Thursday, November 27, 2008

Inspired by interview with Lawrence Lessig

A friend recently sent me a link to Charlie Rose's interview with Lawrence Lessig. Professor Lessig has written a new book entitled "Remix" about the new hybrid economy between the sharers of the Web 2.0 environment and online commerical interests. He points out how such collaboration can be used to end the dependence of politicians on big corporate lobbyists - much the same way that Barak Obama did in the generation of money for his campaign.

He spoke very admiringly of the value of such resources as Wikipedia and how the energy of sharing economies can be just what is needed to infuse enthusiasm into economic ventures in the online commercial environment. He pointed out, though, that commercial interests need to gain respect for the intelligence and creativity of those engaged in producing user-generated content. He mentioned that people like George Lucas, who created a remix studio with Star Wars images and clips but claims copyright to any material produced by visitors - is an outdated "Hollywood mogul" approach and does not show proper consideration to the collective intelligence of the online community. I, personally, find it ironic that someone who is so adamant about defending their own copyright is so willing to rip off someone else's.

Recently I was reading about YouTube's problems trying to negotiate partnerships with the major studios because the Hollywood studios were disdainful of YouTube's millions of "amateurs" and how their user-generated content is viewed as cluttering up the YouTube site. I had also just read about a new feature YouTube has added called video annotation that includes the ability to link videos into a unique narratives. So, I wrote to YouTube and suggested they approach the studios about offering a remix studio containing clips of Creative Commons noncommerical-licensed clips for use in production of mini-choose-your-own-adventure type videos or alternative trailers using the new video annotation feature. All derivatives would not then compete with the studios commercial offerings, because of the noncommercial rights provisions, but would provide hours of creative enjoyment to site visitors, who in turn would be exposed to studio advertising for much longer periods while working in the remix studio than they would be simply viewing clip after clip of content. This would turn the demographics of typical YouTube site visitors to a definite advantage to the studios and a vibrant alternative to passive viewing of full length features on Besides, I know I would rather watch a full length feature streamed to a Netflix device connected to my big screen TV than slouched in my chair in front of my computer in my home office alone.

You will need some time to watch the interview with Mr. Lessig as its 38 minutes long, but I think it is worth every minute of it!
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