The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.
Attitudes towards plagiarism have not always been the same. But this story about a signed letter from Rudyard Kipling admitting promiscuous plagiarism kind of made my day.
“I am afraid that all that code in its outlines has been manufactured to meet ‘the necessities of the case’: though a little of it is bodily taken from (Southern) Esquimaux rules for the division of spoils.
“In fact, it is extremely possible that I have helped myself promiscuously but at present cannot remember from whose stories I have stolen.
“Very sincerely, Rudyard Kipling.”
The choice of words is also very interesting promiscuously and stolen. Kipling seems to realize the importance of his actions but admits them freely in this letter.
You’ve heard it before… social media is a cocktail party. You have to be interesting and interact. Lurk at a cocktail party and you will get bored. Even worse your friends will get bored of you and not invite you again. So get stuck in there.
The problem is that this is a metaphor… Being funny at a cocktail might be ok. Being amusing on social media? Not always. Not for the first time I put forward this view at a discussion between politicians and social media scholars in Borås.
Here I argued that tone of voice is important and government bodies should be wary of social media. In particular I used examples of the police in a Swedish town creating and using their own Gangnam Style parody. I tried to explain that this was problematic in relation to copyright law, use of government property and the way in which the police are to be perceived.
Not everyone agreed. They argued funny was good for government and that parodying popular memes could only create a popular buzz. We agreed to disagree. So today, not without a touch of schadenfreude, I read this on Torrentfreak:
Four mayors in Denmark now know what it’s like to become a target of an international recording label out for blood over copyright. The controversy stems from the publication of a YouTube video featuring the officials dancing to Gangnam Style. Universal Music, the company holding the copyright to the original track, have warned the mayors that unless they pay $42,000 by tomorrow, a copyright infringement battle will follow.
Supposing they “chose” to pay rather than going to court my question is who should pay? Should the Danish taxpayer be forced to pay for the mayors’ lack of judgement? Or is it a personal liability? Shouldn’t the mayors been doing something better with their time that attempting to follow the tail end of a dying meme?
So the next time someone questions my ideas about the importance that government bodies not have a sense of humor I shall ask if they can afford their own amusement.
Finnish media reports that Kristina Isola, a designer at Marimekko has apologized for plagiarizing a painting by Maria Primachenko in her print Metsänväki (“Forest Dwellers”). Plagiarism is not that newsworthy but her motivation caught my eye:
“I didn’t think about copyright or that I appropriated someone else’s creative work. “Forest folk” felt so close to me and I wanted to share that forest feeling with as many people as possible,”
The desire to share objects of beauty is probably one of the causes that drives most of Pinterest. This doesn’t diminish the charges of plagiarism or copyright violation but at what point does the desire to share beauty become socially/legally wrong?
It’s GikII time.
When robots, drones, autonomous agents, Facebook stalking, teleportation, 3D printing, MMORPGS, science fiction, computer games and superhero justice are discussed within the realms of the law and LOL cats, you know the time for the annual GikII workshop has arrived! Yes it’s time for GikII VIII – and a time to immerse ourselves in debates about cutting-edge technology, popular culture and the law.
This year GikII will be “in sunny, golden-sandy Southern city of Bournemouth with its sparkling sea and almost California-like-but-not-quite atmosphere. It will be held on 16-17 September 2013″
Comfort is a dangerous thing. By becoming comfortable we stop moving, we remain in our comfort zones. These can be mental, physical, geographical, emotional…
The desire to remain within a comfort zone is obvious. It’s nicely illustrated in an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny attempts to teach Sheldon to act (Series 4 Episode 14 – The Thespian Catalyst)
Penny: Okay, that’s fine, but let’s try and get you out of your comfort zone.
Sheldon: Why would we want to do that? It’s called the comfort zone for a reason.
Resting is tempting but movement is more important. Michelle wrote some very sound advice in HOWTO: Be a cool old person which includes things like learn a new language every decade & Move. I really should be learning a new language but this time I shall start with moving.
So with this in mind I am exiting Europe, heading West and relocating to Philadelphia!
One of the problems with using as many Creative Commons licensed images as I do is creating and maintaining a system so that I am able to attribute the right picture to the right creator in the right way.
This is why I’m excited about the project Commons Machinery that promises to make my life much easier.
Commons Machinery is building infrastructure in support of the Commons. Our aim is to make the use of digital works as easy as possible by developing new technology built on open standards for licensing, attribution and provenance.
So support Commons Machinery and make attribution (and life) easier.
Huge hi-res images are fascinating and the London Panorama from the BT Tower is no exception. But the resolution got me thinking that this was an excellent visualization of what surveillance really can look like. It’s not only the barely visible images taken from cheap cameras on walls. Check out the zoom on this baby…
Do you see the man with the red shirt and glasses?