The Future of Intellectual Property and the Web

22 04 2010

FutureWeb2010 Conference, Raleigh, N.C., April 29, 1:30-3 p.m.

Chair: Dave Levine, assistant professor of law at the Elon School of Law. Levine is also a non-resident fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. His teachings and research focus on the operation of intellectual property law at the intersection of technology and public life, as well as intellectual property law’s impact on public transparency. Levine gained experience in the area of intellectual property during his time as a an associate at the Manhattan offices of Pryor Cashman LLP and Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP, and while working as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of New York.

Session Description: Intellectual property law has seen rapid changes since the dawn of the modern, commercial Internet. Indeed, those changes have, in large measure, been engendered by the Internet itself. Those engaged in the law continue to struggle to find its place and role on the Internet, as the miasma of changes and mutations in how we interact with each other requires reconsideration of what we mean by “intellectual property.” This panel addresses issues facing the creators and consumers of intellectual property – in other words, all of us. The panel will aim to specifically isolate the key challenges and opportunities in the looming future for intellectual property and the Web and it will work to identify some specific action steps that can be taken today to work for a better tomorrow.


  • Ann Bartow

    Ann Bartow, teaches Intellectual Property Survey Law, Copyright Law, Trademarks and Unfair Competition Law, Patent Law and Cyberspace Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law. She is an expert in intellectual property laws and public policy and privacy and technology law, and she directs the Feminist Law Professors blog.

  • Eric Fink

    Eric Fink of Elon Law teaches about the law and society, in the specific areas of civil procedure, administrative law, law & social research, employment law, and professional responsibility. His current research projects include a study of dispute resolution in Second Life and law student participation in online social networks. Prior to teaching at Elon, Fink taught legal writing at Stanford Law School, and practiced law in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Visit his Web site at and his Social Science Network Research at

  • Jacqui Lipton

    Jacqui Lipton, professor and associate dean for faculty development and research at Case Western Reserve University. She is also co-director of the Center for Law Technology and the Arts and associate director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center. Lipton is an expert in cyberlaw and IP law with an international focus, and she has written many law review articles in these areas. She is co-author of the second and third editions of “Cyberspace Law: Cases and Materials.” Click here to view a full list of Lipton’s publications.

  • Ira Nathenson

    Ira Nathenson, assistant professor of law at St. Thomas University School of Law. He currently teaches courses in Intellectual Property, Cyberlaw, and Civil Procedure. Nathenson also serves as chair of the Technology Committee. He is an expert in technology law and copyrights, trademarks, DMCA safe harbors and digital preservation. His award-winning writings on intellectual property law have been published in journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology and the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. Visit his blog at

For more information about FutureWeb 2010 panel discussions, featured panelists and more, click here to navigate to the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, visit the FutureWeb registration page.

Duke University professor Negar Mottahedeh to speak on social media use in Iranian elections, film

22 04 2010

Photo courtesy of Duke Images

Duke University professor and social media expert Negar Mottahedeh started using Facebook to appease her mother. Little did she know, she’d be using the website to find safe havens for victims of violence in the Iranian election protest last summer.

Originally from Iran, most of Mottahedeh’s family managed to leave the country before the revolution in 1979, and since then, they’ve spread all over the world, from Norway to Kenya to Chile.

“I originally saw it as a way to unite the family and organized get togethers,” she said.

But she quickly recognized that social media could be used in even more powerful ways. In her work as an educator, she had her film students blog responses to movies, post comments on their readings and tweet their work to the “outside world.”

“Most Duke students come from a place of privilege,” Mottahedeh said. “Many already know a great deal, and they are there to get evidence for the fact that they know a great deal.”

With that in mind, her Introduction to Film Studies class organized the first-ever Twitter Film Festival to share their knowledge with the public. The class made segments and analysis from 35 of their favorite films public on the class blog, tweeting links to each and attracting more than 300 followers from all walks of life.

“Within the field of academics, I think [social media] will change the way we do research and the way we think about writing,” Mottahedeh said. “I think it will connect us as academics and help us stick alongside people who are not in academics.”

It wasn’t until last summer, though, that she and thousands of others watched as Twitter, Facebook and Google Maps were used to spread a global message in the Iranian presidential elections. As the incumbent regime suppressed protests on the ground, hundreds of thousands were tweeting their support or opposition.

Though Mottahedeh said she did not want to take sides in the political activism because it did not directly affect her, she became concerned by reports that the military police were taking the wounded to prison instead of hospitals.

“I joined the humanitarian effort to identify on Google Maps safe havens, directions and address for the injured to receive treatment,” she said.

In an effort to conceal their whereabouts, thousands of people tweeting from the ground changed their time zones, so only early followers like Mottahedeh knew where the information was coming from. She served as an active observer, posting her take on the use of social media in the crisis on her blog, The Negarponti Files.

Mottahedeh watched with the rest of the world as Iranian activists showed their support in unprecedented ways. In the past, protestors had worked to conceal their identities, but a new movement emerged in which tweeters showed their support by adding a green overlay to their avatars, with their faces turned straight to the camera.

Perhaps the most surprising movement came after a student was arrested for speaking about reform and human rights. The government-owned newspaper published photos of him wearing a woman’s veil, saying that he’d donned women’s clothing to escape persecution. Rumors to the contrary said the government forced him to wear the veil in an attempt to demean him.

In response, thousands of Iranian men changed their avatars to straight-on photos in women’s clothing. And it didn’t just stay online. All over the world, cross-dressed men gathered in person in demonstration of their support.

It was a statement saying, ‘I stand here in opposition to government. I stand against violations in human rights,’” Mottahedeh said. “I doubt that this kind of protest would be possible without social media.”

Mottahedeh will speak more about her observations and insights during the Future of Learning panel at FutureWeb Friday April 30.

By Rachel Cieri

Core Values and the Future of the Internet

22 04 2010

FutureWeb2010 Conference, Raleigh, N.C., April 29, 3:30-5

Chair: Alejandro Pisanty, professor at the National University of Mexico on sabbatical at Centro Geo. Pisanty is an active leader in the Internet Society and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). His career in computing began in 1972 and he went on to become highly involved in networks and the Internet since the late 1980s. Pisanty’s work with the Internet Governance Forum’s Advisory Group has allowed him to advocate a multiple-stakeholder, problem-oriented, consensus-based model for Internet governance.

Session Description:
What makes the Internet what it is? What is happening to its core values as it evolves? What should be preserved and how and what changes are inevitable? Internet protocol co-inventor Vint Cerf has noted that, “The remarkable success of the Internet can be traced to a few simple network principles – end-to-end design, layered architecture and open standards.” The Internet’s underlying principles are threatened when new policies to regulate the Internet are proposed with inadequate understanding of the core values. Leaders in the WWW and Internet community will discuss what its core values are, how they might evolve and how they might be maintained in the future. The panel will aim to specifically isolate the key challenges and opportunities in the looming future for core values and the Internet and it will work to identify some specific action steps that can be taken today to work for a better tomorrow.


  • Sir Tim-Berners Lee

    Sir Tim Berners-Lee, innovator of the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee serves as director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), founder of the World Wide Web Foundation and a director of the Web Science Research Initiative. In June 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that Berners-Lee plans to collaborate with the UK government to make information more accessible on the Web. Click here to view a full list of his publications.

  • Danny Weitzner

    Danny Weitzner, the associate administrator for policy at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where he directs the office that conducts research and analysis and prepares policy recommendations for the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. Weitzner formerly worked as the W3C Technology & Society policy director. He has conducted research on the development of new technologies and the corresponding public policy models, as well as legal challenges for the Web, including privacy, intellectual property and identity management.

  • Nathaniel James

    Nathaniel James, currently with the Mozilla Foundation and formerly a leader at OneWebDay and the Media and Democracy Coalition. James has years of experience in nonprofit administration, advocacy and community organization and outreach. He is committed to a vision of communications that fosters democratic participation, the exchange of diverse perspectives and equitable access. James has previously provided strategic consultation at Microsoft and for Greenpeace International, focusing on leveraging social networks and social media to achieve organizational goals.

  • Parry Aftab

    Parry Aftab, consultant on cybercrime, Internet privacy, kids’ safety online and cyber-abuse issues. Since 1995 she has been devoted to enhancing cyber-security for businesses and government entities. Aftab serves as executive director of, a volunteer organization dedicated to online safety. View Aftab’s blog at

  • Bill St. Arnaud

    Bill St. Arnaud, information technology consultant and futurist from Ottawa. St. Arnaud was formerly the chief research officer at CANARIE Inc., and served as an Internet Society board member. He currently advises clients on issues such as the next generation Internet, clouds, cyber-infrastructure, Web 2.0 and how new technologies will address the next generation of democracy. View his blog at

  • Scott Bradner

    Scott Bradner, longtime leader and Jon Postel Service Award winner at the Internet Society where he is currently secretary of the Board of Trustees. He chairs two working groups for the Internet Engineering Task Force and is the University Technology Security Officer at Harvard University. Bradner has contributed to many publications, including Network World in which he has been the author of the Net Insider column since 1992.

For more information about FutureWeb 2010 panel discussions, featured panelists and more, click here to navigate to the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, visit the FutureWeb registration page.