Ottmar Liebert
Music, Performance, Recording, the Business of Music, Traveling, Life, Art + unrelated subjects!


Friday, August 22, 2003

The US government has set out to scupper the proposed World Intellectual Property Organization summit on Open Source and Open Culture. Lessig writes:

But the astonishing part is the justification for the US opposing the meeting. According to the Post, Lois Boland, director of international relations for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said "that open-source software runs counter to the mission of WIPO, which is to promote intellectual-property rights." As she is quoted as saying, "To hold a meeting which has as its purpose to disclaim or waive such rights seems to us to be contrary to the goals of WIPO."

If Lois Boland said this, then she should be asked to resign. The level of ignorance built into that statement is astonishing, and the idea that a government official of her level would be so ignorant is an embarrassment. First, and most obviously, open-source software is based in intellectual-property rights. It can't exist (and free software can't have its effect) without it. Second, the goal of WIPO, and the goal of any government, should be to promote the right balance of intellectual-property rights, not simply to promote intellectual property rights. And finally, if an intellectual property right holder wants to "disclaim" or "waive" her rights, what business is it of WIPOs? Why should WIPO oppose a copyright or patent rights holder's choice to do with his or her rights what he or she wants?

Link [BoingBoing]

It seems to me we each have the right to enforce or decline copyright for our work and if we don't agree with the ridiculous copyright protection that has been granted recently it is nobody's business, but our own. Certainly, the WIPO should celebrate people who have contributed and are allowing their works to enter Public Domain sooner. We are all the richer for it.
11:38:42 PM    comment [];

Researchers at Pohang University of Science and Technology in Kyungbuk, South Korea have gone and invented something actually useful: a microphone sensitive enough to pick up whispers and smart enough to still filter out background noise. Sooner these start showing up in cellphones the better, we're tired of people screaming into their handsets in public.[Gizmodo]
We have mentioned this before...will it take a generational change for people to stop screaming into phones - or will people start to whisper once they are convinced they can be heard....
11:26:33 PM    comment [];

Tonight's Sunset
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10:45:40 PM    comment [];

The word Hell was introduced to China, my friend's parents told me, by Christian missionaries who claimed that non-converted Chinese folks were all "going to Hell" when they died -- and the Chinese, thinking "Hell" was the proper English term for the afterlife, adopted the word. Thus, Hell Bank Notes are simply Afterlife Monetary Offerings or Spirit Money.
I was looking for something unrelated and Google spit out this very interesting page. I think as search engines keep getting better they should incorporate a button that allows near accidental results. Maybe with a slide that adjusts the relatedness or unrelatedness of the result...
10:06:51 PM    comment [];

Dragon Temple, Manchuria
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9:31:01 PM    comment [];

I don't even know how to begin this story, so stupid and extreme it is.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was convinced by Jamie Love and others to hold a meeting about "open collaborative models to develop public goods." One of those models is, of course, open source and free software. Lobbyists for Microsoft and others apparently (according to this extraordinary story by Jonathan Krim) started lobbying the US government to get the meeting cancelled. No surprise there. Open source and free software is a competitor to MSFT's products. Lobbying is increasingly the way competition is waged in America.

[Lessig Blog]
Once again interesting comments from Lessig regarding copyright and Public Domain. I didn't even know there was a group called the WIPO. I believe change starts with each of us, hence I am looking to trade my Audi in for a Honda Insight (of course no Honda dealer in Santa Fe or Albuquerque even stocks an Insight for me to test drive - but maybe I can test drive one during the upcoming tour, in Phoenix maybe or in CA) and that's why I will not use a conventional copyright on my next "La Semana" album. I just haven't made up my mind between a 28 year full copyright or one of the Creative Commons licenses....
8:31:31 PM    comment [];

What causes fireflies to start flashing in unison? What causes sudden changes in traffic patterns? The emerging science of synchrony.
[Minding the Planet]

7:25:08 PM    comment [];

Almost too easy, isn't it. I ordered this combo for ambient sound recordings. Includes the Sharp MD recorder with 30 seconds of trace-back and a pair of microphones that slip into your ear like ear-phones....
1:40:32 PM    comment [];

I found this on somebody's blog, but forgot where...but I did find the link...great series of photos of a humming bird's nest. I have quite a lot of humming birds near my house as I maintain 3 large feeders. They are very beautiful and entertaining!
9:56:09 AM    comment [];

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In 1991 the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto, together with Comme des Garcons, was putting on the first men's fashion show in Japan and asked me to be one of his runway models. At the time Yohji prefered to use actors and musicians over models and he has also used athletes in the past. I flew to Tokyo from Los Angeles and was picked up at the airport and taken to a very nice hotel in Tokyo, which Frank Lloyd Wright had designed in the sixties.

The show took place in the olympic swim stadium of Tokyo, where the pool had been covered by a runway stage. On each end of the runway a huge wall was erected. Behind one wall Yamamoto was set up and behind the other wall Comme Des Garcons.

Comme Des Garcons: Dennis Hopper, Trumpet player Don Cherry and his son Eagle-Eye Cherry (a TV presenter in the UK and not yet the pop star), british actor Julian something or other, Keyboardist Morgan Fisher (who later produced the wonderful CD "Miniatures" to which I contributed a piece)...

Yohji Yamamoto: Charles Lloyd, Edgar Winter, a member of YMO (one of Japans most famous bands, which also featured Ryuichi Sakamoto)...

Yohji and his people treated everyone wonderfully. And then he made a mistake on the day of the show. Thinking we were all men instead of the stars some felt they were, he offered as part of the refreshments Japanese cans of beer. In Japan cans are tiny, they are cute and many of the guys probably thought that one couldn't possibly get drunk from drinking tiny cans of beer....well, if you drink a dozen of them you do get drunk, you know! And then a British pop singer asked a French rapper to turn down the crap on his boom-box and the French guy responded with his fist, which fractured the pop guy's jaw. While he was rushed to the hospital Yohji's people frantically searched for somebody who could wear his clothes.... In the end one of Yohji's French employees took his place and wore the clothes well. I felt terribly embarassed. Here we were in one of the great cities of the world, guests of a real artist, and these men had to get into a fight. What a way to repay Yohji's kindness! But fame is fleeting and karma instant.. I never heard from the British pop star and the French rapper again...

I remember how amazed we were at the Japanese audience. Some had waited since the early morning hours and yet, when the doors opened the first in line went to the last seat instead of claiming the best seat in the house. It was almost biblical....

One thing I remember about the show itself is that Yohji, who is a guitarist himself and also produced the soundtrack, had installed sound triggers along the runway. We were invited to step on those triggers, each of which controlled a different sound that would blast over the music. Car crashes, industrial sounds, drum breaks, glass breaking, guitar riffs etc...I also remember that the Brit who was walking ahead of me was drunk or high or both and thought that the crowd's enthusiasm was directed at him instead of the clothing...I remember three or four people helping me change into the next outfit, grabbing shirts, pulling on shoes...I remember the late Don Cherry walking around on the runway like a court jester and greeting the other Comme Des Garcons be continued

9:38:25 AM    comment [];

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