Climate March 2014

On Sunday, September 21st, 2014 I marched through the streets of Manhattan with hundreds of thousands of people. It was a thrilling event and I’m proud to say I was a part of it. To get a sense of the march, you should watch the video I created above. A friend who marched with me is responsible for capturing the audio. Below, you’ll read my opinion on what will hopefully be a march that will affect change.

327A1224Frankly, I’m disappointed by the lack of media attention this march has received. I’m also bummed by an article entitled, “The People’s Climate March May Have Been Huge, But It Wasn’t Historic” written by a woman whom I respect, Natasha Lennard. In the article she notes that she did not attend because she prefers “protests to parades” and “scowled at adverts aimed at drawing numbers to march” while riding the subway. I see her point. I suppose I’m still just a bit naive to think these adverts are incredibly cool. When I first saw them, I didn’t think about the vast amount of money it must have cost to plaster trains in New York City with ads.

I’m consoled by the thought that this is natural for movements of any kind. Civil rights still haven’t taken a firm grasp on people’s hearts and minds despite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts of decades past. Sure our nation has made some progress, but as evidenced by the recent shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO we still have a ways to go. Gay rights are making progress too. Many states are now recognizing same sex marriage and all of the corresponding benefits thereof are beginning to be endowed to couples who have been together for many years. My point here is that these fights – civil and sexual orientation rights – have been a long time in the making, but the people behind these movements have no choice but to fight. I agree with them. Were I to be in their situation I would do all I could to make sure my country and my government respected me and those of like orientation. I think these people are on the right side of history. I believe in my heart that they are doing the right thing.

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Without binding legislation from the United States, and the world for that matter, humans won’t be around long enough to make sure the other social issues are resolved for our descendants to witness. It will all be for naught. I don’t like that this is even a possibility. Because I want to see the human race begin to at least understand this is a defining issue for all, I am committed to learning how I can become a squeaky wheel. The first step for me was to march and interact with people of like mind. I became inspired. Watching the video above helps me relive the moment and remember why this is important.

Lennard closes her article by saying, “[W]e should not foreclose the possibility of an exciting political moment emerging, rooted to climate activism and undergirded by anti-capitalism.” She finishes by admitting she is hopeful that this is not the last event to protest the current handling of climate change policy. It seems to me Lennard is asking for more less-organized, police-friendly protests. I agree with her. While it is a shame that marches of this magnitude are less historic than just a few thousand people dressed in blue causing havoc on Wall Street, it’s true and protestors need to understand that.  I refuse to become jaded by the fact that this issue isn’t currently capturing by the media. That shouldn’t be a reason to give up.

A very powerful line was at the beginning of a documentary film about Climate Change I saw called Disruption.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.”

Frederick Douglas said that during a speech he gave in 1857. The title, ever-so prescient is, “If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress.” Then here’s to the struggle friends! Please join me in raising your voice to make sure we let our elected leaders know precisely where we stand on this issue. We may not have the kind of cash that moves the needle of influence, but together we have votes, and when mobilized, that will always be more powerful.

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My experience at charity: water

charity_water_1During the fall of 2011 I worked as a multimedia production intern for charity: water. It was an honor to be selected to work for such an amazing non-profit organization. Charity: water’s donation strategy is one that I think should serve as an example for anyone seeking to begin their own non-profit company.


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I ran my own campaign and raised $2,132. Having worked for them and experienced how important water is, I was thrilled to have accomplished this.


charity-water-small Below are a few examples of writing and photography work I did. I was really inspired to be in touch with each of these people and see how they were working to raise awareness about the water crisis in their own unique ways.

 



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1. Campaign to Watch: Weaving for Water

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 2. Meet the Fall 2011 Interns!

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 3. Campaign to Watch: 100 Apparel

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 4. Campaign to Watch: Love Through Photography

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 5. Campaign to Watch: A Long Run

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 6. Campaign to Watch: Read-a-thon for Clean Water

CW 5TH BDAY

 7. charity: water is 5 years old!

CW 5TH BDAY WRAP8. charity: water’s Fifth Birthday Party

CONCERT REVIEW: St. Vincent live in Brooklyn

I fully recommend reading the Village Voice’s review of the St. Vincent show. If it’s possible to recommend something more than fully, that’s what I’m doing when I say you should make a beeline to see this incredible artist the next time she gracious your city with her presence. It’s more than “fully recommend,” but less than “implore.” It’s clunky to say I only slightly less than implore you to go see St. Vincent. Hopefully you understand my sentiment.  I’m a firm believer in showing something being a better way of explaining than simply writing, but without you going to see her play, you’ll just have to read my glow words. Here’s how I would describe the show.

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Thirteen minutes into the set, after only 3 songs, she addressed the crowd for what would be the only time for the whole night. She said some really cool things. It seemed slightly rehearsed, but I’m okay with that. I don’t know why that’s true. I think there is real beauty in the improvisation that comes with seeing an artist live. But it’s totally acceptable with her. She explained why she’s so precise.

“People have spent money on a ticket, and maybe that money is the equivalent of them spending a day of their life at their job, or half a day. Money is absolutely time.”

I totally agree. This show was free though, so the whole pay thing doesn’t hold true, but I think her thought is respectable whether one is paying for a ticket or not. Reading this only helped confirm my fascination and respect for her. Sorry, you’re wanting my description of the show. Here goes.

Seeing St. Vincent live at the Prospect Park bandshell was a profound experience for me. I won’t use words like “epic,” “literally,” “actually,” “mind-blowing” or “awesome.” I think I can do better than that, and I think she deserves to be described in a unique way because her stage presence is like nothing I’ve ever seen. She completely encompasses the entire spectrum of human stage personality. She’s at one point aloof while shooting lasers from her guitar like Jack White and Tom Morello’s younger sister, and then she’s strumming softly and singing lullabies like Nina Simone and Neko Case’s cousin. I don’t know why she’s a cousin to two other women and a sister to two men. I didn’t want to be repetitive, simply put. Please don’t think me sexist.

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Back to the description. The closest physical experience I can compare her too is if you’ve had the opportunity to slide into a pool from a hot tub. I did this myself once while vacationing in Maui. Often times, the two are separated by a few feet of concrete pool deck. Not at the place I was staying. The hot tub had a circular wall that on one side was hot water and the other cool water. There’s a real thrill in jumping from hot to cool water, but it’s a different brand of thrill when you just slip easily from one temperature extreme to the other. That, to me, is how St. Vincent’s performance felt. She is jamming with some serious throbbing base lines and percussion while her guitar is screaming shards of glass, and then she’s not. She’s perched atop a three-tiered supra stage upon the main stage finger picking her guitar, singing a lovely ballad whilst five white spot lights illuminate her lithe figure. She’s wearing black leggings and a short black skirt, standing feet wider than shoulder length apart and wearing a milky white blouse. Her hair, of course, is a white and light-grey, lavender combination of straightened joy.


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The following is a YouTube video containing only the audio of the show in its entirety. I suggest listening to the first three songs. The first song has an extended intro. It’s the first song on her new album so it was nice to see her get off to a nice start and jam out a bit to get herself, and all of those watching, loose and ready to tap our toes. It worked. Then she went right into “Digital Witness.” If you must, you can skip ahead to her one and only address to the crowd at approximately 13:05. She had such interesting things to say. So matter of fact and basic. If you continue to listen you’ll see what I’m talking about with her guitar playing skills. Keep in mind that she’s singing in an effortless way while playing guitar. Start listening at 50:30 to hear her doing something really cool with a rest. On the album, this kill lasts for a beat and a half. Here she makes it last for far too long causing the crowd to understand what she’s doing and cheer her on. This was one of my favorite moments. Beauty in the silence. She triggers the rest of the band that she’s going back into the song by audibly inhaling. She plays oh-so-delicately for her first encore song at 1:06:23. The actual shredding really gets during her song, “Red Lips” which starts at 1:14:10. This song goes from all to nothing to all to not much to a small lullaby to unbelievably intricate guitar wails to a wall of delightful sound. Kudos to the drummer for keeping the vibe going. She jumped into the crowd for the solo and played while folks in the audience held her while she played.This is quite a way to end a show. She’s not quite done though, friends. Once she gets back on stage, she finishes the song.

St. Vincent gets a resounding A+ from me. I was laughing with joy and smiling for the entire show. I was amazed by her artistry and skill. Again, if she comes to your city, go see her.

 

Music That Makes Me Say “Yep!”

FULL DISCLOSURE: I started writing this blog on 7/25/14. Believe it or not some of my favorites have changed between then and now (8/9/14). I’m going to leave the two songs I’ve written about already (Pantera and Jamiroquai) because I did a lot of research to fully articulate my opinion with images and video. A couple of songs have since been swapped though. System of a Down’s song “Sugar” has been swapped with Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.”  311’s song “Hive” has been replaced with Neko Case’s “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu.” On to the critiques!

I think these songs and musicians are incredible. They move me in a way that I can’t quite describe – but I will do my best. Everyone has a band or a song that makes them uncontrollably tap their toe. Entire playlists have been made dedicated to this very phenomenon. I write this in case there is ever a point in my life where my friends choose to make a podcast containing songs they know I love. That’s already happened once and it was a tribute executed to perfection. Without further ado, here are the songs that make me say, “Yep!”

1. Pantera “This Love”

I include this version for two reasons. 1. It has lyrics, and 2. It’s the full song. I guess making the video for the six and a half minute version from the album was unacceptable. Ok, whatever. Cutting out the two minutes to shorten the length is a foolish decision in my opinion. It cuts out the best part of the song! At 3:01 when Phil screams, “No more head trips!” I fully enjoy what comes next. The guitar solo is incredible and the drums! Man, I love how they fill the rests with ultra-snappy snare hits. Throughout this song the guitar has a beautiful tone. I like how it goes from clean and dark to ultra-distorted and manic. I remember playing this song on a cruise I went on. I was a teenager at the time and we were allowed to play songs from CDs (those were the days!) we brought with us. No one dug this song, but me. It was so cool to hear it thumping through the fully legit dance floor speakers. Can you guess who was the only one on the dance floor flinging themselves about for the entire length of the song? I’ll give you three guesses, but the first two don’t count. My one criticism of this song is the way it ends. It’s nice if you listen to it only once or as part of the album, but if you want to listen to it a lot and put it on a playlist, the slow fade out at the end gets boring.

2. Jack White “Black Bat Licorice”

Believe it or not, I used to not like Jack White or his band, The White Stripes. But, boy oh boy did I change my tune when I heard Ball and a Biscuit. I didn’t like The White Stripes because they didn’t have a bass player. Meg’s drumming isn’t the best, but I’ve come to accept that she is uniquely qualified to play with such a disarmingly talented man as Jack. The song above – from his new solo album, Lazaretto – stands out to me. It has a really good beat, and as usual, Jack’s lyrics are incredible.

I like lyrics that help me learn something. This song is full of that. Here are a couple of examples.

1. “…she’s built for speed like a black castrum doloris”

Do you know what a black castrum doloris is? I didn’t until I looked it up. Apparently it’s latin for “castle of grief.” Wikipedia says, “These are structures and decorations sheltering or accompanying the catafalque or bier that signify the prestige or high estate of the deceased.” Below is a picture of an example.

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2. “My feet are burning like a Roman hypocaust”

Roman hypocaust? What the heck is that? A hypocaust (Latin hypocaustum) was an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air.

3. “She writes letters like a Jack Chick comic”

I know my comics pretty well, but I’ve never heard of Jack Chick. Wikipedia says:

“Jack Thomas Chick (born April 13, 1924) is an American publisher, writer, and comic book artist of evangelical fundamentalist Christian tracts and comic books.[2] His comics have been described by Los Angeles magazine as “equal parts hate literature and fire-and-brimstone sermonizing.”

4. “I mean, she’s my baby but she makes me get avuncular

From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

  • of or relating to an uncle
  • suggestive of an uncle especially in kindness or geniality

5. Finally, what the heck is Black Bat Licorice? I could only find this image.

Black Bat Licorice

I guess it’s some kind of candy? I don’t know. The Google search is dominated by the song at this point. If anyone knows what it is, please let me know.

3. Jamiroquai “Cosmic Girl”

This song is just downright funky! If you’re not tapping your toe or feeling a small groove in your tummy, then I’m afraid you’re doing it wrong. This video is a little cheesy. I would have liked to see some dancing of a metaphorical “cosmic girl.” Why are there no girls in the video? I don’t get it. The cars are ok. I will forgive the lack of creativity in the video because the song is so cool. I hope you will understand.

4. Neko Case “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu”

Neko has a truly beautiful voice. When I listen to this song in headphones, it sounds like she has a digital echo/delay on some of her vocals. She does not. That is an actual person accompanying her who has the perfect pitch ability to harmonize with her. I’ve seen her perform live and was blown away by how much their voices harmonize. They harmonize even when they talk! It’s like their voices are a glove and a hand and they fit each other perfectly.

Neko explains the story behind the song on NPR. It’s a haunting story. But it’s real. And it’s poignant. And I love her for that. She explains, “I wrote the song, I sang it into my phone recorder. I tried it with music, but it just felt better a capella.” I agree, Neko Case. That’s why you’re on my list.

5. St. Vincent – Digital Witness

This video is really cool. It’s very minimalist and artistic. I love the colors. They’re muted and bold at the same time. It was her performance on SNL that really made her stick out in my mind though. Her choreography (if it can be called that) is super minimalist too. When she and her female Moog player both glance to the left in unison between “People turn the TV on / it looks just like a window…” and “…Yeah!” I’m completely moved. So moved in fact that I can’t help but do the same thing when I’m listening to this song in my head phones. I’m going to see her play a free concert at Prospect Park. I’m really looking forward to it.

6. Madonna – Hung Up

Say what you want about Madonna. I know there are a lot of people who don’t like her. I don’t understand why. I’ve never asked them why, but I get the sense that because of her omni-presence, people just want her to go away. Or because she’s old. Really? Are you going to be as fit as she is when you’re 50? Please don’t diss her for being a star. Sure she’s been out of the spotlight recently (she did release an album in 2012, but I think it fell flat). For the last 30 years she’s given the world a piece of herself. Oh and she’s also given us all a reason to let loose and dance. The opening rooftop shot in this video looks like an homage to the photo shoot she did with Richard Corman in 1983 before she became the person we know today. I had the privilege of making a video about Richard’s encounter with Madonna last year. Richard is a very humble man and is incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to photograph a woman before she became an icon.

This song has some particular memories attached to it for me. This song is on her album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, which came out in 2005. I was living in Delaware at the time. I took an adventure up to New York City with a friend. Her picture was everywhere! I remember going to Times Square and seeing the image below.

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My time in New York City was spent weaving in out of trains, hotels and people. It culminated in a party that was behind a door that did not bespeak what I was to behold behind it. Oh the fantastical things I saw! A burlesque dancing duo on a small stage no bigger than a box, a bathroom with urinals plastered to the wall in funny positions, and young people of all backgrounds. While outside on the roof I saw a man scale a building and draw graffiti art on a neighboring building. I danced the night away to some very interesting tunes. I lost track of time. Suddenly, the curtains were drawn and there was light pouring in! I checked my watch. 6:30am. Whoa! I made my way down to the street and hopped in a cab with some fellow party goers. When we got to my stop, I tried to pay, but realized I didn’t have cash. All that was in my pocket were a couple of broken cigarettes (not being a smoker, I have no clue as to how those got in there) which I offered in earnest to my compatriots. They said, “don’t worry about it man. Just get in there and get some water and sleep.” I’m thankful for their generosity and for taking it easy on my small Midwestern lamb of a self. To summarize, this song encapsulates that weekend.

7. Skrillex – Stranger

This video features some really talented dancers interpreting the beats in a very unique way. Skrillex’s first full-length album, “Recess,” is a solid musical work. Rolling Stone magazine says he’s finally worth paying attention to. I couldn’t agree more. His sound is truly unique. I used to believe that true musicians are defined by being able to play an instrument, not being able to twist knobs and press buttons. My opinion has changed. Skrillex composes beautiful songs – often on piano – before layering all kinds of bass and other sounds into the arrangement. Below is an example of a woman covering one of his most famous songs.

If he doesn’t compose his songs this way, they certainly are worth seeing covered by a pianist. Wow! Just think of this the next time you here the actual song. The big change here is the massive bass drop. I think it sounds like, “Lance OH MY GOD!” I told my friend Lance about this. He agrees, but still doesn’t care for the song.

 8. Lily Allen – Fuck You

I recently put a few more songs on my phone and Miss Lily Allen was one of the artists who made the cut. I’m a big fan of her first album so I was delighted to hear her second album too. This song really resonates with me. It’s clever and there’s no way it will be played on the radio. The fact that an artist made a song knowing that indicates to me that she made the song for herself and her live audiences, not for radio play. That’s a special move these days and one that deserves recognition. It has a great message about people who are stuck on the wrong side of history. This video is very clever too. I was laughing for a lot of it.

9. Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats

I love this song. I bought this album when it first came out in 1997. I remember rocking out to it in my ’91 Camaro. I was into Prodigy as well. I think being into this type of electronic music prepped for my interest in Skrillex. This song is perfect for being on the playlist that I listen to when I run or work out at the gym.

10. Duke Ellington – Mood Indigo

I’ll end on a light note. I’ve been listening to lots of music like this lately. It’s peaceful and easy on the ears.

Thanks for reading!

 

American Indians Deserve Our Respect

After seeing the film The Internet’s Own Boy, a documentary about the late Aaron Swartz, I felt obliged to tweet a message of condolence to Quinn Norton, Swartz’s once girlfriend. I began following her on Twitter immediately after I responded to her as she has many erudite thoughts on Internet culture. She tweeted the following on July 4th.

Quinn Norton Twitter

I read the article and disagreed with Norton’s assertion that naming American helicopters after Native American tribes is disrespectful. I thought, If anything it’s a way of bestowing honor on a people who were fierce fighters. But Norton pressed me to go further and research the issue before making up my mind. I’m glad I did because I can see her point now.

She pointed out that terms like Navajo (which there is even an argument about how to correctly spell this word. Some folks are worried that spelling the word with a “J” will lead folks to mis-pronounce the word “nav-a-joe.” Because of this, some folks have rejected this European way of spelling and have sought to adjust the spelling to “Navaho.”) are bestowed upon a group of people who already have a name for themselves. In this case the people commonly referred to as “Navaho” call themselves “Diné.” When conversing with them, they will tell you that this word simply means “The People.”

That’s certainly a perspective shifting thought. During my twitter conversation with Norton, I pointed out that I do believe the ongoing kerfuffle over the name of the football team from Washington is justified. The video that started it all is powerful and makes a strong case for the name change.

 

The video is very well put together and elicits an emotional response from me. I worry those who are recalcitrant about changing the name will wind up on the wrong side of history. I’m from Kansas City so I thought the football team I root for, the Chiefs, were safe. But apparently that’s not the case. An article published on Slate.com points out that teams including the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, and Florida State Seminoles among others all play on land seized from American Indians.

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That’s a downright discomfiting thought. I can now empathize with fans of the Washington Redskins who are true fans. I speculate that many of them are like me and aren’t sure what the best course of action is. I am conflicted. I don’t want to support an organization that disrespects people, but I also don’t want to lose hold of a team that I’ve come to love. After much thinking on this subject I’ve decided that I will be okay with a name change. I think taking one’s cue from William Shakespeare is prudent. After all, “a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.”

Features Writing

mashable logo

I worked at Mashable where I wrote features articles. Often I would supplement these articles with photography. Every so often I would do video work as well. Here are links to my best work.

1. Rethinking Architecture for a More Connected Future

2. McDonald’s Reveal Photoshop Magic Behind Burger Ads {VIDEO]

3. Want Your Startup Name in the Dictionary? Choose Wisely

4. Rainn Wilson Talks Altruism on the Webt — And Then Smashes a Guitar at SXSW

5. Every Awesome Moment You Missed at SXSW [PICS] 

6. On the Street: Do You Understand SOPA? [VIDEO]

On Copyright Law

ColbertSteven Colbert’s interview w/ Lawrence Lessig has been sited as definitive proof of someone intelligently trashing Lessig’s beliefs.

“A hybrid economy is an economy where we go off gasoline?”

The above question from Mr. Colbert during the interview with Lessig should immediately let the viewer know that he is simply parodying the right wing pundit buffoon that he normally does on his show. When Colbert says “copy written” his opinion should be thrown out immediately. He’s smart enough to know that the term is actually “copyrighted.” The act of writing on Lessig’s book cover with a marker and drawing Snoopy on the inner pages is clearly proving his point of benefiting from a remix. He goes on to ironically dissuade people from remixing this very interview to be used in dance clubs.

Here is just one remix I found on YouTube that Mr. Colbert specifically asked his viewers to not do. Notice that it has over 100,000 views. I’m confident in my belief that he specifically asks viewers not to do something so he can distance himself from any legal ramifications that might crop up. In this sense, asking viewers to not do something is actually asking viewers to do what he’s asking them not to do.

Colbert does make the point that Congress hasn’t passed legislation and not a lot of people are being prosecuted, but the goes on to posit we should all just forget about it. Therein lies the point that Lessig – and Colbert by way of irony – are actually making. Should we just forget about things that are not on Congress’ list of things to do because people aren’t being prosecuted? It’s the system that has this possibility of punishment that we should seek to reform. The fact that 70% of Americans are technically guilty of copyright infringement should send alarm bells ringing for everyone. Even though companies aren’t prosecuting these people we should still work to change the law, because the fact remains that some people are being prosecuted. The fact that Lessig is on the front lines of this battle is good. Mr. Lessig should be commended, not derided.

Lessig elucidates his point in his book Free Culture. 

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“Overregulation stifles creativity. It smothers innovation. It gives dinosaurs a veto over the future. It wastes the extraordinary opportunity for a democratic creativity that digital technology enables.”

Lessig continues.

“The content industry’s tactics exploit the failings of the American legal system. When the RIAA brought suit against Jesse Jordan, it knew that in Jordan it had found a scapegoat, not a defendant. The threat of having to pay either all the money in the world in damages ($15,000,000) or almost all the money in the world to defend against paying all the money in the world in damages ($250,000 in legal fees) led Jordan to choose to pay all the money he had in the world ($12,000) to make the suit go away. The same strategy animates the RIAA’s suits against individual users. In September 2003, the RIAA sued 261 individuals—including a twelve-year-old girl living in public housing and a seventy-year-old man who had no idea what file sharing was. As these scapegoats discovered, it will always cost more to defend against these suits than it would cost to simply settle. (The twelve year old, for example, like Jesse Jordan, paid her life savings of $2,000 to settle the case.) Our law is an awful system for defending rights. It is an embarrassment to our tradition. And the consequences of our law as it is, is that those with the power can use the law to quash any rights they oppose.”

Let’s just take a minute and think about what Lessig has said here. A twelve-year-old girl who lived in public housing paid her life savings of $2,000 to make a lawsuit go away. From the article:

“The seventh-grade honor student was…the first to settle with the record labels, which agreed…to drop their case against her in exchange for $2,000 and an apology.

‘I am sorry for what I have done,’ [she] said in a statement issued by the Recording Industry Assn. of America, which represents the labels. ‘I love music and don’t want to hurt the artists I love.’

[Her] predicament landed on the front pages of New York’s two leading tabloids… and lured an encampment of reporters to the Manhattan apartment where she lives with her mother and 9-year-old brother.

When she learned she was being sued for downloading songs such as ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ and the theme to the television show ‘Family Matters,’ she told the New York Daily News that her ’stomach is all in knots.’”

How does that make you feel about this law? Does it sit right with you? Do you think it is justifiable that the RIAA sued a youngster for simply downloading songs that she liked? Do you see any possibility of her making money from this “illegal” downloading? I, for one, do not. I believe it is deplorable for a massive organization like the RIAA to sue a young girl and demand an apology. If ever there were an example of bullying, this is it.

Lessig explains in his book that the practice of “stealing” a copyrighted work via peer-to-peer sharing is starkly different as well.

“…when you take a book from Barnes & Noble, it has one less book to sell. By contrast, when you take an MP3 from a computer network, there is not one less CD that can be sold…The physics of the piracy of the intangible are different from the physics of the piracy of the tangible.”

Lessig still believes this kind of piracy is wrong and that an example like this “should push us to find a way to protect artists while enabling…sharing to survive.”

Jaron Lanier offers his own idea of how we can make this work with a system of micro payments.

“Everybody would have access to everything, but there would be little micro payments flowing around. So if somebody derived something from your work, they would be able to figure out it was really you so nothing would be anonymous. Little pennies would flow to you and more and more people would find a way to make a living from creativity. What we have instead is a world where creativity flows around for free because we’re all supposed to be a part of this ‘Creative Commons’ and so forth. Meanwhile we’re told to become more physical in our way of making a living… to make t-shirts or something.”

He continues.

“Ted Nelson’s idea for micropayment with attribution is, I think, a beautiful notion. And so then everything would be accessible. It wouldn’t be free, but it would be affordable. I think it’s a way to have sort of a society with liberties of capitalism with the equity of socialism.”

I think Lanier’s advancement of Tim Nelson’s idea of micro payments is a brilliant idea. I hope the Mr. Lessig would feel the same way. Based on Lessig’s book, I don’t see any evidence that would make him the least bit opposed to Lanier’s idea.

Some people like David Karpf think of Lanier as a “curmudgeon” after reading a biographic article in the New Yorker. Furthermore, Karpf thinks Lanier is being a “myopic technologist.” I’d also like to point out that Karpf — or someone he knows — has picked out the exact same WordPress blog theme as I have. Well done.

Back to Karpf’s theory on Lanier being a “myopic technologist. I don’t agree. I think Karpf is reading too much into Lanier’s writing style, especially when he calls it “muddy” and derides Lanier’s penchant to quickly jump from one subject to the next. As a technology layman, I enjoy Lanier’s writing style. He discusses such heady, complex issues that I’m fine with him only using a couple of pages to explain one argument. It allows me truly digest it and read it again if I don’t quite grasp it on the first time through.

Lanier’s books You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto and Who Owns the Future are lovely books. The same goes for Lawrence Lessig. I’ve read Free Culture, but not his other works. In my opinion, both men are brilliant men with erudite evaluations of copyright law.


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