The linkage between political funding and the major copyright lobby groups is not a new issue as for years there have been stories about how groups like the MPAA and RIAA fund politicians that advance their interests. Sites like OpenSecrets disclose the spending, though it gets complicated given how much money comes from individual companies or corporate executives. While those sites tell the story of how much, the recent leak of Sony emails reveal the how. They demonstrate the coordinated efforts by the MPAA to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for certain politicians with direct efforts from MPAA CEO Christopher Dodd to solicit donations from among the Hollywood studios. This will not be news to those who have been following Lawrence Lessig in recent years, but the matter-of-fact tone of these emails is still revealing.
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Copyright For Sale: How the Sony Documents Illustrate the Link Between the MPAA and Political Donations
Lessig and Goldsmith on ACTA’s Constitutional Concerns
Professors Larry Lessig and Jack Goldsmith published an op-ed in the Washington Post explaining why ACTA raises serious constitutional concerns in the United States.
The Friday Forum: Digitizing Books and the Google Book Search Settlement
The potential for a global digital library is increasingly viewed as one of the most exciting opportunities of the Internet age. Countries are working to digitize their works (I wrote four years ago about the possibility of Canada doing so) and the private sector has been active as well. By far the best known – and most contentious – initiative is the Google Book Search initiative. Working with university libraries around the world, Google has been digitizing millions of books. The Google Book Search initiative led to a pair of U.S. lawsuits over whether the plan qualified as fair use, which in turn led to a settlement with implications for authors around the world.
This week's Friday Forum takes a look at the digitizing issue with particular focus on Google Book Search. It starts with Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive and his vision for building a free digital library. The talked was delivered at the EG Conference in 2007.
Ten Years of Code
CATO is conducting an interesting retrospective on Larry Lessig's landmark Code book. It begins with an essay from Declan McCullagh. Comments to follow from Jonathan Zittrain, Adam Thierer, and Lessig himself.
Warner Music Issues Takedown on Lessig Presentation
Techdirt reports that Warner Music sent a DMCA notice-and-takedown demand to YouTube over a Larry Lessig presentation.