Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm off to Melbourne, Australia today to speak at the Alfred Deakin Innovation Lectures series. I'll be there for about two days. Too bad it's during the best season in Japan... the spring before the rainy season.


Currently raining in Tokyo and forecast tomorrow is for rain too, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. (Sunday is to be nice though.)

enjoy. melbourne is great.

It's quite cold down in Melbourne now. We just came out of an unseasonably warm patch of Autumn.

Hope you have fun in our city!

Joi, I love this time of year for its warm but not sweltering weather. I'll be sure to enjoy it for you!

Enjoy your time in Oz

I just got home from that lecture you were in town to give.

I got the impression that you're rather more pro-rampant-infringement than Lessig is, but found both perspectives interesting and both of your talks enjoyable. Thanks for doing it.

hope you ejoyed melbourne.
_tokyogoat_ is right. melbourne's really great :)
famous for its crazy weather though. it's been raining here in brisbane. i hope mebourne held on to the sun for you.


Iain: I was trying to give a practical business view rather than the legal view. My belief is that the current laws do not track business sense and if you believe in common law, commercial law should track the norms, not outdated practices. My point was that from a business perspective, it makes more sense to allow sharing than to enforce it in many cases and some smart companies, such as Japanese Anime are joing just that. I also wouldn't call it rampant-infringement if the owner doesn't mind. There are clear business practices developing between the remixing fans and the publisher and they are following this code. I think that the law need to catch up with the practices, but until then we have to cover with contracts such as creative commons and such practices would be nice to codify into some legal codes.

Iain doesn't get it.

oops... sorry, the above comment was by me... typed in the wrong name.

Hi Joi,

I also attended this afternoon's lecture. The commercial perspective you presented was certainly a valuable addition to the discussion. Thanks for speaking!

Put as you did, the economic potential of new content distribution mediums seems obvious. My question, then, is: 'why are traditional rights-holders are so hesitant to embrace it?' What do you think it will take to convince Big Media that the very technology which threatens to undermine their position of market dominance could actually be the means to retain (or strengthen) it?

Thanks again to Larry and Joi for an excellent discussion. The lectures have been videoed, so I hope we'll see some torrents within the next few days.


Jaani. I think it is a combination of a variety of things. Many of the people in power have very limited segments of the value chain and will be disintermediated even with a slight shift in the business model. Other actors have monopolies that provide a higher than deserved profit margin. Also, the shorter head and longer tail dramatically changes the role of the distribution channel. All of these things are painful for those who control the system today. At another level, I think artists and many people are probably just not confident or are ignorant about possible alternatives. I think they key is to see some commercial successes with alternative models and document metrics that show value in a different way. For instance, every P2P download is counted as a "lost sale." Well, clearly these fancon people can show how P2P fans are not lost sales, but new markets. We need to do studies and provide a new framework for thinking about this. Until then, all of my blabber can be written off as either fringe or anecdotal evidence...

Perhaps I should have said this: I have no problem with rampant infringement, but think it's a fitting label for the difference between Joi's perspective and Lessig's, where Lessig emphasizes respect for the rights of the artist but Joi emphasizes access to the production of the artist, because those who access it and like it will tend to pay for it somehow.

I may have got the wrong impression.

I think Joi's approach is naturally going to lead to rampant infringement of current copyright laws, which I don't actually have a problem with. I intended the phrase solely as an observation of what seemed to be the biggest ideological difference between the two Creative Commons speakers, which I considered a noteworthy difference. I think my pithiness killed me somewhat.

Oh, a minor criticism: Joi, you seemed to spend quite a bit of time, particularly noticable at the start of the talk, looking either to the other speakers or the projection screens. When you did this you turned your back on a portion of the audience; I don't know if you noticed or not. Not that I have anything against your back, it's just not as compelling a speaker.

Iain: Thank you for the feedback on turning my back on the audience. Good point.

I guess I was just reacting to the negative connotation of the word "rampant infringement". You could also call it "passionate promotion".

Great presentation, Joi. Hearing you and Larry speak (with very well prepared presentation screens) really helps keep the copyright/copyfight/IP debate in perspective.

Specifically, it gives me ammunition to use when trying to explain the current "extremism" to people. Without it, I get as far as "of course creators should be allowed some protective rights, but the system has gone too far, because..." and then get unsure of my arguments. Yesterday's lecture reminded me that I'm not crazy: there are real and important arguments for a more balanced approach.

I thought that discussing the creative commons in conjunction with public broadcasting was interesting, because it seems a challenge for those outlets to make decisions which contrast with the legal stance of the government. The ABC's stance on discussion boards and the legalities of allowing unmoderated chat have been really constrictive. It will be interested to see if the online division takes on this type of licencing for their online content, as I know at least some of the commissioning editors are big fans of Lessig's work.

Your comments on marketing and the Anatomy of the Long Tail made sense of something I felt (the diversification and value in serving niche markets) but hadn't heard so succinctly expressed before. Thanks, the lecture was great.

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I wish I was in Melbourne for these. Jay, Joi, and Larry are all there. It would be awesome to hear them talk. Is there a podcast in the works? (Given the quality of the website, I doubt it...)... Read More

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