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A Fair(y) Use Tale

Last post 11-05-2007, 1:08 PM by Resurrected. 18 replies.
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  •  05-20-2007, 2:25 PM 23062

    A Fair(y) Use Tale

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo

    Here is a very entertaining, very creative, and very important video.  Freedom of information, and limitations on that freedom, is a central issue to the world right now, and is unfortunately something that is being almost completely overlooked in mainstream awareness.

    To me it is obvious that the stranglehold companies like Disney have on copyright law is part of a massive legitimacy meltdown in the media and recording industries, as modern technology continues to outpace these systems that have existed (and were necessary!) for decades.  As Ken has mentioned before, when a system experiences a real legitimacy crisis, it sends out its Inquisitors.  As a result, we can only stand back and watch as the modern-day Inquisitors (e.g. the RIAA) attempt to tighten their grasp, even to the point of filing lawsuits against children and dead people.  I wish i knew when i was a kid that we would all be pirates when we grew up!

    This video, composed entirely of Disney clips, is especially pertinent as Disney is arguably the most culpable to the horrendous state of copyright law that we currently find ourselves in (especially ironic, since Walt Disney himself built his empire almost entirely upon the stories and fables found in the Public Domain.)  Each time Mickey Mouse is scheduled to move into the public domain, Disney lobbies for the government to extend copyright law to keep the octogenarian rodent privatized for another couple decades (this has become known by many as "The Mickey Mouse Clause" or "The Mickey Mouse Protection Act" - more information here and here.

    As a hip-hop dj, i can really feel the effects of this sort of blatant disregard for fair use in general, the sampling culture in particular.  Gone are the golden days of hip-hop masterpieces like the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, which was crafted by stitching together decades of pop-culture relevance into a single album.  Instead we have a system where barely talented moguls like Puff Daddy can rip off an entire song wholesale, add a pre-programmed backbeat, and call it his own--simply because he has the money.  So rather than hearing a single track composed from dozens of different cultural artifacts, mixed and blended into something that is demonstrably novel, the majority of mainstream hip hop culture has sadly devolved from remix culture to rehash culture.  (Thank God for the underground and real sampling pioneers like DJ Shadow....!!!)  These are symptoms in hip hop of a much larger and more hideous epidemic, and the legal system surrounding Intellectual Property Law is directly to blame for institutionalizing the disease.  And as if that wasn't bad enough, we are currently exporting this legalistic fundamentalism into other countries--in order to be accepted into the World Trade Organization, a country must first adopt and enforce America's intellectual property laws.

    What would you say an integral response to copyright/fair use would be?  Obviously, a flat green "information is 100% free!" is not the solution--artists, writers, directors, producers, etc. all have the right to pursue Right Livelihood through their own creativity, so some sort of compensatory system is obviously required.  This raises several interesting questions about the nature of "ownership" itself, epecially as it relates to art and ideas--once a piece of art has been created and released into the world, to whom does it ultimately belong?  Surely the artist/s must retain some level of ownership--these things are almost always born from the sweat and tears of individuals, and again, their pursuit of Right Livelihood must never ever come into question.  And yet, tetra-arising with this understanding, there are also dimensions of the artifact/idea which can be seen as belonging to a) the observer/s, and b) the culture.  As the preceding video points out, culture propagates itself by building upon what's come before--little does P Diddy know that he himself is sitting (and shitting) upon the shoulders of giants.  As long as ideas and artifacts continue to be imprisoned by such fundamentalistic privatization--stripped of all subjective and intersubjective depths and reduced to mere quantifiable its, ultimately quarantined from its own cultural significance--how can our global culture continue to surge forward; its waves beating upon the shores of our collective future, slowly eroding the calcified systems of yesterday's obsolescence?  Is there any hope for a new system of intellectual property rights which honors all the necessary perspectives?  If so, do you have any ideas about what it would look like, and what it would take to dismantle the current system, and its 21st century Inquisitors, in order to create a new one?  Or is this something we can expect to change only "funeral by funeral"?

    __________________________

    Corey W. deVos (dj rekluse)
    Brand Manager, Integral Naked
    Audio Manager, Integral Institute
    Managing Editor, KenWilber.com
    __________________________
  •  05-20-2007, 3:04 PM 23064 in reply to 23062

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    This is obviously a very good question -and BTW, nice writing about it.

    Just a few thoughts.

    For starters, artists themselves need to become more informed. This would be an aspect of Integral Art. It is an old, sad and continuing tale that young and talented artists-who have nothing else to live for (another need for a more Integral Artistic practice)-or are just simply naive, become contracted into a system that works in its own favor with its own profit-and nothing else-as the highest priority, if not the only priority. Wow, I guess I am talking about the UL here, but point being that even if artists themselves are (or become) more sensitive to this wider issue, once contracted into the system, they can do nothing; they have no choice and may even be required to promote ideas that are not their own.

    Clearly, the industrialization of the arts has moved things forward, even, astronomically. That just about every human being can listen to music anytime they want is something that was unimaginable even 100 years ago. There has been major human evolution right there. I could go on.

    But you're right, broader and more inclusive concerns are highly, highly, highly ignored. Any interest in culture is feeble at best. Any interest in development of the arts and artist themselves is, non-existent, or feeble at best as well. Now I'm babbling. Shucks, ya got me started.

    The only solution I can see if higher values eventually becoming much more widespread. The American society-cultural system is not the greatest model. The amber faction in this country alone plays its own part in this wider scenario, in that, it is not so gung ho about the arts. There are not opportunities for the arts to spread on a much more grassroots level simply because there is not enough value in the culture to support it -on that level, in that way. Thus, the only option is Hollywood (music industry, etc.) I could say more but,

    Questions of livelihood, which were unimaginable not so long ago, yes, should be coupled with questions of artistic contribution to society and the evolution of humanity as a whole. With a greater distribution of wealth-which includes both the art and the money made from it-it seems things would change a lot and for the better and in my mind to, perhaps as revolutionary an extent as industrialization was before.

    My vote? The "second tier Disney" that would simply wipe that thing off the map, because it couldn’t compete. Actually, that's the second option, and probably the best one, since art has a way of being able to speak to all levels. That would solve the forwarding of cultural values and other things. (Consider how amber values were so ignored by orange art industry until recently.)

    I actually have the model for this in my mind and have for over a decade. But perhaps I am just ranting on again from a personal perspective and not addressing the question. but I think the answer, no surprise, has to be Integral to encompass the complexity. Part of the problem, if not the problem, is that the whole thing is reduced to the LR . . . which acts as an industrial black hole to the potentials of everything else (UR, the actual art, UL the development and creativity of the artist, LL, succeeding evolution of art and culture and meaning to collective interiors, including other artists, etc.)

    Yes, that Mickey is not public domain at this point, really is like stealing, from the folks that valued him enough to pay for him to begin with.

     Peace, Tim


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  05-20-2007, 8:08 PM 23071 in reply to 23064

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    I just watched that video. It is a classic and thanks so much for posting it.

    I did not know that Fair Use included teaching.

    As someone who spent a dozen years teaching children the arts, particularly theatre, drama, etc. and music, I absolutely never thought it was right that the kids who love these Disney films -who, in reality, have them as their literal magic and mythic worldspace, should not be allowed to educationally perform them. It is, in my opinion, unethical to create and profit off of culture created for children (and don't get me started on advertising to children), but not at one and the same time encourage them to really learn and grow from the work as well -not just sop it up into their brains with the motive of further creating from them a learned and highly conditioned consumer culture starting from the magical level.

    There are actually some fascinating studies. It turns out that all of this fantasy, sitting around watching movies, despite what  we might have thought or been told (some of which might be right from a certain true but partial perspective), doesn't numb or dull their minds but actually helps the child's mind develop in some quite extraordinary ways.

    One example, though I'm not so privy on the full details of this one, is that if you present a child with Piaget's "three mountains" task but use fantasy characters that they are familiar with, they pass it! Other studies, in the area of "mind reading" tasks (basically, understanding of perspectives or the mechanisms underlying that idea), show similar results. Use Simba and they are able to perform the task well before the standardized age. This is highly suggestive of the fact that a rich fantasy life is a vital force to the development of consciousness, laying the foundations, sometimes extraordinarily early, for crucial development at later stages. (Toys and stuff like that are actually a help too. I mean, I'll vouch for this, at least in some way, I am what I am in so many ways because of Star Wars -and particularly the toys. This is not necessarily something that older generations are going to understand or even believe.)

    But IMO, they are going to learn a lot more if this wonderful reality is used in much more educationally and developmentally interested ways for children's direct benefit. And further, with the skilled interaction of the right teachers and guides, encouraging them, guiding them and showing them the way. Thus, they should be able to perform some related version of The Lion King is school or in an educational or workshop setting.

    Since it is true that, even today, many of the big Disney movies are already public domain stories, we used to simply schedule a workshop with that same title. Naturally it was always a smash with often as many as three or four times as many students signing up than normally would. But it's a jip to use some old, outdated version of the story while the mega-blockbuster (that these kids and families made so) is all the rage to begin with kept confined only to the benefit of this corporation. It's definitely not Integral business. So sometimes we would base a new version on the current lines of the Disney treatment and . . . is this illegal? . . . use the songs.

    If this is illegal someone should be shot. I have seen just far too many kids flower because of this. But these materials are not published for such use. They do not, so far as I know, even work together versions published for, say, use at school concerts and so on. To date, that I am aware of, not even for the now generations old Disney productions all the way back to Snow White. Disney does not have a school publishing house or program designed to accommodate that interest. In fact, so many contemporary cultural producers leave that stuff for the cheap shit, the old stuff, the stuff kids are not really interested in. Why? These companies, and Disney especially, just do not show interest in any such thing. And again, I'm not even talking about Fair Use here, they do not even set up the possibility for reasonable licensed use!

    There is one recent exception, High School Musical. I am not sure what the terms and conditions are, but it does appear that it got to at least someone at Disney's conscience that not allowing high schools to perform a production of "High school Musical" would just somehow be . . . wrong.

     

     


    "With whom or with what are you in communion at this moment?"
    . . ."I?" he replied, almost mechanically. "Why not with anyone or anything."
    "You must be a marvel . . . if you are able to continue in that state for long."
    -Constantin Stanislavsky
  •  05-21-2007, 10:48 AM 23086 in reply to 23071

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Great post, Corey, and very important topic.

    The band Negativland gets into copyright trouble all the time, which sucks because they produce a lot of fascinating, thought-provoking and sometimes freakin' hilarious material.  Here's a cool video by them offering another perspective this issue:  Gimme the Mermaid.

    And here's Negativland's Mark Hosler on Copyright and Creative Commons.

    spiral out,
    arthur

    Upgrade to ISC!
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  •  05-24-2007, 7:02 PM 23265 in reply to 23086

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Wow, that was an awesome video!  Don't fuck with a mermaid or you'll be cast down into the firey pits of bankruptcy....

    Tim--I agree with your point that the artists themselves need to be more sensitive, or at least just more aware, to these issues.  So does the consumer.  And so do the courts which are allowing such legal precedents to be made.  However, in light of the fact that this just might not happen (we can't seem to figure out that whole stage-transformation-in-pill-form yet...) this is again an area which will require some sort of enlightened leadership in the arts.  At the same time, just as the result of Bush's War on Iraq policy is filling the Al Queda recruitment halls with a whole new generation of potential suicide bombers, maybe the current administration's War on Art could help catalyze a new generation of artists--ones who are not only disillusioned enough with the current state of a music industry that has demonstrated quite clearly that it doesn't really give a shit about the consumers OR the artists--but who are also passionate and intelligent enough to actually do something about it

    Man, i am big on war metaphors today.  Damn sublimated masculine aggression... =)

    Speaking of masculine aggression, here is a relevent  interview with one of my all time musical heroes, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.  If y'all haven't heard his newest album, it is absolutely amazing--it is a very complex concept album, complete with it's own ARG (Alternative Reality Game) decyphered from binary codes in the album, font styles on concert t-shirts, patterns encoded in white noise found on USB cards after NIN shows (!!!), and various other forms of digital esoteria.  It basically tells the story of a future dystopian American society dominated by a fundamentalist amber military/religious regime and rendered complacent by drugs in the water supply, the realities and illusions of terrorism, and a mysterious awe-and-fear-inducing entity known only as "The Presence" that takes the form of a giant hand reaching down from the sky.  It's essentially a brilliant 21st century post-industrial Web 2.0 upgrade of A Brave New World, and i cannot fucking stop listening to it!  Talk about the evolution of album art....  Here's a compilation of all the album-related webpages that have been found, which is presumably all of them.

    Anyway, the interview with Trent:

    Q & A with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails

    May 17, 2007 12:00am

    Article from: Herald-Sun

    Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails lets rip at ignorant record companies to NEALA JOHNSON

    It must be an odd time then to have a new album, Year Zero, out?

    It's a very odd time to be a musician on a major label, because there's so much resentment towards the record industry that it's hard to position yourself in a place with the fans where you don't look like a greedy asshole. But at the same time, when our record came out I was disappointed at the number of people that actually bought it. If this had been 10 years ago

    I would think "Well, not that many people are into it. OK, that kinda sucks. Yeah I could point fingers but the blame would be with me, maybe I'm not relevant". But on this record, I know people have it and I know it's on everybody's iPods, but the climate is such that people don't buy it because it's easier to steal it.

    You're a bit of a computer geek. You must have been there, too?

    Oh, I understand that -- I steal music too, I'm not gonna say I don't. But it's tough not to resent people for doing it when you're the guy making the music, that would like to reap a benefit from that. On the other hand, you got record labels that are doing everything they can to piss people off and rip them off. I created a little issue down here because the first thing I did when I got to Sydney is I walk into HMV, the week the record's out, and I see it on the rack with a bunch of other releases. And every release I see: $21.99, $22.99, $24.99. And ours doesn't have a sticker on it. I look close and 'Oh, it's $34.99'. So I walk over to see our live DVD Beside You in Time, and I see that it's also priced six, seven, eight dollars more than every other disc on there. And I can't figure out why that would be.

    Did you have a word to anyone?

    Well, in Brisbane I end up meeting and greeting some record label people, who are pleasant enough, and one of them is a sales guy, so I say "Why is this the case?" He goes "Because your packaging is a lot more expensive". I know how much the packaging costs -- it costs me, not them, it costs me 83 cents more to have a CD with the colour-changing ink on it. I'm taking the hit on that, not them. So I said "Well, it doesn't cost $10 more". "Ah, well, you're right, it doesn't. Basically it's because we know you've got a core audience that's gonna buy whatever we put out, so we can charge more for that. It's the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy it. True fans will pay whatever". And I just said "That's the most insulting thing I've heard. I've garnered a core audience that you feel it's OK to rip off? F--- you'. That's also why you don't see any label people here, 'cos I said 'F--- you people. Stay out of my f---ing show. If you wanna come, pay the ticket like anyone else. F--- you guys". They're thieves. I don't blame people for stealing music if this is the kind of s--- that they pull off.

    Where does that extra $10 on your album go?

    That money's not going into my pocket, I can promise you that. It's just these guys who have f---ed themselves out of a job essentially, that now take it out on ripping off the public. I've got a battle where I'm trying to put out quality material that matters and I've got fans that feel it's their right to steal it and I've got a company that's so bureaucratic and clumsy and ignorant and behind the times they don't know what to do, so they rip the people off.

    Given all that, do you have any idea how to approach the release of your next album?

    I've have one record left that I owe a major label, then I will never be seen in a situation like this again. If I could do what I want right now, I would put out my next album, you could download it from my site at as high a bit-rate as you want, pay $4 through PayPal. Come see the show and buy a T-shirt if you like it. I would put out a nicely packaged merchandise piece, if you want to own a physical thing. And it would come out the day that it's done in the studio, not this "Let's wait three months" bulls---.

    When your US label, Interscope, discovered the web-based alternate reality game (ARG) you'd built around Year Zero, were they happy for the free marketing or angry you hadn't let them in on it?

    I chose to do this on my own, at great financial expense to myself, because I knew they wouldn't understand what it is, for one. And secondly, I didn't want it coming from a place of marketing, I wanted it coming from a place that was pure to the project. It's a way to present the story and the backdrop, something I would be excited to find as a fan. I knew the minute I talked to someone at the record label about it, they would be looking at it in terms of "How can we tie this in with a mobile provider?" That's what they do. If something lent itself to that, OK, I'm not opposed to the idea of not losing a lot of money (laughs). But it would only be if it made sense. I've had to position myself as the irrational, stubborn, crazy artist. At the end of the day, I'm not out to sabotage my career, but quality matters, and integrity matters. Jumping through any hoop or taking advantage of any desperate situation that comes up just to sell a product is harmful. It is.

    Is the Year Zero ARG something labels will copy now?

    Well, their response, when they saw that it did catch on like wildfire, was "Look how smart we are the way we marketed this record". That's the feedback I've gotten -- other artists who've met with that label ask 'em about it: "Yeah, you like what we did for Trent? Look what we did for Trent". They've then gone on to try to buy the company that did it to apply it to all their other acts. So, glad I could help them out. I'm sure they still don't understand what it is that we did or why it worked. But I will look forward to the Black Eyed Peas ARG, that should be amazing.

    Year Zero (Universal) out now.


    __________________________

    Corey W. deVos (dj rekluse)
    Brand Manager, Integral Naked
    Audio Manager, Integral Institute
    Managing Editor, KenWilber.com
    __________________________
  •  05-26-2007, 10:40 AM 23343 in reply to 23265

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Arthur's voice:

    Oh, man - I posted here last night but must have made an error because my post is not here.  Probably I closed the window instead of hitting the "post" button.  D'oh!  Anyway...sheesh.

    Basically I was saying that since about 2003 in Canadawe've been legally allowed to download music from the Internet through P2P services because we pay a surcharge on all recording media which is somehow distributed to artists (I'm not sure how the details work).  The media companies wanted to have the surcharge AND to be able to sue people who download music, but here (unlike in the US) the courts basically said, "No, you can't have that kind of double dipping - since you're already charging everyone for storage media under the assumption that they will be downloading music etc. without paying for it, you can't also sue people for doing so."  I'm sure the situation is imperfect and could be improved, but it is - hell, just about anything would be - better than the current situation that exists in America.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a webpage that lists various alternatives to the existing system:

    from http://www.eff.org/share/compensation.php

    The Usual Suspects
    Music to our ears

    Making P2P Pay Artists

    Online music distribution is here to stay. And although it presents a challenge to old business models, artists and copyright holders can make a living with these new technologies. Online distribution lowers costs and increases exposure; all that is needed are new ways for music lovers to support and pay the artists they love.

    Join EFF
    Subscribe to EFFector
    Below are short descriptions of several potential payment methods, with links to detailed analyses and examples. To simplify these descriptions, we use an economic metaphor: imagine all the dollars spent on music as a large pie. Until recently, each artist or copyright holder's slice of the pie was defined by the number of copies of physical recordings sold primarily through retail outlets. With the advent of high-quality, low-bandwidth digital recordings, slicing the pie becomes much more interesting - and potentially more rewarding for artists, copyright holders, and consumers alike.

    The key is finding a new system for music lovers to compensate artists and copyright holders.

    Voluntary Collective Licensing

    It sounds obvious: major labels could get together and offer fair, non-discriminatory license terms for their music. This is called ”voluntary collective licensing,” and it has been keeping radio legal and getting songwriters paid for 70 years. It protects stations from lawsuits while collecting payment for the songs they play.

    The record companies could solve the payment problem tomorrow, without changing any laws. Napster asked them to do it in 2001. Kazaa has also tried to get licenses in the past. Both requests were rejected by the major labels at the time, but it's not too late to start the dialogue.

    Individual Compulsory Licenses

    If artists, songwriters, and copyright holders were required to permit online copying in return for government-specified fees, companies could compete to painlessly collect these fees, do the accounting, and remit them to the artists. The payment to each artist need not directly reflect what each consumer pays, as long as the total across all artists and all consumers balances.

    Anyone could start such an intermediary company. Some companies might charge a flat rate per month, some might charge per song or per bandwidth, some might offer a single lifetime payment. Consumers would have the option to sign up with whichever of these services was most convenient or least intrusive for them. Consumers who don't download music, or don't mind the risk of a lawsuit, would not be required to buy a license.

    Ad Revenue Sharing

    Sites like the Internet Underground Music Archive, EMusic.com, and Artistdirect.com provide an online space for fans to listen to music streams, download files, and interact with artists. In the meantime, these fans are viewing advertisements on the site, and the revenues are split between the site and the copyright holders.

    Like radio, the money that funds the pie comes from advertisers, not consumers. But unlike radio, artists are rewarded directly. And since these sites often host a page for member artists, other payment methods are possible at the same time. IUMA, for example, compensates artists for both ad views and song downloads.

    P2P Subscriptions

    P2P software vendors could start charging for their service. Music lovers could pay a flat fee for the software or pay per downloaded song. The funds could be distributed to artists and copyright holders through licensing agreements with studios and labels or through a compulsory license. In 2001, Napster and Bertelsmann AG were considering such a subscription service. Although Napster's legal battles with the recording industry removed it from the playing field, recent attempts at a subscription service (such as Apple's iTunes Music Store) show that consumers are willing to pay for downloaded music.

    Digital Patronage and Online Tipping

    Direct contribution from music lovers is a very old form of artist compensation, ranging from a simple passing of the hat to the famed patronage of Florence's Medici family. As content has moved to digital form, so has the form of payment. With an online tip jar such as the Amazon Honor System, artists can ask for donations directly from their websites, in amounts as small as one dollar. Patronage sites such as MusicLink have also emerged, which allow consumers to seek out the musicians and songwriters they'd like to support. Either way, consumers are given an easy, secure method to give directly to the artists they admire.

    Microrefunds

    As a twist on online tip jars, Brad Templeton introduced the interesting idea of making “opt-out” the default for paying for copyrighted works. The system, called ”microrefunds,” would collect small fees for each copyrighted work accessed and total them into a monthly bill. Upon reviewing the bill, charges that seemed too high or were for songs the consumer did not enjoy could be revoked.

    Instead of making a purchasing decision every time they want to hear a song, consumers could review their charges periodically. The billing could fit into a P2P subscription system, or as part of a music service such as the iTunes Music Store.

    Bandwidth Levies

    Several people have nominated ISPs as collection points for P2P. Every Internet user gets web access from an ISP, and most have a regular financial relationship with one as well. In exchange for protection from lawsuits, ISPs could sell “licensed” accounts (at an extra charge) to P2P users. Alternatively, they could charge everyone a smaller fee and give their customers blanket protection. The latter model would, however, charge people whether or not they download music.

    Media Tariffs

    Another place to generate revenue is on the media that people use to store music, also known as a ”media tariff.” Canada and Germany tax all recordable CDs and then distribute the funds to artists. In the U.S., we have royalty-paid recordable CDs and data CDs. It's difficult to pay artists accurately with this system alone, but other data (statistics from P2P nets, for instance) could be used to make the disbursement of funds more fair.

    Concerts

    Tried and true, concerts are a huge source of revenue for musicians. Some, like the Grateful Dead and Phish, have built careers around touring while encouraging fans to tape and trade their music. P2P dovetails into this model nicely, providing a distribution and promotion system for bands who choose to make money on the road.

    Conclusion

    There are many options available to make sure that artists receive fair compensation for their creativity. Today, convoluted and outdated copyright law is being used to claim that 60 million Americans are criminals. It's time to look seriously at the alternatives and start a dialogue with Congress to bring copyright law in tune with the digital age. Click here to read more about making P2P legal.

    Links:

    - Join EFF
    - Making P2P Legal
    - Making P2P Pay Artists
    - Read more about the Morpheus case
    - Ask Congress for public hearings on P2P
    - Full page ad. For a print quality size TIFF please e-mail ren@eff.org
    - Stealing and Sharing by Jessica Litman
    - Send this page to a friend

    Media Coverage:

    - Recording Industry Withdraws Music Sharing Lawsuit (Sept. 24, 2003)
    - File sharing must be made legal (Sept. 12, 2003)
    - 'Amnesty' for Music File Sharing Is a Sham (Sept. 10, 2003)
    - Why the RIAA's “Amnesty” Offer is a Sham (Sept. 9, 2003)
    - Recording Industry Announces Lawsuits Against Music Sharers (Sept. 8, 2003)
    - Recording Industry Plans “Amnesty” for Music Sharers (Sept. 5, 2003)


    ~~~~~


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  •  05-26-2007, 10:43 AM 23344 in reply to 23265

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Arthur's voice:

    Wow, that was an awesome video!  Don't fuck with a mermaid or you'll be cast down into the firey pits of bankruptcy....


    Hi Corey

    Glad you like the Negativland mermaid video.  I posted some other Negativland video links here for your edification and amusement.

    spiral out,
    arthur


    Upgrade to ISC!
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  •  05-26-2007, 12:05 PM 23350 in reply to 23344

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    from http://www.37signals.com/

    Jane Siberry's "you decide what feels right" pricing Matt May 18

    20 comments Latest by Benjy Stanton

    Sex, Drugs and Updating Your Blog describes how some small-scale recording artists are succeeding on the web. One interesting bit mentions the “pay what you can policy” used by Jane Siberry. The result: People wind up paying more than they would at iTunes.

    The Canadian folk-pop singer Jane Siberry has a clever system: she has a “pay what you can” policy with her downloadable songs, so fans can download them free — but her site also shows the average price her customers have paid for each track. This subtly creates a community standard, a generalized awareness of how much people think each track is really worth. The result? The average price is as much as $1.30 a track, more than her fans would pay at iTunes.

    self-pricing



    Choose an option and you see stats on what other customers chose:

    self-pricing

    Her store provides an open letter that explains the policy:

    Like many, I’m restless and impatient with living in a world where people are made to feel like shoplifters rather than intelligent peoples with a good sense of balance. I want to treat people the way I’d like to be treated. ‘Dumbing UP’ (as opposed to ‘dumbing down’)....You decide what feels right to your gut. If you download for free, perhaps you’ll buy an extra CD at an indie band’s concert. Or if you don’t go with your gut feeling, you might sleep poorly, wake up grumpy, put your shoes on backwards and fall over. Whatever. You’ll know what to do…This is not a guilt trip. Feel no pressure. The most important thing is that the music flow out to where it could bring enjoyment. And THAT is the best thing you could give me.

    The current pricing statistics listed at the site:
    18% Gift from Artist
    18% Standard
    05% Pay Now
    58% Pay Later

    Avg Price/Song $1.17
    07% Paid Below Suggested
    80% Paid At Suggested
    14% Paid Above Suggested

    ~~~~~
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  •  09-07-2007, 8:58 PM 28257 in reply to 23350

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Arthur/adastra says:
    Crossposted from the IIzaadz thread inspired by this one (Integral Approach to Copyright/Fair Use?):

    I'm continuing to study the Creative Commons licensing schemes, and two I find particularly interesting are the Founder's Copyright, in which you retain full copyright protection for 14 or 28 years, after which point the material becomes fully public domain (this is closer to the way copyright originally worked), and the Developing Nations copyright:

    Developing Nations

    The Developing Nations license allows you to invite a wide range of royalty-free uses of your work in developing nations while retaining your full copyright in the developed world. For the detailed terms, see the Commons Deed and Legal Code below.

    The Developing Nations license allows, for the first time, any copyright holder in the world to participate first-hand in reforming global information policy. The fact is that most of the world's population is simply priced out of developed nations' publishing output. To authors, that means an untapped readership. To economists, it means “deadweight loss.” To human rights advocates and educators, it is a tragedy. The Developing Nations license is designed to address all three concerns.

    Read more about the history of the Developing Nations license.


    ~~~~~

    I love this idea, it could be such a powerful force for good in the world.  It made me think immediately of what Moses has been telling us about how expensive and hard to get integral books are in Africa.  How wonderful it would be if integral material were made available using a Developing Nations licence, so that it might become cheaper and more readily available for those in developing nations who are ready for it.

    spiral out,
    arthur

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  •  09-13-2007, 10:16 AM 28461 in reply to 28257

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Arthur/adastra says:
    Corey, I've been interested in this subject before, and been exposed to these issues in the past - through my interest in netagivland, the open source movement, posts and blogs by Rommel, etc., but this thread has helped to spark my current semi-obsession with the subject - thanks for that.  Big Smile [:D]  I believe it is one of the most important issues of our times.

    I've been reading up on various aspects of this topic, in particular the use of Creative Commons licensing schemes.  Under CC you - the owner of any copyrighted work - can choose to give up some rights to your work (hence the phrase "some rights reserved").  For example, you can specify that you automatically allow unlimited copying of the work, as long as it is copied in unchanged form and you are attributed authorship.  Or you can explicitly allow people to modify the work, as long as they allow other people down the line to modify the resulting work ("share alike").  You can forbid use of the work for commercial purposes, or allow that.  (My understanding is that CC licenses are non-exclusive, meaning you can have a non-commercial general license and also use your work commercially or negotiate a commercial contract with someone.)  These practices enrich the media landscape for all of us.

    Just last night I found out - by watching the entertaining and informative short videos at the Creative Commons website - that in the United States, the creator is automatically the copyright holder of their work the moment they make or record it (I had assumed that some process had to be gone through to establish such ownership).

    This is very cool.  It means that the instant someone writes or records something, they own that work with full copyright protection; and if they register under CC (a quick and simple process) - can choose to retain/relinquish various rights as suits their purposes and intentions.

    Since you have been following these issues for some time, Corey, I'm wondering what you think about the CC scheme?  Do you feel that CC licensing - which is evidently growing in leaps and bounds - will force change in the way copyright is handled in general?  That is, if large numbers of people are consciously choosing to relinquish certain rights in ways that are much more flexible and permissive than the practices of the powerful corporate content providers currently in "inquisition mode," might this cause a sea change in the way the whole system operates?   Founder's Copyright - in which people voluntarily retain copyright for 14 years and then release it into the public domain (in other words, the way copyright originally functioned) - is another infectious idea which might shift the playing field if it is widely adopted.

    Also, how does I-I collectively feel - or what is the diversity of opinions - on CC licensing schemes with regards to integral material?  Do you know of any integral authors who are using CC or Founder's Copyright for their material?  Has there been any speculation on licensing AQAL Journal, the What Is Integral? PDF, or other basic material under CC?

    I'm specifically asking Corey these questions, but of course I'm interested in what others have to say as well.

    curiously,
    arthur

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  •  09-15-2007, 7:12 PM 28546 in reply to 28461

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Arthur/adastra says:
    There are directories of work licenced under Creative Commons, as well as a way to search for such material using search engines like google (to find out more about how the latter works, click here).

    spiral out,
    arthur

    Creative Commons : To find out more, visit the Creative Commons webpage.  


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  •  09-15-2007, 7:14 PM 28547 in reply to 28546

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Arthur/adastra says:

    The Fair Use Network looks like a great source of information on how fair use actually works (for those who really want to get into it).  From their main page:

    ~~~

    Why the Fair Use Network?

    How much can you borrow, quote or copy from someone else's work? What happens if you get a “cease and desist” letter from a copyright owner? These and many other questions make “intellectual property,” or “IP,” law, a mass of confusion for artists, scholars, journalists, bloggers, and everyone else who contributes to culture and political debate.

    The Fair Use Network was created because of the many questions that artists, writers, and others have about “IP” issues. Whether you are trying to understand your own copyright or trademark rights, or are a “user” of materials created by others, the information here will help you understand the system — and especially its free-expression safeguards.

    If you have received a “cease and desist” letter from a copyright or trademark owner, or a notice from your Internet service provider about a “takedown” letter, you'll also find useful information on this site.

    ~~~


    Of particular interest, the section on fair use of copyrighted works. 

    spiral out,
    arthur


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  •  10-10-2007, 4:22 PM 29777 in reply to 28461

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Well, i just got called out in the video game thread by Arthur, who insists that i shall not have *any* wind-down time at all, and that all eighteen daily waking hours available to me should be fully occupied with various integrally-informed minutia.

    Damn you Arthur, can't a kid just play some Halo in peace?

    Creative Commons--i think this movement represents a great start toward "enriching the media landscape" as you put it.  I love the idea of giving the artist as many options as possible, and let him/her decide what the world should be allowed to do with the artwork.  Creative Commons greatly expands the legalistic possibilities, and i think CC is to be commended for this.

    But the question wasn't whether i think it's good that CC exists--to most people reading this forum, it would probably be pretty obvious that it is.  The question is whether i think it's enough to make a difference within the industry-at-large.  And here i am not so sure.  As always, i need to do more research, but from here it's not looking so good.

    For one thing, CC feels like a reaction to the status quo of the industry, which it obviously is.  But i am not sure it is doing something that is necessarily novel--it is certainly expanding the options of copyright law, but it is still working within the bounds of that law--in other words, i am not convinced that CC represents a higher-order solution to the problems we currently face.  And so long as those boundaries aren't being redefined, i can't help to think the current cultural monopolies will retain their control.

    Also, much of the spirit of CC feels (to me) somewhat cold and legalistic.  This is to be expected, anything that has an actual chance of affecting the larger system is bound to feel like radio instructions.  But it is just interesting to me that, when considering the overall feeling of the movement, neither the words "creative" nor "commons" spring to mind, such that it feels less like a movement and more like a contract. 

    Here's a critique i found pretty interesting.  An excerpt:

    "The paramount claim of Lessig’s prognosis about the fate of culture is that we will be unable to create new culture when the resources of that culture are owned and controlled by a limited number of private corporations and individuals. As far as it goes, this argument has appeal. But it also comes packaged with a miserable, cramped view of culture. Culture is here viewed as a resource or, in Heidegger’s terms, “ standing reserve ”. Culture is valued only in terms of its worth for building something new. The significance, enchantment and meaning provided by context are all irrelevant to a productivist ontology that sees old culture merely as a resource for the “original” and the “new”. Lessig’s recent move to the catchphrase “Remix Culture” seems to confirm this outlook. Where culture is only standing reserve it can be owned and controlled without ethical question. The view of culture presented here is entirely consistent with the creative industry’s continual transformation of the flow of culture, communication and meaning into decontextualised information and property.

    This understanding of culture frames the Creative Common’s overall approach to introducing a commons in the information age. As a result, the Creative Commons network provides only a simulacrum of a commons. It is a commons without commonalty. Under the name of the commons, we actually have a privatised, individuated and dispersed collection of objects and resources that subsist in a technical-legal space of confusing and differential legal restrictions, ownership rights and permissions. The Creative Commons network might enable sharing of culture goods and resources amongst possessive individuals and groups. But these goods are neither really shared in common, nor owned in common, nor accountable to the common itself. It is left to the whims of private individuals and groups to permit reuse. They pick and choose to draw on the commons and the freedoms and agency it confers when and where they like."


    I don't want to sound like i am CC-bashing here at all; i'm definitely not.  I think the CC is an absolutely fascinating and exciting development in copyleft culture, but i don't think it has all the answers.  It's a wonderful start, and seems damn effective at the grassroots level.  But i also find it interesting that, after a handful of years intensively pushing the CC agenda forward, it still hasn't made the sort of cultural impact that, say, Radiohead's new album has.  Of course, the candle of revolution must burn at both ends, so maybe that's what we are starting to see here.

    I feel like i have much more to say, and haven't done the topic justice at all, but i guess these will have to pass as my preliminary thoughts on the subject.  Perhaps there will be more, as it comes to me ^_^

    Off to play Warcraft!

    __________________________

    Corey W. deVos (dj rekluse)
    Brand Manager, Integral Naked
    Audio Manager, Integral Institute
    Managing Editor, KenWilber.com
    __________________________
  •  10-13-2007, 9:21 AM 29922 in reply to 29777

    Re: A Fair(y) Use Tale

    Arthur/adastra says:

    Hi Corey

    Thanks for wrenching yourself away from your joystick long enough to share more of your perspective(s) on this topic.  Big Smile [:D]


    Corey says
    I feel like i have much more to say, and haven't done the topic justice at all, but i guess these will have to pass as my preliminary thoughts on the subject.  Perhaps there will be more, as it comes to me ^_^Off to play Warcraft!

    Arthur/adastra says:

    There was a significant part of my post that may have gotten lost in your ruminations on the generalities of the topic, so to reiterate:
    ...how does I-I collectively feel - or what is the diversity of opinions - on Creative Commons (CC) licensing schemes with regards to integral material?  Do you know of any integral authors who are using CC or Founder's Copyright for their material?  Has there been any speculation on licensing AQAL Journal, the What Is Integral? PDF, or other basic material under CC?

    I thought it was a great move to make some of the I-I video material available on Youtube – it's a great way to get some of the basic ideas out there, and draws attention back to the Multiplex, probably resulting in some people signing up to get access to lots more material. Making some of the I-I material available through Creative Commons licensing would likely have a similar – if not greater - effect. Think for example of the authors who released material under CC and saw greatly increased sales of their product as a result. Cory Doctorow is one author who has used this technique a lot to good effect.

    From a CC licensed interview with Doctorow:

    Doctorow has discovered that liberal licensing can make good business sense. Despite Down and Out being available as a free download, he boasts, "that sucker has blown through five print editions, so I'm not worried that giving away books is hurting my sales."

    In other words, Doctorow has demonstrated that providing free electronic copies of creative works is an excellent publicity strategy, and can lead to higher print sales...The point, says Doctorow, is that he is not some "patchouli-scented, fuzzy-headed, 'information wants to be free' info-hippie", but an entrepreneur seeking new business models.

    "I believe that we live in an era where anything that can be expressed as bits will be. I believe that bits exist to be copied. Therefore, I believe that any business-model that depends on your bits not being copied is just dumb, and that lawmakers who try to prop these up are like governments that sink fortunes into protecting people who insist on living on the sides of active volcanoes. Me, I'm looking to find ways to use copying to make more money and it's working: enlisting my readers as evangelists for my work and giving them free eBooks to distribute sells more books."

    Is this something that I-I is interested in exploring in some form? Is it being considered? Has it already been considered and rejected – and if so, why?

    spiral out,
    arthur


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