Posts filed under 'audio'

Nathan Matias on Developing Effective Citizen Responses to Discrimination and Harassment Online [AUDIO]

Discrimination and harassment have been persistent problems since the earliest days of the social web. As platforms and legislators continue to debate and engineer responses, most of the burden of dealing with online discrimination and harassment has been borne by the online citizens who experience and respond to these problems.

How can everyday Internet citizens make sense of social problems online, including our own racist and sexist behavior? How can we support each other and cooperate towards change in meaningful, effective ways? And how can we know that our interventions are making a difference?

Nathan Matias — MIT PhD candidate and Berkman Fellow — shares four years of research and design interventions aimed at expanding the power of citizens to understand and develop effective responses to discrimination and harassment online.

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Add comment February 26th, 2016

Radio Berkman 234: How Fair Use Works, in Six Minutes or Less

FairUseWeekListen:or download | …also in Ogg

An artist, musician, or writer can’t just take another person’s creation and claim it as their own. Federal law outlines how creators can and can’t borrow from each other. These rules are collectively called “copyright law,” and essentially they give creators the exclusive right to copy, modify, distribute, perform, and display their creative works.

But even with copyright there are exceptions, or times where another creator can use a copyrighted work without getting the copyright holder’s permission. This safe zone is called “Fair Use.”

For Fair Use Week this year, Radio Berkman’s Daniel Dennis Jones talked to Leo Angelakos and Olga Slobodyanyuk from the Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society about what constitutes fair use.


Daniel Dennis Jones: It’s time to learn everything you need to know about the history of Fair Use, in six minutes or less. I’m Daniel Dennis Jones, and this is Radio Berkman. Let’s start the clock!

This is “Pretty Woman,” co-written by singer Roy Orbison and released in 1964. The copyright belongs to Orbison’s publisher, Acuff-Rose Music. Fast forward 25 years. It’s 1989 and the rap group 2 Live Crew releases “Pretty Woman” on their album, “As Clean as They Wanna Be.”Shortly thereafter, Acuff-Rose sues 2 Live Crew’s label for copyright infringement.

Basically, Acuff-Rose says, hey, this song isn’t yours. According to the Copyright Act of 1976, this song is ours. You want to play it? You have to pay us.

Leo Angelakos: Copyright law gives creators — such as authors and artists — the exclusive right to copy, modify, distribute, perform, and display their creative works.

DDJ: Copyright law was originally created as an incentive for artists and creators. If creators aren’t worrying about whether someone might steal their work, they’re more likely to share their ideas with the public. This kind of sharing in turn helps to create more ideas, as well as products and jobs and art and whole industries, all that good stuff.

In the Pretty Woman case the publisher, Acuff-Rose, owned the copyright and therefore had the sole right to copy, modify, and distribute that song.

But this is where things get really interesting. This case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. In the end 2 Live Crew won. They were allowed to do their own spin on the song, without paying and without permission from Acuff-Rose, and here’s why.

2 Live Crew’s defense was that their version of Pretty Woman was a parody of the original. For that reason they argued it fell into this safe zone under copyright law called fair use.

Olga Slobodyanyuk: Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement. Fair use let’s you use someone’s copyrighted work without permission as long as you do it in a way that adds new meaning to the work.

LA: The Supreme Court found 2 Live Crew’s version to be a parody and it was thus a fair use because it ridiculed the innocent nature and outdated troupes of the original song.

DDJ: And they say that what makes this court opinion so interesting is there is actually no explicit mention of parody in copyright law.

Taking inspiration from a precedent set by a 19th century court case, Congress decided to build Fair Use into copyright law in 1976, realizing that it helped fulfill the law’s original purpose of incentivizing creators.

LA: And fair use is actually a really flexible doctrine. It can cover a wide-range of works. Olga: It’s central to fulfilling the constitutional purpose and it balances the public’s first amendment rights against monopolies granted by copyright.

DDJ: A monopoly in this sense is the fact that one person – or one band, or one copyright owner – has complete and total control over a piece of content, and everything that gets done with it – recording, performing, translating, remixing, adapting, modifying, you name it.

There are a number of examples where the use of a copyrighted work is important to furthering some other goal. It could be an artistic use. It could be in journalism, or for some kind of educational use. When judges and lawyers are considering whether something is fair use, they look at 4 factors.

LA: First the purpose and character of the use.

OS: Courts have construed this to mean that a fair use is one that transforms the copyrighted work to add new expression, meaning or message.

For example, a student can quote a stanza of a poem in an essay where it’s critiquing the poem because that critique of the poem will make the use transformative.

DDJ: Transformative. That’s the key word. Are you using a portion of the copyrighted work in a context that makes a new statement? If so, that might be Fair Use. A good example of the transformative factor occurred in a court case where documentary filmmakers used a John Lennon song paired with images of the Cold War to suggest that Lennon’s message was naive.

OS: The court found that this use was transformative because the filmmakers criticized Lennon’s lyrics in a way that added new meaning to them.

LA: The second factor asks how expressive the genre of the work is and whether it’s published or not.

DDJ: If a creator hasn’t published the work yet, it is more strongly protected by copyright, because they should have control over when it first goes public.

OS: The third factor asks how much of the original work was taken. This inquiry includes both a qualitative and a quantitative component. For example, the less words you take, the more likely it is to be a fair use.

DDJ: So if you’re literally copying someone’s entire book and republishing it, you’re probably not going to get away with calling it fair use. But if you’re quoting a small passage, you probably will.

LA: And the fourth factor asks whether the use would replace the demand for the original work in the marketplace. So for example, if someone publishes a glossary that defines terms from the Harry Potter series, such a glossary could usurp the demand for a similar glossary by J.K. Rowling and courts might not find that to be a fair use.

DDJ: In other words, if people are consuming the thing you created as a substitute for something created by the original creator, you’re walking on thin ice. This fourth factor of fair use also plays a role in that Supreme Court case we mentioned earlier.

Two years before the case went to the Supreme Court, a federal appeals court ruled that 2 Live Crew had a “blatantly commercial purpose” in recording its version. In other words the demand for the the parody replaced that of the original work, and that should deprive the 2 Live Crew song of all protection under the copyright law. But the Supreme Court said no to the lower court’s decision, which validated parodies under fair use, even when someone makes money off of them, as a creative work deserving of consideration.

And that’s everything you need to know about Fair Use in 6 minutes or less! Celebrate Fair Use by going to where you can find infographics, videos, and all kinds of resources about fair use.

Reference Section
Photo courtesy of Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week
Music courtesy of “Beta Blocker” -Anitek
This week’s episode was written by Leo Angelakos, Elizabeth Gillis, Daniel Dennis Jones, and Olga Slobodyanyuk, and edited by Elizabeth Gillis.
Visit for even more information and resources on Fair Use
Visit for information on how to incorporate digital resources and fair use friendly practices in classrooms
Special thanks this week to Andres Lombana-Bermudez of the Youth & Media Team, and Chris Bavitz of the Cyberlaw Clinic.

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1 comment February 25th, 2016

Bruce Schneier on Security and Privacy in the World-Sized Web [AUDIO]

We’ve created a world where information technology permeates our economies, social interactions, and intimate selves. The combination of mobile, cloud computing, the Internet Things, persistent computing, and autonomy are resulting in something different. This World-Sized Web promises great benefits, but is also vulnerable to a host of new threats. Threats from users, criminals, corporations, and governments. Threats that can now result in physical damage and even death.

In this talk Bruce Schneier — author and internationally renowned security technologist — looks back at what we’ve learned from past attempts to secure these systems, and forward at what technologies, laws, regulations, economic incentives, and social norms we need to secure them in the future.

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Add comment February 16th, 2016

Radio Berkman 233: Digital Alter Egos

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Are you really “you” online?

We asked around for stories of digital alter egos — secret identities that people maintain on the web and try to keep separate from their real life identities.

And it turns out there are lots of reasons — some good, some nefarious, some maybe both — for someone to have alternate personas online.

On this episode we share stories of Catfishers, sock puppets, and digital doppelgangers.

Reference Section
Photo courtesy of carbonnyc
Music courtesy of Podington Bear, MCJackinthebox, Blue Dot Sessions, and David Szesztay
This episode featured Sara M. Watson, Jonmy Sun, and Vivek Krishnamurthy

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This week’s episode produced by Daniel Dennis Jones and Elizabeth Gillis, with oversight from Gretchen Weber, and extra help from Adam Holland, Tiffany Lin, Rebekah Heacock Jones, Annie Pruitt, and Carey Andersen.

Add comment February 9th, 2016

Aaron Halfaker on Engineering Open Production Efficiency at Scale [AUDIO]

Wikipedia, largely used as a synecdoche for open production generally, is a large, complex, distributed system that needs to solve a set of “open problems” efficiently in order to thrive. In this talk, I’ll use the metaphor of biology as a “living system” to discuss the relationship between subsystem efficiency and the overall health of Wikipedia. Specifically, I’ll describe Wikipedia’s quality control subsystem and some trade-offs that were made in order to make this system efficient through the introduction of subjective algorithms and human computation. Finally, I’ll use critiques waged by feminist HCI to argue for a new strategy for increasing the adaptive capacity of this subsystem and speak generally about improving the practice of applying subjective algorithms in social spaces. Live demo included!

About Aaron

Aaron Halfaker is an American computer scientist who is an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation. Halfaker earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the GroupLens research lab at the University of Minnesota in 2013. He is known for his research on Wikipedia and the decrease in the number of active editors of the site. He has said that Wikipedia began a “decline phase” around 2007 and has continued to decline since then. Halfaker has also studied automated accounts on Wikipedia, known as “bots”, and the way they affect new contributors to the site. He has developed a tool for Wikipedia editing called “Snuggle”, the goal of which is to eliminate vandalism and spam, and to also highlight constructive contributions by new editors. He has also built an artificial intelligence engine for Wikipedia to use to identify vandalism.


These tell a story in order. The talk will cover a bit of each. Read from top to bottom and stop when you get bored or run out of time.……
Artificial intelligence service gives Wikipedians ‘X-ray specs’ to see through bad edits

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Add comment February 2nd, 2016

Shannon Dosemagen on Building a Model for Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making Processes [AUDIO]

Public Lab is an open community developing and using civic technologies to support the pursuance of community-defined questions and concerns. Public Lab introduces a model that incorporates open source R&D practices including transparent collaboration and iterative design, along with deliberative democratic governance, and practitioner empowerment through critical making. Community science can enable people to collect, interpret, and apply their own data to effect local change or participate in broader environmental research and decision-making.

We’ve conceptualized a tiered approach to project development, delineated by the scope of community objectives and the role of science in achieving those objectives. Examples of Public Lab projects from each tier demonstrate the versatility of community science, and the potential opportunity for it to facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making on multiple levels. In this session, we’ll discuss how participatory online communities can strategically support hyper-local goals and help to scale the ability for replicable change in how the public engages with decision-making processes.

About Shannon Dosemagen

A founder of Public Lab, Shannon is based in New Orleans and Cambridge (MA) as Executive Director of the non-profit. With a background in community organizing and education, Shannon has worked with environment and public health groups across the United States addressing declining freshwater resources, coastal land loss and building participatory monitoring programs with communities neighboring industrial oil facilities and impacted by the BP oil spill. In her current work with Public Lab, Shannon seeks to infuse traditional organizing methods of the environmental sector with new media technologies and tools to create actionable outcomes.

She has a MS in Anthropology and Nonprofit Management and has worked with nonprofits for over fifteen years. She is an Ashoka Fellow, a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program a recipient of the Claneil Foundation Emerging Leaders Fund and a past Loyola University Institute for Environmental Communications Fellow. Shannon serves on advisory boards, councils or committees for the National Parks Conservation Association, World Economic Forum, Citizen Science Association, the Louisiana Public Health Institute Healthy Communities Coalition, and the Louisiana Bar Association.

About Public Lab

Public Lab is a community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms.

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Add comment January 26th, 2016

California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar on Haiti, Machine Learning, and Ankle Holsters: Reflections on the U.S. Treasury Department in the Late 1990s [AUDIO]

In 1997, as a freshly-minted lawyer, Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar joined the staff of the Treasury Department’s Office of Enforcement. Almost immediately, he was drawn into some of the fascinating issues that Treasury confronted at the time, from the regulation of electronic money to international policing and anti-corruption initiatives. In this talk, he reflects on his years at Treasury and discusses some of the connections between the challenges he encountered at Treasury then, and some of the dilemmas facing the world today.

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Add comment January 19th, 2016

Nettrice Gaskins on Techno-Vernacular Creativity and STEAM [AUDIO]

In this talk Dr. Nettrice Gaskins — author and STEAM Lab Director at Boston Arts Academy — discusses her model for ‘techno-vernacular’ creative production as an area of practice that investigates the characteristics of this production and its application in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning.

Her research consists of a study involving workshops conducted between 2013 and 2014 that sought to examine the impact of the following combined methods a) culturally situated design, which connects vernacular art and crafts with standards-based STEM principles and allows users to simulate and develop their own creations; b) art-based learning, which is effective in stimulating the development of 21st century skills such as creativity, learning, and innovation; and c) educational applications of new technologies on underrepresented ethnic groups’ learning in STEAM.

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Add comment December 17th, 2015

The State of Student Privacy [AUDIO]

What questions are dominating the student privacy and educational technologies (“ed tech”) landscape?

In this conversation the Berkman Center’s Student Privacy Initiative team does a deep dive into the 1.0 and 2.0 privacy conversations:
The 1.0 strand of inquiry has examined privacy concerns related to the interactions between governmental entities (K-12 public schools) and third-party services (from commercial ed tech vendors), with a focus on data collection, consent, and security. The 2.0 line of inquiry has encompassed intra-governmental matters (how schools themselves are or should be using student data to inform their work with students), intra-industry analysis (the role of new and emerging types of ed tech, such as IoT and robotics), as well as how these and related questions within each sphere (government and vendor) impact their shared interactions and the experiences of key stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, policymakers, etc.).

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Add comment December 14th, 2015

Robin Chase on Privacy in a World of IoT, Self-Driving Cars, and a Climate Crisis [AUDIO]

Robin Chase — cofounder of Zipcar and Veniam (building a dynamic communications network for the Internet of moving things) — lays out a near term future where communications and software platforms will deliver us smart cities, smart homes, and ubiquitous clean low-cost shared transport. On the one hand we have an environmental imperative to get co2 emissions under control, use assets efficiently, deliver thriving sustainable cities. On the other hand, at what cost to privacy?

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Add comment December 4th, 2015

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