Brian Lehrer Live television interview with Nina Paley and Karl Fogel

Brian Lehrer renowned radio host at WNYC (New York Public Radio) interviewed Nina Paley and Karl Fogel on his CUNY TV show Brian Lehrer Live on February 17th.  The conversation ranged from Nina's distribution model for her film Sita Sings the Blues to the broader copyright reform movement, and they showed two of the Minute Memes as well.  The video is now available:

It's the middle segment of a three-segment show. The entire show is worth watching, too. The first segment is a debate about the ACTA ("Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement") treaty and how it tightens international copyright restrictions. If you follow copyright reform at all, you'll be frustrated at how resolutely the participants neglect to question the assumptions (for one thing, copying is not counterfeiting). We tried to come back to some of those points during the middle segment. The third segment is a fascinating interview with Jen Bekman and Jonathan Melber of 20x200, with artist Clare Grill joining by video chat. In all segments, the host, Brian Lehrer, asks good questions; he's obviously been thinking about the issues.


An Alternative Primer on National and International Copyright Law

Reading the alternative primer on national and international copyright law. recently received a wonderful surprise in the mail: An Alternative Primer on National and International Copyright Law in the Global South, by Prof. Alan C. Story and his colleagues at The CopySouth Research Group. It's a 66 page critical survey of not only international copyright laws and treaties, but of the processes by which those laws and treaties come to be enacted.

I wrote back to Prof. Story:

It's a great relief to see some unembarrassed copyright skepticism in academic legal studies.  In every other field, questioning of assumptions is considered good practice; [copyright] law seems to have somehow been exempt from this for a long time, and I'm not quite sure why.  Too many scholars repeat the same theories of why we have copyright, without looking rigorously at its actual history nor at its effects, quantifiable and otherwise.  Your primer is a breath of fresh air.

He responded with the following offer to all readers:


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