Spark 129 - November 28 & December 1, 2010

On this episode of Spark: Female start-ups, family trees, and copyright. Download the MP3 (runs 54:00).

A Brief History of Copyright

Photo by Jayel Aheram

Canada is taking yet another crack at updating its copyright laws. Bill C-32 is in committee for amendments before going to its third and final reading. The law is badly in need of some updates.   And for something that doesn't sound all that--um--sexy, copyright reform has been very contentious. To see why, we need to have a little Spark story time. James Boyle is our storyteller. He is a law professor at Duke University and author of The Public Domain. He's spent a lot of time looking at copyright, and how to balance the rights of copyright holders with the rights of citizens and the broader public interest. So, let's settle down and let James weave a tale. It's called A Brief History of Copyright. (Runs 5:20)

What Does Copyright Have To Do With ME?

Photo by Deshe Board

So basically, for the last 300 years, we've been engaged in this repetitive cycle, trying to negotiate amongst different interests as the technology of copying changes and changes. Trying to weigh creators' rights, distributors rights and the collective benefits of access to information. But why does copyright matter to you and me? Do we really need to care about this? Nora spoke with David Fewer, director of The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. He thinks that although it may not seem that exciting, Bill C-32 affects us all. (Runs 8:28)

DIY Genealogy

Photo by Noel Feans

From copyright's new frontiers in the digital age, to another tradition that has been massively affected by information technology - the family tree. Many of the records that used to reside in dusty, old cabinets in never-visited lands are now online. As a result, geneaology has never been more do it yourself. Nora spoke with Jon Kalish, Spark's guide to the D-I-Y world, about one man's tale of charting his family tree online and in the process bringing the Twersky's of the world together. (Runs 7:44)

Women + Kids = No Startups

Photo by DaveBleasdale

A little while ago we came across something on the web titled Women Don't Want to Run Startups Because They'd Rather Have Children. It was written by Penelope Trunk, the founder of three startups, an author, a blogger, and a mom. In her post, Penelope tries to figure out why female entrepreneurs are still such a minority in the world of venture-backed tech startups. Nora spoke with Penelope about her controversial blog, but first, we hear The Story of Suzie Startup. (Runs 12:01)

Women + Kids = Startups!

Photo by katmere

So we've heard the argument that men and women are just different, and that the reason there are so few women at the head of venture-backed tech startups is that women just have different priorities. Well Vivek Wadhwa begs to differ. He's a a researcher who divides his time between three universities: Duke, Harvard, and Berkeley and earlier this year, he co-authored a paper called Are Successful Women Entrepreneurs Different from Men? Nora spoke with him to find out. (Runs 7:24)

Computer Science: Where Are All The Ladies?

Photo by Mike Licht

At Spark we've talked quite a bit about the dearth of women entering the field of computer science. Even though we live in this highly tech-savvy universe, the enrollment numbers are actually decreasing. So Nora called up Wendy Powley at the School of Computing at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario to find out more about the situation in Canada. (Runs 5:36)

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