• Go Go Godzilla!

    .fcoppa tiistaina, 23 maaliskuuta 2010 - 8:40pm

    I have often described the coming battle over online video as Godzilla vs. Mothra--that is to say, a battle which will be fought out among corporate behemoths much more powerful than any vidder. Reel one of this monster movie is starting: Viacom vs. Google. This week, both sides released paperwork detailing their claims and accusations; at stake is YouTube, and even more specifically, the DMCA's "safe harbor" provision--which is just the little detail which has made most of the internet possible. (Short, IANAL version: "safe harbor" means that you can't hold internet services liable for everything their users do with them. If streaming sites, web ISPs, social networks, etc. had to guarantee that nobody would ever use them to do, publish, or share anything illegal, they wouldn't be able to function.)

    Probably the funniest part of this week's news comes from YouTube's blog post on the subject, in which they argue that Viacom is basically full of sockpuppets:

    For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom...As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

    Is it too much to hope that Viacom flounces and deletes all its journals in a huff?

  • Fanivideoiden historia

    .Helka Lantto lauantaina, 27 helmikuuta 2010 - 5:33pm

    Fanivideot (vids) ovat fanien tekemiä musiikkivideoita, joita tehdään leikkaamalla uudelleen ja remiksaamalla aineistoa televisiosarjoista ja elokuvista. Fanivideoiden historia on paljon pidempi kuin YouTuben (2003) ja nykyaikaisen "remix"-kulttuurin; fanivideoita on tehty jo 1970-luvulta lähtien, ja ne ovat yksi Star Trek -fandomissa ja myöhemmissä mediafandomeissa syntyneistä taidemuodoista. Lisäksi erityisen merkillepantavaa on, että fanivideoita tekevät lähinnä naiset, ehkä siksi että mediafandom yleensä on naisvaltainen, tai siksi että tarinoiden kertominen jo olemassa olevan materiaalin avulla on ollut yksi tapa murtaa se muuri, joka estää naisia pääsemästä kalliiseen ja miesten dominoimaan filmien maailmaan.

    Transformatiivisten teosten järjestön (OTW) Fanivideoiden historia -projekti on sitoutunut dokumentoimaan ja vaalimaan fanivideoiden 35-vuotista historiaa. Me uskomme, että ei-kaupalliset teokset, kuten fanivideot, jotka käyttävät luovasti olemassa olevaa tekijänoikeuslain alaista materiaalia, ovat transformatiivisia ja että transformatiiviset teokset ovat laillisia Yhdysvaltain tekijänoikeuslain mukaan.

    Työhömme kuuluvat:

    Fair use -fanivideoiden testisarja: Tarjotaan osana OTW:n lausuntoa EFF:n Yhdysvaltain tekijänoikeusvirastolle osoittaman vetoomuksen tukemiseksi. Vetoomuksessa EFF anoo erivapautta DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) -laista fanivideoiden ja muiden transformatiivisten tai muulla tavalla Yhdysvaltain fair use -käytännön mukaisten teosten tekijöille.

    Vidding: Dokumentti remix-kulttuurista, jonka OTW tuotti yhdessä MIT:n ja New Media Literacy -projektin kanssa vuonna 2008. Ohjaus: Francesca Coppa; leikkaus: Laura Shapiro.

    Suullinen historia -projekti: OTW on perustanut Suullinen historia -projektin dokumentoidakseen monien fanivideoiden esiäitien kokemuksia. Haastateltavina ovat muun muassa: Kandy Fong; Sandy ja Rache Media Cannibals -kollektiivista; Morgan Dawn. Haluaisimme, että mahdollisimman moni fanivideoiden tekijä olisi mukana tässä projektissa; jos sinua kiinnostaisi tulla haastatelluksi, ota meihin yhteyttä.

    Julkisuus ja esitykset:

    Neda Ulabyn Vidders Talk Back To Their Pop-Culture Muses NPR:n All Things Considered -ohjelmassa, lähetetty 25. helmikuuta, 2009. Kuuntele verkossa tai lue mukana oleva artikkeli.

    Fanivideoiden sukupuu: Francesca Coppa ja Laura Shapiro tekivät yhteistyössä kaksituntisen "Fanivideoiden sukupuu" -esityksen ja videonäytöksen 24/7: A DIY Video Summit -tapahtumassa (8.-10. helmikuuta, 2008; School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California).

    "Remixing Television: Francesca Coppa on the vidding underground," haastattelu: Jesse Walker, Reason: Free Minds and Free Markets -julkaisu. Elokuu/syyskuu 2008, s. 57-63.

    The Vidder, New York Magazinen profiili Luminositystä

  • Vimeo Sued Over Music Infringement

    .fcoppa torstaina, 31 joulukuuta 2009 - 5:36am

    Here's a case that vidders might want to keep an eye on. Vimeo is being sued by a number of record companies--EMI, Capitol, Virgin--over audio tracks, which "are too often unlicensed copies of full songs." You can read more about the case at Vimeo sued; have staffers uploaded infringing content? While the suit seems to want to leave some space for transformative works--as the article notes, EMI is "careful to say that it is 'not seeking to stifle creativity or preclude members of the public from creating original, lawful audiovisual works,'" it also wants to stop usage of "the entire musical work deliberately and carefully synchronized into the video."

    Obviously we at the OTW disagree with the implication that the use of music "in careful synchronization" is automatically infringing. Music can be an interpretive tool, and vids are a form of speech: they show, they demonstrate, they make arguments. In a vid, music is not a "soundtrack"; it is an essential part of the argument and creates a new--intricate, and richly meaningful--whole.

  • Links of Potential Interest to Vidders

    .fcoppa torstaina, 5 marraskuuta 2009 - 1:33am

    From the business section of the Guardian this week: Google seeks to turn a profit from YouTube copyright clashes. The article's subtitle gives you the gist: "Group is working to persuade music and video companies to cash in rather than clamp down when their content is uploaded." In short, Google wants to use their content fingerprinting system to report uses--even transformed uses--to copyright holders and then to offer them the chance to put ads on user-generated content. There's lots wrong with that, but perhaps the wrongest is the idea that the companies have the right to take things down because "because the use does not fit the original's values." C'mon, Google! Don't be evil!

    In brighter news, UK Will Urge EC To Legalise Mashups, Format-Shifting, Content Sharing. This "could include legalising more outright copying, the creation of sound/image mashups, format-shifting and sharing material with family and friends."

    Relatedly, folks seem to be figuring out that the DVR isn't actually the death of commercial television and that so-called "music pirates" actually buy more music. While we've heard this song before, optimistically copyright holders will eventually figure out that they shouldn't be afraid of new technologies.

  • The Slow Road to Fair Use: How IKAT381 fought the Bots and won

    .fcoppa lauantaina, 3 lokakuuta 2009 - 2:31pm

    You might think fighting robots only happens in video games, in which case: read the The Slow Road to Fair Use: Why it Takes Three Weeks to Post Your Youtube Video, a guest post by video remixer IKAT381 at IKAT381 chronicles the three week--but ultimately successful--slog to get a vid up on YouTube, a process that included fighting the upload bot, which did an automatic takedown, lodging a dispute through YouTube's built-in online tool, and then lodging a DMCA counternotice when the dispute was denied (by another bot?) in favor of UMG, the record company that owned the Weezer song.

    Persistence paid off, but as IKAT381 points out, "imagine if I was a career artist who wanted to dedicate more time to creating than to looking up copyright law and counter-notice procedures. Or imagine I had kids, or school, or any number of things that might be more important to me than being a copyright geek."

    IKAT381 concludes: In the year 2009, copyright disputes have been taken over by robots. In the year 2010, copyright disputes should be handled by people.

    (You might also enjoy the vid. Super Pork and Beans All-Stars (Weezer Remix) is a tribute to IKAT381's favorite internet celebrities, of which you're sure to recognize more than a few!)

  • Public Knowledge Video Series: "We Are Creators, Too" (+Bonus Geek Feminism Interview)

    .fcoppa torstaina, 1 lokakuuta 2009 - 8:10pm

    Public Knowledge, a Washington, D.C.-based public interest group working to defend citizens' rights in the digital culture, has just done a four part "TV" series called, "We Are Creators, Too."

    Part One features Nina Paley, the brilliant independent filmmaker and animator who made Sita Sings The Blues, whose release was tied up over music rights: while the actual recordings she used (from 1927) were in the public domain, the "sync licenses" were exorbitant.

    Parts Two and Three feature Elisa Kreisinger and Jonathan McIntosh of Political Remix Video; Elisa's political remixes, including "Queer Housewives of New York City (Real Housewives Remix)", can be found at; Jonathan's political remixes, including, "So You Think You Can Be President?" and the recent "Buffy vs. Edward" can be found at

    Part Four features OTW board member Francesca Coppa talking about vidding and vid culture, as well as the work of the OTW. (Francesca was also recently interviewed over at Geek Feminism, where she talks about the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, and where the OTW is vis a vis a vidding archive.)

  • Cinema Journal Puts Fandom in the Spotlight

    .fcoppa maanantaina, 21 syyskuuta 2009 - 9:23pm

    The Summer, 2009 issue of Cinema Journal features a section on fandom in general and vidding in particular edited by TWC's Kristina Busse and featuring a number of members of TWC's editorial board. (Yes, that's a shot from Lim's "Us" on the cover!) The issue is currently being mailed to subscribers, but eventually will be online at JStor and available through academic search engines in libraries and such.

    In Focus: Fandom and Feminism
    Gender and the Politics of Fan Production

    "Introduction," by Kristina Busse
    "A Fannish Taxonomy of Hotness," by Francesca Coppa
    "A Fannish Field of Value: Online Fan Gift Culture," by Karen Hellekson
    "Should Fan Fiction Be Free?" by Abigail De Kosnik
    "User Penetrated Content: Fan Video in the Age of Convergence," by Julie Levin Russo
    "Living in a Den of Thieves: Fan Video and Digital Challenges to Ownership," by Alexis Lothian

    Edited to add: Not sure for how long this file will be available, but the "In Focus" section can currently be found on the SCMS website here (right-click and save).

  • OTW Responds to Questions from the Copyright Office Regarding Proposed DMCA Exemptions for Remix Artists/Vidders

    .fcoppa perjantaina, 18 syyskuuta 2009 - 11:47pm

    The Copyright Office requested further information from the OTW and other groups that testified during the DMCA Anticircumvention Hearings on May 6-8. These hearings were designed to entertain testimony in favor of and against DMCA exemptions for media educators (including K-12 teachers), documentary filmmakers, vidders, and other noncommercial remix artists.

    For those who are interested, our answers are linked here.

    The first is a joint answer, collaboratively written, submitted, and signed by the OTW, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a number of library associations (ALA, AALA, ARL, ACRL), film and media studies professors, and documentary filmmakers and their organizations. (Joint Supporters Response To Supplemental Questions On Proposed DVD-Related DMCA Exemptions (PDF).)

    The second is a separate response co-written specifically by the OTW and the EFF to address the particular needs of vidders and other remix artists. (OTW & EFF Response To Supplemental Questions, Specific To Noncommercial Video Remix Creators (PDF).)

  • Vidder Documentaries

    .fcoppa tiistaina, 4 elokuuta 2009 - 3:21pm

    Fans of vidding might be interested in the short documentaries about individual vidders being made over at the Vid Commentary LiveJournal community. The first of these, a profile of vidder kiki_miserychic is now available either as an embed or as a download.

    The entire Vid Commentary community is devoted to encouraging fans to write or record commentary/analysis on vids they didn't make. Vidding fans should go, read, and try sharing their own analyses of these complex and layered fanworks!

  • Notes from the Open Video Conference, Day Two

    .fcoppa keskiviikkona, 24 kesäkuuta 2009 - 7:23pm

    Summary of a couple of panels on Day 2:

    Automated DMCA Takedowns and Web Video: Scott Smitelli, a professional sound designer and editor, is the fellow who wrote Fun with YouTube's Audio Content ID System, in which he tried to test out the limits of YouTube's fingerprinting system for audio. Conclusions: the software is mainly interested in the first 30 seconds of a song, and can be thwarted by pitch or time alterations of over 6% (which may be unhelpful to the musically sensitive among us, but there you go.) Kevin Driscoll and others from YouTomb discussed the January Massacre: the massive increase of takedowns in December, 2008 and January, 2009. On a graph, it looks like takedowns have dropped off since then, but that may be deceptive: in fact, it seems like things are being detected so fast (within ten minutes) that YouTomb can't keep track of them, or to put it another way: takedowns are low because stuff's never getting UP in the first place. A suggestion: that it would be great if every takedown left a webpage with a card saying, "This has been taken down," because in many cases, people are not aware of what they can't have. Oliver Day, also from YouTomb, told a chilling story: the original filmmaker who shot the clouds that were used in the Anonymous anti-Scientology ads had his original footage taken down--not in deference to those ads, but in deference to a Huffington Post anti-Giuliani parody of those ads. As Day put it, "The power is with the powerful": even though the original filmmaker's footage was there first, it was assumed that he was infringing the Huffington Post, and not the other way around.

    Who Owns Popular Culture? Remix and Fair Use in the Age of Corporate Mass Media: This was the panel hosted by Jonathan McIntosh and featuring animator Nina Paley (of Sita Sings The Blues, Neil Sieling from the Center for Social Media, political remixer Elisa Kreisigner, Karl Fogel from, and OTW Board Member Francesca Coppa. The panel largely discussed what the policing of online video and the over-enforcement of copyright means for artists, remixers, and those interested in free speech. Nina Paley answered the question literally, by providing a list of who owns popular culture--or in her case, literally, the songs, mostly from 1927-28, that she used in Sita Sings The Blues, while Elisa Kreisinger evoked many the important visual artists, from Duchamp to Koons to Kruger to Lichtenstein to Warhol, for whom remixing and recontextualizing pop culture was a key artistic move. (She also showed her remixes of the Queer Housewives of New York City.)


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