bigger (Led Zepplin) or more highly produced (The Beatles), his voice, his guitar playing, and the lyrics he sang combined to create  for me a touchstone of musical purity and beauty that actually sustained me through some deep and dark noreastern winters.  So James, if you are reading this, thank you!

This year James Taylor is promoting Covers, a new album of old music he didn’t write.  And as he explains in the liner notes of his CD, that’s nothing new.  And there’s yet more “everything old is new again” as he talks about his recording process…

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In Defense of Piracy (Larry Lessig)

Larry Lessig is always writing great blog postings, and I have him in my blogroll so that his ideas are easy to access.  However, I’m blogging his essay In Defense Of Piracy specifically because it was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, meaning that perhaps some of the people who should be reading his work might have seen it.  I think he’s spot-on.

And I think his essay exemplifies, in a more contemporaneous way, the ideas I put forward as part of my Ars Electronica paper.

Go read both!

The Art of Possibility

Book: The Art of PossibilityA few years ago my wife Amy was encouraged on short notice to attend a lecture by Benjamin Zander; due to non-existent publicity for the event they needed seat fillers at UNC’s Memorial Hall.

Despite the limited audience (Zander writes that he is equally enthusiastic when speaking to five people as he is 1500), Zander’s message of enthusiastic optimism and positive tranformation had her calling me on my cell phone before she even got home.

I read the book from which the lecture was given shortly thereafter, and I, too was moved by its inspirational messages. Last night, as I prepared to listen to James Ehnes play the solo role in Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky’s always-dazzling Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 35 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thompon Hall, I thought again about the many lessons of Zander’s work and how they are more relevant than ever.

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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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