Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creative Commons

Lawrence Lessig, Founding Board Member of the "Creative Commons"

Everyone is sampling user generated content these days. It's clear that "Youtube" and "Vimeo" are excellent platforms for the masses to launch ideas and art. A lot of beautiful and fascinating material is strewn amidst the more... parochial content that's flooding the "interweb." In any case, "Youtube" and related video broadcast sites represent the democratization of entertainment.

Lawrence Lessig is a Harvard law professor and political activist who believes we are witness to a cultural revolution, that youths with access to the Internet should be allowed to freely express themselves by mixing pre-existing media. New art and culture is built by changing old art and culture, so to speak. He's one of the founders of Creative Commons, and an advocate of changing intellectual property and copyright laws.

I find Lessig's material very inspiring and commendable. I feel that viral marketing through the Internet, new video technology, and new distribution channels have benefited me as an emerging filmmaker. More and more films are being done at the mircobudget level, and a democratization of the entertainment industry means all of us have a better chance of launching our voices.

But when is the line drawn? What if you want to make a living at this? Where's the cash flow? As a filmmaker, how can I protect my property (especially if I want to present it to the world through the Internet)? These thoughts apply to anyone in the arts.

In any way, I'm interested in learning more about this debate (the video is a couple of years old, but certainly worth watching):



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