Whew, the skin for the guidebook is finally done*. And the main site skin is very close to being at least presentably done too. It’s been 21 days since I started.
This video had a rather excellent quote that I think could also be applied to intellectual property and similar issues.
The fact that I know something has zero value if I’m not the person who can actually make something better because of it.
Watch this video if you like video games, Let’s Plays, YouTube reviews, or regularly create ANYTHING.
It’s extremely important that everybody understands the consequences of sites like Youtube giving in to pressure from IP industries and allowing them to take ANYTHING down off the site without fear of anything happening to them, even if they use notices that make absolutely no sense and abuse the DMCA for censorship reasons. You could make something under fair use, NOT infringing copyright, and get your account closed under a copyright law, with potentially no way to argue the fact you have NOT violated the law.
I can’t stress this enough. This is really damn important to be aware of if you don’t want to be senselessly prevented from sharing audiovisual content on the internet. Youtube is the worst but you may not even be safe on other sites. Things are seriously screwed up.
Watch the video. TotalBiscuit says things more clearly, probably.
Access drives preservation. So, if you think of, “well, why don’t we just go and encrypt it and put it in a vault, and we’ll be able to look at it in 70 years, or something like that…”, I think that kind of a “dark archive” is the worst possible idea.
I think it’s keeping things in use, active, that keeps a part of the mind-share, keeps people knowing about it, liking it, caring for it. So I think that the best way to preserve things is to make things accessible. It may sound a little… “un-obvious”, but especially in this digital age, where it’s so easy to forget… If you take things away for a generation, it’s as if it doesn’t exist. So everything we do is open-source, and all the things we do we try to give away.
Brewster Kahle‘s words on preserving knowledge at the Internet Archive. I think they also briefly explain exactly what is wrong with overly-extended copyright terms, overzealous enforcement, and legal protections on DRM.
In the above video, Andy Baio discusses his experiences with copyright, music, and remix culture and how recent events have made him concerned about the future of every single creative person on the internet that dares to borrow the smallest snippet of anything at all without permission, in an era of mass automated lawsuits where copyright holders have increasingly “turned copyright into a weapon”.
He asserts that fair use does not exist—at least not outside of a courtroom—because it is not a law and only a courtroom test*, and when settlement letters are so convenient and reliable as a source of income, anyone can be the target of a lawsuit at any time. At the same time, he worries about how far the recent trend to “criminalize creativity” can possibly go as fewer and fewer people can even understand why building on other works should even be unlawful in the first place:
Every time I’d look at this and be like, “Should these be illegal?” […] “Does it feel right that these are illegal?”
This is a great video and if you’re at all interested in copyright or even fan art in general, you should watch it.
Above: In which North Korea uses the song We are the World (when you consider the song, how ironic is that?) and some footage from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to weave a strange lullaby of doom about the inevitable destruction of the United States.
North Korea returns, this time inexplicably using music and flame effects from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. That’s right, one of those quasi-mediaeval fantasy games featuring magic, dragons, and weaponised shouting,