Usually I deal with highly politicized computer issues in my StopUBB blog, which has evolved from only fighting against Canadian implementation of Usage Based Billing but has spread out to fight against insidious secret copyright treaties like A.C.T.A. while trying to educate ordinary people about the related issues of Net Neutrality and Internet Freedom.
Those who are attempting to subvert the Internet so they can control and leash it have long been using copyright as an excuse to do these things. I have been learning a lot about computer issues through StopUBB research. But there are many people who have been grappling with the future of the Internet long before I had a clue that there were even issues.
One of these people is Lawrence Lessig a big proponent of “Free Culture” and reduced copyright. Not only was Lessig one of the a founder of Creative Commons licensing movement, he was also involved in the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Harvard‘s Berkman Center for Internet & Society
in the wind is my personal blog. Since I’m a writer a big part of my life is writing, so when I write about any aspect of writing it goes here. So even though copyright plays an important part in StopUBB issues, this is where I write about it from a reader and writer’s point of view.
Yesterday I learned from Twitter that there was going to be a LIVE! Wireside Chat with Lawrence Lessig at Harvard Law School I played hooky from writing Inconstant Moon to tune in, although I only caught the last part of his lecture, the main thrust was that the bad guys can look after themselves, its time that the good guys (that’s you and me, pal) stepped up to the plate to stop corruption and make government start working for the people again.
These are some of the Lessig quotes tweeted by audience
which in itself made the lecture into a remix:
shapah “we need a culture that makes it as easy to hack hardware as it does content” #wireside #lessig
PPirataMx Necesitamos una cultura que permita “hackear” dispositivos de la misma forma que se “hackea” el contenido. #lessig #wireside
EveBottando “There’s something tone deaf about Apple. Their sharing site is Me.com..whatdyamean Me.com – it should be We.com.” #wireside
shapah Brazil again! points of light – “they teach kids to tear machines down and rebuild them” #wireside
ericschnell RT @sameerverma: “Stallman was right to call it free software” – lessig #wireside
ezufelt #wireside chat w/ @lessig was good, disappointing that it was not captioned and that videos were not described. #accessibility
shapah non-commercial CC licensing is an experiment to enable this new way of thinking #wireside #lessig
shapah “free culture is the right way to think about – setting the right boundaries, setting the widest spread” #wireside
EveBottando “Britney Spears model – produce and control culture…another culture that doesn’t limit…depends on building and sharing freely” #wireside
blogdiva RT @dsearls: @Lessig: “The government has produced the least efficient property system known to man.” At #wireside
shapah “how long do copyright terms need to be?” 21 years? #lessig would settle for 50 as long as it couldn’t be extended #wireside
moon Larry #Lessig “never should you be allowed to extend an existing copyright” #wireside
After the Q&A concluded, I learned a bit about the The Open Video Alliance, the group who put on this lecture. Of course, my learning curve in all this is enormous; today is the first time that I had even heard of them. Open Video held a contest for 60 second films to explain and illustrate the idea of open video to raise awareness of the importance of this cultural art form. They screened the winning videos, but this one was my favorite.
EVERYTHING IS A REMIX
Visit the site and check out the films online. You are free to download them in a variety of formats from OGG to MPEG4. Raffaella’s film is in Italian but there are English subtitles available– the words are important– for mono-lingual anglophones like myself.
I could not figure out how to embed the Raffaella’s Traniello video here, so I took a peek at YouTube to see if it was there. I didn’t find it, instead I found this interview. Although I don’t speak a word of Italian, I loved the opportunity to see some of the films this amazing teacher has made with her students. You go girl.
It seems that videos posted on YouTube can be easily embedded here in my WordPress blog, but videos found in other places, like The Open Video Alliance and the Canada’s NFB (National Film Board of Canada) can not be posted here, even though it would not violate any copyright laws to do so.
As if by magic my friend Malcolm sent me a link to this amazing live interactive ReMix:
I am curious now as to whether license fees were paid to use the music in this performance art.
I think it was Lawrence Lessig who suggested that copyright law needs to be straightforward enough that children can use any cultural material they are exposed to in any way with impunity.
Unfortunately what is happening today is the heavy handed application if new IP laws that serve to frighten many educators and schools away from using these technologies to help educate our children. After all, this is a world of D.M.C.A. takedowns and A.C.T.A.