Supporters Update - October 2007


  • Creative Business in the Digital Age: ORG's new project

ORG has teamed up with with tech-educators 01zero-one and the London Development Agency to research businesses distributing digital creative works for free. Preliminary examples include authors publishing books under Creative Commons and in print, musicians offering both free and pay-for music, or software developers using APIs. If you know of or are directly involved in a similar project, please drop an email to creativebusiness at openrightsgroup dot org. Alternatively, click to our new blog and wiki where we're asking for help in gathering research materials. The project will run until March, with the aim of producing cc-licensed educational materials for remix and re-use.

  • New Board members

We're delighted to announce three appointments to the Open Rights Group board of directors. Our recruitment process sought to attract professional legal and financial skills, as well as Board level experience. The new Directors possess these qualities, and no doubt many others, in spades. David Harris is a practising IP / IT barrister, Dan McQuillan was Amnesty's web guru and Vijay Sodiwala is a veteran technology, media and telecommunications executive. Their appointments will complement nicely the already-bountiful range of skills and experience on our Board.

  • Byron Review - report collaborators needed, parents especially

The Byron Review is an independent review of the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. ORG is meeting Tanya Byron, the clinical psychologist and TV star who's heading the review, and will produce an evidence-based submission in the coming weeks. The deadline for submissions is 30 November, so we need your help quick sharp to compose our response. Take a read of our blogpost for a flavour of the questions asked, then head to Consult to record your remarks. The issues are already being pulled apart by the org-discuss community.

  • Bloodspell and the rise of Machinima: screening and panel discussion

Bloodspell, produced by the pioneering Strange Company, is a world-first: a feature-length, machinima animated film. London Metropolitan University and Open Rights Group are proud to present a screening, followed by a panel discussion, of this special film. The Q&A, chaired by cyberlaw queen and ORG Advisory Councillor, Lilian Edwards, will feature Bloodspell's writer and director, Hugh Hancock; Creative Commoner, hackademic and blogger, Andres Guadamuz; and other panelists to be confirmed. The screening takes place on Thursday 22 November, starting at 18.00 . We do not yet have a room number (details to follow on the blog and lists), but venue is London Met's Graduate Centre, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB (14). It will be first come, first served, so we advise getting there early to guarantee a seat. There will be some kind of alcohol and buffet offering, but no popcorn.

  • Next volunteer meeting: Wednesday 14 November

Our next volunteer meeting will be at 18.30 on Wednesday 14 November at ORG HQ (7th floor, 100 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8AL). Please indicate on the wiki if you plan to join us. Do also include suggestions if you have a particular project you think ORG should get involved with. We'll circulate an agenda and IRC details closer to the time. We may be able to offer limited teleconference facilities, please hit reply if you wish to dial-in.

  • Date for your diaries: ORG's collaborative xmas party will be 15 December, more info to follow

Press relations

Every week, we spend time talking to the media and connecting them with experts or giving them an alternate point of view on current issues. Again, some of our fine moments this month were offline, so we can't supply a link.

BBC Radio 4 - 'PM: 1 October 2007' ORG was invited to join the debate on Radiohead's decision to release their latest LP in DRM-free formats, and for whatever fans chose to pay. ORG congratulated the band for this bold experiment, which recognises that there are better ways to do digital than punishing your customers. (Unfortunately, this programme is no longer available online.)

Computer Weekly - 'Tories slam 'gimmicky' web voting and call for urgent action on e-crime' Rebecca Thomson joined our electronic elections fringe event at the Conservative Party conference. Her thoughtful article picks up on our position that electronic elections will not be suitable for democratic use within the next 10 to 15 years, as well as Jonathan Djanogly MP's view of computerised elections as 'gimmicky'.

BBC Radio 4 - 'Click online: 15 October 2007' (23:03 > 28:10) Moderated by Simon Cox, and in the context of the 'big boys' slowly but surely abandoning DRM, Becky debates the wrongs and wrongs of DRM with Struan Robertson, a technology lawyer from Pinsent Masons.

The Telegraph - 'The day the music dies' Shane Richmond reports on the sad demise of the Virgin Digital music store, highlighting DRM's anti-consumer tendencies. ORG steps in to advise against purchasing such shoddy goods, and suggests the law should offer more protection to digital consumers.

PC Pro - 'Government ready to legislate on file-sharing' Simon Aughton assesses Government's recently stated intention that ISPs be mandated to offer technical solutions to unlawful filesharing, if a voluntary industry solution cannot be reached. ORG rejects the approach as disproportionate and technically unfeasible.

BBC Radio 4 - 'iPM: 24 October 2007' Chris Vallance interviews Cory Doctorow, famed sf author, blogger and ORG Advisory Councillor, following Lord Triesman's inflamatory comments on the possibilities of regulating infringing p2p traffic at the network level. Cory's rejection emphasises the nigh-on technical impossibility of achieving this solution.

Mini-links iPlayer Special


In no particular order: thanks to Harry for helping us with our contacts database; thanks to Fernando for sorting the Bloodspell event; thanks to Adam and Lemon for tickling our boxes; thanks to Tim for doing our cbde widget; thanks to Glyn for - pretty much - everything else. And apologies if we've missed anyone out.

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