James Boyle is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. He is the author of The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind and Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society. He writes widely on issues of intellectual property, internet regulation and legal theory. He was one of the founding board members of Creative Commons, which works to facilitate the free availability of art, scholarship, and cultural materials by developing innovative, machine-readable licenses that individuals and institutions can attach to their work. He served as a board member from 2002 until 2009, the last year as Chairman of the board. He was also a co-founder of Science Commons, which aims to expand the Creative Commons mission into the realm of scientific and technical data, and of ccLearn, which works to promote the development and use of open educational resources. Professor Boyle is also a member of the academic advisory boards of the Electronic Privacy and Information Center, the Connexions open-source courseware project, and of Public Knowledge. In addition, he continues to write an online column for the Financial Times' New Economy Policy Forum.
SPECIAL GUEST: Cartoonist, animator, and free culture activist Nina Paley will screen and discuss her critically-acclaimed animated feature, "Sita Sings the Blues" (2008) on the evening of Friday April 30. Billed as "The Greatest Break-up Story Ever Told," "Sita" artfully intertwines elements of autobiography, episodes from the Indian epic, "Ramayana," four distinct animation techniques, and a revelatory soundtrack of jazz standards by 1920s singer, Annette Hanshaw. The film would be essential viewing on any account, but Ms. Paley's struggles to secure music rights and distribution for the film have since made her a passionate advocate for free culture. She currently offers "Sita" on-line for free download under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike license and relies primarily upon merchandising to generate revenue from the project. Despite this perceived handicap, "Sita" has earned Paley more revenue than conventional distribution, and won dozens of awards at film festivals from Berlin to Montreal, and lauds from such mainstream critics and A.O. Scott and Roger Ebert. For more information about the film, see the official website. Visit Ms. Paley's blog.