Copyright and the Networked Computer :

A   Stakeholder’s
to be held
November 6-8, 2003
at the
University of California Washington Center,
1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington DC
You are hereby invited.

The  networked computer has thrown copyright into crisis, but the defense of copyright threatens the networked computer. Because the computer is a universal copying machine and because the networked computer can transmit copies across the global network, the networked computer threatens to render copyright a dead letter. But, copyright is fundamental to the media ecology of the modern world: the legal protections of copyright have justified the investments of time, energy, and money necessary for the invention and institution of the feature film, radio, television, and the networked computer. However, if, following the injunctions of the big media companies, the networked computer's software and hardware is restructured to protect copyright, the computer could lose its virtues as a technology of inscription, and the Internet could lose its valuably open character. For example, a user could find it impossible to invoke simple computer commands like "save, save as, cut, copy and paste and reveal source code;” it could become impossible to remix content or make it available to other users on the network. At the same time, purchasers of copyrighted content could lose customary rights enjoyed in an analog medium (like the printed book): to reread, lend, and resell; to make archival copies; to exercise fair use for the purposes of teaching, criticism, parody, and art.

The  battle about the future of copyright and the networked computer has been joined, but, so far, only the largest economic stakeholders have had an effective voice. Large media companies have proposed legal measures to change the networked computer so as to protect their copyrights (e.g. the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-de-encryption provision; the Hollings Bill draconian controls on all digital devices); hardware and software companies have resisted those measures that would foreclose on the future of the networked computer (e.g. the temporary set back to the Hollings Bill). Media and software companies are legitimate stakeholders and should be part of this debate, but so should others. Too often negotiations about US copyright law proceed as if we can ignore the interest and influence of the global network of computer users.

The  Stakeholders' Congress hopes to inflect current debates in three ways:
    First, by broadening participation in this debate to include artists, scholars of the humanities and social sciences, legal scholars, open source and free software activists, librarians and museum directors, computer scientists, members of the US Congress, as well as representatives from media and software companies.

    Second, by outlining a set of general principles to guide policy on copyright and the networked computer.

    Third, by offering specific and innovative solutions to the crisis around copyright and the networked computer.

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In order to open and develop these issues, we have assembled a diverse group of speakers with specialized knowledge and unique perspectives on this issue. We hope that all participants will plan to stay for the full event. In shaping the Stakeholders' Congress, we are encouraging nuanced position statements over ranting or visionary generalities. Speakers have been encouraged to present specific technical and legal solutions to the impasse on copyright.
William Warner,
Director of The Digital Cultures Project @

Copyright and Networked Computer Website

Plenary Speakers:
 James Boyle
   Duke Law School
 Randall Davis
   Computer Science MIT
 Ed Felten
   Computer Science, Princeton
 Peter Jaszi
   American U

Speakers Include:
 Alex Alben
   Congressional Candidate
 Hillary Brill
   Counsel to Rep. Boucher
 Jim Burger
   Dow, Lohnes, and Albertson
 Shu Lea Cheang
    Artist, Kingdom of Piracy
 Ian Clarke
 Julie Cohen
    Georgetown Law
 Jenny Cool
   Artist / Ethnographic

 Jon Cruz
   UC Santa Barbara
 Sarah Deutsch
 Alec French
    Minority Counsel, House
          Judiciary Committee

 Laura Gasaway
    UNC Law Library
 David L. Green
    Former ED of NINCH
 Mark Hosler
   founding member of

 Barry Kernfeld
    Independent Scholar
 Jessica Litman
    Wayne State U Law School
 Carrie McLaren
    Stay Free!
 J. Hillis Miller
    UC Irvine
 Nick Montfort
    U Penn
 Robert Nideffer
    UC Irvine
 Rina Pantalony
   Canadian Heritage
         Information Network

 Mark Poster
    UC Irvine
 Laurie Racine
   Center for the Public Domain          Norman Lear Center
 Mark Rose
    UC Santa Barbara
 Wendy Seltzer
    Electronic Freedom

 Clifford Siskin
    Columbia U
 Gigi Sohn
    Public Knowledge
 Francis Steen
    UC Los Angeles
 Jennifer Urban
    Samuelson Law Clinic
         UC Berkeley

 Siva Vaidhyanathan
    NYU, Communication
 Noah Wardrip-Fruin
    Electronic Literature Org.
 William Warner
    UC Santa Barbara