Siva’s Open Source as Culture … Online

Open Source as Culture – Culture as Open Source


The Open Source model of peer production, sharing, revision, and peer review has distilled and labeled the most successful human creative habits into a techno-political movement. This distillation has had costs and benefits. It has been difficult to court mainstream acceptance for such a tangle of seemingly technical ideas when its chief advocates have been hackers and academics. On the other hand, the brilliant success of overtly labeled Open Source experiments, coupled with the horror stories of attempts to protect the proprietary model of cultural production have served to popularize the ideas championed by the movement. In recent years, we have seen the Open Source model overtly mimicked within domains of culture quite distinct from computer software. Rather than being revolutionary, this movement is quite conservatively recapturing and revalorizing the basic human communicative and cultural processes that have generated many good things.

OZ Court OKs Modding

Australian High Court rules in favour of modders [pdf] [via BNA’s Internet Law News]

The High Court of Australia has ruled that Australian consumers and overseas travellers can buy cheaper computer games and hardware offshore and modify them locally.

Gadens Lawyers, who represented appellant Eddy Stevens in the High Court suit, released a statement today following the ruling, calling the win a “landmark copyright case” championing the rights of consumers.

[…] “All six judges of the High Court held that widely used ‘mod-chips’ were legal, with far reaching implications for the manufacturers of computer games — Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft – and consumers,” the law firm said.

The High Court also ruled that playing a game on a consumer machine does not constitute making an illegal copy of that game, Gadens said.

The ruling: Stevens v. Kabushiki Kaisa Sony Computer Entertainment

Earlier posting: Sony and the Oz “Modders”

Saw Dead Can Dance Last Night

Man, Ticketmaster has some weird seat allocation algorithm for the Orpheum, but I think I’d sit on the floor to get a chance to hear Lisa Gerrard sing. And the DCD sound is just amazing live.

The only real disappointment was that, sitting the balcony with all the middle-aged folks, I didn’t get the full opportunity to see the full spectrum of the full Goth look of the fans who really dress-up for the concert.

Also decided to try the “buy the concert CD” option. Should be interesting to see just how well that turns out.

I Guess I Know What The Alaskans Will Be Doing With Their Oil Checks

But what about the rest of US? US Senate Commerce boss backs 2009 digital TV move [pdf]

U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said on Wednesday he supported setting 2009 as the year for completing the transition to higher-quality digital television.

[…] Since most Americans have yet to buy the new television sets or equipment needed in part because of their high cost, experts have said the transition could take a decade.

“With a 2009 hard date, there would be three Christmas buying seasons during which Americans will buy digital television sets,” Stevens said in remarks to the Association of Maximum Service Television conference.

That’s the kind of thinking that makes me proud to be an American.

More on the Consequences of Online Presence

Fisher College expels student over website entries [pdf]

A Fisher College sophomore has been expelled for comments he posted on the student networking website Facebook. The action marks the first time a college has expelled a student for a posting on the popular website, which hosts discussion groups and personal profiles, according to a spokesman for Facebook.

Cameron Walker, the president of Fisher’s Student Government Association, was notified last week in a letter from the school’s dean of students that he had been expelled for his online critique of a campus police officer.

Walker ”conspired to and damaged the reputation” of the officer, the dean, Bonie Bagchi Williamson wrote in the letter, which Walker provided to the Globe.

[…] Fisher College spokesman John McLaughlin said, ”Cameron Walker was found to be in violation of the Student Guide and Code of Conduct.”

[…] Chris Hughes, Facebook spokesman, said the expulsion raises concerns about the chilling effect the administration’s viewing of Facebook entries might have.

Hughes said the terms of member conduct provide that: ”You understand that the website is available for your personal, noncommercial use only.” He said that provision raises questions about the administrators’ use of the site as the basis for punishing a student.

Related: The Contradictions of Privacy