A sum up of some of the talks

Great panels continue here in DC. Both of mine went smoothly, though I nearly missed my presentation because I thought it started at 2:15 when it actually started at 2 pm. But I rushed down and made it, enjoying a lively conversation with folks about weblogs and peer-to-peer journalism and trust and media as business, among other things.

Also attending a panel called "File Sharing and Copyright Law: Basic Principles and Guidance for Developers" given by Fred von Lohmann from the EFF. It was fascinating and very impressive, Fred's a wonderful, engaging speaker. I plan on making a long overdue donation to the EFF when I get home, you should too. It turns out that the EFF only has 5,000 members. I'd always assumed it was much larger than that simply by the amount they seem to accomplish. Anyway, best quote from Fred on all the lawsuits and judgements that have been happening, (paraphrase because I didn't quite get it all down in time), "These cases aren't about piracy, there aren't even any pirates involved (note: because companies are being sued, not individual users). These cases are about industries trying to control technologies until they can figure out how the technology works with their business model."

Another gem: regarding the Napster decision, which effectively changed the architecture of the application, "do we really want the courts dictating architecture?" All I could picture was Sandra Day O'Connor in her black robe with white collar saying, "I'd really hoped we could do something with SOAP here, could you do more to open up your API?" God. Could you imagine? I learned some valuable, but troubling things at the great panel. Thanks Fred!

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