In the past few years, interesting conversations about new media and innovation have taken place at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival. Voting for the panels to be featured in 2010 is taking place until September 4 -- here are a few proposals that we think will yield interesting discussions:
A panel titled "Reading ReInvented: Can You Steal this Book?" organized by Jason Schultz at the UC Berkeley School of Law seeks greater clarity on the future of the book -- a topic in serious need of attention from the smart and creative in light of Amazon's remote deletions on the Kindle, concerns with Google Book Search, and more. The panel proposal includes some interesting, open-ended questions, including "Who owns what we read?" and "What will libraries look like?"
For independent filmmakers -- particularly remixers -- there appear to be a number of fun and informative panels on fair use and free speech. For the interactive branch of SXSW, "The Parody Home Companion: DIY Fair Use Determinations" features a panel of experts that will screen submitted clips, rate their adherence to the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use, and discuss tips for incorporating others' media into a video. On the business/distribution end, there's an interesting SXSW Film panel proposed by Patricia Aufderheide at the Center for Social Media titled "Remix Goes Mainstream: Making Mashups Pay." The panel seeks to cover all aspects of mixed-video art, and how to "make money, get distribution and stay legal." Both panels address DMCA takedowns and seem likely to consider other important angles as well: copyright, licensing and permission, DMCA anticircumvention rules, and more.
Folks innovating in startups should consider "Privacy and Free Speech: It's Good for Business," organized by Nicole Ozer at the ACLU of Northern California. The panel seeks to offer an experienced perspective on the privacy and free speech issues that may lie hidden until a lawsuit, user revolt, or government inquiry comes crashing down on a growing business.
We also asked for people's favorite panel proposals on Twitter -- so here are some other honorable mentions: