Archive for the 'audio' Category

Radio Berkman 237: The Chilling Effect

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The effects of surveillance on human behavior have long been discussed and documented in the real world. That nervous feeling you get when you notice a police officer or a security camera? The one that forces you to straighten up and be on your best behavior, even if you’re doing nothing wrong? It’s quite common.

The sense of being monitored can cause you to quit engaging in activities that are perfectly legal, even desirable, too. It’s a kind of “chilling effect.” And it turns out it even happens online.

Researcher Jon Penney wanted to know how the feeling of being watched or judged online might affect Internet users’ behavior. Does knowledge of the NSA’s surveillance programs affect whether people feel comfortable looking at articles on terrorism? Do threats of copyright law retaliation make people less likely to publish blog posts?

Penney’s research showed that, yes, the chilling effect has hit the web. On today’s podcast we talk about how he did his research, and why chilling effects are problematic for free speech and civil society.

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Watch Jon Penney’s recent talk and read a recap
Follow Penney on Twitter

Creative Commons photo via Flickr user fotograzio

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Ellery Biddle on The Internetish Things of Cuba: Open Source and ‘in the Clear’ [AUDIO]

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What is it like to use the Internet in fits and starts? How do communities with limited access to the global Internet use digital tools? Beyond sensational media narratives about Havana’s WiFi hotspots and the paquete semanal, there is a complex landscape of Internet access, digital media use and open source software development in Cuba. In this talk Ellery Biddle — Advocacy Director for Global Voices and Berkman Fellow — offers a primer on Cuba’s digital culture and critique of Western political narratives surrounding technology, freedom and empowerment as they apply in the Cuban context.

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Brittany Seymour on Social Communication Strategies for Public Health [AUDIO]

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The social nature of today’s Internet is creating new public health and policy challenges. For example, the US in 2014 experienced the largest measles outbreak in nearly a generation, which led to the passing of the nation’s most conservative vaccine legislation, eliminating the personal belief exemption in California. Research has identified online misinformation about vaccines as one of the risk factors for this outbreak.

In this talk, Dr. Brittany Seymour — Assistant Professor at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Berkman Fellow — examines three big data case analyses (water fluoridation, the Ebola epidemic, and childhood vaccinations) to explore ways to employ network science to develop social communication strategies for public health that using the power of the Internet.

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Radio Berkman 236: Star Wars vs Copyright

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“George Lucas built a whole new industry with Star Wars.” says Peter S. Menell, devoted science fiction fan and a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law, who studies copyright and intellectual property law. “But what funds that remarkable company is their ways of using copyright.”

And he’s right. A third of the profits LucasFilm pulls in from Star Wars has come from merchandising alone. Not ticket sales, not DVDs, not video games or books. Toys, clothes, and weird tie-ins like tauntaun sleeping bags and wookie hair conditioner.

But fans of Star Wars, and other stratospherically profitable creative universes, increasingly like to become creators within those universes. They write books, they make costumes, they direct spinoffs and upload them to YouTube.

And sometimes they make money.

How does law come into play when fans start to reinterpret intellectual property? We sat down with Menell to see where the tensions lie between the law, the courts, and the George Lucases of the world.

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Creative Commons music used in this episode:
David Szesztay “Morning One”
Broke For Free “Something Elated”

Image courtesy of Flickr user: kalexanderson

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Susan Crawford on Why the Right Digital Decisions Will Make America Strong [AUDIO]

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The U.S. still lags behind much of the developed world in terms of the speed and density of its internet infrastructure. In the 21st Century this disparity in access to high speed internet could stand as a critical challenge to competitiveness in many areas, from industry and commerce, to healthcare and education, to civic life and culture.

In this conversation, Susan Crawford — John A. Reilly Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a co-director of the Berkman Center — discusses the potential futures we face as we consider how to invest in the wires that bring us our internet.

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Jon Penney on “Chilling Effects”: Insights on How Laws and Surveillance Impact People Online [AUDIO]

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With Internet censorship and mass surveillance on the rise globally, understanding regulatory “chilling effects” — the idea that laws, regulations, or state surveillance can deter people from exercising their freedoms or engaging in entirely legal activities — has thus today, in our Post-Snowden world, taken on greater urgency and public importance.

In this talk, Jon Penney — doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford (Balliol College), and a research fellow at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto — fills in some of the gaps in our understanding of chilling effects online. Through discussion of three empirical legal case studies — one on surveillance-related chilling effects and Wikipedia, a second on the impact of the DMCA’s copyright enforcement scheme, and a third survey-based study on “chilling effect scenarios” — Jon offers insights into the nature and scale of regulatory chilling effects online.

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Alan Weinberger on Three Decades of IT Channel Evolution and the Continued Importance of Small IT Companies [AUDIO]

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In this talk, Alan Weinberger — founder of The ASCII Group, Inc. and Harvard Law School alum — addresses the development of the information technology marketplace over the past three decades and the continued importance of small IT companies.

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Peter S. Menell: Copyright Law Year in Review [AUDIO]

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What ties together cheerleader outfits, monkey selfies, the Batmobile, a chicken sandwich, Yoga, and Yoda? In this talk, Professor Peter S. Menell — Koret Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law and a Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology — provides an exhilarating copyright year in review.

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A Burglar’s Guide to the City: On Architecture and Crime [AUDIO]

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The relationship between burglary and architecture is far from abstract. While it is easy to focus merely on questions of how burglars use or abuse the built environment — looking for opportunities of illicit entrance — burglary, in fact, requires architecture. It is an explicitly spatial crime, one that cannot exist without a threshold to cross, without “the magic of four walls,” as at least one legal theorist has written.

In this talk Geoff Manaugh — author of the new book A Burglar’s Guide to the City, — discusses more than 2000 years’ worth of heists and break-ins, shedding light on everything from the complicated legal definition of an interior space, to the everyday tools burglars use to gain entry.

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Sanna Kulevska & Michael Rustad: Reconceptualizing Right to Be Forgotten for TransAtlantic Data Flow [AUDIO]

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In October 2015, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) struck down the U.S./EU Safe Harbor agreement that enabled data to be freely transferred from Europe to the United States. In February 2016, the EU/U.S. Privacy Shield was proposed as a replacement. These developments demonstrate some of the ways the European Union’s far-reaching Right to be Forgotten (RTBF) is posing legal, economic, and cultural challenges for the U.S. and its EU trading partners.

In this talk Sanna Kulevska — who works on Internet law issues at the Legal Department of Google’s European Headquarters in Dublin — and Michael L. Rustad — author and Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Law Program at Suffolk University Law School — lead a discussion of the legal dilemmas that policymakers face in walking the tight rope between the Scylla of constraining the right of expression and the Charybdis of diminishing an individual’s right to control their personal data. The authors will use current case studies of takedown requests from Google to provide context for their discussion of how a Safe Harbor 2.0 might achieve the proper balance between expression and privacy.

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