Author Archives: Glen Gainer


When I was doing research for my paper, I came across the Konomark mark on Museum of Intellectual Property website.

Most rights sharable. Just e-mail me and ask. Learn more at

Instead of using something like the Creative Commons, where you provide a set licenses for your work, the Konomark serves as a signal that you would be open to sharing if contacted but allow you to deny any requests. Making it a case by case version of the creative commons license instead of blanket sharing.

What is the konomark philosophy?

The konomark philosophy is that it’s often a good idea to share copyrighted content for free, even though there are many circumstances under which even extremely generous people understandably deny permission. For example, if someone wants to use your snapshot from your trip to London to illustrate a blog post, you’re probably fine with that. But if some high-end fashion magazine wanted to use your photo, you’d probably want them to pay you for it.

I wondered if anyone else has see this symbol before or any other versions of Creative Commons like projects with Intellectual property.

(This blog post is now “license” under Konomark. (C) 2013 Most Rights Sharable.)

Don’t Get Scroogled

Reading Google’s privacy policy reminded me of Microsoft’s recent ad campaign “Don’t Get Scroogled” trying to get people switch to using privacy as a selling point.

The campaign includes newspaper ads, billboards and videos ranging from creepy,very creepy, and sometimes funny, very funny (or as funny as an ad made by Microsoft can get).

As part of the ad campaign Microsoft has a petitioned to get Google to stop reading email to sell ads which has gotten over 100,000+ people sign it.

Microsoft has comment on the ad campain saying

“Privacy of email services is a fair subject for a petition, and 6,000 people have said so in just a few days. Over 500,000 people have visited our website and tens of thousands have tried It is a serious public policy issue a lot of people care about.”

In Microsoft press release on their “educational campaign”

“ believes your privacy is not for sale,” Weitz said. “We believe people should have choice and control over their private email messages, whether they are sharing banking information or pictures of their family or discussing their medical history.”

Weitz added, “ does not scan the contents of your personal email to sell ads. is an email service that prioritizes your own and your family’s privacy. You wouldn’t let the post office look inside your mail, so why would you let Google?”

The irony is Microsoft is using target ads to get it message across that Gmail reads your email to generate targeted ads. Also both Outlook and gmail  “read” your email to filter out spam anyway.

Copyright Alerts System

The Copyright Alert System (CAS) is coming to the US next week.

AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon have come together and created a 6 strike system where every time it detect “pirated content” being download on your internet connection it sends you an email/telephone message, makes you watch an education video/view anti-piracy material, slow down your internet connection, demote you to lower tier of service, and/or disconnect you from the internet completely until you complete an anti-pirating class. All depending on how many strikes your have.

CAS does this by scanning your internet packets, a violation of 4th amendment rights (assuming we still have have it at this point). After all if your ISP is already scanning your internet packets I *doubt* the CIA, FBI etc. will ask to see then. Also who knows how much of a bottleneck the scanning process will slow down the internet. (Think TSA in an airport)

The company making the CAS software MarkMoniter has already had many false positives problems accusing of pirating HBO content. The CAS scanning system would also wouldn’t be able to identity “fair use” cases like sharing a family video with music in the background.

The only way to appeal strikes to is pay $35 to have your case heard in front of the American Arbitration Association (not a court of law).

This quote sums up CAS perfectly.

So, basically, it’s an unelected body of industry-connected officials who get to police the Internet?

Read more about CAS here: Primer GuideUnintended Consequence.

Everything Is a Remix

Everything Is a Remix is a 4 part video series showing why fair use is important topic to talk about and what role fair use plays today in creativity and creating “new” ideas.

Part 1 follows how music has evolved by taking existing beats and words and coming up new songs. A real world example of this would be the four chord song which compiles song people would consider each unique but happen to be based on the same 4 chords. If 1 person had ownership over these 4 chords and could stop other from using them a lot of famous songs couldn’t have been written.

Part 2 follows movie making and how story are reused over and over again that were in the public domain. If Disney and others keep extending copyright will we run out of story “idea” if new information doesn’t enter public domain?

Part 3 goes into how creativity works by looking at the history of the computer. How companies copied one another features like the GUI and mouse without suing each other as often as today where every having a similar looking design land you in a billion dollar lawsuit.

Part 4 goes into the history of intellectual property and why copyright and patents were invented. The issue discuss in class about how idea are difference from material properties. Also the effect of the growing legal protection on software and music.

I highly recommend you watch all 4 parts of Everything is a remix it is a very informative series.

Kirby Ferguson, the maker of Everything is a Remix, also did a TED talk on the subject of intellectual property.

Fair Use: Do you “own” the media on storage mediums?

If you buy a CD or book do you “own” it and should you be free to use it as you wish?

First, can you even copy your own media from one form to another? With CDs you now can copy them to in a cloud storage site / music player (through companies like amazon with the roll out of Amazon AutoRip). But with DVD making backups on your computer  is illegal (because you have to break DRM).

Do you have to buy the same media in difference formats for every device you own which seems “wrong” to having to repurchase VHS then DVD then Blue ray then digital download of the same material when there is nothing (other then legally) stopping you  from copying it over from one format to the next.

Second, can you resale or lend CD you own with others (first sale doctrine). Physical lending a CD to a friend doesn’t seem to be wrong morally (legally is another matter) since you can’t have it at the same time. It would be like a lending/selling a microwave. Digital lending a song is another matter because it would be like cloning a microwave and both people can use it. Assuming you do not delete your the file when the friend has it. 

If you buy a microwave you can do anything you want with it from reselling, taking it apart. or putting tin foil in it. So when you buy music should it be any different? Are you buying a licence to listen to a song, a piece of plastic, or the song itself?