Upcoming Events: Ethereum: Freenet or Skynet? (4/15); Fair Use(r): Art and Copyright online (4/22)

April 09, 2014

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berkman luncheon series

Ethereum: Freenet or Skynet?

Tuesday, April 15, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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Ethereum is a contract validating and enforcing system based on a distributed public ledger (or blockchain) such as the one implemented by the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Yet, Ethereum also features an internal Turing-complete scripting language that can be used to encode advanced transaction types directly into the blockchain. This allows for the deployment of self-enforcing smart contracts (such as joint savings accounts, financial exchange markets, or even trust funds) as well as distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs) that subsist independently of any moral or legal entity. These algorithmical entities are both autonomous and self-sufficient: they charge users from the services they provide so as to pay others for the resources they need (e.g. bandwidth, cpu). Thus, once they have been created and deployed onto the blockchain, they no longer need (nor heed) their creators.

But if DAOs are independently operated — neither owned nor controlled by any given entity — who is actually in charge, responsible for, or accountable for their operations? And if their resources cannot be seized (because DAOs have full sovereignty over them), how can they be required to pay damages for their torts? This talk will analyse the interplay between distributed autonomous organizations and the law, with a view to explore the dangers and opportunities of Ethereum: could this new platform promote the establishment of an entirely decentralized society, or will its disruptive potential eventually be absorbed by the established system?

Primavera De Filippi is a postdoctoral researcher at the CERSA / CNRS / Université Paris II (Panthéon-Assas). She is currently a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where she is analyzing the challenges raised by distributed architectures and multimedia applications in the context of cloud computing and peer-to-peer networks. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Fair Use(r): Art and Copyright online?

Tuesday, April 22, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

berkman

With the democratization of content creation came the democratization of the overzealous copyright claim. Do private agreements between copyright holders and hosting platforms such as YouTube’s Content ID system compromise artist's fair use rights? This open discussion invites artists, users and lawyers to share their copyright experiences with hosting platforms and debate the future of distributing digital arts works online.

Pop Culture Pirate is the digital home of Elisa Kreisinger, a Brooklyn-based video artist remixing pop culture. Her latest work includes mashing up Mad Men into feminists and The Real Housewives into lesbians. Elisa’s 2012 US Copyright Office testimony helped win crucial exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, decriminalizing DVD ripping for artistic statements. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

Jeff Young on Pop-Up Learning: The Future of MOOCs and Online Education

berkman

After months of hype and hope about MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, one thing is clear: they aren’t very good at teaching those most in need of education. Instead, they’re serving the education “haves”: About 80 percent of people taking MOOCs already have a college degree. But free online courses may still spark an education revolution, in ways that their biggest proponents hadn’t guessed. In this talk Jeff Young -- editor and writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education and Berkman Fellow -- takes a closer look at who is taking MOOCs and why, and examines how free courses fit into broader Internet trends. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

Local, national, international, and online events that may be of interest to the Berkman community:

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Last updated April 09, 2014