[ISEA2006] Paper: Steve Cisler – Pirates of the Pacific Rim


The term piracy once referred simply to crimes at sea but now also refers to widespread crimes by which intellectual property is copied and sold or given away through electronic networks and in kiosks, shops and flea markets. Countries such as the U.S.A,, whose origins were based on technology piracy, are now the most protective. Companies that were once sued for infringement are now suing others. Piracy is cited as a source of income for criminal and extreme political groups. Cultural appropration of traditional herbs, songs and art is not easily combated. Fake drugs and airline parts create safety issues that are not encountered with pirated books or DVDs. Some scholars and legal experts have called for abandoning copyright or have proposed alternative schemes for intellectual property.

  • Steve Cisler, a librarian by training, only began using computers in middle age, at a public computer lab in his branch library in the San Francisco area in 1981. In 1985 he joined The WELL and ran a forum on information and libraries for many years. In 1988 at Apple, he started a grant program called Apple Library of Tomorrow. He supported the first copyright-free on-line book about the Internet (the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Big Dummies Guide to the Internet). He worked on deregulation of the radio frequencies and standards that became known as 802.11 or Wi-Fi. Over the past 7 years he has consulted in Latin America, Thailand, Jordan and Uganda on short-term projects involving telecenters, school computer labs and indigenous groups.

Full text (PDF) p. 377-380