March 25, 2004

When Your Users Give You Feedback: Conferences with Lawyers and Technologists

Got back into town yesterday after a couple days with friends skiing (yes, you can parallel and go straight down the black diamond runs after 6 years off the hill -- shocking -- I thought I would be lookin bad after all that time...). Anyway, had an email from David Opderbeck at Seton Hall Law about their latest conference on P2P on April 16, 2004 (check it out, if you can go).

Anyway, there were some others on the email, and I responded to the conference which appears to mainly be by lawyers directed at lawyers with this:

Frank Field pointed out (he was on the email too) that Ed Felten has blogged on this same issue here (though I'm behind on site visits and my aggregator still):

Well, I guess Ed and I were on the same meme there without realizing it. Anyway, I hope David isn't offended by our questioning of the logic of his conference, and that these discussions lead to conferences which try to map multiple disciplines across the same space, translating the various languages we speak within our disciplines. These problems are so difficult to solve, there is no way we can do this within a single discipline or from a single point of view, because they cross so many areas and expertises.

Posted by Mary Hodder at March 25, 2004 03:49 PM | TrackBack

I'm the person responsible for organizing this conference. No offence at all, in fact I welcome the input. I also posted a comment to Ed's post, which I invite you to read. The short answer is that (a) I tried to invite some others to give presentations, but none were able to make it; (b) many of the presentations will address Mary's point about how we socialize with the technology -- much of the legal scholarship on P2P and other networks concerns how the law is affecting norms and vice versa; (c) nevertheless, there is a cultural dynamic to law school academic conferences that rewards the law school for presenting well known legal academics, which does unfortunately create a self-referential conference circuit sometimes; (d) we'd be thrilled if folks with other perspectives and with perhaps more technological knowledge than us would attend our conference and give us the benefits of their insights; and (e) I welcome ideas for a future conference that might be a bit broader and more inclusive, and would be happy to work on sponsoring such a conference at Seton Hall Law if there were people interested in presenting.

~ David Opderbeck, Seton Hall Law School

Posted by: David Opderbeck at March 25, 2004 05:40 PM