Is This Post PG-13? Helpful Bureaucracy and Web Content Labels

My last post looked at efforts (since adopted by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee) to require Web sites to label certain content. Across the pond, the British Board of Film Classification has proposed a voluntary certification system, similar to that used for films, for Net material. (Here in the States, the MPAA movie rating system […]

Rehash: Regulating Online Materials

States continue to worry about the Internet’s nasty bits. Myspace will tighten access to underage users by those over 18, and allow anyone (not just kids) to designate a profile as private. A U.S. Senate proposal would require labeling of sexually explicit material appearing on the Internet. (Is footage of Janet Jackson at the Super […]

Why Not Online House Closings?

I have been fairly absent from the blog for the past week because I attended two conferences and prepared to move from Boston to the Twin Cities. Fortunately, Tim and Derek have had a lot to say. The virtues of co-blogging! The conferences were great. I already blogged about the University of Maryland symposium. Then […]

More Alarmism Over Social Networking Sites

Following up on its earlier article about how college students’ profiles on social networking sites are turning off prospective employers (which I discussed here), today brings a new warning from the NYT on this digital peril: Young People’s Web Postings Worry Summer Camp Directors. The opening graf seems to channel Helen Lovejoy, labeling “sites like […]

Reading Gasser on DRM and Anticircumvention Rules

I’ll be leaving town tomorrow for this weekend’s AALS conference, but did not want to let too much time pass without highlighting Urs Gasser‘s new paper, Legal Frameworks and Technological Protection of Digital Content: Moving Forward Towards a Best Practice Model. I’m still reading Urs’s paper and will have more to say about it next […]

Spin the Wheel: Information and Medical Decision-making

The New York Times publishes an article on how people make medical decisions: apparently, we’re more willing to subject others (including our children) to a vaccine with a low but real risk that protects against a more dangerous type of flu. The author of the underlying study suggests a “sense of responsibility” forces people to […]

Report on Maryland Symposium on Copyright and Higher Ed

I spent the second half of last week at a conference on copyright and higher education, sponsored by the Center for Intellectual Property at the University of Maryland University College. Just as I had predicted, it was a great combination of librarians, lawyers, and educators grappling with a difficult and fascinating set of issues. Some […]

Dirty Pictures at Work

There have been several articles recently about companies that block employees from accessing certain Internet sites or applications at work. Examples range from the obvious – porn – to the less so – instant messaging applications. The Los Angeles Times apparently prevents its workers from going to adult content / sex sites, as well as […]

Losing Control

The Internet greatly reduces the costs of creating, sharing, and finding information. This shift holds great promise, but it’s not an unmitigated blessing. We find four examples of this change, and the tensions it creates, today: Jay Rosen reflects on changes in journalism since the Web became a popular news medium. The benefit: traditional gatekeepers […]

Spying, Sharing, Stealing: What You Have In Common with the NSA and RIAA

You and I share a problem with the NSA, the RIAA, the MPAA, and even the Department of Energy and Oregon’s Department of Revenue: digital data is exceedingly slippery and hard to control. Collecting data is an inherently leaky process – to borrow the old joke, it’s like loading frogs into a wheelbarrow. Going digital […]