Archive for October 18th, 2010

Digital Advocacy’s “Weak Ties” Should Not Be Underestimated

Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling Canadian writer for the New Yorker, recently turned his attention to the use of Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet for digital advocacy.  Gladwell dismissed claims that digital advocacy has been an effective tool, lamenting that “people have forgotten what advocacy is about.”  He suggested that effective advocacy that leads to broad social or political change requires “strong ties” among people who are closely connected, committed to the cause, and well organized.  When Gladwell examined digital advocacy initiatives he found precisely the opposite – weak ties between people with minimal commitment and no organizational structure.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version)  notes the Gladwell article was published two days after Canada, the United States, the European Union, and a handful of other countries concluded negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.  Although some issues must still be sorted out, the countries have agreed on a broad framework and announced that no further negotiation rounds are planned.

With the draft agreement now public, it is apparent that one of the biggest stories over the three-year negotiation was the willingness of the U.S. to compromise on the rules associated with the Internet.  When it first proposed the Internet chapter, the U.S. demanded new liability requirements for Internet providers (including the possibility of terminating subscriber access based on multiple allegations of infringement) as well as tough digital lock rules that went far beyond current international treaty requirements.  

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October 18, 2010 18 comments Columns

Digital Advocacy’s “Weak Ties” Should Not Be Underestimated

Appeared in the Toronto Star on October 17, 2010 as Digital Advocacy’s “Weak Ties” Should Not Be Underestimated Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling Canadian writer for the New Yorker, recently turned his attention to the use of Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet for digital advocacy.  Gladwell dismissed claims that digital advocacy […]

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October 18, 2010 1 comment Columns Archive

Open Access Week

This week is Open Access week.  I’m pleased to be speaking today at the University of Manitoba on copyright and open access.  For a look at the remarkable growth of open access, see Heather Morrison’s most recent update on the numbers.

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October 18, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

In Praise of Copying

The National Post has an interesting article on the benefits of copying and the concerns associated with Bill C-32.  The article includes a discussion of York University’s Marcus Boon’s book on copying (available for free download) and Ian Kerr’s exceptional article on digital locks in From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced […]

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October 18, 2010 8 comments Must Reads

ACTA in the UK

Andres Guadamuz has an insightful post on the likely impact of ACTA in the UK.

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October 18, 2010 Comments are Disabled Must Reads