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Sustain Creativity: Remix the Politics of Intellectual Property

Copyright and intellectual property exist in society. As economics and ways of working change, so should our ecology of ideas.

Barb Iverson

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of Sustain Creativity: Remix the Politics of Intellectual Property

sustain creativity: remix the politics
of intellectual property by Barbara K. Iverson, Ph.D
Journalism Department
Columbia College Chicago We are not who we thought we were "Freeconomics"
the long tail
freemium-1-99 models
gift economies
reputation ranking
building social capital Technology and its handmaidens disrupt "business as usual"

Why not encourage a sharing culture? The "Cathedral" and "the Bazaar"
two contrasting models of production Cathedral- shorthand for
hierarchical structure
closed systems & operations
walled garden or gated community Bazaar- shorthand for
loosely coupled organization
meritocracy of ideas
flexible and open systems & operations
a prarie or metropolis of trade Open source software -- "open" ideas in video, education, curriculum, journalism, and many aspects of our lives -- as in open gov
Intellectual goods vs. physical goods Classic economic theories falter:
productivity gains arise in new ways
crowdsouring and "wisdom of the crowds"
small is flexible
point of delivery production
Econimies of scale, Fail Ideas with traction today
hybrid vigor
rapid prototyping
modular- think Lego blocks so where does copyright come into this exploration?
“The Congress shall have power . . . to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries; ...”

Copyright covers:
Books-Plays-Comic books-Songs-Musical compositions-Recordings of music, even if the music itself is in the public domain-Photographs-Quilts-Choreography-Paintings-Drawings-Sculptures-Jewelry-Fabric designs, but not the clothes made from them-Architectural drawings, but not the buildings created from them-Maps, but only the newly created elements, not the location of things on the map-Computer programs-movies and scripts for movies and treatments for scripts for movies.-translations of any of the above from one language into another.
Curtails our scope of thinking by setting cultural works
out of consideration because of commercial concerns.

Need to identify our common interests and make cultural
environmentalism work for all of us.

Public domain "Economic theory tells us that property rights in creative works will lead people to produce more creative works, at least up to the point where preexisting claims start to choke off latecomers’ ability to create anything new, but no one knows the best place to draw the line." Rachel Tushnet in "Copy This Essay: How Fair Use Doctrine Harms Free Speech and How Copying Serves It" As academics, artists, and educators, as well as members of a democratic community, we face threats from current copyright law.
We need balance Between

the right of an individual to express their ideas in the form of a mix tap CD or via reuse of cultural icons- like Buffy in fan fiction without fear of the copyright police

support for entities like HBO which create the raw material upon which remix culture is built. Without the shows or films, the public domain creations would be empty. Copying without transformation
Persuade, participate in civic life
Not considered derivative, but it's essential to First Amendment and to educators.

derivative works
Face threat of litigation -"chilling effect" on artists, educators, and creatives
leads to Self-censorship - deflection of cultural attention, postive or negative, to items not owned by big corporate entities.
A free speech issue for us and those we teach. Fair use embraces the modifying of existing media content, placing it in new context. Such transformative use is at the heart of media literacy education, where teachers and students use mass media, popular culture and digital media to develop critical thinking and communication skills."

from (mediaeducationlab.com) Editing

The editor can create a “collective work” where arrangement is the original element - but under the DMCA, copying the raw material to make this kind of remix is illegal. Technology, economics, commerce are out of sync and have put copyright law out of balance.

The concept of public domain needs to be revived. Summary Suggestion A cultural environmentalism movement could unite diverse parties who are affected by copyright and "copywrong." Rebecca Tushnet Copy This Essay: How Fair Use Doctrine Harms Free Speech and How Copying Serves It ACTA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement

Text of secret ACTA Agreement http://www.eff.org/
Full transcript