a Gutenberg moment?

Today the iPad goes on sale. David Pogue and others have given this revolutionary device a big thumbs up. Some have predicted it will galvanize the end of Kindle. The speculation is rampant. This opinion piece in today’s New York Times by Marc Aronson includes an analysis on how the delivery of content is challenged by the historic limitations of copyright:

“We treat copyrights as individual possessions, jewels that exist entirely by themselves. I’m obviously sympathetic to that point of view. But source material also takes on another life when it’s repurposed. It becomes part of the flow, the narration, the interweaving of text and art in books and e-books. It’s essential that we take this into account as we re-imagine permissions in a digital age.

When we have a new model for permissions, we will have new media. Then all of us — authors, readers, new-media innovators, rights holders — will really see the stories that words and images can tell.”

The seminar next week organized and hosted by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology is an excellent venue to explore this and other copyright topics.

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