Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tenebaum v RIAA: How it feels to be sued for $4.5m

The Tenenbaum v RIAA trial has finally begun in a Boston courtroom and perhaps a little surprisingly, given how reluctant they were, at the original deposition in September 2008, to indicate how Charles Nesson got involved in the case, Joel Tenenbaum himself, writing in yesterday's Guardian, freely reveals that Professor Nesson approached him.

Needless to say the Tenenbaum case will be closely watched by the usual suspects but this whole area of the future of our information ecology has to get beyond the usual small number of commercial vested interests, librarians, scholars, artists and activists and somehow into the consciousness of the wider public, if we are to make any real progress. In the case of our physical environment people 'get' the climate change argument even if, as Edward O. Wilson eloquently explained in a New Scientist interview in 2006 (podcast below) about his attempts to reach out to the US religious right, we are in denial about the message and the potential lifestyle implications.

The environmental sustainability story is at least on the cognitive radar of Jo Public although, as David McKay says, it is every big and not every little that is going to make a difference. The ongoing evolution of our knowledge ecology sadly exercises the cerebral and professional energies of the few; and even those few have little or no empirical evidence with which to work to enable the beginnings of any kind of rational mapping of our future information landscape.

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