From copyright to file sharing, patents, creativity and originality, from piracy to net neutrality, surveillance to hacking, we got yo you covered with an aggregate of the most important, informative and thought challenging online sources.
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Is Piracy Helping Game of Thrones?
If you’re like us, you LOVE Game of Thrones. But if you’re also like us, you may not, technically, have… cable. So how are we seeing this amazing show on HBO, which is stuck behind a pay wall? A huge amount of viewers (not us of course, no no no) are downloading the show illegally. But despite being the most pirated show of 2012, the Game of Thrones DVDs are top sellers, breaking HBO’s own sales records!! Could it be that piracy is actually HELPING the show?!
A video part of PBS Idea Channel‘s weekly webseries that examines the connections between pop culture, technology and art. You can also watch: Are Mashups the End of Music Genres As We Know Them?
In Today’s Copyright System, Everyone’s a Violator
Chapman University Law Prof. Tom W. Bell narrates an educational throwback satire demonstrating why current Copyright Law is in desperate need of reform. Check out his new book on the subject, published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
His book, Intellectual Privilege proposes we let go of our notions of property and regard copyright as a privilege – a fresh perspective which could rebalance our skewed view on “intellectual property”.
The Internet is Closing Down
The Internet Is Closing Down (Internetul se închide) is a 15 minute documentary, and the first Romanian project that tackles the intricate relationship between file-sharing and intellectual property. It features some relevant answers from activists in Romania, as well as notes from several other US based activists like Lawrence Lessig, Brad Burham, Clay Shirky and others.
Can Artists Make Money Without Copyright?
You may be familiar with Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Donna è Mobile” from his opera Rigoletto. If not, perhaps you recognize it from popular soccer chants. The song provides an interesting case study in intellectual property rights because there weren’t any protections for intellectual property in Italy in Verdi’s time.
Despite the fact that Verdi could not prevent other people from using or profiting from his song, he still produced it. He also profited from the song, because people were willing to pay a premium to hear the song performed by its creator’s company. Professor Stephen Davies uses Rigoletto to demonstrate that intellectual property rights were not needed in Verdi’s time. Is it possible we don’t need them today either?
Copyright: Forever Less One Day
CGP Grey’s video is a five-minute brief presentation about the history and evolution of copyright. It is about it’s continuous extension and the huge burden copyright takes on our culture. It is now more of a burden on artists than it is something that helps new creation.
Pirate Mon Amour
For the French speakers out there, here’s #DATAGUEULE that tries to explain stuff in only 3 minutes. They did a pretty decent job explaining piracy.
Internet Citizens: Defend Net Neutrality
CGP Grey briefly explains what is Net Neutrality and why it is important to every “net citizen”
John Oliver on Surveillance
John Oliver needs no introduction. Mixing comedy with very serious topics, he managed to become one of the most popular show with real, palpable effects in government and beyond. Here’s 2 videos on surveillance.
Too Much Copyright
A short video about fair use and the current copyright regime produced by Reason TV.
Case Study: The iPhone
Kirby as also released a standalone short documentary, which builds on the Everything is a Remix series and exemplifies Kirby’s previous arguments through a very well documented case study on iPhone.
Other people have started editing together different movies from different eras to try to understand more about how films are built upon each other. Here’s what we managed to gather.
How Mickey Mouse Destroyed the Public Domain
Disney and other corporations lobbied Congress to extend the term of copyright by decades, thus successfully keeping our cultural heritage locked up. All characters that would now belong to the Public Domain still remain under ownership for… as long as they like.
Copyright is Brain Damage
We’re constantly bombarded with culture that soaks into our minds. Yet copyright tells you you’re not allowed to use anything from this entire culture, as it “belongs” to someone else. Thus, copyright successfully censors your creative mind, argues Nina Paley.
Documentos libres is a Spanish short videos series on copyfight, patents, digital rights etc. based on the podcast Cultura Libre series produced by Manzana Mecanica. The project is a collaboration between CreativosConecta2 and Manzana Mecanica, two Spanish organizations which fight for a free Internet culture and digital user rights. The video are in Spanish and soon they will be available with English subtitles also.
A five minute video produced by WhatYouOughtToKnow.com giving a fun economic perspective on Internet piracy and the assumptions it is based on.
Will Net Neutrality Save the Internet?
Does the Internet need saving? Net Neutrality is a proposed set of regulatory powers that would grant the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to control how Internet service providers (ISPs) package their services. Proponents argue that such rules are necessary to ensure that ISPs treat all data on the Internet equally and don’t slow or even restrict access to various websites and other parts of the Internet. However well-intentioned, the practical effect will be to limit consumer choice and grant the federal government unprecedented power over the Internet, all in the name of fixing a problem that doesn’t exist in any meaningful way.
A four minutes long video from Reason TV.
No Copy – The Movie
The first hackers appear in the 50s where they soon start a computer revolution. While the industry continues with its restrictive copyright laws, a secret subculture becomes a worldwide organisation. While the new subculture is spreading software all over the world, the industry has new problems to deal with. A cultural revolution has already started to take over …
Are Music Mashups the End of Music Culture?
Some of the best things to be found on the internet are music mashups! It’s a strangely pleasing experience to listen to totally unrelated artists commingling on the same music track. Mashups are awesome because they break genre expectations, which makes us think: why have genres at all? Nowadays there’s so much cross-pollination in music and art, creating more and more sub-genres, that the larger genre categories are becoming a useless relic.
A six-minute explanation of what Net Neutrality is and what the debate is about. Both supporters of net neutrality regulation and those who oppose it are fighting for a free internet, but it seems they disagree on whether corporations or governments are a bigger danger.
John Oliver on Net Neutrality
Here’s another video on Net Neutrality. Cable companies are trying to create an unequal playing field for internet speeds, but they’re doing it so boringly that most news outlets aren’t covering it. John Oliver explains the controversy and lets viewers know how they can voice their displeasure to the FCC.
Open Rights Group
Open Rights Group Youtube Channel contains an impressive collection of short videos with interviews, statements, speeches and lectures given by artists like Neil Gaiman (Amanda Palmer’s husband, whom you can see talking about the new relationship between artists and fans here) or internet activists and authors like Cory Doctorow and James Boyle (you can find information about what they published in our Books section). The subjects on which their interviewees touch upon range from copyright and DRM to piracy, from surveillance, NSA and PRISM to data protection, from net neutrality to censorship.
How to Successfully Sue Other Moms Who Steal Your Parenting Tricks
The Onion presents a parody video on how to patent parenting tricks and then sue the hell out of everyone for being a parental plagiarist.
John Oliver: Patents
If we’re getting in a funny mood about patents, here’s John Oliver take on the whole thing. “For inventors, patents are an essential protection against theft. But when patent trolls abuse the system by stockpiling patents and threatening lawsuits, businesses are forced to shell out tons of money.”
Corruption is Legal
Does the government represent the people? This is what two professors tried to find out by examining 20 years of data. How often does public opinion become law and how much is it influenced by big players? What they found is very troubling: 90% of opinions have essentially no impact at all. The study is only available on the American government, but it might as well be true all over the world.
The Curious Copyright Case of “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Copyright hurts the public by having all works locked away for 70 years after the author’s death. In the case of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the film became very popular because it was public domain, but got owned again by a studio in the ’90s
Knotty Objects: Phone
What prison are our phones in if we have to jailbreak them? Two companies design most smartphones in the world, dictate the roundness of the corners, what you can sell in their app stores and what you are allowed to use them for.
But freedom is designing your own phone. Deciding what a phone is and what it does. And South China proves to be a highly innovative market optimized for each particular niche.
The Office Time Machine
Being original is not that original. And what better way to illustrate this than with 9 seasons of The Office! In Joe Sabia’s own words, the project “was created to show how culture enriches comedy”. “The Office is relatable and funny because it borrows so much from culture, and people get the references. Culture is society’s collected knowledge, art, and customs. It’s what surrounds us and unites us, and it allows us to collectively laugh at a joke in The Office about Ben Franklin or M. Night Shyamalan. Culture, simply put, is the seasoning in a meal.”
So go ahead, head on to the Office Time Machine, select a year and see how many references there are. Hint: there’s a total of 1,312 references from 189 episodes covering over 6000 years of human history.
In case you saw a short movie about copyright, surveillance, net neutrality, free software, hacking etc. and you think it would fit perfectly in the archive, don’t hesitate to leave us a message below or send us an e-mail at editor [@] copy-me.org. We would love to hear from you!