Technology, Thoughts & Trinkets

Touring the digital through type

Month: March 2009 (page 1 of 3)

The Role of Digital Surveillance in Stopping the Past’s Rebirth

Vader Sings!Most of the music that I listen to clearly borrows from the past, takes technologies of the present, and creates the music of the future again. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that the electronic beats that I listen to are going to be what everyone listens to, or that Bossa Nova and Samba are going to be predominant music genre in your home (though they should *grin*). No, what I’m saying is that digital technologies facilitate the appropriation of past cultural artifacts that were produced for consumption, and then subsequently modify and make them the artist’s own. Take a look at the below YouTube video for a demonstration of taking up a past cultural artifact (part of an episode from the West Wing) and modifying it to make a contemporary political statement:

Taking the past and making it one’s own isn’t anything new; artists have been reinterpreting prior songs/artwork/performances and making a buck off their reinterpretation for a long, long time. What is new is:

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Demonstration: Another Awesome Mashup + Constituent Part

200903292246.jpgFollowing up on my post two weeks ago (Demonstration: Why Mashups are Awesome), I felt obliged to put up another awesome mashup that I just came across. The first video below shows guy playing a trombone piece, whereas the second demonstrates how it was integrated into a reggae mashup. Depending on the copyright regime that you live in, the mere act of viewing a mashup like the one in this post could constitute infringement. The audio mashup linked in the image at the head of this post most definitely would constitute infringement in some jurisdictions, but in both cases aren’t citizens just taking up the cultural artifacts surrounding around them and making something new? Amateur creativity like in these mashups is categorically different from professional mashups; shouldn’t we really have different categories and legal expectations depending on what category you sit in?

Trombone Set

 

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Three-Strikes to Banish Europeans and Americans from the ‘net?

200903281552.jpgThroughout the Global North there are discussions on the table for introducing what are called ‘three-strikes’ rules that are designed to cut or, or hinder, people’s access to the Internet should they be caught infringing on copyright. In the EU, the big content cartel is trying to get ISPs to inspect consumer data flows and, when copywritten content is identified, ‘punish’ the individual in some fashion. Fortunately, it is looking that at least the EU Parliament is against imposing such rules on the basis that disconnecting individuals from the Internet would infringe on EU citizens’ basic rights. In an era where we are increasingly digitizing our records and basic communications infrastructure, it’s delightful to see a body in a major world power recognize the incredibly detrimental and over-reactionary behavior that the copyright cartel is calling for. Copyright infringement does not trump basic civil liberties.

Now, I expect that many readers would say something along this line: I don’t live in the EU, and the EU Parliament has incredibly limited powers. Who cares, this: (a) doesn’t affect me; (b) is unlikely to have a real impact on EU policy.

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Note: EDLs in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia?

200903230015.jpgThere is a fairly confusing article on EDLs that was published by the Times & Transcript’s Alan Cochrane. It’s absolutely rife with inaccuracies about the technologies about EDLs, which contributes to the rampant misinformation about these identification pieces. Before I get to that, I want to note pieces of information that look interesting, though their accuracy has to be taken as questionable given the sloppy work done throughout the article.

Of interest:

  1. Apparently the New Brunswick government’s support of EDLs has ‘waned’ after receiving some report or another. While the reporter doesn’t mention the report by name, I have a suspicion that it’s the report commissioned by the Atlantic registrars of motor vehicles that was referenced in the May 9, 2008 press release of the Council of Atlantic Premiers. That report has not been disclosed to the public. (I lack anything that would substantiate or disprove the claim that New Brunswick’s interest has waned; I also don’t know what the report stated and so can’t know if it would influence the government’s position.)
  2. Service Nova Scotia has stated that the province is looking into EDLs, but as of yet does not have a deployment timeline. (I lack information that would substantiate or disprove this claim.)
  3. Manitoba is taking applications for EDLs right now, and will begin shipping them in 2 weeks. (This definitely seems on the money, and we can presume that it is accurate.)
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