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Hypergene MediaBlog » Digital tools, copyright and free culture

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Saturday, 27 Mar 2004

Digital tools, copyright and free culture

A central topic at MediaMorphosis (deftly exhibited by DJ Spooky) was that more people are becoming creators. The fuel that will continue to feed their creativity is what it has always been - other people’s content.

If big media wants to turn audiences into engaged participants, how will they do that without embracing new forms of copyright or licensing? Current lobbying efforts (and legal actions) by media companies show they are clearly looking for more restrictive copyright control - not less. This divergence will only grow with consumers desires and the innovative new tools being developed for them.

The Washington Post’s Leslie Walker raises just this issue recently with Media Giants Need to Learn to Sing a New Tune.

My experiments have convinced me it is only a matter of time before millions of consumers will be doing things like creating custom concert videos of their favorite artists. They’ll mix and match video from TV shows and DVD recordings which they (hopefully) will have acquired legally—much as music fans have been creating custom music discs and tapes for years.

(via JD Lasica)

Update: Of course, no discussion about these things would be complete without a reference to Lawrence Lessig’s intellectual efforts. He has made his latest book, Free Culture, available for free download (via BitTorrent, site)

According to Lessig, 36 hours after the release 9 different versions were made available. There is also a fast-moving effort to create and disseminate a collaborative audio version. ITConversations has recorded Chapter 1 and Dave Winer has done Chapter 11. In another few days, we’ll probably see mutliple versions of every chapter.

As of Saturday, March 27, his book is ranked no. 95 on Amazon. Not a bad number for “free.”

Posted on Mar 27, 2004 | 10:48 am EST
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