Archive for the ‘Copyright’ Tag

Soda Jerk and Pirate Pops


The “internet piracy trial of the decade” began today with The Pirate Bay in the docks.

The four defendants face a fine of 1.2m kronor (£1,000) and two years in prison. They could leave 25m torrent-tracking users behind them if it all falls down.

Feels strange that this is happening now. Last week pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline announced their intentions to go open source. Offline business is starting to follow the online models of sharing.

I never can understand what makes creative copyright so different. Ideas are ideas, right? Maybe it’s time to pick up Lawrence Lessig again.

Or sit back and enjoy a Soda Jerk remix … while there’s still some in the bottle.

Pixel Pirate II Hollywood Trailer by Soda Jerk on YouTube.


Soda Jerk interview on Create Digital Motion

– Understanding fair use copyright

– Remixing in… Microsoft Excel?

Understanding Fair Use

Luke sent me a very informative link from Boing Boing yesterday. If you’re not in the habit of making video, you can skip this post.

I won’t pretend that Fair Use is riveting. But it’s something you need to understand if you want to sample material that isn’t your own.

This piece is available in full here and the Centre for Social Media has a lot more to help you get your head around Creative Commons law and Fair Use.

Why does any of this concern me? Well, it affects my VJing work, for one. I’ve not yet met a VJ who doesn’t use a single sample in their set. Neither have I met a VJ who’s entirely comfortable about their legal footing in doing so.

But a VJ should aspire to sample less and less as they develop. There’s a lot of insight in the book and DVD by D-Fuse and Michael Faulkner on this subject.

And whatever you’re doing, whether it’s original or sampled, it should be transformative. That’s the whole point.

I think reading up on Fair Use is an effective way to quality control your work and ensure you stand out from the YouTube mash-ups. I’d recommend it.

Hey! Leave Those Brands Alone

Danish artist Nadia Plesner devised this design to raise money for Darfur.

Louis Vuitton aren’t happy about her fundraising activities (full story here), citing an infringement of “Intellectual Property Rights”.

“Intellectual Property”?

Wow. How contrary. Brands want us to love, cherish, kiss and hug them. Online, they want us to play with them, tickle them, retouch them (I’m thinking sneakers and labels – Beck’s Fusions last year comes to mind).

They want us to remix. Because they know we like to remix. But only if it’s on their terms and, preferably, their microsite.

This attitude’s so retro it’s almost charming. But not quite. And far less charming for its PR stupidity. They could have easily supported the campaign and added buckets to their brand greenwash. Not to mention dirtied dollars to the Darfur appeal.

I’m with Brazilian designer Mario Amaya (see below). Let’s get remixing brands, whether they like it or not. If they want to be in our lives, they need to be taught how the real world shakes today.

Related: Boosh vs. Honey Monster, Round 1.

Essential: The Pirate’s Dilemma – We Invented the Remix.

Previous: Segway Watch – the Future Goes Social.

Fail Share: File Proof

I’ve been using Pando here and there since a helpful review in Wired. Anyone familiar with BitTorrent or programmes like Soulseek might think it’s too simple. But that’s the best thing about it.

You can send packages of up to 1GB at a time to friends. They’ll get an email to let them know. Once they’ve downloaded the Pando client, they can open their package and play.

Fast, clean and usable. I like it. It’s a great way to pick something particular for someone particular. A really satisfying way to share.

But if you think you might not be getting through with Pando, or any other site you use, you can try this:

Downforeveryoneorjustme only does one thing. You enter a URL and see if a site is down for everyone or just… you get it by now. Thanks to Iain Tait for this spot of helpful advice.

Without good advice, anyone can be an expert at failure. Think demux is now two weeks old. Some friends have shared thoughts about the site. Some people even appear to be reading it regularly.

But what do you think?

If you can post a helpful comment, I’ll have a better idea of where to go next. You’ll get a better read the next time you visit.

Crimpin’ Ain’t Easy

You might have heard the Mighty Boosh are taking legal action against the Honey Monster. Gag-worthy as that may be, I’ve come too late to the party.

So let’s hit the blood-spattered two-way street of copyright and get to the chase. Watching some old Boosh last night (coincidence) I was reminded we get the following in the Hitcher episode:

Only problem was, when I was a child, my thumb was tiny. Not just tiny like a single sugar puff, Disgusting! Even my own mother would reel back in horror, like an anaconda, ‘Aagh! What is it!? Get it out of here! It’s tiny! It’s horrible, it’s revolting!’

The Boosh namechecked Sugar Puffs. Sugar Puffs got crimping. So why are we staring at this sad puddle of spilt breakfast milk?

When the commercial world co-opts culture so superficially, it can be a dirty mix to swallow. But it happens all the time. What happened here was not a fair exchange.

The Boosh take Sugar Puffs’ name. But Sugar Puffs took the Boosh’s style.

If someone popular and funny namechecked you, you’d most likely be fine with it. But if after meeting someone you later discovered they’d copied your style, you’d be pretty pissed off.

On a blustery Saturday night down a dirty discotheque, several years after your first encounter, you bump into them again. They’ve started talking like (old) you. They’ve got your (old) rhythm, your (old) flow. Ugly.

If they’d just become a bit more like you, that could be good. It could be kinetic. It could even lead to some bouncy repartee. But they simply ripped. There was no dialogue.

When you bring it down to the personal, it all makes sense.

Lawrence Lessig can be breathtaking on this subject, and I’m looking forward to more of Matt Mason‘s thoughts.

You can be greedy for the verse, but you shouldn’t bite the style.

Related: You wanna be in my brand, my brand, my brand?

Songza. Listen? Now?

It was bound to happen, and Songza has happened it. Search for any song or artist and listen to the results in full. Actually – why not watch the results in full? It aggregates from YouTube too.

I’ve read about competitors but I’ve declined to try them. Because the results here are so comprehensive. The interface is so simple and usable. And that’s the point, isn’t it?

Like the look and feel of Songza? Then have a browse through Muxtape. If it isn’t dead as you read this. Either the buzz or the Fuzz will bring it down before long. (I hope I’m wrong, and latest news from the copyright frontline is good.)

New: Muxtape speaks about the future.