Jan 022013

New year, new blog…  Well, it’s the old blog, but I got tired of maintaining MovableType, so I ported “Statements of Interest” over to WordPress.  The migration was happily pretty painless, except that all my carriage returns seem to have vanished, and I couldn’t completely replicate the theme.  I settled on this one as a temporary measure, but hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to solve both of these problems.  And resurrect all the tags that disappeared.

I would actually rather be, you know, blogging rather than hacking my own website, but baby steps I guess…

Update 1/4: the paragraph breaks should all be fixed.  Now to salvage all the inline pictures…

Update 2/16: the paragraph breaks are not all fixed, apparently, but they will get fixed as I notice them and have a chance to update them. In the meantime, I’m still playing with the theme, so expect some future disorientation.

 Posted by at 9:18 pm
Jul 032012

Hello, world, it’s been a while, so I thought I’d catch you up on some of what I’ve been busy doing in my professional life while I’ve not been busy blogging here. I have, for instance, been doing a lot of writing elsewhere. My 2011 survey article on Internet intermediary liability was recently published (here’s the 2010 version), and a new update has also been drafted and is now in the editing process. I also wrote a chapter on navigating the DMCA for a practitioner’s guide to be published by the ABA hopefully sometime later this year.

I’ve also done a lot of public speaking on Internet law. In particular, this spring alone I spoke at a college media conference in New York City, at the Open Rights Group conference in London, and before the Silicon Valley chapter of the Internet Society, and separately presented a telephonic CLE through the California State Bar IP Section, which at some point should be downloadable as a podcast.

And now there’s this: along with Paul Alan Levy and Public Citizen I have taken on representation of Plaintiff Doe in Doe v. Carreon, a case made necessary by real and wrongful efforts by a fellow, but extremely wayward, attorney to chill the free speech rights of a blogger. I cannot think of an situation that further exemplifies exactly why I wanted to become a lawyer in the first place, to vindicate free speech interests that others would attempt to squelch, particularly, as in this case, with the misapplication of intellectual property law to the Internet.

Meanwhile, coming soon: further developments to Digital Age Defense.

 Posted by at 6:55 am
Feb 092012

For those people who still read this blog (anyone? anyone?) I wanted to announce my new blog, “Digital Age Defense.” In the long run “Digital Age Defense” will be more than just a blog – it’s a whole project dedicated to exploring and providing resources to people finding themselves in situations involving state sanctions for their technology use and development. At minimum this expertise will roll into my private practice, but I hope to somehow provide some benefit with it to serve the public interest as well.

In the meantime, however, the project consists of a WordPress blog, and posts relating to the convergence of cyberlaw and criminal law will appear over there. (Other legal and general interest posts will remain here.) Please go read it/like it/follow it/subscribe to it (multiple feeds available)!

 Posted by at 12:32 pm
Nov 272011

I think I’ve spent more time fixing my blog this year than actually posting anything to it, but now that it’s been fixed AGAIN, here’s hoping that changes…

 Posted by at 8:16 pm
Mar 212011

After an inadvertent nearly year-long blogging hiatus, I’m back. Or, rather, my blog is back.

It began by accident: at some point last year what had been a perfectly stable Movable Type 4 installation suddenly stopped working. (“Stopped working” means scripts stopped executing, which degraded the user experience and made it impossible to maintain.) Initial troubleshooting got me nowhere; it was clearly going to take more time — and patience — than I could muster right then.

Or in the months that ensued. My time (and especially patience) mustering skills are clearly lacking when it comes to frustrating technical troubleshooting. But thanks to Twitter, that was ok; my communicating-to-the-world itch got satisfied that way. (It also probably caused the further atrophying of my time-patience-mustering skills… hmm.) But Twitter is limited; it can’t replace everything that the long-form style of a blog enables, and eventually I came to miss that faculty so much I had no choice to bite the bullet and try to troubleshoot it again.

Which is what I finally did this weekend. I’m still — for the moment, at least — on Movable Type, even though it is the most cryptic blog platform to maintain, maybe, ever. Now that its contents are stored in a database it’s actually a teensy bit easier to install than it was when I first started using it way back at version 2, but the way layout is controlled has become extremely opaque. After staring at it long enough it starts to make some sense, but the whole enterprise really taxes dusty HTML and UNIX skills that usually lie dormant.

Nonetheless, success! My blog is now live, and upgraded to the latest version, with only minimal loss of content and styling. Note: I have only resurrected my more recent “Statements of Interest” blog. I am not sure I will ever revive my old “Great Change” one. I remember a time when I would have thought killing my blog a horrible prospect, but after nearly a year of it being essentially lost to the world I find myself a lot less panicked by the idea of it staying broken. In some ways I’m finding myself feeling grateful that the Great Blog Breakdown is forcing some simplicity — it’s something of a relief not to have to keep it alive too. My current thinking is to clean up and repost some of my favorite posts from it here and then let the rest fade away. I’m finding myself feeling surprisingly at peace with that idea.

In the meantime I do expect more tweaking will need to occur, and I will do my best not to have it destroy the blog that’s left in the process. The biggest project will be to try to get a grip on the comment situation. One of the reasons I stuck with MT, instead of fleeing for the greener pastures promised by WordPress, is that the world’s best anti-spam plugin exists only for MT. However, that may only be MT 4.x, and I’m on 5.x, so until I figure out if I can port it over, or find another solution, comments are off until I can deal with spam attacks. I do welcome feedback, though, so please feel free to email me and I can post updates to my posts if necessary. And if MT doesn’t break again…

 Posted by at 10:36 am
Mar 152009

My earlier-professed interest in English law is under fire from the rather horrific state of English law. Every day it seems I read about some new ghastly encroachment of civil liberties in the UK that even Orwell himself couldn’t dream up on his most cynical day.

Fortunately there is “Geeklawyer,” a UK technology and civil liberties lawyer, to fight the good fight, however drunkenly and/or pseudonymously. This week he is the host of Blawg Review #203, a Bacchanalian tribute to the latest in law blawgs. Including mine, despite my recent lack of prolificacy. He was kind enough to include a vaguely recent post, the one on contract lawyering, whose relevance increases with each passing week as more and more Big Law firms lay off even more of their lawyers. The legal business model is very broken, and I’m increasingly convinced that contingent arrangements are the key to the future.

But more on this and other topics later. Although hopefully not too much later, as I’d like to be able to make the next Blawg Review…

 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Mar 122009

About that new year’s resolution to blog more… Let’s just pretend that February didn’t happen, ok?

Because it’s obviously time to get back on the blogging wagon, seeing how Eric Goldman’s terrific blogging round table is convening again next week. I plan to attend, as usual, and ideally with the credibility of being an actual blogger. Thus it would probably help if I were actually blogging…

Interestingly, the theme for this round table is blogger burnout. Why are some people who blogged prolifically a few years ago now suddenly silent?

My silence, however, has nothing to do with burnout. I’m as committed to blogging as ever. Rather, my silence mostly has been due to life taking some interesting turns lately, and wanting to focus on seeing where they might take me. Still, I know that where I want to go blogging will help me get to, so I hope to return to more prolific posting here shortly.

In the meantime, if you’re a Bay Area Blawger, please drop by the event next week at Santa Clara University. Further details can be found at Eric’s site.

 Posted by at 8:54 pm
Jan 222009

I was starting to do so well, living up to a 2009 resolution to write a lot more. Why, right here on this blog I almost got up to a post-a-day average. But then my laptop broke, so here I am, sitting at home in the dark, curled up in a fetal position and shaking from withdrawal…

OK, that’s not technically true: I’ve found intermittent Internet access through other means, and I hope to have my own machine back shortly. But until then, and until I can catch up on writing about all the interesting things that need to be written about, I wanted to thank “CharonQC” (aka Mike Semple Piggot) for interviewing me for his podcast for his blog and Insite Law Magazine.

We talked about English and American law and practice, the economy, the presidency, and, uh, me… And yet somehow managed to avoid any mention of Stephen Fry, which seems odd because we managed to work in references to David Tennant and Edward Fox, yet Mr. Fry has had a greater influence on stoking my interests in UK law than either of the others. Oh well, for a future podcast perhaps…

 Posted by at 11:39 am
Dec 162008

The other day I prepared a lengthy post declaring how Twitter doesn’t really do anything for me. Then my ISP had a hardware crash that killed my website, and suddenly it became my only outlet to the world.

So I find myself with mixed feelings. On the negative side, I hate being limited to 140 characters to express my thoughts. I hate that URLs chew up great swathes of those precious characters, and I hate that the limit forces me to suppress my pedantic self and instead employ all sorts of obnoxious abbreviations and acronyms rather than gloriously full spellings in order to economize.

I also hate that Twitter doesn’t really solve the problem I want to solve. I’ve been looking for a technology that would allow me to quickly and easily post interesting links I stumble across through my blog with enough commentary to give them context but without needing to draft a full-fledged essay around them. So far I’ve tried and rejected Del.icio.us, and Twitter’s not looking much better either.

But let’s face it, all the cool people are twittering, so might as well give it a try.

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 Posted by at 5:57 pm