August 26, 2010

Ramping Back Up… [7:54 am]

It’s been a busy summer, and the blog has suffered. It’s going to take a little time to get back up to speed, but you have to start somewhere. So, a collection of things.

Today’s Boston Globe profiles one of the many firms that one can hire to “sanitize” your online reputation: For a fee, digital dirt can be buried [pdf]. I’m sure that the “cat-bin woman,” Mary Bale, can’t afford what it would take to expunge her moment of insanity. Of course, she’s not alone in being singled out by a digital witch-hunt, but there’s a real question of how dangerous this sort of activity is getting. Of course, the Germans are going to police the use of Facebook in their effort to fight, but that looks just ridiculous — just as the US Government has learned to avoid strictures on privacy by hiring commercial firms to do the legwork, the Germans will simply find someone else to troll Facebook for them — Germany Plans Limits on Facebook Use in Hiring [pdf]

One might have hoped that, with the release of Common As Air, we might expect to get further along on the discussion of how the faulty application of the “property” metaphor to creative work carries real risks for us all, but all you have to do is read the comments to Dan Gillmor’s latest piece on the subject at Salon to see that we’re getting nowhere. Of course, a read of the opening of Hyde’s book (as far as I’ve had time for this week) points out that the constituencies that benefit from the perpetuation of the faulty metaphor are working overtime to maintain the confusion.

And today’s Globe also points out that Joel Tenenbaum and Charlie Nesson are continuing with their fight — Student appeals award of $67,000 [pdf]. You have to admire the tenacity: although, even my limited exposure to Charlie has shown me that he can be a pretty compelling guy. It would be fun (although, probably pretty expensive, in this case) to get into a fight with him on your side.

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