Contrary to the impression that some—many, in fact—information technocrats would like to convey, the new world of information technology is simply not one of bits, bytes, and pixels that have somehow been born in some new, big-bang theory of intellectual creation and are floating around in the atmosphere until captured by the magical machine and delivered in some magical fashion to some public. Intellectual creativity, in the broad sense—encompassing both original authors as well as producers; and publishers’ coordination, packaging and rational distribution—remains the domain of human actors. Respect for their efforts, labors, investment, and assurance that they will continue, is the historical role of our intellectual property laws. The new technologies may well call for new ways to ensure that copyright continues to serve this function, but the humanity of the creative process must not be lost in awe of the devices.

Jon Baumgarten, 1986.1Joint Hearing on the Impact of Technological Change on the Legal System for the Protection of Intellectual Property, S. Jud. Subcomm. on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks & H. Jud. Subcomm. on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Admin. of Justice, pp. 52-53 (April 16, 1986).

The one copyright issue everyone should agree on — “The Copyright Office was first established in 1897 as primarily a ministerial entity.  Over time it has steadily acquired responsibilities and today is a crucial independent policy advisor to all three branches of the government and provides important guidance on copyright matters to the public. It is inconceivable that had all these responsibilities been envisioned at the time of its creation the Office would have been structured as it is now – without the political accountability and transparency leadership by a Presidential Appointee confirmed by the Senate would provide, and without independent control over its resources and planning.”

Surveillance-based manipulation: How Facebook or Google could tilt elections — “Psychological manipulation—based both on personal information and control of the underlying systems—will get better and better. Even worse, it will become so good that we won’t know we’re being manipulated.”

Nearly Half of YouTube’s Top Channels Are Music-Related… — As Paul Resnikoff notes, much of YouTube’s value derives from professionally created content rather than user-generated content.

References   [ + ]

1. Joint Hearing on the Impact of Technological Change on the Legal System for the Protection of Intellectual Property, S. Jud. Subcomm. on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks & H. Jud. Subcomm. on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Admin. of Justice, pp. 52-53 (April 16, 1986).