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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Open Source Cinema

These guys are right out there in the film2.0 world. They are creating an open source film on the subject of copyright. Its so of its self and so of the moment its amazing.

'Open source' means that they share the content, the raw material, and invite others to both edit this and contribute more new material. What some people (who are more cool than myself) might call a MashUp. The film itself will look at the idea that strict copyright halts artistic progress.

Here is the manifesto:

1) Copyright Is Theft!
Every time we copyright a work, we are robbing from the Commons We are denying others the freedom to share the ideas we have given life to. We are denying others the freedom to build on our ideas.

Yes, Copyright in some sense is necessary. It is an incentive to create, to encourage "the progress of science and useful arts". But when it is the life of the author, plus 75 years? That's a theft of our collective heritage.

2) Music Wants To Be Free!
On the advice of my lawyer, I must qualify the above statement. Of course artists need to profit
from their work. But as my lawyer explains, over the years copyright has mutated from something
that was supposed to encourage art by guaranteeing a limited profit for artists, into something
that corporations use to control the supply of art, music and ideas—long after the artists
have passed away. It used to be that art would fall into the public domain after its creators had
made money from it for a few years - but nowadays, the public domain is an antique concept.
Corporations have much longer life spans than individuals, so from their point of view, their
copyrights should never expire. As Sonny Bono put it (congressman Sonny Bono, that is), “copyright
should last forever minus a day.”

As a result, artists are having a harder time building on art from the past. Culture—which needs
to live and breathe and evolve—is being stored in vaults, released at the discretion of corporate
interests. So this film project is about more than just music, it’s about the future of all creativity. As John Oswald once said: “If creativity is a field, then copyright is a fence.”

3) Film is Fascism!
The traditional approach to creating films, especially documentary films, is flawed. A single perspective cannot hope to capture the nuance of an evolving cultural debate. Sure, Point of View is important. But "The Ecstasy of Influence", the participatory nature of digital creativity, begs us to create media that invites input from its audience.

4) Film is Pollution!
Travelling the globe, running hours of tape, wasting resources - these are a fact of life for documentary filmmakers. This no longer needs to be the case - with digital tools and transmission, we can crowd-source our ideas with silicon instead of carbon.

5) Open Source Cinema!
I am hereby opening this film to the masses. My entire plan, warts and all, can be viewed at the WikiFilm.

Check it out.

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1 comment:

Brett said...

Thanks for the mention, Tim! Hope to see you over at the site!