September 20, 2007 | Michael Holloway
GikII 2 - law, laughs and geekery
Instigated at Edinburgh AHRC in 2006, this year's GikII - a one day workshop on the intersections between law, technology and popular culture - took place yesterday at University College, London. Its focus on intellectual property and IT issues is typical of an academic conference, but the irreverent subject matter and rowdy audience mark this out from average scholarly events. Thanks to Lilian, Andres, Ian and the other organisers for a fascinating day. I'm already looking forward to next year's event, which Ian agreed to stage at the Oxford Internet Institute. ORG supporters with a legal interest should take a breeze through the papers, and consider signing up for next year's event when it's announced.
Here's a flavour of the papers i enjoyed most:
- Faith Lawrence discussed community-standards issues, using LiveJournal as her case study, where the feisty fandom and freedom of speech communities had to battle hard against management's efforts to sanitise user-profiles.
- Lilian Edwards' and Ian Brown's presentation, 'Cyberstalking 2.0', praised Facebook's sophisticated efforts to offer users privacy, but criticised the default-settings for publicity.
- Ray Corrigan gave us the fascinating parable of a 6th century IP dispute, complete with mythical warrior-princes and 'The Battle of The Book'. The parallels with today's IP wars are clear - best check his new 'digital rights' book if you want to learn more.
- Simon Deane-Jones of Zopa treated the audience to a run-through of the dramatic changes 'Web 2.0' and the rise of e-pressure is causing to the political landscape. The vigilantes of political life are well-represented by moveon.org and tacticalvoter.net, whilst community spirit is reborn with fixmystreet.com.
- And finally, a doff of the cap to Jordan Hatcher, who stunned the audience with an analysis of the application of copyright law to tattoos.
The list of papers may soon be joined by powerpoint presentations.