Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Two years ago I marched in protest against the Japan National ID. Last year, after we failed, a few cities and prefectures resisted. Yokohama took the position that the bill was illegal because it required privacy protection and the privacy bill had not passed. They allowed citizens to opt out and an whopping 24% of their citizens opted out. Now that the privacy bill of the central government is in place, Yokohama is being forced to "normalize" with the central government. Last year, I accepted an appoint to the Yokoyama personal information protection committee which would oversee their integration of the national ID system with the hope that I could help them in their resistance. Today, almost a year after the first meeting, I spent the afternoon in what was basically a rubber stamp session. We voiced our opinions, but at this point there really wasn't much choice. These inquiry committee are constitutionally defined organs for people to interact with the law making process, but I felt more like a cog with a rubber stamp than a participant in a democracy.

Metroblogging Tokyo just launched. I'm a contributor, but I haven't written anything yet.
torrentocracy - blog
Outfoxed Torrent (torrentocracy exclusive)

In working with Lawrence Lessig, Robert Greenwald has agreed to release the interviews within Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism under a Creative Commons non-commercial license (press release). This means that among the rights now granted, interviews balancing out the fair journalism of Fox News can freely be used as anyone sees fit. To see the full movie, you can purchase the Outfoxed DVD or check it out in theaters.

Torrentocracy (along with has exclusive initial access to distribute these interviews in their digital form due to the work undertaken to promote a TV-connected, public domain, internet based media distribution network. The torrent file to start your Outfoxed download can be found at For more information on how to use bit torrent peer-to-peer filesharing to download this, go here. If you were a Torrentocracy user, you could already be downloading Outfoxed to your television.

Here's some serious substantial non-infringing use of P2P. I bought the DVD and watched Outfoxed. Definitely worth buying the DVD, but being able to download and use the interviews from the documentary is a great contribution to the commons. It will be interesting to see how people remix this stuff.

Creative Commons
Developing Nations license launched

Today the Creative Commons launched a new standalone license, dubbed Developing Nations. The deed lays it out simply: it's an attribution-only license that applies within developing nations. The legal code defines developing nations as "any nation that is not classified as a 'high-income economy' by the World Bank." which according to the World Bank's site means it does not apply in these countries.

This license can be used in a few ways. It can be combined with something currently licensed under a more restrictive license, so that your photographs could be protected from commercial use in the United States, but if it also carried a Developing Nations license, those same photos could be used commerically in say, Brazil. You might also be a musician or photographer that wants to maintain full copyright in North America and Western Europe, but welcome use by others in the countries of Southeast Asia. More information can be found in today's press release.

This is a very important development. People have been asking for this. Many people choose non-commercial use because they worry about NBC or CBS ripping off their work. This provides the ability for countries with less Internet penetration to allow local entrepreneurs to print and distribute things that would not reach many of these people otherwise.

For those of you who can't make the Creative Commons benefit concert in New York next week, WIRED will present a Webcast of the show by David Byrne and Gilberto Gil, LIVE from the Town Hall, at 8 pm EST on September 21st.
For those of you who WILL be there. I'll be there too.