Collaborative Music Production – by “Alexander F”

For my final project, I wanted to explore collaborative music production and create a piece of music collaboratively here at Yale.  Collaborative music production is where numerous individuals who may not know each other, or even be geographically near to each other, contribute to a song in pieces. One person may write a bass line, put it up on the internet and ask someone to record a great sax solo over it. There are many different permutations of this pattern, but has frequently allowed the music to be “copylefted” as each person contributes something new to the piece of music.

Currently, Indaba Music has been put in the spotlight for its increasingly successful website and the collaborative music experience it provides. Just recently even, Wired magazine has asked its readers to crowdsource a song using Indaba’s innovative online software. Check out this link for more

During this project, I got a chance to ask some questions to one of the founders of Indaba, Dan Zaccagnino, and learn about some of the challenges collaborative music making presents, and also the ways they have been able to make it work. Continue reading “Collaborative Music Production – by “Alexander F”” – by “Sebastian P” and RepEconomy on twitter is the final project of Andrew Gu, Avi Sutton, Kai Chao, Meryln Deng, Sebastian Park, and Shirley Berry.

The goal of this website is to expand on the growing base of information about reputation economies.  This site does not represent all different branches of reputation economies, but it does include different perspectives on how reputation economies are viewed.  We also hope to provide information regarding how reputation economies can be studied (in our game theory and experiment section).

Generally defined, a reputation economy is a group whose “currency” relies on a measure of reputation (diversely defined) within a community or domain.  Reputation measures, while heterogeneous in type, are based on a collection of opinions that other entities hold about the consumable goods.  These opinions come from ratings that are centralized through an algorithm.

On our web site, you will find:

  • Legal implications of real-world reputation economies
  • Our own “car sales” experiment to measure the persistence of reputation over time
  • Examples of real-world reputation economies that span from games to non-profit reputation economies
  • Game theory implications of reputation economies
  • Additional resources for further reading
  • Link to our twitter
  • Link to our presentation from class, which includes a summary of our project initiatives as well as questions that need to be considered.

We are more than happy to answer any questions.  We encourage you to browse through the website.

Copyright: A Day in the Life of Jack – by “Matthew C”

For our final project, Logan, Michael, and I created a short film about a normal college student named Jack who tries to go through a day following copyright law.  He soon realizes how difficult the task is and hilarity (hopefully) ensues.  A scholarly professor type keeps a running tab throughout the day of Jack’s various violations and provides brief explanations of some of the legal issues.  The film should illustrate the massive gap between the letter of the law and the way we live our lives.

We were inspired by articles like the Tehranian reading in which a law professor racks up multi-million dollar damages for seemingly innocuous behavior.  By portraying the logical conclusion of copyright laws, hopefully we’ve helped in the crusade to unmask absurdity.

It’s been a great class and I hope everyone enjoys the video!

Because of issues with the file size, the video had to be uploaded as 8 separate clips.  The following is the link to the first clip of 8. The rest of the clips will automatically play when the first one is complete.

Re:Re:Re:Mix. A project by Brendan Griffiths and Brian Watterson. – by “Brendan G”

Re:Re:Re:Mix is a project about the issues and implications surrounding fair use and copyright law. In 2007 YouTube released Content ID, a system that enables copyright holders to choose in advance whether they want to track, monetize, or remove their content from YouTube entirely. The system uses fingerprinting technology to identify a copyrighted work by comparing audio and video tracks. If either match, the video will be flagged by the system and the copyright holder will be notified. The problem is that Content ID doesn’t consider fair use. And it can’t, because only a human can discern between an infringing work and one that falls under fair use, a doctrine which allows for commentary, news reporting, research, teaching and scholarship, and criticism.

As makers we feel it is important to highlight these problems and inform other artists of their rights. All creative works are referential to some degree, and to prohibit works from entering the zeitgeist of Internet culture is in direct conflict with the original intention of copyright law: to promote the progress of science and useful arts.

Project Update: High School Class – by “Anna L”


For our midterm project, Alex and I taught a law class at James Hillhouse High School. The school is located less than a mile from Yale (on Sherman Parkway and Henry Street). Over a thousand students attend the high school; 88% are black, 10% are Hispanic, and 2% are white.1 Hillhouse High has historically been an underperforming school but has improved in recent years. Now 63% of students are proficient in writing (a 17% gain from 2007) and 47% of students are proficient in reading (an 11% gain from 2007).2 However, even though student performance has improved, Hillhouse High School students are still performing below the national average.3

The instructor for the class we taught, Mr. Paulishen, informed Alex and I that many of the students don’t have internet access at home. Those applying to college have to stay late at school to work on the school computers, because most colleges ask that applications be submitted online. The students who own computers at home often have to use the school printer because they don’t have a printer or can’t afford ink.

When Alex and I originally designed the lesson plan, we took a lot for granted. All the high school students we knew frequently used websites like and Wikipedia. We also assumed most students had been exposed to concepts like copyright and social networking before. We found out quickly that we needed to do a lot more explaining than we had originally planned, and so we decided to cover less in order to make sure that what we taught was understood well.

We taught 8 students who were enrolled in a class called Educational Law. We taught the class by sitting in a circle. It was discussion-oriented, and all of the students participated at least once. We chose to talk about topics we had discussed in Intro to Law & Technology that could be useful for them to know.

First, Alex discussed Facebook. Most of the students had Facebook accounts (only 2 didn’t). He talked about what information is safe to display, privacy settings, Facebook quizzes, and terms of use. He also pointed out that that college admissions officers and employers often view Facebook pages, and Facebook employees can see who you view and how frequently you view them.

Next, I discussed Wikipedia. Only 2 students said they were familiar with Wikipedia. I talked about how Wikipedia works, its guiding principles (no original research, verifiability, etc.), its reliability, its usefulness as an educational tool, how to edit it, and the incident with Jimmy Wales and the David Rohde kidnapping. We even inspired the class to create a Wikipedia page on their own high school in order to learn further about some of the ideas we had discussed.

Finally, we discussed fair use. We talked about what “copyright” means, what can and can’t be copyrighted, and digital sampling. We also listened to a few songs and discussed whether the samples taken from different songs and used in others were fair use. For example, we compared these two songs:

Bittersweet Symphony—The Verve

Ridin Solo—Jason Derulo

We discussed issues like whether Derulo’s song has the potential to affect the market value of Bittersweet Symphony, which is one important factor in U.S. law used to determine whether a beat or digital sample can be considered fair use.

The class went well, and even though we didn’t get to cover everything we wanted, we hopefully exposed the students to some new issues they hadn’t considered before.

We recorded the class. It can be viewed here:

-Anna and Alex


Project: FicBound – by “Eric F”

While fanfiction has been around for decades, the Internet has provided a new gathering place for fans to share their passion and creativity with others.  As we have seen in class, remix culture is entering into mainstream consciousness and “remix literature” will undoubtedly begin to play a bigger part as well.  However, because fan work violates the current laws protecting copyright and has been subject to cease-and-desist, the fan community has an uneasy relationship with publishers and original copyright owners.

In the past, fans often congregated around centralized archives, such as  Currently, much of fan activity has moved to LiveJournal and LiveJournal communities.  While great for authors, allowing them to have better control over their content, it has lead to the decentralization of fanfiction and an increasing difficulty of navigating each community.

Our solution, FicBound, would serve to provide a platform for discovering new fanfiction to those new to the community, as well as provide the community tools for rating and organizing fanfiction.  Structured much like Digg, FicBound would be adapted to the fanfiction community’s needs, thus integrating social as well as publishing and sharing elements.  The content itself would remain on the LiveJournal and archive accounts of the users, thus allowing them to maintain full control.

FicBound hopes to build on Clay Shirky’s insight that “Conversation is king.  Content is just something you talk about.” While recognizing the difficult issues surrounding fanfiction, we nonetheless hope to build an useful platform to facilitate conversations around content for fans.

For those who wish to view our paper in full, please go to:

– Eric and Crystal

Project: Collaborative Education – by “Aditya K”

The internet has made it easier to access, share, and create content. This truism has huge implications for education; with access to the Web, educators and students have escaped the confines of the classroom. The ability to share lesson plans, collaborate on lessons, and peer produce projects is exciting—but with it brings many potential effectiveness issues, infrastructural issues, and copyright issues.

We interviewed teachers at Amistad, a New Haven charter school, regarding their thoughts on collaborative education and fair use, and gleaned interesting insights. After examining their comments and doing some research, we broke down collaborative education into three main systems, and analyzed each: An intra-school-network system of sharing lesson plans; a system where teachers sell lesson plans; and a system where teachers share lesson plans freely. Each system had quite a few pros and cons.

Alongside Nick Bramble at the Yale ISP, we submitted these analyses to the FCC. We also worked with Nick to help draft a piece addressing fair use issues in education. With new technologies and no clear rules, fair use in education is a topic that must be addressed and made clearer. With regards to our project, sharing materials and lesson plans online creates a vibrant atmosphere that, unfortunately, is setting itself up for abuse/lawsuits. If educational copyright issues aren’t made clearer, the potential that this peer-to-peer atmosphere creates may be stifled.

To see some of our contributions, check out this document (.doc).

Mellon Forum Project – by “Evin M”


Yale has always been committed to the open dissemination of knowledge, and the university has used begun to use recent advances in technology to distribute information easily and efficiently — for example, through open courses Yale is freely making many of its classes available online. However, as it stands professors are the primary benefactors of this technology, and students don’t have similar institutional support to share their own important work with the world. To further the goal of dissemination of knowledge as well as to allow students to participate in this global forum, we started a project to record videos of senior presentations in the twelve college’s Mellon Forums and then make them freely available online.

The Mellon Forums provide seniors with an intimate setting to present their thesis work to a group of their peers over dinner and dessert.  These forums are already an important platform for seniors to present their thesis research by giving them time to present and openly share their work with their classmates — otherwise most seniors’ research would be mostly hidden from view. One limitation of this, however, is that by their nature the forums must be small and presentations are given to a very restricted audience despite the fact that many people (friends from other colleges and years, family, and curious outsiders) are particularly interested in the work these students are doing. Putting videos of these presentations online would not only make this knowledge available not only to other students, but also to all the world. Taping a presentation might make it slightly more formal, but it also heightens the energy and impact of the presentation. And further, recording these presentations sends the message to students that yes, their research really is important enough that the university believes it is worth showing to the world.

Check out our site here. We’ll continue updating it!

-Evin, Paul, & Paulo

New Business Models for News – by “Max C”

“This is a case of something close to what economists call market failure: Something is deemed important, but there isn’t enough of an incentive for the private sector – the market – to provide it on a broadly democratic basis.” —Ralph Whitehead, Jr., The Boston Globe

It’s no secret that journalism has fallen into a bad way. When the President of the United States takes the time to express concern about something, it’s probably worth noting. And while he notes that professional, investigative reporting is “absolutely critical to the health of our democracy,” he seems unsure that it will remain intact in this capricious modern age of new media. Various exciting, promising offshoots of journalism have appeared and begun to flourish thanks to the Internet — such as its citizen and social media derivatives — but as Rupert Murdoch noted at an FTC conference last week, “Good journalism is an expensive commodity.” And it is one that the World Wide Web has left largely without a financial platform to support it.

That’s why the discussion of new, innovative business models for journalism has become essential. And thankfully, that discussion has been happening — and continues to happen every day — in the blogosphere, in the editorial columns of the world, and on fantastic websites like CUNY’s News Innovation resource. But to our knowledge, no one web location has attempted to condense and distill all that discussion and information into an easily digestible, comprehensive format. It is with that in mind that we established this website.

We have set up a repository of lengthy, informative posts on what we think to be the eight main models that are the most discussed and pursued right now. In each analysis, we describe the model and the innovation that led to its birth, businesses and entrepreneurs who have pursued these models (and to what success), the probable future of the model, and the financial role we think the model is most likely to play in the long run. We also have a cache of Supplements, which includes other journalism/business model-related pieces we have written recently from conferences and various assignments.

We hope that you learn as much reading all of this information as we did in compiling it. Many thanks!

-Jakob Dorof, Sam Duboff, and Max Cutler

Website: New Business Models for Journalism

High School Education Project – by “Anna L”

Alex and I went to Hillhouse High School to teach students who were in an educational law class. We designed the lesson to be discussion oriented, and we tried to focus on issues we have looked at over the course of the semester that affect them—like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, and fair use. It went really well, and we think that they came out of the class with a better understanding of important issues they might not have considered before. It was also a very eye-opening experience for Alex and me. We had to simplify what we had planned to say, because they had less background knowledge than we had expected. Most of the students had never used Wikipedia, and only some of them had a Facebook account.