Panel Topics

The deadline for submitting SIGGRAPH 2006 Panels topics was 2 November 2005. Panel position statements must be received by 5 pm Eastern time, 1 March 2006.

Is a Career in Computer Graphics Possible?
Traditionally, a career spans a lifetime, but most jobs in computer graphics have a very short half-life. Is our work environment becoming as ephemeral as our work? Can companies demand all of our time and expect to get it? Is permanent crunch time the future, or was "EA Spouse" a visionary?

What can all of us (companies, employers, researchers, developers, artists, students) do to make sure that sane and stable jobs exist for us in computer graphics, and that we're qualified to do them? Or is that impossible? Should we just learn to live with serious stress and eventual burnout?
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Video Games: Content and Responsibility
Since their invention, video games have been accused of many things, including: Of course, the same complaints have been made about radio, television, the internet, and computers in general. Are all or any of these concerns valid?

When will someone write games that girls want to play, or has it already been done? Do fun and educational video games exist? Do video games train people to be violent, or do they provide a safe way to vent violent tendencies? Does the ESRB rating system go too far, or not far enough? Are game developers and publishers taking enough responsibility for their creations? Are consumers using their products responsibly?
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The Future of SIGGRAPH: From Pioneers to City Council?
SIGGRAPH's first 33 conferences have changed the world. Does SIGGRAPH need to adapt to fit the world it helped make? Computer graphics research has evolved from revolutionary to incremental. Algorithms that were proprietary are now commodities. Costs that restricted the technology to a small elite have now dropped so much that ordinary people have 3D hardware on their desks and cellphones.

Where does SIGGRAPH fit into this new landscape? Should it continue to diversify and add new programs to accommodate all the fields that computer graphics and interactive techniques have affected? Or should it narrow its focus to some core? Is there a core? Was there ever a core?

Should SIGGRAPH get more involved in public policy? Since it's a professional organization, should it start setting standards for professionals? Is SIGGRAPH dominated by Hollywood? By universities? By corporations? If the balance is off, what should we do to correct it? Will you come back next year? Is SIGGRAPH still relevant?
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Ethics in Image Manipulation
For a very small investment, anyone can access the tools required to make significant yet undetectable changes to photographs and other images. The SIGGRAPH community can take much of the credit for this amazing progress. Should we also take the responsibility? Should SIGGRAPH get more involved in public policy?

Some recent examples of significant unethical applications: Image manipulation is essential in the visual effects industry, but it is discouraged in research and journalism. And there are many gray areas. When is image manipulation appropriate? How should the SIGGRAPH community respond to unethical applications of what we have created? Where do we draw the line, and should we draw it? How do we teach these ethics to our students?
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So You Want to Create Content: Licenses, Copyrights, and Other Things to Think About
Licensing in the digital world once meant deciding between open and proprietary licenses. Later, producing free content meant deciding between "free as in beer" and "free as in speech." Today, there is a vast array of licensing and copyright schemes, each with a different view of what's protected and what's not. Why do we need so many schemes? Are they really useful? Do you understand the difference between copyleft and Creative Commons?

More schemes are coming, most notably the new GPL version 3. Why create a new licensing scheme? What's left out of today's schemes that tomorrow's will cover? As software developers and content creators, should we "share the wealth" or "protect our wealth?"
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Digital Rights, Digital Restrictions
The internet, with its widening bandwidth and accelerating speed, allows people throughout the world to exchange immense amounts of digital information. Not only can people share their home movies. They can also share movies that they didn't make and didn't even pay for. Music companies and movie studios have tried to clamp down on piracy with laws like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and lawsuits against people they believe are stealing their products.

When DJ Danger Mouse released "The Grey Album" (a remix of Jay-Z's "The Black Album" and The Beatles' "The White Album") on the web, sites that distributed the music received a cease-and-desist notice from EMI. Then Sony joined in with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices. Is this sort of mashup legal? Should it be? Is the DMCA the correct way to protect art? Is restricting the creativity of artists justified when the art of others is involved?

Hardware and software manufacturers, working with movie studios, record studios, and other content providers, are releasing systems with Digital Rights Management (DRM). These products limit how and when content (text, audio, and video) can be viewed and copied. Is DRM a reasonable response to corporate concerns about piracy and mashing? Is restricting the customer's ability to play a movie using a non-DRM player, television, or stereo a fair move to prevent theft? Will everyone be forced to upgrade to see next year's movies?

Some companies are trying a more active approach: Sony recently added copy-protection software on some of their audio CDs. This "rootkit" software installs itself without telling the user, hides its own contents, and examines what other programs are running on the computer. Is unannounced software installation reasonable? If the software is sending information across the internet to another party, is that reasonable? Where is the line drawn, and who gets to draw it?
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