Sunday, April 22, 2012

2. Live Free (of Pollution) or Die!

This is not legal advice. Leave audio feedback at (512) 686-6329.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Below are notes about the items we discuss in the show, reasonably aligning with chronological order or discussion.

mp3 audio (for freedom haters*) | ogg audio (for freedom lovers)
*if you're learning, no worries! The mp3 issue is complicated, but here's something to get you started.

Target Audience:
This is an odd show as Nick and Doug do not discuss entertainment law, "intellectual property" or some aspect of law that might affect simply musicians on tour. Instead, we discuss what is known as "real property" law and do some public soul-searching about what is really important in this world.

If that sounds like it would interest you or if you simply love the earth and want to hear what we have to say about it, well, you are our target audience.

We'd like to apologize for the audio quality. We had some technical difficulties both in recording and in editing. We decided getting the show out on Earth Day was more important than a massive cleanup effort. After all, all that extra computing power requires energy!

We'd also like to apologize for the US-centric view of the show, but of course laws change from country to country. We do plan on doing some shows on international law. If that subject interests you, let us know and maybe we'll move it up in the schedule!

Brief mention of the background of the show.
1) Music Manumit started when Tom and I wanted to do a Creative Commons live music event back in 2009.
2) I thought we might be able to do that this year with Earth Day with various artists such as David Rovics, Emcee Lynx and Louis Lingg and the Bombs.
3) Then it was just going to be us and the Cyberunions guys having an interdisciplinary discussion.

Let us know if you want us to do something more next year!

I think we’ve got enough interdisciplinary stuff to talk about though...

Doug’s "relevant" Background:
Biology Degree, Chemistry Minor
worked in bacterial genetics and biochemistry lab at the UNC School of Medicine under Dr. Robert Bourret

Nick’s background
There are two UCC’s:

There’s also this one...

well, and this one...

Zoning laws had been aimed at keeping uses separate, but mixed use development is more sustainable within limits. “Design based codes” aimed at implementing the ideals of mixed use and sustainable urbanism: streets that facilitate pedestrians, etc.
    See also: Racism in Zoning

Environmental Justice:
The myopia of the early environmental movement, eg the work of Teddy Roosevelt is that it is more concerned with wilderness preservation than with the preservation of environments with dense human populations. It was a hobby of the privileged rather than a social justice issue of the disaffected.
Environmental Justice takes up the angle of environmental abuses that create injustice. The racial makeup of a neighborhood is a better predictor of that neighborhood’s potential to become polluted than any other factor assessed in [find these studies]. Siting decisions by polluters may or may not take into account the race of the residents
Legal strategies to address environmental racism:

Sustainable Urbanism:
Urban living is more sustainable because energy use is much less when resources, and people are in close proximity: the fewer people have to drive to get from home to work to their shopping, the more efficiently we live. Think of how Bradley and Karen have the exchange once a show “People shouldn’t drive.” “Most people in this country have to drive”. Sustainable urbanism aims to give more people more transportation options, so not as many people have to drive. More important than efficient transportation is efficient urban design - live closer to where you work and shop, in a place with greater density, and you have more options to get between those places: walk, bike, transit are not viable options in sprawling suburbia.

Form-based code

We don’t really discuss carbon neutral cities, but prepping for the show Doug listened to a lot of environmental podcasts and there is some interesting stuff out there on the matter:

So the irony is that urban living is both more sustainable and exposes you to more toxins.

Personal Liberty: Or how racial justice, religion and drug laws are related to US copyright law
Obviously we didn’t cover all of these topics in detail, but the point Doug wanted to make is essentially one of personal autonomy. This autonomy question implicates "moral rights" which we don't have in the US (aside from VARA). This is something I am sure we will return to in the future. Also, when thinking about environmental issues or copyright issues, we must not forget the famous Martin Niemöller quote:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

It is this mentality, which is why (thankfully) the world stepped up with us as Americans and did not let media corporations impose SOPA upon us. Though Nick and Doug are not versed in international law, we hope we can foster this sense of community on our site.

Early on Nick questions the legitimacy of Doug lumping all of this stuff together, so instead of discussing the substance of the issues, Doug tells about his personal struggle to find meaning in software freedom.

The key question is, “What good is the ability to edit code if we don’t have a livable planet?

Doug’s answer is that he can help empower climate scientists and activists.

More broadly, that’s what the show is about. It’s hard to be a citizen without knowing a little about the law. It is a fine line of course, because any time you need to make a hard legal decision, it is best to find a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. (NOTE: Doug is not a lawyer. Nick is licensed in PA and DC, but of course this show is not legal advice.)

We also just barely sneak in the Megaupload case and government takings:

If you want more info on religious freedom, drug laws, corporate power and how it all relates to environmentalism, check out these links.
If you care about the environment, how can you promote drug laws?

And, in case the title, does not make sense, Doug is currently studying at the University of New Hampshire. New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die"

Happy Earth Day!

Closing track:
"Song for the Earth Liberation Front" by David Rovics (folk) - CC BY-NC-SA* - Website
 *used commercially with permission

NOTE: Destruction of personal property and arson are probably illegal in your jurisdiction. You may want to consult a lawyer before engaging in any of the activity David suggests in his song. We simply