901 N. Monroe St., Apt. #908
Arlington, VA 22201
Hi! I'm Nelson Pavlosky and I'm interested in giving a talk about free culture and related issues at your school.
Why you might want me to speak at your school:
I sued Diebold Election Systems because they were abusing copyright law in an attempt to suppress some embarrassing memos that revealed flaws in their voting machines. We won the case and set an important legal precedent protecting freedom of speech on the Internet, one which you may be studying in your law class. Jennifer Jenkins at Duke Law School told me when I spoke for her class that I covered the intricacies of my case and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act better than any of her law students, even though I was still an undergrad at Swarthmore College.
I founded Students for Free Culture, an international student organization dedicated to intellectual property policy reform and grassroots creativity, named after the book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. If your class is reading Free Culture, I can speak to many issues addressed in the book. If you're interested in starting a Free Culture chapter at your school, I can help you get things rolling, as I have at other schools such as Northeastern University.
I'm a popular speaker with a long track record, including appearances at Yale Law, U Penn, U Iowa Law, Duke Law, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Reed, Scripps College, and Chadwick High School. I've been interviewed by the New York Times, Al Franken, the Associated Press, NPR's All Things Considered, Mother Jones, Wired News, ARD German TV, and many others. I appear in the documentary Freedom of Expression (around 4:16 in the YouTube clip), as well as a few others that are still in production.
I'm a cheaper date than Lawrence Lessig, Jimbo Wales or other big-ticket speakers you might be considering. I'm a starving college student, so I can use whatever money you can give me, but I don't have children to feed or anything. If your budget is tight, I may be willing to speak for just travel costs, food, and lodging.
Subjects I can speak about:
I can customize my talk to your audience and your needs. If some of these subjects look more interesting or relevant to you than others, tell me and I can emphasize them.
The Diebold case:
The Diebold case covers a lot of territory, and I usually address these issues when I talk about it:
- Open source software: Diebold's electronic voting machines use closed, proprietary software, which is one reason to be concerned about them. We believe that e-voting machines should use software that the public can examine for bugs and secret backdoors through which elections could otherwise be hacked.
- Fair use: This is the legal doctrine that balances copyright law with freedom of expression, making it sometimes legal to use copyrighted works without permission. Our posting of the Diebold memos online was ruled to be a fair use.
- The DMCA: This law intervened twice in our case, once negatively and once positively. It gave our ISP a "safe harbor", leaving us to face Diebold alone, but ultimately we were able to use a previously unenforced section of the law to make Diebold pay court costs and damages for abusing copyright law.
- Defeating censorship: Our friends worked to keep the Diebold memos online in the face of legal threats from Diebold, putting them up on new hosts whenever an old host was shut down and employing p2p networks and other distribution technologies. This was an interesting study in defeating censorship.
- Facing down big bullies: Taking on a multi-billion-dollar corporation and winning is something everyone should do at least once! By being well-informed and courageous, anyone can take on Goliath just like I did.
The free culture movement:
I'm only responsible for one small part of it, but I can talk intelligently about many free culture projects including famous projects like Wikipedia as well as many lesser known ones.
Students for Free Culture:
I also like to discuss the methods that Students for Free Culture employs to organize and engage student activists, using our numerous past projects as illustrations. (See SFC's Wikipedia article.)
Just email me at email@example.com. Hopefully I will be speaking at your campus soon!