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London Copyfighters: Speak at Speaker’s Corner on Mar 19!


If you're in London on Sunday March 19, there's a public event at my office that I'd like you to come to: we eat brunch, go to Speakers' Corner, and give impromptu speeches about copyright in between the Marxists, god-botherers and loonies.

Since January 2005, I've hosted a series of EFF-sponsored monthly-ish brunches at my office in London's Stanhope Centre. These "London Copyfighters' Drunken Brunch and Talking Shop" events have been semi-open: anyone who showed up was welcome, but I didn't advertise it much because I couldn't afford to feed an army.

But Stanhope Centre's lost its lease, I'm retired from EFF, and spring is upon us, so for the very last of these events hosted at Stanhope, I'm throwing it open to the wide world. If you're interested in issues of copyright, patent, trademark, free information, access -- that kinda thing -- you're invited to come to Stanhope on March 19th for an 11AM-1PM brunch and then to come and give a speech at Hyde Park's legendary Speaker's Corner, just over the road.

Giving a speech at Speakers' Corner is wild -- it's the ultimate soap-boxing experience, and everyone who's done it swears by it. You can check out pictures of previous declaimings, too.

Come April and through the spring and summer, the Open Rights Group will continue to run Copyfighters' Brunches as picnics in Hyde Park, and it's hunting for a nearby indoor home for the autumn and winter of 2006.

March's event is co-sponsored by EFF, Open Rights Group, the Foundation for Free Information Infrastructure and the Open Knowledge Forum Network.

When: Sunday, March 19. Food from 11AM to 1PM; Speakers' Corner excursion 1PM-~2PM.

Where: Stanhope Centre (Stanhope Centre, Stanhope House, Stanhope Place, London W2 2HH)

Directions: The nearest underground station is Marble Arch. If you are at the Marble Arch tube station, walk West on the North side of the street. The Street is Oxford Street as you exit the tube but it immediately becomes Bayswater. Keeping walking due West for 2 blocks (using the pedestrian underpass to cross under Edgeware Road). Hyde Park will be on your left or to the South as you walk. Then, take the first right after you exit the pedestrian underpass is Stanhope Place. (It is about 75 yards from where you exit the pedestrian underpass. Walk north on Stanhope Place approximately 50 feet to the first set of steps on the block. You will see a sign for Stanhope Centre. Walk up the stairs and ring the bottom bell, which is marked Stanhope Centre.


2 Responses to “London Copyfighters: Speak at Speaker’s Corner on Mar 19!”

  1. jono says:

    I want free access to your ladder. And your t-shirt. And the contents of your bag. And your bag. No? Why not? So what do I care if you paid for it? Give it to me.

    Ever had anything taken and used without your permission? I had my scooter stolen, and I once had an original photograph of mine used without permission.

    What really is the difference between stealing a scooter and stealing a photograph? The scooter cannot easily be copied; stolen yes, copied no. For the photograph, stealing and reproducing without permission are the same thing. Yes I know there is a theoretical distinction between ownership and copyright, I'm simply using the scooter theft to illustrate why information theft is so appealing to you. It's EASY.

    Why should anything that can be expressed as a bit be free? If it's your original creation, why can you not protect it from being copied? Vespa do it, I do it, why can't Microsoft and Coldplay?

    One reason big scary megacorp is sphinctering up on issues of copyright is because of your belief "that bits exist to be copied." I think the free information lobby has just begun to realise that they brought DRM on themselves.

    p.s. I didn't have to sue to get paid for the use of my photo because I had a copyright licence and he paid up.

  2. Gabriel says:

    "Vespa do it, I do it, why can’t Microsoft and Coldplay?"

    You're forgetting a very important detail in this issue. A ladder, a handbag, a stick of lip balm - you bought those things because you needed them, and because they were made available to you. But if you could have improvised a ladder using boxes or lumber, hand-made your own handbag, or derived some lip balm equivalent using aloe vera, would you still have bought those things? Most likely, no.

    A person's reason for not paying for something is their own business. If they decide not to buy a Coldplay mp3, it doesn't matter if the reason is because they didn't like the song, or if the reason is that they could get it free by downloading it, or if the reason is because a space alien from the planet Oogah-Boogah told them not to. It's their decision, and they don't have to answer to anyone for their options or their decisions.

    No company or individual has the right to be paid for anything. What you get to do is sell or not sell. You don't get to determine prices, market forces are repsonsible for that. Don't like it? Tough. That's freemarket capitalism for you.

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