Links Roundup for 17 March 2011

We’re highlighting two recent news items that are of interest to fans — one encouraging, and one less so.

  • White House wants new copyright law crackdown
  • The White House has issued a white paper from the office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, proposing new digital intellectual property laws. Included in the proposals is making “illegal streaming” of audio or video a federal felony, paired with an expansion of wiretapping powers that would allow enforcement agencies to eavesdrop on private communications in order to investigate suspected copyright violations, something previously only allowed for serious crimes, such as suspected terrorism and use of weapons of mass destruction.

    The report also advocates for new U.S. law that would “clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances,” a broad directive, the future implications of which are difficult to predict. As CNet noted, “The term ‘fair use’ does not appear anywhere in the report.”

    If you’d like to read the entire 20-page report, it can be viewed as a pdf here.

  • The Ada Initiative
  • The Ada Initiative, named for Ada Lovelace, considered the world’s first computer programmer, is a new non-profit organization to encourage women’s participation in FOSS, the free culture movement, and related initiatives. OTW Board member Francesca Coppa has joined their advisory board.

    As one of its first actions, the Initiative is conducting the Ada Initiative Census of women in open technology and culture. OTW members and supporters include a high ratio of women who are participants in open communities and are actively working to build those communities — including administrators of fannish wikis, OTW volunteers in all our projects, Dreamwidth developers, unconference organizers, and others. If you think this might be you, we encourage taking a moment to fill out the census to help guide the Initiative’s work.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about you can submit it in three easy ways: comment on the most recent Link Roundup on, LJ, or DW, tag a link with “for:otw_news” on Delicious or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note

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